Wednesday, June 5, 2019

47 down...

As I mentioned last week, I have shot more Via corridor trains than anything else in my years taking photos, mostly going back to 2012. It was a never a conscious decision on my part. Mostly, it was out of necessity. Ottawa's freight railroading action is so meagre, you have to be really dedicated to catch it. So, Via has been my go-to option when I want to see something on the rails. As I was writing last week's post, I began to wonder just how many Via engines I have shot over the years. I decided it might be fun to go through all my Via Rail photos and see just how many Via locomotives I have bagged in and around Ottawa. I was also curious as to which unit I have caught the most times.

October 2016 scene at Via's Central Station with P42 helping out a disabled F40 while another F40 idles on a stub-end spur

I went through my photos and came up with a few conclusions. One is that I have way too many Via Rail photos relative to my railway photos collection. The second is my later shots of Via trains have been much more interesting, as I have worked really hard to try and get shots that offer more for the eye than my earlier shots, which were basically wedge shots of trains approaching a station platform.

Via basically has two types of engines working on its routes (excluding its switchers that I have never seen). The long running stable of F40PH-2s is by far the type of locomotive I have shot the most.

In my years, I have caught 31 different F40 units, in many different guises. I have caught exactly one unit in the original yellow, blue and silver livery (6441). I caught the vast majority in the phase two paint scheme, otherwise known as the Renaissance scheme. I have also caught one unit in a 40th anniversary wrap (6416).

The units I have caught the most are 6441 (four times)….

1991 in Sarnia
2016 at Fallowfield

...and 6446 (four times).

May 2012 at Fallowfield

I will give the prize to 6441, since I have caught this one in its original paint scheme as well as its Renaissance scheme.

The other units I have caught are:

6401, 6404, 6407, 6408, 6409, 6411, 6414, 6416, 6417, 6418, 6421, 6426, 6427, 6435, 6437, 6439, 6440, 6442, 6443, 6445, 6448, 6449, 6451, 6453, 6454, 6457, 6459 (formerly 6403)

Of this list, 6459 is the unit to note, as it is the engine that is heading up the consist on the previous $10 bill, before it was replaced recently. The engine's number was switched after the unit's appearance on the bank note.

Via's star F40 6459, formerly 6403, seen at Cedarview Road in the summer of 2016

Another notable F40 I caught just recently was 6416, one of the few F40s to get the wrap treatment for Via's 40th birthday.

I have also caught a 16 P42s over the years, in their original yellow, blue and silver scheme, their Renaissance scheme as well as a fair number of wraps. The unit I have caught the most is 909 (five times), which I have caught in a few different places.

2014 at Belfast Road

More recent shot (still in original paint)

2018 at Twin Elm 

The other P42s I have caught include:

900, 902, 903, 904, 906, 907 (in Via 40 wrap livery below), 908, 910, 911, 912, 913, 916, 917, 918 (in Canada 150 wrap scheme below), 920

2018 at Belfast Road

2017 at Fallowfield Station

So, by my count, I have captured images of 47 different Via Rail engines in my years trackside. That doesn't strike me as particularly impressive or noteworthy. I have never been one to actively fill out rosters or go by the numbers, as it were. So this post is a bit of a departure for me, fed mainly by my own curiosity. My trackside time has certainly dwindled a bit in the last year or so due to family and life demands, but I still do try to get out trackside once in a while just to enjoy the experience of seeing a train go by. As much as I get bored of photographing Via Rail trains, I like that I can bring all my images together and present them together in a way that actually shows a bit of variety. 

So, 47 down, how many to go?


Keith Boardman said...

When I was a kid I tracked OC Transpo buses. I kept a roster and crossed them off as I saw them. I eventually caught every 92xx & 93xx on their fleet.

I think I had too much time on my hands LOL

DaveM said...

I agree that in Ottawa, it is mostly VIA that you will get. My rough estimate is that my VIA shots out number all my other shots 2-1.


Michael said...

Funny you mention OCTranspo, Keith. I saw an old OCTranspo bus at LeBreton the other day with the old paint scheme that predated the half maple leaf scheme. It had analog front destination panel labelled "Tourist / Sightseeing." It was one of those buses you actually had to climb two steps to get to your seat. Doesn't seem like that long ago. I didn't know OCTranspo still had any of those old relics in the fleet!

Dave -- My photo numbers are probably similar to yours. Via is by far the most dominant railway in my photo archives.

AJ said...

Not showing up on the roster, so either it is a heritage bus they keep around but don't advertise (very possible) or a private company has purchased it and is using it to operate a tour bus (also possible).

.....Of course it could be a bunch of crazy nuts who decided that purchasing an old OC transpo bus and driving around in it all day would be fun (that's more an inside joke with the Rapido guys if anyone follows their blog).

Personally, I miss the old GMC Fishbowls. I think I rode on them once as a kid but something about the looks - they have a personality to them that the modern units just don't have.