Crowns Visit To West With 159th Railway, Published 6 May 1955After all these years, I did not expect to find a new raiiwav in Winnipeg. In fact, if it had not been for Carlyle Allison, erudite editor-in-chief of the Winnipeg Trbune, I might have missed it. One night, a year ago, while out in his back yard at River Heights, he exclaimed, as a sort of obligato to a train whistle; "There's a railway you've never ridden. When he said it was "The Midland" I wrote it off merely as "a book- keeping railway" and let it go at that. Something like "The Goose Lake Line", "The Pontiac" or later, I remembered it when in say, "The K&P". But five years later, I remembered it when in his Tribune office, phoned the Midland, and found it was truly separately incorporated rail road. You could have knocked me over with a by-line.
(Midland of Manitoba)
I hired a taxi and he drove me out Corydon, and as far down the side street gumbo as he could. I then waded through the mud with my trousers rolled up, and when I got over to the tracks, I flagged down a steam shunter. Run me down to the round house please" I urged.
When I got there the red rug was spread by Robert Fyfe, locomotive foreman. He told me that "The Midland Railway Company of Manitoba" is half owned by the Northern Pacific, half owned by the Great Northern.
"Why you're the little brother of the Burlington" I exclaimed.
It was only when I explained that the mighty Burlington Route is jointly owned by the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern that Mr. Fyfe perked up a bit Route of the Zephyrs, boasting of an Ambassador on its directorate (His Excellency R. Douglas Stuart U.S. Plenipotentiary to Canada) the Burlington's little brother, the Midland has its moments of grandeur.
Left from a happier though dirtier age are two steamers. No. 4 has stencilled on it in gold: "Midland Railway Company of Manitoba". But No. 5 has painted on it in white: "Midland Railway Company". Actually No. 4 came from the N.P, and is an old Casey Jones type (oo-OOO) cut down to yard engine style. In her heydey, the NP took the fast varnish from Duluth to St PauL But No. 5 had no such glamor on the Great Northern. It started as a yard goat, and is ending life the same way. Neither she nor the old four spot will be there in Winnipeg when I go back.
In her glamorous orange and green, with traditional goat appliqued on her side, is the new Great Northern diesel, two unit, General Motors diesel. She runs the fast night flier from Winnipeg down to St Paul.
Shed a sentimental tear however for standby steamer Great Northern No. 1371, a Pacific out of yesteryear, and already earmarked for the scrap heap.
And so, thanks to old No. 4 of the Manitoba Midland, I rode my 159th railway. What greater happiness not only to be in Winnipeg, but to ride a new railway. It crowned my visit to the west.