Shronians! What are they? They may be VIAphiles, or they may not. But they all appreciate the chutzpah of Jason Shron and his company, Rapido Trains Inc. This weekend, Rapido organized a VIA Rail charter from Toronto-Montreal return aboard VIA Rail. Lucky passengers - Shronians!! - attended the Rapido product announcement at Exporail - the Icons of Canadian Steam launch. Observing and videotaping Skyline 8501's deadhead move to Toronto, and lucky to have my wife and daughter record its eastbound passing on VIA No 52 on Sunday, I was able to catch the westbound charter cars on No 69 at Kingston tonight, tailed by Business Class car 3477 and Skyline 8501.
For a couple of reasons, unable to ride the charter, I decided I'd be one Earth-bound VIAphile that, in the event of a Shronian repossession to the Spadina Mothership, would remain to tell the story of VIA throughout its various eras. I photographed Jason Shron speaking to the Shronians during the Kingston platform stop (above and below) and enthusiastically exhorting them to wave just before departure (top photo).
This was not the first opportunity I'd had to meet Jason at Kingston. Back in June 2011, Jason was on a cross-Canada hobby shop tour when he briefly alighted at Kingston. Jason wrote the foreword for my first book on VIA Rail, and has been very supportive of my efforts, and I remain so of his. Jason's quality models of Canadian passenger trains, and my writing about them, go together...like A and B units.
Too soon, VIA No 69 headed west, with Jason giving a friendly wave!