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Ray Nielson, R.I.P.

I received the following message on the Transit Toronto mailing list from Bill Robb and Toronto Transportation Society president, Kevin Nicol:

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Ray Nielson. Ray passed away peacefully in his sleep at approximately 8:30 AM at Toronto Grace Hospital on Sunday morning (yesterday) after a brief illness.

As per Ray’s wishes, there will be no visitation or service at a funeral home. Instead there will be a short ceremony at the Interment at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery next Saturday. Please watch the Wednesday and Saturday Toronto Star for more details.

Also, as per Ray’s wishes, a wake will be held to celebrate his life in the next couple of months aboard a TTC vehicle. It will most likely be a New Flyer D40-89 from the Queensway division. This event will be partially sponsored by the Toronto Transportation Society (TTS) as Ray’s contributions to the club (he was President from January 1995 to March 2001) were invaluable. Details will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

As you all know, Ray contributed significantly to the transportation enthusiast hobby, mostly through the production of transit videos and DVD’s. Ray’s business will continue in the near future, with the summer student that he hired to continue his projects filling orders in the interim. The long term future of the business is not known at this time.

Kevin Nicol
Toronto Transportation Society

Ray was, as Kevin said, a major figure in Toronto-area transit railfanning, respsonsible for organizing numerous charters, running the TTS, and putting together numerous videos and DVDs chronicling the history of public transit in Toronto and elsewhere. His contributions to the hobby won’t be forgotten for a very long time.