But before we begin, Pierre Fournier kindly shared a photo (top) of VIA No 23 at St Leonard, QC on April 4, 1992, with LRC locomotive 6912, SGU and two blue & yellow coaches. Fortunately, Pierre has watermarked the photo with the date, over two weeks into Operation Axle. Merci, Pierre!
I found this watermarked online auction site photo a couple of years ago. Why was an F40-SGU-Blue & yellow coaches-baggage car train operating through Dundas, ON? I did a quick re-formatting of the photo and saved it. It got me searching back through the archives for more on Operation Axle. (It was VIA No 172 Eng 6438 in March, 1992!)
GO APCU 906 with GO bilevels and VIA 6412 at Hamilton West on March 23:
VIA 6412 with GO bilevels at Bayview Junction on April 2/92 (online auction site photo):
VIA No 73 is VIA 6447-GO APCU and three GO bilevels at Hamilton West on March 25 (above) GO F59 550 leads VIA No 71 at Bayview Junction on March 24:
GO APCU 907 is on VIA No 172 at Bayview Junction on March 28, VIA 64xx trailing:
VIA 6902-6308 on March 23, 1992 at Hamilton West:
and VIA 6413 leads an SGU, coaches and a baggage through Newtonville, also in 1992:
Online auction site photos: VIA 6427 leads an SGU and blue & yellow consist east at Belleville on March 30, 1992:
VIA No 640 on March 29, 1992 with F40-SGU-3 blue & yellow cars
VIA No 73 on March 28, 1992 with F40-3 GO bilevels-GO APCU
VIA No 621 on April 26, 1992 with 6902-SGU-blue & yellow cars
VIA No 23 on March 29, 1992 with 6912-SGU-2 blue& yellow cars
and the ultimate, the epitome, the pointy pinnacle of Operation Axle consists:
VIA No 23 on March 22, 1992 with 6905-SGU-1 little blue & yellow car
From Southwest Ontario...
VIA No 73 with 6408-GO bilevels-GO 907-6446 at Dundas, April 8, 1992.
VIA No 71 with GO Transit 550 at Woodstock, March 24, 1992 and cab car 228 leading.
VIA leading GO at Bayview Jct., April 18, 1992.
VIA No 74 at Bayview Jct., March 29, 1992 with 6447-GO APCU and bilevels.
VIA No 72 at Hyde Park on May 20, 1992 with 6446-4 B&Y cars.
GO consist at London, led by GO cab car 237 on April 4, 1992.
White River Division blog post published in July, 2018 showing a GO bilevel consist at London on April 12, 1992.
A quick trip through the files reveals both TRAINS and RAILFAN magazine covered Op Axle. What got their editors' attention? GO equipment on VIA, that's what! Douglas C Weitzman's photo in TRAINS featured VIA No 73 at Windsor's Walkerville station "on March 17, 1992" about to depart east as No 78 behind an F69(sic) diesel:
Meanwhile, over at RAILFAN (above), Julien R Wolfe photographed VIA No 72 behind GO GP40M-2 721-APCU 902 with sausage-link (sic) bilevels also at Windsor, on March 20. Sausage-links? Not just for breakfast anymore!
Part one of this series featured an historical look at Operation Axle. The last post in the series will include consist mockups. My sincere thanks to Pierre Fournier and John Reay for their contributions!
It's train time at Toronto Union - last Friday! I've been waiting to publish this series until it has appeared in print, in the January-February 2016 issue of Bytown Railway Society's Branchline newsmagazine. Thanks to Malcolm Vant and the editorial team for the pole position and excellent presentation of the article in this issue!
Life at VIA is a light-hearted Youtube video featuring VIA Rail employees - from baggage handlers and counter agents to on-board service staff (haven't tried climbing into LRC overhead luggage bins as at the 3:54 mark) and the man in the corner office - YDS!
I can't believe modellers spend perfectly good money on these messy cars. Spoiler alert - clicking on the CN apple billboard car will lead you right back to good ol' Trackside Treasure!