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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.

Free DVD of Canadian Pacific steam with purchase of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1

April 14, 2019

If you have purchased one or more copies of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1...

This post is to let you know about a gesture of thanks on our my behalf for supporting this project!

Back in the steam days of the 1950s, the Canadian Pacific assigned “push” or “assist” engines on the Galt Subdivision westbound between Toronto and Orr’s Lake (three miles west of Galt)

For a steam railfan in Ontario, there was considerable action over the stretch of mainline between Galt and Orr’s Lake. Here, one could head trackside and watch “doubleheaded” (technically “assisted”) freight trains fighting upgrade. Road engines generally were Mikados assigned to the CPR’s London Division, while assist engines were 2200-series Pacifics from the Lambton roundhouse in Toronto.

In the course of a few hours trackside along the Galt Subdivision near Orr’s Lake, a railfan could see Mikados, Pacifics, Hudsons, D10 Ten Wheelers and first-generation diesels such as MLW (Alco) road switchers, F-units and RDCs.

The tracks are still there on the CPR west of Galt...

... but the rural landscape of the 1950s is gone, largely overwhelmed by property development. Railroading has changed, too—gone are the steam locomotives, cabooses and interesting train consists.

However, if a steam railfan in 1950s Ontario were to choose somewhere to spend a few hours with or without a camera, he would do well on the CPR Galt Subdivision. The locale offered tremendous steam action of locomotives fighting S-curves and gravity, firemen turning on stokers to blacken the sky as Mikados pounded upgrade.

The freight car consists on the CPR Galt Subdivision were interesting in their own right!

Blocks of colourful refrigerator cars. Interesting foreign road cars such as B&O wagon top boxcars. Flat car loads of military hardware and brand-new threshers, combines and tractors. Wooden cabooses.

And trackside details were captivating! Wig wags at road crossings. Stations with train order signals. Wooden rural overpasses. Telegraph lines. Switches with kerosene lamps.

Would you like the opportunity to stand trackside on the CPR mainline and watch the action unfold—in living colour—before your eyes?

To actually see the steam locomotives moving, watch the trains come and go, wonder and marvel at what might come next?

If you’re thinking “Yes”, then I have a special treat for you. Let me fill you in on the details.

A few weeks back, I mentioned that my friend Harold Kinzie loaned me his 8mm silent movie reels...

...for the purposes of making this footage available to my most dedicated readers. These document steam railway action in Ontario during the latter part of the 1950s.

The first 400 ft. roll covers scenes as described above, taken over several visits to the Canadian Pacific Galt Subdivision between Galt and Orr’s Lake. The sequences filmed have never been seen by anyone except the photographer and your author. For more than six decades, the film has been preserved in pristine condition.

Some weeks ago, I delivered the CPR Galt Subdivision film reel to a processing house that will transfer the footage to digital format

Altogether, there is about half an hour of stunning silent movie photography documenting mainline steam action. When I receive the digital master at the end of this month, I will have a number of DVD copies produced. In the process of doing that, I will add titles and subtitles, captions and (possibly) narration as appropriate so that the viewer can appreciate the context of what he’s seeing.

"How might I acquire one of these DVDs which contain half an hour of stunning Canadian Pacific steam action along the Galt Subdivision mainline in the 1950s?"

There is only one way!

I will provide a complimentary DVD of this CPR steam action to every reader who purchases Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1.

This kind of steam footage is normally priced at $24.95 or more—if you can even find decent source material. And you will receive such a DVD as my gesture of thanks for supporting the tremendous amount of work and investment that has gone into producing Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1.

Purchasing a copy of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 directly from us is the only way you will be able to acquire a DVD of the CPR Galt Subdivision steam action from the 1950s

This is a special “thank you” to the readers who invest directly in this book project. The DVDs will not be available through retail outlets, nor will they be offered for sale individually.

Please note, the CPR Galt Subdivision steam DVD is not a prize, but rather a BONUS.

In recent weeks, we’ve announced a number of prizes to be awarded in a draw for pre-purchasers of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1

These include the David Oram print of Northerns Over the Muskoka River, the ITLA craftsman HO scale kit of the CNR Grimsby station, and the pass to attend the press check for the new book (including complimentary lunch with the author).

The CPR Galt Subdivision DVD is a BONUS for purchasers

That means you will receive a DVD for every copy of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 you order. We will ship your DVD(s) in the same package as your book(s).

"Would I receive a CPR Galt Subdivision DVD for each copy of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 I purchase directly from you AFTER the pre-publication offer expires?"

Absolutely! But by pre-ordering, you will receive your book and DVD for a cost of $69.95 instead of $86.05 CAD (for orders shipped to Canada) or $88.95 USD (for orders shipped to the United States). Not to mention, the DRAW PRIZES are only available for pre-purchases made by April 30, 2019!

Once again, thank you for supporting Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1

Your pre-purchase of one or more copies will help to ensure that many more readers will enjoy this volume. I’ll keep you posted on printing and binding progress, the upcoming draw for prizes, and the status of the special “thank you” DVD of Harold Kinzie’s Canadian Pacific Galt Subdivision footage.



P.S. If you’re keen on pre-purchasing additional copies of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 for a special friend or family member—so that he/she can also enjoy a personal copy of the complimentary CPR Galt Subdivision steam DVD—you can order online or download a mail order form here:


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