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Amtrak 40th Anniversary Trip:

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Trip:

 

Prologue:

 

††††††††††† In 2011, Amtrak turned 40 years old. To mark the occasion, they repainted four P42s in heritage Amtrak liveries. In addition, they made a train consisting of a P40, an F40, a former Heritage crew dorm, three baggage cars, and an Amfleet 1 food service car. The F40 was actually in the consist of the eastbound Lakeshore Limited I rode on my 2011 Boston trip! I also caught a glimpse of the 40th Anniversary train in Albany.

 

††††††††††† I still wanted to visit the exhibit train. I checked the schedule online and saw the best time and place to see it was in Burlington, Vermont on August 20th. My final plan was to take VIA train 56 to Montreal on the 19th and overnight there. The next day, I would ride a Greyhound bus to Burlington and visit the exhibit train there. The following day, I would ride Amtrakís Vermonter to Newark, New Jersey and stay in a hotel and fly home the following day.

 

††††††††††† However, because the freight railroad was doing track work around the time, Amtrak would be busing passengers north of Springfield which is a bit of a disappointment since Iíve never ridden the Vermonter. The trip unfolded as follows.

 

August 19, 2011:

 

††††††††††† I left home shortly after 7:30 am. My mom gave me a ride to the Langstaff GO station. I was catching the last southbound train of the morning. I bought a ticket at the automated machine. The train arrived 15 minutes later. When it arrived, I photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† I boarded the cab car and rode to Union Station. I got off and took some pictures without incident.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then went to line up for VIA train 56. I saw on the departure screen in Union Station that train 56 was completely sold out in Economy Class. Boarding began at 9:10. I heard there were two VIA 1 cars in the train. I was seated in LRC Economy coach #3332, the last car on train 56. I was able to get the last window seat on the left hand side of the train. As expected, I gained a seatmate right away. The train left on time. Just like last time, the train was running as a J-train with train 54. I saw there was no VIA Destinations magazine in the seat pocket ahead of me, but there was one under the seat in front which I grabbed and put in the seat pocket ahead of me.

 

††††††††††† As the train passed the TTC's Greenwood subway yard, I filmed it. A few minutes later, we slowed down, but soon picked up speed again. My ticket was taken shortly before we passed through Guildwood non-stop. I bought a chocolate bar and a can of Coke when the vendor came by. VIA train 41 passed on the opposite side of the train so I was unable to film it. As we passed Durham Region Transit's Whitby garage, I saw some 8100 series Orion 5s parked. The train stopped in Oshawa. I was seated across from a crying baby. We had to make a double stop because of the train's length. I decided to watch Unstoppable. We soon departed Oshawa.

 

††††††††††† We were soon running parallel to the CP main. I saw a CP stack train led by a single GEVO. VIA train 53 passed, but I was unable to film it. A few minutes later, I saw a CP freight led by a CEFX AC4400 and an SD40 from a leasing company. The train stopped in Cobourg.

 

††††††††††† East of Cobourg, I photographed the unit on train 54.

 

 

††††††††††† I saw that CN was installing a third track to the line to increase capacity. A couple westbound CN freight trains passed. As we passed the Memory Junction railway museum, I filmed it. The train raced through Trenton Junction. The train passed through Belleville. VIA train 51 passed. As it passed, I filmed it. The train passed through Nappanee non-stop.

 

††††††††††† I logged into VIA's Wi-Fi service and went on Facebook where I learned that Canada's Wonderland is building a roller coaster that is going to be even bigger than Behemoth!

 

††††††††††† The train stopped in Kingston. While we were stopped, a CN hi-rail truck passed on the other track. We soon departed Kingston. I then bought lunch. VIA train 57 passed, but I caught a blur of the last coaches. A few minutes later, we stopped to allow train 56 to be separated from train 54. I went to the back of the coach and photographed the trains being split.

 

 

††††††††††† After the trains were split and the HEP was restored to train 56, we departed. I filmed train 54 as it grew further and further. We then stopped at Brockville. We soon departed.

 

††††††††††† I read an article about a tourist train being launched in September running from Quebec City along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.We passed a couple CN freight trains and VIA train 61 passed, but I was unable to film it. The train stopped at Cornwall. We soon departed Cornwall.

 

††††††††††† We passed a westbound CN freight. We crossed into Quebec. We were soon running parallel to the CP main and we crossed a bridge. I saw a hi-rail truck on the CP line. A few minutes later, we caught up with an eastbound CP freight. The train was being led by two SD9043MACs and an HLCX SD40. We then passed a westbound CP intermodal led by a GEVO and an AC4400.The train stopped at Dorval. We departed a couple minutes later. We passed a CN switch job. We were soon approaching Montreal Central station. I photographed a J-train that was deadheading back to VIA's Montreal Maintenance Centre.

 

 

††††††††††† Train 56 arrived 13 minutes late. I got off and took some photos.

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I saw VIA train 24 a few tracks over. I saw that it had a refurbished LRC coach in the consist. I photographed it.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then headed upstairs and phoned home. I then walked over to the Metro and bought a day pass. I was not staying at the Hotel Parc Avenue this time. Instead, I rode the Metro to Snowdon and filmed it departing. Next I rode the Blue line two stations to Universite-de-Montreal station. I filmed that train leaving before I headed out. I photographed STM Classic #14-157.

 

 

I then boarded STM Classic #14-063 and rode a couple stops and got off and photographed the bus.

 

 

††††††††††† I filmed it pulling away. I went to where I was staying which was Les Studios Hotel. I checked in which took longer than it had to because of the clerks constantly answering the phone. After I checked in, I had a little difficulty finding my room on the 14th floor, but finally found it. My room was a college dorm with a single bed and a shared bathroom down the hall. I got there and worked on this report some more.

 

††††††††††† A few minutes later, I decided to go out. Less than a week earlier, I had heard that some of STL's MCI Classics had been seen in service, so I walked over to the Edouard-Monpetit Metro station and rode to Jean-Talon and transferred to an orange line to Montmorency. The first northbound train was being short turned at Henri-Bourassa. For some reason, EVERY TIME I try to head to Montmorency from Jean-Talon, the first Orange Line train that arrives is short turning!

 

††††††††††† I waited for the next train and rode to Montmorency. I went outside and saw several Nova LFS buses. I didn't see any Classics though. However, I believe I saw the security guard who gave me trouble when I came to Montmorency during the 2010 TTS Transportation Weekend. I walked out to the street and photographed some buses without incident.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† No Classics showed up for awhile and I contemplated going to Cartier station to see if I would stand a better chance there, but then I saw a STL Classic in the distance. It turned out to be #6510, one of the Nova Classics. I photographed it.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I waited for 6510 to depart Montmorency and then photographed it and filmed it pulling away.

 

 

††††††††††† No more Classics showed up, so I got on the Metro and rode to Cartier. I saw STL 6502 and photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† Again, no more Classics showed up. I decided to try to see if I could catch an RTL 9-000 series Classic so I got on the Metro and rode to Bonaventure. By the time I got there, all the route 55 buses were gone and there was one route 47 departing at 6:31 pm. I got in line in case it was a 9-000 series Classic, but it turned out to be a Nova LFS so I left the line and went into Central Station briefly before I caught an Orange line train to Namur. I filmed the train departing Namur before I left the station.

 

††††††††††† I looked around the area before I had dinner at a place that looked like a giant orange. I photographed it before I had dinner.

 

 

††††††††††† I then stopped at a gas station and bought some candy and a fruit punch before I walked back to Namur. I rode the orange line to Lionel-Groulx and transferred to the Green Line. When my train arrived, I saw it was younger equipment instead of the older cars that usually run on the line! I photographed it as it arrived.

 

 

††††††††††† I rode the train to LaSalle. I was hoping I could ride a bus by CAD which is where VIA's F40PH-2s are being rebuilt. At LaSalle, I photographed an old STCUM bus stop sign

 

 

I thought bus route 108 would take my by CAD, but it wasn't the case. I rode the 108 back to Lionel Groulx and got on the Green line. I rode to Beaudry. This time the train was the older cars. I filmed the train pulling out before I caught a train back to Barri-Uqam. I photographed the train when it arrived.

 

 

††††††††††† I rode to Barri-Uqam and photographed the train leaving.

 

 

††††††††††† While waiting for my train, I photographed an orange line train going the other way because it had the cars that were wrapped for 150 years of service in Montreal.

 

 

 

I then caught an Orange line train to Jean-Talon and a Blue line train back to Edouard-Monpetit. I filmed the train departing and walked back to my hotel. I went to my room before I walked to a convenience store a few blocks away were I bought some milk. I then caught a route 51 bus back to my hotel and returned to my room. I set my phone's alarm for 8:00 am and worked on this report some more before I called it a night.

 

††††††††††† Click here for part 2:†††††††††††† Part 2