Monday, August 27, 2012

Are 200 Photos Enough?

Well, it's crunch time.  Editing decisions being made amongst a sea of sticky-notes.  I'm making room for 200+ photos.  F's! F40's! P42's! Cars! RDC's! LRC's! Ren's! B&Y! S/S! IC3! Yikes! Even some VIA stuff I didn't know existed.

While this second book on VIA Rail is not primarily a 'picture book', it will be a book of pictures.  And text.  And data.  I've heard that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, here are 200,000 words!

The people have spoken.  And I hope to meet your expectations by honouring your requests for more photos.

Speaking of meets, that's VIA No 3 Eng 6519 meeting our VIA No 4 at Uncas AB, May 1986.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Great! It's Glenfraser!

Glenfraser came through town this week.  Fellow VIAphile Jakob Mueller happened to take a photo of this unique car on the tail end of a ten-car VIA No 57 hauled by two P42's during VIA's afternoon rush.

From CN to VIA to BC Rail to VIA again, Glenfraser is one-of-a-kind on VIA's roster.  I've been thinking about what will make Trackside with VIA: Cross-Canada Compendium unique.  I want readers to be interested in it for the same reason Jakob photographed's absolutely different, it has a distinctive look, and it tells a very interesting story.  

This book may have too much content.  When I started out over a year ago, I was endeavouring to include everything from VIA factoids, consists from all eras, rosters and dispositions.  It seemed like an insurmountable challenge to find it all.

Now, with the binder of text full and the photo file bulging, something may have to give.  Sage advice from a contributor this past week...more photos, fewer consists.  And that's exactly the way the balance will tip.  Perhaps a supplement of consists will follow.


Glenfraser photo by Jakob Mueller, Kingston ON August 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Houston...we have...a Title!

Until this morning, the working title of my second book on VIA has been 'V2'.  Now, I'm pleased to report that after much rumination, while sitting on my front porch, I am proud to announce that there is now a real title: Trackside with VIA : Cross-Canada Compendium.

I thought of giving up the 'Trackside with VIA' prefix, because now it sounds like the Lord of the Rings movie series, and they just keep adding suffixes.  However, this is very much a 'Trackside' book.  It's what an enthusiast or VIAphile would see passing by while trackside, and then be able to look up later.

'Cross-Canada' reflects the sea-to-sea information I've included.  From Prince Rupert and Vancouver, across the Prairies, through the wilds of northern Ontario and Quebec, to the mighty Atlantic.  If there's one thing I've heard loud and clear, it's that potential readers want all parts of Canada represented.  Check!  (The other thing I've heard loud and clear, is more pictures!  Check, too!)

'Compendium' describes the information to be contained herein, better than collection, collage, compilation, or any other alliterative 'C' words that I could have used.  This is a gathering-together, a concise compilation, a presentation of a body of knowledge from the delimited field of Canadian passenger train history. The Bible is a compendium, and it's done pretty well over the years.  Will this become the bible of VIA Rail?  It certainly has the potential.

So now you know...the rest of the story (Paul Harvey reference) and the title.


VIA No 4 on CN's Ashcroft Sub, September 1985 (above)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Photos, anyone?

Oh boy, that was fun!  I just finished preparing a sheaf of photos for my upcoming book on VIA Rail.  As I've mentioned before, when I start looking at photos representing all eras of VIA's history, I forget there's work to do.  Easily distracted, I've included a very, very small sample here.  The one-of-a-kind blue-roof CP-painted 1418 (above) and stainless steel ex-CN sleeper waiting for disposition (below):
And here's E-series sleeper Ernestown (below).  The funny thing is, these are pictures that you won't be seeing in the book.  These are unassigned, waiting on the back burner so to speak, as extras.  I have so many photos to include that some very, very difficult decisions had to be made.  The photos in my book will directly support the text, instead of just being random, under-captioned photos to fill white space.  I've selected enough photos to produce complete photo pages matching the text.  Seriously considering some colour...
This post comes at the end of a nine-hour work block.  It's been a good book day.  Photos are nearing readiness, and eastern Canada's VIA history is looking a lot more complete.  I've printed off and proof-read a lot of text, and this thing is really coming together!

Another first book is now available through Flying Yankee Enterprises in Littleton, Massachusetts.