Photo Album

 rail operations past

Canadian Pacific operation with Lord Strathcona (Donald Euan Palmer Howard, fourth Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, great grandson of Donald Smith who drove the Last Spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway November 7, 1885 at Craigellachie BC)

Pictures taken Monday, April 7, 1975 – Lord Strathcona drove a First Spike at the end of steel at 103 Street and Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton, following a special train ride organized by the Colonist Car (later Railcar) Society in the Edmonton area.

The train included equipment from Canadian Pacific, Canadian National and Northern Alberta Railways, the three companies serving the city at the time.

The spike driving was jointly executed with the Rt. Hon. Ralph G. Steinhauer, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and a member and former Chief of the Saddle Lake Band of the Cree First Nation.

CCOR #33 CCOR #34

David Watts, who organized the event, is shown presiding on the rear platform of The Colonist Car Society’s Business Car Cowley in which he lived/worked for two years as the base of operations for the end-of-steel project in Strathcona (South Edmonton). Cowley, the former superintendent’s car on the Great Slave Lake Railway based at Roma AB, was bought by the Society from CN in 1974.

This was the first of three events involving the Society, its Patron Lord Strathcona, and Canadian Pacific. The third took Society Car Commonwealth to Calgary for the 1985 centenary of CP’s Last Spike celebration.

Rail and Sail with Songwriter Workshop:      September 1-11, 1984

CCOR #23 CCOR #29

This trip that began on Labour Day weekend followed by a federal election,was planned to include three trains: VIA’s Panorama from Edmonton AB to Prince George BC, a British Columbia Rail freight train to Squamish and BCR’s Royal Hudson excursion train into North Vancouver followed by 5 days sailing the lower Gulf Islands. (We didn’t pilot the Royal  Hudson – a posed shot).

CCOR #31 CCOR #24 

Canadian Explorer II: June/July 1987 – This was the third trip Watts took on CN’s Great Slave Lake Railway. The first was a scouting of the line in a CN caboose, the second a journalistic trip aboard a Superintendent’s car, and the third aboard Society car Commonwealth in convoy with five other privately owned cars.


This trip, organized by Chicago’s High Iron Travel, evoked interest by business and government in tourist potential in the Northwest Territories. It also included the CN operated Alberta Resources Railway from Grande Prairie to Hinton via Grande Cache, and British Columbia Railway from Dawson Creek to North Vancouver.

Canadian Connection operations 1991-92 – Two casts of readers presented a “Canadian Connection” dramatic script in Bruderheim, Wainwright, Morinville, Lamont, Elk Island and Strathcona’s Fringe Festival in the wake of the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord.

The logo, designed by Kirk Harrold, combines blue bars of the 1964 Lester Pearson flag design with the “holding Canada in our hearts” theme that was timely with the future of the country in doubt. Below the Canadian Connection flag are six bars, one for each province and territory at the time (before the creation of Nunavut).