Reflections on CNRHA's 25 years

Just over 25 years ago, in September 1989, Mike Christian founded the CN Lines Special Interest Group (CNSIG) and edited the first issue of CN LINES magazine. As we look back over the first 25 years of our organization, which became the Canadian National Railways Historical Association (CNRHA) in May 2010, there have been significant volunteer contributions from far too many people to name. Some have been part of the group since the very beginning, while others have made, or are still making, important contributions. Sadly, more than a few have passed on, but their legacy is evident in CNRHA's print and on-line presence. Since its inception, CN LINES – the primary benefit of CNRHA membership – has grown into one of the most respected publications of its kind in North America, shedding light on interesting and important aspects of Canadian National Railways history.

Stafford Swain, chair of our organization for just over half of its existence so far, probably did more than anyone else in putting Canadian National modelling on the map, through his many articles in the hobby press and by encouraging manufacturers to produce accurate CNR models. He was also instrumental in developing the CNSIG's own specialized modelling products, and was a behind-the-scenes driving force in our book projects, "Across the Canadian Shield" and "Canadian National Railways Diesel Locomotives, Volumes One and Two".

Stafford established a strong core of CNSIG volunteers in Winnipeg in the late 1990s, and today's CNRHA is served by key volunteers across Canada, as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom.