A recent evening free took me trackside to a favourite railfanning location - Kingston's VIA station (above). Most of the evening turned out drizzly with a few downpours! I was intent on capturing as much VIA action as I could in a typical evening. The first train of the evening was VIA No 644. (All trains listed are shown as Time/Direction/Train Number: Consist) During the station stop, the crew took a report of cattle on the track around Mi 150 Kingston Sub from the RTC. 1633 EB No 644: 902-3474-3341-3319Ren:
3331 in the Renaissance paint scheme (above) and No 64 departs towards Queens West interlocking in a downpour (below). The foliage east of Counter Street has grown in like crazy over the years, meaning down-track shots have to be taken at platform's edge!
When the weather gets tough, the tough go to Timmy's. That's an Extra Large double cream on the dash. Snappy drive thru service got me back to the station in time for VIA No 65! I'm no French scholar, but I think the English translation of the cup is..."Holy frig! Tim Hortons coffee is friggin' comforting while you're always away from your family and you were born in 1964."
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the train...VIA No 65's engineer sprints back to the head end. 1813 WB No 65: 6417-3473-3350-3368
With all these look-alike consists (not even Ren equipment west of Montreal nowadays) photography has to be creative. In one evening, I made 140 digital images. Of course not all survived the Delete process, but I remember going for two-week pre-digital railfan trips with four to six rolls of colour print film - less than I took in one evening! Side mirror van cam view of No 65 before departure:
1847 EB No 656: 918-3458-3337-3366-3311
1906 WB No 59: 6457-3472-33xx-33xx-33xx meeting EB CN freight led by 2303 with DPU 8846 (below)
1920 WB No 67: 6413-34x2-33xx-33xx-3315Ren
1931 EB No 66: 64xx-34xx-33xx-33xx-3328Ren-6410
When the rain finally let up, it was time for a little non-train photography. "Pack smart travel smart". Whaaaat? Sounds like a slogan US Homeland Securitiy would come up with. I would suggest "Pack smartly, dress smartly, travel smartly." Or, "We want to make more money off your heavy luggage. Please ask us how you can pay more for your ride aboard VIA"The sun was setting in the west...
Passengers were carefully advised via the PA system that VIA No 650 was terminating in Kingston. In other words, don't even think about getting on! Finally, some non-LRC consist variety - I can't believe I'm bemoaning the reassignment of the Nightstar/Renaissance equipment! I decided to use this opportunity to follow the empty consist around the wye at Queens in preparation for Tuesday's 0532 departure to Toronto as VIA No 651. Engineer grabs a smoke before the wyeing begins.2005 EB No 650: 907-4003-4109-4110-4118
The consist has entered the west end of Queens service track through a red-red-yellow restricting signal at Queens West (below). One of the engineers threw the switch, to route the train from the service track into the west leg of the wye. An Amherst Taxi minivan has arrived at the switch, shining its headlights at the photographer, to take the crew to their overnight lodgings. The headlights illuminate the wye tail switch and switchbroom. Lighting from the newly-enlarged Utilities Kingston fenced compound at right.
The consist has pulled across Lappan's Lane to back into the east leg of the wye, through which it will reverse back to the east end of the service track in the morning to return to Toronto. Ah, the glint of artifical light on stainless steel in the evening...
Back at the station, the last train of the night included VIA's first refurbished Business Class car (not photographed, but I would catch up with the consist three days later in Brockville. Watch for a future post.) 2035 WB No 659: 6459-3475 refurbished Business Class car-3306-3371
Birds across America! This is not for the birds, it's for over-the-top ornithologists who wish to travel between birding sites by rail. I don't know if potential customers are flocking to this opportunity or not, but the price is certainly flocking high! The Wabash had a train named the Blue Bird, Amtrak had the Cardinal, and the Gull ran between Halifax and Boston by CN, CP, MEC and BAR.
Time for some transportation-themed groaners:
- I just flew in from Winnipeg. Boy, are my arms tired.
- I waited forever for my ship to come in. Turns out it was a train.
- The train stopped with a jerk, and I got off.
- Passenger: Conductor, how many people live in this town? Conductor: Just count 'em, they're all down here at the station at train time.