Canadian National Railway (CN) is marking its 100th anniversary with a travelling celebration — moving by rail, of course — and the cross-country show pulls into Winnipeg this weekend.
The event, CN 100: A Moving Celebration, offers the chance to look back over the railway’s history through hi-tech historical displays, each housed in converted shipping containers.
“Canada has been a big part of our story and CN has contributed a lot of the economic and social development of the county,” said CN 100 spokesperson Jim Feeny.
“It’s more than just the railway, it’s more than just moving stuff.”
The company was created by an Act of Parliament in Canada in June 1919 and remained a Federal Crown Corporation until its privatization in 1995.
The railway spans North America from Eastern Canada to the Western Canada and all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico. It now moves over $250 billion worth of goods every year.
The travelling exhibit tells CN’s history through audio, video, and computer-generated holograms, and will hit 14 cities across North America during its tour.
That tour will be stopped in Winnipeg at The Forks’ CN Stage until Sunday.
The exhibits are free and Feeny says there will be something of interest for everyone.
“The displays tell the story of the railway, and tell the story of the people who have worked for the railway over the last 100 years using some pretty neat technology, he said.
“It’s about the things that we did to innovate, to help develop this country in so many ways.”
Those stories include the railway’s role in bringing newcomers to Canada to their homes and farms across the country, and how the company helped get troops and supplies overseas during the Second World War.
It also looks at the company’s role in helping to set up the country’s first nation-wide radio network and in establishing Trans-Canada Airlines, which went on to become Air Canada.
“It’s about the development of a country,” said Feeny.
The exhibit includes a photo booth and family activities, including Lego tables where visitors can build trains of the future.
The exhibit is open until 8:30 p.m. Friday, from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
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