About The Author

Tom Schwarzkopf

Colin Hatcher spent the early years of his life in Montreal. Streetcars and commuter trains were the principal means of local transportation. His family moved to Sudbury, Ontario while the streetcars were still operating and there were lots of trains nearby. Colin returned to Montreal to attend Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) where, as well as attaining his Bachelor of Arts degree, he became interested in the activities of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association. When he moved to Regina to take up a position with the Regina YMCA, his CRHA friends encouraged and supported him in a quest to research the Regina streetcar system, resulting in the book Saskatchewan’s Pioneer Streetcars — the Story of the Regina Municipal Railway (Railfare: 1971). Calgary Transit expressed an interest in a similar publication as their contribution to the City of Calgary’s 75th Anniversary celebration, resulting in the 1975 release of Stampede City Streetcars — the Story of the Calgary Municipal Railway (Railfare). Following a move further north, Colin tackled the Edmonton streetcar story, meeting up with Tom Schwarzkopf who had an interest in trolley coaches. Railfare published their joint work Edmonton’s Electric Transit in 1983. Colin continues to be actively involved in railway preservation and operation efforts, first with Alberta Pioneer Railway Association, now with Edmonton Radial Railway Society, as a volunteer archivist and one of fifty volunteer motormen operating streetcars on both the High Level Bridge and Fort Edmonton Park Divisions. Colin helped Geoff Lester, a retired cartographer at the University of Alberta, prepare an on-line Atlas of Alberta Railways. He has written two volumes on the Northern Alberta Railways (BRMNA, Calgary), a booklet on the first 25 years of the LRT system in Edmonton for Edmonton Transit, and the story of the first 100 years of the YMCA in Edmonton. He writes regularly for the Trip Sheet, a historical journal of the Edmonton Radial Railway Society and occasionally for Canadian Rail of the Canadian Railroad Historical Society. Tom Schwarzkopf’s first introduction to urban transit was at age five with a move to Toronto, where — when riding on the Peter Witt streetcars — he competed with the conductor in calling out the names of car-stops. Whether getting up at 6 am to see the Barnum & Bailey Circus train unload, or riding the new PCC streetcars, railways and transit has always seemed to be an integral part of Tom’s life. In his high school years in Cornwall, Ontario Tom enjoyed riding the new electric trolleybuses, and thus started a life-long interest in this urban ‘trackless trolley’ transportation mode. A move to Edmonton in 1973 renewed his contact with trolley coaches, and a mutual interest in electric transit led to a friendship with Colin Hatcher. The end result was their co-authorship of Edmonton’s Electric Transit, with Tom adding to Colin’s work on the streetcars and light rail vehicles with an extensive history of that city’s longest continuous trolleybus system in Canada. That book was the winner of the Alberta Culture Regional History Award in 1983. With this Calgary’s Electric Transit book, Tom’s collaboration with Colin has continued — even with Tom’s relocation to Ottawa, where he now is preparing a history of all of Canada’s trolley coach systems for future publication by Railfare*DC Books. In addition to Tom’s historical writings, he is the author of the popular children’s series ‘The Angela and Emmie Adventures’ — now into the fourth book. The second of those adventures, Danger at Mason’s Island, was short listed for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice and the Silver Birch Awards in 2008. In between writing, Tom is also an English professor at Ottawa’s Algonquin College, and is a proud new grandfather.

Books by Tom Schwarzkopf