Ian Wilson's blog

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

Look what [your name here] did!

May 23, 2024

I know some of you personally, having met over the years at train shows and book signings and the like. And, even if we’ve met some years in the past, I might not be up to date on what you’re doing now, or have done for the past decade or two! But I’ve not made the acquaintance of most of you, although many readers have shared their projects with me while corresponding about the books.

Now that the Steam Encounters in the USA vol. 1 launch is behind us and I’m working on the cover design and layout of the book, I want to get to know my readers better.

One question I have for you is this: what is your fondest or greatest accomplishment in this field of railroad interest? For some of us, it’s a book or books we’ve written, for others it’s a model railroad layout, others it’s a body of photography, still others it is work in the historical preservation community or a position within the railway industry today. Maybe a collection of artifacts.

Some of you have a burning interest in, say, a Nova Scotia coal shortline of the steam era. Or you collect locomotive number plates. Maybe you’re utilizing advance techniques (photo-etching, 3-D printing, laser) to create stunning scale models. Or you have a library of 5,000 books on the railroad field. Perhaps you stepped in to save a piece of equipment—an engine, a passenger car, a trolley, a station—from scrapping or demolition. Possibly you’ve photographed railroads/railways of North America and overseas for decades, and have an impressive archive of images. Or you’ve volunteered for a museum, historical society, model railway club. Your basement may host an accurate miniature replication of a prototype road and its operations in the 1950s. For others, it may be advances in virtual modelling.

I’ve shared part of my personal story through my books, particularly in the introduction and the afterword sections. Not to mention these emails over the years. That’s enough about me.

I’d really like to know what you perceive others in the hobby (or even outside the hobby) might say concerning something notable you’ve done—‘Look what he did!’ We all find our groove within this vast field of interest. Just what is that, for you? Whatever you may consider to be your greatest or fondest accomplishment. Or it could be an ongoing project or ambition within this railroad field that hasn’t been fulfilled yet, but that drives you now. Whatever it is, let me know. Kindly email me we can compare notes!

If you haven't already, please subscribe to my Canadian Branchline email list. You’ll find signup boxes on the principal pages of this website, such as at the bottom of the landing page Most of my online content eventually appears on my blog or (less occasionally) in a social media post, but email subscription is the only guaranteed way to see the material—and immediately upon release, at that.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an email.

Also, please share the link to this post (via email, Facebook, other social media, etc.) with your friends interested in Canadian steam-era railway operations!

Read More:

Back to the Blog