If you have travelled across the Canadian prairie by one of the main highways, you will have noticed the extra-long freight trains the flat land allows for. If you live in a Saskatchewan town (or city) then more than likely you have had your “Railway Ave” and remnants of an old grain elevator along it. The railway is the backbone of the prairies, carrying an enormous amount of materials in all seasons.
Always exercise caution if going anywhere near a track
In the winter months, the white landscape contrasts the bright red engines and the black steel tracks. Most crossings are at rural roads and when the train thunders through it cuts the silence for what seems like an eternity, only to return to the stillness and peace of the snow covered farmlands when the train finally disappears into the distance.
Trains are as much a part of the prairies as the grain elevators and farmlands they serve. They are essential to the local and Canadian economy, and very much a part of Saskatchewan history.
Photographing trains or tracks is a great subject for a photographer, but can also be dangerous. Always exercise caution if going anywhere near a track or a crossing.
Rails are the ultimate in leading lines, pullying the viewers eye to the end of the tracks. This is where you as the photographer could feature a sunrise, a storm or simply just how long and straight the land is on the prairie.
The Southern Prairie Railway is a full-sized tourist train based in Ogema
These photos are a couple my favorites from various locations in the province. See more of my work in my gallery.
This article and all images are © Ian McGregor.