(All images courtesy of Jeff Friesen, reproduced with permission)
If you plan to travel across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver, few modes of transport are as comfortable or visually compelling as the Canadian, a transcontinental passenger train now operated by Via Rail. Photographer Jeff Friesen enjoys this journey with a twist. Rather than the train carrying him, he carries the train – in a shopping bag from Mountain Equipment Co-Op.
Known as the “Ghost Train“, the model, built by Jason Shron of Rapido Trains, is just two inches tall and represents the vintage 1955 streamliner that was first named “The Canadian”.
As Friesen travels across Canada, he uses the model train and a length of scale railway track to recreate scenes of the epic journey through the country’s varied terrain. Fences become bridges, grass becomes forests, puddles become lakes and stones morph into great crevices and treacherous mountainsides.
In Friesen’s words: “It’s hard to make sense of living in a big country. Maybe that’s where the sea-to-sea travel urge comes from.”
It’s impossible to take the Canadian without giving at least fleeting consideration to the glory days of rail travel. And as Friesen says of his Ghost Train, “you won’t find a scheduled service for this scenic dome route, though you may see evidence of its passing”. Discover more of Jeff Friesen’s work on his website.
Keep reading – see what you make of the Urban Legend surrounding the Whitechapel Dead Body Train, and Explore the Paris Metro’s Eerie Ghost Stations.