Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Canada Day 2017: CANADA 150 Great Things about Canadian Railways

How to celebrate this most auspicious anniversary, this most Canadian commemmoration, this century-and-a-half sesquicentennial? Easy! Canada. Railways. Why so great? What makes them great? What one word or phrase, muttered to rail enthusiasts anywhere in the world would elicit a one-word response: CANADA!! Thank goodness VIA Rail Canada marked the year, adorning their equipment with colourful, celebratory logos:
Meanwhile, CN and CP are busy being so corporately pan-North American that they can't even slap a wrap on a locomotive, freight car or container. Each year I've celebrated Canada Day here on Trackside Treasure, and this 2017 would be no different! Onwards!
Notebook in hand, sitting on a bench merely a shell casing's throw from the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery memorial in Kingston's City Park, a mere airhorn bleat away from Canadian National's double-track Kingston Sub, originally completed by the Grand Trunk Railway in the 1850's, it struck me that both institutions were hirsutely historic, like Confederation itself! History! Geography! If geography is transportation, history and geography are Canadian railroading. It took me one in-park hour to list my 150 Great Things about Canadian Railways. (They were only Googled to spell-check and fact-check.) OTOH, Off Top Of Head, or Ottawa Tip Of Hat, here we go!

All eras. All parts of Canada. General headings are: places, people, nicknames, books and authors, logos and developments, locomotives and freight cars, passenger cars and named trains, railway names, preservation and model railways. Maybe you know them OTOH. If not, perhaps they'll get them scurrying to your favourite mode of research to brush up.
  • Lethbridge Viaduct
  • Sir William Cornelius Van Horne
  • Province's Greatest Expense (PGE)
  • Van Horne's Road
  • the CNR Maple Leaf
  • White Pass & Yukon Railroad
  • the Draper Taper
  • 'Canada' grain cars
  • The Scotian
  • Greater Winnipeg Water District
  • Exporail
  • Rapido Trains Inc.
  • Cisco, BC bridges
  • Donald Gordon
  • Bennett's Crazy Railway (BCR)
  • Canadian Steam!
  • Beaver shields
  • rail ferries to PEI and Newfoundland
  • comfort cabs
  • Manitoba Buffalo boxcars
  • The Canadian
  • Prairie Dog Central
  • Bytown Railway Society
  • Stafford Swain
  • Chateau sleepers
  • Spiral Tunnels
  • N.R. 'Buck' Crump
  • To Hell & Back (TH&B)
  • The People's Railway
  • World's Greatest Travel System
  • GMD-1's
  • Supertherm
  • The Rapido
  • Essex Terminal Railway
  • Canadian Railroad Historical Association
  • Canadian Railway Modeller magazine
  • Sceneramics
  • Kicking Horse Pass
  • Sir Sandford Fleming
  • The Kick & Push (Kingston & Pembroke)
  • Dean & Hanna
  • The Wet Noodle
  • CPR D-10's
  • Mandarin Orange Express
  • The Super Continental
  • Temiscouata Railway
  • Upper Canada Railway Society
  • Aberfoyle Junction O-scale layout
  • E-series sleepers
  • Tete Jaune Cutoff
  • Sir John A Macdonald
  • The Lazy Three Route (CN)
  • Greg McDonnell
  • BCR's Dogwood 
  • Royal Hudsons
  • Pointe St Charles cabooses
  • The Atlantic Limited
  • Steamexpo '86
  • Northern Alberta Railway
  • Trevor Marshall
  • Tempo!Turbo!
  • Transcona Shops
  • Charles Melville Hays
  • Route of the Black Bear (ACR)
  • Pierre Berton
  • ONR's chevron scheme
  • CPR Selkirks
  • Angus Shops vans
  • The Ocean Limited
  • CPR 1201
  • George's Trains
  • British Columbia Railway
  • Alyth Yard
  • Andrew Onderdonk
  • Prince George Eventually (PGE)
  • Anthony Clegg
  • The Land of Evangeline Route
  • CP M-640 4744
  • CPR's snow melter
  • The Panorama
  • CNR 6060
  • Sydney & Lousiburg Railway
  • Angus Shops
  • the Pacific Scandal
  • The Leaky Roof Railway
  • Ian Wilson
  • CP Rail's multimark
  • Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railway Trilogy
  • Buster Keaton in The Railrodder
  • The Last Spike
  • SW1200RS's
  • SCLAIR orange covered hoppers
  • The Skeena
  • Countess of Dufferin
  • Newfoundland narrow gauge
  • Don McQueen
  • the Mississauga derailment
  • Quebec Railway Bridge
  • Silver Streak
  • Charles Bohi
  • the Hinton crash
  • Light Rapid Comfortable
  • Dofasco cylindrical ore cars
  • The Muskeg Mixed
  • CPR 374
  • Cartier Railway
  • Manor sleepers
  • Spadina Shops
  • Bayview Junction
  • Signatures in Steel
  • icicle breakers
  • CPR miniboxes
  • Mount Macdonald Tunnel
  • Lines of Country
  • the Canoe River crash
  • Gare Centrale
  • Lepkey & West
  • CN Tempo RS18m's
  • The Rocky Mountaineer
  • The Spirit of Sir John A.
  • Quebec, North Shore & Labrador
  • Craigellachie, BC
  • Connaught Tunnel
  • Duncan DuFresne
  • ditchlights
  • Dayliners and Railiners
  • Windsor Station
  • 1958 firemens' strike
  • Omer Lavallee
  • Spans the World
  • CPR 4-4-4 Jubilees
  • The Northlander
  • Fred Angus
  • Champlain & St Lawrence Railroad
  • GO Transit bilevels
  • Trackside with VIA - the series!
  • A-1-A RSC-24's
  • The Dominion
  • CPR oval switch targets
  • Symington Yard
  • The Polar Bear Express
  • octagonal water towers
  • The Trans-Canada Limited
  • CP Bygones
  • (Nicholas) Morant's Curve
  • Governor-General's cars
  • Canadian Trackside Guides
  • Great Slave Lake Railway
  • Kettle Valley Railway
  • The Confederation Train
Previous years' Canada Day posts - our Canada Day Top Nine List:
  • 2016 Canada Day Montreal to Vancouver
  • 2015 simply Canada Day again
  • 2014 Canada Day and RCMP
  • 2013 simply Canada Day
  • 2012 Canada Day by Train IV
  • 2011 Canada Day by Train III
  • 2010 Canada Day by Train II
  • 2009 Canada Day by Train - the original!


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your article.
I am a Canadian living in Australia and I am still Proudly Canadian!
Shame on CN and CP for not acknowledging Canada 150.

John Murray Stone

Trevor said...

Hi Eric:
Just read through the list. I'm honoured to be in such auspicious company. Thanks for including me!
- Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

Michael said...

Well said, Eric. Hard to think of anything to add to that list. Oh, okay, I'll add two of my own. Ottawa's old Union Station and the Quebec City station. Two beauts! Happy Canada from your fellow Eastern Ontario railfan.

Eric said...

Hi John, Trevor and Michael:

Thanks very much for your kind comments. Nothing makes me happier and prouder than boasting about our great country. This post had a strong historical/geographical tie-in. I could have added another 50-100 things to the list, it's true. Is there a limit to the greatness, awesomeness, depth and breadth of Canadian railroading? I think not!

Happy Canada Day!

John said...

Eric -

Great article. After finishing this one, I went to your previous Canada Day entries. Wonderful combination of pictures, both visual and literary.

Just a mild nitpick - you mentioned Manor sleepers twice in your list ;-) Not that I mind - "my" CANADIAN car is Stuart Manor (long story).

All the Best,


Eric said...

Glad you enjoyed previous Canada Day posts as well as this year's, John! Each year, the Canada Day post allows me to post some non-railway photos that I've taken during my travels.

And thank you for reminding me to mind my Manors!

Zartok-35 said...

Great list, Eric! Happy Canada day!

Eric said...

Thanks, Elijah. Hope you're having a Super Connie Canada Day weekend, too!

Unknown said...

That is a great list Eric, and sparks a lot of old memories! Good job.

One thing I'd like to note though with regard to CP not acknowledging Canada's 150. CP is running a cross country RCP Canada 150 Celebration Train from Vancouver to Montreal starting on July 25th through August 14th. Similar to the Holiday Trains, there are event stops all along the way. The pride of the fleet F units and business cars are of course front and centre, but as noted will not be wrapped with any specific 150 logo that I know of.

Andy Cassidy

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments on the CANADA 150 post, Andy. It was really enjoyable to put together. You are absolutely correct re: the CP RCP Celebration train and I will certainly be looking forward to its passage.