Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Consists 1976-1985

Elvis sang "I'll have a blue Christmas..." How about a VIA blue-and-yellow Christmas? Bing Crosby sang "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Why not a CN black-and-white Christmas?

Extra Christmas ridership usually means that every available car is out of the coach yard carrying passengers homewards and generating revenue. This can lead to some weird Christmas consists. Stormy winter weather, unforeseen delays and heavy passenger loads can make operations unpredictable. Here are some Christmas consists from CN's Kingston Sub, in the CN and VIA eras, each year from 1976 to 1985. Merry Christmas and here's hoping you find some treasure under your tree.

December 24, 1976 1230 E: CN 3101 - 6633 - 9657 - 5394 - 5217 - 5413 - 5423 - 3034 - 5643. Here's 5394 with the early VIA:CN markings:
December 24, 1976 2027 E: (All CN markings) 6537 - 6859 - 3126 - 3109 - 9654 - 5627 - 5589 - 753 - 5584 - 5534 - 4886 - 5588 - 5638 - 5635 - 5471 - 5533 - 2512.
December 26, 1977 1224 E: (Partial consist) 6533 - 3107 - SGU - silver coach (probably one of the ex-Reading Crusader cars that seemed to appear around Christmastime)
December 26, 1977 1302 E: (Partial consist) 6776 - 6871 - VIA 6775 - VIA 9600 - VIA York Club (VIA paint is starting to appear)
December 29, 1978 1330 W (Partial consist) VIA 6516 - VIA 6637 - VIA 6539 - CN University Club - CN 425
December 26, 1979 1545 E (Partial consist) Here's a weird one. VIA even borrowed CP Rail and Ontario Northland coaches for the Christmas rush this year. VIA 6539 - VIA 6621 - CN 5208 - CP 108 - ONR 836. The photo is taken late on a dreary December day, and is mainly presented to show it really happened:

December 27, 1979 1243 W: (All VIA now except as noted) 6761 - 6870 - CN 3112 - CN 5382 - CN 5181 - CN 5491 - 2504 - 5455- Mount Royal Club - Warpath River - 4888 - 5574 - 3032 - 9663.
Here's a photo taken the same day of an eastbound Rapido with 6788 - 6624 - CN 3126 and CN baggage car 9604:

December 30, 1979 1546 E: (Partial consist) Another dreary day and another weird one - 6523 - 6635 - CN 304 (silver) - CN 5620 - 5292 - 9483 - Muskoka. This Christmas, VIA was running Toronto - Montreal through trains replacing the normal Toronto-Kingston RDC's:


December 26, 1980 2038 W: CN 4520 - CN 4561 - CN 4560 (stripes) - CN 3118 (stripes) - 15423 - 15473 - 9631 - 5443 - 5449 - 5531 - 2513 - 5298 - 5302 - Empire Club - 3030 - 5652 - 5399 - 5301 - 9632.
December 19, 1981 1203 E: (The Canadian running between Toronto and Montreal, with extra coaches) 6764 - 6619 - 6630 - 612 - Club de la Garnison - 5595 - 5511 - 5654 - 2513 - 5449 - 3215 - 116 - 104 - 507 - 5733 - Chateau Cadillac - Chateau Rouville - Riding Mountain Park.
Here's Club St-Denis, one of the few cars remaining in CN paint, December 1981 - note the steam, stepbox and markers:
Of course lots of passengers means lots of baggage. Here's skis and other items being loaded aboard baggage car 9662:

January 4, 1982 1541 E: 6786 - 6629 - 6521 - CN 3126 - 9603 - Laurier Club - 5726 - 5447 - 5494 - 2503 - 5618 - 5495 - 5558 - 5610 - 2505 - 5634 - 5640 - 5635 - 5517. Here's 6521 MU'd in the middle of that four-unit locomotive consist:


December 28, 1982 1146 E: (The Canadian, again with more coaches than usual) 6532 - 6612 - CN 3118 - 612 - Club de la Garnison - 5545 - 3223 - 5455 - 5519 - 5443 - 3213 - 5627 - 107 - 503 - 5720 - Chateau Varennes - Chateau Brule - Banff Park.

January 8, 1983 1143 W: 6760 - 6870 - CN 15476 - CN 9657 - 5446 - 3037 - 3232 - 5519 - Club de la Garnison. SGU 15476 has a small VIA decal before its number:


December 23, 1983 1551 E: 6786 - 6634 - 5590 - 3219 - 5588 - 5532 - 5750 - 5483 - 5500 - 2503 - 5725 - Chateau Laval
December 21, 1984 1225 W: 6782 - 6865 - York Club - 108 - 5545 - 5486 - 2510 - 5494 - 5562 - 5574 - 3211.
December 21, 1985 1203 E: CN 4362 - 6624 - Tweedsmuir Park (running backwards) - 612 - Boulevard Club - 3210 - 5495 - 5541 - 759 - 117 - 3200 - Chateau Laval - business car 95:

Maybe some CN bigwig was heading home for Christmas, or maybe going to a Habs game in Montreal with some customers...

December 30, 1985 1455 W: 6783 - 6780 - Empire Club - 5516 - 3209 - 5468 - 2503 - 115 - 3237 - 105 - 3231 - 5610.
Running extra...
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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,
Looking forward to the business car segment. I bought an HO brass one and had it painted up as "Grand Trunk" in the '61 scheme, picture reference in John Ridell's book on CN passenger eqt.
When looking around for any other information, there is very resources avail on them.
Once again, keep up the great work.
With thanks,
Heath

Eric said...

Thanks Heath, going through my notes I found I'd seen quite a few trains, mainly VIA but also CP freight, that carried business cars on the tail-end. Very rare now. Eric

rapidotrains said...

This is an awesome post. Gotta love the sleeper used as a coach! I will have to remember that for my layout... Though I'm pretty sure that first consist had 5417 rather than 5217. Your photo is of a 5400-series car.

Eric said...

Thanks, Jason. I went back to my original notes and found that car with the VIA/CN markings is actually 5394. Revised post accordingly.

Eric