In my research about Canadian train travel, I happened upon a book that became the centerfold of what I set out to learn. A quote from this book follows this statement and perhaps once you have read it too, you may begin to understand the way Hanna’s narrative warmed the vast histories and broadened my understanding of Canadian identity.
“This book could only have been written by an author with an inside experience of railway administration; and an intimate knowledge of Western Canada. Mr Hawkes was for several years the Superintendent of Publicity for the Canadian Northern Railway System. From the railway point of view, therefore, he was familiar with most phases of what I had to tell. His Knowledge (Mr. Hawkes) of the west is extensive and peculiar….He was going through the mill of homestead farming in the Northwest Territories before I ever saw Manitoba…
“Trains of Recollection” it may be my story, but it is my friend’s book.
Toronto, May 1924″
Trains of Recollections: Drawn from 50 years of Railway Service in Scotland and Canada by D.B. Hanna (the first president of the Canadian National Railways).