Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by CPRTim
It was 25 years ago today that VIA's Turbo (originally built for CN) was withdrawn from service.

Here's a link to some sound clips including the Turbine whine and station announcements.

  by ronmcmahon
I miss the Turbo. As a child I would occasionally pass by one when travelling by train through the corridor, but I was never given the opportunity to ride on one :(

I've tried to find out what has become of them, but to no avail. Perhaps they have all been scrapped, which would be a horrible thing to not have kept at least one engine and passenger unit for historical posterity and reference.

Does anyone know of a surviving Via or Amtrack Turbo set?

  by Ken V
The bad news is they're all lost to the torch. All that's left are the photos and the memories.

and that's a real shame.

Ken V and everyone: I just posted in the Amtrak section this morning 11/3 interesting info on the three Amtrak UA Turbo Trains-one of which was a former CN trainset-that I found in the January 1980 edition of Amtrak News-their employee newsletter. It is hard to believe that the last VIA UA Turbo Trains ran 25 years ago on 10/31! I meant to ask if any were preserved - but according to Ken V-none were. As said they are just memories now... MACTRAXX

  by chriskay
Speaking of Turbos, does anyone know of any interior pictures or even car layouts/diagrams of these trains? Lots of external shots available, but nothing inside.

Everyone: I found this topic at http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?1 ... e-CN-Turbo with three posted You Tube segments about the United Aircraft CN Turbo.
There are other videos available from the links of the CN UA Turbo Trains there.
This is a perfect way to revive this older topic-MACTRAXX
  by timberley
If you're looking for a great reference on the Turbo, get a hold of the book "Turbotrain: A Journey" by Jason Shron (president of Rapido Trains).

You can see and order it from the Rapido Trains website, here: http://rapidotrains.com/turbo01-book.html

This book is really the best possible resource for everything you might want to know about the Turbo, from start to finish, and has a ton of fantastic photos from inside, outside, and all through the stages of Turbo development and operation. Jason is passionate about the train, and has done a simply outstanding job of telling its story. I highly recommend it for anyone who is at all interested in the Turbotrain (heck, it took me from knowing next to nothing about the train, to being very fond of it!)
  by Montrealrail
I get some good youtube links,where we can see much more about the turbo-tain..



And a small footage on Turbo train

I remember when I was very youg,I was seeing that yellow train passing by my place,And before year 1986 one of them was sitting out at Turcot CN yard,closed in year 2001..
After 1986,they finally scrapped out the last Turbo-Train set..

I don'T know why they did'nt keep one for expose in a train museum..
  by timberley
Montrealrail wrote:
I don'T know why they did'nt keep one for expose in a train museum..
Unfortunately, the interest just wasn't there. At the time the Turbo's service life was coming to an end, all of the preservationists and museums were clambering over each other to preserve steam locomotives and decades old passenger cars. Essentially, it was whatever the people working in those museums and groups remembered from their younger days, and modern equipment was overlooked. As a result, the Turbos were scrapped, and it was only years later that their significance was realized. It is a really sad state to see that the fastest train to ever run in North America no longer exists...and the trains that replaced it can't hold a candle to it.

Unfortunately, not much has changed. Most museum and preservation groups are now focused still on steam, but also on first generation diesels, F-units, Alcos, etc...Modern equipment is once again overlooked. We should consider ourselves in Canada lucky that Exporail in Montreal has preserved one of the LRC locomotives (6921), and the TRHA's recent project is on the way to saving another (6917) from scrapping (and that one's no surprise...Jason Shron, who's heading up the whole thing, is a great lover of the Turbo and one of those who is grieved that none of them were saved...now he's determined not to let the same thing happen to the LRC!). Who knows what we'll look back on in the future and say "darn, if only we'd kept one of those". There have been a lot of truly unique and ingenuitive locomotives come and go in recent years, with none of them left behind...think of a lot of the MLW power, or CN's first comfort cab and "draper-taper" locomotives. These are significant to railroading, and there's a good chance they will leave without a trace. At the time of scrapping, they're just old, ugly locomotives, and surely there's another steamer somewhere that could be saved instead.

I do recognize that preservation groups and museums only have so much money to work with. At the same time, there is no doubt that preservation efforts often become biased towards certain time periods, and result in the loss of what will become valuable in the future. The Turbo is a perfect example.
  by .missthealcos.
I tried in vain to get the right people interested in at least TRYING to save BC Rail 767, the last conventional SD40-2 built...of course, no interest. I am a one of those who would save every F-unit and Alco out there, along with everything else from that era...but these preservation groups need to start realizing that it didn't end in 1960, and that if they ever hope to keep younger generations interested(without that, who will keep all this preserved equipment up??) they better start paying attention to something a little newer. That Lowly SD40-2 would have been a very significant save, would have not have required the typical enormous outlay of funds and time to even make presentable, could have easily been seviceable, a very handy thing to have, and even still wore it's factory applied paint, and it still looked good. A perfect candidate. Kids like seeing and climbing on big things, that is where it all starts. A nice preserved set of F-units is a wonderful thing to behold, but will have little real significance to even the current generation of railfan/preservationist! Most will never have even seen one, let alone one running! Think of the interest that forgotten SD40-2 could have spurred! It is very true, that people want what they knew saved...and these are the people needed to maintain all of this preserved equipment! We haven't learned much since the turbo was cut up!