fully equipped the
played with the idea of riding the temporary
However, that wasn’t the case at
all; instead, the Budd ocean left
My eventual plan was to ride VIA
train 60 to
I got to Finch subway station
around . When I boarded the
subway, there was a delay because of a power cut a few stops ahead. I was
worried I wouldn’t make it to
Once I got to Union station, I
headed to VIA’s Panorama lounge. First class passengers at certain stations
have their own private lounge to avoid the crowds.
After awhile, VIA 1 passengers were allowed to board train 60.When I got to the platform, I saw my train on the left hand side and VIA train 44 led by F40PH-2 #6408 still in the Spiderman 2 livery.
I boarded Hep2 VIA 1 car #4002 and took my assigned seat. While waiting to depart, I photographed the last car on train 73.
Train 60 left on time. Shortly
after we left, I filmed the TTC’s
Meanwhile, they had begun serving
lunch. In VIA 1, meals are included in the ticket price. After lunch, we
stopped in Cobourg. After we departed, I got a video of the Memory Junction
railroad museum in
The train crossed into the
After we left
I then went into the main terminal
at the station. I first went to the Panorama Lounge, and was directed to a
check in booth for the Ocean. One side was for the Ocean sleeping car
passengers and the other was for the Chaleur’s sleeping car passengers. After
checking in, I bought some snacks from a convenience store in the station. Eventually,
it was time to board. Passengers boarding the Chaleur boarded first before the
sleeping car passengers on the Ocean boarded. When I boarded, I went to room 1
in “Chateau Closse”. That car was in the consist of the
Unlike my last trip on the
After storing my stuff, I went to
the Skyline car and photographed the last coach of VIA train 34 which had just
Trains 16 and 14 departed on time.
Shortly after we left, I filmed Amtrak’s
As we passed near VIA’s
The train crossed over the
We soon left and I decided to have dinner in the dining car behind the Skyline car. While I was having dinner, we passed three teenage boys. As we went by, they threw rocks at the train! Fortunately, they didn’t break any windows. However, this is the first time that I had been on a train that was “attacked”! We soon stopped at the next station.
We passed an outbound AMT commuter train and as we passed the AMT yard east of St. Hilaire commuter station, I filmed the trains in the yard.
After dinner, I went into the dome. Downstairs, they showed the movie Marie Antoinette, which I wasn’t interested in seeing. At one point after dark, VIA train #27 passed us.
A few hours later, we stopped in Charny, which is a smoke stop. I used the time to photograph the train.
The train reversed out of Charny to continue on towards Matapedia and points east. I asked for a wake up call at and called it a night.
I woke up at certain parts of the night. At one point, I peered out the window and saw we were at Matapedia and that the Chaleur had been disconnected. From my room, I took a picture of the last car on the Chaleur.
As we left, I watched the Chaleur in Matapedia station’s pocket track. The train had a single F40PH-2, a Hep1 baggage car, a Hep1 coach, Skyline dome #8503, and three Chateau sleeping cars. I was able to deduce that the CBC unit would be on the Ocean. I went back to bed.
At , I got my wake up call. I got dressed and went to the dining car
for breakfast. While I was having Breakfast, the train stopped at
Next to the station is a railway yard owned by the New Brunswick East Coast Railway. I watched a freight crew doing some switching. When the train departed, I saw the freight train’s engines. There were two SD40s, two Alco RS-18s, and one Alco C424. The Alcos wore the paint scheme of their former owner: CP Rail.
As we departed Campbellton, I saw
there was a bit of snow on the ground. I knew I would be cold because I only
had a spring jacket. This would be the second time I would be unprepared for snow,
but at least it wasn’t as bad as what I dealt with in
As the train progressed, there
became less and less snow. The train stopped at various towns and cities
“Yeah,” I said, “but they’re Alcos.”
Sometime later, we stopped at
Rogersville. I started talking with other people in the dome. One was a
weightlifter on his way to a competition in
Soon, I went back to my room to
pack. The train arrived into
Click here to see a complete photo roster: Photo Roster of train 14.htm
I went to east of the station to film the train pulling out. I was standing near a mall parking lot next to the station. F40PH-2 #6413 was uncoupled and moved onto another track. This reminded me of how on my last trip, F40PH-2 #6425 was removed from the Canadian. 6413 was moved onto another track.
Meanwhile, it was windy and I was getting cold and impatient waiting for the train to depart. The train finally departed at , 35 minutes late! As the train left, I videotaped it. I took one more photo before I headed into the Highfield Square Mall.
After I looked in a couple stores, I called home from a payphone; and got the answering machine again! I left another message. I then went to the food court for lunch.
After lunch, I walked back to the
VIA station. F40 #6413 had been wyed and was at the west end of the station. It
would be leading train 15 to
I saw a couple other railfans who I began to chat with. One of them used to work for CN and VIA. After, I went back into the station and checked one bag because VIA only allows one carry on for trains with Renaissance coaches. I called to find out the status of train 15 and found it was running on time. I also photographed a sign commemorating the Ocean’s 100th anniversary back in 2004.
After awhile, I went back to the mall and withdrew some money from an ATM. I then went out into the street and photographed a few buses.
I then went back to the VIA station. I phoned home again and got the answering machine. I left another message.
Sometime later, I called VIA again
and got an update on train 15. It was now 20 minutes late. I went out onto the
platform and soon photographed the first freight to pass through
I headed back into the station and bought a bottle of Coke from a vending machine. I headed onto the platform and saw a local freight with a single CN GP38 leading. I photographed and filmed it.
Finally, the westbound Ocean arrived 14 minutes late. I photographed and filmed the Ocean when it arrived. As it arrived, I saw that the second unit, F40PH-2 #6401 was still in the Spiderman 2 livery.
I was in room 8 of Renaissance sleeper #7519, the last car on the train. The train departed after 6413 was tied onto the front. This would be the first time I had ridden on the Renaissance coaches since my friend Mark and I rode the Enterprise back in 2005.
A few minutes after we left Moncton, I heard the familiar sound of the Renaissance car’s suspension mechanisms that sounded like someone being choked to death! At some point, we passed a rail yard where I saw two SD70ACE’s on flat cars. The units looked like they were going to be exported somewhere. I was barely able to get a photo of one of the units.
Soon, it was time for dinner. I went into the dining car and saw that it had been remodeled from the Renaissance dining car that my friend Jason and I saw back when I took a trip on VIA’s Glenfraser lounge car. It looked much better. I took an interior shot of the diner.
Meanwhile, they showed the movie “The Terminal” in the service car in front of the dining car. Soon the sun went down.
At one point, I began to chat with the sleeping car attendant and told her I was a railfan. We talked a little about the Ocean and its equipment. I learned that VIA may sell the rooms in the Park car during the summer when Easterly Class, (First class on the Ocean) operates. Previously, the rooms went unsold. I told her I was planning on photographing the engines at Campbellton, our next smoking stop. She said it was fine and also told me that at Matapedia, we would combine with the Montreal bound Chaleur. We soon arrived at Campbellton and I got out and photographed the train.
To avoid the scare I got when I rode the Ocean last year, I boarded through the first open door between the second and third car. I found that on the coaches, the push button between the cars is stubborn and sometimes won’t open the door right away. I soon returned to my sleeper and let the attendant know I was done.
At this point, she told me to go see the coach attendant so I could photograph the combining of the Ocean and Chaleur. I walked down the platform and met with the attendant and so I temporarily downgraded to coach and took a seat in the first coach behind the baggage car for the 50 minute ride to Matapedia. The train soon departed, and we were held up for a few minutes by an eastbound NBEC freight. After, we headed out and soon arrived at Matapedia. I saw that the Chaleur was already there waiting. Our power disconnected and ran up to couple up to the Chaleur’s locomotive. I got out and took some photos.
I then walked over to the front of the Chaleur and took a photo of the locomotive and filmed the Ocean’s locomotives coupling up to the Chaleur.
I then walked to the end of the platform and snapped a photo of the Ocean’s locomotives.
I then headed back to the Ocean to wait for the Chaleur to couple up to the Ocean’s coaches. I stood in the doorway, staring at the last car of the Chaleur. It wasn’t moving. I stepped off the train and looked up into the sky and saw all the stars. The crew and I were getting impatient waiting for the Chaleur to couple up to us. One person said they couldn’t wait until the Chaleur and Ocean would run as a J-train so there would only be one coupling move.
Meanwhile, I walked back to the Chaleur to see what the crew was doing. After watching them climb into the cabs of some of the trailing locomotives, I also went inside the depot to get out of the cold. After I headed back onto the platform and as I started walking back to the Ocean, the Chaleur started moving. I hurried up and stood by the Ocean’s baggage car and filmed as the Chaleur backed up to the Ocean, then when the Chaleur coupled up to the Ocean.
I then boarded the Ocean. We departed shortly after 10:30 pm, running late. I asked for a wake up call for 7:30 am figuring we’d be 30+ minutes late into Montreal. I then got a glass of milk from the dining car then called it a night.
March 30, 2007:
I got my wake up call at 7:30 and found out we were 45 minutes outside of Montreal; we had made up a lot of time! I quickly dressed and headed to the dining car for breakfast. After breakfast, I filled out a customer survey ranking my trip excellent because it was. I then headed back to my room. The train stopped at Saint Lambert just as I finished. As the train passed VIA’s Montreal Maintenance Centre, I took a video and a photograph from my room.
I then changed my digital camera’s batteries. While I was getting the new ones, I missed filming Amtrak’s Adirondack. We soon arrived into Montreal two minutes late; not to shabby! As we arrived, I filmed an inbound AMT commuter train. After, I got off and took some pictures of the Ocean and the consist of train 57 which I would ride to Toronto. Leading train 57 was F40PH-2 #6412. That unit was on the Canadian on my last trip as well as on the Budd Ocean I rode last year.
I also saw Amtrak’s Adirondack, and took a picture. Unfortunately, it was blurry. I headed into the station and called home. Guess what? I got the answering machine again! I left one more message.
I then went to a Bell internet booth and used it for 10 minutes after paying a small fee. After, I bought a can of Pepsi from the variety store in the station I had visited two days earlier.
Train 57 soon boarded. I was seated in Hep2 coach #4101, an economy class coach. This was the only train I traveled in economy. I took a window seat on the left side of the train.
The train left on time. As the train departed, I tried to photograph the Adirondack, but again, the photo blurred. The train stopped in Dorval where I gained a seatmate. However, she didn’t stay long and moved to a new seat when we left Cornwall. I looked for the RDCs I saw two days ago, but I didn’t see them. One other thing was as we approached Cornwall, the conductor (who was new to the route) called out “Oshawa”!
Between Cornwall and Brockville, train 52 passed. I filmed it as it went by. When we got to Brockville, we ran past the platform then backed into the station. Between Brockville and Kingston, VIA train 56 passed us. I bought some lunch from one of the vendors. As we approached Kingston, the conductor again called out Oshawa. However, he caught his mistake and announced Kingston. Some of the other passengers and I had a laugh.
At Kingston, we arrived on the second track which I found to be unusual because westbound VIA trains typically arrive on the first track and eastbounds arrive on the second track. A few passengers got on and I once again gained a seatmate. However, this guy soon left for a seat in the last car which was two cars back because it was mostly empty.
We soon departed and after a few minutes, we were passed by VIA train 42 for Ottawa. The train stopped in Belleville. The stop was a quick one and we were soon underway. Between Belleville and Cobourg, we passed the Memory Junction railway museum, which I filmed as we went past. At some point around Port Hope, train 60 passed, but I didn’t see it.
We also passed train 44 for Ottawa. Soon, the train was approaching Oshawa. I took a few photos of some of the buses in the bus garage that’s visible from the train.
Train 57 stopped at Oshawa and Guildwood. I filmed train 64 passing us. I then photographed the TTC’s Greenwood subway yard. The train crew made an announcement that people continuing onto Windsor on train 75 could stay aboard since train 57 becomes train 75 upon arriving in Toronto.
Soon we were approaching Union Station. I filmed train 46 bound for Ottawa before we pulled into the station running about 13 minutes late. Once I got off the train, I took some photos.
I went downstairs
and waited at the baggage claim for the bag I checked yesterday at
This trip was enjoyable. My trip on VIA 1 was interesting, but possibly overrated. The sleeping compartments I had on both trains 14 and 15 were comfortable. Regardless of the equipment, I strongly recommend that train for railfans. I’ve found the crew to be friendly and professional. I especially recommend to ride the Ocean on days the Chaleur runs, especially during the off peak season when VIA combines it with the Ocean.
On May 2, 2007, the last Budd Ocean departed Halifax. Interestingly enough, just prior to my trip, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities ruled that the Renaissance coaches don’t meet their wheelchair accessible standards, so the cars will have to be modified. This means we may see Budd cars on the Ocean during the winter for some time yet.
So far 2007 is shaping up to be a good year and my next trip should be in about a month when I visit New York with my family and take a side trip on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Until next time…