Thursday, May 25, 2017

Postscript: VIA Rail's CANADA 150 Wraps

In early February, VIA announced an ambitious program of applying wraps to its equipment to celebrate Canada's Sesquicentennial. Combining colourful station city names with large VIA logos, the CANADA 150 logo would also be applied. Long after photographing my first wraps on February 11 and 22 and publishing them in my first CANADA 150 wrap post just over three months ago, it's time for a good news update. With the wrapping of VIA P42 920, first reported on May 19, it would appear the four-month wrap program has been completed! A day after the last P42 wrap was reported, VIA No 64 was eastbound at Mi 178.5 Kingston Sub with wrapped 906 and a stainless steel consist (top).
At VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre (TMC) on March 28, I photographed Glenfraser from above (above). Though I often call this a 'one-of-a-kind' wrap, wise readers have pointed out that it is very similar to that also applied to LRC Business Class car 3476 (see below). There are, however, subtle differences in the dimensions of the car and wrap Below - this is not drone footage! Trackside Techies. It's called an overpass!
I have resisted the strong temptation to do a rostershoterama of every wrapped piece of equipment. Do you really want to look at 80+ similar photos? But somebody did a compendium of wrapped locomotives. Conspiracy theorists - this proves that both sides of CANADA 150 cars have different station names on each side. VIA 3350 at TMC from the Islington Avenue overpass:
VIA announced 17 LRC coaches, 17 P42's, 5 F40's, one Business Class car and lounge Glenfraser would be wrapped. VIA also posted a list of station city names to be applied. For the most part, the list was accurate, though Capreol, Sudbury and Guildwood were listed but not used. At the east end of the TMC yard back on March 28, VIA 916 leads four HEP cars towards Union Station thence Kingston, from which it had originated on my No 651 earlier that morning.
Several nicknames have been suggested for this yellow-silver scheme, but it occurred to me that it resembles hometown No Frills stores:
At Kingston, VIA 3329, a hometown coach makes an appearance:
Terry Muirhead shared this view of VIA 6454 leading No 1 on its first visit to the West Coast on March 25. Thanks, Terry!
Cornwall likes its wrapped cars. But it's crickets here in Kingston. Speaking of Kingston, tips from Mike L, Logan and Paul got me trackside just in time to see VIA 6454 pass through Kingston eastward after its trip on the Canadian: Leading a four-car non-stop No 68 at 1915 hours, 6454 blasts through Mi 179 Kingston Sub:

Same location, April 17. With a tip from Malcolm, I was trackside in time to see several pieces of CANADA 150 rolling stock on VIA No 52/62, not the least of which being VIA 3476 in its leaves scheme:
These are video captures.
And here's a Flickr group dedicated to these silver sesquicentennials. Two-unit F40-led Canadian consists have headed to the West Coast and return. There have been Corridor J-trains with nose-to-nose wrapped P42's. Even a rare P42 doubleheader. Plus 913 having gone to ground and observed by almost no-one! (Wrapped March 25, observed on a double-header No 668 on April 5, and a 'locomotive test' video with 913 and two cars at Dorval on May 24.) On April 5, fellow Kingston railfan Paul Hunter photographed side-by-side wrapped power: VIA 919 eastbound and VIA 906 trailing westbound at Kingston station. Thanks, Paul! 
Now it's difficult, but not impossible, to find a VIA LRC consist in the Corridor which doesn't have an LRC coach right after Business Class. A trip to Kingston station on May 22 included a CANADA 150 twofer:
VIA No 63 Eng 900 met VIA No 52/62, with 900 stopping opposite a fellow wrappee;
And VIA has used the colourful graphics on station signage and baggage tags:

As of August, 2017, VIA corridor consists are coming together with two or three wrapped cars. Can an all-wrap train be far off? Here is VIA No 42 at Kingston on August 18, 2017 with three wraps. Two are the same: H/S/W/M and leader VIA 900 and 907 on the tail end are also wrapped.
Seeing double?
A bidirectional Toronto-Ottawa consist can result in this unusual phenomenon - a wrap coach next to a wrapped P42. Normally, a Business Class car separates the power from the coaches.
The same afternoon, VIA No 644 included two O/V/S/S coaches:
In October, I finally caught up to the three-CANADA 150-in-a-row-consist which had been running around the Kingston Sub. VIA 6453 was leading 3456-3356-3359-3352 at Kingston at 1725:
And as CANADA 150 drew to a close, here's what might be my final banner shot:

Although Blogger doesn't work well with Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, I've collated the wrap rolling stock as jpeg format and they appear below. Each is listed by number, date reported/observed (could be day or days earlier, hence the '<' sign before some dates) and station city names. As information became available, I added it to a Word table. 

Not as easy to work with as an Excel spreadsheet, which would allow sorting by road number! But I felt that having the date each wrap entered service was more informative than simply listing by the road number. There are several pairs of cars/locomotives that 'appear' when reviewing all the wraps. This first jpeg shows wraps done in approximately the first two months, from mid-January to mid-March:

Wrapping sped up apparently, with the following wraps being completed in one month: 
And the final four, from the month of May

If you are more of a numbers person, here we go:
P42DC: 900, 903, 904, 905, 906, 907, 908, 909 ,910, 911, 912, 913, 914, 916, 918, 919, 920.
F40PH-2D: 6402, 6416, 6436, 6437, 6454.
LRC coaches: 3316, 3329, 3338, 3343, 3350, 3351, 3352, 3353, 3355, 3356, 3357, 3359, 3360, 3361, 3364, 3365, 3366.
LRC Business Class: 3476
Lounge: 1750 Glenfraser

My thanks to Jonathan Barton, Lance Gleich, Paul Hunter, and Malcolm Peakman for their assistance in the production of this post. Special thanks to Logan Cadue for sharing much timely information and photos!

As Canada's sesquicentennial year draws to a close (more with a whimper than a bang) the CANADA 150 logo portion of the wrap is being removed from wrapped equipment. In mid-December, 906, 6437 and 3355 had lost the red and white. It's likely the large yellow VIA and station city names will remain throughout 2018, helping celebrate one of VIA Rail's anniversaries. Logan Cadue photographed VIA 906 arriving at Kingston on December 19, 2017:

Running extra...

I have been truly displeased at the amount of dissatisfaction, disagreement, disdain, discord, discontent and just plain dis-ing of the CANADA 150 wraps. Folks say provincial flags, Canadian flags, and all sorts of other Canadiana should have been applied. Hey, why not a different Don Cherry haberdashery on each car? Thankfully and on the positive side, I have heard just as many folks saying that VIA is interesting again, and these wraps are getting them out trackside! Wherefore art thou, Centennial year?
I'm surprised the TTC doesn't have a wrap. After all, I've seen lots of commercials featuring wraps at Subway. Is that a thing? Even the Union-Pearson Express has a CANADA 150 wrap, albeit paid for by CIBC. Where is the widespread use of the CANADA 150 logo? Herzog? Herzog?
Speaking of hockey, tonight could be Ottawa's last game of the post-season. They truly are Canada's hardest-working senators. Is it a 'thing' that hockey is being played in June? Move over and make way for the Toronto June Jays big bats, rink-rats!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

VIA Discount Tuesdays Re-re-imagined

VIA Rail Canada keeps sending us an unending stream of photos via their Facebook page that call out for creative captioning. Smug hipsters, doe-eyed university students or well-off baby boomers show VIA at its travelling finest. But what's the story behind the photo? What are those models really thinking as they enter the world of stock photography? In a previous Discount Tuesdays Re-imagined post, I gave some possible inklings. And here are a few more!

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McDonald's Dollar Drink Days are on again. Pop, iced coffee, lemonade, smoothies...take your pick. Lots of people say, "I'd never eat at McDonald's!" but that doesn't mean you can't drink there. Please, just the aforementioned beverages. Nothing in a brown paper McDonald's bag!
I'm not going to ignore the elephant in the room. Actually, the elephant in the elephant cage. And our Canadian beaver shares the cage with the American elephant! Trackside Treasure sends good-natured concern to our American readers and neighbours during this time of temerity and trepidation. However, it is said that in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve. East of Cardinal, ON (above) with northern New York across the river.
Throwback Thursday. Wayback Wednesday. How about Couple On A Caboose Day? When every train on your model railway has to end with a caboose. Or a van. Or crummy, hack, brain-box, waycar what-have-you. OK, I have too manny (above) and I'm going to sell some off in an upcoming sale!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Grain Elevator Placards

On a grain elevator photography trip in 1985, I stopped by Corinne, SK on an overcast morning. Located at Mi 40 of CP's Portal Subdivision, I was returning to Regina from Weyburn. At one time, a 1400-tonne elevator and two 700-tonne elevators owned by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool were sited at Corinne. A small grain elevator had its unloading shed doors ajar. Inside, an interestingly intriguing set of very vintage, small placards had been posted in the preceding years:
Postmarked October 27, 1933 (above and below) this placard took one cent's worth of postage to make it from Winnipeg to Corinne. Concerning weeds:
To make it to the top of the elevator, a hoist or man-lift functioned like an elevator, allowing the agent to check the equipment in the cupola of the elevator:
Then, in the 1950's, the Corinne elevator was rodent proofed by Paramount Elevator Service - September 17, 1958:
For additional emphasis, a second placard regarding safe elevator use was posted, where the birds added some of their own emphasis:
Assuring everyone that elevator transactions were on the up-and-up, at least as far as the Canadian Wheat Board was concerned:
Approaching Corinne, who would have guessed that such gems were still in place on the unloading shed walls. Well, we should have known.
These unobtrusive unctions on the walls of grain elevators bespoke the need for concise corporate communication in an earlier era. How many can you spot in this photo taken at SaskPool's Stranraer elevator he following year:

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Brisk. The book sales, not the iced tea, that is. Thanks to everyone for their support, good wishes, feedback, book orders and even a book review and giveaway on Steve Boyko's Confessions of a Train Geek blog.  An unfolding trend is the new 'generation' of Trackside with VIA readers who are just now hearing about my books, including the just-released Research and Recollections - and ordering all four in the 'series'!

Speaking of VIA, their Facebook site is serving up a steady diet of capriciously captionable photos that no doubt will find their way into an upcoming Trackside Treasure post. How can you miss with good material?