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What would CNR managers think if they were used as yo-yos?


Clarity is in the eye of the beholder.
The Canadian National Railway has been a part of Rainy River’s life for more than 100 years. When it first came here it was like the gold rush of the Yukon only decades before.
Rainy River, as well as the entire area began to flourish as the trains brought the rest of the world to our doorstep.
Citizens eagerly signed up to hire on to the rails, some so eager that they lied about their age so they could get a job on the best gig in town.
Over the century the railway pulled out of many little towns, but always remained a constant presence in Rainy River.
But time started getting tough in the middle part of the last century as diesel engines started replacing the steamers.
The need for the roundhouse and its respective repair shops disappeared as quickly as the diesels took over. All in the name of progress jobs were lost and we adjusted.
But as that new technology took over and we witnessed our neighbours lose their rail stops, the future became murky for Rainy River. For at least two generations the citizens grew up hearing of the grave fate that awaited Rainy River when CNR decided to run-through.
Well that day came in 1996 and the towns people gasped wondering what would happen to the community. Fortunately most of the railroaders stayed in Rainy River and commuted to Fort Frances. The town survived and clarity seemed to be in front of us.
Then last year the company changed its mind about the run-through and started changing crews in Rainy River. Again the cloudy and uncertain future returned to this once proud railroad town. How long would it last?
Then last week word that all small western terminals would begin doing short runs again was bantered around. But as cloudy and uncertain as that was, yet another thing actually happened. The men were told they would have to work out of Fort Frances again.
I know that if I was a CNR employee I would be extremely frustrated by the way the company has tugged and pulled the lives of its employees the past few years. I wonder what those managers would think if they were used as human yo-yos over and over again.
We need some clarity that will last well into the future.
–Until then,