Apr 112017
 
Railway Bunkhouse

This long skinny shed looking building was once a railway bunkhouse. Simply, it was a crash-pad for train crews overnighting away from home base. There would be a couple beds inside, a simple kitchen, a biffy and that’s about it. No five star resort, it was about as basic as accommodations could get. There used […]

Feb 282017
 
A Few Minutes in Pincher Station

We’re in Pincher Station Alberta, passing through, heading west for a couple days of rest and relaxation. Timing is everything, and as it happens, we’re here and so is a train. Pull over, brakes on hard, jump out and run around like someone who’s mistakenly kicked a hornet’s nest. Catch it going by, line up, […]

Feb 072017
 
The Big Red Bus

Affectionately she’s the Big Old Red Transit Bus or simply just Big Red. Spending a great deal of its almost fifty year working career in Calgary, hauling commuters or in charter service, it’s now in semi-retirement and resides with a collector in Edmonton. This iconic “Fishbowl”, the most common transit bus of its era, runs […]

Feb 012017
 
Urban Trek - Ogden Shops Loop

This city hike makes a good sized loop around the CPR’s huge Ogden Shops complex. Along the way it takes in a variety of settings, quiet residential communities, empty streets in a long gone neighbourhood, and gritty, noisy, smelly industrial areas. I suspect we’re the only urban trekkers to like the latter, but we hope […]

Dec 282016
 
Trainspotting BIGDoer.com style

We call it Trainspotting. There are other names for the pastime, but we like that one best (loath the term “railfanning”). In its simplest form…one grabs a camera, finds a place overlooking some train tracks, snaps away and there you have it! Of course there are those who take it “higher”, foamers as they’re oftentimes […]

Dec 282016
 
Herronton

Herronton…this tiny little place, a blip on the map. A collection of homes, a small clustering, found along some dusty Alberta backroad. While not the middle of nowhere, in feel, it’s not far removed from that proverbial place. The population…it can be counted on one hand…maybe two (we saw no one in the hour we […]

Dec 122016
 
Waskatenau Trestle

There’s an impressive wood-framed trestle along the abandoned rail line at Waskatenau Alberta. Built of massive beams it’s been here for close to a century and spans a little water course just outside town. The rail’s still in place across it, but it’s been many years since they’ve been polished by the passing of a […]

Dec 022016
 
Prairie Sentinels - Bentley Alberta

As old-school wood grain elevators go, this one, found in the town of Bentley Alberta is a relative youngster. Still, it follows a very traditional design and in construction, layout, function, so pretty much everything, albeit in a somewhat more massive form, it’s not all that dissimilar from ones much, much older than it. Dare […]

Nov 102016
 
Skiff Alberta ex-Parrish & Heimbecker

Almost every last town, village or hamlet across the vast Canadian Prairies was at one time home to a building much like the one we’ll be looking at today. Towering over everything, the flat expanse of the land, the community itself, they were always located in a prominent spot usually opposite or just down from […]

Oct 252016
 
The Railway

One of the shorter short-lines in the country, this little stretch of track still serves a very crucial purpose. In that sense it’s no less important than the big transcontinental players. A busy firm, the line’s only customer, uses it to send much of their output to market. Once every couple or few days, a […]

Oct 182016
 
Prairie Sentinels – Flaxcombe Saskatchewan

Today we visit the lone grain elevator in Flaxcombe Saskatchewan. In the past there were a number of such structures in the community, but this is the last one. It’s a rare beast, here, and especially so when taken in the scope of the entire province – it’s one of some four hundred-ish like it […]

Sep 082016
 
Providence Grain – Marengo Saskatchewan

The always on the go BIGDoer.com crew are in the tiny burg of Marengo Saskatchewan to document the Providence Grain facility located there. Join us for a tour of this working grain elevator. It’s a bit different and is not one of the those high-throughput concrete super terminals common today, even if it sort of […]