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Welcome to the blog of Ian Wilson, author of the award-winning books on 1950s Canadian steam railway operations.

My favourite trains, part 4 of 4

June 26, 2024

This is the final of four posts chronicling my favourite trains from the 24 books I have written and published between 1998 and 2024. If you've missed Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3, check them out!

There is something about Canadian Pacific D10 Ten Wheelers on branchline trains that have always caught my fancy. So it's no surprise my favourite train from Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 3 (published December 2020 and now out of print) is the CPR way freight from Sherbrooke to Farnham in the Province of Quebec. Here’s the train crossing a bridge at South Stukely, en route to Foster, behind locomotive 946.

Steam Encounters in Ontario vol. 1, the second in that all-colour series, was released in April 2021. Maybe it is because I remember fondly going to the Canadian National Exhibition at age seven with my dad on the GO Train. Anyway, my favourite train from this book is a throwback to an earlier CNE era. We’re looking eastward as CPR Pacific 2468 powers westbound passenger train 741 (for Buffalo and New York City) past the Exhibition platform and under the Dufferin Street bridge.

The last book in the Speed Graphics series (as it stands now) is Speed Graphics and Steam 1959! published in December 2021. My favorite train from that volume is a Canadian Pacific number, notably the way freight from McAdam to St. Andrews, New Brunswick. I stood on this derelict timber pier at St. Andrews in 1985 imagining the scene before us here—with the last operating Canadian Pacific Jubilee number 2926 working a way freight no less!

May 2022 saw Steam Encounters in Ontario vol. 2 in print. We’re getting close to Port Credit territory with my favourite train from that book. Here is CNR Northern 6214 passing milepost 37 of the Oakville Subdivision, about 560 feet short of the location of the former interlocking tower at Bayview. She’s out of Hamilton with number 93-94, the Niagara Falls to Toronto leg of overnight Maple Leaf from New York City.

From Steam Encounters at Montreal vol. 2 (released December 2022), my favourite train is Canadian Pacific’s express train 235 for Ottawa. When reader Bob Krone took this picture of number 2822 on the head end at Montreal West, this train (and its return movement) was pretty much the last inter-city passenger movement commanding steam as a rule.

Finally, Steam Through Port Credit (released February 2024) yields another photograph from my late father, depicting my favourite train from that volume. From Stavebank Road in Port Credit, we see pristine CNR Mountain 6027 bearing down on us with afternoon commuter 79 for Hamilton.

Recapping the special time-limited offer...

As mentioned in earlier installments of this four-part reminiscence, we are recognizing the 70th anniversary of the narrative date June 25, 1954 with free shipping and reduced titles across the board. Grab what you need now!

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