Kenora Ontario - As a young man more than 60 years ago, Ron Baker went to see an insurance salesman in Keewatin.
He had just gotten a new job and wanted to buy an insurance policy.
The salesman asked him what kind of job he took.
Baker replied he got on with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP).
"Don't get a job on the railroad, Ron, that's dangerous," said the salesman.
Decades later, the now-retired Baker runs the Lake of the Woods Railway Museum with the help of his wife Ann, volunteers, and train buffs, but he still remembers working on the railroad fondly, even though it was dangerous.
"The CP was built by horses and men, not machines," said Baker.
Over Baker's 40 year career with CP, he saw changes to safety regulations that made the job safer, like the blue lanterns railroad workers hung on a car when they went underneath to work.
If there was a blue lantern hanging, no one moved the train until the person under it climbed out from beneath.
Baker said when the blue lantern regulation was put in place early in his career, crushing deaths dropped to zero.
He reminisces about his time as a freight and passenger conductor, telling tales of taking trains through the mountains of BC, the wide open prairies, and through the bush of Northwestern Ontario.
Ron and Ann Baker started the museum in 1992 to show the history of the railroad to the people of Kenora.
On Lakeview Drive at Norman Park, the museum displays railway artifacts, photographs, and antiques on the second floor.
The bottom floor holds a wall-to-wall model railway display that includes a forest fire, the historic Kenora Railway Station, and a replica of the old Keewatin Station.
The model railway takes visitors from the CP station in Vancouver, through spiral tunnels in the Rockies, across the plains to Thunder Bay.
The caboose next to the museum shows the cramped quarters that railroad workers lived in, and photos on the walls depict the day-to-day life of the railroad.
The museum gets lots of visitors from out of town, from Winnipeg to as far away as Japan, but Baker wants to bring more local people to the museum.
He noted that kids especially like the museum.
"The kids don't want to leave, they'll be laying on their belly looking at things and you'd have to pull them out to leave," said Baker.
The museum is open in July and August on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 13:00 to 16:00.
The caboose is open Monday and Tuesday from 13:00 to 16:00 and from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00.