Homestead Lost

Highway 40 stretches west of Biggar Saskatchewan to the Alberta border where it turns into 14 through Wainwright and then on to Edmonton.  I wanted to photograph the CN main line here, and now, for two reasons.  One was the knowledge that small town Prairie is fast becoming history and September is just about guaranteed… Continue reading »

Homestead Lost – 2

Not all my time was spent chasing trains.  Authentic buildings are my passion.  No kits please.  The prairie is a treasure trove of originals and even the most “up to date” layout can’t be honest with itself without an abandoned building or two – or more.  South of Scott, covered in a previous Proto-file, we… Continue reading »

Homestead Lost – 3

Not all my time was spent chasing trains.  Authentic buildings are my passion.  No kits please.  The prairie is a treasure trove of originals and even the most “up to date” layout can’t be honest with itself without an abandoned building or two – or more.  South of Scott, covered in a previous Proto-file, we… Continue reading »

Homestead Lost – 4

The chickens had a window. And heat and air-conditioning as well.  The smallest structure on the farm was this sturdy little building at the end of a row of three similar sheds.  While two were quite spartan, with a simple door and no heat or light, this building had been fitted with a small stove… Continue reading »

Trains in the Rain

Rain continued to soak the long stretch of the Canadian West between Biggar SK and Viking AB and the cold had found it’s way deep into what ever I was wearing. It had been that way for days. I hadn’t dressed for this when I left home and I had nothing suitable packed away in… Continue reading »

Trains in the Rain – 2

The clouds are still heavy and the ground is still soaking wet but this train guy soldiers on ever ready for that one great shot. No need here to find the sun at my back – or better still – at that excellent angle that shows off the details I’m looking for. Quite the contrary…. Continue reading »

Trains in the Rain – 3

The CN facility in Biggar Saskatchewan is worth a visit. The big city facilities in Saskatoon and Regina, and even Moose Jaw, are very large and well cordoned off making them pretty much inaccessible to the average train buff. Restrict your touring to Melville, Swift Current, Wayburn and Estevan and you can still get up… Continue reading »

Trains in the Rain – 4

As one of those omni-present stack trains glides through on the station track I get a chance to get a closer look at one of the last Canadian style Safety Cabs. I was never a fan of the SD60’s but I’m a huge fan of ‘The Stripes’ and the 4-window design. It takes me back… Continue reading »

Didsbury 2012

My home in Peachland is not a hub of railway activity so from time to time I need a trains fix by either going ‘over the top’ into the Ashcroft/Cashe Creek area or by spending a summers weekend in Didsbury Alberta. Of course the real high for a CN railfan is the Thompson River Canyon… Continue reading »

Didsbury 2012 (2)

They don’t call them road switchers for nothing.  Looking north now while sitting in my car at the crossing of highway 582.  Three engines; 8506, 9706 and a now leading and unidentified GE unit have parted ways with their south-bound consist and are working their way back through the Y about ½ a kilometer from… Continue reading »

Didsbury 2012 (3)

A little farther north of that crossing there is a small facility with two sidings, each about ½ a km long.  On another day two southbound locos, 8909 and 9504, pause, break the train, and spot 6 tank cars on one of the sidings.  The 4400’s are almost as prolific today as the SD40-2’s were… Continue reading »

Didsbury 2012 (4)

The small yard in Didsbury consists of the main line and two long sidings that pretty much stretch, north – south, from one end of town to the other as well as a short spur used mostly for MofW equipment.    On this day the second track was home for two old timers waiting work.  3029… Continue reading »

It’s a big country….

…and there are stripes all over it.  Wow! Don’t you just love the paint scheme?   Often referred to as Sergeants stripes or Zebra stripes this paint scheme was the best result (IMHO) of reinventing the Super Continental back in 1961.  It put a welcome end to the short 6 year experiment with the black and… Continue reading »

It’s a big country…. (2)

A high speed east bound container train lead by three of my all time favourate zebras somewhere between Rivers and Portage la Prairie in the summer of ‘88.  Just one of a hundred + pictures I took on a photo trip out of Winnipeg.  Roles of film filled my pockets.  New on the right –… Continue reading »

It’s a big country…. (3)

Down Ontario way, as well as other points east, the motive power got more varied but the stripes remained the same.  This HR616 number 2107 is at Belleville Station on a sunny winter day in 1986.  My three years teaching in Trenton were outstanding not only because of the job (I really loved it) but… Continue reading »

It’s a big country…. (4)

In the hotel was on a hill above the harbour in North Sydney the early risers were gawking out the window during breakfast.  The ferry had pulled in during the night and people were anxious to see those big blue Marine Atlantic logos. Even as we edged our car into a line and waited for… Continue reading »

Working Winter Valley

January 2015 Working Winter Valley The sun gets up suddenly and in it’s full regalia in Winter Valley.  It quietly creeps up behind the hills and then ‘bang’ it’s daytime and life below is buzzing around in every which direction.  Down at the station we prefer some order in all things.  Trains arrive, drop off… Continue reading »

The Family Album

January 2014 The Family Album Photos by Friedhelm Weidelich In early 2005 I had the pleasure of being visited by Friedhelm Weidelich on behalf of the glossy German model railway magazine Gartenbahm profi.Friedhelm is an excellent model photographer, a fine writer and he has a deep background in the European garden railway world.  His publication… Continue reading »

The Fleet Is In

November 2013 The Fleet Is In Repowering the Winter Valley Over the years that I’ve been a part of the Winter Valley family there have been projects that have taken a great deal of time and money to get right. Rebuilding the station at Pearson was one such project. Being classified as a heritage building… Continue reading »

Playing With the Light.

May 2013 Playing With the Light. A little light sometimes sneaks into the basement. The wharf jutting out into the stream at Hudson’s Mill attracts a small crowd at all times of the day in all seasons of the year. Ice fishing and skating start early in these parts and the short summers fill with… Continue reading »

Looking back just a little

March 2013 Looking back just a little. I hope I’m forgiven for doing nothing newsworthy on the layout since finishing off the scenery in the corner.   All of my efforts have been dedicated to installing AirWire and Phoenix in the motive power, rebuilding a USAT extended vision caboose and chopping the nose on a… Continue reading »

Summer’s Over so It’s Time to Start Again

September 2012 Summer’s over so it’s time to start again I know. I’ve been away this summer. Loving the out of doors though. Last fall I bought myself a beautiful Mustang convertible and darn it anyway, I used it. My last day at work was the 1st of May and so I chased trains and… Continue reading »

Wireless Control for the Winter Valley

April 2012 Wireless Control for the Winter Valley             It was a long time coming and it will be a while before it’s all done but eventually all 9 of my diesel engines will be equipped with ‘radio control” by AirWire and controlled by the new T5000 wireless throttles. Wireless thinking started a few years… Continue reading »

A Brief Visit From the Past.

October 2011 A Brief Visit From the Past. There wasn’t anything unusual about this September day. It broke as early as it usually dose at this time of year and by 7 AM it was light enough so I could see my way down the path that lead past the park and into the small… Continue reading »

A Party For Reagan

February 2011 A Party For Reagan             I run into ‘Train Nuts” in my line of work, hell I’m one myself, and they’re particularly prevalent and around the Winter Valley.  This modern short line railway offers friendly access to people and property; we run ‘traditional’ LTC (less that carload) trains rather than those boring unit… Continue reading »

A trip into the high country.

10 March, 2005 A trip into the high country. The main line north of Winter Valley climes slowly and steadily towards High Pass (the highest elevation on the WVRR) before dropping slowly into the mining country around Colder. This is not Rogers Pass, or even the Yellowhead, but it’s high enough to rate it’s own… Continue reading »