Senior VIA News Editor (East) Tim Hayman

VIA News Co-Editor (West) Terry Muirhead



The last of the yellow nosed F40PH-2’s, VIA 6453 was delivered to CADRAIL May 31, 2012 . Under a threatening sky, Guy-Pascal Arcouette photographed  VIA F40PH-2 6453 in Montreal on May 30th, 2012 on her ominous last revenue assignment in yellow nose paint!

VIA Rail News

As reported in last month’s CRO, VIA Train 693 (Winnipeg – Churchill) hit a washout and derailed in Togo, SK.  VIA F40PH-2d  6405 and 6458  suffered significant damage, largely due to fire, as is seen in this image submitted by Chris McMahon. It is rumored that the damage may be so severe that the units will be retired and scrapped, although we have yet to receive confirmation as to whether or not this will happen.

On May 11th, Douglas Rickaby bagged VIA RDC-4 6250  at the head end  of the Sudbury-White River train departing Sudbury, ON. The Budd car was rebuilt by Industrial Rail Services (Moncton, NB), and is former  CP 9250.  The Sudbury-White River trains are now fully equipped with IRSI rebuilt RDCs, which feature many internal improvements along with distinctive silver ends, and an extra HID headlight similar to those found on the F40s and P42s. 

New VIA LRC paint scheme! The first of VIA’s rebuilt LRC Club cars was recently spotted in partial paint at Belleville Ontario. Ron Visockis snapped this photo of the partially completed rebuild deadheading at the rear of a train, either in testing or transit. Note that the new scheme has yet to be completed, as the yellow stripes and VIA logos have not been added. The inset photo shows a mock-up of the scheme released by VIA, which will eventually adorn all of the rebuilt LRC Club cars. 

On May 20th, two Park cars were spotted on the tail end of VIA 622 at St. Lambert, apparently en route to Charny for continuation of their rebuilding into luxury service cars. The Parks, Kootenay (8708) and Glacier (8706), were originally being rebuilt by Avalon Rail in the US, but returned to Canada unfinished; the work will be completed by CLN Industries in Charny. The cars have already had some notable external work done, although the interiors appear incomplete. Exterior modifications include the removal of marker lights at both ends, modifications to the vestibule steps (possibly for the addition of a wheelchair lift), and a grey letterboard stripe (hopefully just a primer!). On the other side of the car, new large window openings will have been cut for the new luxury bedrooms.  Jean-Pierre Brossard caught the two cars as they passed through St. Lambert.

VIA is currently altering its baggage car deployment in the Corridor, which will result in the removal of baggage cars from several trains (reportedly for redeployment on the Skeena, although it is unclear why there is such an apparent shortage of equipment). As of May 6th, VIA Trains 45, 46, 54, 657, 72 and 79 will no longer have baggage car services. However, VIA has reportedly planned to make up for this omission by using rebuilt LRC cars with more baggage space on these trains. However, if VIA’s standard carry-on baggage policy is enforced on these trains due to the absence of a proper baggage car, passengers will face a dramatic reduction in the amount of baggage they are allowed to travel with.

In early May, VIA Rail was featured briefly in the CNN program “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”, during which the eponymous host traveled with a pair of railfan-restauranteurs in Business Class on a VIA train between Montreal and Quebec City. The clip was available on CNN’s website, but it has since been removed for copyright reasons. It may still be available to view elsewhere on the web, or in reruns on CNN.

Also in May, VIA Rail was awarded the “AirRail Concept of the Year” award at the Global AirRail Awards 2013 ceremony in Frankfurt. The VIA Press Release reads:

“With its strategy of creating partnerships with airlines and other transport providers allowing passengers to plan, book and pay for intermodal trips in a seamless fashion, VIA Rail Canada ( received the "AirRail Concept of the Year" awardat theGlobal AirRail Awards 2013 ceremony, in Frankfurt on May 16th. The Global AirRail Awards ceremony is one of the most prestigious awards ceremony dedicated to the international air-rail market, recognizing best practices in intermodal travel around the world.”

The full release is available here:

VIA has released it’s 2012 Annual Report. The report highlights details of VIA’s performance over the past year. Although the report has a positive outlook on scheduling adjustments made in the past year, it should be noted that many of these changes (such as the reduced Ocean and Canadian schedules, or cuts to trains in Ontario) did not take place until the last part of the year, and as such, are poorly represented in the time frame of this report. More accurate figures should emerge in the next quarterly report.

The full annual report is available for view, along with summary points, management discussion, and financial statements here:

Capital Investments Projects Update


As usual, check out VIA’s Capital Investment Projects page for information, photos, and news about VIA’s ongoing projects. There have been no recent updates, but the site remains a useful resource on VIA’s ongoing projects, and we anticipate new updates in the near future.


VIA Rail launched a redesigned website recently. Although bearing some resemblance to the former site, a number of small changes have been made across the site.


VIA Rail Photos

VIA 6427 evidently suffered some recent damage to the front of its cab, as seen in this photo from Tim Ball. On May 21st, 6427 shows off her impromptu number  board covering at Kitchener, made from the “handyman’s secret weapon”.

On a recent visit to Ontario, VIA Editor Tim Hayman had the chance to get out for some railfanning on the CN Kingston Sub. It may only have been the first week of May, but at MP110 (Johnstown ON, between Prescott and Cardinal), it was +28 degrees Celsius and looking like summer as the trains flew by at 80mph. Tim shot VIA 60 on May 7th  with VIA 920 in the lead,  followed by VIA 52, 56, 57 and 61 on May 8th. Note that VIA 57 on May 8th was the same 920-hauled consist as VIA 60 the day before, having been turned in Montreal for the next-day return trip. Power on both days was mostly P42s, with the exception of the speedy 52 behind 6441.

On May 11th, Chad Smith snapped VIA 85 on the GEXR  Guelph Sub crossing the bridge before the St. Mary's, ON station, the last stop before London. 

VIA P42DC 907 cruises train #51 and VIA F40PH-2d 6404 is in charge of combined trains #54-56 as they pass through Trenton, ON March 8th.

Guy-Pascal Arcouette was able to obtain pictures from the VIA derailment that had happened at St-Charles-De-Bellechasse. The derailment of VIA 15 on Feb. 25th 2010, resulted in the premature retirement of VIA’s F40 rebuild prototype 6400. Although 6457 was repaired and returned to service, the extent of the damage to 6400 is so visible in these photos that it’s easy to understand why it was retired and scrapped! More information about the derailment is available in the March 2010 issue of CRO.

VIA Vignettes

Jim Parker submitted these photos of CN passenger rolling stock from the 1960’s and 1070’s., including baggage/RPO cars and coaches.   

On the first day of spring, VIA 6510 with Windsor to Toronto train 72 is ready for departure. VIA 6511 will cover the same route leaving Windsor (Walkerville) some 2 hours later March 21st 1987.

©CRO June 2013