Saturday, January 1, 2011

Transport: New Year's On a Train

Wilson Lau, Dan Garcia, Michael Guy, and Arno Martens of the Toronto Railway Historical Association posed in front of the GO Transit locomotive that carried them to Oshawa, Ontario on 31-December-2010

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Yesterday, GO Transit offered free service on its commuter trains after 19:00 to discourage drunk driving on New Year's Eve. A group from the Toronto Railway Historical Association decided to take advantage of the policy to mark the turn of the year on-board a Lakeshore East GO Train.

This wasn't the first time I had celebrated the New Year aboard a train. As 2006 turned to 2007, I was aboard VIA Rail Canada's "Canadian" eastbound across northern Ontario. As the "Canadian" is a first-class train (at least in the sleeper section), that was a real celebration, with champagne served as the train rolled through the darkness of the Canadian Shield.

Last night, our group of five people from the TRHA had to develop our own celebration. A vice president brought spanakopita and various other finger foods, another brought homemade cookies, and there was plenty of chocolate to go around. We caught train #934, departing Union Station at 22:13 for Oshawa, Ontario.

Wilson Lau, Dan Garcia and Michael Guy enjoyed a New Year's Eve aboard a GO Transit train to Oshawa, Ontario on 31-December-2010

On the return trip on board train #939, between Pickering and Rouge Hill, Service Manager Louise gave a countdown to the New Year over the Public Address system (which was accurate according to my GPS receiver). Some fireworks were noted in the distance a few minutes later. It may not have been champagne on the "Canadian," but it was a different way to bring in the New Year.

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