Thanks to everyone who came out, visited the 2nd Floor Railway Museum, came by our booth, and asked about Winnipeg Streetcars. We even sold (more) than a few Winnipeg Electric Company T- Shirts! Wear them proudly. If you would like to purchase a T-shirt, drop by or contact the Heritage Winnipeg office at 509-63 Albert Street, they are $20ea. Or order from a wider selection at the Cafe Press link. For cash donations, also contact Heritage Winnipeg, and a Tax Receipt will be issued.
It was a great time to learn about Winnipeg’s Streetcar History, and on Saturday we had a “37 year Transit” operator with us, Brian Derragh. If you can believe it, he was hired in 1954, drove Streetcars for 17 months, then switched to Trolley Buses, and then drove the Deisel Buses right up until 1992. He also had the honor (or we did!) of being named “Bus Operator of the Year” in 1988. Maybe you rode a bus with Brian as the driver? I learned Winnipeg had 120 miles of rail/streetcar lines at its peak, you had to be at least 25yrs old to be Streetcar Trolley driver due to insurance, and your starting wage was less than $2. Below is a picture of Brian in the conductors spot in 356. He says he might have even drove it! But there were a lot of Streetcars available to work on, and “you didn’t always pay attention to the number.”
Also thanks to the Manitoba Transit Heritage Association (MTHA) who came by with their 1937 Vintage Twin Coach “Winnipeg Electric Company” bus 111 (aka Winnipeg Transit). They parked outside the Via Rail Station Sunday afternoon to answer questions about Transit Heritage, and assist with the Streetcar display.
Also thanks to CBC Radio for their great coverage, the broadcast was repeated again on Sunday, and I believe you might read about “Streetcar 356” in the Free Press shortly. Maybe even tomorrow.