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Explore Ontario’s rich railway heritage — from stations and hotels to train rides, bridges, water towers, and roundhouses. Rails Across Ontario will take the reader back to a time when the railway ruled the economy and the landscape. Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. Follow old rail lines along Ontario’s most popular Explore Ontario’s rich railway heritage — from stations and hotels to train rides, bridges, water towers, and roundhouses. Rails Across Ontario will take the reader back to a time when the railway ruled the economy and the landscape. Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. Follow old rail lines along Ontario’s most popular rail trails. 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. Discover long forgotten but once vital railway structures, such as roundhouses, coal docks, and water towers. Learn about regular VIA Rail routes that follow some of the province’s oldest rail lines and pass some of its most historic stations, including one that has operated continuously since 1857.


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Explore Ontario’s rich railway heritage — from stations and hotels to train rides, bridges, water towers, and roundhouses. Rails Across Ontario will take the reader back to a time when the railway ruled the economy and the landscape. Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. Follow old rail lines along Ontario’s most popular Explore Ontario’s rich railway heritage — from stations and hotels to train rides, bridges, water towers, and roundhouses. Rails Across Ontario will take the reader back to a time when the railway ruled the economy and the landscape. Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. Follow old rail lines along Ontario’s most popular rail trails. 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. Discover long forgotten but once vital railway structures, such as roundhouses, coal docks, and water towers. Learn about regular VIA Rail routes that follow some of the province’s oldest rail lines and pass some of its most historic stations, including one that has operated continuously since 1857.

22 review for Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Spuckler

    Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage by Ron Brown is a history of railroads and the infrastructure that came with the railways. Brown is a geographer and a freelance travel writer. His other books are about, among other things, Ontario history and railways. Trains are magical machines. They linked the nineteenth century world and further linked the world into the mid-twentieth century when they were killed off by highways and air travel. I was a child at that tail end period Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage by Ron Brown is a history of railroads and the infrastructure that came with the railways. Brown is a geographer and a freelance travel writer. His other books are about, among other things, Ontario history and railways. Trains are magical machines. They linked the nineteenth century world and further linked the world into the mid-twentieth century when they were killed off by highways and air travel. I was a child at that tail end period and loved trains. Late nights in East Cleveland, Ohio I would stand at the rise overlooking the tracks and wait to watch the trains roll by. I traveled by train in the 1980s in central Europe. A few years ago at the state fair, I spend almost my whole time mesmerized at the train museum. Today, when I have to travel farther than my bicycle will carry me, I go by train. 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. Railway towns are discussed in some detail along with bridges. Bridges presented a challenge especially when crossing commercial waterway. Brown discusses the engineering that allowed both trains and ships to pass. Many bridges have been abandoned but the Wasauksing swing bridge is still operational and a tourist site. Like the bridges, railway stations and hotels are described and likewise general locations of each are given. There is a call to preserve the heritage and save the buildings. Some have been converted to other uses. Ottawa's grand Union Station has been converted to a convention center. Many are protected landmarks, but sadly left to decay on their own. Many of the ancillary structures are preserved, from round houses still in use to coal chutes. Brown gives general locations of all the structures and if you are a train enthusiast or historian you can easily find all the places. It should be an easy task for those in Ontario, but detailed mapping might be needed for visitors. Individually covering each station and bridge will allow the reader to plan a day trip visiting different locations. The book is written as a guide more than as a history. There are very few photos and no maps in the book to help outsiders locate the landmarks and very little on the engines that ran on the rails. All in all it is a good book for railway enthusiasts and probably as very good book for enthusiasts and historians in Ontario. Three stars on the understanding that the audience for this book is Ontario residents.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    My friend Doug who read this book does not have a Goodreads account asked me to post this review for him. He is the president of his local rail museum and he really liked this book. Rails Across Ontario by Ron Brown turned out to be an absolutely enjoyable read. It is an all-encompassing story of Ontario's rail history, past and present. I sat down to flip through it for a moment and next thing I knew and hour and a half had passed. The book is well put together including the stories of the villag My friend Doug who read this book does not have a Goodreads account asked me to post this review for him. He is the president of his local rail museum and he really liked this book. Rails Across Ontario by Ron Brown turned out to be an absolutely enjoyable read. It is an all-encompassing story of Ontario's rail history, past and present. I sat down to flip through it for a moment and next thing I knew and hour and a half had passed. The book is well put together including the stories of the villages, towns and cities affected by the railways across Ontario. It covers all the areas you might wish to see in this kind of book and then some.There are lists of rail museums and stories of old rail towns and how the railroads affected the development of the province. Brown discusses the challenges of constructing the rails and bridges, and talks about the disappearing roundhouses and stations. There are stories about the locomotives and the people and what has happened to some of the places that have disappeared. 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. The photography is noteworthy. “The Other Last Spike” is a nice addition to the book and the stories of the Schreiber area are worthy of mention. 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. I can definitely recommend this book. - Doug Stefurak

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Smith

    Rails Across Ontario By Ron Brown This is a non-fiction listing of rails, bridges, and train stations still standing across Ontario. It is a compilation of short vignettes describing what remains of the early rail system. The book is more of reference than a history. Notably missing are maps that bring together the ability to easily locate the historic buildings and locations described in the book . Similarly more pictures and ones that are recent at the time of press, would have been an asset.( A Rails Across Ontario By Ron Brown This is a non-fiction listing of rails, bridges, and train stations still standing across Ontario. It is a compilation of short vignettes describing what remains of the early rail system. The book is more of reference than a history. Notably missing are maps that bring together the ability to easily locate the historic buildings and locations described in the book . Similarly more pictures and ones that are recent at the time of press, would have been an asset.( Allandale Stn in Barrie is notably not a current picture) This book look like it was pulled together from Brown's old file folders from his previous books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    LaGina

    I have a friend that lives in Canada and I always like finding things to read so we have things to talk about. Learning the history of another place is always exciting to me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Philip Paul

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dundurn Press

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bob Roper

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Dowie

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura Brown

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.M. Gagne

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tima

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rica

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ali D

  22. 4 out of 5

    R K

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