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Highlights from

The White Pass Container Route News

    For almost 26 years, from 1957 until 1973, "The White Pass Container Route News" provided a glimpse at life on the railroad, trucking and shipping divisions of the White Pass & Yukon Route.

      The articles chosen for inclusion in this series will provide a look at significant developments within the company, specific staff profiles, and other articles which let us see just how recently the importance of our historic sites has been acknowledged.

1960 | 1963 | 1964 | 1968 | 1969 | 1971 | 1974


Tourists Enjoy Bennett Lunch Stop

August 1960

      Summer tourists who travel over the spectacular White Pass & Yukon Railway invariably report that one of the high spots of the trip is the lunch stop at Lake Bennett, B.C. Here, where in 1898 several thousand Klondike-bound adventurers camped in the largest tent city in the world, the travellers marvel over the shifting colors of the lake, visit the old log church and savor a delicious meal served "family style."
      The responsibility of turning out hot meals for passengers on the regular daily trains and those making the excursion trip to Carcross rests on the shoulders of Manageress Vi Beatty and her capable staff.
      Bennett is a lonely spot but for lovers of the outdoors it offers many attractions. Hunting and fishing are the off-hours pursuits of Harry Lee, who has been Chief Cook since 1954, and waiter Robin Harrison of Salt Spring Island. Waitresses Linda Logue, a U.B.C. student, and Barbara Barrett of Whitehorse enjoy horseback riding while Rita Neilson, also of Whitehorse, prefers boating and swimming. Kitchen helper Melvin Baker of Carcross finds a multitude of subjects for his hobby, photography.
      When she can spare time from her managerial duties, Vi Beatty takes pride in her garden, which flourishes in the long sunlit hours of a Yukon summer. Vi has been with the White Pass since 1948.
      Staff members generally save up their time off until they have two or three free days coming and then make a trip to Whitehorse or Skagway. This gives Assistant Cook Gin Sing a chance to take in some baseball games. Occasional trips are also made by the "casey" to Carcross, Yukon, once the home of George Carmack, whose discovery triggered the Klondike gold rush.
      Main credit for the successful operation of the Lake Bennett eating house must go to Vi Beatty, whose cheerfil smile and ability to keep things running smoothly have been a notable asset to the White Pass & Yukon Route. We hope she will continue to dish out "service with a smile" for many years to come.

Below, left to right: Gin Sing, Rita Neilson, Melvin Baker, Barbara Barrett, Vi Beatty and Harry Lee
White Pass staff at Bennett, 1960


Taylor's Inferno

April 1963

      Rail Division is achieving the maximum utilization of their weed sprayer. With a bit of ingenuity, they have modified the sprayer into a versatile year-around machine - equally efficient for weed and brush spraying, fire fighting, and ice removal.
      The Weed Sprayer was built in 1962 in the Skagway Shops by mounting a 440 gallon tank, complete with a gasoline powered pump, on a rail track "push car." For spraying operations, a 10-foot fixed spray pipe with nine nozzles is mounted across the rear end for control of grass and weeeds on the roadbed and tracks.
      This fall, after many years of fighting the annual ice problem along the railroad with picks, dynamite, cats, bonfires, etc., Superintendent M. P. Taylor conceived the idea that perhaps the weed sprayer could be modified and used as a flame thrower against the ice.
      The basic device used for melting the ice is a 20-foot length of pipe equipped with six burner nozzles. The unit is laid over the ice glacier and the nozzles ignited. The intense heat from the burners soon melts the ice down to open water. As a result of the heat, a secondary benefit is derived - raising the critical temperature of the flowing water and allowing it to cut through the ice and continue to the normal steam bed.
      As soon as the ice burner clears the ice from the glacierized area, coal burning barrels are inserted in the stream to keep the water warm and flowing.
      In large glacierized areas, as many as four lengths of burner pipes are connected together. When this occurs, all the noise, heat and flame generated by 24 roaring burners create a scene straight out of Dante's Inferno.

Below, "Taylor's Inferno" melting the ice
Taylor's Inferno on the White Pass railway, 1963