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Quebec Central Railway Under the Microscope

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larger_booth.1.jpgDerek Booth has just released his latest contribution to Quebec’s railway and transportation history. Quebec Central Railway – From the St. Francis to the Chaudière is published by Railfare Books, and is the third volume in Booth’s series “Railways of Southern Quebec.”

A retired professor of geography from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Derek Booth looks at geographical issues from a historical perspective. He is also an avid railway scholar. Combining a talent for historical research with a highly readable style, he manages to infect the average reader with the fascination he feels towards this aspect of our history.

Quebec Central Railway focuses on the rise and long decline of the province’s largest regional carrier from the 1870s right up to modern times. The author explains how the railway was at one time one of the most innovative in Canada, in terms of both its freight and passenger operations, and by the fact that it manufactured much of its own rolling stock. He also tells of how the line was once one of the country’s most profitable, and of how the Great Depression destroyed all of that.

Booth’s eye for detail serves him well, and no aspect of the Quebec Central’s story is left untouched. The author’s lively narrative is complemented by a lavish assortment of archival photographs, images from the Booth’s own lens, graphs, timetables and maps. It also includes a detailed list of sources and an index.

Quebec Central Railway (160 pages, softcover) is available at bookstores across Quebec. It retails for $39.95.