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Transportation Pictorial

Rails Across Ontario

Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage

by (author) Ron Brown

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2013
Pictorial, History, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price

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Explore Ontario’s rich railway heritage — from stations and hotels to train rides, bridges, water towers, and roundhouses.

Rails Across Ontario will take the reader back to a time when the railway ruled the economy and the landscape.

Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. Follow old rail lines along Ontario’s most popular rail trails. Find out where steam engines still puff across farm fields and where historic train coaches lead deep into the wilds of Ontario’s scenic north country. Discover long forgotten but once vital railway structures, such as roundhouses, coal docks, and water towers. Learn about regular VIA Rail routes that follow some of the province’s oldest rail lines and pass some of its most historic stations, including one that has operated continuously since 1857.


About the author

Ron Brown is a freelance travel writer and photographer. He has published twenty books on the visual heritage of Ontario, including The Lake Erie Shore: Ontario's Forgotten South Coast; Behind Bars: Inside Ontario's Heritage Gaols; The Train Doesn't Stop Here Any More: An Illustrated History of Railway Stations in Canada; Ontario's Ghost Town Heritage; and Top 100 Unusual Things to See in Ontario. He is past chair of the Writers Union of Canada, and is active with the Travel Media Association of Canada, Access Copyright, where he sits on the board of directors, and the Book and Periodical Council. He lectures and directs bus tours based on his book topics. He lives in Toronto.

Ron Brown's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Ron Brown’s book takes a travel writer’s historical look at all the factors that have made Ontario’s rail network what it is today. There is a wealth of history here, as one can imagine… [Rails Across Ontario] is to be enjoyed for its look at all the different aspects connected to the development of the railways and their infrastructure.

Railway Modeller Magazine

As promised by its title, Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage is a most-interesting collection of bits published by Dundurn, Toronto.

St. Thomas Times-Journal

... Ron Brown's exploration of Ontario's railway heritage is a thorough, carefully researched account of the coming of the Railway Age to the mid-nineteenth century colony that would become Ontario in 1867... This is an entertaining and lively book for historians and rail enthusiasts of all types.

OHS Bulletin absolutely enjoyable read. It is an all-encompassing story of Ontario's rail history, past and present...There are so many interesting facts that even railway buffs will appreciate the level of detail and the amount of information they didn't know before.

Terrace Bay-Schreiber News

A great little book that would be well worth to keep in the car…


…Brown's new Rails Across Ontario continues his project of unearthing this hidden history. Like his previous titles, Rails is designed as a reference book – you may read it cover-to-cover when you first get it, but it's clearly meant to be easy to consult when thinking about, or better yet exploring particular communities.

Niagara Life Magazine

Rails Across Ontario is another in a series of entertaining and informative books prepared by the prolific Ron Brown, whose knowledge of people and places related to an earlier Ontario is unmatched.

Toronto Sun

A reader’s treasure of both historical and contemporary railway lore.


Other titles by Ron Brown