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A shot-across-the-bow for Steam Encounters in Ontario vol. 2

January 26, 2022

Steam Encounters in Ontario from 1956 to 1959

Having returned from vacation after the distribution of Speed Graphics and Steam 1959! (which is still in print, with about 100 copies remaining), I have turned to the next installment in our Encounters series with Jim Guerin’s photography.

AND... before I go any further, let me mention that if you are among the HUNDREDS who have emailed me since my last communication, please bear with me for a response. I am a one-man show here.

Back to the next book... So far, we have enjoyed travelling with Guerin to Quebec in Steam Encounters at Montreal. Those experiences were recorded in 1956 and 1958, and we presented them in an all-colour 48-page softcover volume.

Then we backtracked in time to pick up the tale where Guerin took his first colour slides in his home province. Those images were captured in 1954 and 1955, and they materialized as Steam Encounters in Ontario vol. 1, the same size and format as its predecessor.

Now we’re going to continue our journeys in Ontario with Guerin, which will span the interval of time either side of his two trips to Quebec. We’ll begin in spring 1956 and end in autumn 1959. This will be a third Encounters volume to match the first two on your shelf.

To give you an idea of Guerin’s coverage in Ontario over the 1956 to 1959 interval, I have selected half a dozen examples to share with you here.

Here’s CNR heavy Pacific 5287 on the outskirts of Kitchener, approaching the station with morning train number 28 in August 1956.

Later the same month, we’re at Bayview as Canadian National road switcher 1232 approaches the tower with a westbound empty fruit train. Later the same day, those wooden baggage cars, known as “blowers”, will be filled with Niagara’s ripening crop.

October 1956 finds us back at Bayview as CNR Northern approaches the junction with a westbound freight extra. This engine is recently out of Stratford’s Big Shop with special Class 6 repairs (front end).

Over on the Canadian Pacific side, we’re at Campbellville (mile 37) on the Galt Subdivision in July 1958. Diesel switcher 6545, an S-3, is heading a way freight.

Also in July 1958, CNR Northern 6217 is getting underway with a westbound freight at Jim Guerin’s hometown of Kitchener.

In the dying days of CPR steam in Ontario, engine 2409 (a G3g Pacific) takes coal at the London plant in July 1959. She’s ending her days on the flatlands of the Windsor Subdivision to the west.

I hope these scenes from yesteryear warm you on these cold winter days! Sometime early next week, we’ll have a pre-publication offer in place for Steam Encounters in Ontario vol. 2. This book will be released this April.


P.S. As mentioned above, we still have copies available of Speed Graphics and Steam 1959! and also a few remaining 2022 Canadian Branchline wall calendars.

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