On Track: A Photographic Tribute to Canada’s Rich Railroad History

From the architectural wonder of an old trestle bridge to abandoned stretches of weed-strewn track, this gorgeous gallery captures the romance of Canada's railroad history.

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train at sunset in Lloydminster
Photo: Jackie Gartner

A quiet moment

You can just sense the stillness in Jackie Gartner’s sensational photo of this old CP locomotive at sunset.

2 / 19
Battle river train
Photo: Sharon Peters

Engineering marvel

The Battle River Railway Trestle near Wainwright, Alberta, is an engineering marvel. Sharon Peters’ brilliantly composed shot captures the elegant cat’s cradle of the steel struts, along with an incredibly long freight train as it reaches the central span. Simply stunning!

Here are 10 of the most beautiful bridges in Canada.

3 / 19
autumn train
Photo: Russ Hayes

A leaf-peeper’s paradise

Is it any wonder autumn is such a popular season amongst shutterbugs? The gorgeous fall foliage here would make for memorable ride on board this dinner train in Mont Orford, Quebec. Thanks to Russ Hayes for sharing.

Here’s why you need to take the Agawa Canyon fall colours train tour.

4 / 19
scenic railway
Photo: Sandra Harvey

Just around the river bend

Sandra Harvey captured this scenic stretch of train track from Alberta’s Icefields Parkway.

Psst—you need to take these Canadian road trips at least once in your lifetime.

5 / 19
black and white train tracks
Photo: Deb Sandau

A study in greyscale

“While crossing the tracks leading into Gull Lake, Alberta, I had to stop and get this picture last winter,” writes Deb Sandau. The vintage vibe is given an added boost in black-and-white.

Check out more impressive black and white photography from across Canada.

6 / 19
CN train in winter
Photo: Edith Beerda

Polar express

The contrast of the red locomotive against the marshmallow-white snowdrifts wouldn’t look out of place on a holiday card! Thanks to Edith Beerda of Smithers, B.C., for sharing this magical moment.

You’ll find more of Edith’s fantastic photos in this gallery showcasing “my happy place.”

7 / 19

Banff train
Photo: Donna Barker

Speeding through

On a trip to Banff National Park, Donna Barker stopped for the view—and got the added bonus of a train speeding through the shot. Talk about perfect timing!

Here are the best things to do in Banff on your next visit.

8 / 19
Norrish Creek
Photo: Alexandra Fontaine

Vanishing point

We’re not sure what’s more dramatic in Alexandra Fontaine’s photo: the contrast of the colourful graffiti against the grey steel, or those eye-catching lines leading off into the distance. She snapped this striking shot over Norrish Creek in Mission, B.C.

Here’s more impressive perspective photography from the pages of Our Canada.

9 / 19
VIA rail train
Photo: Linda Sweeney

All aboard!

Linda Sweeney of Miramichi, New Brunswick, captured this postcard-perfect shot of a Via Rail passenger train pulling into Newcastle.

You’ll find more of Linda’s lovely snaps in this gallery of gorgeous doors across Canada.

10 / 19
1920's train
Photo: Paula Brown

End of the line

“Constructed around 1927, this caboose was last used on CN’s Montreal-Belleville run in 1976,” writes Ottawa’s Paula Brown. “It has been modified and painted to reflect the CNR caboose style of the 1920s. It’s on display at the Cumberland Heritage Museum in Cumberland, Ontario.”

Don’t miss these 10 awesome day trips from Ottawa.

11 / 19
back of black train
Photo: Helena Bruder

Track level

Helena Bruder took her camera down to track level for a unique perspective on a freight car. What a fantastic photo!

Find out what it’s really like travelling through the Rockies onboard the legendary Rocky Mountaineer.

12 / 19
graffiti train car
Photo: Alan Cheng


Alan Cheng captured an old rail car serving as the canvas for graffiti artists in Scarborough, Ontario.

Check out the most quirky roadside attractions across Canada.

13 / 19
snowy train in cobourg
Photo: Ann Lane

Feel the chill

A blustery day at the Via Rail train station in Cobourg, Ontario, made a fantastic (and frigid-looking!) photo opp for Ann Lane. You can even see the snowflakes carried by the gusting wind… Brr!

Don’t miss this incredible photos showcasing the beauty of winter in Canada.

14 / 19
Deer on tracks
Photo: Rena Nixon

Four-legged friend

“Not a train in sight this afternoon when we were out for a drive in Rothesay, New Brunswick,” writes Rena Nixon. But they did meet this adorable little guy!

Here’s what it’s like photographing deer in rutting season.

15 / 19
alaska train
Photo: Fred Allin

Last frontier

Fred Allin took this train from Anchorage to Fairbanks while on a trip to Alaska. What a unique opportunity to admire all of that unspoiled wilderness!

16 / 19
snowy train yard
Photo: George Vanderberg

Decisions, decisions…

George Vanderberg snapped this striking image at the marshalling yards in Kipp, Alberta. The switches on the track allow for trains to follow different routes, of course—a poignant metaphor for those defining moments in our lives.

Read the fascinating story behind B.C.’s historic E&N Railway.

17 / 19
train bandits
Photo: Joyce Stolte

Great train robbery

Stop, thief! Don’t worry, this isn’t a crime in progress that Joyce Stolte has captured on camera—it’s part of the Alberta Prairie Railway experience. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to travel by train during the days of the wild west, it’s well worth adding to your bucket list.

Here are the 10 places in Canada every Canadian needs to visit.

18 / 19
water tower
Photo: Robbie Gorr

In the round

“Canada’s only 360 degree mural can be found in Pembroke, Ontario, located on the water tower from the old Canadian Pacific Railway train station,” writes Robbie Gorr. “It shows a steam train arriving in Pembroke, painted all around the old tower by artist John Ellenburger.”

Read the incredible story of how a group of young men took the train across Canada—for $150!

19 / 19
old green train
Photo: Lynn Mabley

Full steam ahead!

Lynn Mabley captured this CN 6060 steam locomotive from the 1940s in Hinton, Alberta, back in 2001. “It was impressive to see this old engine still running,” she writes.

If you enjoyed this gallery of Canadian railroad pictures, don’t miss our roundup of 10 unique train rides across Canada.

Originally Published on ourcanada.ca

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