Jim Hill's Canadian Railway

John Todd  (In Canadian Railway Magazine - 1975)

Forty-odd years later, some of the citizens of Rockwood, Ontario were surely surprised when they learned that James Jerome   Hill had become general manager of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad   at   St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. They never would have thought that this young man, born in this small Upper Canadian community, a  little north of Toronto, would achieve such a position.


Jim Hill entered railway service in the United States in 1865 and his advancement was rapid. After less than a year as general manager of the St.PM&M, he added "vice-president" to his title and, from1883 to October 1891, he was president of the road. After September 11, 1889, he was also president of the Great Northern Railway of the United States, a position of considerably greater importance.

While he was a young man, working in St. Paul, Jim Hill   read voraciously and, with his phenomenal memory, he soon amassed an encyclopedic knowledge. His specialty was the formation and location of various types of coal deposits. He also learned something about rail transportation, with special emphasis on a local weed-grown undertaking called the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, which wandered northwest from St. Paul towards the International Boundary and  the town of Winnipeg, in Canada.

Donald Smith and Norman Kittson were both employed by the Hudson' s Bay Company, the former in Labrador and the latter in Minnesota. By 1870, Kittson had recognized the limitations of his steamboat line in the Minnesota-Red River waterway and, in 1873-74, he and Donald Smith were also looking at the bankrupt St. Paul and Pacific.


The steam shovel excavates and the horse-drawn dump-cars haul away the fill on the bench on the south side of the Souris River valley about 1905.
                                
 Photo Gilford Copeland


To summarize the events which followed, Kittson, Smith, Hill and New York banker John S. Kennedy bought the moribund St. Paul and Pacific, together with its land-grants, which were considerable. In May 1880, the company was reorganized as the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railroad. And this partially explains why James Jerome Hill was a member of the "syndicate" who signed the agreement with   Sir John A. Macdonald's government in Canada on September 14, 1880,  to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. It also explains how W.C. Van Home brought materials and supplies to start the construction of the CPR west from Winnipeg in the spring of 1882.

Some railway historians believe that even the colossus which was the Canadian Pacific Railway Company could not have contained Jim Hill's ambitions. Certainly, it would have had great difficulty later on in containing both Hill and Van Home. As plans went  forward in 1882, it became increasingly evident that Macdonaid's Conservative government in Canada would insist on an all-Canadian route north of Lake Superior, which was squarely opposite Jim Hill's  intention to run the line south to St. Paul and then back north to Winnipeg over his St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba, there to rejoin the Canadian Pacific.

This difference in opinion resulted in the resignations of Jim Hill and John S. Kennedy from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, on May 3, 1883. But Jim Hill did not consider this an admission of defeat. He immediately set about expanding the StPM&M and, in 1889, he incorporated the Great Northern Railway Company, which grew into a vast railway system of nearly 8,000 miles. The Great Northern, under Jim Hill's direction, was the only railroad company with a line from the mid-west United States to the Pacific Ocean that never went bankrupt and never defaulted on a dividend.

One of the conditions in the contract between the Government of Canada and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was that no other railway would be allowed to build a line south of the CPR's main line for a period of 20 years. This prevented United States railroads from building branch lines north across the International Boundary, or any Canadian companies from building south to join lines in  the US. But the connection with the STPM&M at Pembina-Emerson Junction, predated this agreement and considerable traffic moved east over
this line before the Canadian Pacific's eastern main line was  completed in May 1885.

James Jerome Hill deserved the title of "Empire Builder" and his railroad was rightly known as the "Jim Hill Line". Whatever his reasons, he planned to build a comprehensive network of branch lines in western Canada, to complement his main line to the west coast. But he had to wait until the Canadian Pacific's "Monopoly Clause" was repealed in 1888. In the years following the turn of the century, Jim Hill planned two north-south lines through Brandon, Manitoba and Regina, Saskatchewan, as well as an east-west line from Winnipeg to the Pacific. In a sense, he anticipated Mackenzie and Mann and the Canadian Northern. Hill's plans kept the Canadia Pacific on guard continuously, as they were vulnerable to competition which was ardently advocated by politicians and farmers in Canada's developing prairie provinces.

In the early 1900s, Jim Hill did build three branch lines   in Manitoba and running rights were secured over the Canadian Northern from Emerson Junction to Winnipeg. In the ensuing years,  about a dozen other branch lines were built from the Great Northern's  main line to the International Boundary, between Winnipeg and Vancouver. In British Columbia, Hill incorporated the Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway and Navigation Company and constructed railways  on Vancouver lsland and in southern British Columbia. He built a total of 607.26 miles of railway in Manitoba and British Columbia, all of
it without a government subsidy of any kind.

When construction on the Canadian Northern Pacific and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railways was commenced, the reasons for Jim Hill's planned Canadian railroad to the Pacific disappeared. But with typical ingenuity Hill did not abandon the project; he just postponed construction indefinitely.

The Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson Bay Railway Company, incorporated in 1903, was one of Jim Hill's first attempts to establish a north-south trunk line in Canada. It proposed to build a railway from a point on the International Boundary in Range 16-18, (Bannerman), to Brandon and thence north and west to The Pas, Manitoba. Two years later, the charter was expanded slightly to  permit a second connection to Morden, from the GN's main line at  Lakota. North Dakota.

Work on the Brandon line began in 1905. The railway was built from the GN end-of-steel at St. John, North Dakota, 3.55 miles   to the southeast of the International Boundary. The portion in Canada continued to Brandon for a distance of 69.5 miles.

The most difficult section of the BS&HB to construct was the long fill and two-span bridge across the Souris River at  Bunclody, Manitoba, about 26 miles south of Brandon. Three large construction camps were established near Bunclody, one on each side of the river valley and the third at the Pete Earner Ravine, a mile-and-a-half southeast of the village. Each camp was assigned a large steam- shovel and teams of horses, mules and four-drivered  "donkey" engines were used to haul the dump-cars full of earth from the cuts and ben-
ches to the bridge approaches.

If you suspect that the name Bunclody has on Irish "ring" to it, then you are quite correct. Mr. George McGill, who settled   in this area with Mr. James Copeland in 1881, afterwards became   Secretary-Treasurer of School District 383, formed in 1884. Mr. McGill was given the privilege of naming the school and he chose Bunciody, the name of the district in Ireland from which he had emigrated.

At Bunclody, the Souris River valley is considerably below the level of the prairie and is quite wide. It was therefore necessary to bring the railway grade down the south side of the valley on   a bench and carry the single-track line across the valley and   river


A 65-ton steam shovel excavates a cut at the top of the grade out of the Souris River valley near Bunclody, Manitoba, in 1905.
The train of dump-cars is hauled by a saddle-tank engine.

Photo Gilford Copeland


The big fill and the bridge over the Souris River, near Bunclody, Manitoba, about 1905. The two tracks on the fill allowed
the train of loaded dump-cars to proceed to the dumping position, while the empties returned on the other track to be refilled.

Photo Gilford Copeland

on a high fill and a two-span, box-girder bridge. As Jim Hill was very anxious to complete the railway to Brandon rapidly, men and materials in quantity were brought to the construction site.

High timber trestles were erected on both sides of the river and thousands upon thousands of cubic yards of earth, from the cuttings and the approach grades along the sides of the valley, were dumped off these trestles, to build up the permanent fill and keep the gradient of the railway constant.

The timber for the trestles came from Carroll, Manitoba, about six miles to the northeast, on the Canadian Pacific Railway’s branch line from Winnipeg to Souris. Some of the cedar pilings were almost 90 feet long. The two-span bridge over the Souris River was 430 feet long and 85 feet high. At the same time, a bridge was built over the adjacent highway. The Pete Earner Ravine was filled in   to the level of the railway grade, with conduit pipes in the stream-bed to carry the spring run-off. Within a couple of years these conduit pipes began to collapse and the Great Northern replaced them by  a 7-foot square, arched-roof concrete tunnel. A quarter-of-a-mile north of the bridge, a water-tank was built, the water being pumped up from the Souris River.

Scottish-born John Fraser, who bad worked for the Canadian Northern Railway at Belmont and nearby Wakopa, Manitoba, hired on to lay rails on the BS&HB's new grade in 1905. He later became section foreman at Minto, before moving to Bunclody. The 8-mile section at Bunclody was a difficult one to maintain. The track ran down the side of the Souris River valley and across the river and was all curves, cuts and fills. The rails were 60 pounds to the yard, with no tie-plates or gravel ballast. When it rained, the roadbed became very soft and muddy. Mr. Fraser also looked after the water-tank.

The first train over the BS&HB's new line made the trip in June 1906. From then on, there were two passenger trains, daily except Sunday, one south in the morning and one north in the evening. There was also a daily-except-Sunday freight, which ran south one day and north the next.

Snow on the prairies was the railway's worst enemy. In the first year of operation, there was a heavy snowfall and one train was snowbound in Hebron Cut from late November to March, Luckily it was a work-train and the crew, with their own cook-car, were able to live there all winter. Hebron Cut was on Mr. Roger's farm  and he hauled water every day to the train during the winter. Other supplies were obtained from the newly-opened general store at Hayfield, four miles towards Brandon.

The winter of 1915-16 was one of the worst ever experienced in this district. Cuts were full of snow, 15 feet deep in some places. Trains did not run for six weeks. In the spring, the melting snow produced a heavy run-off and culverts and conduits could not  drain off the water rapidly enough. At Bunclody, much of the water went down the highway and through the railway underpass, on its way  to
the turbulent, muddy Souris River. The railroad grade was saved, but the highway was nearly completely washed out, with holes 10-12 feet deep in many places.

In the middle of February 1923, a severe blizzard blocked the BS&HB's line from Minto to Brandon for three weeks. Local men were hired to help shovel out the line and to erect snow-fences. A rotary snowplow was brought in from the Great Northern's main line  and it cleared a path about 10 feet wide. The crew would take the plow as far forward as possible, until it began to clog, and then backed it out of the cut, while the men shoveled off the top four or five feet of the cut. The rotary was then brought forward again to blow this snow out of the cut. But it also blew down some of the snow- fence that the men had worked so hard to erect. The worst drifts had formed at Wilson Cut, a mile-and-a-half north of Heaslip and three miles south of the Souris River crossing.

That was not the end of the snow that winter. On March 20, there was another big snowfall. The passenger train went through on Friday morning, with two engines and a wedge-plow. About half-an-hour later, Mr. Fraser got word that the train was stuck in Wilson Cut.

Hurriedly he called his men together and they walked down the track to the snowbound train. When they found it, the engines, plow and coaches were drifted in solidly, with snow half-way up on the coach windows. The conductor and the engine crews tried to loosen up the frozen drivers on the locomotives with the steam hose, but to no avail. Then, the engine crews got out the jacks and managed to force the two engines apart for enough so that the second engine could "bump" the first engine free. By 2.00 a.m., the train was ready to
travel, but the water in the tender of one of the engines was so low that the crew had to reverse into the cut again, so that snow from the top of the cut could be shoveled into the tender tank, to be melted into water for the boiler. This was the wrong decision, as one of the engines become stuck ail over again'.

The lady passengers managed to find some bread and coffee in the baggage car and someone brought other supplies from the general store at Heaslip. A midnight lunch was then served. With great effort, the train was thereafter liberated from the snowdrifts and the whole outfit staggered into Minto, 35 miles south of Brandon, at 5.00 a.m. on Saturday. The crew had to let one engine die and the second one was also low on coal and water. The conductor wired  St. John, North Dakota, for a replacement engine, which arrived about noon and the run was resumed the following day.

On Monday, the passenger train returned from St. John with two engines and an extra water-car and snowplow. The passenger part  of the train spent the night at Bunclody, while the two engines and the plow went ahead to clear the line, returning to the station for the night. Next morning, the whole train went on its way, but the plow jumped the rails, due to the ice which had formed at the place where it had stopped the night before. The Bunclody men were called out again to help re-rail the plow and, before long, the line was opened and the passenger train departed on its way to Brandon.

Episodes like this one prove beyond any doubt that the problems caused by weather to railway operation in Canada were not confined to the railways in the Rocky Mountains, those along the bleak shore of Lake Superior or those that ran through eastern Quebec and New Brunswick to Nova Scotia'.

The bridge over the Souris River was entirely rebuilt in 1929- 30 and service was never interrupted during this reconstruction. Mr. Fraser was joined on the section-gang by his two sons, Murray and Ernie and, in time, together they accumulated a total of 147 years of service on the Great Northern Railway. They held many positions in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota.


Building the single-track, two-span, box-girder, wooden bridge over the Souris River near Bunclody, Manitoba, on June 19, 1906.

Photo Gilford Copeland

The BS&HB entered Brandon from the west, between the Canadian Pacific and Canadian Northern tracks. A large brick-and-stone station was built one block west of the Canadian Pacific station and five blocks from that of the Canadian Northern. A large brick freight shed was built farther to the west. The BS&HB yard ran parallel to the CPR and most of the switching between the CP and Canadian Northern was done by the BS&HB. They also had tracks serving most wholesale and other warehouses in Brandon.

As noted previously, engine crews on the BS&HB ran out of  St. John, North Dakota. Here, there was a roundhouse and a turntable, the latter being of the "armstrong" variety. When extra manpower was necessary to turn a heavy engine, volunteers were recruited from the local pool-hall. St. John was also the United States port of entry, while Bannerman, Manitoba, was the Canadian equivalent. McCabe Elevator Company built grain elevators at all stations on the Great Northern Railway's lines in Manitoba and a large grain traffic was handled to Duluth, Minnesota. This was what Jim Hill had   planned all along.

From the fall of 1907 to the spring of 1911, the Great Northern hauled grain south from Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage La Prairie to Duluth, on Lake Superior, for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, then under construction. The GTP's Lake Superior line to Fort William, Ontario, could not be used yet, as the Winnipeg-Superior Junction section of the National Transcontinental Railway, which was to form the connecting link, was not completed until April 1911.

After Brandon, the largest town on the BS&HB was Boissevain, 48 miles to the south. There was a good-sized station and freight yard here. On its way north from St. John, the BS&HB encountered several railways, all of which it crossed at grade. At Bannerman, there was the Greenway-Adelpha branch of the Canadian Northern Railway, which had been opened for traffic on May 31, 1905. At Boissevain, there was the Manitoba and South Western Colonization Railway, or    the "Pembina Branch", as it was called. It had been completed to Deloraine in 1886 and was generally called the "Deloraine Line" by the old-timers.

The Northern Pacific & Manitoba"s track from Winnipeg, through Carman to Hartney Junction, was bisected by the BS&HB at Minto, Manitoba. This railway had been completed in 1898, being built  by the Northern Pacific Railway of the United States. It was first leased to the Government of Manitoba in 1901 and then re-leased to the Canadian Northern Railway in the same year.

The Souris branch of the Canadian Pacific crossed the BS&HB near Carroll, Manitoba. This railway pursued a curious route from Winnipeg, through Souris to Arcola, Saskatchewan, terminating at Saskatchewan's capital city of Regina.

Just west of Brandon, there was a crossing with the Canadian Northern's line from Winnipeg to Regina, completed in 1905.  The Canadian Pacific, of course, was the first railway in Brandon, the first official passenger train having arrived on October 11, 1881.



The station, yard, high fill and bridge of the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson's Bay Railway at Bunclody, Manitoba,
about 1910, after the railway was in operation.         

Photo Gilford Copeland




One of the original structures on the BS&HB was the water-tank at Bunclody, Manitoba. Mr. John Fraser looked after the tank.

Photo Gilford Copeland


The Station of the GN/BS&HB Rwy in Brandon Manitoba. Train, headed by a small-drivered GN consolidation, faces west, 
ready to depart for Boissevain, Manitoba and St. John, North Dakota.


Photograph courtesy Assiniboine Historical Society.



The BS&HB had a 30-year contract with the Government of Canada to transport the mails. This put a little revenue in the Company treasury. By far the most important event, each year, for the children, that is, was the appearance of the "Midway Train", on its way to Brandon. This was the train that carried all the   amusement rides from one Provincial Exhibition to another, in Regina, Calgary,Edmonton and Saskatoon. It was the highlight of the year for the people under 12 along the BS&HB. The railway also operated many excursions on special occasions, such as Brandon Fair, and on  holidays. These excursions were well patronized. Freight business was reasonably good, with import shipments coming in from the United States and grain going south. Passenger service was excellent and very, very friendly.

The "international" passenger train which ran daily except Sunday from Brandon to Church's Ferry and Devils Lake, North Dakota and return, consisted of a small Great Northern 4-4-0 locomotive, a combination baggage/express/mail car, followed by two coaches, one reserved for ladies and non-smokers. The passenger was a name-train, too. Everybody called it "Charley Bryant", or just "Charley".

Charley Bryant was the conductor on this train for almost 40 years, so it was no wonder that passengers and others got into the habit of thinking that it was really Charlie's train. When young passengers grew up, they were surprised to learn that "Charley" really belonged to the Great Northern Railway of the United States.

Meeting the evening passenger train was a "must" for all the train lovers of the district. Whenever it was late, everyone would   ask:

"What's keeping Charley?"

The daily-except-Sunday passenger train for Devils Lake left Brandon early in the morning and soon it was rattling along the track down the side of the valley and across the high fill and the bridge over the Souris River. Further south, the train ran  through the eastern foothills of the Turtle Mountains, where the  beautiful International Peace Gardens are located today.

A ten-minute stop was made at St. John, North Dakota, the divisional point and United States customs and immigration inspection point. Two hours and a half, and 55 miles later. Train 210 arrived at Church’s Ferry, where a connection was made with the main line for Devil’s Lake, 20 miles to the east.

The afternoon passenger. Train 209, departed Church's Ferry at 3.15 p.m. and arrived at Brandon at 9.30 p.m., in the late evening. Passengers returning from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, were described as "coming back from down below".

Conductor Bryant of the BS&HB was also a farmer and his   farm was located just south of the International Boundary at St.   John. He was a very good neighbour and helped his neighbour-farmers frequently. In the autumn, he would stop the passenger train at various farms between regular station stops to disembark Indian harvest workers from the nearby Turtle Mountain Reservation. Charley sometimes did not pay too much attention to the schedule, but the services he did provide were appreciated by patrons of the Great Northern,  all along the line.




Great Northern Railway 4-4-0 number 208 is ready to leave Brandon, Manitoba, with the daily passenger train for St. John
and Devils Lake, North Dakota. The crews posed for a group photograph.


Photo L.S. Stuckey.


The opening years of the economic depression of the 1930s were not good ones for the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson's Bay Railway, or its parent Great Northern, for that matter. The lower freight rates on grain, resulting from the famous Crow's Nest Pass agreement of June 29, 1897, made it cheaper to ship grain to the Canadian portson the Great Lakes. Higher customs' duties on United States goods reduced imports into Canada and the advent of the private automobile resulted in a significant reduction in passeri9or traffic. As the depression worsened, the BS&HB sank further and further into the "red".

Mr. Fraser, the section-foreman at Bunclody, took his wife and his household goods and moved to Manville, North Dakota. While  Mr. and Mrs. Fraser rode in the passenger coach, their carload of household effects was the last car on the last passenger train on the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson's Bay Railway. That was on June 17, 1936. From that day on, the passenger train from Devils Lake terminated at St. John, North Dakota, remaining there over night before returning to Devils Lake, the following day. So ended 30 years of international passenger service via the Great Northern and the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson's Bay Railway.

The Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada, in Order 53231 dated May 14, 1936, authorized the GN/BS&HB to abandon the  railway from Brandon to the International Boundary and the Great  Northern took up the 3.55 miles of line from the boundary to St. John.

But not all of the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson's Bay Railway was removed. According to the terms of the abandonment  order, the terminal facilities of the BS&HB in the city of Brandon were to be taken over by one of the other railways in the city. In 1936, both Canadian Pacific and Canadian National had lines in Brandon, but because of the proximity of the BS&HB to the Canadian Pacific's yards, this latter company took over the BS&HB's terminal facilities.

Thirty-eight years after most of the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson's Bay Railway was taken up, there are still numerous visible remains for the railway archeologist to discover. The cuts, and some of the fills, can still be discovered and the location  of the railway in and out of the Souris River valley is still evident. And although the two-span bridge over the river has disappeared, you
can still trace the old right-of-way all the way south to the International Boundary. The BS&HB may never have reached Hudson Bay, but it left its mark on the landscape of southern Manitoba.


Other research notes.

1. The rails of the BS&HB from St. John, North Dakota to Brandon, Manitoba, were taken up in 1937. Those from the Canadian portion of the line were shipped to British Columbia.

2. The two-span bridge over the Souris River at Bunclody, Manitoba, was dismantled later on by a Brandon contractor and the useable timber salvaged. Snow-fences, grain doors and other materials were removed for use on other lines. Buildings and structures were sold; some were demolished on the spot; others were  moved away.

3. The Brandon terminal and transfer yard of the BS&HB were   taken over by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The station was  converted into a merchandise distribution centre and was finally torn down in 1973. The large brick freight shed is still being used by a Brandon lumber company.

4. The spur and elevator track at Boissevain were taken over by the Canadian Pacific and are still in use. The station was bought by the Department of Hi9hways of Manitoba and is presently used as a district headquarters building.

5. The station at Bannerman was sold and moved to Lena, Manitoba where it became a general store.

6. Irregular freight service is still offered by the Burlington Northern Railroad from Church's Ferry to St. John, North Dakota.

7. Other branch lines, built by the Great Northern Railway in  Manitoba, included:

a. The Midland Railway Company of Manitoba, a joint venture of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railways, was incorporated in 1903 and was built from Walhalla,  North Dakota to Morden, Manitoba, in 1906. There were 15 miles
in Canada. This company was purchased by the Manitoba Great Northern Railway Company on July 1, 1909. The line was abandoned in 1936. The elevator and spur tracks   at Morden were taken over and are still used by CPR/CP RAIL.

b. The Midland Railway Company of Manitoba was incorporated in 1903 to build a line from Neche, North Dakota to Gretna, Plum Coulee, Carman and
Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. It was built in 1906, with 77 miles in Canada. It was purchased on July 1, 1909, by the Manitoba Great Northern Railway Company. That part of the line from Gretna to Plum Coulee (16 miles) and Carman to Portage La Prairie (36 miles) was abandoned and removed in 1928. At the same time, the Canadian Pacific Railway purchased the portion from Plum Coulee to Carman (25 miles) and this portion is still operated today by CP RAIL.

8. The Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railways obtained trackage rights in 1912 for 65.7 miles over the Morthern Pacific  and Manitoba Railway from Pembina, North Dakota/ Emerson Junction, Manitoba, to Winnipeg. This connection was originally built   by the Northern Pacific and Manitoba, who leased it to the Government of Manitoba in 1901. The Government of Manitoba, in   turn, subleased the line to the Canadian Northern Railway, who granted
trackage rights to the GN-NP. In addition, the GN had a 1.7-mile connection between Emerson Junction and West Lynn, while the Manitoba Great Northern Railway Company still owns six or seven miles of terminal line and sidings in the City of Winnipeg. This trackage is today operated by the Burlington Northern.

9. The following items from the Brandon, Manitoba "SUN", are presented through the kindness of Messrs G.A. Fowell and F.A. McGuiness of Brandon, Manitoba:

June 7, 1906:

Plans (have been made) for building a depot for the Great Northern Railroad,
coming in from the south.

November 3, 1906:The Great Northern track (Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson' s Bay Railway) has been laid a short distance west of 18th.
Street in Brandon.

December 1, 1906:The first coal train arrived in Brandon from the south (Great Northern Railway) after being stuck and held up for 2 weeks, the results of a bad  storm and an acute fuel shortage in Brandon.

April 24, 1907;

A typical Pre-World War 1 scene in southern Manitoba. the BS&HB's daily passenger Train 210, consisting of a 4-4-0, a combination mail/ express/baggage car and two coaches, pauses at Hayfield, Manitoba, 14 miles south of Brandon, at 8.04 a.m.

Photograph courtesy Assiniboine Historical Society.

Acknowledgements.

The author would like to thank the following persons, and organizations for assistance in the preparation of this article:

Mrs. E. Duncan  Brandon, Manitoba
Mrs. Allan Rose Bunclody, Manitoba
Mr Gilford Copeland Bunclody, Manitoba
Mr Gordon H. Fowell Brandon, Manitoba
Mr Murray L. Fraser Woodburn, Oregon, USA
Mr Jack Gillings Boissevain, Manitoba
Mr Rodger Letourneau Winnipeg, Manitoba
Mr Fred McGuiness, The  Brandon "Sun" Brandon, Manitoba
Mr T.K.Roberts Brandon, Manitoba
Mr Roy, Postmaster St. John, North Dakota,  USA
Mr P.P.Striemer Winkier, Manitoba
Mr L.A.Stuckey Brandon, Manitoba
Mr S.S.WorthenMontreal, Quebec

The Boissevain Historical Museum Boissevain, Manitoba

The Brandon Historical Society Brandon, Manitoba

The "Pembina Times" Morden, Manitoba

Bibliography

Statutory History of Steam and Electric Railways of Canada
1836-1937   Dorman, R. 1937

The Railway Interrelations of the United States and
Wilgus, W.J, 1937

A History of Transportation in Canada Glazebrook, G.P. 1938

Steel of Empire Gibbon, J.M. Gibbon. J.M. 1935

The Life of James J. Hill, Pyle, J.G. 1917


The heavy snowfall of the winter of 1923 filled the cuts for  three miles south of Bunclody. A Great Northern 2-8-0 pushed the  rotary  snow-plow into the deep drifts, while Mr. Fraser, the section  foreman and his two sons, Murray and Ernie, helped shovel off the top  of the drifts.

Photo Gilford Copeland.