1950 - 1959
The Korean War – June 1950 – July 1953.
1954: Elvis Presley records “That’s All Right” at Sun
Studios in Memphis Tennessee with Scott Moore and Bill Black.
1957: Lester Pearson wins the Nobel Peace Prize for organizing the
United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis.
1957: John Diefenbaker becomes the only Conservative Party Leader
between 1930 and 1979 to win a National Election. He governed until
1951: Manitoba Hospital Districts formed. Ivan Scultz, Minister of
Health made the expansion of hospital services a priority.
Korean War begins.
- locomotives were being converted from coal to diesel. Liquid fueld
tanks were installed in the roundhouse.
- at this time 28 crews, 140 men, were employed on the line between
Winnipeg and Melville.
- 25 year old James White lost both legs to a train accident.
The Basic Helicopter Training Unit (BHTU) was
established at Rivers in
August 1953, initially to train RCAF pilots. It became the first
tri-service flying training unit in Canada.
The base later became the country's main para-training centre for army,
navy and air force personnel.
By mid February Diesel power reduced the running time
of trains from
Winnipeg to Edmonton by by several hours – the time
was soom cut by
almost a day..
The company pile of steam coal was removed.
Freight were checked and on their way in 15 minutes.
In late September a diesel hauled passenger train made a test run from
Montreal to Vancouver. By the end of the year the local day yard was
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visit CJATC Rivers
in autumn of 1954
Base Commanding Officer G/C J.A. Sproule, DFC and HRH Prince Philip
Rob Sproule Collection
In Mid May 23 men – four roundhouse and 18 car-department
employees were terminated..
An old engine well known in the regionNo. 7398, now refitted with a
diesel engine passed through with passengers who had been
from boarding a fog-bound TCA Airliner in Winnipeg.
The Edmonton Eskimos Grey Cup Special stopped in Rivers both going to
and coming from their victory. Local gained souvenirs including a piece
of a goal post presented to the mayor, Mr. Stratford.
Highway 25 opened to traffic, and the first car accident injury on tha
Rivers, the first place on a main line in Canada to
coal-burning locomotives, was the last place to see their
The meeting of the east-and west-bound Continental trains came to an
end with a new CN Cross-Country Passenger service. – the Super
Continental. Twelve hours running time was cut from a montreal –
By 1956, Army helicopters pilots were also training at Rivers. After
the closure of the helicopter school at RCN Air Station HMCS
Shearwater, the Royal Canadian Navy began sending trainees to Rivers as
well, making the BHTU the first tri-service flying training unit in
Rivers beca,e the central receiving station for
messages from Caye to
Uno, with the installation of telephone-teletype facilities here
d station dispatchers.
- continental passengers service was reduced to “local”
A ski hill operated just south of the base in the valley of the Little
Gerry Logan Collection