Saturday, August 22, 2015

Super Continental Consists, August 1978

A good story always starts in the middle. Loyal Trackside Treasure reader Elijah Hall, a Super Continental fan, recently posted some consist information online which got me researching my 1978 VIA Super trip consists. CP`s Canadian and CN`s Super Continental, having been assimilated by VIA Rail, went through considerable operational change in a short period before the Super Continental was cancelled in 1981. But it's a long trip back to wallow in what little nostalgia we can find about this most interesting early VIA era.

CN GP-9 4569 is combining the Montreal and Toronto sections of the Super Continental in Capreol, ON in August, 1978 in 40 minutes (above). VIA No 3 departed Toronto at 2330, while the Montreal section, VIA No 1 departed Montreal at 2120. Both arrived at Capreol shortly after 0800 the next morning and departed westward, combined, at 0930. Eastward, VIA No 4 departed Portage la Prairie at 1650, departed Winnipeg at 1915, arrived the next night at Capreol at 2250, and was again switched: No 4 departed Capreol at 2359 for Toronto, arriving 0730. No 2 departed Capreol at 2355, arriving Montreal at 1025.

Note that in August of 1978 CN and CP had not yet merged their passenger car fleets - that would be another two months away. So, CN and CP lines each hosted trains numbered 1 and 2, both under the aegis of VIA and shown on adjacent pages in the system timetable.

(A bonus consist that I noted at Union Station prior to our departure west on August 14: baggage-coach-5603-5718-Entre-Nous-1350-Endeavour-Edwardsville-Everett-Riviere Cloche-Inwood. I'm not sure whether this represents another Super consist, but my guess is that it does.)

Our train ex Toronto (V = VIA colours):
6506V-6602V-6619V-9673-5531-5569-760-5703-Endako-Elizabeth-Greenshields-Cape Brule. At the Hornepayne station stop at 1830, I scampered up the embankment near the station to snap a photo of the scene: our dinette in CN colours in the foreground, with a CN GP-9, snowplow and auxiliary crane, coaling tower and shop are visible:
Another note, likely west of Capreol while walking the train:
EndakoV- EdwardsvilleV-ElizabethV-1350-5703V-5718V-InwoodV

A couple of days after arriving at Portage, here`s a subsequent No 3 at Portage la Prairie, MB Aug 17
6515-6607V-6502V-9643-5618-5467V-5653-762V-5700V-5710-EngleeV-Entwistle-Greenwood-HarmonieV-1367V-EricksonV-Ellerslie-Enfield-Clearwater River-InvermayV
No 4 at Portage la Prairie, MB Aug 21 (above) is very similar to the westbound August 17 consist.
6515-6607V-6502V-9643-5474-5618-5467V-5653-762V-5700V-5710-EngleeV-Entwistle-Greenwood-BonsoirV-1367V-EricksonV-Ellerslie-Enfield-InvermayV-CN business car Bonaventure (below)
No 4 power at Portage la Prairie, MB Aug 25 as we departed east.
No 4 at Winnipeg, power change: MLW at Winnipeg!

No 4 consist note, not necessarily in order:
5707-5729-Emerson-Elmira-Green Lane-Harmonie-1376 and 9631, Clearwater River.

Well, as I've mentioned in all posts in this series, my note-taking was in its early phase. My technique became better and more useful as the years progressed. Lots of jotting at this point. In green marker, no less! This was my first VIA Rail journey outside the Corridor, but it would definitely not be my last, nor my last on the Super Continental. It was overwhelming to see and ride on such a passenger panorama of plethoric proportions, approaching the rainbow or circus-train era of VIA, when ex-CN and ex-CP cars would mix together in VIA, CN and CP colours. For now, CN and VIA was colourful enough. Oh, and a stainless steel-clad business car to boot. Whoa!

For train-bound kids or nostalgia-bound rail enthusiasts, these cardboard cutouts were like gold. Given out on-board, they included a description of each part of the train - locomotives, coach and Sceneramic dome. The CN set includes FP9 6516 and an F9B 6616 as power:
Interestingly, the VIA/CN set also includes the same power, and all the equipment is now wearing the VIA/CN scheme, a transition scheme between CN and VIA ownership, with the small CN later removed from the prototype.
It would have been ideal if these sets could have been augmented with expander sets including E-series sleepers, diners, Dayniters etc, to allow budding VIAphiles to simulate an entire train. But I digress.

Running extra...

Part of a promised continuing series of meme-per-post:
OK just one more based on Straight Outta Compton. Hey look! An FPB4 behind that dude:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need more cutouts...from the archives, somewhere in the 'Peg...