Railway history remembered in Truro

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Vintage photos, model train part of display at Munroe Court retirement home

TRURO - A dining hall has captured more than just an appetite for seniors at Wallace Living Retirement home in Munroe Court in Truro.

Ron Chisholm displays a handmade cast iron steam train made in 1985 and donated to Sandford Hall Living Retirement home in Munro Court in honour of the railroad history of Truro.

It has also captured a memory of railroads and railcars.

Ron Chisholm, a historic research volunteer, says keeping a part of railway history that was once so significant in Truro is important to commemorate.

"It invokes positive memories in the minds of many seniors who travelled by train in the early days and to remember the special occasion it was," said Chisholm, a Truro lawyer.

In early February, the Munroe Court home was named Sandford Hall in honour of Sir Sandford Fleming, a railway engineer who helped shape the railroads that surround Truro.

"It's an essential part of our past and present character, particularly Sir Sandford Fleming, who had a major role in our country and a major part in this town and he should not be forgotten," said Chisholm.

The fact that the Munroe Court home was built on the former railway roundhouse in Truro also adds to the historical significance.

"It was built on the location of the historic roundhouse that did all train repairs in this region," Chisholm said of the Munroe Court site. "It's pretty significant because so much work went on."

Photos from over the years of the Truro Railway were increased in size and are displayed around the dining hall to help add to the historic monument.

"We collected the vintage photos and had them restored and mounted to create an impressive display that captures the spirit in the heydays of the railroad."

Among many photos hanging from the dining hall walls symbolizing the changes of the Truro railway station throughout the years, sits a 40-pound handmade cast iron steamer train on a piano. Chisholm said it was a donation made by retired welder and mechanic of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, Alex Docherty, who currently lives in the Truro area.

"The Model Train Society put out the word that we were looking for artifacts and mementos when Alex arrived at my office with this beautiful model of a train," said Chisholm.

"The train model was complete and put on display in 1985 until 2012 at the Agincourt Yard, owned by Canadian Pacific Railroad in Scarborough, Ont. It was given to Alex Docherty upon his retirement since he was a builder of the model steam engine, and as an expression of their gratitude for his lifetime of work with CP Rail," said Chisholm.

Many people offered to buy the train, but Docherty refused the offers and donated the train.

     

Organizations: Munroe Court, Truro Railway, Canadian Pacific Railroad Model Train Society CP Rail

Geographic location: Truro, Scarborough

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