GO Consists – Thanks Eric!

Last night I was leafing through my copy of Eric Gagnon’s excellent Trackside With VIA book. It’s an excellent read and I was mapping out some more car movements to see what cars appeared on what trains when I discovered that Eric had included some Easter Eggs in the book in the shape of GO consists. The first consist I noted was toward the end of the book so I raced to the first section to see if he’d included any others from my favourite period (i.e. the late seventies-early eighties). What amazed me was the variety that GO presented to it’s fans back then compared to the scene that awaited me by the time I had moved to Hamilton (not that I was any less a GO fan but the scene I watched was pure F59’s and bi-levels).

At Toronto Union Eric caught GO 1812E. Unlike today’s 12 car GO trainsets this was one was quite suitable for the average model railway. Power for the train was GP40TC #506. The train itself was made of five series 1 bi-levels with single-level cab #104 on the trailing end. I assume this is the Hamilton-bound train and it’s interesting to note that the power was on the Hamilton end of the train. The last Hamilton-bound train I rode had the power on the Toronto end.

Where it gets interesting to me is a couple of days later in these consists that Eric notes from Bayview Junction:

Train 1810S
GP40TC #502
10x series 1 bi-levels
GP40TC #507

I’d never seen a train with a GP40TC on both ends… This consist repeated in the opposite direction as train 0723N later that day.

The real gem so far though was this one from June 23rd:

Train 0639N
APCU #902
The same 10x series 1 bi-levels quoted above in the 1810S and 0723N trains
GP40TC #709
GP40TC #706

What a neat train to model. Not only one of those neat APCU’s but shoving hard on the end was not one, but a pair of GP40TC’s!

So it was the incredible variety of power that left me feeling so excited in the first place this morning I noticed some other things that were interesting. That five coach 1812E mentioned earlier included two cars that actually appeared later on in the same order on 0639N. I always assumed that complete GO train sets were made up and stored in Willowbrook and unless they required some sort of servicing they stayed that way so it was neat to see that this set of coaches remained constant but the power changed completely. I wonder why?


  1. Chris, I’m going to post photos of the trains you’re referring to in my next post of Trackside Treasure. The blog post title might be Going Green, It Ain’t Easy Being Green, G is for Green, G is for GO, something like that.


    1. “GO any way you can”
      “GO for the variety”
      “Way to GO”

      Be fun to come up with a title that echoes their own corporate tag lines. I remember seeing some real gems on posters in Hamilton.

      I’m looking forward to the post!

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