Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ticket to Ride

What was it like to ride VIA Rail in its early days?  Lots of people want to know.  I'll be including some stories in my new book.  Train consists, rosters, numbers and dates are one thing, but a railfan travelling on VIA and his experiences are something else entirely.

How about riding a Skyline between Montreal and Ottawa in 1985?  A ride that included a sing-along with a group of seniors travelling from Nova Scotia to North Bay.  Upon arrival at Ottawa Union, the group seems to have headed downstairs to stretch their legs, get some fresh air, or perhaps have a cup of tea.

While this book won't be everything to everyone, there will be something in it for everyone.  

Even one VIAphile's travelogue across Canada and back: picking berries on the way to Prince Rupert, a map-wielding Dutch seatmate and Dutch doors, and a Sudbury Saturday night.



  1. I like the idea of including a few stories to add a bit of descriptive colour that consists and rosters can't provide on their own.

  2. Thanks for your comment, A. These will indeed be part of my second book and I can only agree that they will add colour to the contents.

    An excellent source of such accounts on CN, CP and VIA Rail is Canadian Rail Travel, which is in the recommended reading section of my first book. Self-published, hard-to-find, perhaps but a great source of cross-Canada travel accounts. Some details:

    Hardy, John. Canadian rail travel: a photographic record of passenger train journeys 1964-1991. Hanover, Ontario: Hardy, J.R., 2001.