There is a romance about trains and travelling on the railroad that creates railroad buffs of all ages. This includes operating lines, tourist lines, and railroad museums. Behind the scenes has been much hard work that may have been taken for granted by tourists. This is the story of one railroad man and a tribute to him and to all who have served on the railroad.
Peter Kuruliak was born in Canora, SK, a town which formed its name from the railway along which it had been founded: Canadian Northern Railway. He attended school in Canora.
When he received his first railway job at age fourteen in Moose Jaw, SK, his position was water boy. However, being on the extra gang, he never fulfilled this position. Instead, he pounded spikes to hold the rails to the ties below. Other than that, he did not work off the trains. His starting pay was twenty-five cents per hour, out of which he paid one dollar per day for board. He worked ten hours per day and six days per week.
For the work to which he was assigned, he obtained his training through inservice. For example, when Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands visited Canada and travelled by private railway coach, he attended a class to learn proper protocol.
He served on passenger runs from 1948 to 1958, performing any kind of service, except in the front end. In all he worked on the railroad for forty-seven years.
Currently, he and his wife live in Cloverdale, BC.