All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Railway / Coastal History

Dining & Entertainment

Wayne Greenland - Dining Car Service

Wayne Greenland speaks of Dining Car Service

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Length: 4:33 Min
File Size: 11.9 MB

Regarding the train part of my career I worked in the sleeping and dining car service - uh - 1966 - 1967. I was a waiter, a pantry man, and the odd time as a porter and we used to have many, many passengers. It wasn't that uncommon to have up to 500 passengers travelling with us. We would be on our feet all day but in my time on the train we the dining crew - had their own sleeping car. We did not have to sleep on pull out chairs in the dining car. We were more or less first class employees. We were trained on how to lay linens and place mats and all this stuff. The food was really, really good, so that went on till I moved out of that department. And later, I worked in what they call the coach yard in St. John's and the coach yard function basically was to water the passenger trains and get ice from our ice facility and put the ice on the sides of the drinking fountains. Plus I did the weight... freight trains that had the passenger cars and shoreline cars. Another one of my functions was to drive the baggage truck for the Newfoundland Express train going out every... three times a week in the night time. I would bring the baggage up. This is an electric truck, one of the first ones around, is electric charged.

Many funny stories happened in this occupation. We used to deal with human remains going to the south coast ports and you can visualize them with their suitcases and plastic flowers on top as they were going up. After that I moved into the reservation system. And a lot of people didn't realize it, but we were computerized in 19 - uh - in the 1960's - mid-60's. We had the only computerized railway access in Newfoundland to mainland trains. There was no monitors or anything. Everything was done by I guess graphic pen, pencils, and with a printer and a reader. The coastal boats, the entry boats... all their reservations were handled through downstairs at our passenger sales office. They did all the reservations for Island trains plus the ferries plus the coastal boats so it was quite a busy spot.