Tuesday, 5 February 2019

GMD Recollections - Down By the Station Early in the Evening.

Sitting in front of the Via depot in London, Ontario are F40PH-2 locomotives 6420 - 6425, the first six members of class GPA-30b.  The date is Sept. 01/87, and these units have just recently been delivered from GMD by the CN yard switcher.
By Peter Mumby

Usually when the CN yard crew picked up new units from General Motors Diesel, this was the beginning of a delivery sequence involving a line haul long enough to put a smile on the faces of every member of the accounting department.  Export locomotives, for example, would travel east to Halifax, where they would be loaded on an ocean-going ship.  Westbound deliveries usually went as far as Chicago for furtherance by connecting railroads.  However, with the exception of deliveries to CN itself, the haul to Via's pick-up point was about as short as it could get.  The London Via station was just a few short city blocks west of the CN yard.

Based on several observations, the customary routine was for CN to deliver new locomotives singly or in pairs to track #2 at the Via station.  The next scheduled eastbound passenger train would pull into station track #1.  While the customary station business was performed, the engineer would walk over to the new unit and proceed to back it on to the front of his train.  At departure time the dispatcher would be informed of the new lead unit number, and the train would leave for Toronto.

The routine on the day the accompanying photo was taken differs from the norm in a couple of ways.  First, there were six new units on delivery, and second, they have been put on to station track #3.  I was not there to see them leave town, so I don't know if they were added to two or more trains, or if they possibly went to Toronto as a light engine move.  Or, were they all put on one train? That would have been a sight to see - seven locomotives heading a four-car passenger train out onto the Dundas Sub!

If you looked at this post a bit earlier I had posted the wrong photo...hope I got it right now...George

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