It kind of helps if one has a passion for this stuff. And it also helps to re-read a few key books at least once a year ("Van Horne's Road" by Omer Lavallée, History of Canadian National Railways by G.R. Stevens, "Canadian Northern" by T.D. Regher, "Railway King of Canada - the History of William Mackenzie" by R.J. Fleming, "The Ontario & Quebec Railway" by Dale Wilson, and a whole bunch of other books on the history of the local railway lines. Next time you're at the used bookstore or your local hobby shop, browse around and see what used railway books they have. You're bound to find Pierre Berton's "National Dream" and the "Last Spike" - two good books to get you started. Then pick up the reprint of "Van Horne's Road" the next time you're into your local hobby shop or at the model railroad show. (Which reminds me, if you're in the Ottawa area, don't forget "Railfair" - the premier model railroad show in Ottawa - Algonquin College, Woodroffe Ave, Saturday & Sunday, October 13 - 14.) These books make for some very interesting reading! Then, pick a local railway line that you'd like to investigate further. You may find a bit of the history in some of the books. Supplement this with some visits to your local library (look in the "vertical files" or museum (someone may have done an "unpublished" history of your railway line). Talk to people who have lived along the railway line (a superb source of unpublished photos!). Ultimately, a visit to the provincial/state archives and, for us in Canada, a visit to the National Library & Archives in Canada. Don't forget to bring along your laptop, your scanner, and your digital camera. Some very simple steps to get you started into researching the history of your favourite railway line. Bob M.