††††††††††† In June of 2012, VIA Rail announced several cutbacks as a result of the Canadian government cutting VIA funding. Some of the trains affected were the Canadian going from three times weekly to twice weekly during the winter as well as the Ocean going from six times per week to three times per week during the off season.
††††††††††† Other cutbacks were in the Quebec
City-Windsor corridor. VIA would be cutting trains 90, 92, and 95 between
††††††††††† However, another two trains that
were affected were VIA trains 85 and 88 between
††††††††††† My plan was to ride to
††††††††††† I left home around . My mom gave me a ride to Finch. I went into the station and bought a can of Pepsi because I was thirsty. I headed onto the platform. I saw that a train of T-1 subway cars was leaving next, but the train after was an H-5. I decided to wait and take the H-5 as they are starting to become rare. Before my train left, I saw the first set of Toronto Rocket subway cars pull in on the opposite track.
††††††††††† My train departed and we arrived at Union Station about 30 minutes later. I filmed the H-5 train I had ridden on pulling out. I also photographed another H-5 train going North as well as the first Toronto Rocket train when it pulled in.
††††††††††† I then headed to Union Station.
Before lining up for train 85, I walked over to the skywalk and photographed
the Canadian after it arrived from
††††††††††† I then walked back and joined the
cue line for train 85. Boarding began after . When I got to the platform, I saw the
Canadian had left for VIA's
††††††††††† Train 85 departed on time. 12 minutes later, we slowed down. VIA train 84 passed but I was unable to film it.
††††††††††† After we crossed over the CP main line, we picked up speed. As we passed through GO Transit's Weston station, I saw an ex GO Transit 1400 series coach in a lot near the station, but I was unable to photograph it.
††††††††††† I bought lunch when the attendant
came by with the food cart. We stopped at
††††††††††† We passed through
††††††††††† We passed by a grain elevator that had a Chinese lantern hanging from it for some reason. I could hear someone playing Angry Birds on their cell phone near me; I recognized the theme.
††††††††††† Outside of
††††††††††† The train stopped at
††††††††††† Even though train 85 doesn't have WI-FI, my seatmate managed to find a network so I logged in too. The train stopped at St. Marys. We soon departed and picked up speed. I noticed the track was a bit rough. We seemed to kick up dust. I saw a fox in a farmer's field.
††††††††††† Later, I could see
††††††††††† A few minutes later we stopped at
††††††††††† We soon took the branch of the line
that leads to
††††††††††† The train passed through Strathroy non-stop. The station in Strathroy isn't staffed and so presumably no one wanted on or off the train, so we kept going. We picked up speed again.
††††††††††† As we passed through a crossing, I
saw someone with a camera. I wonder if he's a railfan trying to get some last
photographs of trains 85 and 88 west of
††††††††††† From the train, I could see a wind
farm with four wind turbines, but only three were spinning. We also passed a
field with lots of solar panels. We passed a Procor plant on the outskirts of
††††††††††† Train 85 arrived into
††††††††††† I have now ridden VIA's whole Quebec
City-Windsor Corridor. I left the station and phoned my mom to let her know I
††††††††††† I went out looking for a bus stop to try to ride Sarnia Transit. It took me a little while, but I found a bus stop. While I was waiting for a bus, I photographed an EZ-rider going the other way.
††††††††††† I walked over to a convenience store and bought something to drink. I walked back to the stop. The bus soon arrived. It was a 30 foot SLF. York Region Transit had retired their SLF fleet in 2010 so it was good to ride one again. However, I was more interested in seeing if I could ride a Sarnia Transit Orion 1.
††††††††††† I rode the SLF to a terminal downtown and photographed it.
††††††††††† I then photographed a Sarnia Transit 30 foot Orion 5.
††††††††††† YRT had retired their only 30 foot Orion 5 back in 2009. However, I was more interested in an Orion 1. As luck would have it two showed up! I photographed them before I got on the lower numbered Orion 1 which was #041.
††††††††††† I then rode 041 to the
††††††††††† I waited for a route 1 bus to go back to the VIA station. The SLF I rode earlier showed up and I photographed before I got on.
††††††††††† The bus soon departed. From the bus, I saw Sarnia Transit 30 foot Orion 1 #13 but was unable to photograph it.
††††††††††† At one point the bus was on a four lane road. A grey SUV pulled up and the driver started talking with the driver of the bus! I think they were related. At one point, the driver of the bus actually got our of the bus to have a conversation with the driver of the SUV who was still stopped beside the bus! I didn't photograph that, but thought that if this had been a TTC bus, someone would have.
††††††††††† In 2010 and 2011, several TTC
employees had been photographed doing stupid things like sleeping on the job or
texting while driving a bus! The transit union representing TTC employees
blamed the people taking pictures leading to some confrontations between me and
some TTC employees. However, it's important to note that the TTC never
banned photography as a result. It is still completely legal to photograph
TTC vehicles for non-commercial reasons as it always was so I had a HUGE
LOOPHOLE. That may have been a factor in the incident involving the driver of
TTC fishbowl #2855 which led me to my
††††††††††† I got off and filmed the SLF before
I walked back to the VIA station. I had 90 minutes before my train to
††††††††††† I then went onto the platform of the
station. The equipment from train 85 had been wyed and was sitting in a siding
just east of the station. It would become that evening's train 88 back to
††††††††††† I then went back inside the station and worked on this report until just before . I then went outside the station. About 30 minutes before the train's scheduled departure, the equipment was backed into the station. I filmed the train backing in and then photographed the whole consist.
††††††††††† Boarding began about 15 minutes before the train departed. Once again, I was in HEP2 coach #4120. The HEP on the train kept cutting out briefly, but soon it stopped.
††††††††††† Train 88 departed on time at . If you ask me, is an odd departure from an origin station. I know this train used to be the International, but VIA's changed the schedule for the train a few times since they assumed operation of the Toronto-Sarnia portion of the route in 2004. VIA could have changed train 88's departure time to or ; a 2-3 minute difference.
††††††††††† Once we were beyond the CN yard, the
train really picked up speed. After awhile, we were in farmland. The train
††††††††††† A little while later, we stopped at Strathroy. We picked up a couple passengers at Strathroy before we departed. We picked up speed again.
††††††††††† We slowed down as we passed over the CP diamond. Once we were past the diamond, we picked up speed again.
††††††††††† Soon, we were approaching
††††††††††† Train 88 arrived into
††††††††††† I then sprinted a block east to
catch train 88 as it departed. While waiting, I saw the equipment that will
become tomorrow's train 86 to
††††††††††† I took one photo of the rear of train 75 before I filmed train 88 departing. I then photographed train 86.
††††††††††† I sprinted a few blocks west and
filmed train 75 as it departed
††††††††††† I then walked a few blocks and had
dinner at a McDonald's at
††††††††††† I caught a D40i on route 2. While I was on the bus, a loud man got on and pointed out how a girl seated behind me had a large tattoo on her thigh. He said that this was the party bus. Some passengers and the driver were a bit annoyed with him, but the driver wasn't annoyed with him to the point of making him get off the bus. When this man did get off the bus on his own initiative, many people were relieved.
††††††††††† Like when I visited
††††††††††† I had quite a time trying to get the WI-FI working in my room, but it eventually worked. I went online while I worked on this report some more.
††††††††††† After I went out and got some milk from a nearby Tim
Horton's. The person who took my order noticed the shirt I was wearing which
was what I had bought on my Washington-Cleveland trip at the
††††††††††† Once I got back, I worked on this report for a few more minutes before I set the alarm on my phone for and called it a night.
††††††††††† I got up around and got dressed. I went to the lobby for breakfast. After breakfast I worked on this report and finished packing. I then checked out of my motel and caught a bus downtown. I got off and stopped at a TD Canada Trust and withdrew money from an ATM.
††††††††††† I then headed to the VIA station making a detour though a mall. I arrived just under an hour before train 72 was scheduled to depart.
††††††††††† I logged into the WI-FI service in the station and worked on this report some more.
††††††††††† While I was waiting, I saw an eastbound CN freight pass. I got ready to board train 72 which was expected to be on time.
††††††††††† Train 72 arrive behind F40PH-2 #6404. I photographed it before I got on.
††††††††††† I was seated in LRC coach #3368, an unrebuilt coach. There were no rebuilt coaches in the train. The train departed one minute late. We passed behind the London Transit bus garage.† Moments later, I saw three tank car bodies on their sides but I was unable to film them.
††††††††††† The train passed through Ingersoll non-stop. A few minutes later, we passed a westbound CN freight.
††††††††††† A little while later, we stopped at
††††††††††† Outside of
††††††††††† A little while later, we passed over
highway 403 and passed through Bayview Junction on the outskirts of
††††††††††† I attempted to film train 73 as it
passed by. A few minutes later, we stopped at
††††††††††† Later when we passed VIA's
††††††††††† Soon, we were approaching
††††††††††† Train 72 arrived into Union Station 13 minutes late. I got off and took some photos.
††††††††††† I then took a photo of the new roof being built over a portion of Union Station as well as one last shot of train 72.
††††††††††† I then went downstairs and headed to the subway. I rode a train of T-1 subway cars to Finch. I then caught a VIVA bus back home.
††††††††††† Despite the reasoning behind why I
took this trip, it was enjoyable. I liked getting to ride an Orion 1 and an SLF
††††††††††† All three train rides were
uneventful. My stay in
††††††††††† As for me, Iím looking into my next trip some point in August. Until next timeÖ