15 July 2009

Train Souvenirs Gallery

In the golden age of rail travel, trains shuttled across continents providing passengers with good food, stunning views, and comfortable, if bumpy, overnight accommodation. The rise of the commercial aviation industry spelled the demise of mass passenger rail traffic, especially in North America where people soon realised that vast transcontinental distances could be covered in hours via aircraft instead of days via rail.  However, some passenger rail services have survived as tourist attractions and scenic routes, as well as commuter services over shorter distances.  And, in places like Europe, where short distances between population centres and the use of high-speed trains makes rail travel both quick and enjoyable, rail service remains a staple mode of transportation.  Please enjoy these train souvenirs obtained by your MoMI editor and MoMI contributors over the years.

Below: VIA Rail, the Crown corporation providing passenger rail service in Canada, operates all across the country, but its staple service is on the busy Windsor, Ontario-Quebec City, Quebec corridor which mostly caters to commuter and business travellers looking for a cheaper alternative to costly short-hop airline flights.  The items below were acquired in 2008-9 on VIA Rail trips between Ottawa and Toronto.

A VIA Rail beverage napkin.

A VIA Rail paper bag which doubles as a trash bag or motion sickness bag.

One side of an informative double-sided route map provided by VIA Rail Canada to passengers aboard 'The Canadian', VIA's signature trans-continental service from Toronto to Vancouver. (Courtesy of MoMI donor PC, July 2014)

The reverse side of the VIA Rail Canada route map for The Canadian transcontinental train.

European Train Souvenirs Section

A National Rail (UK) ticket from London to Portsmouth, 22 August 2009.

The reverse side of the National Rail (UK) ticket from London to Portsmouth, 22 August 2009.

A National Rail (UK) ticket from Portsmouth to Sherborne, 24 August 2009.

The front of a Swedish Rail ticket envelope, September 2012. (courtesy of MoMI donor PC)

The reverse of a Swedish Rail ticket envelope, September 2012. (courtest of MoMI donor PC) 

A 2nd class Swedish Rail ticket from Koebenhavn (Copenhagen), Denmark to Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, 4 September 2012. (courtesy of MoMI donor PC)

A return ticket from London Charing Cross Station to Chatham Station, 21 September 2015.

A Standard Class ticket aboard Belgian Rail for transport within Brussels Zone (Evere Station to Schuman Station), 18 October 2016.

A €15.00 second class day ticket on Dutch trains, valid for one person on one day, Monday through Friday during off-peak hours and all day on Saturday and Sunday.  The card is valid from 30 October 2017 to 14 January 2018 and refers to an Albert Heijn promotion, presumably referring to the Netherlands' largest supermarket chain.  (Courtesy of MoMI donor RV)  

The front side of a May 2013 map of the London Underground network.
The reverse side of a May 2013 map of the London Underground network.
The front side of a January 2018 map of the London Underground network.
The reverse side of the January 2018 map of the London Underground network.

National Rail (UK) tickets for travel from St Albans City to London Thameslink on 19 and 21 March 2018, as well as a Standard class Day Travelcard valid for 23 March between St Albans City and London Zones 1-6. (Courtesy of MoMI donor PC)

Front and reverse sides of a debit/credit card sales voucher for the purchase of two National Rail (UK) tickets at Luton Airport, 7 December 2018. (Courtesy of MoMI donor PC)

Postcards Gallery II: Ottawa of Yesteryear

Postcards used to be a principal way of communicating with loved ones back home while on vacation. With the advent of affordable long-distance calls and then the Internet, postcards have become standard souvenirs, often purchased for the enjoyment of the vacationer more than for the purpose of communicating. In this sense they have lost their practical purpose and become little more than a nice photo for posting on the refridgerator at home. Old postcards, however, are often sought after as relics of a bygone age which depict people, a geographical feature, attraction, or event as it used to be. The six postcards below, originally purchased in 1939-1940, feature beautiful watercolour depictions of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The MoMI acquired these postcards in 2003.

The Canadian National War Memorial at the intersection of Elgin and Wellington, unveiled in May 1939.

People enjoying a summer outing on the Rideau River in Ottawa. The caption reads: "Thais I (The Naughty Girl of the Rideau)"

The Canadian Houses of Parliament.

Pretty Garden Scene Along The Dominion Driveway, Ottawa Canada.

A depiction of Rideau Hall, the residence of Canada's Governor-General.

A view of the Chateau Laurier Hotel, looking east along Rideau Street.

An example of the reverse side of the postcards. All cards feature the same writing and layout on their reverse sides.