Saturday, February 21, 2009

VIA's Winnipeg to Saskatoon Nos.109/110, 1982

November 15, 1981 saw 15 VIA Rail routes cancelled, including the Halifax-Montreal Atlantic Limited, the Regina-Prince Albert RDC's Nos 680/683, and the Toronto-Vancouver Super Continental (above). From November 1981 to June 1984, VIA instituted a daily, pint-sized passenger train, VIA No 109 Winnipeg-Saskatoon, and VIA No 110 Saskatoon-Winnipeg. Scheduled to arrive in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba at noon, No 109's consist on June 11, 1982 was 6519 - 604 - 3215:
The diminutive, two-car (baggage car and cafe-coach) consist was the former CN Saskatoon-Regina RDC run over the Craik Subdivision, extended to Portage over CP trackage, thence CN into Winnipeg. On June 14, the train had as many locomotives as cars, 6520 - 6521 - 600 - 3226:

Other No 109 consists for the month:
June 16 6514 - 600 - 3226
June 18 6520 - 600 - 3226
June 21 6509 - 605 - 3222
June 22 6518 - 600 - 3226 - 9481
June 23 6514 - 605 - 3233 - 3222
June 24 6513 - 600 - 3226
On June 15, an ex-CN baggage car was in use: 6519 - 9652 - 3222. On June 15, No 110 (not pictured) was eastbound at 1810 with 6512 - 9652 - 3222. The regular engineer on No 109 was kind enough to pass along some of his train orders:

The trains' run over both of Canada's railways is reflected in the different clearances and train orders issued by CN and CP. The engineer offered me a cab ride as far as Brandon, returning the same afternoon on No 110. I should've taken him up on it! CP issued train orders to No 110 at Brandon:

VIA even marketed a Brandon Getaway to mark the Wheat City's centennial. "Travel relaxed and in comfort on VIA Rail's train service - arriving and leaving Brandon at convenient times. Shop and sightsee in this interesting city." The cover of the folder showed grain covered hoppers and stock cars in CP's yard:
Nos 109/110 truly qualified as a Model Railroader pike-size passenger train, which makes it easy to model. But bigger things were to come...the train would be upsized in 1984, and its run as the new Panorama extended west over CN to Edmonton. More to follow in the next post...


BrianYYZ said...

Thanks for this! I rode this train often from Brandon to Saskatoon (and vv) shuttling between parents. I have wanted to model it for awhile—knowing some sample consists is very useful!

Eric said...

Good to hear this post is of use, Brian. Don't forget that in winter, a steam generator unit would be added, sometimes a CN-painted one! Very modellable.

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Happy travels,