Wednesday, April 14, 2010


BCR: British Columbia's own railway

This is a new book:


by Dale Sanders
White River Productions, Kansas City

Blurb: Northern Light is an all-color portrait of one of North America’s most fascinating railways — BC Rail.

With 303 full color photographs and 12 lavishly illustrated maps, this volume presents a retrospective of the entire BC Rail system during its 20-year life span between June 1984 and July 2004. [Surely they jest ... the railway was incorporated in 1908, and publicly-owned since 1912; the name-change from Pacific Great Eastern (PGE) to BCRail took place in 1984. - BC Mary.]

In ... Northern Light may be found all the elements that made BC Rail so interesting. From its locomotives (including steam, diesel, and electric) to its unique Budd RDC passenger operations, BC Rail was a railway like no other.

Besides just machinery, BC Rail’s right-of-way passed through some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in North America. Perhaps the railway’s most valuable feature were the railroaders who performed their assigned duties with professionalism and a passion for railroading.

The photographs of the machines, landscapes, and people included in Northern Light tell the whole story of British Columbia’s own railway. From the familiar to rare images of remote trackage never before photographed, it’s all here in one amazing volume.

Northern Light: British Columbia's Own Railway is also available from

MacMillan Publications at US$69.95. Details HERE. As well as other online bookstores ...

if anyone locates a Canadian bookseller, please let me know and I'll include it here too.

Meantime, we are indebted to Dale Sanders for bringing his railroad-passions to British Columbia and producing this wonderful-sounding book (I haven't seen it yet).

Just in passing, I do have two DVD treasures which I heartily recommend -- especially #2, which is also a White River Production offering.

 BC RAIL Before the Sale.

BC Rail was British Columbia's Crown jewel railroad. Watch the last months of BC Rail's operation from North Vancouver all the way to Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson ... the scenery is magnificent ...

DVD running time: 90 minutes
Price: $24.95.


TWILIGHT ON THE RAILS. The end of an Era in North America.

A White River Production. 

Quote: This powerful documentary film ... covers events surrounding the end of passenger train services on BC Rail in remote British Columbia ... enshrouded in political controversy, the train's pending demise on the last day of October 2002 set off a furor in British Columbia.

When several BC Rail passenger employees choose retirement during the last week of service, the cameras witness first-hand the final run of the engineer and conductor ...

the final run for the train itself is beset with delays as demonstrators blockade the train at Williams Lake ... Seton Lake ... trying to make their voices heard by a government that seems to have turned a deaf ear ...

Through BC Rail employees, witnesses, and townspeople along the line, Twilight on the Rails is a fascinating look at the tragedy associated with ... the fight for their train and the loss of their town's connection to the outside world.

This is a story you won't ever forget.

82 minutes running time
Price $24.95

White River Productions
PO Box 9580, Kansas City, MO 64133
Toll-free: 877-787-2467 • Non-US: 816-285-6560


The only thing I could think of when I read this ironic that it is an American company that took the time to compile this story/video on OUR railway!

No matter, I'm glad that someone has taken the time to see, and write about what so many of us took for granted, then lost due to deceit at every level of government in this province. That includes lying mayors, councillors, MLA's and the premier himself.

I agree with you ... I had a similar thought,

then asked myself why.

Have we allowed ourselves to be so bushwhacked that we've lost the confidence and drive to do something so celebratory about our own history?

Or is it because people even in BC seem to pay attention to U.S. news, not so much our own?

Whatever. These are beautiful commentaries respectfully recording something great which once was ours ...

and from there, who knows what the future may bring, eh?
I'm not sure what it is Mary...we seem to over-value so many things American, and under-value most things Canadian.
Not on this site, Leah.

But credit is due to the authors of those three works for telling the BC Rail story as they do.
Agreed Mary...perhaps I am being a bit too general.

I'm glad someone other than the few that seem to be aware of the truth in BC, is taking note of the twilight. They're right about it being a story we'll never forget too...not sure I'll ever forgive it either.
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