Ian Wilson's blog

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

Comments received—Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2 and our 2020 Canadian Branchline calendar

December 17, 2019

What readers are saying about SG&S1958!v2 and our calendar

Here at Canadian Branchline headquarters, we’ve been tabulating reader responses to the packages arriving in mailboxes of late—bearing copies of the brand-new Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2 and our 2020 Canadian Branchline calendar.

We’d like to share a few comments with you, after which we’ll provide some updates on shipping logistics and what’s to come next.

Reader comments on Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2 and the 2020 Canadian Branchline calendar

Andy says,

“One should not flip the calendar over until the first of each month, or else …. bad luck. Well, guess what, I flipped through for a peek and was MOST impressed with every single image you chose.

“The book is a dandy, as good or better than the rest. The photos are undoubtedly great, not just because of content, but the reproduction.”

David relates,

“The book is definitely up to your usual high standards. As for the calendar, I will forgive the diesel inclusion for June, especially in view of the April  picture. Thank you, Ian – that one picture alone is worth the price and made my day.”

Another Andy shares,

SG&S1958!v2 is awesome. I read up to page 31 last night. It was all excellent. I really love your work. Keep it up.”

Gary notes,

“All the photos are wonderful, even though the June shot features a diesel! If I was asked to pick a favourite, I don’t think I could! They are all that good! I am also impressed by how you were able to match the date of the photo to the month of the calendar.”

Derek opines,

“I have received my copy of SG&S1958!v2 and the pictures are invaluable reference for our layout as all the rest of your books have been.”

Joe pitches in,

“Just finished SG&S1958!v2, and it’s excellent, as always. Can’t wait for what’s in store for next year... This brings back so many memories of what I can just remember of what was left of steam in Ontario.”



If you don’t already own Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2, you acquire a copy here:


John mentions,

“My book and calendar are absolutely fantastic. A continually fabulous product and locally produced.”

Another John pipes up,

“I love the coverage of the Lindsay branches. So many places in the photos are familiar to me. The Bobcaygeon branch from Hwy 36 to Caygeon is now a county road. The Lindsay CPR is unrecognizable now.”

Yet another John wants in too,

“It’s good to know you use local companies. The added bonus is it’s easy to keep an eye on production.”

Bob comments,

“Great 2020 calendar, I like the views and the nice variation in motive power selections. Also like the inclusion of  the January 2021 shot as it helps with planning vacation around year end as well as upcoming appointments in the next month. Perfect size for my needs with ample room to mark down appointments and such.”

Jim offers,

“My first impressions are it’s even better than Vol1!  Especially the increased photos on the CPR. At this point I think your writing talents and creativity have reached the point where you should consider doing a book based on the CPR branchlines!”

Joe points out,

“Received calendar and book; have devoured it already; excellent, as usual and pictures on calendar are superb! Just like I like it; as much big steam as possible.”

Pip recalls,

“When Volume 2 arrived last Wednesday, it was taken to bed. The pictures and text were so relaxing that sleep soon followed. Now reading Volume 2 had to start over to relax and fall asleep again. Falling asleep reading Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2 is actually a compliment.”



If you don’t already have our 2020 Canadian Branchline calendar, you can one here:


Emilien chips in,

“I love your books and the latest Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 2 is as I have come to expect and love reading and dreaming as I read along and study the photos for my future model railroad.”

Ben calls out,

“Another fantastic book !!!!!!!

“You’ve put the trips that John, Don and Herb had taken back in 1957 and 1958 together and made it like we were ALL there with them. Only things missing are the sounds and smells of the locomotives coming closer and rolling by!! Next best thing to actually being there.”

Chris weighs in,

“The book is great, been reading it the last few days. I’ve got your complete collection on my book shelves, I am constantly picking books out.”

Ted effuses,

“Not sure whether to damn you or exalt you!

“So soon as I observed the book, all else in my household universe ceased to function. That meant no longer was I interested in preparing supper. No longer was I interested in creating our Christmas newsletter. No longer was I interested in watching Monday Night Football. That’s the damn part.

“Now for the exalting part. I snuggled into ‘my’ chair, and thus bodily arranged, proceeded to turn pages gingerly, reluctantly wanting to turn a page savouring the text and imagery on the sight in view, scanning each image generally then honing into the photograph to glean as much detail as I could. But, inevitably, with much positive anticipation, a page was turned. Ahh. The photographic reveal was marvellous. The pause on the page lengthy and enduring. So it continued for the rest of the evening and night. And yes, I did turn all of the pages in a single sitting, climbing the stairs long after any mouse that might have been about, had turned in for the night. It was actually early morning before I lay my head upon the pillow, dreaming of steam locomotives from the 1950s! So there. I exalt you for another superbly fashioned addition to a facet of Canadian railway history.

“Never to be sated, can there be more?”

Patrick chimes in,

“I would like to congratulate you on another excellent book.  The photography was wonderful and the reproduction was excellent, so much so I felt as if I was looking out of a window at the real thing. The text is a story in itself. 

“I now await further books on our favourite subjects and if each will be the perfection of your first two Speed Graphics they will be collector’s books.”

Gary recalls,

“Those images of Allandale are etched indelibly in my memories, so you can guess how much your books mean to me. Thanks for the wonderful moments revisited in print.”

P.S. Our last shipping day before Christmas will be Friday, December 20 (with those books packaged on Thursday, December 19).

P.P.S. Even if you delay your order until Friday, we’ll package and ship it that day—and since the post office has been lickety-split with deliveries this year, you should receive it before Christmas.

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