Ian Wilson's blog

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

The manuscript for "Steam Encounters at Montreal" is finished

April 02, 2020

Some updates for you on the progress of Steam Encounters at Montreal...

Status of book production

Thank you to the more-than-120 readers who responded with their ratings and comments on the sample PDFs circulated last week. Your input was of great assistance, and prompted some decisions on picture finishing. The manuscript for Steam Encounters at Montreal is in the final proofreading stage. Additionally, Jim Brown and I are finalizing the picture files for publication. There are some 90 images, all in colour, and we need to ensure the reproduction will be optimal.

As for Ampersand Printing in Guelph, owner Mike McDonald assures me they are open for business (on a modified basis) and ready to produce the book when we hand over the files.

Bonus Welland Ship Canal and CNR 1956 movie

If you pre-ordered Steam Encounters at Montreal but did NOT receive the link and password to watch the full movie (available only to such purchasers), please advise by email response. There’s always a chance too that you missed the email.

A preamble as to what Steam Encounters at Montreal is all about

Borrowing and paraphrasing from the book introduction, you will experience glimpses, impressions, vignettes captured by one L. M. “Jim” Guerin during visits to Montreal near the twilight of the railway steam era in Canada—in September 1956 and March 1958.

And who is/was this Jim Guerin?

Guerin, a dear late friend of  mine, lived in Kitchener, Ontario. He remained a bachelor all his life (although he enjoyed taking lady friends out on his yacht), spent his working career with The Bell Telephone Company of Canada, and customized splendid HO scale steam and diesel locomotives for his basement model railway (Jim created structures too; during one visit I was struck by the clever engineering of a huge truss bridge on his layout, to which he responded he’d built it of curtain rods).

Jim Guerin viewed the railway world through the lens—both literal and figurative—of an admirer of locomotives first and foremost. Thus, Steam Encounters at Montreal is a celebration of motive power. During my visits and travels with Jim, he made his preference for steam engines apparent. Yet, Jim was a man who also enjoyed the colour of the world (to my knowledge, he never photographed anything—still or moving—in black and white). As such, he could not help but admire and document the striking diesel paint schemes of the 1950s.

That’s who Jim Guerin was—and is for you, through the pages of Steam Encounters at Montreal.

As for the author?

As for your narrator, well... consider me a well-informed tour guide who has enlisted the services of a photographer to document adventures I will share with you. Which has pretty much been my role for you all along.

To our shared history, I will offer you, Reader, a couple of delightful visits to the past in Montreal. We shan’t have long to stay and we won’t see the usual sights of that exciting city. But we will see locomotives—lots of them, of all types. And a chronicle of our travels would not be complete without some branchline forays, which we’ll sample on the CPR and CNR in the province of Quebec and in eastern Ontario.

Flyer distribution

We’re going to prepare a quantity of glossy flyers for Steam Encounters at Montreal, a couple of which we’ll distribute with each book. Additionally, we’ll mail two flyers to each reader on our mailing list who did not pre-order the book. These will enable anyone who wishes to scoop up any copies available as “overs” to do so by mail order (of course, you may do the same anytime through the link inserted several times in this post).

Cheerio for now!

P.S. Please share this broadcast with fellow Canadian steam locomotive fans (or Great Lakes shipping enthusiasts).

Read More:

Back to the Blog