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Tour to mark railroad’s centennial

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Daryl Adair of Rail Travel Tours is shown outside the Transcona Historical Museum.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

Daryl Adair of Rail Travel Tours is shown outside the Transcona Historical Museum. Photo Store

A Harbour View South resident is getting quite excited for the 100th anniversary of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway’s completion.

In April 2014, Daryl Adair of Rail Travel Tours is planning a tour to northern British Columbia to mark the centennial of the completion. The line runs from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert, B.C. and was completed on April 7, 1914. A portion of each sale will be donated to the Canada’s History Society.

Adair said there is space for upwards of 60 people on the tour, and he has a strong idea of what kinds of people would enjoy the trip.

"We want, with great respect, not the type of a person who wants to go and sit on a beach, because we know they’re there," Adair said. "We want to take some people who want to go and still see some unbelievable, stunning scenery — the mountains in April are still going to be stunning with the April snow.

"We want Canadians to go and enjoy their own history, have some fun, see the mountains, and share a passion for travel."

The trip will stop in Jasper, Alta. for two days each way, and will also make stops in Prince George, B.C.  and Prince Rupert. The tour features a Transcona connection, in that the section of the rail line between Prince Rupert and Terrace was patrolled by the Canada #1 Armoured Train, which was built at the Transcona Yards. The train was built after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, prompting fears the Japanese may attack the Prince Rupert port.

"This was the biggest place to keep it under wraps," said Adair, who was a longtime St. James resident before moving to northeast Winnipeg.

Adair noted there will be historical re-enactors boarding the train near McBride, B.C. to give travellers a sense of what the building of the railroad meant to their community, among other attractions.

An information session regarding the tour will be held at the Transcona Historical Museum (141 Regent Ave. W.) on Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m.

Tours, which include train travel, hotels, most meals, and admission at attractions, start from $2,585. To confirm attendance at the information session, call 204-897-9551. For more information on the business, visit www.railtraveltours.com

Adair’s company, which he started 11 years ago, organized a tour to Halifax last year in connection  with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, and has plans for other historically-linked tours in the future, including helping to mark Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. Adair noted he hopes to plan tours in relation to "landmark events" as opposed to more tragic ones.

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