Friday, February 8, 2019

Kingston's New Railfan Walking Trail

Lake to the left, tracks to the right. This is what I was faced with when I decided to venture out into the bright but windy winter weather on a sunny January 17th to try out Kingston's new multi-use pathway. The sign says it all (top photo) but on this day, I was the only frozen ferroequinologist to be seen. Clearly, the path was made for railfans! Clear views across the driving lanes with good daytime lighting and sightlines!
While most major metropolitan centres try to promote capacity by adding lanes, Kingston promotes sustainability by converting lanes. More here on the project: City of Kingston "multi-use pathway" or "bikeway". I like the way it's shoehorned between the lake and CN's Kingston Sub! Live from the drafting table! Another westbound walker plodded from Vista Drive towards No Frills for some groceries (below). The two-track Toronto-Montreal CN Kingston Sub mainline is visible on the far side of Bath Road. At this point, it's your normal four lanes:
An evergreen eldorado, a coniferous cornucopia, a maple-laced metropolis beckoned at the end of Collins Bay on Lake Ontario. Once in a while, a non-train photo!                            
Looking west as I plod towards Collins Bay, perambulating from Mi 179 Kingston Sub to Mi 180. The pathway straddles the former shoulder of the road and the slow lane eastbound. The fast lane eastbound is now...the only lane. The path is marked by a variety of signs and curbs. There's parking here for Riley's Nursery:
Approaching the intermediate signals at Mi 179.6, with Queens West at Mi 176 behind me and another set of intermediate signals just past Mi 183 farther west. VIA makes an appearance:
 Watch the video of VIA No 45 here. Video captures (above and below).
Overlooking the intermediate signals, some railfan-friendly housing:
Coming alongside Lake Ontario at left, a gas line project has the westbound lanes of Bath Road narrowed (also) to one lane. A pickup-trucked Rule 42 foreman communicates with all approaching trains to ensure the tracks are not blocked or otherwise placing a train's predicted progress in peril:
May 2019 UPDATE...highest lake levels since 2017 provide this vista, with seawall breach and boathouse surrounded!
All-new LED light poles proliferate (above). It's like Times Square at night! All-old CN telegraph line barely hanging on (below) - this pole is vine-bedecked in warmer weather, and an adjacent pole fell down here and has been removed. Just across the tracks is Hillview Road, which used to be a level crossing before being closed for safety reasons. Double-whistling!  
Reached Collins Bay! Branch 631 of the Royal Canadian Legion at left is named in honour of Captain Matthew Dawe. Bath Road continues west from here to...Bath. Site of the Bath Water Filtration Plant. Collins Bay Road heads north just past the gas bar:
The legion branch used to be a Ken & Ray's grocery store, with the Bella Bistro railfan-friendly restaurant beyond it being an I-D-A drug store in days of yore! Canada's loudest (and slowest!) Tim Hortons drive-thru is in the mini-mall here:
Time to head back east. The sign portends the lane-sclerosed leeway beckoning ahead! But the plodding pedestrian railfan is well provided-for:
VIA comes through again, though CN would wait until I was safely home, out of the wind from the east and safely stopped on my front stoop!
Watch the video of VIA No 40 here. These are video captures of the train's passage, also at the intermediate signals. Check out the ex-Canadian Budd coach on the tail-end!
There used to be a farmhouse here, between these trees. A sign stood before them, beckoning homebuyers to the development in the former limestone quarry with a cheery, "Not just another field of homes", to which some wag applied a spray-painted rejoinder crossing out the 'Not'!
I'll venture out on this trail again. After all, it was built for railfans! Who needs to go walking at the mall when one can combine exercise with railfanning? And who says I can't do non-train photography?? One more - crossing a creek after leaving the Railfan Walking Trail:

Running extra...

On a roll with non-train photos! This just might become a photography blog. Or a nature blog! Or not! This time of year, lots of folks go squirrelly. We're entering another of the winter's most 'depressing' months along with November. But it's peak modelling season, as cold-weather modellers head to the layout room to take advantage of the not-so-nice weather. That's what I'm doing on my Hanley Spur layout:
I'm enjoying filling in the structures and holes on this layout, then scenicking them in. And operating. This is no wait-until-it's-done layout. Build, operate. As soon as this ex-Grand Trunk warehouse was scenicked in, I switched it. So these cars are no longer here, replaced with a smattering of 40-footers and 50-footers from Lehigh Valley, Burlington Northern, Canadian National and Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific!
Hey! We heard Will Smith was recently walking around our neighbourhood admiring the snow we had. All we had to do to confirm this was to look for the Fresh Prints!

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