My dear husband Bruce was born into a railroading family. In fact both sides, paternal and maternal, had ties to Canadian National Railway.
His mother's Italian immigrant father laid track and raised twelve children on a section man's pay. On the other side his paternal grandfather (also an immigrant, and one of twelve children from the UK) was a car painter and had the honour of painting the fine gold leaf filigree art work on 1939 Royal train cars for King George Vth and Queen Elizabeth (we knew her as the Queen Mum). Bruce's Dad ran steam engines for his career and Bruce's mom's brothers were locomotive engineers and track supervisors.
So it came as no surprise that Bruce took up a railway career (after a short trial period in a Sudbury nickel mine underground). He worked in Ontario, Jasper Alberta, northern BC, the Okanagan Valley, Vancouver, and at Victoria on Vancouver Island. Bruce ran freight trains, passenger trains for VIA Rail and a private tourist train.
|First paying trip at age 18|
|Bruce in Jasper 1966|
|Bruce running the VIA Rail passenger train Christmas 1984|
|Engineer Bruce on the Okanagan Valley Wine Train 1999|
He has written many of his railway stories and has even been published. I believe there are more stories in him still but these he may have to change the names to protect the guilty!
Has he satisfied his need to "get it all out there" ? Nope... not even close.
Bruce was long ago bitten by the model railroad bug. He enjoys creating miniature worlds in HO scale, or 1/87. I found these pictures he had taken in a recent camera download and was amazed at the perfection of these tiny models. These were all sitting on top of his dresser on a handwoven runner.
Yup, even a tiny outhouse!
This model of a snow shed was created by a friend of Bruce's and you can see how intricate it is and the amazing amount of detail. Look at the crib work of 'old railway ties'.
The picture below is Bruce and my son on a road trip Christmas week 1984. They rode together in the engine's cab for a good portion of the trip while my daughter and I sat in the First Class dining car having breakfast.
Roll the clock ahead more than a few years and now my son's son has discovered Thomas the Tank and all things rail. He regularly builds railway tracks that run all through the house.
The only thing that rivals the imagination of a grown man, is that of a little boy. Our grandson Ethan is train crazy and here's Grandad helping get a train up the hill.... where they had a head on collision....
....and resulting disaster at the bottom of the hill!
and so it continues..... Bruce plans to build a model layout in a portion of the garage and no doubt Ethan and other 'boys' will be over to help build a railway dynasty.