Saturday, April 22, 2017

It turned green! Highball! Now available!

I'm proud to announce the launch of Trackside with VIA: Research and Recollections, my fourth book on VIA Rail. The idea for this book was planted last fall, and it's sprouted this spring. Professionally printed by Allan Graphics here in Kingston, with graphic design by Bryan Babcock, I'm especially proud of this fourth volume. It's perhaps the most 'personal' of the four. If a picture tells a thousand words, two Youtube videos should be worth quite a few more: What's In This Book? and Behind the Scenes.
With 20 more pages than my second book published in 2012, including a 10-page colour section, there has been no price increase. And postage within Canada is still included in the price of $35! As with all my other books, I aim to keep the price reasonable, encouraging sharing of the information it contains. Getting it out there for posterity!

The best place to check out all the details? I encourage you to check out my New VIA Rail Book blog, which is at top right of Trackside Treasure's sidebar. There you'll find information on the book and its creation, but more importantly my email address for Interac e-transfer through a Canadian financial institution, alternaively a printable order form if you'd care to order with a cheque or money order by snail mail in the US or Canada.

I usually ship within two business days when an order is received. Each book is shipped in a padded mailer with cardboard stiffener, and can be signed if desired. I'll be at Kingston station platform at 6 pm for a one-hour launch for local railfans.

So how is this book different and why? Why does it deserve a place on your bookshelf? I think you'll find within its covers a nice mix of text, data and photos. Maybe you can find some of this information elsewhere.  But it won't be all in one place for your perusal. And frankly, some of this information is not available elsewhere. Not only is there research, data and photos of mine, but also of my contributor team: Tim Hayman, Don McQueen, Mark Perry and Mark Sampson brought their expertise in modelling, locomotives and VIA operations in Northern Manitoba and VIA's Canadian, respectively.

Let's face it - there are very few books on VIA Rail out there. I've listed the only ones in existence in my first book, and I've added two published since then in this book. Now there is one more! Trip accounts from throughout VIA's history, and consists from 1981 to 2016 comprise the 'personal' parts of the book. Not knowing my Dad had saved consists that I'd lost track of (no pun intended), I've included them, plus accounts of VIA trips made by my parents, as well as photos of VIA operations taken by my Dad and my brother in the 1980's. All in one convenient package! Bryan was kind enough to deliver the first print run to my house, which we eagerly opened and posed for our graphic designer/book creator photo! Now that's service!
Just the facts:
  • Trackside with VIA: Research & Recollections
  • $35 delivered anywhere in Canada
  • 126 pages
  • 106 B&W photos
  • 78 colour photos
  • colour covers
  • 10-page colour section
  • all the details here!
***As always, thank you for your interest in my books and I trust you'll enjoy them 
as much as I enjoyed creating them.*** 
- Eric

Friday, April 21, 2017

Now arriving!

This is what it's all about. This is what it all comes down to. A knock at the door, and it's Bryan from Allan Graphics. He has a delivery. This is really going the extra few miles! Soon stacked in the front hall, it's the delivery of the first print run of Trackside with VIA: Research and Recollections!
After opening up a box, it's time for a delivery photo-op with Bryan. He still can't believe how many rail enthusiasts there are in Canada! But every book he prints for me, he gets a much better idea!
Thank you Bryan, and Allan Graphics for facilitating local printing of my fourth book!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Contributor Delivery at Kingston!

With a great team of contributors aboard for Trackside with VIA: Research and Recollections, a particular pleasure is making sure their contributions are rewarded with a complimentary copy. Even better is a delivery to a contributor who's riding the train through Kingston! Contributor Tim Hayman was doing just that, aboard No 65 after arriving Montreal on No 15 and before departing Toronto on No 1.

It was great to meet Tim, albeit briefly, and provide him with some reading material for his cross-country trip. I really appreciate the contributions all my contributors have made! Shortly after the delivery, I got this message from Tim:

I showed the book to the attendant who let me off, and as we were chatting, the other Business Class attendant came over and said, "Are you Eric Gagnon?" I said no, but I'd just met him on the platform. He said, "Oh no, I wish I knew!" He says he's been following the development of your latest book (he has the others) and is set to order this one, too!
Tim reached Vancouver today! Before leaving, he left the above creative whiteboard artwork (above).

Top photo by Karen Gagnon

Monday, April 17, 2017

Making Things Easier!

With my previous three books, I got just as much feedback on ordering as I did on the book. That was five years ago. We weren't set up for online banking or PayPal. Now we are set up for online banking which means E-Transfer is ready!

Lots of customers would rather not have written a cheque (can't remember the last time I wrote one, they said!) then having to stick a stamp on an envelope (can't remember the last time I used a stamp, they said!!). And I get that. So now, E-Transfer is ready! It's nearly instantaneous, it's free, it's secure, it's just an email away, and it's quicker. The order is placed right away and I'll ship within two business days. And it's not subject to mail strikes, which beset delivery of my first book!

Please include your mailing address, number of copies, and whether you'd like them signed and if so, to whom.

The photo shows the contributor copies arriving. They're now on their way to my contributors. We're just a week away from the release and from making things easier!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bonjour, Jean-Francois!

A shout-out to VIA car attendant Jean-Francois who was working VIA No 65 through Kingston today. Thanks for your interest in my books on VIA Rail! If you care to drop me an email, I would be happy to arrange a delivery of a copy of my latest book for you at Kingston on a future run! No shipping charge for on-train deliveries!


It Turned Yellow!

When this book blog background becomes yellow, it means one thing...the highball is approaching. My graphic designer is in the final stages of production of Trackside with VIA: Research and Recollections, and since I worked towards an April release all winter, it's about time!

Stay tuned for the official release date. It shouldn't be long now.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sneak Peek Proof

A couple of sneak peeks from the hard copy proof from my graphic designer. Above is one of the ten colour pages, which include recent Corridor trains, early Super Continental and Canadian, LRC, RDC's, Northern Manitoba, VIA HO-scale models, F40's, modern Canadian - a colour sampler of a plethora of VIA trains, new and old. I'm happy with the colour reproduction on the coated paper.

I've again included "triVIA" tabs wherever possible. Not just filling white space, no! These tabs present little VIA factoids that will be of interest to VIAphiles. And Bryan and I got a better colour for the cover - not only more easily-discernible from my Trackside with VIA Cross-Canada Compendium blue cover, but a nice representation of VIA teal.

Monday, April 3, 2017

CANADA 150 Update

Creating a book is great fun, but VIA Rail keeps rolling on. VIA Rail's CANADA 150 silver sesquicentennial fleet, that is. While I update VIA developments that have occurred since 2011 in this upcoming book, CANADA 150 wrapping of P42's, F40's, Business Class and economy LRC coaches and even lounge car Glenfraser roll on. As the book went to the graphic designer, I had to draw a line in the ballast.

For the VIAphiles out there who keep rolling on, here is the current state of the CANADA 150 fleet as of April 3. And if you happen to see VIA 913, the engineer's side of 900 or the other side of 3364, drop me a line!

Click for a larger version!

I trust you'll find this information useful. As with all other VIA information, it is tons 'o' fun to put together.