Senior VIA News Editor (East) Tim Hayman
VIA News Co-Editor (West) Terry Muirhead
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.
*VIA Units 6400-6419 were originally delivered as GPA-30a, units 6420-6429 were delivered as GPA-30b, and units 6430-6458 were delivered as GPA-30c. All rebuilt units, starting with 6402, were re-classed as GPA-30H while still retaining their F40PH-2d EMD designation.
The remains of VIA F40PH-2d 6444 sit at MMC February 14th, almost a full year after it was wrecked, with its engine removed and many components removed. The cab is still covered, likely due to ongoing investigations into the fatal crash. On February 26th, 2012, VIA Rail train #92 derailed at Burlington, ON. killing both engineers and an engineer in training in the locomotive cab, and injuring one employee and a number of passengers on board. The train had accelerated after leaving the station in Burlington, and derailed upon entering a 15 mph crossover at 67mph. The consist of VIA #92 was:
F40PH-2d 6444 (seen in its present state below)
LRC Club 3454
LRC Coach 3354
LRC Coach 3318
LRC Coach 3319 (Rebuilt)
LRC Coach 3311.
CRO reported extensively on the incident in our March and April issues of CRO. At this time, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigation is still ongoing. Although excessive speed was identified as the direct cause of the derailment, we will not know until the report is released what caused the train to continue at such speed through the cross-over. Possible reasons include a signal malfunction or crew error, but we cannot speculate any further until a report is released. That should be expected some time early this year. The most up-to-date info on the TSB investigation can be found here: http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/medias-media/majeures-major/rail/r12t0038/mi-r12t0038.asp
As we have reached the one year anniversary, the Burlington crash is once again in the news. CBC and other news outlets have run several stories on the incident, including those linked here:
There is word that the TSB has completed at least some part of its report, but it is not yet ready to be released to the public.
The second to last F40PH-2d rebuild released from CAD Railway Services in late November VIA 6440 experienced operating problems in December, and was returned dead-in-tow to CAD for repairs.
VIA sleeper 8328 “Grant Manor”, is at CAD in Lachine, QC for repairs following the sideswipe by CN SD70M-2 8904 at the VIA station in Jasper, Alberta July 6th, 2010. .
Eight “Chateau” sleepers and four “Park” cars have returned from Avalon Rail in Milwaukee, WI, after rebuild. They are reconfigured to have with Deluxe bedrooms, and have modified window openings, but lacking interiors. A contract has been awarded to have the interiors of the cars completed by CLN Railway Industries and Services Ferroviares Julien at the former roundhouse in Charny, Que. The cars are as follows: At Charny: Sleepers 8206 “Chateau Denonville”, 8207 “Chateau Dollard”, 8213 “Chateau Lauzon” and 8226 “Chateau Salaberry”; Dome-Sleeper-Observations 8708 “Kootenay Park” and 8709 “Laurentide Park”. And stored in Toronto: Sleepers 8204 “Chateau Cadillac”, 8210 “Chateau Joliet”, 8217 “Chateau Maisonneuve” and 8227 “Chateau Varennes”; Dome-Sleeper-Observations 8706 “Glacier Park” and 8710 “Prince Albert Park”.
Unlike many of VIA's promotional wraps that stayed on locomotives for several years, the “CFL Grey Cup 100th Anniversary” wrap on VIA F40PH-2d 6445 has already been removed. 6445 was wrapped for the CFL Grey Cup train almost immediately after being rebuilt, so it wasn't widely seen in its proper Renaissance paint until after the Grey Cup game was played. Ron Visockis shot her back in VIA “Ren” dress in Belleville on #56 on February 13th.
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.
Ron Visockis bagged CADRAIL-rebuilt F30PH-2d 6424 and VIA P42DC 911 one after the other westbound at Belleville, ON February 9th. GE and GMDD built locomotives wearing the Renaissance livery in their own way.
Ron also took these various new photo angles at the VIA station: VIA P42DC 903 with #57, VIA F40PH-2d 6410 with #44, and VIA 6445 leads #60 at Belleville, ON on Jan 17th.
Ron Visockis clicked VIA P42DC 918 rescuing this eastbound at Belleville, ON. Jan 17th. The F40 had failed.
VIA FP9A 6532 is seen in her experimental grey paints scheme at the Spadina Shops in Toronto Ontario in the early 1980’s. Before the LRC equipment was delivered, VIA had initially planned to use this grey and yellow paint scheme on both LRC locomotives and coaches. This "Grey Ghost" paint scheme was applied to this single FP9A and a couple of lightweight coaches as a test to see how the scheme would be received. It proved to be tremendously unpopular, and the LRCs instead arrived in the grey, blue and yellow scheme they wore for the rest of their careers. Submitted by Denis Cote of Boreal Trains with thanks.
Due to a VIA locomotive failure, CP Rail C630M 4500 was called upon to assist the “Canadian” into Toronto on March 10th, 1985. The Big M and VIA LRC 6902 are strange bedfellows indeed at Spadina , Toronto in March 1985. Incidentally, CN's Spadina Roundhouse wasn't long for this world at the time the shot was taken: VIA would move it's operations to the TMC in Mimico (later in 1985 I believe?) and in a few years it would be demolished for the Skydome construction (now the Rogers Centre).
In March 1978, Spadina had fascinating locomotives and equipment to take in, including the "Northlander" with T-E-E equipment! Keith Harrison snapped this great photo.
The Brockville Dispatcher was busy on May 21st, 1978, with two VIA trains and a switching move to deal with. Keith Harrison snapped this great photo.
In the early morning of February 25, 2010, VIA Train 15 derailed at St. Charles-de-Bellechasse, QC. No fatal injuries were sustained by the crew or passengers, but CAD rebuild prototype F40PH-2d #6400 suffered severe damage and was ultimately retired and scrapped. The trailing unit, fully rebuilt F40PH-2d 6457, was damaged but returned to service some months later. The train was travelling at excessive speed in heavy snow when it entered a siding, causing the train to jump the tracks and plow into a trackside house, completely destroying the garage (For the initial derailment report, see the March 2010 issue of CRO). The Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that the train was travelling at excessive speed due to several factors: Snow had obscured the signal lenses, making it difficult for the crew to read the indication. They incorrectly assumed that signals ahead of the switch indicated they were clear to proceed at speed. The crew had also anticipated that the CN freight, which was the reason for VIA 15 taking the siding, had been delayed in Charny and would not be meeting them at that point. Additionally, medical records for one of the engineers had not been passed over from CN, leaving VIA without the knowledge that he may be at risk of obstructive sleep apnea. This contributed to the conclusion that crew fatigue could have been a factor.
This photo shows VIA 6400 after being righted following the wreck. It would be moved to Montreal, and was later scrapped.
©CRO March 2013