Help - Information On Via Rail

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by GNRail, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    I not sure why but I have been bitten by some Via Rail bug and have started on a Champaign to find all things Via in N scale. I am not afraid to bash and smash to get there (although I choked on eBay the other day for 2 nice Kato E8/9 locos). My biggest problem is to find information on rolling stock, road names, paint schemes etc. I have found a few sights on the Internet but there seems to be some big holes.

    If you could post some of your favorite via sites or IBSN information for books that have good information I would greatly appreciate it.

    I tried our local library as well and was less than impressed on the lack of train information and our city used to be a major link.


  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

  3. Pete

    Pete Member

    I'll volunteer up a couple of overhead views of the (late) VIA Atlantic taken during a stop in Saint John, NB back in September of 1985. These units are Alco FPA4's which can be easily 'bashed from an FA1 or, more preferably, an FA2.
    Also click here [​IMG]. It only shows up as a link for some reason :confused:

    I'm slowly working at modifying some HO P2K FA2's and FB2's into a reasonable facsimile.
    Model Railroader had a decent article on building a VIA train in HO scale back in May of 1982 if you can locate a copy. The article dealt with modifying, painting and decaling an Atlas FP7, a Model Power FA1 (this was before any FA2 came out - the FA2 is much, much closer to the FPA4) and the AHM/IHC/Rivarossi 1930's smoothside passenger cars.

    My 1986 copy of Diesel Locomotive Rosters shows VIA as having only F-units on the roster (FP7's, FP9's, FPA4' and the first 20 F40PH's.

  4. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Yeah... I'm looking for Via rail stuff in N-Scale too... It depends on what era you're looking for. I recently picked up the new Kato P42DC "Genesis" engine in the Renaissance paint scheme. Very nice, runs amazingly well, very smooth... So I wanted some passenger cars to go with it...

    This is what I've found out so far.

    If you're doing Older Via rail, then there is a reasonable supply of cars out there, Con-Cor mostly... If you're doing newer, like me, then we have to do some more work.

    1. The Renaissance Cars that Via recently purchased and are putting into service are unique to this rail line. As a result, the likelyhood of these appearing for HO much less N scale are pretty unlikely. However, the guy at Rapido trains did suggest a possibility of using a british-style passenger car, if we're wiling to do some conversion.

    2. The Bombardier LRC cars are simply not available in N-Scale. They're only avaialble through the Rapido website as Resin kits in HO.

    3. That leaves the Stainless Steel Budd cars... Having seen both Con-Cor and Model Power up close, definitely Con-Cor... Both actually do come in Via paint schemes, but they're not really all that accurate. The HEP-2 colour scheme on the budd cars is more involved, and quite attractive, actually...

    So the option here is to actually pick up the undecorated Budds and get some more accurate decals... You can find HO versions of these at

    Here's an image of the HO Decal Sheet:

    The guy at Rapido trains said he'd be willing to scale down his HEP-2 decal scheme, but it would cost more than the conventional ones, plus a set-up cost. It's typical of ordering any kind of custom decals. He suggested that I find someone else interested in having some N-Scale HEP-2 decals to split some of the initial start-up costs... If I can't, I'll be willing to pay it up myself, they're a very nice decal set. The caveat is that I personally won't be doing so until the new year at least...

    Does this help?
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    VIA stainless cars

    If you are buying stainless steel cars for "The Canadian", make sure that they have the 2 ridges running down the roof. It's one very noticeable feature.
    I'm not sure if the recent converts have them or not. Since they are a mixed bag of eightteenth-hand American cars, they may be both ways. It might be easy to model if you can find models of the original cars they were made from, but I think VIA did some major kitbasing on them.
    I'm not sure why they are making the P42DC in VIA without any rolling stock... I'm waiting for a GO F59PH in HO :mad:
  6. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    First thanks for the replies so far please keep them coming


    It was the new kato p42 that started all this for me. I had to have one because it was "neat". Once I had it home I started what sounds like alot of the same searching for passenger cars. I decided to pick up some of the smoothside in the blue and yellow (con-cor/trains canada). Unfornately I now have a couple of duplicate road names (searching for some list that I can use to change them). I also have started the conversion to MT couples and wheel sets.

    What next caught my attention was the number of different locos that Via has used over the years. So my next and current campaign is to try to acquire (repaint or purchase already to go) examples all the different types. However I have been finding it difficult to find the information I need to complete this. Hence the cry for help.

    So I really haven't decided on any particular era just all of them.

    Our Ntrak group is not really hung up on any specific era either. I was having problems with the longer passenger cars staying coupled at our Train show this year so the P42 was put into freight service for the latter part of the weekend. The funny part about that was one of the local VIA emplyees stopped by our layout and commented that the new engine can barely pull its intended load of renaissance cars that it would never be able to pull the freight we had behind it

  7. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    It's an interesting comment given that the P42 generates almost as much horsepower as Dash 9's, (4250 vs. 4400). Although methinks the P42 is geared for speed IRL (In real life) rather than pulling strength.

    Anyway, the guy at Rapido is quite amicable to being emailed. He knows Via VERY well, despite currently living in England. He even told me what I would need to do to the existing con-cor cars in order to get them to look like the real Budd cars.

    Sounds like you and I have the same bug given Kato's new engine. Which road number do you have? Mine's 906...

    As far as locating some other Via-related engines, you won't find the Bombardier LRC Locomotive in N-Scale... Besides, they're apparently no longer in service, with the P42 units having replaced them. According to the 2002 Canadian Trackside guide, there were actually 7 FP9Au units still in service. Two of them are actually up for sale according to Via's site.

    The mainstay of Via's fleet is the FP40PH-2. Microscale has N-Scale decals if you can manage to find the locomotives for it... Like you I'm not afraid of kitbashing to get the effect I want... :) We should talk. I live just slightly to the south of you.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah


    The attached photo shows samples of most of VIA's current loco and coach types (except Renaissance and Canadian). I hope you can see them OK -- the film was pretty old. This was at Willowbrook yard in Toronto (Mimico).
    On the right are the ex-Waterloo-St. Jacobs train and some RDCs.

    Attached Files:

  9. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    When was this one taken? I see at least two P42's in this pic, plus and FP40 tucked in behind a single LRC car... aside from that one, the rest of these look to be the Budd Cars, mostly likely in the HEP-2 scheme. Then again, the train on the far right may be the Renaissance cars, but I can't tell from the pic.

    Looks like the trains in the middle would be set up as 1 Via1 Club car, and 3 regular coaches following. Basically four coaches, with one with different markings and a nicely done up interior.
  10. SuperSport

    SuperSport Member

    Pete, thats a great overhead shot of the FPA4 for detailing,
    I can use that shot for one of my S scale FA2's that I will
    be converting to VIA also. I have also talked via email with
    Jason Shron and he recommends a great book for reference
    entitled: "Canadian National Guide To Freight & Passenger Equipment Vol. 1 (Morning Sun Books). I was also inspired by his accurate HO modeling in VIA, see his website:

    Thanks for the other photo's and info, to all.

  11. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    GNRail, you mentioned that you had trouble with the Via cars staying coupled? Was it the cars, or the coupler on the P42? I haven't tried mine out yet (no track to put it on ;) ), but I noticed that the P42 comes with a set of extended coupler arms to be used if the train will be operated on a track with 9 3/4" turns or tighter...
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    me photy

    John: In the original photo, the 2 trainsets headed away from us look to be Budd stainless behind F40s. The P42s all seem to be trailing LRC coaches. The long trainset in the distance may be Renaissance -- the ends look different.
    And the one on the right is all in CNR green and black -- the ex tourist train. see attached.
    Date was June 2003.

    Attached Files:

  13. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    I had written a nice long explanation as to what was the problem and for some reason I hit the refresh button and wiped it all out. The short explanation is that we have some bumps to smooth out at the Ntrak model interfaces. These will be fixed with a belt sander in the near future. The car coupler would lift right out of the Kato one.

    My unit is also 906.

    My next project is a couple of Life like Amtrak F40's that I bought from the buy/sell section here (Thanks again Dick ;) ). I will convert one to "normal" (I understand there are two schemes to choose from) Via colours and I have also purchased the decal set for the Home Hardware special scheme. The purests might abmonish me since they are not F40ph-2's but since I don't really know what the difference is close will do me fine.

    There have been some interesting listings on ebay as well

    Last week I narrowly missed 2 Kato E8/9 in Via Colours (flinched at the last second) Apparently these were manufatured 5-6 years ago?

    There was another one that closed today but the internet police at work :( :( on that sort of internet use on company time

    As well there have been some of the Kato RDC cars poping up. This is another of the progect I have in mind. The Sudbury to White River "Budd Car" passes just down the street from me every couple of days.

    Since ther seems to be others with similar interests I will share a couple of interesting links I have come across

    Via F40ph-2's

    Via Train Page

    Fallen Flags Site Via



    PS I noticed at the atherton site that each of their kits gives a list of roadnames/numbers. If anyone has any of these kits and would like to share the names I would appriciate it. I would like to be able to rename some of the duplicates I have with some of the other names in that series (yes this is trying to be a purest but what can I say)
  14. SuperSport

    SuperSport Member

  15. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Those are excellent pics... especially of the HEP2 cars. Jason Shron was right... I'll need to trim the skirts off of the Undecorated Con-cor cars once I manage to get my hands on some ;)
  16. ENR3870

    ENR3870 Member

    I've got several good photos of the VIA Rail RDC's. Most of them are recent shots taken on the E&N Railway.

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