Well, the adventure has begun! I was at the office at 06:15 today packing up the locomotive samples. Dan was there all day yesterday tweaking the passenger car samples. It is absolutely astounding that the first test shots out of the moulds have come together so well, and it’s a complete miracle that they actually run! Usually the first test shots out of the mould resemble blobs more than finished models, and I have to hand it to He and Jiang – they did a phenomenal job tooling up these samples. They are so far along that the tooling should in fact be completely finished by the end of August, when we start production. This is a Good Thing.

On board Train 60On board VIA 60 from Toronto to Montreal

I boarded VIA 60 in Toronto’s Union Station (the photo above was a quick shot taken at my favourite Brockville) and had a wonderful trip in the Club Car. Attendants Marie-Helene and Peng were fantastic, and as soon as I found out Peng was Chinese, that was it. We were talking in Mandarin and pretty soon we were singing 思念是一种病 in the galley! I ran out of Canadian money so I gave him a tip in RMB (Chinese currency). What a blast!

On board Train 60Marie-Helene and Peng on board VIA 60

Train 26 from Montreal to Quebec was another enjoyable ride, and I met Nathalie, a lovely Francophone music producer from Montreal. We had a great talk, though she got lost every time I accidentally switched into Chinese. Oh boy – the presentation tomorrow is going to be fun! The guys at the club won’t know what hit them, and I’m not talking about the samples! Jet lag? What? What country am I in again?

VIA Train 26VIA Train 26 prepares to depart Ste-Foy…with my computer cables still on board!!!

So day one of the tour has come and gone and I am still conscious, barely. And I’ve made a sale, too – the Service Manager on Train 26 wants an LRC locomotive! Right. That’s 13. Anybody else want to buy one???? I’ll check in again once I’ve actually met with some model railroaders. Until then, 再见!!!