Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1993 Toronto Run-Throughs

Steve Roberts has been looking through his copy of Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years. I'm always interested to hear how customers are utilizing the book, putting the data to use in unique applications, and Steve provided me with his application. Steve models southwestern Ontario, which means that trains seen on the CN's Kingston Sub were running through Toronto to the area he models. These trains weren't all being shuttled to the Toronto Maintenance Centre - they would basically run-through in many cases, based on VIA's equipment cycles. Similar cycles existed at Ottawa and Montreal, keeping consists together since there was no need to turn the cars or change the length of the consist.

Steve sent two interesting examples of these cycles at Toronto, with each number being the VIA train number:

March 19, 1993
70 becomes 64
80 becomes 66
50 (loco & first 3 coaches/ via TMC) becomes 44
61 (cars & trailing loco) becomes 166
63 becomes 75
41 (loco & first 3 coaches/ via TMC) becomes 46
45 becomes 51
636 becomes 645 (wyed at TMC)
74 becomes 68
65 becomes 87

April 14, 1993
50 becomes 44
61 (cars & trailing loco) becomes 166
63 becomes 75
41 becomes 46
45 becomes 51
65 becomes 87

Steve adapted the above rotation from the April 1993 Rail & Transit, originally shared by Sean Robitaille. Indeed, based on the trains I saw at Kingston, it's possible to extrapolate these same consists into southwestern Ontario.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The 'Bible' of Paint

A nice recommendation from VIAphile Mark Kaluza today. The question was posed on an online forum: Were all VIA's ex-CN cars wearing the VIA blue & yellow scheme by 1980?

Mark answered in a a subsequent post entitled 'The Bible of Paint'*: Many of VIA's fleet never received the blue & yellow treatment at all. I am going to suggest since VIA's fleet is so ginormous and too extensive to get into car by car, that you consult Eric's latest book. Jakob Mueller contributed a spreadsheet including just the information you're looking for, regarding individual cars and repaint (or not) dates. Exhaustive work on his part, and quite an interesting read for any sort of VIAphile out there.

Mark has helpfully identified one of the best parts of my book, and one of its most valuable uses, namely using Jakob's paint transition data for VIA's cars to answer just such a question. I included similar data for VIA's locomotives and RDC's based on my observations made during the transition era, when the shops were busiest covering over CP and CN paint.

That's VIA-CN 5217 at Kingston on December 24, 1976, likely the first Canadian Flyer car to wear the blue & yellow.

Watch for an announcement here in the next few days.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Guy Walks into a Hobby Shop...

Fellow VIAphile Jakob Mueller relayed an engaging story from Halifax recently. Seems a Swedish tourist happened into Maritime Hobbies, one of several fine hobby shops who've stocked my book. Anyway, turns out this guy absolutely loves VIA. He takes one look at the books for sale, grabs mine as a lucky find, and leaves. He had to get back onto the cruiseship that was soon to leave port.

Jakob visited Sweden in 2007, and mentioned while that VIA can't hold a candle to the Swedish system, although the blue and yellow (pre-Renaissance) colour scheme is something both systems have in common.

Speaking of fine hobby shops, here are a few more places you'll be able to find my book:

-Ware House Hobbies in Winnipeg
-Exporail in Saint-Constant
-Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook
-Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association in Milton

I'm still filling individual customer orders, usually next business day. As always, I appreciate the interest I'm receiving in my book. It's gratifying to know there are others who share my enthusiasm for the history of VIA thus far.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Blue and Yellow Crewe

This week a copy of Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years winged its way to Crewe in the United Kingdom. Terry Wynne, a fan of Canadian railways and British railroader for 40 years resides in Crewe, home of the Grand Junction Railway Crewe Works, which date from 1840 and are now operated by Canada's Bombardier Inc. Don't you think DRS 37038, shown here at Crewe, bears a resemblance to VIA's blue and yellow scheme?

Terry rode VIA from Vancouver to Toronto in 1990, including cab-rides from Blue River to Valemount BC and Melville, Saskatchewan to Brandon North, Manitoba. Sadly, the trip was interrupted by native blockades and was completed by air east of Winnipeg. Terry has travelled other VIA routes, and still wants to travel east of Montreal on VIA's Ocean. Firmly anchored in the VIA F40PH era, Terry also models Canadian railways and works on a club layout located in the signal box at the Crewe Heritage Centre.

I trust you'll enjoy the book, as much as you have your very varied VIA experiences, Terry!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review Number 2

I just received a review of my book from Hugh McCormack. While Hugh's book travelled all the way to Newfoundland, he actually grew up near the Pickering GO station, later moving to the Ontario railfan hotspot of Newtonville. Hugh says he was always amazed by the amount of traffic on CN's Kingston Sub, and the sounds of Alcos chugging across the landscape are embedded deep in his memory. Thanks to Hugh for sharing his comments contained below.

Ex-CP 1418 at Calgary on train number 2 (above). Now here's book review number 2:

"My copy of Eric's book arrived in today's mail. For anyone seeking a reference for accurately modelling VIA trains, this book is what you need.

I am amazed at the amount of detail it contains and it is worth every penny of the $25 price. I am also amazed that a book of this size and quality can be produced in Canada for such a low price in this day and age.

Congratulations to Eric for this valuable piece of research."


Thursday, August 4, 2011

At Fine Hobby Shops Everywhere

Several fine hobby shops now stock my book. These include:
-Maritime Hobbies in Halifax
-Central Hobbies in Vancouver
-Hobby House in Ottawa
-Credit Valley Railway Company in Mississauga
-Larkspur Line in Merrickville
-George's Trains in Markham
-Kelly's Kaboose in Kamloops
-Leading Edge Hobbies in Kingston
-Al's Hobby Shop in Elmhurst, Illinois
If you don't see the book in your local hobby shop, ask the owner or email me at mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca.