Sandford Fleming 1827–1915
When my brother and I arrived in Canada in 1845, I was 18 years old. The railway ran a total of 16 miles. Even the most established centres lacked adequate maps, and every outpost, city, town and village told time by the rising of the Sun, making travel a scheduling nightmare. The vast wealth of natural resources that lay between Upper Canada and the Pacific Coast was totally unknown and inaccessible.
I changed all of these things. By the time of my death 70 years later I had surveyed this country from Ottawa to the shores of the Pacific on a voyage that cost 20 men their lives. I had built thousands of miles of track as Canada's foremost railway engineer, and I had created the worldwide system of Standard Time in part to ensure that the many trains now criss-crossing the country – trains that my work made possible – could schedule track use to avoid head-on collisions.Back to top