Prairie Messenger Header

Around the Kitchen Table

By Lloyd Ratzlaff

04/01/2015

Lloyd RatzlaffAre you planning to take the eh train in the near future? Here, to refresh your memory, are the (bilingual) rules for travelling “PASSED AND ADOPTED as a By-Law of VIA Rail Canada Inc. this 20th day of September 1978.”

1) No person shall travel in any of the Company’s trains without having obtained from the Company, or from some other company or person duly authorized in that behalf by the Company, a ticket entitling him to travel therein.

(You should buy a ticket.)

2) Every passenger shall show his ticket or his ticket receipt, when and so often as he shall be required to do so, to the conductor or any duly authorized servant or agent of the Company, and shall also, when required to do so, either deliver up his ticket or pay the fare demandable for his passage.

(If you boarded without a ticket, you have to pay up when you’re caught.)

3) Every passenger who refuses to pay his fare or produce and deliver up his ticket upon the request of the conductor may, by the conductor of the train and the train servants or agents of the Company, be expelled from and put out of the train with his baggage at any usual stopping place; provided that the conductor shall first stop the train and use no unnecessary force.

(If you don’t pay, you and your bags will be kicked off the train — but not when it’s moving.)

4) No person shall alter or deface any ticket after it has been issued and while it is available for use or attempt to use any ticket which shall have been altered or defaced.

(A buggered-up ticket is no good.)

5) No person, except a servant or agent of the Company in the performance of his duty, shall open any vestibule door or stand upon the steps or platform of any car while it is in motion, or entrain on or detrain from, or attempt to entrain or detrain from any such car while it is in motion; and no person shall, without authorization, travel or be in any baggage car or other car not intended for the conveyance of passengers.

(Don’t jump off the train and don’t ride in baggage cars.)

6) Passengers and all other persons using the trains, stations or other premises occupied by the Company, shall obey the reasonable requests of the Station Master, Conductor or other officer or agent of the Company, with a view to maintaining order and decorum therein and thereon.

(Be courteous to others.)

7) No passenger in a car shall occupy more seat space than is sufficient for one person or place his feet on a seat or place baggage or articles of any kind upon a seat to the exclusion or inconvenience of other passengers or in the aisles or vestibules, or place any unreasonably bulky or heavy parcel in a parcel rack.

(Don’t take up more than your fair share of space — see #6)

8) Except by permission of a duly authorized officer or agent of the Company, and under such conditions as such officer or agent shall impose, no person suffering or apparently suffering from any infectious or contagious disease or disorder shall enter or remain, and no person having the custody, care or charge of any such person shall cause or permit such person to enter or remain in or upon any train, station or other premises occupied by the Company.

(If you’re too sick to travel, stay home.)

9) No person in a state of intoxication or in an unfit or improper condition to be a passenger shall enter or remain in or upon any train, station or other premises occupied by the Company, and any person violating this regulation may, in addition to any other liability thereby incurred, be forthwith removed from such train, station or other premises occupied by the Company.

(Keep off the train if you’re drunk, and don’t hang around the station.)

10) No person shall at any time while in or upon trains, stations or other premises occupied by the Company, use any threatening, abusive, indecent, profane or offensive language or gestures or behave in an abusive, disorderly, indecent or offensive manner, or commit any nuisance, or molest or otherwise interfere with the comfort or convenience of any person upon the Company’s premises, and any person violating this regulation may, in addition to any liability thereby incurred, be forthwith removed from such train, station or other premises occupied by the Company.

(See #6 — forthwith.)

11) No person shall take into a car, train, station or other property of the Company any article which may cause inconvenience or annoyance to other persons or damage to the property of the Company or that of other persons. No person shall take any dog, bird, reptile or any other animal into a car, train, station or other property of the Company without the permission of an employee or agent of the Company acting in the course of his duty.

(You need permission to bring animals aboard.)

12) (No weapons — see #6.)

13) (No smoking where prohibited — see #6.)

14) No littering — see #6.)

15) (No graffiti — see #6.)

16) (No button-holing people to sell things or beg from them — see #6.)

17) (No spitting — see #6.)

18) The parking of private or public vehicles on station and other premises of the Company is prohibited except at such places and under such conditions as may from time to time be designated by an employee or agent of the Company acting in the course of his duty. Every person in charge of any such vehicle shall obey the parking directions given by employees or agents of the Company acting in the course of their duty.

(By the way, before you get on the train, make sure to park your car properly.)

19) Every person violating any of the foregoing rules and regulations shall be liable for every such offence to a penalty enforceable on summary conviction not exceeding Forty ($40) Dollars. If the violation or non-observance of any by-law, rule or regulation is attended with danger or annoyance to the public, or hindrance to the Company in the lawful use of the railway, the Company may, pursuant to section 236 of the Railway Act, summarily intervene, using reasonable force, if necessary, to prevent violation of any of the said rules or regulations, or to enforce observance, without prejudice to any penalty incurred in respect thereof.

(If you break any of these rules, you’ll be fined forty bucks. If you put up a fight, just wait and see what you’ll get.)

Happy travels!

Ratzlaff is the author of two books of literary non-fiction, The Crow Who Tampered With Time, and Backwater Mystic Blues. Bindy’s Moon will be published in spring 2015 by Thistledown. Formerly a minister, counsellor and university instructor, he now makes his living as a writer in Saskatoon.