Writing About Writing

In the little “about me” section on various web sites and services, I used to write “I like to tell stories”. These days, I usually have something like “I like trains” or “I am a photographer who specializes in trains and grain elevators”, but I still like to tell stories.

Former NAR Diesels

The Northern Alberta Railways (NAR) were jointly owned by CN and CP until January 1, 1981, when CN took them over. At that time, the 21 NAR diesel locomotives became CN locomotives and were renumbered over the next couple of months. These are the three types of diesel electric locomotives owned by the Northern Alberta … Read more

7 Trains in 90 Minutes

I went out one afternoon to the CN main line to see what I could see. It turned out to be a pretty high traffic period, and I saw seven trains in ninety minutes. One 15:47 – First up was CN 2976 West. I was sitting near mile 16 of the CN Rivers subdivision and … Read more

Kansas City Southern Locomotives

With the recent announcement that Canadian Pacific intends to buy the Kansas City Southern (KCS) railway, I thought it would be appropriate to review the few times that I have seen a KCS locomotive. We’ll start with the most recent one and work our way back in time. KCS 5009 I thought it was quite … Read more

Reporting Marks

I was watching a freight train roll by a few weeks ago, and I saw a series of sand cars with a variety of patched reporting marks. I thought I’d share them – they are interesting if you look hard enough! (what is a reporting mark?) PMRX 13105 has a relatively clean patch over the … Read more

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 … Read more

Ethics and Rail Photography

I was reading this very thought provoking article by Levi Sim, Taking Street Photography Should Be Illegal, and it got me thinking about ethics with railway photography. Levi’s article touches on some of the ethics of street photography, and taking photos of people without their permission. One key paragraph in his article talks about taking … Read more