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Pursuing steam in 1958 and beyond

June 14, 2020

For the past three weeks, I have been assessing the volume of photographic work by John Rehor and Don Wood in Canada after our most recent adventures with them ended in Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2.

Heretofore, with Rehor, Wood and Herb Harwood we've explored almost every accessible branchline on the CNR's London, Stratford and Allandale Divisions; numerous CPR lines in southwestern Ontario; and sampled the eastern edges (the CNR's  Lindsay network of lines and the CPR's Bobcaygeon Subdivision).

Desperate times for steam call for desperate measures, and post-July 1958 our photographers are not giving up on steam in Canada just yet.

In early August 1958, Rehor starts with known territory, sampling nooks and crannies of the Lindsay branchlines again, such as the Mikados doubleheading Kirkfield stone trains.

Rehor returns to Ontario with Don Wood in late August 1958 and moves eastward to the Canadian Pacific's Havelock Subdivision, which includes a lot of action at places such as Sharbot Lake.

The spring of 1959 (May) offers a CNR doubleheaded branchline steam excursion, much that the one we enjoyed in Steam Encounters at Montreal, which John Rehor captures on a solo junket.

A month later, in June 1959, John Rehor is back in Ontario. Steam is dead on the CNR in eastern Canada, so he moves even farther afield to experience old-fashioned branchline operations on the CPR's Waltham Subdivision out of Ottawa.

Deep in the realities of dieseldom, it's now or never, Rehor figures. He travels into Quebec, as our host Jim Guerin did in Steam Encounters at Montreal, and samples branchline Canadian Pacific and Quebec Central steam operations in the Eastern Townships.

To cap off John Rehor's and Don Wood's adventures in Canada, for all time, the two famous photographers team up one last time to catch the end of branchline Canadian Pacific steam operations in Ontario and document one of the most famous steam excursions ever in Canada, the CPR's tripleheader to Orangeville on May 1, 1960.

I'll provide more updates as I shake the story into place for our last glorious installment of the Rehor-Wood steam chronicles with their Speed Graphic cameras in Canada. Thanks to Keith Hopkin and my late friend Don Wood for the images.

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