Private car Pacific graced the rails at Kingston's VIA station on June 5. An expectedly classy and elegant Kingston platform scene indeed. The Higgins Brothers, Paul and Michael, are paying tribute to their Paul Sr. who passed away in 2004, and raising awareness for Alzheimer's, hoping to raise $1 million. Here, VIA train No 64 arrives at Kingston station - 919-3463-3323-3364-3353-Pacific:
It's immediately obvious that this is not just another LRC car tagging along behind 3353, with that unique roofline and smokejack giving the game away. Pacific usually resides in Ajax, but had travelled to VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre in Mimico to be readied for its trip east.
The appearance of Pacific was not a total surprise, due to a heads-up on Yahoogroups (thanks, Ray!) a couple of days before. Pacific is on a multi-city tour for Mother Parker's Remembers, the campaign to aid Alzheimer's research. While not usually one to promote a particular campaign above others, I would ask Trackside Treasure readers to consider supporting this one. With a predicted 50% increase in the incidence of Alzheimer's in Canada predicted within a generation, this campaign with its rail-related theme that we can all support.
With marker lamps, Paul Higgins drumhead, stepbox, end-of-train 'ping-pong' paddle,open observation platform and HEP connections, Pacific makes a striking sight. Fans of underbody detail, while thwarted somewhat on this trip by Kingston's trackhopper fence, may have better luck if I catch a westbound movement in future!
Two gentlemen (Paul's sons?) enjoy beverages aboard the car during the station stop, while I am feverishly and fanatically snapping photos. Understated company logos and a descriptive plaque are visible on the car side:
The plaque provides information on the car's history including its use on the 1939 Royal Tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The royal cypher 'GR' George Rex adorns the car's name.
Bridging the years...HEP and vestibule connections between new and old, though the private car appears to be thoroughly modern in its systems.
The setting sun warms the side of P42DC 919 as the five-car train nears its departure time and the lighting of the headlights and ditchlights. Pacific had an appointment to keep, at track 20 of Montreal's Central Station for a media opportunity and had also hosted an Alzheimer's Society executive directors' meeting.
Departing for Montreal, crossing Counter Street. What's a real passenger train without marker lamps? Follow the Facebook and Twitter links on the Mother Parker's website for news of Pacific's upcoming trips.
This postscript post gives more background on Pacific. I support the campaign, and here's hoping the campaign will be successful, and that many of us will have an encounter with Pacific trackside! A few minutes later, F40PH-2 6437 leads an eastbound at Kingston.
All remaining items in Trackside Treasure's VIVA VIA sale now 20% off.
It's graduation season, speaking of cyphers and other heraldry. I just found the official heraldic description of the Queen's University Coat of Arms. It incorporates the blue St Andrew's cross, with symbols of Canada, Scotland, England and Ireland, respectively: On a Saltire Azure between in chief a Fir tree eradicated in base a Thistle stalked and leaved in fesse a Red Rose barbed seeded stalked and leaved all proper and a Trevoil Vert on open Book of the first a Bordure also Gules charged with eight Ancient Crowns Gold. Phew! The crowns symbolize Queen Victoria and the University's royal charter, and the Latin phrase Sapientia et Doctina Stabilitas meaning "Wisdom and Learning shall be the stability of thy times." Congratulations to Caitie and all the other indefatigable grads, and cha gheill!