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Canadian Railroads > Big Neon


Date: 09/09/20 10:45
Big Neon
Author: eminence_grise

Canadian National proudly proclaimed it's Vancouver BC passenger terminal with a huge neon sign. When ownership was transferred to Via Rail, the citizens of Vancouver wanted the big sign retained, but CN didn't. As a combined train and bus depot, the station was renamed Pacific Central and the neon sign was retained with different lettering.

Until 1966, the Great Northern had a smaller passenger terminal just to the north of the CN. Although the station was smaller, GN made up for it with a larger and more elaborate neon sign.

Vancouver CN was notable for it's neon sign, but I seem to recall other CN city stations (Winnipeg?) had big neon signs also. Anyone remember.?






Date: 09/09/20 11:02
Re: Big Neon
Author: hoggerdoug

Heard a story that when the TH&B Hunter Street station (Hamilton, Ontario) was being cleared out for closing, somebody found a pristine, still in shipping crate a large illuminated sign "Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo & New York Central". What a treasure that would be.
Doug



Date: 09/09/20 11:27
Re: Big Neon
Author: refarkas

A truly beautiful station.
Bob



Date: 09/09/20 17:37
Re: Big Neon
Author: BCR4619

Dont quote me but Im almost postive this sign is still living at the WCRA



Date: 09/09/20 23:26
Re: Big Neon
Author: railsmith

BCR4619 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dont quote me but Im almost postive this sign is
> still living at the WCRA

It was donated to WCRA, although I don't know where it is kept. I've never spotted it at the museum.



Date: 09/10/20 09:39
Re: Big Neon
Author: eminence_grise

This building was built for the CNR or possibly the Canadian Government Railway after the Canadian Northern went into bankruptcy during World War 1.

Across the continent, similarly the CN constructed the "tunnel station" in Montreal, a fairly basic building.

However, the Canadian Northern had brave plans for their city terminals, and architects drawings exist of an office building and station for Montreal. By the time the CNor reached Vancouver, they were in desperate financial straits, meaning there was no money to build a terminal station. As it was, they had to use trackage rights on the GN to reach the outskirts of downtown Vancouver.

I have to assume that the Canadian Northern had similar architects drawings for a proposed Vancouver terminal but I have never seen any.

The Grand Trunk Pacific had brave plans for an hotel and train station for Prince Rupert BC and also plans for a Chateau style resort near Jasper AB., both designed by the architect Francis Rattenbury, the same architect who designed the Empress Hotel in Victoria for CP.  Rattenbury was tardy on other railway projects and both CP and the GTP selected other architects to complete his projects.



Date: 09/10/20 10:34
Re: Big Neon
Author: Waybiller

While searching for photos of the GN depot, it appears it originally was a Union Station, and housed both the GN and NP.



Date: 09/10/20 22:39
Re: Big Neon
Author: eminence_grise

Waybiller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While searching for photos of the GN depot, it
> appears it originally was a Union Station, and
> housed both the GN and NP.

NP had a branch to Sumas WA./Huntington BC and used Canadian Northern trackage rights to reach Vancouver. NP passenger service ended during WW1



Date: 09/11/20 03:30
Re: Big Neon
Author: railsmith

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This building was built for the CNR or possibly
> the Canadian Government Railway after the Canadian
> Northern went into bankruptcy during World War 1.

Construction actually began under the auspices of the Canadian Northern, which had been absorbed into Canadian National by the time the station opened on November 1, 1919..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/20 03:32 by railsmith.




Date: 09/11/20 06:31
Re: Big Neon
Author: BCR4619

I believe its in one of the boxcars, If I remember I will have a look next time I am up

railsmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BCR4619 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Dont quote me but Im almost postive this sign
> is
> > still living at the WCRA
>
> It was donated to WCRA, although I don't know
> where it is kept. I've never spotted it at the
> museum.



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