Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dispo. Firsto. Lasto.

In the previous post, I mentioned that VIA 6300 was the last unit in my list of VIA equipment dispositions.  While I continue to refine the list for my second VIA book, I thought I'd include the first and last of the nine pages here, to show how this list of information continues to grow.

I've included storage, retirement, sale, re-sale and scrapping dates to paint a picture of VIA's fleet on a chronological basis.  Through the various rounds of cuts and fleet rationalization, new equipment comes online and older equipment is disposed of, while smaller railways, tourist operations, museums and scrappers benefit.

As you can see here, disposition has been ongoing throughout VIA's history, though the rate has certainly slowed down recently.  The last eight years, 2004 to 2011 require a mere eight lines, while the first four years, 1981 to 1984 fill a page.

I hope book customers will find this information as engrossing as I do, and that you might find it a useful reference source while reading all about VIA, its trains and its routes over the past thirty-plus years.  Click to read all the fine print!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Dispo Facto

FP9AU 6300 is wearing a new paint scheme.  That unit is fresh in my memory, since it's the last unit currently shown in my VIA disposition of equipment information that I'm including in my second book on VIA.  Used as a VMC shop switcher occasionally, then victim of a generator flashover, 6300 was recently donated to the NRHS BC Chapter.  Andy Cassidy kindly shared the photo above after the unit's repainting.

What happened to all those locomotives and cars after VIA was finished with them?  Well, many took on new lives, successfully serving tourist operators in the US and Canada, Canadian railways, and even foreign assignments.  Others were scrapped or stored.  I find this information fascinating, and while some disposition information is available in Bytown Railway Society's unparalleled Canadian Trackside Guide, it's not grouped together, nor available chronologically.

Now the facto part...once one starts looking into dispostion information, it's sometimes difficult to comb through data that is confusing, incomplete and sometimes contradictory. But I will present what I've gathered, secure in the knowledge that other VIAphiles will be able to add to what I've presented.

In the near future, I'll be providing some preliminary disposition information right here, as a book bonus.  Please feel free to give me your thoughts on its presentation and how you might find it useful.

More can now find copies of my book for sale through Ron's Books in Danbury, Connecticut and the Hobby Depot in Sudbury.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's a pre-VIA! It's a non-VIA! It's VIA!

What's one to do when one comes across train information from just before the VIA era or non-VIA trains?  (While not strictly speaking VIA trains, they either included equipment soon to be assimilated into VIA Rail, ran concurrently with VIA trains, or included ex-VIA equipment.)  The answer?  Keep track of them, and I did.  There will be a section in my second book including those trains...CN, CP, Amtrak, Rocky Mountaineer, heck even GO and ONR will be included.  These trains are relevant to VIA - the progression to VIA was a slow one, and the disposition of VIA cars was also a slow process.  In fact, when the cars from the 1981 cuts were disposed of, there was space for the cars from the 1990 cuts.

In other news, my first book will soon also be available at two more locations - Trains and Lattes in the ex-CN station in Jasper, Alberta and Hobby Vermont & Essex in Montreal.

More printer is ready to fire up the (digital) press.  When required.  I had a nice email back from Bryan Babcock at Allan Graphics this week.  He still can't figure out why people are interested in the numbers and minutiae of passenger trains, but a second book is helping him understand.  In the days to come, he and I will be talking about page counts, photos, fonts, formatting and even a colour section.  


Pre-VIA westbound Turbo, spring 1974 at Mi 182 Kingston Sub, L.C. Gagnon photo (above).