Canadian Corner: Canadian National Railway Steam Locomotives

canadian-flag-smallFeatured subjects on April’s Canadian Corner post are Canadian National Railway steam locomotives in various Nova Scotia and Ontario locations:

Photos courtesy of Mr. Don McQueen & Mr. Ron Wright.


Rock on Trains © 2020, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Canadian Corner: Canadian National Railway Steam Locomotives

canadian-flag-smallFeatured subjects this March are Canadian National Railway steam locomotives in various Ontario locations:

All photos courtesy of RailPictures.Net.


Rock on Trains © 2020, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Rock on Trains History: My Train Recollections

Today, I offer you a brief narrative of my own infatuation with trains. I hope you enjoy this blast from my past!

Tom and the Detroit Zoo train

A very young Tom Rock and the Detroit Zoo train

My interest in trains began at a very early age, probably when I was 5 or 6 years old. My father would often take me to Sarnia, Ontario, to visit my great-grandfather, an engineer for Canadian National Railways. His job involved moving electric freight trains from Sarnia to Port Huron, Michigan. Canadian National rules would not allow me to stay on board the train during these movements, but grandfather made sure I boarded once the engine was parked near the roundhouse. At this time, Canadian National was still running steam, so it was quite an experience for a 6-yr. old to grasp the size of one of those coal-fired giants.

When I was 10 years old, my father accepted a job in California. On the way out west, we stayed in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My father noted my fascination with trains, so he took me to the Union Pacific station in Cheyenne for a closer look. There I saw a diesel locomotive up close for the very first time. When the engineer offered a tour of the cab, I backed away and refused to board. After a little encouragement from my father, I finally climbed the ladder and got into the cab. The engineer tried to show me the entire working components of the engine, but I wanted no part of it. I grew up around steam engines, but the sounds that this new type of locomotive produced frightened me. With that, I gracefully exited the engine.

Back in the 50’s, Chrysler produced locomotives to be used at the Detroit Zoo. These scaled-down versions of steam engines would carry patrons around the entire zoo complex. One day while I visited the zoo, my father took a photo of me studying one of the engines before it departed. I had convinced myself at this age that a railroad life was for me, but like all dreams, some come true and some do not.

Upon my high school graduation, I took a drafting job. This lasted 43 years until my retirement came in 2006. During those 43 years, I worked with many notable NASA illustrators that taught me the art of painting with acrylics.

I had to trade my railroading dream for painting, which flourished into railroad nostalgic scenes. Evidence of this dream can be seen on this blog or at my website, Rock on Trains.


Rock on Trains © 2020, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Canadian Corner: Toronto Steam

Featured subjects this month are Canadian Pacific and Canadian National steam locomotives. These photos were taken in the early 1950’s at the John Street Roundhouse (CPR) and the Spadina Roundhouse (CNR) in Toronto, Ontario.

CPR No. 2806 at the John St Roundhouse (Credit: Walter Taylor)

CNR No. 5565 at the Spadina St Roundhouse (Credit: Walter Taylor)

CNR Nos. 6066 & 6069 at the Spadina St Roundhouse (Credit: Walter Taylor)

CNR Roundhouse and yards at Spadina St (Credit: Walter Taylor)


Rock on Trains © 2020, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Merriton, Newmarket, Penetang, Port Hope, Prescott, Stouffville, Uxbridge, & Washego, Ontario, Canada

cnr-logoFeatured Canadian National Railway depots this month are at various Ontario locations:

All photos courtesy of www.rr-fallenflags.org/.


Rock on Trains © 2020, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.