Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Transport: A Train A Day

My first train of the month was GO Transit train #254 from Bramalea to Toronto, Ontario passing through the construction site at West Toronto on 1-September-2009.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - This past month, I made a decision I had never made before. I decided I was going to see and "log" at least a train a day every day for the month. I had set similar goals on vacations before, but I had never kept up such a streak for an entire month.

My most frequently seen train of the month was Canadian Pacific's "Streetsville Turn," seen here heading west at Royal York in Toronto, Ontario with rare "Gen-set" locomotive 3GS21B #2100 leading on 4-September-2009

It's fairly common to end up seeing more than one train when setting out to see one, but I would not have predicted that the train count would be 78 for the month. 36 were GO Transit commuter trains, 21 were Canadian Pacific freight trains, 19 were VIA Rail Canada intercity passenger trains, and 2 were Canadian National freight trains. The most frequently-seen single train was Canadian Pacific's often-short Streetsville Turn local freight, seen seven times, though arguably the GO Transit trains were the fixture of the month, as they all look the same expect for having 10-car or 12-car lengths and having F59PH's or MP40PH-3C's for power.

The "Prince Albert Park" sleeper-lounge-dome-observation car carried the markers of VIA's premier train, the "Canadian," as it headed to the yard after its arrival at Toronto's Union Station on 17-September-2009

Unsurprisingly, I saw the most trains (28) around Union Station, where in one instance I arrived ten minutes early to see a specific train and ended up seeing eleven movements. The most interesting trains were VIA's "Canadian" transcontinental train, which runs only three times a week and features multiple dome cars, the Canadian Pacific train that ran out of gas already featured on this blog, and the GO Transit trains that detoured on a normally freight-only line because of fire hoses over their normal roue.

My final train of the month was Toronto-Chicago train #243, seen passing the old Lambton station site in Toronto on 30-September-2009

I can now say that I've gone an entire month seeing at least a train a day, but I'm unlikely to try any such thing again. It was clearly a waste of time to head out in light rain just to catch a GO train going by in poor photographic conditions. Quantity is over-rated, and I'm back to pursuing quality again.

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