Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Last Yellow F40

VIA 6453 in Winnipeg
VIA Rail has been rebuilding its engines as part of the most recent capital renewal project. The F40PH-2 engines have been upgraded at CAD Railway Industries to modernize the locomotives and make them more fuel-efficient. I went into detail on the upgrades when I visited the Winnipeg Maintenance Centre. CAD delivered the first upgraded engine in July 2009.

Railfans have been watching the engines go in for refurbishment, and now there is only one "original" yellow F40PH-2 roaming the system, VIA 6453. All of the other engines have either been refurbished or are at CAD now being refurbished. The second-last unit was VIA 6440 but it went into CAD in late April.

VIA 6453 has been rattling around Ontario and Quebec for the past couple of months. Here are some car traces published on CanPassRail for this engine. Note that these are read at 9 AM every morning so they are not tracking every movement of the engine, just the last reader it passed before 9 AM.
VIA6453MONTREAL CENTRPQ03 24 0929Arrive In-TransitP63021
VIA6453DE BEAUJEU PQ03 26 2022DepartureP03921
VIA6453DE BEAUJEU PQ03 29 2042DepartureP03921
VIA6453DORVAL PQ03 31 0909DepartureP63021
VIA6453MONTREAL CENTRPQ03 31 0929Arrive In-TransitP63021
VIA6453CABIN E ON04 06 0623DepartureP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 06 2326Arrive In-TransitP08831
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 07 2315Arrive In-TransitP08831
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 09 0621Arrive In-TransitP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 14 0621Arrive In-TransitP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 14 2320Arrive In-TransitP08831
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 21 0621Arrive In-TransitP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 21 2320Arrive In-TransitP08831
VIA6453OTTAWA ON03 27 2232Arrive In-TransitP03921
VIA6453DE BEAUJEU PQ03 28 2021DepartureP03921
VIA6453DE BEAUJEU PQ04 02 0713DepartureP05121
VIA6453CABIN E ON04 03 0623DepartureP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 04 0621Arrive In-TransitP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 05 0621Arrive In-TransitP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 10 0623Arrive In-TransitP74031
VIA6453TORONTO UNION ON04 10 2353Arrive In-TransitP08831
VIA6453COTEAU PQ05 08 2016DepartureP03921
VIA6453OTTAWA ON05 09 2232Arrive In-TransitP03921
VIA6453COTEAU PQ05 10 2017DepartureP03921
VIA6453MONTREAL CENTRPQ05 12 0927Arrive In-TransitP63021
VIA6453BLOOMFIELD ROAON05 14 0944DepartureP07231

Most of this should be self-explanatory. The fifth column has the month, day, time of reading. The last column is the train number P039 = train #39, a Montreal-Ottawa train. I think the last two digits are CN designations for what region the train is in. You can see 21=Quebec and 31=Ontario.

There's a photo of VIA 6453 on from May 14 here. I'd embed a thumbnail but their linking policy is very strict.

I know railfans have complained in the past about the many advertisement-wrapped VIA engines such as the CBC engine, the Spiderman 2 engines, and especially the hated Loto-Quebec engine, but I suspect the complaints will return about the uniform appearance of the refurbished engines. Personally I always liked to see a wrapped engine as it was "something different". Now VIA 6453 is the only "different" engine around and soon it will have its turn to get a make-over and look just like everyone else. It's a little sad.
VIA 6453 in Winnipeg

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