So I was pleasantly surprised to see so much excitement (both good and bad) regarding Via Rail's commemoration of Canada's 150th birthday. As I have noticed in recent weeks, there are a lot of people that don't care much for the scheme, and I can understand why, even if I don't necessarily agree. Yes, it's a bold, somewhat atypical scheme for a railway to have. It's bright and loud and not at all in keeping with railway tradition.
But given that Via Rail is by no means a typical railway, I wonder why we sometimes expect it to be. I am as guilty as anyone. I don't like the look of double-enders where two locomotives are at either end of a train. I don't like the Via Rail renaissance scheme. I think the green and school bus yellow colours are a big step down from the silver blue and yellow of the previous Via Rail scheme. I don't mind the rebuilt stainless steel Budds painted with dark grey stripes, but I'd rather see the old streamliners in the blue and yellow. I really dislike the look of P42s. I could go on, but these are pretty surface complaints.
Via Rail is a railway that is perpetually at the whim of its political masters, which is a shame. I really would love to see the railway with a stronger presence in Western Canada and am surprised that there doesn't appear to be any prospects for intercity rail out west. I would love to see underserved cities regain their rail service, like many towns in Eastern Quebec and my hometown of Sarnia, Ontario.
I think maybe we might be missing the point with the Canada 150 scheme. This company, for better or for worse, is doing a pretty good job, given the thankless task it has to fulfil each day. These wraps are bold and are something different. I applaud Via Rail for recognizing Canada's birthday and celebrating the service it provides. I love the fact that it is listing the cities it serves on the side of its trains.
I guess my point is I would rather worry about Via Rail the company than gripe about its paint scheme. Although, if anyone from the company reads this, bring back the original blue and yellow scheme!