It was so cold that I'd plugged in the cat, and brought in the car. The brass monkey had been brought inside. The cold was putting a shiver in my liver. A freeze in my knees. My toes were froze. But there I was, trackside at Kingston. I was on a mission that was non-weather-dependent. Upon arrival, the first of many late-running VIA trains was just slipping out of the station. VIA No 40, due 1250, dep 1345 with CANADA 150-wrapped 912 on the tail-end (above).
A lull ensued. Had No 53 been on time at 1339, there would have been no lull. It finally arrived at 1425: 904C-3472-3329C-3370-3300R-3301R. I visited with Matt Tolton, who had travelled all the way from Manitoba to Belleville to visit family, then travelled down to Kingston. We headed over to the 'sunny side' of the station, staying out of the weather in the Track 2 shelter. An eastbound CN freight rolled through at 1430 behind 2293-2180. A windblown wintry snowstorm ensued as the freight consist dragged days' worth of snowflakes down the platform at 50 per:
No 65 due 1349 arrived at 1435: 6455-8621-3464-3459-3366C-3314R-3362R-3333-3369. (As always, the R suffix means Renaissance and C means CANADA 150. Interestingly, 3366 has lost its CANADA 150 banner and it seems the large yellow VIA and station city names will remain for VIA's "40th anniversary".
The slowly setting sun shimmered silvery sinews of sunlight across the side of 6455. It was time to switch to retro black & white. Record cold on this date, so The Weather Network told us.
Yep, this was Canada alright.
As No 65 pulled out, I tried vainly to capture the CANADA 150-less wrap (third LRC car below). You'll just have to use your imagination, humble Trackside Treasure reader. The good news is an upcoming article in the Bytown Railway Society Branchline to which I was happy to contribute, especially since parts of the wraps are starting to disappear.
Gotta work a snowbank into a photo somewhere. The late arrival of No 64, due at 1402, arrived 1503, seemed to be a good time to do so with 919C-8612-4009-3465-3335-3315R-3304R-3305R-3348R. VIA was definitely adding cars to consists to handle heavy holiday traffic.
A little 'selective colour setting' to highlight the soon-to-disappear banners:
Then it was time for some more glint:
Ex-CP baggage with HEP2 club car:
VIA No 42 (due 1433, arr 1513) 917C-4001-4002-4107-8107-4121-8104 took on passengers as VIA No 47 (due 1446, arr 1517) changed tracks and arrived on the north track with 906C-3345R-3327R-3371-3316C-3473-902:
A Canadian tradition. Amazing how much blowing snow find a home in the vestibule steps. A better shot would have included swept snow hitting the ballast. Oh well, you get the drift:
The head end of VIA No 47, as setting sun removed whatever warmth it added to the ambient air, showing salient shadows of patient platform photographers.
Who says all VIA trains look alike? Check out the details. The ice covers the slanted nose of VIA 906 on No 47 (above), but only the vertical portion of VIA 904 on the earlier No 53:
It was great to meet Matt, and he kindly sent some photos of our visit to the station.
Me and VIA No 53:
And VIA No 64:
What I did on my Christmas vacation: I hauled out the scanner and digitized 700-some prints of western Trains and Grains from 1976 to 1986. This was in preparation for the next stage of my fall & winter project. Can you say photo-editing? I knew that you could. Daunting but incredibly rewarding and I look forward to finally sharing these images. Not ruling out further Trackside Treasure posts on my travels, as I'd always intended, but it's also good to get these images on paper and this book project is looking like the perfect way to do just that. it's Laura, SK, it's 1986:
Hoping all Trackside Treasure readers will have an eternally optimistic 2018!
I'm looking forward to this blog's tenth anniversary --Eric