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Riding the Rails into Canada’s History – A Book Review

January 21, 2021
By

Illustrated anecdotes offer famous and lesser known stories about the CPR

David Laurence Jones, Railway Nation: Tales of Canadian Pacific, the World’s Greatest Travel System (Victoria: Heritage House, 2020) 304 pages, $34.95 (paper).

We can still hear the distant call of a diesel engine’s whistle today in most regions of Canada and for many of us it is a sound that transports us to an earlier time, a romantic past that lingers. Most likely it is a Canadian Pacific Railway train clickety-clacking in and out of our lives, as Railway Nation author David Laurence Jones so glowingly recounts in this anecdotal history of Canada’s great continental iron horse. It is part of our collective heritage, as famous writer Pierre Berton taught us in The Last Spike, CBC showed us in The National Dream, and songwriter Gordon Lightfoot sang to us in his Canadian Railroad Trilogy

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