Saturday, January 14, 2012

GO Transit 1981

GO Transit has been carrying commuters to and from Toronto since 1967.  GO's unique green & white paint scheme and large Government of Ontario logo (letters G and O, plus a thin letter "T for Toronto" hidden in between) are instantly recognizable, and GO's distinctive bilevel cars originally built by Hawker-Siddeley in Ontario are in service with commuter agencies around North America.  

Chris Mears, Trackside Treasure blog partner and keeper of GO's most easterly destination in Charlottetown,  is a GO Transit fan.  Recently on his blog, Prince Street Terminal , Chris blogged about some 1981 GO consists he discovered while exploring Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years .  This post includes those trains.  On a weekend trip to Bayview Junction in Hamilton, I photographed some inside the 'triangle' at the junction of the Dundas and Oakville Subs, an area no longer accessible to railfans.

On the evening of June 22, a Hamilton-bound train passes the assembled railfans at 1810 (above) 502-2054-2006-2023-2068-2036-2039-2044-2041-2007-2057-507 .  A few minutes later, the push-pull consist returns to Toronto, now led by 507:
An hour later, another Steel City-bound train passes: 103-2046-2001-2035-2030-2000-2002-2012-2065-515 .
GO F40PH is in push mode:
This consist also then heads back toward Toronto:
Early next morning, June 23 two trains head into Toronto from Hamilton.  At 0639: 902-2058-2040-2019-2078-2077-2015-2076-2059-706-709 .
On the tailend, 706-709 pushing, with red marker lights illuminated:
Within the hour, a second train passes the Junction, at the Royal Botanical Gardens walkway: 507-2057-2007-2029-2044-2039-2036-2068-2023-2006-2054-502.
While on a visit to Spadina roundhouse , a short train heads east: 515-2058-2066-2031-2020-107.  Those are flags on a background building, not some sort of Pennsy-like antennae on 515:
On a daytime layover waiting for VIA train No 3 out of Toronto on August 22, I was able to see a plethora of trains from the Spadina Street bridge.  At 1347, a westbound GO train negotiates crossovers at 1414:
GO APCU 907 leads bilevels toward Union Station:  907-2034-2071-2020-2073-2032-2016-2056-2070-2079-707-710 .
A westbound train passes the under-construction flyunder west of Spadina Avenue, with Spadina coach yard's wash rack and Tempo cars in the background at 1447:  501-2008-2035-2074-2051-2018-2048-2067-2053-2066-2037-514 .

Running extra...

7, 8, 44...VIA's F40PH-2 fleet as of early January with unrebuilt, undergoing Renaissance rebuilding, and rebuilt units respectively.  Yellow noses are now few and far between.  As Bruce Springsteen sang, "Baby we were born to Ren."

6427, 6451...VIA train No 1 had these two unrebuilt units on the head-end ex Toronto January 9.  Thanks to Brian Schuff of Winnipeg for this OS.  Could this be the last time the Vancouver sun rose on such a power consist on the Canadian?  Prairie Oyster's Canadian Sunrise with Winnipeger Randy Bachman on guitar comes to mind.

Freestylin', mega-pick, junk-drunk, bundling...some of the terms used by Mike and Frank on American Pickers weekly on the History Television.  My favourite show; these two characters unearth history one piece at a time, finding themselves in some unpredictable and unusual locations,  "Yo, Danny D give us the co-ordinates."


Bryan said...


Nice post. I really liked these shots, not so much for grainy film-to-jpg scan, but the varying consists and background scenery of downtown Toronto and Bayview 30 years ago. Some things change, some things stay the same!

Happy new year,

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Bryan. I will be posting more photos from Bayview in '81, because there is a lot of change in the consists and power. But I think it might have to be a six-part series because I have plenty of photos to share.

Grainy, yes. 110-format film was not the best. I was actually able to rejuvenate some of the photos before posting. Imagine 110-format film at 0639 in the morning otherwise!

Hope 2012 has been treating you well so far.


Zartok-35 said...

I'm surprised how many of these consists have locomtovies on both ends. I guess cab cars come later?

Eric said...

Elijah, the locomotives in push-pull mode made the end of the train more interesting, sort of like cabooses. That's one reason these consists are of interest to GO enthusiasts.

Looks like the cab cars weren't built until 1983. Always kind of eerie to see the train being operated not-from-the-locomotive...

Thanks for your comments,

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post Eric and I enjoyed every bit of it. I was excited enough when I found those Easter eggs in Trackside Treasures and even more so when you mentioned having shots of those very trains.

It's great to see the F40 shots. I've always been a fan of them. I used to think it was funny how few photos there were of them around considering how long they were a part of GO's fleet.

Finally, the condition of the GP40TC's is remarkable for GO isn't it? I've seen some shots of dirty GO units before but have always been really impressed with how clean they kept their train sets. Seeing units with paint in such condition is really rare.

I sure hope this isn't the last of the GO posts here. I can't wait to see more!


Chris Mears
GO Charlottetown

Eric said...

Well, not the very last of the GO posts, Chris. Watch for a followup next post.

Yes, those GO units could use a paint job. Their newer cars and units must have a good coat of paint, because any time I see them between Oshawa and Kingston they look pretty good.

Thanks for your kind comments,

Jamie said...

You mentioned in the article that the cars were built by Hawker Siddeley in Ontario. I was unaware of any HS plant in Ontario. I thought the only railcar plant was in Trenton, NS? Was this a typo or did they have another manufacturing facility outside NS?



Eric said...

Hi Jamie, thanks for your question. Hawker Siddeley, like many corporate entities, has changed name and ownership several times in the intervening years.

The Ontario government, UTDC, Can-Car Rail, SNC-Lavalin group, Lavalin Industries, Bombardier have all operated the Thunder Bay plant since. Bombardier also assembled the VIA Renaissance (UK Nightstar) cars at the plant.

[Blogger word verification for this comment was 'repato'. Darned close to Rapido, eh?]