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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fun Facts About Canada & Canadian Trains

What Do We  Canadians Have To Be Proud Of ? 

1. Smarties, Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp
2. The size of our footballs fields, one less down, and bigger balls.
3. Baseball is Canadian - First game June 4, 1838 -    Ingersoll  ,  ON
 4. Lacrosse, Hockey, Basketball are Canadian
 5. Apple pie is Canadian
 6. Mr. Dress-up beats Mr. Rogers (ask you parents!)
 7. Tim Hortons beats Dunkin' Donuts
 8. In the war of 1812, started by America , Canadians pushed  the  Americans back past their White House. Then we burned it, and most of Washington .. We got bored because they ran away. Then, we came home and partied........ Go figure.
 9.  Canada has the largest French population that never surrendered to  Germany  .
10. We have the largest English population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone, anywhere. EVER. (We got clobbered in the odd battle but prevailed in ALL the wars)
 11. The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary, he slept in and missed the whole thing. He showed up just in time to get caught.
 12. A Canadian invented Standard Time.
 13. The Hudsons Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the world's oldest company.
 14. The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in under 3 minutes.
 15. We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, Velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, Zambonis and the telephone. Also short wave radios that save countless lives each year.
 16. We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.
 17. A Canadian invented Superman.
18. We have coloured money.





Canadian Pacific 

Building a nation

Canadian Pacific Railway was formed to physically unite Canada and Canadians from coast to coast. Canada's confederation on July 1, 1867 brought four eastern provinces together to form a new country. As part of the deal, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were promised a railway to link them with the two Central Canadian provinces – Quebec and Ontario.
Manitoba joined confederation in 1870. British Columbia, on the west coast, was enticed to join the new confederation in 1871, but only with the promise that a transcontinental railway be built within 10 years to physically link east and west.
The railway's early construction was filled with controversy, toppling the Conservative government of John A. Macdonald in 1873 and forcing an election. By the time Macdonald was returned to power in 1878, the massive project was seriously behind schedule and in danger of stalling completely.
On October 21, 1880 a group of Scottish Canadian businessmen finally formed a viable syndicate to build a transcontinental railway. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company was incorporated February 16, 1881, with George Stephen as its first president.
The 1881 construction season was a bust and the railway's chief engineer and general superintendent were fired at the end of the season after building only 211 km (131 miles) of track. Syndicate member and director James Jerome Hill suggested William Cornelius Van Horne was the man who could get the job done.
A rising star in the U.S., Van Horne was lured with a sizeable salary to become CPR general manager and to oversee construction of the transcontinental railway over the Prairies and through the mountains.
Van Horne boasted he would build 800 km (500 miles) of main line railway in his first year. Floods delayed the start of the 1882 construction season, but at season's end, 673 km (418 miles) of main line and 177 km (110 miles) of branch line track-laying made the vision of a transcontinental link much more of a reality.
On Nov. 7, 1885, the eastern and western portions of the Canadian Pacific Railway met at Craigellachie, B.C., where Donald A. Smith drove the last spike. The cost of construction almost broke the syndicate, but within three years of the first transcontinental train leaving Montreal and Toronto for Port Moody on June 28, 1886, the railway's financial house was once again in order and CPR began paying dividends again.


Canadian National

 The Canadian National Railways (CNR) was incorporated on June 6, 1919, comprising several railways that had become bankrupt and fallen into federal government hands, along with some railways already owned by the government. On November 17, 1995, the federal government privatized CN. Over the next decade, the company expanded significantly into the United States, purchasing Illinois Central Railroad and Wisconsin Central Transportation, among others. Now primarily a freight railway, CN also operated passenger services until 1978, when they were assumed by Via Rail. The only passenger services run by CN after 1978 were several mixed trains (freight and passenger) in Newfoundland, and a couple of commuter trains on CN's electrified routes in the Montreal area. The Newfoundland mixed trains lasted until 1988, while the Montreal commuter trains are now operated by Montreal's AMT.

[edit]Creation of the company, 1918–1923


One of the early logos orheralds of the Canadian National Railways. It would later be replaced by the CN "worm" in 1960.
In response to public concerns fearing loss of key transportation links, the Government of Canada assumed majority ownership of the near bankrupt Canadian Northern Railway(CNoR) on September 6, 1918, and appointed a "Board of Management" to oversee the company. At the same time, CNoR was also directed to assume management ofCanadian Government Railways (CGR), a system comprising the Intercolonial Railway of Canada (IRC), National Transcontinental Railway (NTR), and the Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR), among others. On December 20, 1918, the federal government created the Canadian National Railways (CNR) – a title only with no corporate powers – through a Queen's Privy Council for Canada Order in Council as a means to simplify the funding and operation of the various railway companies. The absorption of the Intercolonial Railway would see CNR adopt that system's slogan The People's Railway.
Another Canadian railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR), encountered financial difficulty on March 7, 1919, when its parent company Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) defaulted on repayment of construction loans to the federal government. The federal government's Department of Railways and Canals took over operation of the GTPR until July 12, 1920, when it too was placed under the CNR. The Canadian National Railway was organized on October 10, 1922.
Finally, the bankrupt GTR itself was placed under the care of a federal government "Board of Management" on May 21, 1920, while GTR management and shareholders opposed to nationalization took legal action. After several years of arbitration, the GTR was absorbed into CNR on January 30, 1923. In subsequent years, several smaller independent railways would be added to the CNR as they went bankrupt, or it became politically expedient to do so, however the system was more or less finalized following the addition of the GTR.
Canadian National Railways was born out of both wartime and domestic urgency. Railways, until the rise of the personal automobile and creation of taxpayer-funded all-weather highways, were the only viable long-distance land transportation available in Canada for many years. As such, their operation consumed a great deal of public and political attention. Many countries regard railway networks as critical infrastructure (even to this day) and at the time of the creation of CNR during the continuing threat of the First World War, Canada was not the only country to engage in railway nationalization.
In the early 20th century, many governments were taking a more interventionist role in the economy, foreshadowing the influence of economists like John Maynard Keynes. This political trend, combined with broader geo-political events, made nationalization an appealing choice for Canada. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 and allied involvement in the Russian Revolution seemed to validate the continuing process. The need for a viable rail system was paramount in a time of civil unrest and foreign military intervention.

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