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Old 02-10-2000, 01:24 PM   #1
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The railway was built in the following stages: first, the surveyors, then the grading gangs that cut the trees down in the path marked by the surveyors, followed by the measuring gangs. After came the levelling gangs, followed by the topographers who recorded the type of terrain the line would be going through. Next it was the NAVVIES turn. The navvies were the construction workers that built a solid roadbed on which the trains would travel. They used picks to create drainage ditches and shovels to pack down two layers of crushed stone, called sub-ballast and ballast, that were hauled to the location by teams of horses and wagons. When they were finished, horses dragged a giant scraper across the surface of the ballast to make it flat for the laying of the rails.
So next time you walk across a railway track and hear the crushed rock under your feet you can think of the navvies in the CRT!!
Info taken from "Discovering Canada - The Railways" by Livesey and Smith
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Old 02-10-2000, 03:17 PM   #2
Wes Steele
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Thank you Annette for that detailed rundown of Navvies....
You are a wealth of knowledge never before seen by the likes of me.....

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Old 02-24-2000, 12:09 PM   #3
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Old 04-07-2000, 02:30 PM   #4
Bob from Westphalia, Mich
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Ditto here too !
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Old 04-07-2000, 07:23 PM   #5
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Here in the UK, the term NAVVIES is often used to describe unskilled manual workers on major construction or building projects. They tend to be the people that do the hard work in support of the 'experts'. Often associated with the building of our major road and rail networks.
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