Friday, October 24, 2014

I once was lost but now am found

Sometimes out of loss can come great joy. The title of this post is a lyric from well-known Amazing Grace, also found in the parable of the prodigal son. When I created my first book, Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years, I knew I was missing a few months of consists. Perhaps a notebook had gone astray in the 30+ years between recording the consists and preparing the 73-page spreadsheet of 2,700 consists that comprised this premiere volume in my series on VIA Rail. VIA's Canadian was running between Montreal and Toronto on CN's Kingston Sub, but between December 20, 1981 and May 12, 1982 - I had nothing. The first Canadians I observed were on November 16, 1981.

A recent discovery of four consist books that my Dad maintained has been quite a revelation. There are 31 new Canadian consists from the missing months! And a ton of other consists, because the books span the years 1981 to 1986, after the end of the Canadians on the Kingston Sub! Including the elusive "two LRC locomotives leading the Canadian"! VIA 6902-6901 hauled a 13-car No 1/55 on July 22, 1982, returning east with a 15-car No 2/44/54 on July 23, 1982. Then, a couple of weeks later on August 5, CN 9583 rescued No 1/55, with stalled 6900-6625 leading 6863 and 13 cars at Kingston!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to digesting these newly-discovered consists, and I'm considering formatting them into a supplement to my three books. Where else would you find this stuff!!??

Thanks, Dad.

FPA4 6783 shares the Kingston station platform with an eastbound VIA No 2/44/54 in the summer of 1982.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Here's a Novel Idea!

As in Novel Idea Bookstore, here in Kingston at 156 Princess Street. I'm proud to say that Oscar at Novel Idea now has my  second book Trackside with VIA: Cross-Canada Compendium on the store shelves. Even though it's 18 months since my second and third books were published (the time has flown like a VIA 3:59:00 Montreal-Toronto Express!) it's great to have my book for sale here in Kingston.
Bringing coals to Newcastle? Copies of my books have flown across the country, into the US as well as Europe and Australia. And now, Kingston's independent bookstore. I mentioned to Oscar that Kingston is a very VIA-friendly city; one of Canada's busiest stations on a per capita basis for the size of our city. 
I went to Novel Idea to pick up a copy of the story of Kingston's WW2 BCATP airfield, Harvards Above  by octogenarian Kingstonian Geraldine Chase. I've learned that it's great to support other authors, to share and build on the enthusiasm and interests of others, and that one never knows where this will lead. Plus, I'm proud to support a local, independent retailer here in Kingston's downtown.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Best Prices now in effect

My three books on VIA Rail provide great value for the price - full of text, data and photos that you won't find elsewhere. Canada Post, in its infinite corporate wisdom, has decided to substantially raise postal rates, including oversize lettermail rates that I am able to use, to keep shipping costs as low as possible. Having absorbed previous increases in printing costs as well as previous postal increases, I have not changed prices since my books were published.

Now I am doing so, but as minimally as possible. To keep it simple, the price of each book, still including shipping, has increased by $5. A sawbuck. A fiver. That's it, that's all. Postal rates to the US remain the same as always - a small additional charge to be added to the Canadian cost, to cover postage.

You'll find new pricing in each of the order form and flyer documents linked to in the sidebar. In any event, the prices are now as follows:
Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years $30
Tw VIA: Cross-Canada Compendium $35
Tw VIA: Cross-Canada Consist Companion $15

Even VIA Rail has raised their ticket prices and changed their pricing plans, since the day's of CN's Red, White and Blue fares, and they still provide a valuable, though much pruned service on their network. 
I remain committed to keeping the prices of my book as affordable as I can. After all, it's been one of my main goals all along.

(Above) Gary Hadfield photo taken at Halifax, NS, August 1976

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Order Now to Save!

Sometimes I procrastinate and you do, too. If you've said "I'm going to order copies of Eric's books on VIA Rail, but I just haven't gotten around to placing an order", read on!

Since my books were published, I've absorbed increases in postal rates. Unfortunately, a planned Canada Post increase in postage rates*, set to take effect March 31, 2014 is too large to be absorbed, and will result in a substantial increase in all my book prices. My book prices currently include free shipping in Canada, a small additional charge for shipping to the US and internationally. Since each book weighs less than 500 grams, they are classified as oversized lettermail, and this is one of the rates that will cost more - up to 30% more.

Any order received by March 20 will reflect the current price structure. New prices will come into effect on March 21, and a new order form reflecting the new prices will be posted on this blog effective that date.

So if you've been procrastinating, do so no longer! Order now to lock in your books at the current prices (free shipping within Canada included in the following):

Trackside with VIA : 
The First 35 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25
Cross-Canada Compendium. . . . . . . . . . . $30
Cross-Canada Comp. Consist Companion . . $10

Highball! And I mean it this time!

*(Canada Post is losing money. Lots of money. One way they're trying to make more money is to charge more for their services. This in turn will cost even more business, thereby losing even more money. But then I'm no economist. These increases are 'due to regulatory approval' but I think they'll be approved!)
Prepare to wave goodbye to the current prices! 
VIA No 2 at Portage la Prairie, MB. (Brian Schuff photo)