When I was Area Manager for British Railways at Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, I made a point of dropping into the office on Saturday mornings. One Saturday in 1968 I went in and was surprised to see a railway parcels van in the small freight yard. The station foreman told me this was a van of pigeons and he was just going over to let them out.
happened to be the local union representative and we hadn't got on too well up
to that point possibly because his first language was Welsh while mine was
English. I asked if he would mind if I gave him a hand. It turned out that
birds had come from a club somewhere in the north of England, possibly Halifax.
The owners would log in the time the bird arrived home which was why these
special rail moves were made mainly so the birds could be released
I spent a pleasant time releasing the birds and chatting with the union representative about pigeons. It seems they fly at great speeds he mentioned 60 miles an hour. They would certainly fly home faster than British Railways had brought them to this remote part of Wales. This was just one rail car, but in some cases entire train loads of pigeons were moved across the country.
Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders - The Interchange September 2015 A
After that relations with the union became easier we had at least one thing in common!