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Transportation History


Stories of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway 1929-65

by (author) Eric Prince Stathers

managing editor Jacob Eric Stathers

associate editor Kim Stathers & Nicola Stathers

Stathers & Associates LLC Publishing
Initial publish date
May 2016
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2016
    List Price

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Eric Prince Stathers' stories describe the brave men and working conditions of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (P.G.E.) during the Depression, World War II, and expansion to Northern British Columbia. Original pictures and maps, provide detailed accounts of how the men risked their lives to pick up train wrecks to keep the rail line open. The story is filled with anecdotes about the operations of the P.G.E. railroad.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Eric Prince Stathers

Eric Prince Stathers served as Wrecking Foreman and Superintendent of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (P.G.E.) in Squamish, British Columbia from 1929 to 1965.

Jacob Eric Stathers

Jacob Eric Stathers (eldest grandson of Eric Prince Stathers) is the author of five books that cover wide ranging topics such as railroad wrecks, sailing clippers, steamships, and horticultural nurseries. They include IN THE DITCH, MY STORY, JAAP & EMMY, SAILOR BILL & MARY and the STATHERS-MANTEN FAMILY GENEALOGY. He comes from Lillooet, British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

Eric Stathers knew the Pacific Great Eastern Railway all too well. In the 1920s and 30s, the PGE was a struggling, backwoods railway if ever there was one, and it presented endless challenges to those whose job it was to keep it running. Eric was Car Foreman at the railway's Squamish shops and he was often called out with his crew to recover wrecked locomotives, cars and equipment all along the tough and mountainous line between Squamish and Lillooet, British Columbia. Heavy rain, snow, rock slides, collapsed bridges, washouts and floods were all too frequent occurrences. Not only that, but the railway had a makeshift collection of equipment that took constant attention to keep rolling. This is a fascinating and unusual firsthand account of a rugged railway and the rugged and tough men who made it survive in the years of the Great Depression and World War II. This book takes you right to trackside to witness the challenges, frustrations and dangers of working on the Pacific Great Eastern Railway when its survival was problematic, but its role so vital to all those who depended upon it.

Robert D. Turner Curator Emeritus, Royal BC Museum

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