Saturday, January 29, 2011

All VIA Consists

From 1977 to 1979, the look of VIA trains was changing radically. From mixed CN and VIA consists, to VIA-painted cars and locomotives, with the latter dominating each consist. In 1979, I'm starting to come across "All VIA" trains. Sometimes, in a moment of bilingual patriotism, I had recorded "Toute VIA" along with the train information.

And the horsepower! One train notation: 5400 hp for six cars - that's three smoking MLW's. Two are shown above in 1984.

How about five RDC's on the Ontarian, running between Kingston and Toronto, with a nice mix of RDC types? It was an interesting period in VIA's history. I have transition data for the RDC's too, including when each received VIA stripes and yellow ends. Highball!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Business Cars

Company varnish was a regular sight on the end of VIA trains. Back in 1977, CN cars, both black&white and aluminum, plus GTW business cars could be seen tagging along. I was surprised how often this occurred, based on the trains I recorded. A couple of decades later, here's CN 94 in 1993, at the end of an LRC consist.

Nowadays, it's the CN corporate jet. Costs, adding the cars to trains, and compatibility with today's VIA consists probably contributed to end the practice.

Then there was a 6-car joint CN-N&W business car train in April 1977 on the Kingston Sub. Wonder what was being discussed on that train?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1970's at the Station

VIA's early years. Late 1970's. The VIA/CN era, before the CN "wet-noodle" was officially no longer part of the VIA logomark. In this photo taken in March 1977, 6765 is arriving at Kingston station proudly displaying "CN" for all to see. Not for long.

I'm currently working through this time period for my new book. The paint shops were busy, with VIA paint appearing on more and more rolling stock. The trains were long, each with a full baggage car and a club car and heavyweight lounge cars, snack service and coaches, with the end of each train sometimes including the 5100-5300 series coaches with six-wheel trucks. By May 1977, many trains had two baggage cars. Any ideas as to why?