Passenger-carrier VIA Rail Canada only ever owned one "road switcher" type locomotive. It was No. 8558, an ex-Canadian Pacific RS-10 acquired by VIA on September 28th 1978 along with 27 other CPR units, all of them cab units. No. 8558 was retired in 1981. In VIA service No. 8558 mainly operated as a trailing unit. Its two mates on the Canadian on the day these photographs were taken in the late 1970s were also ex-CPR units. Nos. 1423 and 1424 were ex-CPR FP7As. Both were retired in 1983. VIA had planned to re-number all three units. No. 8558 was to become 3160 and 1423 and 1424 were to become 6567 and 6568 respectively. These numbers were never applied.
Special thanks to Tom Box, Marc Dufour, John Godfrey, and Lewis Miskell for additional information on this now long-gone operation.
VIA 1423, 8558 and CP (VIA 1424) arriving at VIA's Dorval station at the head of the westbound Canadian.
Once the Canadian has made its stop at the VIA Dorval station on the CN mainline to Toronto, it will back through an interchange track to continue its journey to Vancouver on Canadian Pacific's rails.
The "Park Car" is shown here passing CP's wood Dorval station building which is now just a fond memory. The Canadian continued using the Dorval interchange track until November 1981, when the Montreal-Sudbury portion of the train was terminated, and the train rerouted through Toronto. The train used the CPR M&O sub to get to Ottawa. The M&O was lifted west of Rigaud in 1986. From Ottawa to Carleton Place it ran on the Carleton place sub which was lifted in January 1991.
VIA 1423, 8558 and CP (VIA 1424) push the Canadian through the interchange at Dorval.
Close up of VIA 8558 on the interchange track at Dorval.
The Canadian has negotiated the interchange track and is now on Canadian Pacific rails.
The three locomotives are CPR heritage, the baggage car is ex-Canadian National. The rest of the train was a mix of CN and CP with CP equipment predominating.