Getting on the GO

Well, another addition for the collection! It has nothing to do with my Layout, but something I have wanted for many years, and on many occasions considered investing the time and money into the various resin kits that have been available over the years. As much as I like building things for myself, sometimes, the win is being patient and the market coming to you. This morning I picked up my GO Transit F59PH locomotive from Rapido Trains, and it is an absolute beauty.

When I first started working in Toronto in early 2003 until I moved into the city in early 2005, I commuted by GO Train from my parents house at the time in Georgetown to Toronto Union Station every day. At the time, the F59PH’s were the only power on GO, as was the case from around 1994 until the replacement MP40’s started to arrive in 2008. These are what I think of when I think of GO Trains. There are still a handful left in service, largely for the new London train as it requires 2 F59PH’s to haul it because of line weight restrictions (one to haul it, and a backup in case it breaks down so they are not stranded far from assistance).

GO Transit 528 rolls through the curve at Pottery Road in 2006, GO 528 in HO Scale rolls through Liberty Village in some kind of time warp.

They arrived a few weeks ago, and I finally had the chance to pick mine up from the Toronto Railway Museum Store. They still have them in stock, as do most stores, but as people see them, I don’t imagine they will last long on the shelves! A variety of early GO (as mine is), a single Experimental GO scheme, and modern GO, along with other operators of the locomotives are available. Of the 72 F59PH’s built, 49 were delivered to GO and 23 to Los Angeles Metrolinx. Other operators including Montreal’s AMT/EXO, Metra, North Carolina Department of Transportation and Trinity Rail Express have used ex-GO locomotives as they were supplanted on GO.

Unboxing the F59PH from Rapido Trains. Typically solid packaging protecting the locomotive within. It looks exactly like I remember GO Locomotives in the older paint scheme with the yellow striping along the base of the body.

As this doesn’t fit on my layout era, it won’t get a lot of use, for the immediate future, it is going in my display cases with other locomotives, though in the future, when the older Athearn Bilevel coaches I have are replaced with the soon to arrive ones from Rapido, it may spend some time on Canyon Road, and almost certainly I am going to be replacing the locomotive sized cabinets I have with something that can accommodate short trains on display.

I did do my usual basic testing with new locomotives of running them on the test and programming track to make sure it runs, and that the various lights and features work. A short video of the locomotive running and the sounds is below for anyone interested in hearing it.

3 thoughts on “Getting on the GO

    • Just kidding. This looks great. I’m so tempted. As you note, they are an iconic piece of railway equipment for those of us who spent any amount of time in the Greater Toronto Area from 1994 onwards.
      I think more than any other train, running GO Trains on exhibition layouts at shows in the Golden Horseshoe will demonstrate to casual enthusiasts and non-hobbyists the potential for the hobby to replicate real-life. For millions of people in the GTA each day, this is their primary interaction with real railways – and models of these will be more meaningful than models of freight trains, The Canadian, etc.
      I’m very glad Rapido has finally filled this gap in the Canadian hobby scene. While I’m unlikely to find use for any in my own hobby (what with trying to stick to an older era, in a niche scale), I’m sure they’ll be welcome on many layouts – maybe even some started by new hobbyists.

      • For sure, seeing models of GO Trains will be something relatable to kids and adults alike who might get into the hobby. I don’t have the space for running realistic length looking passenger trains, so I do something else, but certainly others do and there are club options where people who want to can.

        I have to find a home to move my old Athearn Bilevels on to. I can think of a friend who has long wanted some trains, particularly GO Trains where they may wind up to maybe finally push someone over the edge and into the hobby!


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