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A dome car in Guelph? Well, this wasn't your average VIA Train. This was the Grey Cup display train reversing to take the former CNR Fergus sub to get to downtown Guelph on the Guelph Junction Railway (phew!). Also, RP.CA member Dan Tweedle is seen taking photos and here's  his photo posted on rp.ca  
I never told this story until now, but I had a hand in this train coming to Guelph. With the CFL train being painted in Mimico and word got around to what was coming - we got in touch with the folks at the  CFL - click here for their rp.ca profile and through this site, the folks at the CFL were interested in promoting it. The CFL folks posted the first shots of this train here for everyone to see. The CFL Marketing team were ecstatic to see such a great response to their Grey Cup Train on their photo profile . I also recognised that there was a nearly two week break in their schedule in the GTA and suggested, kindly that they consider a Guelph stop - I mentioned I could put them in touch with the right people to make it happen, and they were interested in a downtown Guelph stop but it couldn't be on the mainline due to all the train traffic - it has to be on the GJR. The level of interest from the CFL was incredibly high and I didn't realise why until later. Being on the Guelph Junction Railway board at the time, I got in touch with then General Manager Tom Sagaskie and after the Guelph Junction Railway and the Ontario Southland Railway were on board with the project Tom put everything into motion. GEXR got involved as they had to co-ordinate pilots for the move to/from GJR as well as the train's schedule on the Guelph sub, and of course VIA was involved as it was their equipment. VIA 84 dropped the train off in the morning (it was on the rear of the train) and the train was scheduled to be lifted by #87 in the evening (unless it ran extra, I wasn't around to see it go). VIA supplied an extra crew for the short GEXR and GJR move as well to babysit the locomotive while on display. OSR supplied their own pilot (Brad Jolliffe, who is now Operations Manager in Salford). Even CN and Metrolinx were involved in this move in some capacity.  I posted a photo of the entire crew  here back then . The Guelph Historical Railway Association provided volunteers to help people board and get off and provide crowd control, and the event went off without a hitch!  I was still surprised how quickly all of it was put together and thankful for the hard work by all involved - it was no small feat. The thing was, Guelph was soon to be announced as the temporary home of the Hamilton Tiger Cats while Ivor Wynne stadium was undergoing renovations and I suspect they hoped to announce it before the CFL event but it was announced a week or two after the fact. (The delay was due to negotiations with the University of Guelph). There was method to their madness and they wanted to get some good PR for the 2013 season. The only regret is this was all put together with mere weeks to the event and  more time would have brought more awareness- but the newspapers, radio, and social media got the word out locally and we had a few thousand visitors downtown. It takes a lot of people to pull something like this off, and I appreciate how we can rely on each other to ensure events like this go off without a hitch.

I know a number of people on this site have been involved in arranging excursions and display trains (Ray Kennedy's 1960 triple header  to Orangeville probably being the most famous! - You guys realise Ray was 18 years old when he did all of that?). You young-ins should think about this and get involved with your local railway club - Clubs like the
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: A dome car in Guelph? Well, this wasn't your average VIA Train. This was the Grey Cup display train reversing to take the former CNR Fergus sub to get to downtown Guelph on the Guelph Junction Railway (phew!). Also, RP.CA member Dan Tweedle is seen taking photos and here's his photo posted on rp.ca

I never told this story until now, but I had a hand in this train coming to Guelph. With the CFL train being painted in Mimico and word got around to what was coming - we got in touch with the folks at the CFL - click here for their rp.ca profile and through this site, the folks at the CFL were interested in promoting it. The CFL folks posted the first shots of this train here for everyone to see. The CFL Marketing team were ecstatic to see such a great response to their Grey Cup Train on their photo profile . I also recognised that there was a nearly two week break in their schedule in the GTA and suggested, kindly that they consider a Guelph stop - I mentioned I could put them in touch with the right people to make it happen, and they were interested in a downtown Guelph stop but it couldn't be on the mainline due to all the train traffic - it has to be on the GJR. The level of interest from the CFL was incredibly high and I didn't realise why until later. Being on the Guelph Junction Railway board at the time, I got in touch with then General Manager Tom Sagaskie and after the Guelph Junction Railway and the Ontario Southland Railway were on board with the project Tom put everything into motion. GEXR got involved as they had to co-ordinate pilots for the move to/from GJR as well as the train's schedule on the Guelph sub, and of course VIA was involved as it was their equipment. VIA 84 dropped the train off in the morning (it was on the rear of the train) and the train was scheduled to be lifted by #87 in the evening (unless it ran extra, I wasn't around to see it go). VIA supplied an extra crew for the short GEXR and GJR move as well to babysit the locomotive while on display. OSR supplied their own pilot (Brad Jolliffe, who is now Operations Manager in Salford). Even CN and Metrolinx were involved in this move in some capacity. I posted a photo of the entire crew here back then . The Guelph Historical Railway Association provided volunteers to help people board and get off and provide crowd control, and the event went off without a hitch!

I was still surprised how quickly all of it was put together and thankful for the hard work by all involved - it was no small feat. The thing was, Guelph was soon to be announced as the temporary home of the Hamilton Tiger Cats while Ivor Wynne stadium was undergoing renovations and I suspect they hoped to announce it before the CFL event but it was announced a week or two after the fact. (The delay was due to negotiations with the University of Guelph). There was method to their madness and they wanted to get some good PR for the 2013 season. The only regret is this was all put together with mere weeks to the event and more time would have brought more awareness- but the newspapers, radio, and social media got the word out locally and we had a few thousand visitors downtown. It takes a lot of people to pull something like this off, and I appreciate how we can rely on each other to ensure events like this go off without a hitch.

I know a number of people on this site have been involved in arranging excursions and display trains (Ray Kennedy's 1960 triple header to Orangeville probably being the most famous! - You guys realise Ray was 18 years old when he did all of that?). You young-ins should think about this and get involved with your local railway club - Clubs like the GHRA who have organised excursion trains every few years are great outlets for getting involved - and if you have big ideas, there are people who are willing to make it happen. Join one today!

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [823] (more) (contact)
Date: 11/4/2012 (search)
Railway: VIA Rail (search)
Reporting Marks: VIA 6445 (search)
Train Symbol: VIA 685-04 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Guelph Subdivision (search)
City/Town: Guelph (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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One Comment
  1. Awesome catch!

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