Sunday, October 11, 2015

VIA Skyline 8501 Travels CN's Kingston Sub

CN's Kingston Sub hosts a dome car in revenue service! Over the course of three days, Skyline 8501 travelled the length of the Kingston Sub, first deadheading then in charter service. On its way to a major Rapido Trains Inc. product announcement at Exporail in St-Constant (or the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, if you're of my vintage) the Skyline and an accompanying LRC coach conveyed a rabid Rapido customer conglomeration, also known as the Voyage of the Shronians (TM) east out of Toronto on October 11. The day before...
Thanks to a heads-up from Montreal-area railfan Michael Berry, who noted a Skyline on Montreal-Ottawa VIA No 633 at 0915 Saturday morning, my fingers flew to the VIA website to see when that consist would depart Ottawa for Toronto. VIA No 47, that's when! Arriving Ottawa around 1100, departing west around 1230, arriving Kingston 1450. To the bat cave then trackside, Robin!

Having caught the speeding train with deadhead dome at Queens East (top photo) on video, the south side platform at VIA station gave good light for video as the bedomed train arrived and departed. (Most photos in this post are video captures) Here are my Youtube videos from this weekend for your enjoyment:

Sliding to a stop, then slipping out of the station, the Skyline trod the steps earlier taken by it and other Skylines when the Canadian operated on CN's Kingston Sub from 1981 to 1985. More recently, domes conveyed performance artist Skrillex' 2015 tour.
Heading west to Toronto into the glinting afternoon sun, approaching Mi 177 Kingston Sub, the consist of No 47: 6406-3475Ren-3361-3364-3356-3353-8501
As the Shronian hordes stampeded their way aboard VIA No 52 at Toronto Union station Sunday morning, I was worshiping a non-rail deity. This precluded my being trackside to get a video of the charter eastbound on Sunday, October 11. No worries - my wife and daughter pluckily proceeded to McDonald's for coffee and egg McMuffins to fortify themselves for the withering wait trackside. Operating 13 minutes late, the J-trained consist of VIA 62/52 soon hove into sight (well, not soon enough for them, given the falsely-early trackside arrival time I had fed them) and my daughter manned the Hi-Def 1080P digital device.
VIA 907 leads a Ren Business class car and three Renaissance coaches (above) while VIA 6406 led 52's consist - four surprisingly un-Renaissanced coaches following the Biz class car and preceding 8501, very likely the same consist I observed yesterday as VIA No 47!
To the windows, Shronians - the rail mecca of Kingston beckons on the horizon! Prepare thee to enjoy arguably the Corridor's best trainwatching spot, three miles to thy east, as ye pass the venerable trackside location of Mi 179 Kingston Sub!
A fellow in a white beard occupied the south side, first table and a fellow in a ball cap was in the rear section. Dome tinted glazing precluded me identifying anyone. You know who you are. Some of you know me. Envy is such a strong word, but I certainly wish you a bonne journee, a pleasant trip and an enjoyable two days in Dorval, Montreal and St-Constant. I'll post an update of what exactly the highly-secret product announcement here. If it's something I like, that is! Actually, I am very pleased to see the quick uptake of these charter seats, the volume and quality of museum-quality models produced, and the continued success of Rapido Trains Inc.
Though I don't think I'm a true Shronian (TM), I certainly do appreciate Jason Shron's chutzpah in single-handedly turning the North American model railway marketplace on its 'B' end and shaking it - with integrity, class and an undue but understandable emphasis on underbody detail!
Speaking of the letter B...'B sure' to check out my October sale!  Just scroll down a bit for some coveted paper items, railway books, and a few of my surplus HO scale structures still available!

October 12 UPDATE:
Running 20 minutes late, tonight's VIA No 69 arrived at Kingston with this consist: 906-902-3478Ren-3352-3363-3300Ren-3307-3477Ren-8501 - the last two cars conveying chowing-down and captivated charter passengers returning from the announcement at Exporail. Oh yeah, it's called Rapido's Icons of Canadian Steam! A series of steam models to be produced in the coming years. Not wanting to gloat (a combination of laugh and goat) I had predicted a Rapido D-10 nearly a year ago. It's a natural - had to be! Second iconic steam locomotive scheduled to be produced. Back to the Skyline...
Having my car angled towards the train, idling with high-beam headlights shining, plus flash photography, seemed to catch the Shronians (TM) by surprise. The group that Jason was just finishing a round of Rapido Trivia (or TriVIA?) soon turned to a waving mass of humanity. 
 Hi Jason! Hi Stephen Gardiner - Go Jays Go - Hi guy wearing Icons T-shirt!
Hi Matt Soknacki! Cheers - hoist a beer to this charter and the whole Exporail experience! Not sure if there was anyone in the dome - probably but I couldn't see 'em!
And dome denizen (at the time) Andrew Jeanes kindly shared his photo of this humble blogger photographing on a darkened platform. Thanks, Andrew! For more coverage of the westbound charter, check out this just-published post on my VIA Rail books site.


Unknown said...

Thanks for catching us, Eric! We had an amazing time!

Unknown said...

Good catch!

Eric said...

Thanks, Malcolm and Rapido folks! I had seen VIA Glenfraser westbound at Kingston the previous Saturday. I had hoped it would also be on the Rapido charter, but looks like it was just an LRC coach.

I of course have to give credit to others. Michael in Montreal, and my wife and daughter here, who made it happen. Great teamwork!


Anonymous said...

All my best from the Peg, to Eric and his AV team in Kingston and to Rapido Trains and their fellow passengers on board.All the best for Montreal.

Anonymous said...

From the 'Peg..tired Jason and stop Guildwood and Toronto Union...Thanks to our man in the field reporting from Kingston Station Platform...Eric Gagnon. Looking forward to working with Jason with future projects.

Eric said...

Thanks, Brian! Shronians are a hungry lot. They were enjoying their Biz Class dinners like there was no tomorrow. And after such a busy weekend, for some maybe this is the living end! Beautiful night on the platform - no stargazers but a few Skylinegazers!


Tammy said...

Yes, we saw you outside on the platform, even though we were all deeply engaged in Jason's challenging "Rapido trivia" game. Thanks for the photo!

Eric said...

Tammy! I was too busy fiddling with my the dark! Great to have a greeting from onboard the train, and it was neat to see a Skyline here again. For the occasion, I decided to put on my Spans the World t-shirt, which includes a...Royal Hudson!

Oh, so that's what the 'master class' was - I presumed it was something to do with adventures in Canadian scale model production!

Thanks for your comment,

Stephen Gardiner said...

Your posting this again on CanPass Rail got me to re read this post…I’m Blue Jays Guy!


Eric said...

Revised! I wonder if the Original Poster on found his dome chartering fee quote. That was a whole Shronian Squadron!

Thanks for your comment and information, Stephen!