Ian Wilson's blog

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

Progress on next two publications

August 13, 2020

I do hope you’ve been enjoying this long, hot summer. Since we’d last been in touch, I’ve been busy working on the next couple of projects.

Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 3 is coming along nicely. Jim Brown and I have been preparing the pictures together, and I’m laying down the narrative. At the moment in that story, we’re some 62 years back in time. It’s the afternoon of August 30, 1958 at Smiths Falls as CPR Hudson 2811 comes onto the turntable for an extra freight assignment (her destined-to-be-famous sister 2816 lurks in the roundhouse out of sight):


If you hadn’t pre-ordered Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 3 during our online launch, you will have received a flyer and order form in the mail with a mail-in deadline of August 31, 2020 for the special price.


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we were looking into having a special slipcase prepared to house all four volumes in the Speed Graphics and Steam series. Both our printer and binder have been working on the design for this slipcase. The good news is that the project is feasible, but we’ll need to make the unit collapsible for purposes of shipping, but sturdy enough to hold the four volumes on your shelf. The exterior of the slipcase will match the maroon cover design of the books.


The other project I’ve been preparing for you is our 2021 Canadian Branchline wall calendar. This one, like the recent Steam Encounters at Montreal, will be all-colour! For the past few days, I’ve been poring through some 600 possibilities for the 13 slots on the calendar. One of the candidates takes us back 64 years to an idyllic August 1956 afternoon as CPR Ten Wheeler 434 prepares to leave Bobcaygeon with the mixed train back to Lindsay, Peterboro and Havelock:


Speaking of that 2021 wall calendar, I learned from readers and retailers alike that the time to offer a calendar for the following year is September, not November (as we did with our debut 2020 calendar last year). So, this one will go to the printer by the end of this month and will be ready for distribution right after Labour Day (September 7). We’ll start taking online orders for the calendar on September 1.


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