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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Through the Window of a Train: A Canadian Railway Anthology

[Note:  Barbara is a friend of mine who has written Through the Window of a Train. I think it's a great book, and offered to put a notice about it on my blog. Email her at for info about where to buy it.   A.O.]

By Barbara Lange

If you´ve ever been curious about the lives of people on board a moving train, or wanted to take a nostalgic trip back to the steam era, then this book is for you. Since the first trans-continental passenger train, the Pacific Express, headed west in 1885 – the railway has been part of many people´s lives. For some the railway was their life. One only needs to mention The Moonlight SpecialThe CNR, The E&NThe CPRThe Blueberry SpecialThe Milk Run, or The HS&W  (Hellish Slow & Wobbly) for memories to come flooding back.

This journey begins in Craigellachie, amongst the verdant mountains of British Columbia, where the famous last spike was driven home. The reader is then transported to Vancouver Island and across the Prairies to Nova Scotia, and from the era of steam to diesel-electric trains. Relive hilarious, hazardous, and historical moments as you peek through the window of a train and into the past. Meet gandy dancers, a rookie running out of steam, lost immigrants, and women entering the male-dominated world of the railway. Experience asbestos snowball fights, boxcar classrooms, and silk trains as they blur by your window.

These stories retell the significance of the railway, or a single journey taken, in the lives of ordinary Canadians. Dotted with junction and siding names, engine numbers, and routes, for the rail enthusiast.

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