Crossing the Continent

Celebrating CN’s 100th anniversary.

Posted December 11, 2019

A touring exhibition visited eleven Canadian and three American cities in 2019, and plans to continue into 2020, to mark the centennial of the founding of Canadian National Railway in 1919.

CN100: A Moving Exhibition includes live entertainment and interactive exhibits that tell about the history of rail transportation as well as the company’s other activities and involvements, all in a carnival-like atmosphere. 

Set up in several colourful shipping containers, exhibits allow visitors to experience the magnificent scenery along the company’s routes, to hear stories of CN workers, and even design a holographic version of a futuristic vehicle.

In its decades as a Crown corporation, CN’s activities included founding both a radio network that became the CBC and the airline now known as Air Canada. 

Regina was the last stop for this traveling exhibition in 2019 but CN is planning another tour in 2020. Click here to learn more about their celebrations.

To honour the Canadian National Railway on their 100th anniversary, we compiled a series of pictures (see above) from all across Canada to showcase CN’s central role in creating Canada.


Steve Patterson has been a lifelong railroad photographer and in 2018, he was awarded with the highest recognition certificate from America’s oldest railway historical group, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, for railroad photography. He is a retired railroader, having worked 42 years for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. Steve and his wife reside in Arvada, Colorado. 

Since its founding in 1997, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art has been passionately committed to telling railroading’s stories through imagery: interpreting the past creatively, connecting it to the present while looking to the future. The Center achieves its mission through exhibitions, conferences, and publications as well as making widely available imagery that portrays the nearly 200-year history of railroads. They are based in Madison, Wisconsin. 

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