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.