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Johann Marsbar

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Everything posted by Johann Marsbar

  1. Next on the agenda was a day trip down to the Philadelphia area, this time using the somewhat cheaper local rail services for the journey rather than Amtrak. An NJT service to Trenton, NJ was caught early in the morning, propelled by one of their ALP-44 electric locos...... By this time, the ALP-44's seemed to be coming less common on services as the new Bombardier built ALP-46 locos were coming on stream. The final batch of those, delivered in 2011 would see the withdrawal of the last of the ALP-44 fleet, though several are still owned by NJT and are in storage in the wilds of New Jersey - heavilly vandalised - so will most probably end up being scrapped. From Trenton, I took the cheapest of the two routes to get to Philly - The River Line diesel light rail to Camden - 34 miles for $1.75 flat fare (!) and then PATCO subway into central Philadelphia ($2.00 or thereabouts). One of the limited sections of street running by the River Line can be found in the Camden area, between the Walter Rand Transportation Centre and the waterfront.... This part of Camden was in the process of a lot of redevelopment & "gentrification" at that time, the light rail being part of the plan. Once in Philadelphia, I purchased a days "Independence Pass" and caught the local R7 rail service out as far as Torresdale for a photographic session. On the high level platforms at 30th Street station, one of the elderly, ex PRR, Silverliner II cars is seen on a local service. This unit, I've just discovered, was written off in a fire at Overbrook five days after I took this photo! At Torresdale, there was just the standard procession of Amtrak passenger trains, such as this AEM-7 propelled southbound run..... as well as SEPTA electric units. However, I did drop lucky as an Amtrak MoW train, top & tailed by the normally elusive non-passenger Amtrak diesel locos, put in an appearance.... GP38 #720 of 1995 was leading..... ...with MP15 #578 of 2004 trailing... From Torresdale, I caught the route 66 trolleybus to Frankford TC and then the Market-Frankford Elevated right through to 69th Street Terminal in Darby for the Red Arrow Interurban line from there out to Media. A few of the Red Arrow lines cars are seen at 69th Street..... ..whilst another is seen in the long section of street trackage in downtown Media... After a visit to the Iron Hill Brewing premises in Media, it was back to 69th Street and then out on the High Speed line to Norristown, for the SEPTA local service back into the centre of Philly. I dropped lucky at Norristown, as a westbound NS freight put in an appearance whilst I was waiting on the station there..... Norristown is the current terminus of passenger service on this line, though there are plans for returning service out as far as Reading again - either by Amtrak, SEPTA or some other body. How long it will take to happen is another matter though....
  2. I certainly agree that there is quite a difference between what Americans and the likes of myself would consider as being "safe" areas, as that was something I came across starting from my second ever trip to the place back in 1983! I've always tended to go off the usual tourist trails over there - a trait of the hobby I suppose - and have been through some pretty dire areas in several of the major cities (and some small places as well) whilst travelling on the local public transport - again something the average visitor doesn't do over there - but I've never had any problems to date. I actually quite like Baltimore and have stayed there on two subsequent US trips (2014 & 2016) neither time hiring a car and just using public transport to get around. A lot of the City is particularly bad once you get away from the Inner Harbour area, but my walking route to the B&O museum seemed perfectly OK in 2009, particularly as I was busy taking photos in the various sidestreets at the time with a view to scratchbuilding/kitbashing older Eastern US properties of that type for my N layout..... ..and, in fact, the area looked quite clean and tidy with nobody loitering anywhere. I was quite surprised when told a couple of years back that it had become a "problem" area - apparently drug related in this case. Places can certainly change in the space of 13 years, and I am aware (from very recent filming posted online) that sections of downtown Portland, OR, that were a little bit "suspect" when I was there 5 years ago - but I still went through them on foot as no threat was percieved by me at the time - seem now to have become areas to avoid, and that is downtown, near Union Station and on the tram routes.....
  3. The next day saw a fairly early start for a day trip down to Baltimore on Amtrak. Since my previous stay there, M.B.Klein's model rail shop had moved out from its Downtown location to a new premises out at Cockeysville, conveniently a 5-10 minute walk from the Warren Road stop on the Light Rail route north of the city. Having missed a connecting car at Penn Station, I ended up walking to Mount Royal station, where a car is seen in the then new "Maryland flag" livery - a colour scheme since replaced.... The junction for the branch to Penn Station can be seen in the left background of the photo. North of the City, the light rail mainly follows the trackbed of the former Northern Central Railway (later PRR) en route to Hunt Valley, diverging from that route onto a new alignment near to Warren Road, the new trackage being seen in the photo below... Following a severe attack on the credit card at Kleins, I made my way back into the City centre and, following a visit to the Pratt Street Ale House, I walked out along the relatively short distance from there along Pratt St to the B&O Railroad Museum. Whilst it's only about a mile from the "Touristy" parts of central Baltimore and seemed OK to walk in 2009, I have since been told that it is not a safe place to walk nowadays - even in broad daylight..... There are local bus routes along there though, as evidenced by this fairly new (2008) New Flyer artic.... The B&O Museum at that time was still recovering from the catastrophic roof collapse that the main roundhouse building experienced during a major snowstorm in 2003 and some of the key items from their collection were still missing, being restored after being damaged during that incident. This meant there were several empty tracks in the roundhouse itself, space being taken by a selection of horse-drawn road vehicles that I couldn't recall seeing in there on previous visits. They have a superb collection of early steam locos, though some are replicas/rebuilds from later periods, although some of those are heading for 100 years old now. The "Atlantic", despite the painted date of 1832, is actually an 1893 rebuild of an 1836 (!) built loco, the 1832 version being scrapped in 1835....... (see what I mean!) B&O 0-8-0 #57 "Memnon" is a genuine 1848 loco however...... In the background, in a glass panelled "box", is B&O 2-6-0 "J.C.Davis" of 1875, displayed in "roof cave-in" condition - which included a smashed cab amongst other things. This has since been fully restored and is back on display again - without the glass surrounds. B&O 4-4-0 ~25, "William Mason" - built in 1856....... One of the post-WW2 French vans from the "Merci Train" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merci_Train that was sent from France in 1949, one van being presented to each of the 49 US States, though not all of them survive to this day.... CNJ diesel #1000 - Built 1925 and a 1910 built electric loco used in the Fells Point area of Baltimore until 1954....... Amongst the many items displayed outside the Roundhouse were B&O #3684, a GP40 of 1966........... and Western Maryland BL-2 #81 of 1948.... From there it was back into the City for a visit to the Brewers Art brewpub before catching the train back to Newark.
  4. Oakland, CA, seemed to be a main Port used by Matson..... The top one is actually the SS Matsonia, built in 1973 and powered by steam turbines. .
  5. Having found that I liked New York rather more than I was expecting to, I decided to return to that general area in late October of 2009. Best option appeared to be staying somewhere other than NY itself as prices were a lot lower, so after some weighing up of options I decided on Newark, NJ, not exactly high on most peoples lists as a holiday destination.... What turned out to be a very good hotel, the Robert Treat (Best Western), located less than 10 mins walk from Newark Penn Station was duly booked as part of a package on Expedia, with a Continental Airlines return flight from LHR to Newark. Whilst waiting for the flight at Heathrow, this retro liveried KLM aircraft put in an appearance..... Weather on arrival in Newark was fairly abysmal, with heavy rain, so I just caught the local bus into the City and after checking in at the hotel, limited my activities to just a visit to Penn Station to collect my Amtrak tickets for a couple of the days, which had been purchased online beforehand. The next day was equally as awful, so after catching PATH from Newark to Manhattan, I spent a lot of the time with a Subway day ticket covering some more of the lines on the system that hadn't been "done" on the June visit. The weather conditions that day are illustrated by this photo at Bedford Park Ave.... Thankfully it had eased by mid-afternoon, so I returned on PATH to Newark, stopping off at Harrison Station for some photos...... Nobody challenged me for taking photos, despite there being a "No Photographs" policy on PATH property by this stage. I didn't linger long, as there wasn't a lot of mainline activity passing the station at that time, so I carried on to Newark Penn. At Newark, NJT ALP46 electric #4603 is seen on a NYC bound service. These locos are based on the DB Class 101 electrics. Amtrak AEM-7 #936 comes off the substantial, multi-level, lift bridge to the north of Newark station.... ...as does HHP-8 #654.... From there i headed off to Woodbridge, where this NJT Electric unit is seen in the station there..... The former station building there is now the J.J. Biting Brewpub, which was my final destination of the day. They have an extensive G Scale rail circuit set up in the pub there at ceiling level to keep customers entertained as well!
  6. Motive power for the return journey back to South Norwalk had been changed to this fairly new (2008) CDoT Brookville built BL20GH diesel #130 - painted in the then standard "New Haven" styled livery that they were using. This has now been dropped and they have their own livery for locos & stock, albeit still using the black/white/orange colours.... Back at South Norwalk, after visiting a local pub for something to eat (who rather strangely had Boddingtons & Old Speckled Hen on tap...) some time was spent observing passing rail traffic, such as this Boston bound Acela...... An HHP-8 crosses the Norwalk River swing bridge on a westbound..... An easbound commuter run with Metro North stock behind another CDoT loco - in this case a P32ACDM, #230...... Some of the Metro North coaching stock was named, this one obviously being selected by a John Lennon fan..... After a final night at Branford, it was back to Boston the following day for the flight home, this HHP-8 being the loco hauling my New Haven to South Station service... As the flight home wasn't until the evening, I took a trip out to Framingham that afternoon where this pair of GP40-2's were stabled in the CSX yard..... After the 5 year gap of visiting the USA, I decided to make an effort to start going there on a more regular basis for my holidays, so a second visit in 2009 was soon being planned for later that year.
  7. There is obviously more than one of them.... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185397818937?hash=item2b2a923639:g:CH0AAOSwIYdiX-26
  8. Reminds me of a similar style wooden plaque on the wall of a Diner in Squamish, BC, about 20 years ago, which portrayed a North Staffs tank loco but described it as being built in "Stock", rather than Stoke (on-Trent). A pseudo-antique modern production......
  9. The last full day of the holiday saw a trip from Branford by rail to visit the Danbury Railway Museum, a fairly extensive collection of rolling stock, situated at the end of a passenger branch operated by Metro North from South Norwalk. In New Haven days the line was electrified, but its now diesel worked, though a lot of the former catenary masts remain in places along the route. The branch train is seen propelling into South Norwalk station ....... where a westbound EMU to NYC is seen arriving..... At Danbury, MTA #223, a P32ACDM is seen on the station loop..... The Museum itself had an interesting selection of stock, though the colours they were painted in didn't necessarily mean they were from that particular railroad! New Haven RDC-1 #32 dating from 1953.... New Haven FL9 #2006 of 1955. It's coupled to another FL9 which was painted in NYC livery by Metro-North for a line anniversary, but was always a New Haven loco.... An Alco RS-1 of 1948 in New Haven colours, which actually began life on the Illinois Terminal and was never owned by the NH....... Metro North Alco RS-3m #605 of 1952, originally DL&W and re-engined with a GM prime mover.... "New York Central #4096" - Actually a former Union Pacific E9A painted in NYC colours. This loco has since moved on to a location in West Virginia.... Boston & Maine Alco 2-6-0 #1455 of 1907...... and lastly, a former New Haven Mack railbus of 1954, one of 10 produced for branch services of which only one was ever used briefly before the whole lot were sold off due to Management changes at the Railroad. A few of these ended up in Spain where one is preserved.....
  10. I hadn't realised that the Falls of Clyde had deteriorated that much since I saw it in 2000.... It is supposedly coming back to Scotland to be restored at some point, though I hate to think what the transport costs would be, let alone the restoration work ! https://www.foci.scot/ .
  11. My base for the second part of the trip, Branford, was served by local trains on the Connecticut operated Shore Line East service, primarily using some ex Amtrak P40B-8's such as #834 which is seen passing Branford on a New Haven bound service..... These locos have been recently received a major overhaul/rebuilding and have finally lost the Amtrak livery that they carried (with SLE stickers) since they were purchased. A couple of their GP40-2H locos did put in appearances on the line whilst I was travelling, these being painted in a CDoT version of the McGinnis New Haven colour scheme.... The first two days based in Branford were spent making vists to New York, armed with day tickets on the Subway system. I was actually quite impressed with the Subway and made a start on covering all the lines Network during this visit. Some of the trackwork is quite complex, with express services on 4 track sections and some substantial multi-level junction arrangements at interchanges, like this one at Broadway Junction..... I did have a wander to the mouth of the Park Avenue tunnel on one of the mornings to observe traffic into Grand Central Terminal, though only EMU worked services were seen during my stay, both Metro North and Connecticut DoT...... A trip to Staten Island was undertaken to cover the Staten Island Railway service - nowadays worked by NY Subway stock, albeit some of the older ones left on the network, as seen by this train at Tottenville terminus.... Obviously the means of transport to get there was the Staten Island Ferry, one of the best free transport offers in the world.... En route, as well as the touristy sights like the Statue of Liberty, a good selection of shipping is seen, though this chap seems to have been a bit off course..... A couple of rather good pubs were discovered in NYC as well, with Mugs Ale House in Williamsburg being notable for somewhere that the price per pint actually dropped the more beers you bought!! Sadly, that is another place I've been to that seems to have shut in the past few years.
  12. The rest of the time in Boston was spent on either Tourist or Beer related visits, though I did go back and have a look at the Ashmont-Mattapan line one morning, which, by then, was being operated by a fully rebuilt compliment of PCC cars..... The area that the line ran through had become a lot more gentrified/populated as well since previous visits, as a lot of conversion work had been undertaken converting derelict/disused industrial buldings to residential accommodation, the Rapid Transit line being an important local amenity. Rather than go direct from Boston to where I was staying next - Branford, Connecticut - I decided to use the money saved from a night in a hotel to increase the coverage of the trip by catching the overnight train from Boston to Philadelphia, giving me most of the day free there before returning back north to Branford. A days "Independence Pass" was purchased for travel around Philly, the first destination being the recently reintroduced tram route 15 which used refurbished PCC cars...... I only took a short ride on the route that day, the whole route being covered several times on later trips. This line is currently shut whilst the PCC cars are rebuilt again. By this time their new trolleybuses had started operating on one of the routes out of Frankford Transportation Centre, so that was my next port of call, again for a run on part of the route out as far as Cotman Ave.... Access to both the PCC cars and the trolleybuses was made using the Market-Frankford Elevated, seen here running avove Frankford Ave near the outer end of the route...... The street below looks quite saloubrious in that photo, though it has declined a bit over subsequent visits. If you ever go to Philly, you do have to be very aware of your surroundings as the tram and trolleybus routes, along with the M-F elevated run though some rather "suspect" areas in the course of their journeys. I've not had any problems there, but some areas have declined considerably since the last time I was there in 2017. Going down to street level from the Elevated on Kensington Avenue nowadays isn't recommended, judging by some of the films on You Tube I've seen reference to of late..... I stayed on the M-F elevated through to its western terminus at 69th Street and caught the Norristown High Speed Line out to Radnor - rather a contrast to north-east Philadelphia ..... ...where it was a short walk through rather leafy surroundings to the SEPTA regional rail station on the former PRR Harrisburg (and west) main line. Whilst waiting for my inbound local train, an Amtrak AEM7 passed propelling a Harrisburg - Philly 30th Street service..... ..along with an outbound SEPTA local to Thorndale..... Back in the City Centre, I found this former Devon General Bristol VR..... ....before catching an Amtrak service north to New Haven and then a Shore Line East service to Branford, CT. I'd booked a Motel 6 in Branford and had printed off a map which showed its location in relation to the station, only to find that the scale appeared to have been measured with a rubber ruler and it was actually a longer walk than I was expecting!
  13. The next day of the trip was spent in Rhode Island - Providence and Wickford Junction being served by MBTA operated rail services out of Boston South Station, the train trip being the only rail activity seen all day. Rhode Island operates a very comprehensive bus service covering the whole of the State, so a day ticket ($5 or something like that) was used to travel down to Newport and back via two different bus route combinations. For anyone modelling the US scene, the photo below, taken in Providence, illustrates rather well the fact that the usual DPM/Wathers kits aren't a lot of good when you are modelling New England locations - as I do - albeit a ficticious location rather than one based on a particular place...... One of the RIPTA buses in the central bus station in Providence, in this case a 2005 built Gillig..... On arrival in Newport, the only evidence of the local tourist train operation was a solitary passenger car parked near the downtown area. The place is full of historic buildings, plus all of the large Mansions that are located along the shoreline. One unexpected item parked in a sidestreet was this Edsel Ford estate car.... The next day involved a return trip on the MBTA train service to Worcester, partly in the vain hope of actually seeing some Providence & Worcester Railroad activity - which, of course, I didn't - despite walking some distance from the centre (in the rain) to view their depot & yards. Worcester Union Station had been fully restored (at the cost of $32 Million) in the late 1990's and had a bus terminal added in 2006, the station frontage being seen below.... Some CSX traffic was observed whilst I was in the City - Worcester being the eastern limit for most of the freight traffic nowadays on the former Boston & Albany Line.... At that stage, there was just a single, low-level, platform available for use by the MBTA trains and the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited service...... ...but a new high-level platform is currently being built to the right of the train in the photo above which will serve two tracks. Considerable expansion is planned of MBTA services on the line which includes operating as far as Springfield, together with an increase in Amtrak services as well, hence the change from a single platform to two at Worcester Union. The following morning I got off the Red Line subway at Broadway station and walked onto an adjacent road bridge over the MBTA Cabot Yard where I was able to photograph a MoW diesel loco as well as a variety of Red Line rolling stock..... The 4 car unit (01480 etc..) dated from 1963 and had actually been transferred for MoW use at that time, the last examples in regular service being withdrawn in 1994. The mainline tracks leading into South Station can clearly be seen by the catenary portals visible in the background.
  14. It's back to the USA now for the remaining 18 (!) trips, some of them covering rather a lot of mileage in hire cars, but you'll have to wait until we get to 2011 before we start seeing evidence of those. For June 2009, I decided I wanted to return to Boston and then move on to somewhere which would give access to the New York area on a few days, this, and the next two trips, being undertaken by using Public Transport. Having read the antics of various people contributing to the Scoopergen website, there was a strong beer influence to all my US trips from this one as I had become quite interested in the rapidly growing Craft Beer scene in the US - particularly given what the beer was like for my first visits there in the 1980's! Mid June 2009 I duly flew out on a BA 747-400 from Heathrow direct to Boston, where I had reserved accommodation at the usual Motel 6 in Braintree. I was through the terminal at Logan Airport by early afternoon and then purchased a 7 day ticket on the Boston transport system for the grand sum of $15. I think on the previous visit, the 3 day "Tourist Ticket" actually cost more than that ! The first big change since 2004 that I found was the introduction of dual-mode trolleybuses on the Airport to Central Boston Silverline bus service, the vehicles operating in trolleybus mode between the World Trade Centre stop and Boston South Station via a tunnel....... That operation should have been replaced by now with battery buses, but they are late in being delivered so the trolleybus operation should last to August this year, if not longer. The next day I took a trip up to Portland, Maine, on the Amtrak Downeaster service - a route that had commenced operation after my last trip that was based in Boston. Amtrak #102 provided the (pushing) power for the train out of North Station............ ..whilst on the other end was one of their F40 diesels converted to a "Cabbage" car, containing Baggage space in the former engine area and also acting as a driving trailer for this service... In Portland, a visit was made to Gritty McDuffs pub in the Downtown area, plus I paid another visit to the Maine Narrow Gauge operation along the waterfront. A decent local bus service exists in the Portland area, with a very cheap day-ticket (as seems the norm in most US cities), and this was to be of use on a future visit to the City..... The next day saw a morning visit made to Ipswich, where MBTA F40PH #1006 is seen with a Boston bound service at the station..... ...and GP40PH-2 #1120 passes the Ipswich Co-Op Bank building with a northbound service to Newburyport..... Dring the late afternoon I finally covered the Green Line tram route out to Heath Street, where a one of the Breda Type 8 cars is seen prior to where it turns off Huntington Ave on to South Huntington Ave. From this point to Heath St loop, this is the only remaining real section of street trackage on the Boston System - the rest being in tunnel, central reservation or elevated. After that it was off to discover the delights of the much vaunted Sunset Bar & Grill in Brighton, this rather battered Kinki-Sharyo Type 7 car being seen near to the pubs location..... The pub itself had a mere 116 beers on tap, plus about 4 cask conditioned ales, not to mention around 180 bottled beers being available ! The food was rather good as well, but it appears the place has closed in the last few years.
  15. The last day of the trip saw us head back to Pearson Airport for the flight home, calling in first at Guelph Junction where we managed to see thepair of OSR locos based there putting their train together..... as well as some passing CP traffic.... From there we headed off to Bayview Junction where the recent 3-tracking works had opened up some different views of the junction area.... After that it was back to the airport, where we had time to cover the Doppelmayr cable operated transit service for the full length of the line.... ...before catching the overnight flight back to LHR. This photo taken whilst waiting for our departure is somewhat topical at the moment..... That concluded my last visit to Canada to date, and, after a couple of trips to South America (Argentina) in the following 18 months, a return to the USA was eventually planned for June 2009, the beginning of what became a fairly regular series of at least 2 trips a year there....
  16. The next day ended up as a tour of various Ontario Shortlines, although we started the day at Central Point, just outside London, where apart from a Windsor-Toronto VIA service, this CN eastbound freight was photographed with an IC SD40-2R in the consist..... We then headed off to the Ontario Southland Railway HQ at Salford, where we had pre-arranged a visit to their maintenance depot. Inside the shed (a bit cramped for photos) was this former TH&B EMD NW2 #51 of 1947... Rather better arranged for photos outside were MLW S-13 #501 of 1959 (ex PGE/BCR)..... GP7 #378 of 1952 (ex SOO/CP).... and MLW RS-18 #183 of 1968 (ex Inco).... From there we headed off for Tilsonburg and Woodstock, before ending up in Hamilton, where amongst other things, some Railink/Southern Ontario Railway (Rail America) power was found in a yard, including #1755, a GP10 of 1956 (originally PRR).... and this somewhat more anonymous GP9E #4200, new to SP in 1957, was engaged in some switching.... We then decided to head off up to Stratford to see if there were any locos out on test from EMD, as seen back on our trip in 2005. The afternoon Goderich-Exeter Railway freight was sitting in the station when we got there..... and there was a "loco" out on a test run, but not quite in the format we expected...... The unbodied locos out on test were apparently referred to by local railwaymen as "convertibles" and were normally tested in pairs, so why this one was solo was a bit of a mystery. We discovered that this "loco" was actually destined for KCS, and was likely to be the first of the batch that they were having built by EMD at that time. As we were staying in London, we did have a look to see what could be seen at EMD "from a public place", a nearby industrial estate giving a view of a new UP loco, lots of Class 66 bodywork parts, and, more interestingly, this SNTF diesel...... which is likely to be the only Algerian loco that I ever photograph!!
  17. Stuffed at Stouffville - Part 2.... Our first port of call on the Sunday was the York-Durham Heritage Railway, a line previously mentioned in this thread on my 2004 trip to Toronto where the train failed to appear at Stouffville and I had to abort any attempts to ride the line. With the car this time, we drove directly to their HQ at Uxbridge and two of us boarded the train there, headed by Alco RS-11 #3612 of 1956 , (ex DW&P/CV), whilst the other member of our group linesided the train and (eventually) picked us up in Stouffville. Other power in the yard at Uxbridge included #7801, an ex D&H Alco RS-3 of 1952.... and #22, an MLW RS-3 of 1955, ex Roberval & Saguenay.... The YDHR seemed to be cursed as far as I was concerned as the trip went perfectly well until it reached the GO Transit yard just outside Stouffville (GO run commuter trains M-F on the Stouffville-Toronto part of the line) where we ground to a halt. The traincrew went to change the switch to access the line into Stouffville and found they hadn't got a key for the padlock! Someone had put a different lock to normal on the switch, so after various calls to GO operations, someone eventually turned up with the right key and let us through. As this was (again) their first weekend of operation for the year, I can't help wondering if that is what had happened 3 years previous.... After a good 45 min+ delay, we eventually got into Stouffville station..... ...from where we headed off to the South Simcoe Railway. We had heard they had been having problems with their steam loco, so stopped at a crossing on the line near Tottenham to see what was running..... ...the answer being a former (original) Norfolk Southern GE 70 tonner of 1948 in pseudo CP colours. We therefore decided not to ride, but did call in at their Depot, where the 1883 built CP 4-4-0 that was operational on our 2001 visit was in a rather sorry state.... Thankfully it has since been restored again to operating condition. After that it was on to the Canadian Aviation Museum at Downsview Airport, where this replica Avro Arrow was on display.... The Avro Arrow story mirrored that of our TSR-2, with all the prototypes being ordered destroyed after the project was abandoned. The replica does incorporate some parts from the originals which were duly hidden away though! As we were staying for the next few nights in London, we made a brief call in at Bayview Jn en-route, where this former BC Rail loco put in a surprise appearance.... We were able to beat that train to a level crossing near Paris where we were able to photograph it again, it being followed by yet another Autorack train headed by CN #2592...
  18. Being a weekend, the next two days of the trip were mainly taken up with Preservation/Museum visits. The original plan was to atend the Niagara Falls Airshow on the Saturday, but a complete lack of any information about that event saw us drive to Orangeville to take a trip on the "Credit Valley Explorer" train that ran between Orangeville and Snelgrove, on the outskirts of Brampton. This has since closed and the line has been lifted in recent years. Motive power was provided by this Cando Contacting GP9, #1000, "Pride of Orangeville", hauling a rake of 3 former CN coaches..... The trip itself was quite a pleasant run, helped by the traincrew offering us all cab rides on the return journey from Snelgrove. The other two in the party did this for the Snelgrove to Inglewood section, Inglewood being a booked "leg streching" stop for passengers to decend on the local store for ice-cream, though the local Fire Station (also next to the rail station) had an open day the day of our trip, so a quick visit was made there as well..... I duly got in the loco cab for the run from there back into Orangeville..... From Orangeville, there was still time to make a visit to the Halton Radial Railway Museum for an hour or so, where their replica crossbench car of 1934 (based on the remains of an 1893 car) was one of the cars out in service... Other cars photographed were former Oshawa Railway works car #45 of 1925.... Toronto Civic Railway #55 of 1915..... and TTC (former Toronto & York Radial Railways) #416 of 1925 undergoing restoration...
  19. It is complete, and during the coming year a thorough survey of what work is required will be completed, with a view to restoration work starting in 2023, which just so happens to be the Centenary of the opening of the first trolleybus route in Ipswich and the 60th anniversary of the closure of the last routes. It is likely that restoration to working order will be carried out, subject to funding being available, and we are still trying to ascertain what work Ransomes did on it themselves in the early 1980's as part of an earlier, abortive, attempt to do just that - we now understand the traction motor was overhauled at that time. Otherwise, the vehicle is in as withdrawn condition (1953) and hasn't had any work done on it since then. At least,as a single decker, it is able to be transported on a low-loader, so any of the museums with wiring - Sandtoft, Beamish (by the time the bus is finished), Black Country Museum & Carlton Colville would be possiblities. As an indication of costs, the tyres, which are a non-standard size nowadays, are apparently still available, but you are looking at paying £1100 for each new tyre!
  20. The following day we left Whitby and headed north-west around the top of Toronto with the intention of intercepting the daily Ontario Northland train en-route to Cochrane. We settled at a level crossing on Herold Road, well out in the countryside, and after a bit of a wait the train duly appeared behind GP38-2 #1800, hauling power unit #205 and 3 former GO Transit commuter coaches... From there we continued west, pausing at Newmarket to get some photos of York Regional Transit buses.... and then heading off to try and intercept the daily Guelph Junction Railway train leaving the Junction. This short VIA Toronto to Sarnia train was seen on the way there at Crewson's Corner... Needless to say, by the time we got to Guelph Jn the train had already left ans a rather fruitless search of the Guelph area followed trying to find it, before we gave up and went back to Guelph Junction for a few hours. These two CP GP9u's were the first thing we saw on arrival..... ...before we parked up by the junction proper to observe passing traffic. Another Railfan was present and he told us a pair of UP "Green Goat" switchers were ecpected to pass in a train at some point, following their exhibition somewhere in Toronto. We hung around for a while and this westbound behind another pair of GP9u's turned out to be the last train we saw there that day - Note the skies are darkening...... We didn't have the car radio on, so were blissfully unaware of a local Tornado Warning being in force (!) and the next thing we knew the car was shaking violently and sheets of timber were being drawn skyward from the timber yard opposite, followed by about 40 minutes of torrential rain! We must have caught the edge of something passing nearby and subsequently found that all rail services had been stopped due to the warning. When nothing else appeared, we gave up and headed off to "Noseworthy's Bridge" (Snake Road) at Bayview Jn where it was equally quiet, until this pair of CN locos appeared - possibly doing a check that the lines were clear from any obstructions..... Note the increase to 3 tracks since the 2005 trip. Apart from the CN locos, all we saw were seriously delayed VIA & GO services, such as this one behind the Quebec Lottery F40......
  21. The day in Toronto was a reprise of the ones in 2005 with the GO Transit Lakeshore service being used from Whitby. At the bus stands outside the station, the new ownership by Durham Region Transit was obvious on the rear side panel of this 1992 built MCI though it still retained full Whitby Transit livery with the former fleetname just blanked out/removed.... As our train was pulling out of the station, we passed a couple of CN GP9RM's at the head of a westbound local.... On arriving in Toronto Union, we discovered that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had got there before us.... The rest of the day was spent touring the City - mainly on the tram routes, though some GM "Fishbowls" were included, along with the statutory visits to George's Trains and Granite Brewing! On one of our tram route trips, we ended out at Russell Carhouse where a member of staff saw us photographing trams there and invited us in to inspect the two PCC cars based there...... One had been out in service the previous day (6th June) which seemed to be a common occurence there at that time. More mainstream passing vehicles were also photographed.... ...and towards the end of the day, we made our way back to the Centre for a visit to the C'est What? pub prior to catching our train back to Whitby. As we were walking to the pub, this former Portsmouth open-top Atlantean (with Bournemouth blinds) put in an appearance...
  22. There's about 3 hours worth of postings vanished in the past hour or so, as can be seen in the gap on the "view new content" records. I posted on the bus thread at about 13.30 and then got notification of a reply to it - but that was actually a reply I had already seen at about 08.00 this morning to an earlier post on that thread! Luckilly I'd still got the (reduced file size) photos to hand, so it was an easy job to repost them....
  23. Thankfully the poor weather that had hindered our activities for a couple of days had by now cleared away and we woke the next day to brilliant sunshine to start with, albeit with lower temperatures. First point of call was the set of locks on the Rideau Canal at Kingston Mills, which are actually adjacent to the CN main line, though rail photographic opportunities are a bit restricted there, even if we did see a number of trains pass, including an Illinois Central SD40-2 on one of them! Another Blockhouse guards the canal there..... ...though this one was open to visitors and you could see the conditions that the British troops lived in during the 1830's..... ....and the sunshine showed the landscape to its best effect..... It soon clouded over, and we decided to move on to another location, not far away, on Station Road, where a better view was available of the CN line. The first train to appear was the 09.35 Ottawa to Toronto service, behind #6406, which was still carrying its "Spiderman" livery...... We didn't see that one as many times on this trip, it seemingly being the Quebec Lottery "Oeufs d' Or" liveried one that was to follow us around in 2007. Another train that appeared whilst we were there was this eastbound behind GP38-2's 4700 & 4710... We then moved further west to a crossing in Bath where this westbound appeared.... An eastbound passenger train blocked the view of the end of this train, but, luckilly one of our number was on the other side of the line and told us what we had missed, so we headed straight off in the car and managed to get in front of the train again west of Belleville and were able to see the object in the middle of a group of autoracks! The RDC was one of the ones (#6205) used on the Sudbury-White River service so had presumably been somewhere out east for maintenance work. Always expect the unexpected!! After calling in to the RCAF museum at Trenton to see their restored Halifax bomber - one recovered from a lake in Norway in the 1970's... ..we continued west to Whitby, where we were again spending a couple nights to allow a full day in Toronto without the car. En route we stopped off at various lineside locations and also paused at Brighton to photograph the CN (former GT) 2-8-0 that was outside the railway museum there (the museum itself was closed that day). The place has since closed and the stock displayed there has moved on elsewhere.
  24. The weather was still a bit miserable the following morning when we left our hotel and ventured back into Quebec, briefly, to see what was happening at the Hull, Chelsea & Wakefield tourist operation. The days excursion train was being prepared for departure, and former SJ Class E2 2-8-0 #909 and built in 1907 - now converted to oil firing - was moving around the station area... The passenger coaches came as a job lot from Sweeden as well...... ...and there was a former SJ class T43 diesel in the loco shed as well. We didn't bother to have a ride on the line and instead contInued quickly back into Ontario, before pausing at Merrickville to have a look at the Locks and Blockhouse on the Rideau Canal there.... ..and we did observe CP GP38-2 #3057 passing on a local freight whilst looking at the flight of locks.... Merrickville was an interesting place and I discovered a model rail shop (Larkspur Models) in a small shopping mall in the town centre. We also had an interesting chat with the chap who was manning the Friends of the Canal centre by one of the locks, who was originally from the London area and who told us about his schoolboy spotting days, observing things like the LMS Turbomotive and USATC 2-8-0's...! After lunch, we moved on and called in again at Smiths Falls, where CP GP38-2 was switching in the yard.... ...and CEFX #1034 was leading a freight awaiting departure... Following some more linesiding at New Dublin and Gananoque, we eventually arrived at Kingston and checked into our Super 8 for the overnight stop. The centre of Town wasn't that far away (about a mile), so after a walk, we were able to see former CP #1095, a CLC product of 1913, on display by what was the former Kingston & Pembroke railway station.... We also were able to see two of the four Martello Towers in the area as well.... ...before spending the rest of the evening in the premises of the Kingston Brewing Company - sampling Cask Conditioned Dragons Breath Ale (OG 1049) amongst other products, including a very nice meal. They had this International van parked out the front as well.....
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