Over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, we were in Toronto to visit our daughter. I went to Mimico on Sunday morning to see the GO Transit / VIA Rail yard there. See part 1 for the trip to Mimico.
I spent some time photographing the GO Transit side first, then turned my attention to VIA Rail.
A large portion of GO Transit’s vast fleet was on display at their maintenance facility in Mimico. I imagine that the yard was more full than usual since it was Sunday morning and not a weekday. Bilevel cars abounded, some headed by locomotives but most were just sitting there in long rows.
The phrase “Committed to Customer Service Excellence” is flanked by GO Transit on the left and Bombardier on the right. This is apt, given that GO’s passenger car fleet is entirely composed of almost a thousand Bombardier* bi-level cars.
* by Bombardier I mean the current Bombardier, now owned by Alstom, and its predecessor companies.
I really liked the personnel bridge over the tracks in the shape of bilevel coaches.
Occasionally a GO Transit train would whiz by while I was walking up and down the Islington Avenue bridge.
I do like GO – clearly I never see it in Winnipeg, except for the occasional car being shipped – but after a while all the trains look pretty much the same.
For that reason, I turned to the VIA side of the yard.
VIA Rail doesn’t have nearly as many cars outside their maintenance facility, but they have more variety. Bombardier LRCs formed the majority of the visible cars, but there were a smattering of stainless steel cars as well. I was OK with that, since we don’t see LRCs ever in Winnipeg.
VIA 913 was visible through the open doors of the TMC.
Behind the TMC, I spotted the small but growing fleet of ex VIA Rail cars owned by the VIA Historical Association. Go support them! A trio of RDCs and Edmundston were visible. I thought about walking around the TMC for a different angle, but I didn’t think I could get a better view from public roads.
A GO Transit car was parked at the TMC, protected by a blue flag.
There were a few Park cars nearby along with some other stainless steel cars. I wouldn’t say it was a Canadian “set” but certainly cars of that type.
VIA 6427 was facing east at the head of several LRC cars. As I watched, a VIA Rail van rolled up to the head end, presumably delivering a crew for the train.
Some of the cars and locomotives by the TMC included:
- LRC cars: VIA 3452, VIA 3312, VIA 3313, VIA 3317
- Locomotives: VIA 6453, VIA 6421, VIA 6431, VIA 906, VIA 904
- East of Islington: VIA 8308, VIA 8717 (Waterton Park), Banff Park
A pair of VIA locomotives idled under the bridge – 904 and 6431 – also at the head of trains.
While I watched, a westbound five car VIA train headed by 6418 rolled past. Islington Avenue was definitely a good place to see passenger trains.
I’m not sure what this giant blue VIA structure is – maybe for washing cars?
All good things come to an end, and so did my time at Mimico. It was time to walk back to the station and catch the GO Lakeshore train back to downtown Toronto. More to come…