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Other Useful Railfan Information

Other Useful Railfan Information

Other Useful Railfan Information

Looking for us?

Online mailing lists for Toronto area railfans:
There are a number of mailing lists where local railfans exchange information, answer questions, and generally hang out. These include:

C-P-R - Discussion of CP Rail
C-N-R - Discussion of CN Rail
CNET - Mailing list of the CN SIG of the NMRA
ontfan - A paging list for nifty trains in the southern Ontario area
CanPassRail - Discussion of Canadian Passenger Railways
Bruce Rys - Discussion of railway lines in the Bruce Peninsula
Sign up with Yahoogroups (it's free), register with these lists, and you'll get plenty of interesting email!

Two dormant mailing lists are available at the listserver at the University of Nebraska. These are:

CNET - Mailing list of the CN SIG of the NMRA
To access these lists, send an email message to listserv@crc.vms.unl with the body reading
"subscribe cnet " and your name

Up close and face to face:
The C-N-R/C-P-R list members hold an annual meet at Bayview Junction every summer where fans can gather and put faces with the names. Watch for details on these mailing lists.

When do the trains run around here?

A good question!

Here's some information about

Safety and Security - Can I take pictures here?

The two most frequent questions the author gets from people thinking about visiting Toronto are, "Is Toronto a safe place to railfan?" and "Will I get hassled by the police if I am taking pictures of trains?"

First, about crime - Toronto is a very safe city, but no big city is perfectly safe.

Now, about Homeland Security - Railfanning is not grounds for paranoia in Toronto.

Railfan Amateur Radio in Toronto

There are plenty of railfan hams (or is it ham railfans?) in the Toronto area.
Some repeaters to try if you're a visiting ham are:

Don't forget the favourite railfan simplex channel - 146.490


Upper Canada Railway Society

The UCRS is a long-standing railway club with chapters in Toronto and Hamilton. Until recently, the UCRS published the monthly publication Rail and Transit. The publication is dormant at the moment. The UCRS still holds meetings in the Toronto and Hamilton areas.

The UCRS' address is:
P.O. Box 122, Station 'A',
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M5W 1A2
(This is not an official ad, just useful information)

Despite the pause in its newsletter, the UCRS still maintains its UCRS Home Page

The ultimate information source....

....The Canadian Trackside Guide.

Again, this is not an official ad...but it's my humble opinion that the Trackside Guide is the best, most valuable, source of information on railways in Canada. It's published annually by the Bytown Railway Society. It has locomtive and equipment rosters for mainline and industrial rail operations, guides to preserved equipment, passenger schedules, mileage and siding data for all Canadian rail lines, etc, etc, etc!

If you can't find a copy in local hobby stores, the Bytown Railway Society's snailmail address is:
P.O. Box 141, Station 'A'
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1N 8V1

The BRS also publishes the monthly newsletter Branchline

Click here to contact Bytown by email or access the Bytown Web Site

Hotels, Motels, and Campgrounds for Railfans

I haven't done much research yet, but here are a couple of suggestions:

Be sure to write me with your own favourites!

A nice quiet place to curl up with a book....

If you are looking for places with railway reading:

The Metro Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street north of Bloor, has a good collection of periodicals including the CRHA's newsletter.

The Metro Urban Affairs Library, in the new City Hall building at 55 John Street, just two blocks north of the John Street Interlocking Tower, has a great collection of old UCRS Newsletters, Railway Age magazines, urban planning and historical/heritage documents about Toronto's railways. You'll also find lots of material on urban transportation, including the TTC and GO Transit.

Metro Toronto Library Information

Toronto's Transit Heritage

Toronto has a rich history of streetcars and electric interurbans - and an excellent modern-day public transit system. Check out William E. Miller's TTC page for all sorts of good stuff about the Toronto Transportation Commission.

Scanner Radios and Antennas (My other obsession)

Railway Radio frequencies in use around Toronto are:


Road - Channel 1


All trains monitor this channel

RTC - Channel 2


Kingston Sub RTC

RTC - Channel 3


Uxbridge/Newmarket RTC
Toronto Union Station Towers

RTC - Channel 4


Bala, Weston, York, Halton RTC

RTC - Channel 8


Oakville, Halton RTC






Road Channel 1


Galt Canpa Havelock

Road Channel 4


Mactier North Toronto Belleville

Road Channel 5



Road Channel 7










GO Transit



Willowbrook Shops


VIA Rail

TMC Operations


Yard and train servicing operations

On Board Service


Loco to train communication

A local fan and ham enthusiast, Bryan Passifiume', maintains an excellent web site about Toronto Area Rail Scanning with all sorts of good scoop!

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Webmaster: Paul Cordingley
Toronto Ontario Canada
Our e-mail address: pcordingley(insert "at")

Copyright © 1996, Paul Cordingley
Revised - February 17, 2005