Friday, April 13, 2012

Photo: The Big Orange Railplow

When I was but a lad, my grandfather took me to see the trains - if not riding them from one place to another, then just going to the quiet sidings on a weekend and taking a look at the cars waiting to go somewhere. My hometown Barrie was on a main line between Toronto and northern Ontario before the rails were lifted in the mid-1990s, and on a weekend it was easy to find plenty of boxcars, hopper cars, tanker cars, cabooses, and so on adjacent to what's now Allandale Waterfront GO Station.

There were also, on occasion, more unique cars - ones like this railway snowplow, which could be pushed along by the locomotive if the drifts were too heavy to power through. They're not seen as often anymore, I understand; for one, 21st century locomotives have more power than a lot of 20th century workhorses. Pretty eye-catching, though - and that's me standing by it, for a sense of scale. This photo is actually a framegrab from a camcorder video my grandfather took, made on March 16, 1991.

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