The panoramic photo above was taken in northern Ontario back in 1965
My fascination of trains started in the mid 1940's as a toddler watching the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Rwy mainline as trains would climb the Niagara escarpment in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
My father worked for Westinghouse, and the west end plant was right next to the TH&B yards were I would watch 'shunting' while waiting for my father to get off work.
CNR was still very much in steam and one day we were about to go to Crystal Beach, when my dad took me to the head end where a 6200 class 4-8-4 was ready to pull our train.
Hoisted up into the cab, I got the usual 'nice little boy' greetings. The fireman asked me to stomp on a switch by the firebox. The pneumatic butterfly doors flew open and scared me half to death!
1952-56 My family rented a summer cabin in Sunridge, Ontario that was next to the CNR mainline that ran from Toronto to North Bay. All steam powered freights!!!
1963 Cab ride on a E&N (Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway) Baldwin RS-12 from the Esquimalt roundhouse, around on the turntable and picked up load in the yard.
We went across the Victoria Inner Harbor bridge, and delivered the car to a manufacturer on Wharf Street.
Returning to roundhouse, I found a CLC 40 tonner with side rods was in the next stall, painted with the great Canadian Pacific Rwy maroon and grey scheme.
1965 Cab ride on the London & Port Stanley motor L3 in the London yards.
1965 I traveled across Canada on CPR's 'Canadian' from Toronto to Vancouver.
After two days with friends, traveled on Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Southern Pacific passenger trains from Vancouver, BC to Phoenix, AZ.
1970 Cab ride on White Mountain Scenic's 2-8-2 #100 with Reed Hatch, owner.
1976 While on a rail trip into Mexico, at a sugar cane factory near Los Mochis, I rode their 2-6-0 (on the tender!) through a small town and out to a siding to pick up loads.
1977 Derailed in Flagstaff yards while riding in the cab (another story in itself).
1978 Invited to ride the ATSF Super-C by Willie Hawkins, Road Forman of Engines out of Winslow, AZ. (didn't:: Bummer)
1979 Three-week rail-fanning trip to the northwest with friend Paul Greenfield.
Inside the 'block house' at Black River Jct.
Chased out of the Milwaukee Tidewater Flats yard until we got a wavier (which we did).
Sleeping next to an abandoned Milwaukee Station, until a 'bull' interrupted our sleep around midnight, and yes, kicked us out.
By contrast, in Vancouver, BC., at the CPR yards, after a friendly greeting, we were issued hard hats and admonished to have a safe time!
1980 Cab ride on Quincy Railroad's ALCO S-1 #4.We had to double the hill to the junction with the Western Pacific because two injectors were misbehaving.
1983 Caboose ride right behind the engine on train going to Copper Canyon, Mexico.
1984 Cab ride on the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western GE 44 ton #5 with vise president, Rex Firth.
1984 Cab ride on NdeM FIAT rail car from Los Mochis to Nogales, Mexico.
1995 Cab ride on the Verde Canyon's GP-9. Not just a regular cab ride, it was a 'moonlight' run.
I got to blow the air horn for the short tunnel, and then 2 stewardesses, the head end brakeman and I walked out on the cat walk underneath the headlight.
We enjoyed the balmy summer air and watched small animals jumping out of harms way.
1995 Cab ride on RDC on the Esquimalt & Nanaimo from Victoria station, over the Malahat, and north to Qualicum Beach, BC. and return.
1996 Another cab ride on the E&N's RDC.
1996 Invited to ride on E&N freight from Nanaimo to Port Alberni (didn't:: Bummer).
2003 Motorman on Old Pueblo Museum's Belgium #1511
2004 Lucky me, another stint as motorman on #1511.
An update will come in 2015 and fill in the missing years!
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