VIA's locomotive fleet has got my full attention right now. What hauled which cars when and where? As usual, I do believe that a properly-sourced consist is worth 'a thousand words' because it gives the date, location, direction, and a concise representation of an entire VIA train.
It's really difficult to answer questions like the one recently posed...could a VIA unrebuilt F-unit still be operating in the Corridor in 1995? Well, could it? Probably not, but can I say so definitively? Generalizations can lead to one observer bringing forward one instance that quickly devalues that information. I've done it myself, and felt pretty clever at the time. So it's important to provide credible information that still leaves room for individual sightings. Consists allow just that.
VIA did have a varied fleet, its own plus leased, begged or borrowed units from CN and CP, especially in the earlier decades of its existence, and it's exactly what I'm working on for my second book right now.
Thanks to everyone who's asking how the book's coming along. Not fast enough for my caffeinated-squirrel attention span, but a week on vacation allowed me to recharge my batteries and consider the direction the book is taking. I'm convinced it's the right one, and I trust you will too. Soon, transcription!