Railway tribute embraces brand

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People following the theme of a street signage campaign Make Tracks For Truro expecting to learn about the town's fabulous railway history, unfortunately may miss the connection.

The downtown is rich in offerings, unique shops, cafes, green spaces and remarkable architecture, but is lacking in a tribute to its abundant railway history.

The signage campaign, launched in 2009 by the town and the Downtown Truro Partnership, was designed to provide visual clues to traffic moving from the highways to the downtown core.

The initial idea was to provide the town with a unique identity, while creating a brand.

The railway theme was an excellent choice. The hub town was brought to life by a bustling railway in its heyday.

Every rail tie spiked to the track strengthened the foundation for our great town.

The lively rail service not only transported people and goods, but also provided thousands of jobs, spinoff businesses and tourism opportunities.

Many people still living here remember the rail yards and roundabout constantly filled with train cars.

From model railroaders to historians and former railway workers and travellers, there remains a passion for days gone by and a desire to see that vital part of history embraced and highlighted to educate people of its importance.

One private business owner has taken steps to recognize the railway's heritage by creating a tribute exhibit in the dining hall of a senior's retirement home, organized by Truro lawyer Ron Chisholm, a historic research volunteer.

This month the official name of a Wallace Living Retirement home was changed from Munroe Court to Sandford Hall, in honour of Sir Sandford Fleming, the railway engineer who helped shape the railways that surround Truro.

The fact that the newly named Sandford Hall was constructed on the former railway roundhouse in Truro that was once the site of all the train repairs in the region adds to its historical significance.

We commend their efforts to showcase such an important part of local history, bringing back memories for residents. This project also demonstrates how private businesses can play a role in promoting the area's history and growing its brand.

Organizations: Downtown Truro Partnership, Munroe Court

Geographic location: Truro

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