Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Toronto-Portage on the Super Continental, August 1978

On August 14, 1978 my sister and I departed Toronto aboard VIA train No 3, the westbound Super Continental. Posh and palatial (well, a cut above a coach) we travelled aboard one of VIA's ex-CN Dayniters. At the time, offered as a spacious, comfortable cocoon for those willing to pay a little more, these cars had reclining seats with footrests, crazy colours and other perks. VIA pitched them as 'attractive deluxe coach type accommodation for daytime and overnight comfort...offering the comfort of individual adjustable reclining deep-cushioned seats with padded leg rests, fully carpeted floor, and a quiet trip all around with special acoustic sound-proofing. The fold-away table also serves as a handy work-space.' All for a small additional charge of $8.00 one way! Sample seat scene:
A 2330 departure from Toronto's Union Station, which we had reached aboard VIA's Turbo from Kingston the previous evening, meant that if it was morning, this must be Capreol! Here, the Montreal section, VIA No 1 would also arrive shortly after 0800. Both sections would be combined and No 1 would depart westward at 0930. In the other direction, No 4 reached Capreol late evening, to be split into No 2 to Montreal and No 4 to Toronto. 
Snowplow-service shrouded 4530, Geeps at the Capreol roundhouse (above) and the view of the other side of the tracks, Marshy Lake during our 40-minute station stop (below - camera verification photo). This parental-provided camera would soon malfunction, and be swapped from a Kodak 126 to a Kodak 110-format.
Monday, August 14, 1978
Fourteen year-old passenger notes: The ride in these things [Dayniters] is fantastic! Ate dinner in the diner, also played bingo in the diner in the evening.
Some CN observations along the way into Northern Ontario, roughly in order though my notes (a sample - above) are a little scattered! Notice the near-total domination of CN road freights powered by GP40-2L(W)'s:
9663
79408
5095-5515, 9655
9485, 9646, 9506, 9475, 9443, 9544, 9648
VIA 6772-6624V (Power at Capreol from Montreal?)
EB freight 9512-9589
9572, 9623, 5572, 9417, 9625, 9519, 9563, 9630, 9522, 9503, 9469, 9556
Cabooses 79861, 79338, 79533, 79386, 79643, 79427, 79384, 79865, 79467, 79358, 79397, 79429, 79863.
View from the Dayniter window near Gogama, led by two CN-painted units and a VIA-painted F9B:
CN 5095-9655 are at Hornepayne at 1830, perhaps ready to follow us westward:
Tuesday, August 15, 1978:
0843 EB 9453-5536-9441-79216
5020, 5179, 9667, 9504, 4498, 4407, 4408, 4409, 9546, 9642, 9481
Cabooses 79846, 79369, 78919 end-cupola, 79299.
Oba - ACR Geeps 159-166
EB 9650-9445-9459-79419
Winnipeg - switchers 7206-caboose 79506, 7209, 7224, 7162, 9407-9529 EB, 9585, 9515, 9531 and
VIA Elderbank, Chaleur Bay, Mount Resplendent, Petitcodiac River at Winnipeg.

We arrived on time. Trainwatching trackside in Portage la Prairie ensued. Each night, sunburnt and sleepy, it was time to document the trains seen that day. I could have been sleeping, but I'm glad I documented these details, now that it's 37 years later! Next post - returning to Toronto from Portage.
Running extra...

Just added to Trackside Treasure's sidebar - Bernard Kempinski's intriguing US Military Railroads Virginia 1863 blog, starting with eclectic Civil War model railroading in O scale, but also covering other tangentially-tantalizing topics.

OK, one more meme. This one for Steve Boyko, and it's a pet peeve of mine, from Grumpy Cat:

3 comments:

Zartok-35 said...

So many Hellcat GP40Ls and Black Widow SD40s! Ooh baby that's what I like!

Eric said...

Those hellcats had your name on them, Elijah! Delivery had started in 1973, so many, many were in revenue service at time of our trip - some high-numbered 9600s in this post. The Hellcat invasion was on! Oh, and a few black widows around.

If I ever get around to posting photos taken at Portage at that time, it will be Hellcats, Black Widows and also Black Widow GMD-1's. And I haven't forgotten about the diesel nickname post - it's still knocking around in draft form!

Thanks for your comment,
Eric

Eric said...

Those hellcats had your name on them, Elijah! Delivery had started in 1973, so many, many were in revenue service at time of our trip - some high-numbered 9600s in this post. The Hellcat invasion was on! Oh, and a few black widows around.

If I ever get around to posting photos taken at Portage at that time, it will be Hellcats, Black Widows and also Black Widow GMD-1's. And I haven't forgotten about the diesel nickname post - it's still knocking around in draft form!

Thanks for your comment,
Eric