I had been wondering how long it had been since I had last visited the Halton County Radial Railway Museum, well it hasn’t yet been a decade since my last trip in 2011. So when I heard that a group of folks from the Toronto Film Shooters were heading to a TTC Streetcar barn open house, I had the urge to go and photograph streetcars as well. The trouble was that I had to be at church at 3 pm on Saturday to run sound for a wedding. A trip into the city would be out of the question, then I remembered that I had a closer source of that subject. The Railway Museum, so I confirmed the spot would be opened and drove the half-hour to get there.
Getting there just as the place opened was the smart move as it was already busy. There was even another photography group there but they were shooting digital and didn’t pay too much attention to the guy with the TLR around his neck. In an odd bit of synchronicity the last time I visited I had my Rolleiflex with me for my first 52-Roll project. The main purpose was to shoot a couple of rolls for future film reviews (Kodak Portra 800 and ProImage 100) but I wanted some personal work as well, so after I polished off the roll of Portra, I loaded the Rollei with some Lomography Potsdam 100.
You can’t go to the museum without taking a ride on the two-kilometre stretch of track that once served as part of a Radial Rail network, and while when they got the property the rails were long gone they installed a set of rails to TTC standard. And this time around I got the honour of riding alongside the driver of No. 327. This old TTC streetcar isn’t original to 1892, but rather it is the 1933 replica built from original parts from No. 327 as part of Toronto’s 100th Anniversary celebrations. I rode back in a Peter DeWitt, No. 2894.
The museum is well worth the trip to visit, and certainly is one I hope to return to again this year with my wife for their Christmas on the rails events which will give some great subjects for the review of Cinestill 800T film. If you’re interested, certainly check out their website, hcry.org. And if you’re in the area make a point to give them a visit.