Thursday, June 16, 2016

Kingston-Toronto Return Trip, June 2016

June 5 finds me aboard VIA No 55 heading to Toronto. VIA 6446 led, with 3453-3318-33xx-33xx following dutifully behind. Ten minutes previous, VIA No 66 was eastbound: 919-3470-3301-3346-3332-3335-3339. VIA, in its infinite wisdom, has done away with the demi-demi-tasse and actually uses a decent-sized china coffee cup in Business Class. Along with a not-too-recent issue of TRAINS magazine (for station stops only) and note-taking equipment, we're off! Ladies and gentlemen, our next station stop will be Belleville. Belleveel le prochain arret Belleveel environ cinq minutes!
I always like to keep an eye on the lineside industries still served by CN. Though the GM plant and LASCO are still busy, the yards full of waiting cars are fewer. This ex-DuPont plant just west of Oshawa continues to see covered hoppers on multiple tracks. Though not one Sclair car among them!
A ride aboard the 510 Spadina surface route started and ended sub-surface. The new Bombardier Flexity articulated car can easily, well, articulate around the loop to the Harbourfront line in the bowels of Union Station, and looks equally at home in the bowels of Spadina station:
Tail-end as most passengers have disembarked and more are embarking. I was channelling the lyrics of the seminal Shuffle Demons' cult classic Spadina Bus: I need confirmation about my information on my transportation from Spadina station.
Heading back to Union, the 511 Bathurst CLRV keeps it all on the surface, as another crosses our tracks after us. All-door Flexity boarding means...get a transfer and hold on to it!
Transfer to the 509 Harbourfront at Fleet to return to Toronto Union. Here comes ours now:
As another CLRV heads west off Bathurst. Mind the speed limit, not necessarily the gap:
With new Bombardier-built beauties in the 300-series filling the cab car cracks, some 200-series cars like 204 and 214 are being pressed into service as coaches. Minty new 327 provided a sweet ride to Aldershot!
Always check with the on-board staff before attempting the head-end pre-departure photo. Much less chance of spending unexpected time in Toronto that way. VIA No 48 readies for departure. Now that this consist originates in Toronto, not points west, pre-boarding is more reliable and relaxing. Also less chance of a late departure. Scarface!
VIA 917-3462-3354-3324-3370-3359-908 was one of VIA's new double-ended consists, intended to reduce wyeing of consists at terminals. One Business Class passenger was lying on the floor trying to turn seats. In fact, the first 10 minutes of boarding were taken up with passengers discussing the merits and mostly the de-merits of reverse-riding. Of retrospective relocation. Of backwards bedazzlement. And no, you cannot enjoy the scenery longer facing backwards.
Had it been the 1950's:
The Bar Cart cometh. The blur represents the movement of the train, not my blurred vision nor slurred speech. Waitresh! Waitresh! I'll have a beer, pleash!
Hoisting a Heineken while reading takes a back seat (not backwards-facing) to the passing scenery - four turkeys, a deer and a family of swans!
Oshawa relics:
On Lake Ontario, between Port Hope and Cobourg, a Lower Lakes Shipping self-unloader is upbound:on the horizon. Train-to-ship photography!
Port Hope's Cameco plant, still receiving tank cars of hydrogen fluoride, formerly from Amherstburg, ON; now from Geismar, LA.
Hello Cobourg!

Running extra...

I enjoyed visiting the big, glitzy and spacious new York Concourse (note, that's the York Concourse that's new, not The Big Apple!) serving GO Transit trains at Union Station. Now with food service! But this is Toronto. So expect to pay more for your McDonald's Sausage McMuffin in the big city. GO for it! Watch for an upcoming post on my trip to Aldershot, of all places!

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