The Canadian Railway Club was started in 1902, but was only “incorporated” in 1913 and became officially known as the Canadian Railway Club Incorporated, operating out of Montreal. The original annual membership fee was $2.00.
The objectives of the Club in 1913, which still stand true today, were to promote knowledge of the rail transportation industry, good relationships and networking among employees of rail transportation companies, members of the railway supply industry and members of transportation industry in general, through meetings and social events.
In the early years the club expanded rapidly, and in the mid 20th century, reached a peak membership of more than 1,000 people. The club consisted of the Executive Committee, Arrangements Committee, Membership and Attendance Committee, Programme Committee, Finance Committee, Audit Committee, Nominating Committee and an Advertising Committee. The Secretary of the Club acted as Secretary to all committees, except the membership and Attendance Committee.
In 1997, the membership of the club was somewhat reduced, due to a number of economic factors. This reduction of membership resulted in the elimination of several of the committees. The remaining committees included: the Executive Committee, Arrangements Committee, Membership and Attendance Committee, Audit Committee and the Advertising Committee.
The Executive Committee’s mandate is to oversee and supervise the interests and affairs of the Club. The members of the Executive Committee include: the President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Past President, 6 transportation representatives and 6 supply company representatives.
The Executive committee was modified in 2016 to include additional supplier representatives and officially remove all remaining committees.
In 2020, due to the pandemic, the annual gala (and all other events) was cancelled for the first time since WW2. Most employees were working from home and government guidelines prohibited gatherings. The board continued to meet virtually during the pandemic and held its first virtual speaker event in May of 2021. With the arrival of vaccines, gathering restrictions were reduced in the summer of 2021.
The Executive Committee meets 3 times per year to plan and organize club events, as well as to review the finances of the club.
The Canadian Railway Club is a non-profit organization and only maintains a reasonable bank balance to ensure the ongoing activities of the Club.