Notable People
In the Grand Trunk Pacific Story


A component of…

The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in Rivers, Manitoba

A Project of The Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee

Britton, R.D.

Became roundhouse foreman in 1918

Buggey, W.

The first GTP Agent in Rivers, 1908

Chamberlain, Edson

A former general manager of the Canadian Atlantic, succeeds F.W. Morse as general manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific in 1909.

Duke of Connaught

The youngest son of Queen Victoria was on the initial initial Royal train to pass over Grand Trunk Pacific lines.

The Edmonton Eskimos

The Grey Cup Special stopped in Rivers both going to and coming from their victory in 1954. Locals gained souvenirs including a piece of a goal post presented to the mayor, Mr. Stratford. Locals stil remember the chocolate bars with Edmonton Eskimo wrappers being handed out.

Files, W

The engineer who died when his freight train ran into a gap which – prior to a cyclone had been the 115 foot high Minewaska bridge near Uno.

Frost, I.O

The first local G.T.P. carpenter foreman, left for Edmonton to supervise work there in 1910.

Haney, Horace

In charge of trestle bridge construction, including the Rivers Trestle Bridge.

Hays, Charles Melville

Vice President of the Grand Trunk Pacific.

Charles Melville Hays was a native of Rock Island, Illinois but lived in Canada for many years. He became general manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1896 and convinced the Canadian Prime Minister of the need for a second transcontinental railroad.
Charles M. Hays died while returning from a visit to England to Canada where he was scheduled to attend the 26 April 1912, grand opening of the Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa, Ontario. Hays had chosen to return from England on the maiden voyage of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, which struck an iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland the night of April 14th and sank.

Hedburg, A.E.

Arrived in 1923 as Canadian National Railways agent,

Keaton, Buster

The crew and star of The Railrodder, a short film starring Buster Keaton, spent several days filming at the trestle bridge.  Mr. and Mrs. Keaton hosted the Mayor and Chamber of Commerce at a special dinner and Mr. Keaton made an appearance at the Rex Theatre where on of his early films, “When Comedy Was King” was showing.

Kelley, Howard G.

Succeeded Edson G. Chamberlain as President of the Grand Trunk Pacific in 1917.

King George VI

For the first time in history a reigning monarch was to visit Canada. In Rivers, a royal visit committee was set up to request that the train bearing Their Majesties would stop here. The petition was granted, but the visit was somewhat of a disappointment to the fifteen thousand people who gathered as the King made only the briefest of early-morning appearances to wave from the receding coach platform.


George VI and Queen Elizabeth greet Canadians from the back of the Royal Train, in Hope, British Columbia, 1939.

Leslie, W.J.

Railway postal clerk who brought the first Grand Trunk Pacific-conveyed bag of mail into Rivers, passed away.

Mackinnon, D.E.

Began his career with the G.T.P. at Rivers were he stayed until 1913 before moving on and eventually becoming Superintendent of Motive Power with C.N. based in   Trancona. (Winnipeg Evening Tribune, Jan. 31, 1942)

McGregor, Robert

A shopworker who was killed when caught up in the pumphouse engine, in 1917.

Prince of Wales

In 1923, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, the future King of England, disembarked from the train and walked the ties for the last mile as it approached Rivers.

McIntyre, Robert

The Rivers man slipped beneath wheels of moving train and lost both legs 1912.

Morse, F.T.

GTP Vice-President during the early years.

Page, Mrs. Robert

The first operator of the station restaurant in 1909.

Pason, F.C.

Took over as railway locomotive foreman in 1937.

Renton, William

In December, representatives of the G.T.P. strikers, including William Renton from Rivers, met with the Minister of Labour in Ottawa about the strike, which had now lasted 14 months.
Rivers-Wilson, Sir Charles

President of the Grand Trunk Pacific  who oversaw the creation of the Trans-Continental line. The Town of Rivers is named after him.

Sifton, Sir Clifford

Manitoba MP in the Laurier Liberal gov't at the time of the GTP construction.

Sproule, J.P.

 Replaced Percy Neville, 14 – year veteran, as railway locomotive foreman.

White, Samuel

The Twenty-two year old had one leg severed by a locomotive and later died. The first noted casualty in the region.

The throttle had been defective according to a coroner's inquest. The railway company was found guilty of gross negligence.