Starting April Off

Colour photograph showing train locomotives heading away from the camera.

I hate April Fools’ Day. Call me a cranky old man, but I don’t care for pranks.
This year, I chose to spend part of April 1 trackside. I hadn’t planned it, but when I awoke that Saturday morning, I felt like seeing trains.

Review: The Empire Builder

Title screen for documentary "The Empire Builder" showing a photo of James J. Hill

“The Empire Builder“ is a new four-part documentary on James J. Hill, the founder of the Great Northern Railway and a huge figure in the history of railroads in the northwestern USA (and parts of Canada). I was recently offered a chance to view the documentary. So far I’ve watched two of the four parts … Read more

Trams in Milan, 1973

Tram in Milan

I happened to see a quartet of Milanese tram slides for sale on an online auction site a few months ago. I submitted the minimum bid and, lo and behold, I won. I guess there isn’t much competition for this type of slide! All of the slides are dated 1973 but have no other markings. … Read more

Milan’s Trams

Two yellow and white trams pass each other under a canopy of trees in Milan

My wife and I went to Italy in September 2022 with her parents. I was a little nervous about traveling with my in-laws for 19 days. Don’t get me wrong – I like my father-in-law and mother-in-law. They are good people. It’s just a challenge being together with your in-laws for such a long time.

From the Snowbank

Colour photograph taken in winter showing a sign marked "16" in the foreground, and an approaching train in the distance.

The tracks run pretty straight around here. The flat prairie lent itself to straight lines and easy grades for railway planners in the late 1800s and early 1900s, so there aren’t a lot of curves on the main lines in the prairies. The CN main line west of Winnipeg is no exception.

Visiting Uno

Colour photograph at dusk of a long freight train crossing the large steel bridge at Uno Manitoba

The largest and longest train bridge in Manitoba is the CN trestle at Uno on the Rivers subdivision. Today, the bridge at Uno is a 1533′ steel trestle bridge. I visited it in April 2017.

Public Transit in Cologne

Trams crossing the Rhine River in Cologne

Public transit in the German city of Köln (Cologne in English) is the responsibility of Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG, which is responsible for operating the light rail and bus system and the subway (U-Bahn). Collectively the public transit network is known as the Cologne Stadtbahn. When we were in Cologne in early December 2021, we used … Read more

Snowshoe Railfanning

Long freight train rolling across a winter landscape

I’ve been looking for something to do during the winter besides huddling inside waiting for warmer weather. Late last year I asked Santa for a pair of snowshoes and on Christmas morning this HRKING set was under the tree.