Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heading West

In December of last year, I mentioned trains I'd seen on several trips across western Canada aboard VIA Rail. As I work my way through them, I'm again surprised at what I'm finding as I'm transcribing. It's not limited to information on the trains I was able to ride.

There are the trains I saw while waiting to board the Canadian, trains we met along the way, switching and combining of sections at Sudbury, business cars in Calgary and Vancouver, and an absolutely rich and astounding variety of cars in trainsheds and coachyards.

A current Yahoogroup discussion focuses on "transition eras", normally thought of as steam-to-diesel, but also including sea change in trains, equipment and operating philosophies. The early decade of VIA involved impending transition from service on the full VIA network, through cutbacks, to the advent of Head End Power, and F-units being replaced by newer power. Rolling stock was standardized and then sold off.

But why was 9480 tagging along on the end of the Super Continental? Highball!

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