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Allan Graham publishes book on history of rail travel on PEI

by C.J. Veach

Later this month a new book will be available that should appeal to history and rail buffs alike. Allan Graham of Alberton has put together an 8 1/2 X11 photo and text overview of the history of rail travel on PEI. Over 300 photos have been collected from all over Canada and even the U.S. to make this project possible.

"I've been thinking about doing this for 30 years,"stated Graham whose father was a rail worker. "I've always been interested in trains and Island history so it's been a project I've enjoyed doing. While teaching school in Alberton, Graham has written numerous articles about the railway and maintained contacts with other rail buffs. It's that network that helped make this book possible.

"I've had people loan me pictures for this book from many parts of Canada and the U.S.," Graham stated, "Once you meet someone with a rail collection, you meet others through them and so on. And everyone's very cooperative in supporting this type of project." This year marks the 125th anniversary of rail travel on PEI and to Graham the timing couldn't be better for his book. "There's still a lot of interest in Island rails not just locally but there's rail collectors all over the world," Graham said. "There's also people who are interested in collected things that relate to Islands or history in general, so hopefully the book will have a fairly broad appeal."

Starting in Kensington, Graham will be doing book signings at railway stations (or former locations) across PEI during the month: Kensington, North Wiltshire, St. Peters, Montague, Murray River, Alberton, O'Leary, Summerside, Emerald, Fodhla (old Hazelbrook station), Cavendish Figurines in Borden (on the foundation of the old Borden station), Tignish (Cultural Centre next to the old station), and Pt. Desroches (at Jack McAndrew's cottage where old Mount Stewart station now rests). The launch takes place on September 12 at 7 pm at the Kensington station.

This book contains 370 black and white photos, 5 maps, 2 posters, 4 timetables and colour photo on back cover. Anyone interested in knowing more about the book or book signings may contact Allan Graham at 853-3211 or write to P.O. Box 335 Alberton, PE C0B 1B0.

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