It's been two years since I redneck-scanned the images in this two-part post. When I say redneck-scanned, I mean projecting the image on our hallway wall and taking a photo. These were not scanned in a proper slide scanner. OK, full disclosure over. These slides were shared with me by Reg Aitken. Three Kodak carousels, in fact. These images represent a two-way trip across Canada in 1962-64. The uncaptioned slides were given, by a lady who took them so many decades ago, to a photography club to which Reg belonged, and he knew I'd like to see them. More about Reg below. For now, we're crossing from Ontario into Quebec at Ottawa (top photo, likely taken from the Park car). Notice the road traffic in both directions on the bridge! This Part 1 post will take us from Ottawa to Calgary. Part 2 is Alberta into the Mountains!
Many stops along this trip were documented with interesting platform views of the train, stations and servicing. A white-jacketed porter stands by on the eastward leg at Chalk River (above) as a passenger pays absolutely no attention to any approaching movements on the station track!
Sudbury's water tower looms on the lunar horizon as head-end traffic is handled on an adjacent track by fire engine-red CP baggage wagons. Manor and Park cars bring up the rear. There is a lot of boxcar red in these photos! Westward, the drumhead has some steamy subterfuge as stepboxes and porters line the platform.
Around Lake Superior. This westbound consist has two baggage-dormitories and three former U-series 14-section tourist sleeping cars on the head-end. Use of the U-series cars in the June-October high season lasted into 1965.
This is always the first glimpse of mighty Superior, and I had the same impulse in 1986, taking a photo of VIA's Canadian on this same curve.
Thunder Bay/Fort William window-washing (above) and platform view (below).
Cleaning the dome windows. No scissor-lift in use here (above). Winnipeg window-washing:
The train has been cut. Power is at right (above) and left (below). Looking west at Winnipeg, Park car and a couple of sleepers are in the distance:
Portage la Prairie, eastbound:
Calgary westbound, the sky filling with Dayliner smoke:
I had to wonder if the nuns make a habit of walking on the platform...
Calgary, eastbound train view with Palliser Hotel in the background:
The oft-photographed Robin Hood Flour view to the west of the station. Forty-foot boxcars and Geep-led freight frame the scene:
Sleeper views with Chateau Radisson in foreground:
One more tail-end glint view:
Reg Aitken was known in Kingston as a photographer, artist, and generally a gregarious guy. Reg died unexpectedly last week, and this post is some small tribute to his generosity. This was not the first time that Reg gave me photos to share on my blog. I published his photos in previous posts from 2015 and just last year. He also sent me a steady stream of those humorous emails and images - the last a mere five days before his untimely demise.
Years ago, Reg worked at the local Robinson-Holder photofinishing outlet - the one we patronized when it cost probably $25 to develop 24 prints. We were regulars. The staffers were John (Donovan), Terry (Gretzky) and Reg (the Explorer). John resembled the Donovan character on the Lou Grant TV series; Terry in a way, The Great One; and Reg with his ample frame and ample beard some early-Canadian explorer of Canada's Northwest. Or so we thought. My wife inadvertently called Terry by his nickname once, unwittingly thinking his surname was actually Gretzky!
Reg invariably ended his emails with four words. In some way, they still apply to Reg and I'll close with them,
Keep well. Talk soon, Reg.