After roughly a century in Nelson, B.C., a final Greyhound rolls through

Seventy-five-year-old Helena Petkau waits patiently for a Greyhound to hurl into Nelson B.C.’s train repository during a behind of a selling mall.

Petkau is from Richmond and takes a Greyhound to see her daughter in Kelowna and grandson in Nelson each integrate of months.

She’s not certain what she’ll do when a train use ends.

“I am cracked by it. we can’t trust they are indeed doing it. we don’t know how we will get behind here to see my grandson,” said Petkau.

Helena Petkau has been holding a Greyhound train for years. She says it will be missed. (Bob Keating)

The final Greyhound is scheduled to lift out of Nelson on Sunday. A handwritten pointer in a repository reads “last train easterly Oct 27, final train west Oct 28.”

It’s a finish of a critical use for people like Petkau and the culmination of 100 years of story in Nelson, where Canadian Greyhound Coaches Ltd. began.

The story opens with John Learmonth, a businessman who built all sorts of things in his emporium usually outward Nelson. As a First World War finished in 1918, Learmonth saw a need for a train use to manipulate a rutted car lane between Nelson and circuitously Balfour.

So, Learmonth mutated a one tonne Oldsmobile — building seats in a behind for passengers. His grandson, Vic Learmonth, has a operative indication of a century-old bus.

Vic Learmonth poses for a print in front of models of his grandfather’s buses. (Bob Keating)

“He’d transport burden by day and afterwards had a newcomer service, morning and night, from Balfour,” said Learmonth.

The use valid to be so renouned that Learmonth built a second, incomparable train on a support of a Packard automobile. With that, Learmonth Motor Coach was born, and it ran from 1925 until 1929 when the association was bought by Barney Olson and incorporated as Canadian Greyhound Coaches — with Learmonth’s Packard continuing the run between Nelson and Trail.

Learmonth’s mutated chronicle of a Packard automobile. (Burt Learmonth)

“He seemed flattering unapproachable of it. I was extremely immature then, though we know he was despotic about how people gathering and a whole veteran opinion of his people. So we would consider he had a lot of honour in doing it,” said Vic Learmonth. 

In 1930, Greyhound set adult emporium in Calgary, building one of a many exuberant terminals in North America, and, in 1940, a association sole to a Greyhound Corporation in a United States. The new transcontinental use grew in a 1950s when tourism and prolonged stretch transport began to take off.

Greyhound flourished until a commencement of this century when drifting became some-more affordable, car tenure went adult and travellers stopped saying a train as an option. This summer, a association announced a termination of roughly all a use to western Canada, finale newcomer and burden use in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and cancelling all though one track in B.C. — the run between Vancouver and Seattle.

The changes make Ontario and Quebec a usually regions where a informed Greyhound trademark will continue to hurl opposite Canadian highways.

“It’s been run into a belligerent by government from Dallas, Texas,” said Tom Lymbery, a historian who’s created extensively about Greyhound.

Learmonth’s buses were installed on ferries during a early 20th century. (Burt Learmonth)

Lymbery can remember when Greyhound buses were installed on a paddlewheeler to cranky Kootenay Lake outward his home. This summer, he distinguished his 90th birthday with a outing to a Yukon where he interviewed late Greyhound train drivers and workers.

“And all of a repository people blamed Texas for a disaster,” says Lymbery.

Lymbery has orderly one final outing on a final Greyhound on Saturday from Nelson to Grand Forks. He says it will be a unhappy journey.

Vic Learmonth will be onboard, remembering how his grandfather helped start a association a century ago. Helena Petkau won’t be creation a outing and says she might never get on another Greyhound again.

“I’m unequivocally gonna skip it,” she said. “It’s run-down over a new past, and so, that was sad, though it’s a good ride.”

With files from Bob Keating

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