Friday, July 24, 2009

Railfan Canada

Blackbird and train
A blackbird chirps while a train rushes past. Near Winnipeg, 2009.

As some of you are likely aware, there is a new railway magazine out, Railfan Canada. I am always looking for more Canadian-oriented rail publications, so I was very excited to hear about this. I subscribed right away and waited for the first issue.

Volume 1 Number 1 came a while ago and I read it instantly. I was... a little underwhelmed. I think the main reason I was underwhelmed was the focus on CP 2816. I am not a steam fan so it left me a little cold. I also think I had very high expectations and they were not quite met by this issue.

The magazine is printed on high-quality paper and the photos are of high quality as well. I like the layout, although I do have a quibble with how the photo captions are presented. They intrude into the photo itself, and they need to have their own background or a border to set them off from the photo better. The Western Manitoba article was a great example of what I would like to see in this magazine.

Volume 1 Number 2 arrived a few days ago, and I read it with a bit of trepidation, expecting the same kind of letdown. Perhaps my expectations had been ratcheted down, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Beyond minor quibbles like the caption issue and a puzzling article on Three Valley Gap (was that an advertisement? Very little about trains there), the issue was very good and very entertaining to read. Jason Shron had a nice article about VIA Rail post-1990, and the passenger train theme was well-produced throughout the issue.

The theme of Number 3 is shortlines, one of my favourite railway themes, so my expectations are high again. Let's see if they are met!

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