Hawker Siddeley GO Transit Cars (aka the Mystery Rail Car Project)

This is it, the big project that has been causing me to stress with Shapeways and Airbrush Compressors and all kinds of things.  My current project for a low volume model to be available through my Shapeways Shop is the Hawker Siddeley Single Level Commuter Coaches in HO Scale.  These were the original coaches constructed in Thunder Bay Ontario for the launch of GO Transit, the Toronto area commuter railway service in 1967.   Most regular readers of my Blog could probably have guessed what this was from my hints and the knowledge that a lot of my models are of vehicles preserved at the Toronto Railway Museum.

IMGP8489RawConvThe prototype.  GO Transit Cab Car 104, purchased and restored by Metrolinx and donated to the Toronto Railway Museum for GO’s 50th Anniversary in 2017.

They came in three varieties, but I am only designing two. I am designing models of the Cab Car Coach and the Regular Coach.  I am not modelling the self propelled cab cars which were a part of the initial order for 1967.  In total, GO Transit owned 123 of these cars, 9 self propelled (later converted to just cab cars), 8 cab cars, and 106 coaches.

Following their replacement by the now ubiquitous Bi-Level Cars on GO Transit, the cars found new work with MBTA in Boston, MARC in Maryland, the Ontario Northland Railway and AMT in Montreal.  The cars were in service with AMT until 2010, and several remain in service with the Ontario Northland Railway.

3D printed Body Shell for the Cab Car (with a coat of primer so details are more visible).

Through a combination of drawings of various quality found on the internet, and the ability to literally walk up to the existing car to take measurements, this was the kind of project that makes sense for me as a non-manufacturer doing 3D models in my spare time.  One that I can literally walk 15 minutes from my office after work and get a missing dimension or a picture of something to make sure I’ve got a shape right or a detail in place.

The first attempt at 3D printed Trucks (not very successful), the underbody/frame piece, and the car interior.

The cars are a little ways away from being available for sale.  There are some technical issues to be overcome, including a reliable source of wheels to direct people to.  I know there is a market for these, though they won’t be cheap, and certainly won’t be for the faint of heart when it comes to assembling and running, but I’m hopeful in the coming months that I can work out these issues.  In the short term at least, I will be looking to prepare a short train of coaches for display at the Toronto Railway Museum as part of the ongoing GO 50th Anniversary Display (though it will likely be several months before they are available for sale to others, as I find time to work through issues and test things before offering them up for sale).


10 thoughts on “Hawker Siddeley GO Transit Cars (aka the Mystery Rail Car Project)

  1. Thanks, i’m very happy with it. There are a few little fit and finish things that I’ve discovered, and the large windows are a little too rectangular at the corners (clearly off on my radius), but nothing which can’t quickly be resolved in the future. For now, it will be onwards with finishing this first car, and looking at a means of producing a cost effective version for other modellers.


    • hi Stephen any chance you making the the Ontario Northland version they converted 23. worst case i can modify them my self.


  2. Those look great! About the windows – that’s the AMT configuration. The windows when they were on GO were smaller, rounder, and there was no small window in the cab door. That being said, even though I’m not into modelling anymore, I want one for my bookshelf! 🙂 Good job!

  3. Hi Dave, thanks for your comments, I’m glad iou like the cars. Regarding the windows, I have two sets of ends, original and Amt/as preserved at the museum with the door windows. The prototype model is as preserved as its for use with the Toronto Railway Museum Road Show.

    The side windows, dimensionally they are correct from a combination of builders plan and measurement, the issue isn’t their size, so much as the radius of the corners, and that, is a CAD operator (ie me) error in translation and drawing, but also one that will probably not take more than an hour or two to fix in the next couple of weeks when I have some working time. The bigger problem to making it available will be getting it to a point where the cost is more reasonable, and the trucks roll at least as badly as an Athearn Bilevel or Rapido LRC, as my first attempt at an inside bearing truck falls somewhere around “looks nice but is completely useless otherwise”

    I hope you keep watching the site and I look forward to any more feedback you have when I do post renderings of the revised radius on the side windows.



  4. Hope you persevere Stephen, they are very interesting as I model ONR. I will check your sight periodically.

  5. How did this project turn out in the end? I just found your article by chance today (19May22). Could use at least one of these if they’re available!!!

    • Honestly, it never got fully finished, there were some issues and I was struggling to find a few of the detail parts. Shapeways pricing changes made it even more unreasonable to print. At some point I’d like to revisit it and adjust to try and print to produce a master for resin casting, but that’s well down my to do list. I will post something in the next couple of days with a picture or two of where it is.


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