VIA F40PH-2Ds - All-time list of promotional ad wraps

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of VIA in 2018, prior Canada 150 wraps applied to the F40s had the place names replaced with a new logo.

6454 (April, 2018)
6436 (March, 2018)
6402 (May, 2018)
6437 (March, 2018)
6416 (awaiting confirmation)


As part of "Canada 150" celebrations to mark the country's 150th anniversary in 2017, several VIA Rail locomotives and passenger cars received a distinctive colour scheme. 3-4 different community names appear on each side of the wrapped car or locomotive. F40PH-2D 6402, 6416, 6436, 6437 and 6454 received the wrap.



Conductor's side names
Engineer's side names
Earliest confirmed date wrapped
Last observation
Vancouver, Halifax, Edmonton
Toronto, Jasper, Churchill
February, 2017
Moncton, Saskatoon, Kitchener
Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal
March, 2017
3-18 (partial)
Montreal, Bathurst, Saskatoon
Quebec, Windsor, Churchill
April, 2017
Vancouver, Ottawa, Moncton
May, 2017
Guelph, Winnipeg, Montreal
Vancouver, Ottawa, Moncton
May, 2017

Thank you to Tim Hayman and to members of the Canadian Passenger Rail yahoogroup for some of the data found in the above section.


Commercial advertising first appeared on VIA's F40PH-2Ds in 1990. 6400, along with a few cars was specially wrapped in a white scheme that was used in a series of television commercials (one shown in YouTube link below) featuring the "Diet Pepsi Taste Drive" train. The wrap was removed once the promotion was over. Decals of 6400's Diet Pepsi scheme were released in 2013 by Highball Graphics along with decals for the SGU, flat car and SUVs pulled by 6400.

It was not until several years later in July 1997 that railfans were treated to a new ad wrap, this time by Home Hardware as part of a contest for a cross Canada trip. Here are shots of the front and rear of 6429 in Home Hardware wrap. 6429 was wrapped this way directly from the original circa-1987 VIA paint scheme until it was repainted into the Telus scheme (seen below) in 2002. Modellers interested in this scheme can letter their units using decals produced by Highball Graphics (formerly SGS Decals).

In the spring/summer of 2000 several more F40PH-2s received a modified lettering scheme for Kool-Aid drinks. These came and went quickly and by autumn all had reverted to the regular VIA scheme. Kool Aid wrapped units were 6404, 6405, 6406, 6411, 6424, 6432, 6433, 6439, 6453 and 6454. Modellers interested in these can letter their units using decals produced by Highball Graphics (formerly SGS Decals).

The next unit to be decorated in an advertising scheme was once again 6429. This unit finally shed its Home Hardware wrap in 2002 when the locomotive was fully repainted in green for Telus Mobility. When first lettered, 6429 featured the large Telus flower at the back and on both sides of the unit. By 2003, this flower was removed and replaced with a small banner advertising the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games. It appears that the flower was removed on the engineer's side of the unit by 2005. 6429 remained in Telus markings/colours until the unit went in for CAD rebuild in 2010. That was the first time in 13 years that 6429 operated in regular VIA colours rather than ad colours. After a hiatus following the disappearance of ORO Decals, HO scale decals of the second (2003-10) Telus version of 6429 again became available in the summer of 2012, but now from Highball Graphics.

6403 was the second VIA F40PH-2D to receive a wrap in 2002. CBC operated a special display train commemorating the 50th anniversary of the corporation that year and 6403 was a key part of that train. Besides leading the special display train, CBC-wrapped 6403 was used in regular VIA service until it went in for CAD rebuild and received the VIA REN scheme in 2010. After a hiatus following the disappearance of ORO Decals, HO scale decals of the CBC unit again became available in the summer of 2012, but now from Highball Graphics.

In early 2003, 6411 was wrapped and slightly modified for "Operation Lifesaver, Direction 2006". In addition to the distinctive wrap, the locomotive previously had two horns added to the forward position of the cab roof. In 2009, 6411's front had some work done to it, including removal of sand boxes, addition of a 3rd Hi-Vis headlight and removal of all advertising wrap elements from the cab. 6411 remained wrapped this way until it was shopped for CAD rebuild in October 2010. Decals of this paint scheme were apparently commercially produced at one time but I cannot speak for the quality, accuracy or present availability of the product.

In 2004, the Hollywood movie "Spiderman 2" was released to great fanfare. Several VIA units were decorated with a special Spiderman wrap that lasted for quite a few years. While the movie came out in the summer of 2004, the wraps did not all disappear from most units until they were rebuilt by CAD. The six affected units which were 6401 (wrap remained until early 2010), 6406 (until Nov. 2009), 6408 (to Apr. 2011), 6413 (brief mid-2004 only), 6424 (2004-05 only) and 6434 (to May 2010). I don't believe HO scale decals of this paint scheme were ever released commercially.

In 2005, 6424 was repainted or wrapped for the Budweiser "Tailgate party" (in reference to a Super Bowl football promotion) but this scheme was very short lived and disappeared in less than a year. I am unaware of decals of 6424's Bud scheme ever being made commercially available for railroad models.

In late July 2006, 6414 was wrapped for "Loto Quebec" lotteries and this wrap remained intact until the locomotive was rebuilt by CAD in 2011. I am unaware of decals of 6414's relatively unpopular Loto Quebec scheme ever being made commercially available for railroad models.

In April 2011, Spiderman 6408 traded in its wrap for a special silver Coors Light wrap. 6445 was also wrapped for Coors Light but the design was different. This was part of a contest promotion that year. See below for an interesting YouTube video showing 6445 being wrapped for this promotion. Also be sure to Google for "coors light via train" as there are quite a few other railfan photos, website writeups and videos of this train posted online. Both 6408 and 6445 retained their Coors wrap until the units were sent to CAD for rebuilding later in 2011 and released in 2012 in the regular REN scheme. I am unaware of decals of the two versions of this scheme being made commercially available to model railroaders.

The two Coors Light units were the last unrebuilt F40PH-2Ds to carry advertising wrap.

In August 2012, 6445 was released from CAD's rebuild project in the regular REN scheme but was quickly wrapped for the CFL's 100th Anniversary Grey Cup display train. This train toured the country (including rare miles on CP tracks in the 3 prairie provinces) from September-November 2012. Within 24 hours of the end of the Grey Cup game in Toronto on November 25, 2012, the wrap was removed and 6445 reverted to REN green paint. VIA's F40PH-2D fleet was ad-free from 2012 until the Canada 150 wraps appeared in early 2017.

I prepared one writeup for each time the train went through Manitoba:


© updated 5-12-18

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