Source: SC Modiste and Toronto Railway Museum
Date: July 2022
Interviewer: Thomas Blampied
Interviewee: SC Modiste
Location: Virtual interview
SC Modiste recounts how her grandfather Walter felt about working on the railways.
SC Modiste: “This is such a, in my view, like the beginning of the expansion of Canada, and with these train companies and the Pullman cars as well, working the Pullman cars, yeah, Grand Trunk, you know, in the West, I think is, to me, it’s quite romantic in a way. When I think about the Grand Trunk Railway and the inspiration for these industrialists to build trains and invest in that and they spent a lot of money. And so as far as being a train porter on and in you’re part of an industry that, you know [had] a growing future. And these were new trains, these weren’t, you know, when you think about it at the time, these were brand new, so this must have been very special, to be sitting on a brand new train and you’re part of that. They would’ve been part of that, that change. So yeah, you know, of course you would have pride in that, you’re in a brand new, very expensive train car, and you’re responsible for it. So, I get this kind of romantic view of it, even though I know it was, like, really hard work.”