Sunday, September 22, 2019

What’s in a Name – Alphabet Railway

#history #Canada

What’s in a name….lots apparently!

Punnichy, Quentin, Raymore, Semans, Tate, Viola, Undora, Watrous, Xena, Young, Zelma.

Do you see a pattern here?

I grew up near Nokomis, Saskatchewan.  Dad was into history so we heard often about the naming of the little prairie towns along the Canadian National Rail line.

We’d head for Saskatoon to visit relatives and rattle off the names as we travelled.  After Zelma the alphabet would start over with Allan, Bradwell, Clavet as we flew by the towns.

Just about every letter of the alphabet was represented across the prairies, in a line along the CNR stretching from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba west to Alberta.

There were very few breaks in the Alphabet Railway naming system.  Nokomis being one of them (there is another story there which I’ll share with you one day).

Here is a great website listing the Alphabet Railway town names along the CNR from 1922 maps.


One Response to “What’s in a Name – Alphabet Railway”
  1. Bob Grocholski says:

    Just found your website and wonder if you can tell me how Undora name came to be on the list of ABC railways. I am making up a display for our Regina Philatelic show and haven’t been able to find the source of Undora or Xena.
    The ABC line is a very interesting way to study the local history of Sask. You should also look up the Literary Line. (Wordsworth, etc.

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