Narrow Gauge Railways of Canada Hardcover – 31 Aug 2005
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About the Author
Omer Lavallee is a Fitzhenry and Whiteside author.
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Canada's narrow gauges came from two sources. One was the 'British Metric,' not really metric, but 3'6". The other, more common in the west was copied from the very successful D&RG of Colorado which used a 3' gauge.
There were some 17 narrow gauge railways in Canada. Generally speaking they were in areas where the narrow gauge meant significant savings in construction costs. The tighter turning radius meant that a lot less earth had to be moved in mountains.
This book is a loving collection of the pictures and stories of these railways. And lest you think of narrow gauge as something of the last century, there is a great picture on page 115 of a diesel engined train leaving a tunnel and crossing a bridge. What makes is to great is that everything in the picture, the tunnel, the bridge, the engines, the cars is of later than 1968 vintage.
Lovingly Done, Great Pictures, Good Book.
This is a well-written and nicely-illustrated book by one of Canada's foremost railroad historians. The 2005 edition has 32 pages of color photographs that were not in the original 1973 edition. The book is divided into 23 chapters, ranging fron one or two pages for the smallest lines to 38 pages for the White Pass & Youkon and 44 pages for the Newfoundland Railway.
Each chapter provides a summary of the railway covered, as opposed to an in-depth history, so it is informative yet easy to read; and the text is nicely-supplemented with maps and locomotive rosters. People with a general interest in railways, or a specific interest in Canadian railways or narrow gauge lines should find this book enjoyable and a worthwhile addition to their library.
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