Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Wading through 1984-1985 VIA consist notes, would you believe a train with 4 LRC locomotives? My original notes say "two LRC trains operating together". Three LRC locomotives up front, 9 cars and one LRC locomotive on the tail end. Nothing in the notes about why I didn't get a photo of this unique movement though. Then lots of consists with CN 4300-series Geeps and GM F9B's operating together on trains which often included ex-CP stainless steel cars bumped from the Canadian.

It's amazing how many parts a book contains: foreword, acknowledgements, table of contents, ISBN, catalogue data, appendix, etc. All these parts contribute to a quality publication, and will be part of this VIA Rail book.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Canadian consists on the Kingston Sub

The original 1955 Budd CPR Canadian consist was baggage-dorm, coach, Skyline, diner, Manor car, Chateau, Park car. Would you believe near-original consists were running on CN's Kingston Sub in 1983? Except for the ex-CN F's, and sometimes missing the diner, shortened winter-spring consists of VIA train 1/55 were nearly-original. In summer, up to three Budd sleepers were in the train, in winter sometimes just one. And Budd diners were also in evidence.

This is the kind of uniqueness that we're lacking today. But wait, looking forward to the 1990's, there were still some pretty cool consists being operated by VIA, blue & yellow and stainless steel, F40's and LRC's. That's seven years beyond 1983, where I'm currently data-mining. Highball.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cookie-Cutter Consists

I find today's VIA consists somewhat the same. There's not the variety that existed in the 1980's. Standardization is the new buzzword, and no business wants to maintain product lines and service programs for multiple fleets with different requirements. The LRC consist above as VIA's attempt at standardization. A single fleet, but unlike the earlier Turbo, some flexibility in consist length and options for locomotives at each end.

I've seen some reference to 3-car LRC consists on Yahoogroups, but haven't come across any yet. Witness the single-locomotive 3-car consist above.

I'm transcribing daily Corridor Canadian consists from 1982 right now. It's interesting to see differences in consists from day to day, so I'm including them all. Eastbound consists from Torontoreturn westbound from Montreal the next day, but with an E-series sleeper substituted for a Chateau, or a 3200-series coach substituted for a 100-series. The same but different, remarkably different, and definitely not cookie-cutter. Highball.