Divisional points appeared at 140-kilometre intervals and turned many track-side villages into busy towns and cities. Launched by William Mackenzie and Donald Mann in Manitoba in 1896, their national network arrived in Ontario with lines from Ottawa to Rainy River, from Toronto to Capreol, and from Toronto to Ottawa in 1908. Brown gives general locations of all the structures and if you are a train enthusiast or historian you can easily find all the places. The author even mentions a spot I had never heard of — a miniature replica at Algoma Mills near Blind River, which I have added to my list of places to visit on my trip next summer. Brown's new Rails Across Ontario continues his project of unearthing this hidden history. I traveled by train in the 1980s in central Europe. There are stories about the locomotives and the people and what has happened to some of the places that have disappeared.
I sat down to flip through it for a moment and next thing I knew and hour and a half had passed. Roads, where any existed, were rutted quagmires for much of the year. There are lists of rail museums and stories of old rail towns and how the railroads affected the development of the province. Since then, myopic federal decisions have reduced rail passenger service to a fraction of even that, with one transport minister famously proclaiming that passenger trains were as obsolete as the stage coach. Rails Across Ontario begins with a short history of the railway build up in Ontario and presents some of the challenges both geographical and financial. Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage by Ron Brown is a history of railroads and the infrastructure that came with the railways.
As the railway network expanded, hubs began evolving in many Ontario towns, largely contributing to the major cities they have become today. Jean on the Richelieu — an 18-kilometre year-round route that eliminated what previously was a 120-kilometre journey over water and land. Unless some local initiative ensured their re-use, even those stations so designated were not protected from demolition by neglect or arson. Crews were downsized and buildings removed. With its location on a large, protected harbour, Toronto began early.
Today, when I have to travel farther than my bicycle will carry me, I go by train. They lead along forgotten shorelines, though fertile farmlands and past the cliff-lined Niagara Escarpment, as well as early pioneer trails. Brown discusses the challenges of constructing the rails and bridges, and talks about the disappearing roundhouses and stations. He is past chair of the Writers' Union of Canada and leads bus tours to Ontario's many unusual sights. A few years ago at the state fair, I spend almost my whole time mesmerized at the train museum. A community of former railway employee housing remains north of the former yards. Bridges presented a challenge especially when crossing commercial waterway.
These locations also required housing for families as well as bunkhouses for the over-nighting crews. He is the president of his local rail museum and he really liked this book. Find out where steam engines still puff across farm fields and where historic train coaches lead deep into the wilds of Ontario's scenic north country. 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. Similarly more pictures and ones that are recent at the time of press, would have been an asset. Brown is a geographer and a freelance travel writer.
Many landmarks lie vacant, including ghost towns and elevators, while many others survive as museums or interpretative sites. Main Street still retains a number of commercial and administrative buildings from those days. The book is well put together including the stories of the villages, towns and cities affected by the railways across Ontario. Rails Across Ontario by Ron Brown turned out to be an absolutely enjoyable read. Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. The National Transcontinental Railway was the national dream of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, with a route that in 1912 connected Quebec City with Prince Rupert, passing through northern Ontario between Cochrane and Sioux Lookout.
I was a child at that tail end period and loved trains. A Rails Across Ontario By Ron Brown This is a non-fiction listing of rails, bridges, and train stations still standing across Ontario. Expansion ground to a halt during the American Civil War, but started again in earnest following Confederation in Canada in 1867. Following that it was open season. Highway improvements in the 1950s and 60s accelerated the discontinuation of many railway services and track lifting in the 1970s and 80s brought local rail service to an end.
There are so many interesting facts that even railway bulls will appreciate the level of detail and the amount of information they didn't know before. It had originally shared a junction in Perth with the earlier Brockville and Ottawa line. Ottawa's grand Union Station has been converted to a convention center. Discover long forgotten but once vital railway structures, such as roundhouses, coal docks, and water towers. Individually covering each station and bridge will allow the reader to plan a day trip visiting different locations. There is a call to preserve the heritage and save the buildings.