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VIA Rare mileage trip:

VIA Rare mileage trip:

 

Prologue:

 

††††††††††† At the November TTS meeting, I learned that on the weekend of November 30-December 1, the line that VIA trains that run between Toronto and Windsor would be shut down so a bridge could be torn down over the line. The GO trains that normally use the line would be canceled for the weekend. Some VIA trains would be rerouted onto CNís Halton subdivision which does not see regular passenger trains.

 

††††††††††† Initially, I was to be working that weekend, but on the Thursday before, my mom said I could have the Sunday off. I decided to take advantage of it. My initial plan was to ride train 73 over the rare mileage and return the same day. Unfortunately, train 73 was sold out. I devised a plan to head to Union station after work and ride train 79 to London. I would spend the night with my uncle before catching train 72 back home the next day. The trip unfolded as follows.

 

November 30, 2013:

 

††††††††††† I got off work a few minutes before 4:00 pm. I went across the street to catch a bus to the subway. I just missed the #77. I ended up taking VIVA Purple to York University. When I was waiting for the bus, I saw that VIVA Orange which usually goes to Downsview subway station was cut back to York University during off peak times. With this cutback, they might as well cut the whole route to rush hour since service is duplicated by Brampton's ZUM service. I also photographed YRT Van Hool A330 #501, a former VIVA bus which had been converted for regular YRT service. I could also make out part of its former VIVA number.

 

 

††††††††††† I went to catch a TTC bus to the subway, but just missed the most direct route. I ended up taking the route #106 to Downsview which was a long and indirect. My bus also kept hitting red lights but I eventually made it to Downsview. I then got on the subway and rode to Union and made it there just after 5:30 pm; over 90 minutes before train #79 was scheduled to depart.

 

††††††††††† I worked on this report for a few minutes before I lined up in the queue line for train #79. I was the first passenger not requiring special assistance in the cue line.

 

††††††††††† Boarding began shortly after 6:40 pm. I was seated in LRC coach #3356, an unrebuilt LRC coach. I saw train 76 on the platform next to us having arrived from Windsor by way of the diversion.

 

††††††††††† The coach was quite full and I got a seatmate right away. The train left on time. As we departed, I filmed the equipment from train #76. On our way out of Toronto, we took the line normally used by the Kitchener GO train line and the trains that head towards Sarnia.

 

††††††††††† Dinner was being served by the attendants. I bought dinner as she came past me. As the train passed though Brampton non-stop, I could see the Christmas lights at a park near the station. They looked really nice. Last year, the TTS chartered a Brampton Transit Orion 5 for the purpose of seeing the Christmas lights.

 

††††††††††† As the train passed the Brampton station, I saw a GO bus in the new livery.

 

††††††††††† The train passed through Georgetown. My ticket was taken. This was the first trip I had used E-tickets. VIA had been using E-tickets for over a year, but I've been using the traditional paper tickets on my previous VIA trips.

 

††††††††††† Even though it was dark, I eventually saw that the train was on the Halton subdivision and passing through Burlington. A few minutes later, we stopped at Aldershot. We departed Aldershot running 49 minutes late.

 

††††††††††† A little while later, we stopped at Brantford. As we departed, a freight train passed us. A little while later, VIA train 78 passed.

 

††††††††††† The train stopped at Woodstock. The train had lost more time. The VIA crew announced that we would be entitled to get 50% on future trips because of the lateness cause by the detour. At least it's easier for me to use the voucher with VIA than with Jetblue! However, like I said, I had gone on this trip because of the detour.

 

††††††††††† A few minutes later, we stopped at Ingersoll. Just before we arrived, a VIA employee made a garbled announcement for humor. Another VIA employee made a clearer announcement for Ingersoll. We soon departed Ingersoll.

 

††††††††††† We were soon approaching London. I phoned to make sure my uncle would be there to meet my train would be there. I was told he would be.

 

††††††††††† Train #79 arrived into London 65 minutes late. I got off and took some photos.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I went inside the station. I met my uncle inside. I would be staying with him this time. I then went and photographed the locomotive of train 79.

 

 

††††††††††† I then filmed the train pulling out. I then photographed the equipment for train 80 to Toronto the following morning.

 

 

††††††††††† I then went with my uncle and we went to his house. I told my uncle about my saga with Jetblue. My uncle told me about an experience on a flight from the Canary Islands to Spain on Iberia Airlines. As he described it, the flight was like ďAnimal HouseĒ with people drinking their Duty Free booze and one person playing a guitar!

 

††††††††††† We eventually got to his house. I got settled and phoned home. I worked on this report some more. I eventually set the alarm on my phone before I called it a night.

 

December 1, 2013:

 

††††††††††† I got up at 9:00 am and had breakfast. After, I got dressed and finished packing.

We left shortly after 10:00 am. My aunt and uncle gave me a ride to the VIA station. I got there just before 10:30 am; 30 minutes before train #72 was scheduled to depart.

 

While I was at the station, I saw on CP24 that a Metro North commuter train had derailed in the Bronx. There were fatalities in that accident as well.

 

Via train #72 ended up arriving 15 minutes late. When it pulled in, I photographed it.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† The equipment was the same as the train I had arrived into London on. I was seated in LRC coach #3336, another unrebuilt coach. I got a window seat on the right hand side of the train. I gained a seatmate right away. The train departed 15 minutes late. Shortly after we departed, I logged into VIA's Wi-Fi. I also photographed various CN diesels in a yard.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† The train picked up speed. I bought lunch. I got a new $10 bill as my change. The new $10 bill has a picture depicting the Canadian.

 

††††††††††† We passed through Ingersoll and a few minutes later, we stopped at Woodstock. When we left, we moved a few feet and then stopped again. A westbound CN freight passed. We were soon underway.

 

††††††††††† A little while later, we stopped at Brantford. At Brantford, I saw a CN GP38-2w with faded paint in the yard. We departed Brantford a few minutes later. East of Brantford, my ticket was finally taken!

 

††††††††††† We passed over Highway 403 on the outskirts of Hamilton.We passed through Bayview Junction and stopped at Aldershot a few minutes later. We sat at Aldershot for several minutes before we departed.

 

††††††††††† We were still 15 minutes late at this point. We then curved onto the Halton subdivision. I kinda wish we had a dome car on this train! I took some photos from the window during the detour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† The Halton subdivision isn't very scenic, though we did pass over a bridge.

 

 

††††††††††† I continued to take pictures from the train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† At one point, we passed a yard with some Orion 7 NG buses in it, but I was unable to photograph it. However, it was not too far from a Taco Bell I've eaten at a couple times on the way to the Halton County Radial Railway Museum, so I may be able to go back in a couple weeks.

 

††††††††††† The train passed by a prison and under Highway 401.We passed a Sperry Rail truck by a railway crossing.

 

††††††††††† VIA train 73 passed on the opposite side of the train so I was unable to film it. I did notice that it was running as a J-train with the equipment for a train tomorrow morning from London coupled to the rear. When I had seen #73 previously on Sundays, the train that was coupled had its last coach coupled to the rear of #73 instead of the locomotive.

 

††††††††††† The train passed over a bridge.

 

 

††††††††††† Eventually, we exited the Halton subdivision and passed the Georgetown station. I saw a couple GO trains parked in the yard awaiting Monday's morning rush hour.

 

††††††††††† East of Georgetown, a freight train passed. The then passed through downtown Brampton. East of Brampton, we were passed by GEXR freight. The GEXR owns the line through Kitchener that VIA uses.

 

††††††††††† I saw a crane on a siding east of the Bramelea GO station, but was unable to photograph it.We passed by Mississauga Transit's Malton garage where I caught a glimpse of some retired D60LFs. We also passed the spur where the Union-Pearson {airport} express train will diverge from the main line. Service is to start in a couple years and will run frequently.

 

††††††††††† At one point, I could see excavation for the Weston tunnel with is being built to separate the line from railway crossings for the new Union-Pearson express.

 

††††††††††† The train slowed as we crossed over St. Clair Avenue and over the CP diamond. We were soon getting close to Toronto Union station. I readied my stuff in preparation to get off.

 

††††††††††† As we approached Union station, I filmed a couple VIA trains in the station as we arrived 53 minutes late. I then got off and took some photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then went downstairs and phoned home. I then got on the subway and rode to Finch where I was met by my sister and then headed home.

 

Conclusions:

 

††††††††††† This was my first rare mileage trip ever! Iím glad I got to go on this overnight trip. I donít know how Iíll use the voucher from VIA, but Iím sure Iíll find a way.

 

††††††††††† As for me, now I can officially say Iím done traveling in 2013. Iíve got a couple trips planned for 2014 involving Amtrak, but Iím sure that I can get onto VIA at some point. Until next timeÖ