Saturday, November 28, 2009

VIA Corridor Consists 1991-1995

VIA Corridor consists in the first half of the 1990's were changing due to modernization of equipment. LRC cars provided the rolling stock for most corridor trains, except for daily afternoon VIA Nos 62/63 and Nos 168/169 on weekend nights. LRC locomotives were still operating as were 6300-series F-units, but 6400's powered most trains.
No 63 on April 1/91 is all blue&yellow: 6442-15410-9618-York Club-3253-5569-5546-3202-5531 (above)
Four afternoon trains on April 14 are representative of most VIA Corridor trains:
6905-3453-3367-3351-3362, 6423-34xx-3315-3335-3334, 6422-3462-3319-3341-3337, 6414-3470-3316-3314-3315.
No 62 on April 27 has two types of locomotive and two ex-CP Canadian coaches.
6439-6303-15460-102-112-3224-5584-5583-3202-Club St Denis-9640:
Within a month, Nos 62 and 63 would become LRC consists, using surplus CP baggage cars, such as May 12/91: 6409-6407-3331-3316-3367-3372-3303-3322-3346-3464-8610.
No 63 stops at Belleville on February 17/92. 6438-613-3462-3337-3342-3345-3463:
Other ex-CP baggage cars in use included 612, 615, 8607, and 8609. Baggage 613 and business car 96 bring up the tailend on December 28/91:
Changes to Nos 62/63 left Nos 168/169 as the most interesting trains to watch, which I did a lot in the summer of 1991. Since these trains used conventional equipment, they were often used to ferry equipment from the Toronto-Vancouver trains to Montreal for maintenance.
July 26/91 No 169: 6452-5646-3218-5444-Strathcona Park:
May 31/91 No 169: 6442-Allan Manor-5449-3219-5586-Saint James's Club-Chateau Salaberry-Chateau Varennes-VIA/CN 94.
July 12/91 No 168: 6902-5504-3202-5537-Dufferin Manor-Bell Manor-Chateau Laval-612.
July 12/91 No 169: 6304 (new paint, Bombardier builder's plate)-5576-3204-5585.
August 2/91 No 168: 6442-6414-8509-Evangeline Park-5585-5576-3212-5499-5522.
August 5/91 No 168: 6916-3242-5623-3237-5611-5622.
When an LRC car axle incident led to the LRC fleet being sidelined, from March-May 1992 it was back to 6300's or 6400's/SGU's with blue&yellow equipment.
March 30/92 No 63: 6425-15478-9624-3201-5458-5529-5576-3224:
March 24/92: 6920-6309-3201-5458-5529.
April 6/92: 6928-6514-5569-3201-5531.
Montreal's Pointe St. Charles shops was the location of many stored ex-VIA F's in March, 1993. Soon, VIA's new ex-Union Pacific baggage cars started to appear, such as 8621.
April 24/93: 6429-8621-3460-3319-3326-3359-3303-3305-VIA/CN 94:
VIA's evening Montreal-Toronto expresses operated with one or two LRC locomotives. November 24/93 VIA Express 1905 WB: 6920-3 LRC cars-6907.
January 31/94 VIA Express 1850 EB: 6915-6907 6416, baggage car 8621 and 6 LRC cars make a station stop at Belleville with CN 9516 in the background on March 16/95:
No 57's equipment operates west of Toronto to Windsor, seen at Bayview Junction.
September 25/93: 6427-8618-3461-3325-3305-3343-3329-3332:
A trip to Ottawa on February 7/94 revealed the following VIA cars stored at Ottawa Union Station pending disposition: 9654, 9667, 2503, 2510, 2513, 3039, 757, 754, 5594, 5736, Greenwood, Hudson Bay, Algonquin Park, Sibley Park, Riding Mountain Park, ex-Rock Island baggage 618.
Viahogger shares some thoughts on working the "blue&yellow fleet" before their retirement:
"I loved riding on the fleet with their leaky steam valves, comfortable seating and spacious interiors. They were in deserate need of a rebuild; many of the cars were literally falling apart with rust and decay. Failures of heating, AC or electrical system were a regular occurrence. They did put in many years of reliable service, and when they were maintained they were alright cars to work on." From 1993-1995, 6400's with three LRC cars dominated VIA Corridor trains. A VIA train to London, westbound out of Toronto Union had three ex-CP coaches on May 17/94: 6442-8120-8100-8108.
Running extra...
Just finishing Sails on the Horizon by Jay Worrall. A ripping good yarn of derring-do on the high seas with Commander Charles Edgemont of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. Feisty Quaker Penelope Brown meets and marries Charles. Read it if thou hast the time.
CN engineers are on strike. Managers are running the trains, with a 30 mph speed limit. Many trains today are 35 mph. CN No 149 was doing closer to 45 - gotta keep those containers moving.


Robert in Port Townsend said...

Being brought up around the CNR green and gold, and CPR maroons and gray, this VIA color scheme has me reacting like finger nails on a black board!

Manny Jacob said...

Hi Eric, I was living in and railfanning Cornwall from 1993-98 and have enjoyed your corridor consists. This one is especially interesting. While I am definitely not an expert on this subject, like you I do have some observations. Unfortunately I don't have detailed consist notes like the ones you posted, but I did pay close attention to the unit numbers and cars.

Trains 62 and 63 were dropped around 1994-95. 57 and 60 operated with one F40, an 8600 series baggage car and 4-8 LRC coaches until around 1995 or 96. After that point the HEP2 cars displaced the LRCs. LRCs during this period were also somewhat scarce but were regulars on trains 52, 53, 66 and 69. The odd time I remember feeling disappointed when one would show up on 56, as I am a big F40 fan.

Trains 61 and 64 did not stop in Cornwall in 94-95 but this changed around this time. Until then, it was quite a sight (and a reminder to be careful!) when these trains would tear past the station at full speed!

Regarding the F40s, I am glad to see that you have apparently documented the changeover point to maintenance assignments. By June 1994 it was a real event to see any unit # higher than 6428 in the corridor. They seemed to keep 6429-36 in the east and 6437-58 in the west in this period. VIA was very consistent with this in the 1994-96 timeframe. After this point, the 6429-36 units started to appear on corridor trains which were also starting to regularly exceed the F40 + 3 LRC formula you mentioned above.

Hopefully these obs will interest your readers. Keep up the great work!

Eric said...

Robert, agreed VIA scheme is not a classic, but look how nicely the stripe lines up between the F40 and stainless cars. Thanks Manny for your observations. I saw 6449-6450 on No 1 in March/94, and my last high-numbered F40 observed at Kingston was 6441 on April 2/94. You are right about non-stop trains. VIA Nos 66/67 are the only trains that don't stop at Kingston, which is important to remember while strolling the platform.

Unknown said...

When were the fa4s retired, just was wondering. Thank you for your time.

Eric said...

As of April 23, 1988, Reset Safety Controls (RSC’s) were
mandated for all VIA units in the lead position. In November
1988, RSC’s were installed in all 6400’s and 6900’s and
remaining 6500’s. For the remaining few FPA’s still in use,
an exception was made so that RSC’s were not required for
their short remaining service lives. However, it was made
mandatory that these units have two qualified engineers in
the cab at all times, with the ‘deadman pedal’ operative, to
be used as lead units.

The FPA’s demise was complete when they were completely
prohibited from leading as of March 31, 1989, though their
use as trailing units was allowed.

Penultimate FPA4-leading runs
on March 31 included 6761 leading five cars into Matapedia
Quebec on VIA No 17, VIA No 76 with 6764, and VIA No 84
with 6786 and four cars, the latter two both arriving Toronto,
and VIA No 38 arriving Montreal with 6789 and three cars.
The final FPA’s in service were 6761, 6763, 6764, 6765,
6767, 6768, 6771, 6773, 6776, 6780, 6783, 6786, 6789, and
6793. FPB4’s lasted a little longer, with 6860, 6861, 6862,
6867 and 6871 still used between Halifax and Montreal up
to July, 1989.

The last reported revenue use of an FPA4 was 6416-6793
between Montreal and Ottawa on April 27-29, 1989.

Hope this helps, Toby.

Unknown said...

It does help a lot, thank you very much.

Unknown said...

Hi Eric,
Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge of VIA through books and your blog.
Just curious, I'm trying to find information on dates when each VIA loco went for repainting from delivery scheme to Canada scheme... Is there a list available somehwere online where I could see that information? You're prob one of the best people to ask...

Eric said...

Yes, I should be able to find that information for you, Greg. Can you please email me at mile179kingston@yahoo[dot]ca?