Thursday, May 28, 2020

VIA Ex-CP Cars East to Montreal - Part 1

VIA has been repositioning stainless steel equipment formerly used on the Canadian. VIA No 12 was a deadhead equipment move bringing 20 cars from Vancouver (and the Prince Rupert train) into Winnipeg on May 17. Steve Boyko captured this movement from three different angles! With neither the Ocean, Skeena or Canadian running due to the present pandemic, there's lots of HEP stainless steel cars to go around. The cars can now be cleaned, refurbished and inspected as needed and as planned. VIA posted this press release May 6. The final Canadian had reached Toronto March 13.

Another special movement, VIA No 11 Engs 6427-6448, brought five cars into Winnipeg from Toronto around May 19. In the Corridor, several HEP stainless steel coaches, a baggage car and a Skyline had headed west into Toronto on May 9. Cars that came to VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre from Western Canada are being moved to VIA's Montreal Maintenance Centre, tacked onto the tail-end of VIA No 66 on successive nights. See the end of this post for consists of VIA's first No 12. Thanks to additional information from VIAphile Mark Sampson, you are there!

This is going to be a pop-up post. Each day's coverage of No 66 will have the consist followed by photos of that train.
May 20 VIA No 66 at Kingston OS 1745 May 20, 2020. 918Love the Way-3452-3348Ren-3320R-3335-3345R-919L-Frontenac-Acadian-8609-8144. To get a better, non-80 mph look, Kingston's VIA station was the place to be to see the equipment up-close.

May 21 No 66: 6459-6456-6453-913Love the way-3467-3340-3322-3326Ren-3319R-920L-8104-Glacier Park-Chateau Salaberry-Ch. Maisonneuve-Ch. Jolliet - the last four Prestige Class. Interestingly, the three 6400's in the lead brought the cars into Toronto, but have been remarshalled in the opposite order.

VIA No 66 at 1758 on May 22, 2020 at Kingston: 907Love the way-3460-3303Ren-3356Future-3363-3339R-906L-8606-Tweedsmuir Park-8105-8613:

VIA 8613, er, 613, has an interesting historical footnote in the long history of its VIA service.
VIA No 66 at 1750 on May 23, 2020 at Kingston (Collins Bay): 912Love the way-3462-3360Future-3300-3366F-6404-Strathcona Park-8118-Emerald (with Churchill wrap)-Empress-Kent.

Mark Sampson thoughtfully put a 'Hi Eric' sign in wrapped diner Emerald for me to see!

Earlier on May 23, VIA No 63 had Hunter Manor-Brock Manor-Fairholme-Chateau Jolliet-8509-Assiniboine Park tacked on the tail end from Montreal. It's been awhile since we had this many domes on the Kingston Sub - 1982:
The 20-car consist of VIA No 12 (CN's ID is P01251 15) which passed through Winnipeg on May 17 - each unit is followed by the bracketed date it headed east from Toronto as pictured above: 6453(21)-6456(21)-6459(21)-8118(23)-Strathcona Park (23)-8613(22)-8105(22)-Tweedsmuir Park(22)-8606(22)-Drummond Manor -Elgin Manor-Franklin Manor-8144(20)-Kent(23)-Empress(23)-Emerald(23)-8609(20)-Chateau Jolliet (21-Prestige Class)-Acadian (20)-Frontenac (20)-Chateau Maisonneuve(Prestige-21)-Chateau Salaberry(Prestige-21)-Glacier Park (21-Prestige). The first six cars (8118 to 8606 inclusive) were two three-car trainsets wyed then added at Jasper. The Manors stayed at the TMC. 

In Part 2, we capture a second train's contribution of cars to this Corridor Canadian crossing.

Running extra...

My future son-in-law gave up the chance to stay home and smell the homemade lasagna cooking to accompany me instead to Kingston's VIA station to see the third night's deadhead move of VIA equipment to Montreal. (That run-on-sentence was as long as this train!) It's not too often we see this Trackside Treasure being created - Dustin captured me capturing the moment! Your humble blogger is having a virtual flashback to the 1980's Corridor Canadian, when there was no such thing as a mid-train Park car. Strange times, indeed:
A recent re-watch of the 1963 classic 'The Great Escape' is being followed up by a read of Ted Barris' The Great Escape - the Untold Story. My copy is not lettered 'a Canadian Story' though. Maybe that's what happens when it's a National Bestseller (that is on my copy). The differences between the Hollywood version and the real thing are notable for not off-putting. Spoiler - I've actually worked alongside someone who IS mentioned in the book, by George!
Speaking of tunnelling, I'm tiring of hearing the phrase 'deep dive' pertaining to any newsmagazine expose' or any other normally-superficial account of something. It's become an epidemic, and besides, I prefer a shallow dive. Not just because I'm superficial, but because there's less chance of hitting my head that way.


Steve Boyko said...

A shallow dive into the Budd car movement? ;)

Thanks for the link and thanks for posting photos of the VIA cars farther east from me. We live in amazing times when we can keep tabs on the progress of a special move like this and share our results, practically in real time.

Eric said...

Yes, this post had a high Degree of Difficulty when it came to documentarily describing its duration, but your sharing (and the way you Pegger railfans co-ordinated the coverage of the inbound eastward movement!) made it easier and more complete.

Notwithstanding the messed-up consists, I have launched a Conspiracy Theory that there were indeed passengers on board who ducked down when approaching railfans.

Thanks for your comment, Steve.

Scott M said...

Has anyone been able to confirm the repairs required? Structural? frames? Exterior?

Eric said...

A frequent question and I've heard many potential answers, Scott. Short of a news release from VIA or credible information from a VIA spokesman, we are left to wonder. Extensive movements of large portions of VIA's fleet must be for a reason. Fatalists believe it marks the end or sale of VIA to private interests. All I can suggest is, stay tuned.

I'm using the movements as a purely selfish opportunity to enjoy some stainless steel equipment up close on what is now rare mileage for them.

Thanks for your question,

Michael Pasch said...


Those are amazing photos. The last time I saw that many stainless-steel coaches in a consist was many, many, many years ago, as a kid, when living in Ottawa. Our house was located in the neighbourhood east of Ottawa Station. Those were the days when the CPR, then CP Rail, "Canadian" would roll in and out of Ottawa. One time, counted 21 coaches!

From a modellers stand point, the move shown would be a great operating feature on a layout.

Thanks for sharing the story.

Eric said...

My last time was 1981-85 and we knew at the time we were seeing something special, equally as special as your Ottawa memories, Michael.

I was all hepped (pun intended) to fill out an equally impressive Part Two. VIA turned the tap off somewhat, or else I'm missing something. Regardless, each train had something special on it, indeed!

Oh, and they'll have to come back west again at some point!

Thanks for your comment,