First Impressions of the DJI Mavic Air Drone

I’ve wanted a drone for a long time. I’ve seen drone photos and video from talented railfan photographers like Jeff Wizniak, and I appreciate the change in perspective that a drone can bring. I had some “found money” late in 2018. I looked at a few different DJI drones – I considered a discounted Phantom … Read more

Mission… Accomplished?

You may recall that I went out on a mission to find the new rail inspection portal at Nattress, west of Winnipeg. You might also recall that I didn’t find it. Well, I did some research, and consulted a few people, and determined exactly where it was. Consulting Google satellite views, I wasn’t sure that … Read more

Top 12 of 2018

I’ve picked one photo from each month in 2018 as my “best”. I know it’s subjective. Here we go. January’s photo was taken on the 14th on a very snowy day – it was a terrible day for driving but a good day for railfanning! February’s photo is in Ghent in Belgium. I was there … Read more

VIA Rail To Get New Trains

VIA Rail has selected Siemens Canada to provide new trainsets for the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. These trains will replace the existing MLW-built LRC cars, built in the early 1980s. Siemens was selected over Quebec-based Bombardier. The LRC ( Light, Rapid, Comfortable or Léger, Rapide, et Confortable) cars were designed together with their locomotives to provide … Read more

Book Review: Southern Pacific Railroad

I just finished the book “Southern Pacific Railroad“, another fine work by Brian Solomon. This is part of the MBI Railroad Color History series, published by Voyageur Press in 2007 as the second edition. The book covers the historic Southern Pacific Railroad, from its inception in the mid 19th century through its growth, decline and … Read more

Out of Time

“Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled linesHanging on in quiet desperation is the railfan wayThe time is gone, the train didn’t come,Thought I’d something more to say.” – “Time”, Pink Floyd, with a few revisions As I mentioned in … Read more

VIA Rail Returns to Churchill

VIA Rail has resumed passenger service to Churchill, Manitoba. Service was interrupted in late May 2017 when portions of the rail line were washed out. Since the rail line was sold, repairs proceeded rapidly and now service is back to the northern Manitoba town. This article was originally published on and is not to be … Read more

The 2018 CP Holiday Train

Every year, Canadian Pacific Railway runs its Holiday Train across Canada and the USA to support local food banks. This is its 20th year of operation. It actually runs two trains, one through Canada and the other through the US. I try to catch it every year, with varying success. I caught it in 2011, … Read more

On a Mission

I went out early in the morning of November 17th on a mission. I was looking for a new structure on CN’s main line. CN and partner Duos Technologies has been building rail inspection portals at four locations around Winnipeg. These devices will do automated rail car inspection at high speed. I’ll write an article … Read more