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.