Canadian Steam! is a photographic history of Canadian steam engines on the Canadian Pacific and Canadian Northern railroads.
In the forward to Canadian Steam! the editor David P. Morgan makes the argument that only steam locomotives could have conquered Canada. The challenges to the railroads were numerous. The sheer distance across the Canadian land masses was the first challenge. The fact that most of the land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean went through mostly unpopulated areas that were dissected by rivers, mountains and muskegs. He goes on to describe the development of the steam engines and wheel arrangements. He describes the development and evolution of the configuration of the engine, wheels and water and fuel requirement unique to the Canadian railroads.
Canadian Steam! is the first book devoted to Canadian steam locomotives. In the photographs you can see the affection the photographer has for Canadian steam engines.
The first section of the book are selected photographs of steam engines on the Main Line. The majesty of the freight and passenger engines during this era are obvious in the selection of photographs. Going through this section of steam engines crossing rivers, on the plains, crossing the mountains and in the cities and towns along the main line will make any railfan’s mouth water.
The second section of Canadian Steam! are the branch line photographs. The problem with branch lines when this book was published is that too many of the branch lines were trying to exist on truckload traffic. So many of the branch lines pictured in this book are no longer being used or have been removed. Some of the branches supported mixed trains (freight and passenger). Those mixed trains have also disappeared.
The next section (Close Up) are photographs of parts of steam engines. The Mountain section displays breathtaking view of railroading in the mountains. The last section Quite Personal are photographs selected by the author.
Canadian Steam! is a collection of hundreds of black and white photographs of Canadian railroads. Any steam locomotive fan or railroad fan will love leafing through this book and reading about the picture locations.