After our tour through the interior of the Winnipeg Maintenance Centre, and a detailed look at the exterior, engine compartment and cab of VIA 6429, VIA engineer Tommy Bozyk and I walked outside to see the exterior of the Winnipeg Maintenance Centre.
VIA 6443 was parked on track 3 (north), protected by blue flags. Rule 26 of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules mandates that a blue flag (and light at night) must be placed at one or both ends of any consist that is being worked on. The flags mean that nobody can move the equipment or couple up to the equipment while the flags are displayed.
I liked this "arty" shot of VIA 6443.
There are six engines assigned to Winnipeg, two for each of the three
The shot below of VIA 6443's rear end plainly shows the doors for the HEP equipment. It also shows that there is no rear platform any more, so there is no place for crew to ride on the rear. Any backup moves must be made with a crewperson hanging off the side rails or on the ground.
We walked around to the east side of the building where there are four tracks between the main building and the parking lot. The third trainset was parked there with the diner (Annapolis, 8404) plugged into shore power. The trainset had diner 8404, coaches 8125 and 8110, and baggage 8601. Coach VIA 8123 was on a separate track by itself.
We boarded the train and walked into Annapolis. VIA's diners are being refurbished but Annapolis has not received that treatment yet. It is looking a bit plain and worn.
VIA's diners have etched glass at both ends of the car. Annapolis has four birds in it, Magpie, Sandpiper, Chickadee, and King Fisher (below). I had to tweak this image some to show the pretty birds better.
I took a quick shot of the shiny kitchen. It is larger than I thought it would be. There is also a little snack bar just outside the kitchen. You can get a Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwich for $3!
We walked through the two coaches. I honestly don't know which one this is. Coaches are probably the most boring cars on a train.
Next, the baggage car VIA 8601. It's pretty bare in there with no baggage aboard. There's more natural light in there than I thought there would be.
One thing I found really interesting was this chart showing where the baggage is stored. For example, under TRAIN #1 from left to right we find "EX TRTO", "EX WNPG", "EX SASK", "EX EDMO" and "EX JASP". I had not thought of this but it makes sense. The crew need to know where baggage for each destination is located so they can quickly offload it and keep everything organized.
Oddly enough I never took an outside photo of these cars. I guess I've taken enough photos of the exteriors already!
For the last portion of the visit, we walked over to where the Northern Spirit cars are stored... next time in part 6.