Sunday, November 15, 2015

Toronto Waterfront-Rail Corridor Stroll

Done early. A few hours to train time. Quandary.
What to do on this fine November day? CN Tower? 35 bucks, reduced visibility, no John Street nor Spadina. Nope. UP Express to the airport again? Nope. Perhaps there is a ship at Redpath...let's go for a walk. Priceless. And free. And I'm cheap. Let's go - we're burning daylight!
Union Station and its environs are undergoing a transformation. One GO concourse has closed, and another has opened. The east end of Union Station includes the GO bus terminal. After passing through the Parthenon-like columns (top photo) and emerging onto Front Street, it's down Bay Street past the Air Canada Centre, to Queen's Quay; at least part of this route used to be served by CP Rail. A pause to reflect:
Redpath looms. The old saying was, "Let Redpath sweeten it!". Until recently, Tate & Lyle covered hoppers were spotted here until the plant trackage was removed in 2008. Cane-sugar is imported by ship.
At the foot of Jarvis Street, this is Toronto's "Whaling Wall":
Torrent was indeed unloading. Preparing to depart? Hard to say. Hold covers not dogged down. Looked like quitsville. No crane activity. TTR Operations vehicle entered the frame. Now that's sweet!
Bulbous bow. Lots of below-waterline showing. Just to left is Sugar Beach - Adirondack chairs, umbrellas, sand-like material. Lots of people relaxing on this 21C November day! The guardrail along the water caught my eye.
Walking west following a Timmy's bagel break, the Harbourfront streetcar line beckoned. CLRV's in use, but Bombardier's Flexity (five-unit articulated) making inroads. Tricky spot for photographers. Streetcar tracks ahead, speedy bike fitness trail behind:
Flexity heading back toward Union Station:
Flexity heading west near the foot of York Street:
Queens Quay West:
One can take the bus to the plane. Through a tunnel, no less. This was one noisy bus.
Heading north along Lower Simcoe Street, the next stop was John Street roundhouse. The 3:00 whistle blew. The CN Tower loomed. Turns out one doesn't have to take the tour to get a free six-ounce-or-so sample. Visited the gift shop. Quaffing ensued.
Strolling around the outdoor exhibits of the Toronto Railway Museum. Nearby was ex-CP Cape Race, latterly operated by the Upper Canada Railway Society, in which we rode during the 1979 CN Toronto-Gravenhurst fantrip pulled by CNR 6060
 CN wooden caboose posed on the turntable:
Bremner Boulevard led behind the Rogers Centre to Spadina Avenue bridge. On the Union Station Rail Corridor tracks below, GO trains were piling up. GO crews were reporting for duty at the North Bathurst yard. A VIA J-train headed east into Union Station via the flyunder:
In the gorgeous golden glow of the late afternoon sun, looking west towards the flyunder towards Bathurst Street:
GOod timing: eastbound GO undercuts a TTC ALRV on the Bathurst Street bridge:
South side of Bathurst Street bridge with CLRV:
North side of Bathurst Street bridge with 'special bus':
Classic view west, with lines diverging to south and to north. Where once Cabin 'D' stood and VIA intercity trains and CN freights trod. The UP Express now uses the line to the north. Then I backtracked along Iceboat Terrace and the Northern Linear Park to Union Station. A darkened delayed departure by a slightly tardy VIA No 48.

Running extra...

Jeopardy clue: This Czech composer was also a trainspotter. In the form of a question - Who is Dvorak? Thanks to Allison for the heads-up. This one's now off my Liszt!
For sale - One (1) only! One (1) pound of VIA paper items - schedules and brochures from various VIA eras. Special price for Trackside Treasure readers: only $30, which includes free postage to a Canadian address. Email me at mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca. First email received - its yours!
Partial package contents shown - sample items above - may not be exactly as pictured. Just to give ya an idea of what's surplus to my collection. This one-pound package is a great item for a VIAphile or someone building a VIA collection. Plus I'm a big fan of fine print and this gives me a rare chance to use some on Trackside Treasure.. 

It may seem that Trackside Treasure has gone totally Toronto-centric. (Well, Toronto is the centre of the universe, isn't it?)  The Queen City! T-Dot! Hogtown! The Big Smoke! Tronna! YYZ! Toronto the Good! Don't worry, we're free to move around the country, as that airline commercial used to say. It's just that there was so much good stuff to see and ride during my recent trips to Toronto aboard VIA!
CN Letellier Sub, 1993 large size:


Michael said...

You say Adirondack chairs, I say Muskoka chairs. Either way, I love em! I have two on my front porch. Great post, Eric. I love that busy shot with all the GO action and the Via J train. Sounded like a great time.

Eric said...

Thanks, Michael! I sat down in one of the chairs for a second, but I had places to go!

I knew the GO trains came 'onstage' at my west end of Union Station Skywalk trainwatching spot, but I would not have known how they're staged and stacked west of Spadina if I hadn't strolled down that way. Those things were everywhere!