Cat train

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Main Highway, Grimshaw, Canada

Cat train Grimshaw Reviews

planxty planxty
176 reviews
A train pulled by cats? Mar 14, 2017
I travel predomomiantly to discover things as, much to the unfortunate knowledge of those poor souls that had to teach me at school, I was never much of a scholar and have sought to rectify that situation ever since. Notwithstanding my lack of scholarly ability, I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge (not to mention beer!) and seek to quench it (both types) at every available opportunity.

At the risk of boring those hardy few who choose to follow my tips, I shall re-iterate a travel maxim of mine which is that you can find something of interest just about anywhere you visit, it is just a matter of looking hard enough.

In the case of Grimshaw, the thing of interest was the Cat Train. By this I do not mean a large means of transportation propelled by small felines but rather a very ingenious mode of transportation instituted in 1939 which involved the pulling of a number of sleighs by Caterpillar tracked vehicles. I am sure the reader knows the type of vehicile I refer to, but I shall include a couple of images here if they don't.

You have to imagine just how brutal winters are this far North in Alberta. Temperatures get way, way into minus figures and feet of snow are commonplace. In those days the road only went as far as North Star, Notekewin and Keg River. Everything else had to be hand cleared. The first load was of several sleighs and two bunkhouses! I have featured an image of the what I believe to be the venerable vehicle here although it may have been a later edition as the sign does not say. Whatever the truth of the matter it looks pretty old and is certainly worth a look. The current MacKenzie Highway which runs North to the Northwest Territories had been begun in 1938 but temporarily abandoned upon the outbreak of the Second World War so transportation options were very much at a premium.

The Cat trains were run on behalf of the Yellowknife Transportation Company although the name of the particular genius that came up with the original idea appears to have been lost to history. The first of them arrived on Yellowknife in April, 1939. Pulled by four Cats and carrying 80 tons of freight, it took 39 days to cover the 928km. from Grimshaw. Necessity is the Mother of Invention as they say, not only encapsulating a great truth but also giving Frank Zappa the name for his band and this surely is a great example of it!
"Cat museum", Grimshaw, Alberta.
"Cat museum", Grimshaw, Alberta.
"Cat museum", Grimshaw, Alberta.
Toonsarah says:
I totally agree with your travel maxim - but I confess to some disappointment that no actual felines feature in your review!!
Posted on: Mar 14, 2017
AdamR3723 says:
YOU WROTE:"I shall re-iterate a travel maxim of mine which is that you can find something of interest just about anywhere you visit, it is just a matter of looking hard enough."
Posted on: Mar 14, 2017
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