Art Clowes

I’m sorry to report that noted railway historian James Arthur “Art” Clowes has died.

Art worked for CN for more than 30 years. After he retired, he volunteered at the Salem and Hillsborough Railroad and was instrumental in creating the museum there.

I met Art at the museum. He was one of the few people there who wasn’t interested in operating trains. He’d often be the flag person for the crossings because he didn’t really care if he was on the train or not. He cared a lot about the museum and he cared a lot about New Brunswick railway history.

He was a member of the Upper Canada Railway Society, a group of people in I believe the Toronto area. I believe he wrote a lot for their newsletter, using a pseudonym since he was employed by CN at the time. Charles Cooper has many if not all of their newsletters on his site and you’ll see Art listed as a contributor near the bottom of the page.

Art also spent many hours searching newspaper archives for railway items and collecting them. He was kind enough to share his archives with me and I have some of them on my site. He also collected photos of New Brunswick railway stations and was very knowledgeable about the history of each one.

Art was the curator of the museum portion of the Hillsborough operation for many years. In my opinion he elevated it from a collection of donated “stuff” to a real museum. He was one of the key people who helped change the focus of the operation from the Salem & Hillsborough Railroad to the New Brunswick Railway Museum.

I have a handful of people who I call mentors who helped guide me along my railway path, the rails of my train obsession, you might say. For photography, Bill Linley and David Morris; for video, David Othen; and for railway history, Art Clowes.

He’ll be missed, by me and many other people.

Art’s obituary is here.

6 thoughts on “Art Clowes”

  1. Thank you, Steve, for your fulsome tribute to Art. You well captured the diversity and focus of Art’s interests in the railway scene.

    Art and I enjoyed many conversations at Maritime train shows over the decades. I always looked forward to our conversations. He loved to give me an update one of his favourites, the Moncton and Buctouche. Sadly, I doubt that he brought his developing manuscript to publication. Sometimes, I successfully changed the topic to my latest question, often focussing on his vast knowledge of railway property holdings in the Maritimes and previous route alignments. He taught me a lot about Woodstock, Cape Tormentine and other locations. Often, a few weeks later, he’d email me more background on aspects of our conversations.

    I already have missed Art during Covid but now must accept that we will not meet again in the Maritimes. May you enjoy high greens, Art.

    Reply
    • Hi Bill, thanks for sharing your memories of Art. He was a big fan of the M&B and also the Woodstock area where he grew up. He was always looking for photos of the CN station in Woodstock; the CP one was well photographed already. I’ll miss his great emails and chats.

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  2. Art and I shared time together the last few years mainly visiting other Museums as he rather I do the driving – He had a love of sharing his vast knowledge with many others and loaning items we might have had two of . We also co-hosted several CRHA events at the S&H over the years when operating the Dining Train – He will be missed a lot and I am sure glad to have had the opportunity to work for him at the Museum the last couple of years. Thank you Steve for posting your comments !

    Reply
    • Hi Richard, I’m glad you spent time with Art visiting other museums. He did like that. I remember one CRHA convention at Hillsborough at least… I think that’s where I first met Fred Angus.

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