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Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
FrankS009
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Re: Down by the station...
In reply to yyr, 9 months ago

Thanks for your comments, Yaelle,.

The railway is an important part t of Canadian history. Until it was built in the 1880s, the only way to cross the entire territory was by canoe - forty footers to the western shore of Lake Superior, and 24 foot canoes from there west. In the negotiations to unite the colonies that were to make up the country, a transcontinental railway was the draw, partly because a united colony had better credit opportunities than the individual ones.

It was as the Canadian Pacific Railway was built that mineral deposits were discovered, including enormous nickel deposits in an huge crater Where the city of Sudbury Ontario grew. So the railway also led to the economic development of northern Ontario communities, as well as the grain economy of the western Canadian provinces.

In the past forty years, the transcontinental railway companies, including the original one, abandoned passenger traffic in favour of freight. A Canadian government passenger agency, Via Rail, was created but suffers from the lobbying of bus companies who use public highways and therefore need not be subsidized. Most of the large, well-built downtown CPR stations across the country remain, all with similar architecture, but they are mostly lonely places, or have been converted to other purposes.

When I see the railway that still passes through the centre of Sudbury Ontario, I am reminded of its importance for the political economy of the country, and the origins of the city where I currently reside. Perhaps that is one reason why I enjoy photographing both contemporary trains and the old station.

F.

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When no-one else is there, the camera becomes my means...to say to a wider audience, "Did you see that?" David duChemin

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