Memo to CN: This Trackside Treasure humble blogger would like to register a complaint. A little disappointed that you did not see fit to send a single freight along the Kingston Sub past Kingston in 3.5 hours in what is known to be a 'busy morning time-slot'. One train heard at home before setting out, and another while in the Tim Hortons drive-thru on the way to the station don't count. Not to mention 305 and 369 that happened by after I headed home. The consists in my notebook for Thursday, August 25 filled a disappointing half-page.
So, what to do? Get creative with VIA photography, that's what! I've endeavoured to show all the trains, but not just wedge shots. It's a crutch, I know. A go-to, I get it. But with look-alike trains on tangent track, I gave it that old collage try!
The players. As always, D='D&H' paint scheme; F=Future wrap (*3476 only Business Class car in this scheme); F-40=Future wrap with 40th anniversary red circle logo; L=Love the way wrap; R=Renaissance scheme.
0917 EB No 60/50: 6428-3463-3476F*-3314R-3360F-3367-3326R-912L-4003D-4107-4119-4117.
0932 WB No 61: 6433-3472-3311R-3362R-3364F-40.
1035 WB No 51: 6420L-3458-4001D-3324R-3335-3332R.
1113 EB No 62/52: 903L-4000D-4004D-4113D-4122-4108-4115D-911L-4007-4109-8123-4106-8104.
1157 WB No 63: 919L-3469-3464-3338F-3345R-3353 F-40.
PHOTOS OF THE FiVIA'S
No 60/50 was its usual J-train self. But with the cornucopia of paint schemes sometimes seen, it's about finding the needle in the stack of pins. To wit, VIA 3476: the unique grey-slash, centred-VIA logo and double-numbered Business Class Car that is a VIAunicorn, a one-off (above). Though I was parked on the backlit side, there was no way I could achieve my assignment without going to the south side. I mustered the energy, relished the results, and was able to catch up to all the trains over there.
On my way, I crunched some new old ballast. During the September, 2020 rail and tie renewal, the grubbed-out ballast was deposited on the south side bordering the swampland. I decided to take advantage of it to widen out any wedge shots, careful to shoot around this Kingston karacteristic hockey-stick platform lights (top photo, arrival of 60/50).
The platforms and trains were filled, with passengers positioned on platforms long before each train arrived. The panoply of paint schemes (above) and bus-bombed by a blue Kingston Express atop the Princess Street overpass. A new old baggage cart, seemingly repainted and just east of the station (below). Since there is currently no checked baggage in the Corridor, I was treated to two battery-charger runs of the checked-baggage truck, still parked in the station lot, from east to west through the parking lot and new roundabout!
Can you spot the point-and-shoot as well as the pointer-and-shooter in this Track 2 station building Departures board?
Platform-ant view of VIA 3364 trailing VIA No 51. This coach wears the 'Future' and 40th anniversary markings. A foreman at Ernestown was desperately trying to get track time, though the Edmonton RTC reminded him that the VIA's were less than 40 minutes apart and, oh, try after 1230!
Made it up to the head-end of No 51 before departure. The platform ants&arts club helped with this one. The F40 is a boringly boxy beast but I just can't help myself sometimes. I noticed two examples of evidence of damage, possibly birdstrikes, on the high, rear surfaces of trailing units, prevalent during the current minimal-wyeing era at VIA, with locomotives on both ends of many consists. Here's the Youtube video of the departure. Sorry about the wind noise. Really sorry about the e-bell!
After an hour-long lull punctuated by ten Timbits and at least as many pages of Rick Mercer's Talking to Canadians it was time for VIA No 61 to trundle in with a polyglot consist. Nothing led by a 'love the way' wrap can be all wrong, though. VIA 6420 is one of only two units not to have worn this wrap but not the earlier CANADA 150 and VIA40 wraps. The other is 6427, both damaged in a wreck on the way to Churchill.
There I go again with the slab-side photos. Oh well, justified by showing the French language wrap. Several sides of the expansive station roof are missing shingles after winter storms:
Vestiges of CN's first fibre-optic installation circa 1985. Other light standards wear Rideau Trail markers. This way to the swamp, and Ottawa, where I don't think they'll ever drain-the-swamp.
Recalling the platform-filler consists of the early VIA years. In this case, it's VIA 62/52 as I hot-dogged over to the south side safely after its arrival. You can just see the end of the north side platform on this side of 8104. Of course, when the true platform-fillers were here, not these two-train combination-passenger-platters, that poplar tree at right was just a sapling!
I am a fan of the far side, both the sunbathed side and the Gary Larson cartoon. It's quite a hike to the head-end, maybe 1200 feet on these two feet, and I almost made it!
The only way to rescue yet another P42 shot, in this case 9-1-1, was to angle the camera. Real emergencies continued to occur. No fewer than three ambulance artistes worked their sirens through the Sydenham Road/Princess Street intersection and up the overpass on their way to Kingston Health Sciences Centre. Godspeed.
With memories of Schreiber, Sintaluta and Salmon Arm, ex-CP 8123 accompanied its Budd, 8104 on this train.
The ties and ballast were replaced in 2020, but this rail was installed in 2022. I paced it off and noted that it must have been made of 85-foot lengths that arrived from another hemisphere via the Port of Halifax, get welded in Transcona, then trundled back here.
This foreman was doing something down at Queens West during my visit. This is max zoom with max shimmer:
This wrap was a wrap - the last train. VIA 919:
Track 2 station photography session:
Clouds oblige as VIA No 63 prepares to noblesse-oblige its way down the line. The vintage fence-topper pipes were damaged during the 2020 renewal and never repaired:
There are much worse ways to spend your day than trainwatching under Kingston's sunny but humid sky. In two years, this boxy little station set in a swamp will celebrate its golden anniversary!
Kingston`s health care is making me sick. To my stomach. You might not get in the door. If you do, you'll wait hours. If you're admitted, you may not get the care you need. Why?
Because people love tax breaks. When the biggest portion of the provincial budget goes to health care, where do budgets get cut? Headlines like PSW salaries, homelessness and food insecurity actually start with governments cutting social programs while dangling tax breaks to get elected, and only then are exacerbated by a global pandemic.
Health care is one of the last fields where staff are not allowed to speak out publicly. Instead, it's left to unions and professional organizations who inherently have a bias that's perceived by the public. And dismissed. It's not a real problem. Our Kingston health care is just fine. Isn't it?
When there are no ambulances to come and get us, when there are seven patients per nurse, when there are six hour waits to get our next waiting area in Emergency or our hallway stretcher, maybe then we'll think about who we voted for, at every political level.