I'm going to start by saying what the book is not.
- It is not a coffee table picture book.
- It is not an exhaustive history of VIA Rail.
- It is not a Greg McDonnell book.
- 1976-81 / Beginnings
- 1982-86 / Potpourri
- 1987-90 / New Power
- 1991-95 / End of Steam
- 1996-00 / Transition
- 2001-11 / Renaissance
- Western Trips
The book also includes a foreword by Jason Shron of Rapido Trains, paint transition data for the modeler, provided by Jakob Mueller, a brief VIA roster, train schedules in the Ontario-Quebec, the various Canadian/Super Continental routings, and recommended readings. I think Trackside with VIA is a book by a railfan, for railfans. This book will appeal to VIA Rail enthusiasts, and train enthusiasts in general. I don't think the "general public" (whoever that is) would really enjoy it, and they are not the intended audience.
The book is well written, with very few typos, well laid out, and it is professionally printed. I love the cover - it is very reminiscent of VIA timetables from days gone by.
This is a quality product.
I recommend Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years to anyone with a serious interest in railways, especially the history of VIA Rail. As Eric notes in his recommended reading section, there have been very few serious books on VIA Rail. Now there is one more.