Rails Across the Prairies

Overview

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.

Reviews

… a must have for anyone with a connection to or interest in railways, trains, or Canadian history.

The Minnedosa Tribune (July, 2012)

Rails Across the Prairies is an excellent book for browsing and research.

(July, 2013)

About the Author

Ron Brown

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
Ron Brown photo

Ron Brown

Ron Brown is a geographer and travel author of more than twenty books, including Rails to the Atlantic, The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, and Back Roads of Ontario. He is past chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada and leads tours of Ontario’s unusual sights. He lives in Toronto.