CN Hostel refurbished


By Sheila Runions

The Rivers Banner

The E-shaped building located on CN property in Rivers (north of the little stationette) is filled to capacity with train men and women crew who use the facility between train schedules. It is known as the CN hostel, but those who use and work in the buildings refer to is as The Bunkhouse.

The building was refurbished last week for a third time since its construction in the early 1960s. Linda Humphrey of Brandon is the lead hand at the bunkhouse; she has been employed there for 25 years. She recalls previous updates in 1997 and 2005.

The facility has 30 rooms which are in use by railway workers day and night, at no cost. Inside the doorway is a room with deep shelves for luggage. The laundry room contains two washers and dryers and bedding is changed twice daily. In the large kitchen are two refrigerators, a stand-up freezer, two cooking ranges, a microwave and lockers to hold canned goods/condiments and a large assortment of cookware. Some train crews shop downtown for groceries or stop in at local restaurants.

During a tour of the building last week, it was noted the interior had been repainted, new carpet was installed and there was new furniture, bedspreads and drapes. Two employees were busy in a computer room with train schedules. A foundation has been laid near the northwest corner of the building for a patio and barbecue area; it will be completed next spring.