Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Turbo Not Working

VIA's Turbos were increasingly unreliable towards the end of their career, bepatched with yellow duct tape. From 1979 to 1981, VIA replaced the Turbos with conventional consists, both morning and evening runs.

These "Turbo replacements" were notable because they were the only VIA trains operating on the Kingston Sub with one unit, usually a FP9A, but sometimes FPA4. Also of note were the consists' length - as few as four cars, as many as seven. Each comprised a Club car, a Cafe-Bar-Lounge, and two to five coaches. Often, the coaches were 5200's or 5300's!

In 1979, as CN passenger equipment was receiving the VIA scheme, these trains were often a mix of CN and VIA paint. I've come across a plethora of interesting consists in preparing this book. VIAphiles will find them of great interest. Highball!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Paint Chips

An important component of my new book will be CN to VIA paint transition data. This information will be very useful to VIAphiles and modellers of VIA alike. Rolling stock, SGU's, locomotives and RDC's will all be included. With the able and generous assistance of Jakob Mueller, we've been able to put together spreadsheets with hard data as to when all the above rolling stock received VIA colours. New data points are being added daily from 1977-1979 train information I'm currently transcribing.

Dayniters, sleepers, baggage cars (wow, a lot of them hung on to CN colours for a long time), coaches, ex-CP stainless steel cars, and some neat niche cars including lounge cars, various meal service cars and Canadian Flyer cars included.

I'll also include some locomotive paint variations like the FPA4 that had a blue VIA on the nose (the Bluenose?), CN units that had the white CN painted out (the Rednose?) and other neat stuff.
I haven't seen this depth of detailed information anywhere else. This book will have it and more: timetables, consists of transcon trips I took, and what-happened-when in VIA's relatively short history. Highball!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Long Trains Running

Fifteen car trains. Thirteen car trains. Even the shortest ones were seven cars, not including the temporary Turbo replacement consists which were still six cars. The length of these trains that I'm currently transcribing explains the long, lighted platform at Kingston and other Corridor stations. These trains were long enough for two 2500's and two baggage cars, and occasionally two club cars, plus a cornucopia of coaches.

Quite a departure from the current VIA Corridor trains that can be as short as four or five cars. Somehow one P42 is just not as interesting as two RS18's and an F9B, or three FPA4's. Horsepower! Highball!