Senior VIA News Editor (East) Tim Hayman
VIA News Co-Editor (West) Terry Muirhead
The two remaining VIA Rail F40PH-2’s at CAD Railway Services for rebuild are: VIA 6440, and 6453. VIA F40PH-2d 6451 was released two months ago and 6427 was released October 19th. 6408 was released in early September, and VIA 6415 was released in late September. The F40 rebuild program is expected to be completed within the next two months.
Under a Simpson’s sky, Ron Visockis snapped VIA F40PH-2d 6432 with train #56-54 at Belleville, ON October 12th.
We’ve returned this month with the VIA Rail locomotive roster, although in a slightly different format. We’re still working on the formatting and what should and shouldn’t be included (thanks to those who offered feedback last month!), so let us know if you have suggestions! Next month will introduce additional historical notes on each locomotive, as appropriate, plus more information on the locomotive classes.
The Canadian Football League trophy the “Grey Cup” is touring Canada on a specialized 6-car train with a 74-day whistle-stop tour. Fully decorated F40PH-2d 6445 and four wrapped cars moved on the Canadian to Edmonton, AB. In Edmonton, two more cars were added: VIA Skyline dome 8502, and VIA “Chateau Dollier”, (these are not wrapped), and the 6 cars and F40 departed with CP ES44AC 8711 leading. On October 5th CP 8711 was removed at Portage La Prairie, MB as the train was transferred to CN trackage. F40PH-2d 6445 and the six cars departed for Winnipeg, MB where Chateau Dollier was removed. The train was then handled on VIA trains from Winnipeg to Halifax, NS arriving October 13th. http://www.greycuptour.ca/
Jason Jongen caught Via # 2 into Washago, ON October 9th
almost 4 hours late, with CFL train consist in tow. VIA
#2 by Washago at 11:02
David Othen took this video of the Grey Cup train arriving as a J-Train with VIA 14 on October 11th, likely the first time VIA has ever operated a J-train in Nova Scotia. David also took video of the equipment leaving Halifax as special extra VIA #3.
On the return westbound move October 18th from Halifax to Moncton, NB ran as a separate special train with only VIA 6445 and five cars. After arriving in Montreal the train was on display at the Old Port of Montreal on October 20th where “Off the Shelf” Editor Michael Berry snapped these photos .
Work has begun refurbishing the interior of the VIA rail “Park” car and two sleepers at CLN INDUSTRIES in Charny, QC Jean-Francois Dumont took these photos the week of October. CN locomotives 9566 and 7272 transported the cars to CLN October 2nd: VIA 8206 (Chateau Denonville), 8213 (Chateau Lauzon) and 8709 (Laurentide Park). Three others VIA 8207 (Chateau Dollard), 8226, (Chateau Salaberry), and 8708 (Kootenay Park) are already at the CLN shop undergoing refurbishment. 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 October VIA Rail Canada announced a new carry-on baggage policy to start Oct. 11, 2012. This comes on the heels of a major service restructuring across its network.
The new policy:
2 articles, Maximum 11.5 kg (25 lb.) each 54.5 * 39.5 * 23 cm (21.5 * 15.5 * 9 in.) each
1 article personal (e.g. laptop or small backpack) Maximum 11.5 kg (25 lb.) 43 * 15 * 33 cm (17 * 6 * 13 in.) For this option, articles of more than 11.5 kg (25 lb.) are not allowed on board.
1 article, Maximum 18 kg (40 lb.), 158 linear cm (62 linear inches)
(example of dimensions: 69 * 53.5 * 35.5 cm (27 * 21 * 14 in.))
1 article personal (e.g. laptop or small backpack) Maximum 11.5 kg (25 lb.) 43 * 15 * 33 cm (17 * 6 * 13 in.) For this option, an article between 41 and 50 lb. is allowed on board, but is subject to a surcharge of $20 (taxes included, per one-way trip) for excess weight. An article weighing more than 50 lb. is not allowed on board. Purses and baby carriages are not considered as baggage.
Many of the cuts announced by VIA Rail this summer have now taken place. In the east, the Ocean has come to the end of its 6-day per week schedule, and is now down to 3-day operation. VIA 14 will leave Montreal on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, while VIA 15 will leave Halifax on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. The schedule of the Chaleur (VIA 16/17) has also been adjusted such that it will leave and arrive in Montreal with the Ocean on every run. This means that the two trains will run joined between Montreal and Matepedia one every run now.
As part of the cuts to the Ocean service, VIA has announced new hours for stations in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere in the system, including the closure of Amherst and Sackville stations. New hours throughout the system are now posted on the VIA Rail website.
With the Ocean service reductions and staff cuts, a number of VIA Rail employees have opted to take early retirement. Among the current retirees was long-time service manager Ken Cairns, who ended a 40 year career with CN and VIA on October 22nd, 2012, on VIA 14. On behalf of CRO, I’d like to thank all of the VIA employees (engineers, on-board crews, and station staff) who have either taken retirement or lost their jobs in this round of cuts. It’s these people who really help make traveling with VIA an excellent experience, and they will be missed. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours!
In Ontario, Trains 95, 86 and 89 all made their last runs in October. An article about the end of VIA Train 95 can be found here: http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2012/10/25/last-commuter-train-to-st-catharines, and an article about the end of Trains 86 and 89 can be found here: http://metronews.ca/news/kitchener/415013/early-and-late-trains-from-toronto-to-kw-stop-wednesday/
As usual, check out the updates on VIA’s Capital Investment Projects page: http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment
On October 11th, Steve Boyko snapped this impressively long Canadian departing Winnipeg, MB, and bagged a really nice going away shot!
VIA F40PH-2d 6405-6408, VIA 8606, VIA 8133, VIA 8143, VIA 8506, VIA 8322 Drummond Manor, VIA 8320 Douglas Manor, VIA 8301 Abbot Manor, VIA 8515, VIA 8401 Acadian, VIA 8317 Cornwall Manor, VIA 8310 Brock Manor, VIA 8316 Christie Manor, VIA 8203 Chateau Brule, VIA 8220 Chateau Papineau, VIA 8517, VIA 8411 Imperial, VIA 8327 Fraser Manor, VIA 8305 Bayfield Manor, VIA 8325 Elgin Manor, VIA 8711 Revelstoke Park.
On October 11th, Michael Heartfield caught VIA 6411, which prior to its rebuild was decorated in “Operation Lifesaver” graphics, leading VIA Train 62 at Smiths Falls.
That same day, he photographed this tremendously unique consist sitting at the Smiths Falls station. VIA often performs crew training between Ottawa and Smiths Falls, often using a short consist of spare equipment with locomotives on each end. This particular training consist has a single LRC coach sandwiched between P42s 902 and 906. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that 902 is sporting the new Renaissance Green (and is unique, as it is the only P42 with no “Canada” wordmarks), while 906 sports the more distinctive blue.
While visiting the annual Truro Model Railroad show on October 13th, VIA Editor Tim Hayman took advantage of the sunny (but cold!) weather to photograph the westbound Ocean VIA 15, and then the eastbound Ocean VIA 14 a few hours later. Although the fall colors are in full bloom throughout the region, they’re just beginning to show inside the town centre of Truro, Nova Scotia.
In North Bay, Ontario, Ted Ellis snapped the eastbound “Super Continental” with a set of FPA4 and FPB4 units on August 1st, 1974. Hard to believe a CN Wood sheathed (steel end) 40-foot box car was still kicking around in 1975!
In May, 2011, National Geographic released a documentary about the 1986 Hinton Alberta collision as part of their “Crash Scene Investigation” series. The collision between CN freight #413 and VIA Rail’s Super Continental remains the worst rail disaster in Canadian history, and the exact conditions that led to the disaster remain somewhat of a mystery. The power involved was: CN train 413: GP38-2W 5586, and SD40’s 5062 and 5104. VIA train: FP7A 6566, and F9B 6633 and on the rear FP9Au 6300 and a steam generator car. You can watch the full program on Youtube (in 4 parts). It is quite well done.
Jim McRae snapped VIA E8A 1800 in on the “ Canadian” in Sudbury, ON in 1979.
On August 9, 2010, the old Smiths Falls station was in its final days of use for VIA service when Michael Heartfield photographed this seemingly excess power on Train 50. P42s 914 and 918 double head a short 3-car LRC consist.
©CRO November 2012