Senior VIA News Editor (East) Tim Hayman
VIA News Co-Editor (West) Terry Muirhead
The last rebuilt F40PH-2d (VIA 6453) was released from CAD Railway Services November 20th concluding the VIA F40 rebuild program right on schedule. VIA 6453 made her first revenue trip November 29th on train #22 Montreal-Quebec City, returning to Montreal the next day on #27, and seen parked at MMC November 30th.
Prior to her CADRAIL overhaul. Michael Taylor snapped VIA 6453 with train 70 at Brantford on May 20th, 2010. This F40PH-2 was built in 1989 at GMDD London, Ontario, and rated at 3000 hp and serial number A4854.
The VIA Rail locomotive roster is now a monthly installment and we will soon introduce additional historical notes on each locomotive, as appropriate, plus more information on the locomotive classes.
For the Christmas season, VIA has reintroduced Sleeper Plus class on the Ocean, and has added some additional equipment. Both Ocean sets are currently running with a Chateau sleeper behind the usual Renaissance consist, with a Skyline car (rather than a Park) added to the rear. The train is running combined with VIA 16/17 (The former Chaleur) on each of its 3 running days, with the trains being combined in J-train fashion. The Chaleur consist is added directly behind the Ocean’s Skyline car, and the locomotive shut down. Only the HEP generator is left running to power the Chaleur’s HEP, while the Ocean’s locomotives provide the pulling power. With this new arrangement, the connection can be made more quickly than before, and head-end power to the Ocean does not need to be disconnected during the operation. Upon arrival in Montreal, the consist stops just outside Gare Centrale to detach the two trains, allowing each access to its own platform (which means shorter walks inside for passengers).
On Dec. 18th, VIA editor Tim Hayman travelled on the Ocean from Halifax to Montreal with the following consist:
VIA 15 Dec. 18th
Depart Halifax 10 minutes late, arrival in Montreal 2 hours late.
Dave Hull posted this video to youtube of the Dec. 18th Ocean arriving in, then departing from Truro NS, with the above listed consist.
VIA Rail has recently announced a partnership with Robert Q Airbus. According to the VIA press release: “VIA Rail Canada and Robert Q's Airbus announced today the launch of a new partnership which will create 8 daily options between Sarnia, London and Toronto from Monday to Friday, and five on Saturdays and Sundays. This partnership will make regional transportation for residents of Southwestern Ontario easier. Robert Q now provides a scheduled ground transportation service from VIA Rail's train stations in London and Sarnia. Users are able to seamlessly book their joint train and bus trips on VIA Rail's in a single transaction.”
You can read the full press release here:
A newly negotiated international agreement guarantees that the Maple Leaf train route, which operates between Toronto and New York City, will continue to use the Whirlpool Bridge as its U.S.-Canada border crossing:
Back at the end of November, VIA released it’s 3rd quarter results. The press release with some of VIA’s selected highlights is available here, along with a link to the actual report: http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/media-room/latest-news/1864/30-november-2012-via-rail-canada-publishes-its-third-quarter-2012-results
In December, VIA announced a new direct Quebec City – Ottawa train which would be wyed for the station stop in Montreal. VIA Trains 33 and 28 will now be considered as direct Ottawa-Quebec City trains, allowing passengers to stay on board in Montreal rather than transferring trains. Since the train is to operate with Renaissance equipment, with seats that cannot be turned, and there is only one exit from Gare Centrale (since the tunnel is not accessible to diesels), the train must be wyed prior to completing its trip. It appears the train will most likely be wyed after departing Gare Centrale
CAD Railway Industries has been contracted to finish the work on VIA RDC4 6250 (although it looks complete here in Martin Brodeur's photo ). VIA RDC4 6251, four other RDC's and 10 LRC cars are to be completed for VIA following an agreement after the IRSI bankruptcy. VIA RDC 4 6250 was repainted and tacked on the end of #657. Note the large K5 horn on the ends of the Budd car.
CLN INDUSTRIES located in Charny, QC continues to refurbish the
interiors of the two VIA “Park” cars and four “Chateau” sleepers .
The Budd-built stainless steel cars are: VIA 8206 (Chateau
Denonville), 8213 (Chateau Lauzon) and 8709 (Laurentide Park). VIA
8207 (Chateau Dollard), 8226, (Chateau Salaberry), and 8708
(Kootenay Park). CLN and Services Ferroviaires Julien have been
contracted to complete the interior refurbishment, but the all the
car exterior work will be done at another repair shop.
In mid-December, these four cars previously leased to AMTRAK, were returned to VIA (MMC) for the Christmas rush:
4121 – HEP 2 -74 seat coach; built as RF&P 851 in 1947; was later Amtrak
5217 (1971-1974); Amtrak 6028 (1974-1984); and several private owners before
8704 –Evangeline Park – Dome/Obs/Lounge; built as CP 15404 in
1954; later CP 15504 and later VIA 8704
During the first half of December 2012, the other VIA cars leased to AMTRAK were stored at their facility in Rensselaer, NY, until needed again at Christmas.
8101 – HEP 1 - 62 seat coach; built as Canadian Pacific Railway 101 in 1954
On November 27th, Kevin Burkholder photographed the last southbound departure of the Adirondack with VIA equipment, at Port Henry NY.
On November 23rd, John Sesonske captured this beautiful image of the southbound Adirondack making a stop at Saratoga Springs, NY, with it's leased VIA equipment glistening in the evening sun.
As usual, check out the updates on VIA’s Capital Investment Projects page:
On Nov 28-2012, VIA # 51 has a unusual consist: with an LRC coach in middle of Budd-built cars. Note the signal upgrades and other changes (New Station "Elmwood”) at Belleville, ON as well.
On December 13th, VIA P42DC 901 leads #51 past train #56 and sibling 906 at Belleville, ON.
Ron Visockis photographed Westbound VIA FPA4 6767 on the main line (south track) swooshing past the old station at Coteau, QC on January 17, 1981. CN RS18 3713 is also busy working the junction track which leads down to Valleyfield, QC.
Half a decade earlier at the same location, Ron bagged Ottawa bound CN FPA4 6785 chugging through Coteau, QC on February 7th, 1976.
On a bitterly cold day just before Christmas 1985, VIA’s “Ocean” passes over the canal at CN’s Wellington Tower after its journey from Atlantic Canada. VIA No. 15 has a classic A-B-A set of FPA4s in charge and is arriving in time for holiday travelers not staying in Montreal to make their connections for points west on the “Canadian” or a “Rapido” to Toronto. All is well with the world--steam heated passenger trains led by cab units, the anticipation of the holidays with friends and family as well as the excitement of the New Year…Little did we realize the big changes that would come in the next five years: VIA receiving new F40PH-2s, retiring its “Alco” power and most F units, undergoing traumatic service cuts, and the transition to Head End Power.
Ron Visockis found this great photo in his slide collection. The prototype model of a Canadian modern LRC diesel locomotive, that are now all gone except for those two in museums in Montreal and Toronto This shot was taken at CP Glen Yard (Montreal) in August 1974.
©CRO January 2013