Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Review Number 3

A review of my book has just been published in the September issue of Bytown Railway Society's Branchline:

The author has taken a different path in looking at the history of VIA. This is not done by narrative, but there are brief write-ups, nor is it done by photographs, but a smattering of photos (50) are found throughout the volume. The author has taken an historical look at VIA by examining the equipment that could be found making up VIA trains.

The book is divided into six major time frames, and the book presents consists of VIA trains for each of these periods. Most of the spotting was done in Kingston, Ontario, but there are consists spotted on several tips to western Canada. The time frames used generally relate to major changes in equipment used by the company.

The book contains 114 pages and probably 90% of the volume is listing of consists. For the consist information the author presents: date, location, time, direction of passage, train number, locomotive(s), cars and any pertinent remarks. If you are interested in what could be found on VIA trains at pretty much any point in the history of the company, it can be found here, at least for the major trains in the corridor.

There is information on paint schemes, a roster of equipment and power and some schedule information. This volume is certainly aimed at the hard core VIA fan but it is extremely useful for the modeller who wishes to portray a specific VIA train in a certain year. With all the VIA and CN equipment available in the marketplace today, especially that from Rapido Trains Inc., this could be done accurately and without too much effort.

While I found the book interesting, it mainly covers the operations in Ontario. I did not note any coverage for Atlantic Canada, but then again I did not examine every consist so there may be a few entries. There are probably well over 4,000 consists listed in the book. This is a true labour of love and will be appreciated by the fan of passenger service in Canada since 1976.

Thanks to Paul Bown for writing this review, and to Branchline and BRS for supporting Canadian publications, restoration and education efforts. VIA train 3 is shown at Portage in 1980 (above).

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