Canada - David Baker is convinced the Royal Hudson is going to now be the "most famous locomotive in Canada" thanks to a song the 72-year-old wrote about the engine, which now has official recognition.
"My song, The Royal Hudson, has been designated by international choir directors as a Canadian Folk Song," he said.
"It's really unbelievable."
Written by Baker in 1976, The Royal Hudson song was arranged for choirs by Vancouver composer/arranger Dr. Larry Nickel in 2005 and then published by Cypress Choral Music.
"I had seen the Royal Hudson a number of times," said Baker, who lived in Squamish for five years while working at Woodfibre.
"I've always been a railway buff, and I always thought we had a real gem there in terms of Canadian Railway heritage, so I wrote the song."
For more than twenty years, from 1974 to 1994, the Royal Hudson pulled a tourist train with vintage coaches from North Vancouver to Squamish and back.
The locomotive is currently on display in the Round House at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park.
Baker, a mechanical engineer by trade, has had a lengthy part-time career in music.
He produced three vinyl LPs and four CDs.
Tracks from these recordings have received radio air play both nationally and internationally.
His songs have appeared several times on national Canadian country music charts and have been featured on play lists in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
But, his career reached a turning point when Dr. Nickel (a noted composer himself) discovered his music, while searching for authentic Canadian songs.
That search resulted in performances of three Baker songs by the Chor Leoni Men's Choir, to packed audiences during the summer of 2005.
"The song never really went anywhere for years," Baker said.
"I did have it on a CD with other railway songs, but it gained a lot more attention when it was reworked from a tenor-tenor-bass-bass arrangement to a Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass arrangement. And, during the recent 150th anniversary of Canada, choir directors from all over were looking for original Canadian works."
Now officially recognized as a Canadian Folk Song, The Royal Hudson is well on its way to becoming a classic of Canadiana.
"It's mind-blowing," said Baker.
"It's far beyond my wildest dreams when I first wrote it."