At first glance they look like scenes from one of the most dramatic train journeys ever made. But no passengers were on board to enjoy the stunning scenery as the locomotive involved was just a two-inch high model.


Photographer Jeff Friesen placed the replica 1955 Canadian Pacific Railways ‘Streamliner’ at different locations across Canada to showcase the country’s incredible natural beauty. From a dramatic stone outcrop skirting the sea in Five Islands, Nova Scotia, to a field of corn in Manitoba, the incredible images show the huge contrasts in landscapes across Canada. To the untrained eye the train looks to be moving through the countryside, often on some of the most inhospitable terrain.



Giveaways of the train’s true size include a tree root pictured arching over the track in Rock Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, in Ontario and the wooden rail of a bird viewing platform in Chaplin, Saskatchewan.

Mr Friesen said his work, entitled The Canadian: Ghost Train Crossing Canada, evolved from his wish to showcase his native country.

‘I started The Canadian project to show Canada from an unexpected vantage point,’ he said.

‘The journey has a surprise twist: I carry the train rather than it carrying me. At just two inches tall, it fits into a shopping bag.

‘While it is tempting to document such a huge country from a helicopter or plane (in fact, it has been done several times) I wanted to get closer to the heart of the land. Two inches off the ground seemed about right.’



Mr Friesen said the model train provides ‘a vehicle for the journey’s visual narrative, linking far places with a ribbon of tiny steel rails.’

The model is an exact scaled-down replica of the 1955 Streamliner that was first named ‘The Canadian,’ which travelled the route between Montreal and Vancouver.

‘There is some peril in introducing a model train to the full scale world,’ said Mr Friesen.




The train fell into a fast moving stream in Nova Scotia while in Algonquin Park, Ontario, it tumbled from a log into a marsh of ‘thick mud and dark water.’

‘I had to feel for the train in the bog’s murky depths,’ said Mr Friesen.

The photos will be particularly interesting for model train enthusiasts – most of whom could only dream of running their miniature collections through such dramatic scenery.





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