Freight was an important resource for small communities, providing food for local stores, transport for goods such as cattle and Christmas trees and was even used to transport people to hospital in emergencies. (NT Museum photo)

CN display at Barriere museum shows the importance of freight

Hello again from your North Thompson Museum summer students Flora Copley and Mackenzie Ransome at the North Thompson Museum and Archives in Barriere.

This week we would like to tell you more about our CN display. The display is located in at the museum in “The Store” building along with the Chinese Dishes Display.

The display consists of many interesting items and tools used by CN workers. There are different lights and lanterns that were all used for different occasions and each colour had a different meaning. There is also a stack of signal flares in the display case that would have been used in emergencies.

The blue lantern, on top of the display case, is a derailment lantern. The lantern that has a red side and a green side is a switch lantern. It let the engineer know if the track was switched the way they wanted. Other smaller lanterns were used like stop lights: green means go, yellow indicates slow down or proceed with caution, and red means stop.

Freight was very important to the community in the early years. It would bring in supplies and bulk foods to the local store. It gave locals a way to transport their goods — such as cattle and Christmas trees — to be sold around the country. The train was even used to transport people to the hospital in some emergencies.

For more information about this display, come down and visit us at the North Thompson Museum, 343 Lilley Road, Barriere – we would love to see you.

-Your local museum students Flora Copley and Mackenzie Ransome.

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