Sunday, September 8, 2013


I was trackside in Brockville at the end of August. Not a big city. Not even a major VIA destination. But remarkable for another reason. Throughout VIA's history, Brockville has been an important operational point for the splitting of VIA trains heading east to both Montreal and Ottawa. When 6459 led VIA No 50 out of Brockville, it had just split from 6417's VIA No 52, just east of Brockville station.

Book contributor Gary Hadfield supplied an excellent, detailed account for Trackside with VIA: Cross-Canada Compendium of Brockville operations. Trains also combined here from Montreal and Ottawa. I then wrote an entire section entitled Switching En Route, in which I discussed VIA's operational changes as it moved from CN and CP performing switching at Brockville, Winnipeg, Sudbury and other locations from splitting and combining its own trains. It's this kind of operational detail that is of value for those of us interested in modelling VIA and its history.
Just for fun, above are two images of train splitting operations in Brockville: 1980's and 2013.


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