Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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"THE SILK TRAIN"

In the days when silk was queen, before cargo planes, rayon and nylon, the cocoons arrived in Vancouver from Japan. They were transferred to trains and rushed at high speed across Canada to New York. Silk had the right of way over all other trains, so orders were flashed ahead and tracks were cleared to allow passage of this train, even the section men were out to keep the crossings clear.

Large crowds would gather at the stations to see it pass, but everyone was warned to stay back in case the vacuum from the train would suck them under the wheels. It was imperative that the cocoons with the live worm inside reach New York as fast as possible, to prevent the deterioration of the cocoon.

Speed was essential as the condition of the cocoons could affect the market and the insurance costs mounted by the hour.

 

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