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Help restore VIA 6309 at Exporail

Help restore VIA 6309 at Exporail

By admin

The Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) has committed to a badly-needed cosmetic restoration of this historic locomotive. The intention is to put it on display inside our controlled-atmosphere exhibit space at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, in suburban Montreal. There it can be properly conserved and displayed for all to see along with some other pieces of vintage VIA rolling stock, including dome observation car Sibley Park.

VIA 6309, the only FP9A preserved in Canada in VIA colours, needs restoration.

The CRHA is a not-for-profit institution with constrained resources, and is seeking your help in the funding of the $34,000 needed to properly preserve this important piece of Canadian railway heritage.  While the restoration work has already begun, the money available to complete it is not fully subscribed.

Rapido Trains Inc. is generously backing this appeal.

Donors of any amount to this campaign over $25 will receive a donation receipt from the CRHA, which can be used when filing federal and provincial tax returns to gain income tax credit. Please help us to achieve this important cosmetic restoration project by giving generously.

Benefits of giving


Donations of less than $500 may be made using your credit card through the Canada Helps website.  You will receive your tax receipt from Canada Helps via email. Donations of $500 or more will receive special treatment and should be made directly by mail to the CRHA in order to receive the full benefits of giving.

Hostler ($500-999):  A gift at this level will benefit from a one-year membership in the CRHA, including a subscription to Canadian Rail magazine, as well as getting your name on the Hostler-level plaque, which will be displayed with the restored VIA 6309 at Exporail.

Engineer ($1000-1499):  A gift at this level will receive the CRHA membership, as well as a $200 Rapido Trains gift voucher, and your name recognized on the Engineer-level plaque which will be displayed with the restored VIA 6309 at Exporail.

Superintendent ($1500 and above): A gift at this level will receive the CRHA membership, a Rapido Trains HO-scale sound equipped FP9A model (a $360 value) and your name on the Superintendent-level brass plaque permanently affixed to the restored VIA 6309 on display at Exporail.

To make a gift of $500 or more by cheque or credit card please print this form and mail it to the CRHA at the address on the form.  Complete instructions can be found on the same form.  Your tax receipts will be mailed to you by the CRHA, and will be in the amount of your donation less the value of the Rapido Trains Inc. gift voucher or model ($200 for the gift voucher, $360 for the sound equipped VIA FP9A model) as required by Canadian tax regulations.

Let's put VIA 6309 back into shape to commemorate VIA's 40th anniversary and proudly display this iconic Canadian-built locomotive.

VIA FP9A 6309 basks in the sun at Jasper, Alberta in July 1985. Photo courtesy CNRphotos.com


History of Locomotive VIA 6309

VIA 6309 was built in London, Ontario, by GMD in April 1957 as CN 6528 as part of a fleet of 43 similar diesel locomotives.  This fleet was initially assigned to long distance passenger trains such as the CN Montreal-Vancouver “Super Continental”. They formed the backbone of CN’s passenger locomotive fleet and were used extensively west of Montreal on any type of passenger assignment.  Transferred to VIA Rail in 1978 and numbered VIA 6528 it continued to be used across the VIA system. At 25 years of age it was completely rebuilt at CN’s Pointe St Charles shop and returned to service in 1984 renumbered as VIA 6309. It was retired in April 1996. It was on the last steam-heating-equipped consist to leave Halifax, as part of the Atlantic Limited, on January 23,1993 and on the last steam-heating consist between Montreal and Jonquiere on April 1996. It went on display at Exporail in 2004 as part of the VIA Rail Historic Rolling Stock collection.

About the Rapido Trains Inc. Gift Voucher

Rapido Trains Inc. Gift Voucher: Donors at the Engineer level will receive a $200 credit against future Rapido Trains Inc. purchases. These purchases must be made directly with Rapido Trains Inc. through its website or via telephone (1-855-LRC-6917). Donors will receive a credit memo from Rapido Trains Inc. within four weeks of the date their donation was processed by Exporail. Donors will need to cite the credit memo number when placing their order. The credit memo must be used within one year of date of issue. If the credit memo is used for a pre-order, it will remain valid even if the pre-order is delivered after the one-year deadline. VIA FP9A locomotives will be delivered to donors at the Superintendent level via Canada Post when the models arrive in 2019. For more information, please contact Exporail directly by visiting their website or by calling (450) 632-2410.