I was ensconced early in a Business Class car 4001 on VIA no 651 on the way to Toronto for the day. Our consist: 909-4001-4105-4100-4113. The Service Manager was making his rounds, and kept saying the same phrase to passengers: "26 cars". That was because 80 minutes before we departed Kingston, CN No 310 splattered 26 cars over the plant at the west end of Brockville. We were on the 'lucky train' as 'lucky passengers'. The SM later made a PA announcement "To all the commuters onboard. This train and [its eastbound counterpart tonight] No 650 will be the only trains operating east of Toronto today." All other trains would be operated with buses. It would be this way for this day and the next, though CN freights started rolling about 18 hours later.
A lone passenger boards at Napanee (above). This train is indeed used by commuters travelling into Toronto. Belleville, Cobourg and Port Hope each contribute very healthy passenger loads. At Belleville, 7082, one of the Geeps from Belleville-Kingston turn CN No 518 was visible through the window across the aisle. Also at Belleville were two white-wrapped flat car loads - Bombardier monorails on lowboy trailers, soon on their way to Halifax then Innotrans in Berline and further storage in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
St. Michael's Catholic Church and Belleville's water tower are visible to the south. We're crossing the Moira River bridge. (Links to some classic Barriger Library views of CN's Kingston Sub).
Another body of water, in this case the overflow channel for Lock 1 of the Trent-Severn Waterway at Trenton. Watch for an upcoming post on the replacement of these impressive bridge spans.
I brought my camera along on this trip, hoping to be able to photograph several places that I hadn't preserved for posterity. The former CP freight house at Cobourg is now home to Legacy Vintage Building Materials. Looks like a neat place to poke around during a lull trainwatching both main lines!
Approaching Cobourg station, aka The Monster That Ate Cobourg, a CP eastbound pokes its nose through the foliage. CN's line was unfettered by any trains, except for VIA No 50/60 which became a bustitution, and CN No 709 with a CSX unit switching at Oshawa. Arrival in Toronto will be 15 minutes early!
Usually not seen on CN's Kingston Sub, some Auto-Max car carriers, in this case with AOK reporting marks were on the CP train along with DM&E, SOO, CP Rail and former government grain cars. The Cobourg station parking lot is well-used:
Approaching the tiny station at Port Hope, the Cameco plant and harbour bask in the early morning sunshine. CN delivers ACAX tank cars of Hydrogen Fluoride from Geismar, LA to the plant.
At the GO layover (former CN Don) yard, we passed this interesting Trackmobile-powered two car work train. Looks masonry-related.
The Great Hall of Toronto Union Station - still great. The VIA ticket counter is now to the right of the information kiosk and clock. Notice the VIA signboard full of bustitutions. A tiny, senior volunteer was on duty, though a "Volunteers Needed" sign was also taped to the glass.
Opposite the Business Class lounge, where I exchanged my ticket to avoid a bustitution, this large plaque commemmorates the heroic actions of the VIA crew at the April 23, 1999 Thamesville derailment. The heroic actions of engineers Kevin Lihou and Donald Blain saved countless lives.
TTC CLRV 4046 wears a Brooks Brothers pinstripe wrap as passengers position themselves. I'm sure the wrap will be transit-ory.
I went trainwatching while waiting for my train home. To the Prairies, where I saw a two-unit, yellow-nosed Canadian...
...and a pocket-sized Bras d'Or in Cape Breton. All courtesy of the large photo-murals in the bowels of the Arrivals area display windows!
Busloads of passengers would arrive, looking around somewhat confused: "Delbert, ever seen anything this big that didn't have John Deere written on it?" Similary, lines of passengers for bustituted trains would be lead out of the Departures area to Bremner Street, south of Union Station to board their buses. I'd always wanted to photograph this sign that's been here since, oh maybe the 1950's. Somewhat lost but still proclaiming its message, for those lost in the bowels of the station, desperately looking for The City.
An overengineered road and overbuilt guardrail linking the CN with the CP in the distance. Late afternoon clouds hover over the horizon.
The grain elevator spur north of the mainline at Trenton/Quinte West. No cars spotted. Highly-modelable Insulbrick section sheds at lower right.
Back in Kingston. Our consist: 910-4002-4119-4114-411x. No trouble making the station stop on the north track tonight, since no other trains were about. This will be a 'lucky train' again tomorrow, after the consist is turned on the wye at Queens for its early morning departure to the west.
Four things I like about Summertime:
1. It's finally here.
2. No snow.
3. Isn't it just the best season to enjoy a cold beer?
4. Fantasia Barrino's version of the song from American Idol.