Eldorado Radium Silver Express
The Eldorado Radium Silver Express (alternately Radium Express) was the name of a semi-regular air service between Edmonton, Alberta and Port Radium, Northwest Territories, or between Port Radium and a refinery at Port Hope, Ontario. A single airplane, a Bellanca Aircruiser, a small bush plane, provided this service, from 1935 to 1947.
During World War II, the mine was the main source for the uranium used by the atomic bomb program. Other than the air charter, goods and personnel could only be conveyed to and from the northernmost terminus of the North American railway grid, at Waterways, Alberta, was by water, a 1,450 miles (2,330 km) trip that took weeks. The rivers are frozen almost eight months of the year, closing down the initial leg of the trip.
Eldorado Aviation continued to operate for several more years and was still listed in the federal Financial Administration Act as a Crown corporation in the 1970s.
- Leslie Roberts (1937-06-05). "Radium". Radium City: Colliers magazine. pp. 16–17, 28, 30. Archived from the original on 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2012-12-01. , mirror pages 28-30
- "Wreck of the Eldorado Radium Silver Express". Western Canada Aviation Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-11-.
The waterborne segment of the route (1450 miles) not only had limits to its capacity, but for the bulk of the year, the lakes and rivers were frozen. Eldorado’s owners sought an all-season transportation mode to bridge the gap between mine and railhead.Check date values in:
- J.E. Arsenault (December 2005). "The Eldorado Radium Silver Express". CNS Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-12-01.