It was September 1958. John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister of Canada, the Everley Brothers were atop the music charts, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor was a hit at the box office and on Sept. 12 at noon in Ile des Chênes, Manitoba TransCanada's compressor Station 41 went into service.
"Looking for all the world like the gigantic work of some plumber run amok, the huge layout of the buildings, pipe and engines is an indispensable link in the pipeline that feeds heat and fuel to countless homes and factories."
That's how Wes Keating, a reporter for the Steinbach Carillon described Station 41 when it went into operation that day. The station cost $3.5 million to build some 60 years ago and required a staff of 28 to operate it – and many of those employees lived right at the Station.
In 2018, we no longer house employees and their families on site. Today, we operate the entire Agassiz operating area from Regina, Saskatchewan to the Northern Ontario border with the same number employees.
Station 41 has changed a lot over the years, the original reciprocating engines are gone, replaced with gas- fired turbines which were later joined by electric drives. Some things; however, have remained consistent. In 1958, Station 41 was a critical point on the TransCanada Mainline, sending gas from Alberta through to Montreal. Sixty years later, Station 41 remains a critical hub for gas flowing across Canada and to the U.S.
Sixty years ago, TransCanada recruited a "highly-trained crew of experts from around the world" to operate the station and ensure its reliability. Today, that crew is made up of local, expertly trained technicians, who share the same values and dedication to the safe and reliable operation of TransCanada's namesake pipeline.
"The team here in the Agassiz Area drive thousands of kilometres every year to complete thousands of hours of maintenance and repair work," says Carla Morris, Director Canada Gas Operations, Central Region.
"There is a real sense of pride knowing that what we do every day ensures the millions of people who rely on the natural gas we transport have the energy to fuel their lives. Even more impressively, this team has done all that work safely and are proudly incident and injury free for more than three and a half years. Zero is Real for this team!"