Well, it actually started in September 30. Visiting Belleville yard, a tied-down westbound was stuffed and mounted at the VIA station with no re-crew in sight. What else to do but photograph CANADA 150 banners! Tank cars placarded UN 1863 were in the background (above). Let's steal away for a symmetrical, cross-border sojourn of enjoyable autumn (summer-like, actually!) weather and steel wheels on September steel rails....
The most unfulfilling type of trackside photography - NOTRoPhy. Light standard sitting and doing some sole-searching:
S&C van with the tied-down train's single lead unit, CN 2873:
VIA No 52/62 appeared. This non-stop was definitely not stopping: 6412-3454-3364C-3311R-3331R-6457-3475-3367-3334-3344R. Video capture:
Then CN No 368 Eng 2941 made an appearance, with word of a dimensional load. CN 668260 was carrying a Vestas turbine tower, led by an idler flat behind DPU 2977:
This train recrewed at Elmwood Road. Starting to pull:
This BKTY 155301 could tell some stories, right back to the era of the Incentive Per Diem boxcar boom:
AEQX 160 flat car bearing containers:
VIA No 63: 909-8622-4000-4009-4107-8117-4121-8127 blasts west at 1225:
The next day, a fall colours drive turned up the yellows and reds of VIA 916 leading VIA No 47 at Kingston station: 916-3345C-3340R-3331-3361C-34xx-920. One of VIA's bidirectional P42-led consists that put Business Class at the rear of the consist, at least westbound.
Then it was off to sleepy Strasburg, Pennsylvania, where one of three mid-day runs returns from Leaman Place led by ex-CN 89. Enjoy the sight and sound! Video capture:
Approaching the Red Caboose Motel:
Gates and grates, about to be lifted and shaken, respectively:
Nearby, prosperous Amish farms were having corn harvested:
Returning over the bridge over the St Lawrence River at Ivy Lea, CSL's Cedarglen was upbound. I encouraged my wife to snap several shots to help avoid lightposts, handrails and other impediments to fine bridge-ship photography:
As the sun sets on the summer of 2017, we return to Kingston station on October 16. First of six trains (five VIA, one CN) in 90 minutes was VIA No 66 with 6453-3456-3356C-3359C-3352C. That's right, CANADA 450, right there!
The national outpouring of emotion for The Tragically Hip's Gord Downie has been overwhelming. The group has been dubbed 'the soundtrack of my life' by many interviewees. For me, other iconic Canadian groups like Rush, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the inimitable Guess Who were more a part of my generation. However, I do recall Gord Downie's grin, 70's hair and good nature when we shared some classes (and the same birth-year, unlike most of my classmates who were 1963'ers) while in senior years of Amherst View Public School, prior to the family's move into Kingston.
Some ardent Hip supporters have even suggested a government-sanctioned Gord Downie Day. More reflective folks have soberly suggested that a Remembrance Day holiday should come first. Then we would truly be Ahead by a Century. Speaking of treasured Canadian icons: