Sunday, June 24, 2012

Transcription Description

My previous post listed contents of this new book on VIA.  The good news is, most of these text pieces and spreadsheets are now complete.  My printer will find a heads-up email from me in his Monday morning inbox, because this project is on the move.  The daunting (not necessarily bad) news is that transcription is now beginning. 
I could describe trains until I run out of paper, but nothing encapsulates a depiction of a train better than a train consist.  How else can you capture the interrelationship of equipment in a train?  Quite often, that is what we are interested in.  We all know that Park Cars, coaches, Chateau sleepers and diners operated behind CP F's, VIA F's and VIA F40PH-2's, but were they coupled together in that order?  Well, no, not always, but it could happen, especially if a Park car was deadheading...  But I digress.

Consists show a date, location, motive power, cars, and sometimes extra information about a train.  They are free of speculation, generalities, and (I hope) inaccuracies.  They are pure data without extrapolation or embroidery.  They happened.  They existed.  Photographs did too, but consist information augments what's visible in a photograph, adding rich detail that is of interest to VIAphiles and modellers alike.  That's why they will be included in this book. Train consist information shows the incredible variety of combinations and permutations on a particular route over a period of time.  

Now, to get trains from all eras of VIA from all across Canada shoehorned into spreadsheets for you the reader...

VIA No 693 photo by David Maiers

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Book Contents

Here are some of the contents that will be included in my as-yet untitled, second book on VIA.  As I've mentioned before, the two biggest improvements to this second book will be more cross-Canada coverage and more photos.  What better way to portray both than to include some of the photos I'm able to include.  Above: MLW's did make it to Winnipeg.  6772 braves the 'Winterpeg' cold while stopped at Union Station nearly in the shadow of the Hotel Fort Garry.

Here are the contents in the works so far:
-VIA's motive power fleet: including the 6300's, switchers, F40PH-2's and P42DC's
-the LRC program
-the HEP program
-the Renaissance program
-VIA's leased power
-Eastern consists
-Western consists
-Corridor consists
-my experiences riding VIA trains
-VIA's special trains
-notable VIA derailments
-Operation Axle
-rescue units and hospital trains
-western RDC runs: Vancouver Island, Edmonton-Calgary, Sudbry-White River
-VIA history: 1981 cuts, 1985 reinstatements, 1990 cuts
-VIA's more unique cars
-the Corridor in the 1980's
-VIA motive power studies: Northern Ontario, Windsor, Ottawa, Toronto
-VIA's shops
-motive power home shop assignments
-some early, slightly pre-VIA CN & CP consists
-disposition of VIA equipment: cars, RDC's and locomotives,up to the LRC locomotives
-CP equipment acquired by VIA.  

For this last one, I've taken a special interest in the ex-CP E's and F's, non-stainless steel coaches and baggage cars, and RDC's that VIA acquired from CP Rail and their painting, renumbering and assimilation into the VIA fleet.  Weathered CP 8579, seen below at Calgary during a motive power swap:
It bears repeating that all of the above will be richly supported by photos.  I also hope to have some colour photos in the body of the book, as long as the cost of the book can be kept reasonable.  I've been most fortunate to have the support of like-minded individuals who have supplied me with some awesome photos.  Sometimes I sit chair-bound, flipping through the photos.  Then I shake my head vigorously and remember that four-letter word...WORK.

This will be a book from an enthusiast's viewpoint, as was my first book.  At times, I think there's enough material here for two books.  Then I shake my head again and remember that four letter word...EDIT. Content under the above headings will be carefully chosen, retaining a gold-mine worth of information for voracious VIAphiles while leaving ample room for photos.
This has been my clearest description so far of what my second book will be like.  And much, much more, to use that over-used infomercial phrase.  But it's true.  I want there to be enough information in this book that you'll have to use a VIA stepbox to get aboard it!  I hope you can sense my enthusiasm for this book.