Canadian Pacific Railway Set-off Siding
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Volume 11   Number 12
Public Relations and Advertising Department
Windsor Station Montreal Que. H3C 3E4
 
Sept. 16, 1981
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Plenty to do:  There wasn't an idle moment for the 3,000 people who attended the Schreiber Family Day. Railroading is a way of life in this northern Ontario community and organizers planned a full day of activities such as the tug-of-war announced above.
 
Last Spike Revisited at Jack Fish
By Stephen Morris


Schreiber Ontario - A re-enactment of the driving of the last spike that marked the completion of the CPR line between Montreal and Winnipeg highlighted the Family Day in this tiny Northern Ontario community.

The re-enactment involved some 400 people, including senior railway officials from Montreal and Toronto, who travelled on a special train to Jack Fish, 15 miles east of here. It was there the spike was originally driven back on 16 May 1885. (Editor's note:  The final "Last Spike" of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven at Craigellachie on 7 Nov 1885 in the mountains of British Columbia by Donald Smith, the most senior director of the company at that time, who was later made Lord Strathcona.)

About 1,000 of the 3,000 attending the Family Day ventured on special trains during the day to the historic site.

"The only way you can spot where the last spike was driven is by rail", said Bud Andrews, superintendent. "These people have had a rare opportunity to visit a historic site few other people have, and to take part in a historic re-enactment".

Railroading has always been a way of life here and nowhere was this more evident than on the special train.

Bob Krause, locomotive engineer and an 18-year veteran, was at the controls. Bob's father Gus, a 35-year veteran who retired in 1972, acted as head-end trainman and Danny Krause, who joined CP Rail in 1978, served as the brakeman.

Also on board was another generation of the Krause family, who according to father Danny, will carry on the family tradition.

While many enjoyed the train excursion, others were touring the many pieces of old and new rail equipment, the shops, and the buildings in Schreiber yard.

A dunking tank, where a person sitting above a tank filled with water is dunked when a thrown ball hits a target, proved to be one of the more popular attractions. Employees lined up to take a shot at the target and see one of the many officers who "volunteered" to sit above the tank get drenched.

Employees competed against each other in tug-of-war, horseshoe, spike driving, and rail cutting contests.

Food and refreshment booths were busy all day handing out more than 1,400 hot dogs, 1,600 hamburgers, 250 cases of soft drinks, and 1,000 ice-cream bars.

"I think the CP Rail birthday dance the previous evening helped put everybody in just the right mood", said Pat Tiller, accident prevention co-ordinator and chairman of the Family Day committee.

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Reliving history:  A highlight of the Schreiber celebration was the re-enactment of the driving of the last spike that marked the completion of the CPR line between Montreal and Winnipeg. With a spike maul in hand, Executive Vice-President R.S. Allison prepares to drive a spike as Eastern Region Vice-President D.C. Coleman, J.P. Kelsall General Manager Operations and Maintenance, and invited guests look on.


This CP Rail News article is copyright 1981 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and is reprinted here with their permission. All photographs, logos, and trademarks are the property of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

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