Friday 18 August 1989
I rode down to Montreal today in the head end of 6458 in VIA 30. This is the last and newest of the order of F40-PH for VIA. The GM plate said June 1989 but it is more likely July. The ride was not all that great and there was the vibration in the cab which makes them seem noisier than they really are. The trip down was quite uneventful with a good Ottawa crew with whom I have ridden before. We passed CN 337 at Maxville. We went in the siding and 337 waited on the main line outside of town so as not to block any crossings. He was doing pretty well as he passed us on the grade down towards Moose Creek.
At Montreal I went to the regional office and from there I went out with Camille Boileau, Jean Bisson and Frank Lalonde. We stopped at Isle Perrot and looked at several crossings as well as the work that CP were doing on the bridge over the Ottawa River. While we were there we saw the Cornwall wayfreight and another CP freight behind a motley collection of MLW big power.
I came back to Ottawa in the cab of VIA 6512 on VIA 35. This was a different story. There was a Montreal crew who were not the best. It was sacrament this and tabernac that all the way. The unit was on its last legs and was having difficulty making transition around 45 mph. We had a mechanic with us to ensure that it got us to Ottawa. He didn't do very much work and I am not sure he could have fixed anything if anything needed to be done. We were stopped by VIA 62 on the way out of the station and there was a lengthy wait for VIA 34 on the Kingston subdivision which had some single line working because of track work. CN 338 stabbed us at Coteau, it was doing some work and the tail took a little time to clear. To cap it all we were stabbed by the CP Cornwall wayfreight on its way back at De Beaujeu. The only train which managed to get out of our way was VIA 36 which was in the hole at Casselman. I didn't make myself very popular when I suggested that CN 214 might put us in the siding at Carlsbad Springs. Not a particulary good ending to what had been a very pleasant and interesting day.