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Canadian Railroads > Via station, Golden BC

Date: 03/02/19 18:00
Via station, Golden BC
Author: eminence_grise

The images show the Via station at Golden BC built circa 1985, and the CP station it replaced.

Both are preserved today, the Via station as a tourist information centre, and the CP station within the townsite as a long term restoration project.

Golden was a regular stop on both the CP and Via "Canadian", and usually had a good passenger base, serving passengers from the Columbia valley south to Lake Windermere.

The CP station was important as it was the a crew terminal on the Windermere Subdivision. This image was taken just after CP 2 had departed, and the baggage car has delivered new oil cans and so forth for a track crew. A Windermere Sub. crew awaits the arrival of a coal train from the west.

For train passengers, the service levels changed greatly with the coming of Via.  Golden was a 24 hour facility with a yardmaster, and clerks.
Passengers could purchase tickets and accommodation, and there was always a pot of strong coffee in the waiting room. The late yardmaster "Muzzy" Greco was a gracious and talkative host.

CP issued a directive that office employees at Golden were not to offer any assistance or information to Via passengers.

Finally the CP station was moved and the Via shelter built in its place. A caretaker opened the station at train time and Via offered a 1-800 number.

After perhaps five years as a station, the CP route Canadian was discontinued, and the station closed. 

Date: 03/02/19 19:20
Re: Via station, Golden BC
Author: krm152

Great to hear both are preserved.

Date: 03/02/19 21:20
Re: Via station, Golden BC
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

eminence_grise Wrote:
> CP issued a directive that office employees at Golden were not to offer any assistance or information to Via passengers.

This is an inherent problem for both VIA and Amtrak.  In both cases, it might have been wiser to have let the carriers continue to operate the passenger services, with the government reimbursing them for their losses, plus the allowance of a small profit.  Under that business model, CP employees could continue to be courteous and informative to the traveling public.    

Date: 03/03/19 07:23
Re: Via station, Golden BC
Author: illecillewaetrr

You make an interesting point. Had the government provided subsidies to the railways for passenger service, they would have saved untold millions of dollars by not creating another Crown Corporation that is nothing more than a bureaucratic hole in the ground that we keep throwing money into. Oh, wait! How stupid of me. That's what governments do!

When I moved to Revelstoke in 1988, I had to report for work before my wife and children could arrive. So I took the VIA train from Terrace BC to Prince George BC, then the BC Rail Dayliner to North Vancouver and completed the journey on VIA's Canadian from Vancouver to Revelstoke. The VIA staff was helpful and courteous, but when I got to Revelstoke in the dead of night, there was no one at the station that offered any assistance. There were railway people there but they were not helpful.

Date: 03/03/19 08:16
Re: Via station, Golden BC
Author: ACR_Ted

Here is a photo of the Golden Station I took June 24 1988 as it was being moved.


Date: 03/03/19 11:18
Re: Via station, Golden BC
Author: eminence_grise

Revelstoke had a Via agent until the service was abolished in 1990. He transferred to CP employment as an operating employee and must be close to retirement or already retired.  Before that, there was another Via agent who died as a young man.

They worked from a corner of the freight office. In a manner similar to Golden, the CP freight office staff were forbidden to do any business related to Via, and were told not to allow the Via agent to use any CP property such as a photocopier.

I'm sure the office manager advised the clerks not to even talk to the Via agent, but of course they did.

I got to know the Via agent and was surprised how Via treated him at the termination of service.  Basically they said, your job ends on this  date, after that you have ten days to return all Via property or face prosecution. They offered no assistance regarding future employment or advice as to pension benefits and so forth.  He was lucky that he found CP employment right away, because his pension was transferred.

Multiply his experience by hundreds across Canada, and you end up with many bitter people.

Interestingly, neither of the Via agents were former CN employees but were new hires to Via.  One of the reasons CP didn't want the office staff to talk to the Via agent was the fact that CN/Via office staff were members of a different clerks union than on CP, and CN clerks had a better rate of pay and benefits from their CP counterparts.  Because of this, CP employees would be entitled to a different and higher rate of pay doing Via work.One of the office staff was the BRAC local chair, and was well acquainted with the CBRT contract that CN/Via employees worked under.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/19 11:28 by eminence_grise.

Date: 03/05/19 12:34
Re: Via station, Golden BC
Author: Hiawatha101

Here is what the Golden depot looks like as of 2013. It is a historical museum featuring First Nation and early settlers.

It needs some gutter work, but it looks much better than in 1988.

Gordon Bjoraker

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