Barbara Lange has been a member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild for almost 20 years. Without their help she doubts she would be a published writer.
Barbara had no idea as she grew up in a railway family in England that she would one day immigrate to Canada. As a child she wrote poems and short stories but just for fun. Travelling by train was an almost daily occurrence.
Many years later, when Winnipeg became her new home, she didn’t set foot on a train for years. Whenever she pined for railway nostalgia she would visit the Winnipeg Railway Museum, or take a ride on The Prairie Dog Central Railway, and breathe in the familiar railway smell. Sounds of trains as they rumbled through Winnipeg were a constant backdrop to her new life but that didn’t make her feel part of the railway world. That situation soon changed after her marriage to Larry Lange, a CNR (Canadian National Railway) carman from the Transcona Repair and Maintenance Shops.
Barbara heard many stories as she travelled on Canadian trains. Those stories motivated her to interview people in an attempt to preserve a slice of Canadian history. After collaborating with 30 other authors she took a giant leap of faith as she went from emerging writer to editor, a huge learning curve for her. The result was Through the Window of a Train: A Canadian Railway Anthology published in June 2010. Then another chapter in Barbara’s life opened up as she promoted the book through launches, signings, readings, and media interviews.
Barbara continues to collect railway-themed memories and hopes to publish a second book. In her spare time she and husband Larry listen to railway folk songs, counting the days until they can step on their next Canadian train.