Monday, November 2, 2015

Kingston-Toronto in Business Class, November 2015

Scenes from a train...aboard VIA Business Class on November 1, 2015. There was precious little sunshine this afternoon aboard VIA No 65, but I found it to photograph when I could. East of Napanee, farm country featured some fleeting clouds to the north (top photo) while the previously-touted Most Scenic Trainwatching Spot in Canada soon passed by. Tough to capture the whole scene in one little photo  - the Gibbard Furniture factory is becoming condos, the park has been gentrified and the cabooseless walkway in foreground doesn't do its scenicness justice, not does the LRC car's dirty window! Trust me, it's scenic and you can hear the sound of the bridge below you as the train glides over the Napanee River leaflessly:
The Grand Trunk station at Napanee flashes by. This train is non-stop until Guildwood. Consist was 6404-3463Ren-3357-3356-3320 and another Renaissance coach. We'd meet eastbound CN freights 310, 318 and 148 at Belleville, Newtonville and Ajax respectively.
Four of us boarded in Business Class at Kingston. No cart needed - meals were brought to us individually by the two helpful, young male and female attendants. In the absence of a warm fish dish (cold tuna just didn't cut it) the pork medallions, potatoes, vegetable and salad with white roll and maple bar, plus white wine was a close second!
 At Belleville, Hitachi excavators were in the yard behind stored TT well cars:
 Is this Northern Ontario? Perhaps near Sioux Lookout? Nope, west of Trenton:
Those little china coffee cups are just too small for coffee this good. Business Class coffee is good. Upon request, a paper cup full appeared, and the cup lettering says it all as Southern Ontario flashes by:
Bowmanville's St Mary's Cement plant is shipping by rail again. I have not seen this since a strike at the plant several years ago. About 20 cars were on the lead, with more under the silos:
CN's Oshawa yard is as quiet as Belleville's was. Not so in 1984, when many more auto parts arrived by hi-cube boxcars than by tractor-trailer:
 Inside Business Class car 3463, the 2+1 seating makes for a spacious view from 16S:
Before making the last curve towards Union Station, the CN Tower thrust skyward between condos a-building. My Nikon zoomed in between the seat ahead and the side of the car, at speed!
The Toronto Union Station train shed is being daylighted, covered by glass, and is definitely more photo-friendly. No flash required as VIA No 65 at left disgorges its passengers, some transfer cross-platform to VIA No 75 at right:
This is Toronto. The CN Tower! The TTC Subway! And people talking nervously and obsessively on phones as they scurry along the sidewalk not making eye contact! University Avenue looking south at Dundas:
 Nothing says T.O. to me like T.T.C. C.L.R.V. also at University and Dundas:

Running extra...

Train books - If you're in Toronto and you like books on trains, head to:

  • BMV Books at 10 Edward St, next to the ex-location of The World's Biggest Bookstore. There you'll find Fifth Books/Railfare's Van Horne's Road in hardcover, dustjacket for $19.99.
  • Eliot's Bookshop at 584 Yonge St has a huge selection of second-hand books on Union Pacific, the Rutland, C&O Morning Sun, SP, CP on the Kettle Valley, the SD60 by Diesel Era, and an earlier hardcover Railfare version of Van Horne's Road - about four shelves' worth to choose from. Climb to the third floor!

Toronto joke: Q - How many Torontonians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A - One. Then 12,000 to talk about what a world-class event it was. Useful Toronto subway phrases: Stand Right, Walk Left. Mind the Gap. I wish there were as many percussionists at Yonge-Dundas Square as there are proselytizers. Beat! Believe!


GP9Rm4108 said...

The cement plant has been taking cars off and on all year. I have not been paying close attention to anything on the Kingston Sub except Brockville but the cement plant has been getting cars all year. I am not sure if 546, the evening switcher out of Oshawa, is doing it or if it's another job.

Eric said...

Thanks, Chris. The first time I'd seen them there. It's been a long hiatus since their last use. Stopped after a strike. I'd have to look back in my notes, but it's been many, many trips by VIA where I noted - no cars at Bowmanville - again!