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January 5, 2022

Remembering Brian K. Darragh

Heritage Winnipeg is heartbroken and saddened to hear of the passing of Brian K. Darragh on Monday, December 20, 2021.

Brian was the last known living streetcar driver, and he was passionate and proud of his long years of service to the citizens of Winnipeg. He signed on with the Winnipeg Transit system in 1954 and operated 40-year-old streetcars for their final 17 months. On September 19, 1955, the last streetcar passed through Portage and Main. After driving streetcars and trolleybuses for 38 years, Brian retired on August 1, 1992.

Brian standing happily next to Streetcar 356 during Railway Days 2016.
Source: Michael Kulczycki

Brian would often volunteer at our Doors Open Winnipeg and Railway Days events at the Winnipeg Railway Museum to share his visual exhibitions and oral stories with visitors, along with his passion and pride! Not only was he a driver but a published writer – in 2015 he wrote his own book, Streetcars of Winnipeg – Our Forgotten Heritage (available for purchase at McNally Robinson or Amazon). He also wrote a guest blog post for Heritage Winnipeg about our streetcar history, Winnipeg Streetcars: Our Most Valued Heritage History.

Brian sharing his passion for Streetcar 356 during Doors Open Winnipeg 2015.
Source: Robert Loiselle

Brian Darragh was also featured in a short documentary about Winnipeg’s streetcars, Backtracks: The Story of Winnipeg’s Streetcars.

Brian was a volunteer of our Streetcar 356 committee and a beloved friend of Heritage Winnipeg! Our thoughts are with his family and his loved ones. His legacy will live on through the interesting stories and the rehabilitation of Streetcar 356. We thank him for all his support over the years, to help ensure the restoration is completed. Brian’s stories are an integral part of this important historical artifact, as a reminder of its immense contribution to our city’s public transportation and development.

 

Brian’s book – available for purchase at McNally Robinson or Amazon.

Heritage Winnipeg would like to thank the Darragh family, specifically Brian’s two daughters for their generous monetary donation to the restoration of Car 356, along with books and materials for our resource centre. Heritage Winnipeg is accepting donations for the Streetcar project in memory of Brian Darragh.

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