Local history and rail fans will be interested in the latest book from Merrill Publishing Associates, a Merrill-based publisher of steam train photo books highlighting Upper Midwest trains.
The new book, entitled THE SPEEDLINERS, The Milwaukee Road’s Hiawatha Steam Locomotives, edited by Thomas E. Burg, highlights the colorful, streamlined Hiawatha steam locomotives that operated in Wisconsin from the 1930’s to the 1950’s on several different routes serving Milwaukee, Green Bay, La Crosse and the Wisconsin Valley route through Wausau, Merrill and Tomahawk. It is a joint venture of Merrill Publishing Associates (MPA) and the Milwaukee Road Historical Association (MRHA), produced and published by MPA. 
The SPEEDLINERS is the last of 10 books in a series for the MRHA and one of 20 books produced by Merrill Publishing Associates. MPA is a small niche publisher operated by Burg, a rail fan, and publishing professional Sharon Thatcher with assistance from rail fan and Master Model Railroader Ralph Wehlitz, all of Merrill. Most MPA books are based on a vast array of original photos owned by late Milwaukee businessman, Roy Campbell. Upon the sudden death last year of the collection’s subsequent owner, however, further publishing from the collection ceased. An agreement with the current heirs now make it possible to proceed with publishing of The SPEEDLINERS.
Merrill Publishing Associates and the Milwaukee Road Historical Association will sell the book through their websites: MPA at www.merrillpublishingassociates.com and MRHA at www.mrha.com. The book will also be sold locally through Janke Book Store in Wausau. 
The 114-page book contains 149 photographs from the Roy Campbell Collection, most never before published, of the Milwaukee Road’s streamlined steam locomotives (A class Atlantics, F7 class Hudsons, G class ten-wheelers, and F class Pacifics plus its brightly painted conventional Pacifics used as protection).
A special book signing will be held at First Street Coffee Station, 809 E. First St., Merrill on Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. - noon. In addition to The SPEEDLINERS, another MPA book on Hiawatha’s, Route of the North Woods Hiawatha will also be available for sale.