The Short Life of the Ottawa & New York Railway

February 14, 2024 Hansonthebike 2

Reading Time: 12 minutes At some time in our history, Ottawa had a direct train connection to the Adirondecks and Tupper Lake in New York State via Cornwall. From there, you could travel further south to New York City. The original idea was to create a direct connection to NY, NY, but that didn’t materialise. (with video of the route)

Retracing the First Train into Ottawa: the Bytown & Prescott Railway

September 10, 2023 Hansonthebike 4

Reading Time: 10 minutes Mr. Walter Shanly (1817-1899), a civil engineer, touched the ground to inspect the land underneath his snow shoes. He was on a mission: recently he, and a group of investors, had agreed on building the first railway track into Bytown (now Ottawa), all the way from Prescott on the St. Lawrence river, to connect the lumbertown on the Ottawa River with the ports in Prescott. A distance of about 50 miles (80 km). Not everyone was excited about their plans though and it had taken time to get the funds together. Thomas McKay, who built Rideau Hall, put forward money [Read more…]

Cycling the Ecopista de Évora in Portugal

June 8, 2023 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 8 minutes Throughout Portugal you can find an increasing number of dedicated cycling facilities, often called Ecopistas. Recently I wrote about an Ecopista starting in Vizeu in Portugal. This week, we’ll take you on an interesting ride on the Ecopista de Évora in the Portugese province of Alentejo, known for its cork trees, white washed villages, wine and vistas. Many years ago, I visited Évora (the emphasis is on the ‘E’, not on ‘VO‘), an old city in Portugal. It must have been around 1990-1991. I was there for an agricultural trade show and for a visit to a dealership of the [Read more…]

Ecopista do Dao paved red.

A bike ride on the Ecopista do Dão in Portugal

May 28, 2023 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 7 minutes The Ecopista do Dão wasn’t on the agenda for our trip in Portugal, but we found this gem of a rail to trail in the hinterland of Portugal. Closed for trains in 1988, it is now a paved trail through a lovely, peaceful part of rural Portugal.

The K&P Trail in Kingston, Ontario

June 26, 2018 Hansonthebike 4

Reading Time: 8 minutes Summary During a stay in Kingston, I explored the city’s waterfront and the K&P Trail. A lovely 30 km route that touches on many different aspects of Kingston. It needs a few improvements, such as crossing the VIA Rail tracks on Division Rd and access to the trail right after the overpass and the Sydenham Rd crossing. Wayfinding could be improved: despite some prep at home, I still managed to miss part of the trail. You can do it in two hours or take a whole day if you stop for museums, craft beer and lunch in the park. I [Read more…]

Back from Holland – The Train System

July 29, 2015 Hansonthebike 9

Reading Time: 8 minutes Those who follow me on Twitter (@HansontheBike) got a pretty good impression of what I have been doing the last three weeks. Karen and I were in the Netherlands.  I live in Canada and although on average I go back once a year, it is often for work, which means I can only add a day or two to my trip in the weekend. We also go to other places in Europe, but we make sure we make a stop over in the Netherlands for 4 to 5 days. However, in all those 17 years I never went back for a [Read more…]