“By The Book” – Railfan Edition

I am shamelessly stealing this idea from J D Lowe at the excellent 30 Squares of Ontario blog. He wrote his “Miniature Buildings Edition” post based on a post by Michael Leddy on the Orange Crate Art blog, which riffs off the New York Times’ “By The Book” game. I guess there’s a lot of … Read more

Electric Buses in Winnipeg – The 2000s

In early 2011 a prototype electric bus project was launched to run a single electric bus in Winnipeg. The project was financed by the province, Manitoba Hydro and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). At the time, MHI was in the business of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries but exited that business in 2014. The study was conducted in … Read more

My Railfan Five, Take Two

Back in the fall of 2014, Eric Gagnon challenged several railfan bloggers to share their Railfan Five, a selection of five of our images from our own “railfan journey”. Mine is here. Recently, Eric and Chris Mears and I decided to do the challenge again, and I believe Michael from The Beachburg Sub is in … Read more

Art? Or a Tragedy?

This summer, there was a call for artists at the tourism site in St. Thomas, Ontario. That in itself isn’t unusual, but the call was for artists to paint on existing railway boxcars. There was a bit of a hue and cry from railfans about this, including me. It was explained that these were outside … Read more

2019 Roundup

Well, it’s that time again – time for the year-end roundup. 2019 is almost over. What went on in 2019 for me? Well – plenty! Grain Elevators The biggest news was the death of the Sanford, MB grain elevator, as seen above. I was there to document it – along with a lot of other … Read more

Restoring David Othen’s Files

Introduction My friend David Othen passed away in September 2016 after a short battle with lung cancer. He and his wife Pat were very kind to me when we were all volunteering at the Salem and Hillsborough Railroad, and David and I corresponded over the years with exchanges of information and photos. For your information, … Read more


Fellow blogger Eric Gagnon wrote an editorial on reader engagement and social media versus blogging. He was inspired by Chris and Connie’s Facebook post about declining engagement at BIGDoer’s web site and Facebook page. C&C have noted that their traffic is strong, in terms of page views, but the number of comments on their site … Read more

Riding a Combine

One day early in August, I opened my email to see an invitation from blog reader and commentor Sheldon Hildebrandt. They were starting to harvest wheat and he was wondering if I’d like to ride along in the combine. He knew my interest in grain elevators, and this is where the grain comes from! I … Read more

100 Years of CN

On June 6, 1919, 100 years ago, the Canadian National Railways was incorporated. 100 years later, CN, as it is now known, continues to move trains across the country. CN is shipping a specially decorated and equipped set of containers across the continent to celebrate this – see their web site for details. Matt Landry … Read more

VIA’s Canadian – How Many Locomotives?

I posted a photo of a VIA Rail “Canadian” train to Instagram recently that featured the three locomotives on the head end. It sparked a discussion about the rarity of seeing more than two locomotives on the “Canadian”, even though its train length can often exceed 20 cars in the summer. I dug my sightings … Read more