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In the early 1980s, Via was suffering from reliability problems with its motive power. While an order for GMD F40PHs was expected to be announced, Via needed to something in the interim to improve service on its routes.
Via Rail had a surplus of steam-heated GMD Via FP9A units built in the 1950s and so fifteen of these units were chosen to be re-manufactured. The first twelve units, 6300–6311, were re-manufactured at the CN Pointe St-Charles shops in Montreal while the final three, 6312–6314, were re-manufactured at the CN shops in Moncton, New Brunswick. As part of the re-manufacturing many original components were replaced or upgraded - the original 16-567C engines were rebuilt with 645E series power assemblies, and the Woodward governor was revised, thereby raising the net power for traction from 1,750 to 1,800 hp (1,300 to 1,340 kW).
The first five, re-manufactured in 1983 and early 1984, were outshopped without steam generators and became Via Rail class GPA-418a while the remainder, re-manufactured with Vapor steam generators in mid-1984 to mid-1985, became Via Rail class GPA-418b.
By 1997 Via Rail had retired virtually all of its older steam-heated rolling stock. It was felt that many of the FP9ARMs were still usable, and some of the units had their steam generators and associated piping removed and were retrofitted with head end power alternators. 6300, 6302, 6304, 6307, 6308, 6311 and 6313 all had this done, with the remainder of the units put into storage.
All units were retired and stricken from the active roster upon the completion of delivery of the 900-series P42DCs in late 2001.
After rebuilding the FP9ARM units could be found in service across Canada.
In later years the locomotives were used on services in Northern Manitoba and in Northern Quebec. Their use on these lines allowed for the GMD Via F40PH-2 previously used on these lines to be transferred to other duties. They remained on these lines until retirement.
- The 6300 was the only locomotive to survive the Hinton train collision on February 4, 1986, which also involved FP7 #6566 and F9 #6633 of the Via Rail No. 4 train, and CN GP38-2(W) #5586 and SD40's #5104 and #5062 of the Canadian National Railway No. 413 westbound freight train. Following the accident, 6300 was rebuilt with the cab of a former Kansas City Southern F7 and returned to service.
- The 6310 and 6314 were both wrecked in 1993.
The FP9ARMs that were not wrecked and scrapped have survived into preservation.
- 6300 was used by Via Rail as a shop switcher in Vancouver, BC until being donated to the BC chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
- 6304 and 6311 are currently held under private ownership at the Alberta Railway Museum.
- 6309 has been loaned to the Canadian Railway Museum, located at Saint-Constant, Quebec.
- 6305 is in use by Ontario Southland Railway as number 6508 near Woodstock, ON, Canada and sees regular duty pulling trains from the CAMI GM Yard in Ingersoll, ON, Canada to the CP yard in Woodstock, ON, Canada.
- 6306 is preserved as CN 6520 at the West Coast Railway Association.
- 6307 and 6313 are currently owned and operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway as Canadian Pacific 4106 and 4107, part of the Royal Canadian Pacific tourist trains.
- 6302 and 6308 were sold to the Texas State Railroad where they were renumbered 125 and 126, respectively. 125 has been restored into a vintage Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad "Texas Special" inspired paint scheme, with 126 expected to be painted into the same scheme sometime in the future.
- 6301 remains on VIA property, stored at the Montreal Maintenance Centre.
|Key:||Preserved||Scrapped||Still with Via||Sold|
|63xx||ex 65xx||Serial||Build date||Remanufactured||Notes|
|6300||6524||A1196||04/57||12/83||Donated to the BC chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in 2011. Shipped to Heber Valley Railroad in Utah.|
|6301||6534||A1394||05/58||12/83||Stored at the Montreal Maintenance Centre|
|6302||6533||A1393||05/58||12/83||Sold Georgia Southwestern Railroad. 6302 Now in service on the Texas State Railroad.|
|6303||6539||A1399||07/58||12/83||Sold Ontario Southland Railway 1400.|
|6304||6509||A639||12/54||03/84||Sold IFE Leasing 6304. Privately owned and stored at Alberta Railway Museum.|
|6305||6508||A638||12/54||06/84||Sold Ontario Southland Railway 6508.|
|6306||6520||A1050||03/57||06/84||Operational West Coast Railway Association as CN 6520.|
|6307||6515||A1045||01/57||10/84||Sold Ohio Central Railroad 6307. Now in service with Canadian Pacific as #4106.|
|6308||6521||A1051||03/57||12/84||Sold Georgia Southwestern Railroad. 6308 Awaiting restoration on the Texas State Railroad.|
|6309||6528||A1200||05/57||12/84||Loaned to Exporail/Canadian Railway Museum.|
|6311||6529||A1201||05/57||12/84||Sold IFE Leasing 6311.Privately owned and stored at Alberta Railway Museum.|
|6312||6523||A1195||03/57||12/84||Sold Ontario Southland Railway 1401.|
|6313||6526||A1198||04/57||03/85||Sold Ohio Central Railroad 6313. Now in service with Canadian Pacific as #4107.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to VIA FP9ARM locomotives.|
- "RailPictures.Net Photo: VIA 6300 VIA Rail EMD FP9u at Montreal, Quebec, Canada by pierre fournier". www.railpictures.net. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
- Bytown Railway Scoiety, Inc. "Canadian Trackside Guide 2017". Canadian Trackside Guide: 1–85. ISSN 0829-3023.
- Bytown Railway Scoiety, Inc. "Canadian Trackside Guide 2017". Canadian Trackside Guide: 3–42. ISSN 0829-3023.
- "F units to Texas State Railroad – HeritageRail Alliance".