Bus History Association Convention 2013:
††††††††††† In spring of 2013, I learned that the Bus History Association was planning an event in Montreal in June of 2013. They would be planning three charters on three days. In addition to that, I learned the day before the first charter, another charter was being organized of an RTL Classic by Mario who Iíve met a few times on previous trips and TTS charters. I decided to go.
††††††††††† My plan was to ride VIA train 60 to Montreal the day before Marioís charter. I would attend the four charters and then take train 57 home. However, VIA maintenance employees were threatening to go on strike on June 14th; two days before I was to come home which could mess up my travel plans. I came up with plans B and C in case the strike happened. The trip unfolded as follows.
June 11, 2013:
††††††††††† I got to Union station around 10:45; 50 minutes before train 60 was scheduled to depart. I lined up for train 60. Boarding began around 11:15 am. I was seated in Hep2 coach #4108. From the coach, I watched as the equipment for today's train 73 to Windsor reversed into the station. Train 60 departed on time. Shortly after we left Toronto, I saw another VIA train but I was unable to film it.
††††††††††† As we passed by Greenwood subway yard, I filmed the equipment in the yard. The train stopped at Guildwood. My ticket was taken after we left Guildwood. We stopped at Oshawa a few minutes later. After we left Oshawa, I bought lunch. A westbound VIA train passed, but I was unable to film it.
††††††††††† I noticed that YouTube now works on VIA's Wi-Fi network. On previous trips on the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, YouTube didn't work. I watched a few videos. The train stopped at Cobourg.
††††††††††† East of Cobourg, I filmed the Memory Junction railway museum. We stopped at Belleville. Another conductor checked my ticket which was kinda redundant, though not as annoying as having to go through airport security a second time in Boston when I flew to Washington earlier this year.
††††††††††† East of Belleville, VIA train 57 passed.† We stopped at Kingston a little while later. I briefly got a seatmate at Kingston, but she moved to the car in front. We departed Kingston a few minutes later. VIA trains 61 and 55 passed but I was unable to film either train. I played Plants vs. Zombies. The train stopped at Brockville.
††††††††††† Awhile later, we stopped at Cornwall. It was raining. Train 65 passed, but I was unable to film it.† We were soon running parallel to the CP main. An AMT commuter train and a VIA train heading for Ottawa passed.† We then stopped at Dorval. After we left Dorval, we passed an AMT commuter train pushed by one of AMT's new locomotives.
††††††††††† Soon, we were approaching Montreal Central station. I readied my stuff in preparation to get off. Just before we got to the station, we were passed by VIA train 67. Train 67 departs three minutes after train 60's scheduled arrival so we were at least three minutes late. When we stopped, I got off and took some photos.
††††††††††† I then walked to the Metro and boarded an orange line train towards Cote-Vertu. I got off at Namur. I was hoping to have dinner at the place shaped like a giant orange, but it was raining heavily, so I opted to have dinner at a Wendy's instead. After dinner, I headed up to du Collage Metro station and transferred to the route 202. When the bus came, I got on and rode to near my hotel. I found my hotel was on the opposite side of a highway so I had to go underneath the highway at a road that ran underneath the highway and walked over to my hotel in the rain. I eventually got there. I had to wait several minutes as there were other people checking in. I finally checked in and went to my room. I phoned home and let my parents know I was in Montreal.
††††††††††† As a result of the rain, I decided not to go transit fanning. I worked on this report some more. I set the alarm on my phone and eventually called it a night.
June 12, 2013:
††††††††††† I got up at 6:45 am and got dressed. I went to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. I then left to catch a bus. Today was Mario's charter. He was chartering an RTL Classic.
††††††††††† After breakfast, I walked to the bus stop and caught a route 202 bus to the Du College Metro station. I then took the Metro to Bonadventure and went to where the charter was going to start. I was 90 minutes early. I attempted to photograph VIA trains 601 and 603 as they departed for northern Quebec.
This was my unsuccessful attempt to photograph trains 601 and 603.
††††††††††† I saw lots of buses coming in from the south side. I photographed them.
††††††††††† Eventually, I saw some other people I knew would be going on the charter. We waited for the charter bus to show. Mario showed up. I paid for his charter.
††††††††††† A little while later our charter bus arrived. It was RTL Nova Classic #9-401. I photographed it before I got on.
††††††††††† I was the first person to get on not counting the driver. I sat at the back of the bus.† We soon departed and crossed over the St. Lawrence Seaway. We picked someone up at Terminal Panama.
††††††††††† Our first photo stop was along RTL's route 31. I would notice the red font on the destination sign made it hard to read in photos.
Sorry if you canít read the destination sign.
††††††††††† We got back on the bus. Our next photo stop was along the route 43. We photographed the bus and a service bus as it passed 9-401.
††††††††††† Our next photo stop was in a cul-de-sac in an industrial area served by RTL route 135.
††††††††††† We the stopped on a residential street which is served by RTL route 99.
††††††††††† Our next stop was the lunch stop. We stopped at the place where the TTS had the lunch stop on the 2010 RTL Classic. I photographed the bus before I went to McDonald's for lunch.
††††††††††† I withdrew $40 from a nearby ATM machine and got back on the bus. After everyone else got back on we headed off. Our next photo stop was on route 73. Route 73 used to be operated by STM's predecessor STCUM until it was taken over and is now served by RTL.
††††††††††† We got back on the bus and headed out. We saw a CN freight with three locomotives hauling a single reefer. Talk about being overpowered!
††††††††††† We later were running parallel to the line that Amtrak's Adirondack uses. We were going to turn right and cross over the line when we were stopped by a CN freight. I photographed it from the bus.
††††††††††† After the train cleared the crossing, we crossed the tracks and headed to the RTL garage. At the garage, I noticed Classic #9-001 on a hoist. I took one photo of our charter bus before we boarded RTL Van Hool AG300 #20601.
††††††††††† We took the Van Hool AG300 to Centennial High School. On the way, I learned that RTL was the first transit property in Quebec to buy articulated buses.† The articulated buses are used on route 45, the AMT express routes, and various school specials. In the late 1990s, the Hamilton Street Railway used to run the GM articulated buses (like #518203 at Seashore) as school specials. We photographed the articulated bus and 9-401.
††††††††††† We had the group photo at Centennial High.
††††††††††† We headed back to the garage. I photographed another Van Hool articulated bus missing its rear bumper.
††††††††††† We then got back on #9-401. We dropped someone off at Terminus Panama before we returned downtown. I got off and photographed the bus.
††††††††††† When the bus departed, I filmed it pulling away. I then took one more photograph of the bus.
††††††††††† I then walked to the Metro. I decided that this would be my chance to ride the green line. I rode the orange line to Lionel-Groulx and transferred to the green line. When the train arrived, I photographed it.
††††††††††† The train had the older MR-63 cars as per usual with the green line. I did not see any of the newer MR-73 cars on the green line like I did the last time I visited Montreal in August of 2011. I rode to Barri-UQAM and filmed the train pulling away. I then transferred to the orange line and rode to Montmorency. I was going to try to ride an STL Classic. When I got to the bus bay, I walked out to the street. A few minutes later, STL MCI Classic #6203 arrived. I photographed it.
††††††††††† I was hoping to ride it, but it pulled into the terminal, dropped people off and took off before I could board. It was on a school special as that is what STL uses there few remaining Classics on. I waited around hoping for another Classic. While I was waiting, I photographed some more buses. No security guard gave me trouble.
††††††††††† I saw two Classics in the distance, but they never came to the terminal. I eventually gave up and rode to Cartier. I waited around for a few minutes but no STL Classics showed up. I then left. I wanted to have dinner at the place that looked like a giant orange. I took the metro to Jean-Talon and transferred to the blue line. I rode to Acadie. I then took a bus to Namur station on the orange line and walked to the restaurant. I noticed several classic cars in the parking lot. I photographed them.
††††††††††† I bought dinner and headed out. I took one more photograph of the restaurant.
††††††††††† I then got on the metro and rode to Vendome. I was hoping to ride an AMT commuter train to Dorval, but the schedule didn't work out. I them rode to Lionel-Groulx and transferred to the route 211.
††††††††††† I rode the route #211 bus to Dorval station. Along the way, I filmed VIA train 64 as it passed. At Dorval, I walked over to the Best Western Plus where many people attending the charter were staying and where the three BHA charters were starting. I thought there was a slide show this evening, but found out it was on Friday. However, I did pay for the charter and got a name tag for the next three days. I then boarded a bus to my hotel. Once I was back at my hotel, I walked over to a nearby Tim Hortonís and bought some milk. I returned to the hotel and set the alarm on my phone and called it a night.
Click here for the first of three charters by the BHA: †BHA charter 1