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

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

The VIA Rail Corridor Train in LEGO

You may remember that I featured Nick Lafreniere’s LEGO® VIA Rail “Canadian” a while ago. He was trying to get 10,000 supporters in order to get the LEGO company to consider it for a kit. Well, he made it! It’s now being evaluated and hopefully they’ll give it the green light. Heck, even VIA Rail … Read more

The Junior Jet Club

I’m written before about how I was an “army brat” – my father was in the Canadian military – and we lived overseas twice when I was a child. On our second tour overseas, to Moscow, USSR (see Soviet Military Toys), I was apparently enrolled in the British Airways “Junior Jet Club”. This was a … Read more

Top Videos of 2020

I post a lot of videos on my YouTube channel (feel free to subscribe!) If you are on my mailing list, you’ve been getting a weekly summary of the video(s) I have posted that week. I thought I’d go back and look at the most popular train videos that I uploaded in 2020. I say … Read more

Ex-Pillsbury Cylindrical Grain Cars

I saw a post by George Dutka on the excellent White River Division blog about ex Pillsbury covered hoppers. I’ll chime in with my own observations. These blue, often rusty, cylindrical grain hoppers can be seen with SOO reporting marks on Canadian Pacific’s lines. These are 263,000 lb cars built in 1979 for Pillsbury and … Read more