What's New In Publications
Canadian Trackside Guide
The 2021 edition of the Canadian Trackside Guide® is the Bytown Railway Society’s 38th edition – contains 760 updated and expanded 5½” x 8½” pages current to February 1, 2021.
Edited by Earl Roberts & David Stremes
Cover Photo: David McCormack
The only comprehensive guide to Canadian Railways
- Locomotives of CN, CPR, VIA, plus Regionals and Industrials
- Preserved equipment
- Passenger cars
- Urban rail transit
- Non-revenue equipment
- Radio frequencies
- Passenger train schedules
- Freight train numbers
- Railway reporting marks
- Detailed divisional maps and subdivision listings for all Canadian railways and their U.S. components, including station names, mileposts, detectors. siding lengths, locations of crossovers, wyes and more
- Maps of major cities detailing rail lines
To order, please click here.
ON THE WRIGHT TRACK - by Bonnie Sitter
By William E. “Bill” McLeod
“On the Wright Track: Memories from C.P.R. School Car # 2” is a delightful, well written and eminently readable account of the lives of William and Helen Wright and their four children . From its inception in September of 1928 to its retirement in June of 1967, Mr. Wright taught in the railway school car that ran between the C.P.R. Divisional Points of Chapleau and White River in Northern Ontario.
"The school cars (there were seven of them that ran on the C.N.R., C.P.R. and the T. & N.O.) were railway cars converted into a school room and living quarters for the teacher and his family. The cars were conceived in the mid 1920s by J. B. MacDougall of the Ontario Ministry of Education. Their purpose was to deliver education to the children of railway workers, mostly track maintenance men, who lived and worked at isolated locations along the railways of Northern Ontario. The children of trappers, prospectors and lumber jacks were also welcome.
"C.P.R. School Car # 2 ran from Chapleau to White River serving the remote whistle-stops of Esher, Nicholson, Bolkow, Carry, Grassett and Amyot. The car would be pulled by a freight train from one stop to the next where it would be shunted off the main line for a week during which time the children would be given a week of intensive teaching. They would then be given homework assignments to be completed before the train stopped again on its return trip. One cycle from Chapleau to White River would last about a month.
"Teaching on the school cars required a very special person and his wife. It was a very remote existence and, if the couple had children, those kids would have to be raised without the benefit of interaction with peers their own age. They made their own fun doing puzzles, playing board games, snaring rabbits, fishing and scavenging pop bottles that had been thrown from passing trains. In season they picked blueberries which they sold to their grandfather in Campbellford. They did very well on the Grade Eight high school entrance exams that were required in those days. Most went on to post secondary education.
"To tell this story, the author chose to invite the four Wright children to write a chapter describing their lives before they went off to high school. Shirley was born in 1935, Harvey in 1936, Nancy in 1938 and Chris in 1943. They had nothing but good things to say about their experience. Two former pupils were also asked to make a contribution and they too were very positive.
How to order a copy: ($25 plus $6 shipping in Canada)
Call Bonnie Sitter at 519.235.1909 - or e-mail her at
bonnie dot sitter at gmail dot com