“Service” was our motto. We had more stopping places to the ten miles, I think, than any railway in the world. Only a few of the routes, where settlement was beginning, we put down and took up passengers and way freight to suit patrons’ pleasure. For seventy-two miles, between Plumas and Dauphin, we hadn’t a telegraph station. It wasn’t of us, but it might have been, that this story was told: Certain passengers of a railway through ill-settled bush country observed the train stop at Nowhere, and saw a woman come from a cabin in a clearing and speak to the conductor. She returned to the cabin and the train stood so long that an explanation was sought from the conductor. “Oh” he said, “that’s all right. This lady goes to market every Saturday with us, to sell her eggs. This morning she’s one short of two doesn. We’re waiting because one of the hens is on.” Our time for the one hundred and twenty miles from Portage to Dauphin with a mixed train, was six and a half hours. Though punctuality was occasionally more of an ambition than an achievement, we kept good time on the whole; thanks to the driving of Billy Walker and the whole-souled devotion to business of Dad Risteen.
Trains of Recollection: 50 Years of Railway Service inScotland and Canada