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GO 500 History Of A Unit

AMT 192

RGB's Railway Genealogical Site
Main GO Transit Site

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In late-January 1967, GO units 600-601 arrived at CN's Mimico Yard and were parked outside the Dispatcher's office where my uncle, Spencer McCalpin, was Assistant Chief Train Dispatcher and Traffic Supervisor for Canadian National Railways Great Lakes Region. (The Mimico Yard office was still operational even though CN's Toronto Yard in Maple had recently opened.) I received a telephone call at about 2230 inviting me down to see the 'new GO Transit units.'

When I arrived, GO600-601 idled outside the yard office. They were painted dark blue, almost black, with a white CN noodle under the cab windows. The smell of fresh paint was refreshing against the stale exhaust smell of the 7000s switching in the yard.

My uncle got hold of one of the hogger's and I recall him vividly saying: "Come on, Rob, let's take her for a roll down to the [Mimico] station." In the pristine cab I was told to sit in the right hand seat and was going to operate these units - my first! Vince, the 'real' engineer, stood behind me with my uncle. Vince then instructed me on the various features on the control stand. In moments, under his direct supervision and instructions, I began operating these units east along the lead track.

Several minutes later, and following Vince's detailed steps, I brought my first pair of units to a smooth stand-still opposite the old Mimico Station. We then changed ends, and Vince and my uncle operated the units back to the Yard office. That night came back vividly when I received late last year one of numberboards from GO500 (600/9800/500). Here, then, is a small pictorial history of this very special unit.