Ian Wilson's blog

Welcome to the blog of Ian Wilson, author of the award-winning Canadian Branchline series, the King's Highways & Steam Trains series, and the Angus Wolfe adventures series.

Launch event for Speed Graphics and Steam 1957!

May 06, 2018

We have exciting news for you!

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 we’re going to launch Speed Graphics and Steam 1957! at the Toronto Railway Museum!

Phil Spencer, a Branchliner and President & CEO of the Toronto Railway Museum, reached out several days ago to offer the museum as a venue for the book launch. We’ve since spoken several times and hatched plans for the event.

And with a book entitled Speed Graphics and Steam 1957! what could be more appropriate than a signature CNR Northern on display (there are several sisters featured in the book!)?

The nitty gritty


What—launch of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957!

When—Saturday, May 12, 2018 from noon until 3 p.m.

Where—Toronto Railway Museum (former CPR John Street roundhouse, beside the CN Tower)

Who—Ian Wilson and family, the museum staff and volunteers—and you!

If the weather is pleasant on May 12, I will be at a table on the platform of the former Don Station, shown here. It’s on the museum property among a cluster of buildings called the “railway village”. If the weather is inclement, I’ll be inside the roundhouse, in Stall 17.


We’ll bring along as many books as we can manage for purposes of distributing to pre-buyers. Also, we’ll have a number on hand for anyone who wishes to purchase a copy directly from us. I will sign your books and hand over some goodies with them. My wife Mary-Jo will tick your name off (or add your name to) our list as you pick up your book(s). Sons Spencer and Duncan will help everything run smoothly around the table.


If any friends wish you to pick up books on their behalf, that’s okay—give us their name(s) when you show up at the table. For anyone not picking up books this Saturday, distribution of the others will commence by mail on Monday, May 14.

This formal book launch is only the second one I’ve ever done—the first was 20 years ago in Barrie with Steam at Allandale. Speaking of that Northern Ontario District division point, the museum has this vinegar car on display that once haunted the Meaford Subdivision.


Since 1998, we’ve unveiled new books at train shows, but never at a high-profile place such as the Toronto Railway Museum. This event is our privilege, and we are grateful to the museum board and staff for their expression of goodwill.


We hope you come out to see the excellent exhibits at the museum (including restorations in progress like this Porter industrial compressed-air locomotive) while you pick up your signed, day-of-release copy of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957!


Thanks to the Toronto Railway Museum for supplying these images. Here are a couple more of the many exhibits to tempt you:


Canadian Pacific signal cabin “D” from Toronto.



CPR solarium-lounge Cape Race (later UCRS private car 13), which graced the tail end of steam/diesel excursions for a decade or so beginning in 1969 (predecessor UCRS private car Nova Scotia is also on hand).


It will be a great afternoon at the museum! For details on admission, location and other accoutrements, please visit their website at


As the week unfolds, I will offer more updates and information. And you still have time to pre-order a book from our website if you’d like to get in the mailing queue:


Or, simply stop by on Saturday!


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