VIA Baggs

Photograph courtesy of Jody Moore

The ex-CN, ex-VIA baggage cars that are listed on the site as having been converted into the FFT and then ARR cars isn't quite correct. The process goes a little something like this:

Prior to about 1996, Colorado Railcar didn't have an FRA-approved Finite Engineering Analysis for center sill construction. Thus even cars that were built new had to have center sills salvaged from other sources. In the case of the FFT cars, they were the VIA baggage cars listed. But all that was used was the center sills, and nothing further.

The car bodies still remain relatively intact and are lined up as storage units on the back of the CRM lot. I finally put two and two together last May during my fourth plant visit and then verified the numbers against my records, and sure enough, there they are. A total of seven baggage cars are back there, the other three being the ones that later were completed for BCRail. Those were originally intended to be part of the second phase of the FFT.

The first car (above) is former VIA 9639, which gave a center sill to one of the BC Rail cars. (Don't know which - yet.) According to my notes, the next three in line are the 9673, 9648 and 9620, all of which donated to FFT. The other car body, 9668, is at the far end of the line.

Also, according to my notes, the 555 and 556 will seat 68, with a larger galley than the other cars.