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Montreal 2009/Westjet trip:

Montreal 2009/Westjet trip:

 

Prologue:

 

††††††††††† When I was going to SAIT, I flew home for Thanksgiving and Christmas on Westjet Airlines. Westjet started out as a budget airline flying within Canada, but has since expanded into the U.S. and the Caribbean. They also refurbished many of their planes with leather seats and Satellite TVs.

 

††††††††††† After I became disgusted with SAIT, I decided that I would fly with Westjet once more just to say I didnít need SAIT to fly Westjet Airlines. Eventually, I formed a plan to take VIA to Ottawa and fly Westjet home. However an opportunity came that was too good to pass up.

 

††††††††††† After my 2009 Halifax trip, VIA engineers went on strike for a couple days bringing their network to a halt. After they settled, VIA ran a 60% off sale. I took advantage of it by going to Montreal for two days then take VIA train 33 to Ottawa and fly home on Westjet. I figured to try to once again search for STM Classic #60-013 and ride around Montreal. Plus I would get to cover the trackage between Dorval and Alexandria which I had yet to cover. The trip unfolded as follows.

 

September 21, 2009:

 

††††††††††† My mom gave me a ride to Langstaff GO station shortly after 7:30 am. I decided to take the GO train down in case there was a large lineup for train 56 as many people took advantage of VIAís sale. My GO train arrived shortly after 8:00 and I photographed it as it arrived.

 

 

††††††††††† I boarded the train and we were soon off. We arrived into Union Station on time 35 minutes later. I took some photos after I got off. Unlike my Parry Sound trip, no GO Transit employees gave me problems. I think this may have to do with Bombardier taking over GO operations last year. However, this time, I took a later train than the one I took on my Parry Sound trip in 2008.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I went downstairs and bought a Pepsi from the Harveyís in Union Station. I then lined up for train 56. Boarding began around 9:15 am. Just like my Chaleur trip, train 56 was J-trained behind train 42 to Ottawa.

 

††††††††††† I was seated in LRC coach #3320; the last car on the train. I noticed that there were several empty seats. During my ride, I would not gain a seatmate despite the massive VIA sale.

 

††††††††††† The train left on time. When the train passed TTCís Greenwood subway yard, I filmed it.The train stopped at Guildwood. Outside of Oshawa, we stopped to let train 41 pass. When it did, I filmed it. We soon stopped at Oshawa and left. A little while later, train 53 passed but I was unable to film it.

††††††††††† The train stopped in Cobourg and Belleville. I filmed the Memory Junction museum when we passed. Later, VIA train 43 passed, and I filmed it passing.

††††††††††† The train stopped in Kingston. After we left, train 57 passed, and I filmed it. West of Brockville, the train stopped so 42 could be separated from 56.We then stopped at Brockville.

††††††††††† The train stopped in Cornwall. Soon, the train crossed into Quebec. I saw an AMT commuter train with an F59PHi and four former CP Galley commuter coaches with I filmed. The train stopped at Dorval. While we were stopped, I accidentally leaned on the open door button on the rear of the door at the back and the door opened! Fortunately there was a gate in case someone else pressed the button if the train was moving. The door soon closed automatically and I sat down. Fortunately no one said anything to me.

 

††††††††††† Train 56 soon departed. A little while later, we arrived into Montreal Central station on time. When I got off, I took some photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I went upstairs and I ended up hanging around Central station for a few minutes before I bought an STM day pass and headed to my hotel. Just like on my 2008 Adirondack trip and my Chaleur trip, I was staying at the Hotel Parc Avenue. Itís pretty cheap and located pretty close to downtown which is convenient.

 

††††††††††† I rode the Orange line to Mont Royal station and then waited for the first route 11 or 97 bus to take me to my hotel. When the bus arrived, I saw it was 1st generation Nova LFS #16-134. The first generation of the Nova LFS has been plagued with problems and STM is starting to retire them as newer LFSís arrive. I rode the bus to Parc Avenue and photographed 16-134.

 

 

††††††††††† I soon arrived at the Hotel Parc Avenue. This time, I had booked a better room for $60 per night. When I checked in, I was given an upgrade to an even better room for free! However, it was on the third floor and there was no elevator. I went up to my room and dropped my stuff off.

 

††††††††††† A little while later, I headed out. I saw a 1992 vintage Classic but I was unable to photograph it. I boarded a Nova LFS and rode to Place des Arts Metro station and rode to Angrignon to once again look for STM Classic #60-013.

 

††††††††††† 60-013 has the distinction of not being the last 1990 Classic in service; but it had been retired on three occasions and brought back into service. When I got to Angrignon, I photographed a Classic, but 60-013 didnít show up.

 

 

††††††††††† I then got on a bus and rode to the next major intersection which is by a mall, and photographed a suburban Orion 5 in the parking lot before I bought a bottle of Pepsi from a gas station.

 

 

††††††††††† I then headed back to Angrignon. I asked a supervisor if he knew where 60-013 was. He said it wasnít coming to a route that serves the station, so I got on the Metro and headed to Vendome. When I got there, I waited around for a little while to see if 60-013 would show, but it didnít. I filmed an AMT train arrive with a couple leased New Jersey Transit coaches in the consist. After awhile, I headed to Central station again.

 

††††††††††† When I got there, the Ocean was about to depart. I went outside to see it leave. I saw it was being led by one of VIAís rebuilt F40PH-2s; but I couldnít tell which one. At the time, F40s 6402, 6452, 6457, and recently 6454 were rebuilt. I also saw a Park car on the rear of the Ocean as Easterly (Tourist) Class was still being offered.

 

Hereís the unidentified Park Car.

 

††††††††††† I then went back inside and bought a ticket to Montpellier station on AMTís blue line. I then boarded a train and we soon left. Before we departed, I saw Amtrakís Adirondack arrive. The sun went down as we stopped at the two stops in between Central Station and Montpellier. When I got off, I took some photos and filmed the train departing.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then headed to the street and ran to board an STM Classic. It was a 15-000 series. I rode it to Cote-Vertu and had dinner at the nearby Taco Bell.

 

††††††††††† After dinner, I rode the Orange Line to Namur and visited the Wal-Mart near the station. I didnít buy anything though. Later, I rode to Snowdon and the blue line to …douard-Montpetit station. I noticed that STM was still running six car trains on the Blue Line. After I got off at to …douard-Montpetit, I filmed the train departing and then caught a bus back to Parc Avenue. I then walked back to my hotel. Along the way, I stopped at a nearby gas station and bought some cereal and milk for breakfast the next morning.

 

††††††††††† When I got back to my hotel, I watched TV for a little while before I called it a night.

 

September 22, 2009:

 

††††††††††† I got up shortly after 9:00 and got dressed. I then had breakfast. I then caught a route 535 to Place Des Arts and transferred to the green line. I rode to Lionel-Groulx where I transferred to the orange line. I then rode to Central Station. I got there just before train 61 was to start boarding and saw a huge line. I wondered if the Ocean and Chaleur were late and passengers were bumped to 61 like what happened to me on my Chaleur trip.

 

††††††††††† I bought a day pass and then rode the orange line to Namur. I looked around the area and had lunch at a Wendyís. I headed to Vendome and I also photographed a Third generation Nova LFS and a Classic.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then asked a supervisor if he knew where 60-013 was. He told me it wasnít due out today. I was disappointed thinking this was another washout because I didnít find 60-013 in March. I then got back on the Metro.

 

††††††††††† I rode the subway to Plamondon and as the train arrived, I filmed something I found interesting; the doors open before the train completely stops. I then filmed my train leaving. I left the station intending to catch a bus, but then I saw an ad for a Titanic exhibit. I decided right then and there to check it out.

 

††††††††††† First I had to get there. I didnít know how to get there. I asked two STM fare collectors at Plamondon, but they didnít know. I then rode the Metro back to Bonadventure and asked the fare collector there, but they didnít know either! I then looked on a Bell internet kiosk but couldnít get a definite answer.

 

††††††††††† I was about to take a taxi, though the driver didnít seem to have a clue also where to go when a woman told me where to go and that I could walk there.

 

††††††††††† I walked to the Titanic artifact exhibition which is located in an underground mall called the Eaton Centre through a series of underground pathways like the PATH system in Toronto, (not to be confused with the PATH trains in the New York/Newark area).

 

††††††††††† When I got there, I had to go up five floors and I paid to get an audio tour. On the back of my ticket was the name of someone on the Titanic. At the end of the exhibit, I would be able to tell if the person lived or died. When I went in, I found out I wasnít allowed to take pictures.

 

Since I couldnít take pictures of the exhibit, hereís the ad for it and my ticket.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I explored the exhibit. There was one part where you could touch an iceberg. At the end of the exhibit, I found out the person I had; Frank John Goldsmith was among the 1523 killed in the sinking.

 

††††††††††† I then went into the gift shop and bought a souvenir photo. I left the exhibit and walked to the Peel Metro station. I then rode back to Bonadventure and went out to look for an RTL 1990 Classic. A few minutes later, RTL Classic 9-046 pulled up on route 46. I photographed it before I got on.

 

 

††††††††††† I had bought an RTL six-ride card, but today was clean air day, so rides on RTL were free! I decided to save the card.

 

††††††††††† I rode 9-046 past Terminal Panama before I got off and filmed the bus pulling away. I was a little concerned because last summer, RTL ďrent-a-thugsĒ harassed fans to the point of threatening them. One of the fans was CPTDB user SMS who I met on my Chaleur trip for taking photos even though they were on public property. They complained and RTL apologized. This happened around the time I first started having problems with YRT drivers giving me trouble about photographing on public property.

 

††††††††††† Although this had been settled, another RTL driver harassed a bus fan who photographed his bus from public property and held up passengers for 25 minutes and called the cops. Four cop cars showed up, (talk about overkill) and the cops let the fan go no questions asked after cautioning the fan about photographing buses not knowing the driver was a wacko. However, the situation has been resolved. However, I kept my guard up.

 

††††††††††† After awhile, I caught a Nova LFS back to Terminal Panama. A few minutes later, RTL Classic #9-031 pulled up. I got on and went for a ride. I rode a few blocks further than when I rode 9-046. I filmed the bus pulling away.

 

 

††††††††††† I then headed back to Terminal Panama. I photographed Classic 9-006 on 46.

 

 

††††††††††† I then caught a Van Hool artic back to downtown Montreal. I then rode the orange line to Berri-UQAM station. I then walked over to the intercity bus terminal. I went there in case I was to take a bus out of Montreal to see how to get there for a possible future trip.

 

††††††††††† While I was there, I thought about how Amtrak used to have an overnight train called the Montrealler which the Vermonter took over and then lost the Canadian portion. I then had dinner in the cafeteria in the terminal.

 

††††††††††† After, I decided to ride STMís yellow line. When I got to the platform, I noticed they were running the older cars which usually run on the green line on the yellow line as well.I rode to Longueuil - Universite-de-Sherbrooke and went to the bus terminal. The bus terminal is expansive and almost feels like an airport terminal rather than a suburban bus terminal! This was the first time since my trip on VIAís Enterprise I took a ride on the yellow line.

 

††††††††††† I boarded an RTL Nova LFS and rode to Terminal Panama. I then boarded a Van Hool artic on route 45 and rode to Bonadventure Metro where I caught an orange line train to Mont-Royal station and boarded STM first generation Nova LFS #17-174 on route 97 back to my hotel. I photographed the bus after it looped.

 

 

††††††††††† I went back to my hotel room and watched TV for awhile. I then walked over to the gas station a couple blocks away and picked up some cereal and milk for breakfast the next morning. I then asked for a wake-up call at 8:00 am and called it a night.

 

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