Rails Across Canada: A Pictorial Journey From Coast To Coast is a small, coffee-table book written by David Cable featuring his photography across the country taken between 1991 and 2006. The title was released in 2015 by Pen & Sword Transport, a publishing company based in Britain. It covers Canada's railroads through 208 pages of all-color photography featuring most of the country's most well-known lines ranging from the two large Class I's to small short lines such as the New Brunswick Southern and Goderich & Exeter.
Since American-Rails.com primarily highlights American railroads and its rich history I most often focus on that particular subject. However, Canadian lines not only have a fascinating history themselves but are alsointegrally tied to America's operations, owning or controlling several systems in the Lower 48 states such as the Grand Trunk Western; Central Vermont Railway; Soo Line; and Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific among others. As a result, when the folks at Pen & Sword Transport asked if I would like to review one of their newest titles, Rails Across Canada, I was more than happy to do so.
Canadian railroads closely parallel that of American lines in having largely the same gauge (standard; 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches), similar locomotives (steam and diesel), other equipment, and passenger services. However, their origins deviate in one notable way; they were constructed as government projects under government rule during the 19th century when Canada was a part of the British Empire. In contrast, nearly all American lines were originally built with mostly private funding and almost no government oversight or control (leading to abuses that later resulted in agencies and rules created for safer operations).