Friday, May 24, 2024

Three VIA Ventures in an Hour - Almost!

On March 1, VIA amended its Siemens Venture set rotation such that three westbound Ventures could be seen in one hour on Fridays: VIA No 643 from Ottawa due at Kingston at 1033, and VIA Nos 43 and 63 due at 1131 and 1134, respectively. This was the only time all week when streetcar-like Venture headways could be recorded. Heading out one week ago today on a somewhat sunny Friday, May 17 to document all three at Kingston station, a somewhat disappointing turn of events awaited me. Youtube video of VIA No 643 with Set 9 (cab car 2308/locomotive 2209)

I would soon realize that not all things on this freaky Friday would be black & white! I call this shot the 'Bytown Railway Society photo contest shot' (below) with that unanticipated architectural aerial accoutrement tower showing through - if ya know, ya know. Meanwhile, uberVIAphile Tim Hayman has published an excellent, comprehensive post on what it's like to ride the Ventures and it's highly-recommended reading!
CN No 149 on the north track had been pulling up to Queens West, as No 643 pulled through Queens on the south track before crossing over to the north track at Queen West, prior to its station stop. Once 643 left, it was giddy-up and go out of Kingston for this land-barge led by CN 3862 with the CN Indigenous Relations logo and 2856 with the Every Child Matters logo:
As long a land-barge as ever, Friday's 149 covered the entire two miles east and west of Kingston station. I snapped these two photos (west and then east - below) as quickly as I could spin around, to try and show the train's length. I find it a challenge to make double-stack trains interesting, though I have been known to hack out a haiku or originate an ode.
VIA No 62/52 was a few minutes off the advertised:
Consist: 6408-3466-3467-3334-3341-3342-4116-912-4004D-4105D-4115D-8106
Fifty shades of...stainless steel.
Business Class car 4004:
VIA No 63 with Set 6 (cab car 2305/locomotive 2206):
Yep, that's the car number. Even GO Transit put the car number on both ends of each side (well, until the Metrolinx scheme) but Siemens has these well hidden. Good luck getting numbers if cars are ever shuffled between sets!

Views of No 63's station stop. Tail-end:
Passengers boarding:

Head-end views.

Departing with cab-car leading (above) with locomotive trailing (below).
Before leaving home, I had checked the VIA website for the schedule updates of all three trains, noticing that VIA No 43 was already showing a 'significant' delay some hours before it even left Ottawa! How could they know this? Well, I found out when VIA No 45 pulled in at 1224 with VIA No 43 in tow - and it was not a Venture! 915-4 LRC-6401-4 LRC.

I suppose some mechanical difficulty befell the scheduled Venture set, that an LRC set was substituted, and that it then was befallen by some difficulty, necessitating the J-training with VIA No 45. So much for three Ventures in one day, or even three VIAs in one hour!
Some confusion at boarding time - passengers were reminded to be sure they were boarding the correct 'train' or half of the train!
The final Friday of this rotation was one week away, and was also scheduled to be my wife's birthday. I was kindly advised that it would not be a suitable day for railfanning to snag all three Ventures in an hour.  This post will have to do!

Running extra...

By road! My son-in-law snapped this Shuttlewagon being transported on a float trailer this past week. It's like a Trackmobile wishing it was a switcher:
By rail! The morning train is b-a-a-a-c-k. VIA e-mail trying to lure Business Class travellers with triple the points for a limited time! 
By REM! Forget three Ventures, try five. These neat photos posted by inveterate train rider and photographer Ira Silverman, posted to social media this week, show as many as five Ventures, as well as the colourful and concantenated Glenfraser, a smattering of stainless steel, a louch line of LRC's, and a panoramic picture of the panoply of VIA rolling stock including an ex-BC Rail Panorama car:


Brian said...

I like the Fifty Shades of Stainless Steel photo, Eric. The lines, the contrasting shades of grey, and the angle make the picture interesting. There is a timelessness to it. If one were to overlook a few of the details like the HEP lines and even the VIA lettering, the picture could have been taken just about anytime since 1955.

Eric said...

Thanks, Brian. I like me some low-angle platform photography. Those hockey-stick platform lights, specific to Kingston, though!
I appreciate your comments,