Synopses & Reviews
Follow the evolution of the rail legacy of the Canadian Prairies from the arrival of the first engine on a barge to today's realities.
Rails Across the Prairies traces the evolution of Canada's rail network, including the appearance of the first steam engine on the back of a barge. The book looks at the arrival of European settlers before the railway and examines how they coped by using ferry services on the Assiniboine and North Saskatchewan Rivers. The work then follows the building of the railways, the rivalries of their owners, and the unusual irrigation works of Canadian Pacific Railway. The towns were nearly all the creation of the railways from their layout to their often unusual names.
Eventually, the rail lines declined, though many are experiencing a limited revival. Learn what the heritage lover can still see of the Prairies' railway legacy, including existing rail operations and the stories the railways brought with them. Many landmarks lie vacant, including ghost towns and elevators, while many others survive as museums or interpretative sites.
... a must have for anyone with a connection to or interest in railways, trains, or Canadian history. The Minnedosa Tribune
Rails Across the Prairies is an excellent book for browsing and research. Lethbridge Herald
Canada's rail lines were pivotal in establishing the icons that mark today's landscape: massive bridges, sentinel-like grain elevators, pattern-book wayside stations. Odd and unusual place names dot the lines, while countless ghost towns and stories abound like the "ghost train" of St. Louis and the tunnels of Moose Jaw.
About the Author
Ron Brown is a freelance travel writer and photographer who has published over 20 books, including The Lake Erie Shore, The Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, and Ontario's Ghost Town Heritage. Brown is past-chair of the Writers' Union of Canada and is active with the Travel Media Association of Canada and the Book and Periodical Council. He lives in Toronto.
Table of Contents
Chapter One; Before the Trains
Chapter Two; Rails Across the Prairies, the Rails Arrive
Chapter Three, The Towns
Chapter Four, The Stations
Chapter Five; The Castles of the Lines; the Railway Hotels
Chapter Six; The Fall of the Prairie Sentinels, the End of the Grain Elevators
Chapter Seven, The Houses of Steam, the Railway Roundhouses
Chapter Eight; Watering the Steam Engines; the Water Towers
Chapter Nine; Bridging the Prairies; The Railway Bridges
Chapter Ten; The Short Lines
Chapter Eleven; Celebrating the Heritage: The Railway Museums