Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Hour at Union Station

On September 18, prior to leaving Toronto for Kingston aboard VIA No 48, I had a sunny sojourn at the paved railfan viewing post west end of the Skywalk, linking Union Station with the CN Tower. Just east of Toronto Union is Toronto Terminal Railways' Scott Street tower, photographed on the way into the station;
And just the west in the afternoon, John St tower, located under the footbridge just west of the Skywalk:
While traversing the Skywalk, one is bombarded with advertising for Union Pacific Union Pearson Express, someday soon whisking travellers to the airport in CNR-coloured olive and black - hashtag ThrowBack.
The view from the eastern part of the Skywalk at 1645 - in the ensuing hour, over 27 movements would pass this point. VIA 6442 arrives with four HEP2 cars while two GO consists loiter at the south side of Union Station.
Metrolinx-scheme MP40-PH3C 607 is eastbound into Union at 1709, soon disappearing behind a westbound consist: (below and top). Most GO trains are led by these MotivePower Industries ponies which entered GO service beginning in 2007:
Metrolinx-painted 2842. Note to railfans - unlike the previous green paint scheme, the car number appears at only one end of the car, with 'Metrolinx' at the other. Grab that number the first time! I was able to record the consists of the vast majority of trains in the hour (not listed here for clarity), except when two consists were in motion at the same time, causing me to look like Marty Feldman.
As the action heats up, empty trainsets arrive from Willowbrook as loaded trains depart the Lakeshore West and other lines radiating to the western hinterland of 'T-Dot'. 618 is westbound behind a 12-car consist led by cab car 206 as another westbound behind trails 617. One 12-car consist replaces 1,670 cars, while a 10-car consist carries as many commuters as 1,400 cars.
GO engine 562 is trailing on an eastbound 10-car consist led by sister 561 at 1655, between the InterContinental Hotel - originally opened as the CN L'Hotel in 1984 - convention centre and Skywalk bridges, bank towers and newly-sprouted condos, soon to form Condo Canyon!
A closeup of the 1994-built 562, one of the last batch of GO F59PH's, unusually pushing cab car 235:
VIA 6439 backs in with four LRC cars, including refurbished Business Class car 3465 at 1651. In the background, 654 trails a 10-car westbound consist led by cab car 254:
VIA 6441 and an LRC consist are stationary west of the station at 1740 as a westbound 10-car GO consist led by cab car 244 passes by. Watch for an upcoming post entitled Cab Car Cavalcade. Or maybe Cab Car Cornucopia. It won't be titled Cab Car Caleidoscope because they all look, well, the same. But they can be photographed to make them look different, and I really like the appurtenances all over their green-and-white visages.
The GO consist is trailed by 4000 hp Metrolinx-scheme 662, giving its all to propel weary commuters home, or to the next part of their weary lemming-like commute:
GO 607 eastbound, cab car 219 westbound at 1709
Indulge me once more  - quick effects experimented with while waiting for next train to appear. Fisheye:
Soft focus, nicely-centred on the GO LO GO.
Look up - look waaaay up. And I'll get Rusty and Jerome. On my next visit, not even half the height of La Tour CN was visible due to mist coming in off the lake. See what it's like looking down, retro style!
While waiting for VIA No 48 in the Business Class Lounge, I was entertained by the constantly-changing departures sign, with its constantly advancing intermediate stations. All aboard for Armstrong!

The seafood brochette, wild rice salad with feta, chocolate mousse cake and roll beckoned on the way home, with irrigation provided by good, strong coffee and white wine.
Settling in to the USS Enterprise-like refurbished interior of VIA Business Class car 3475, with 2+1 seating, more elbow room, window-side tables (not shown) and glass bulkhead at end of car to deke around:

Running extra...

If you're interested in Calgary CP Rail operations...check out this comprehensive, longest blog post ever!

Last Saturday, thanks to a tip from Ken Wadden, I made it trackside to see the westbound Montreal Alouettes Fan Train en route to a game in Toronto against The Boatmen. At Cardinal, ON Tim Hayman caught the train. 6408-913 led HEP2 Business Class car 4007, 7 LRC cars and Glenfraser, the ex-BC Rail lounge car. Here's the train at 1100 passing Amherst View, Mi 182 Kingston Sub:
Amherst View is the site of two photos in My Railfan Five Challenge. Check out the list of participants in this challenge on Chris Mears' Prince Street Terminal blog sidebar, under My Railfan Five. It's spreading, with those taking up the challenge telling readers about their treasured trackside moments, lineside lineage and encouraging donations to worthy rail preservation projects.

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