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About me:

About me:


††††††††††† I am Tom Jankowski. As of 5/15/06, I am 23 years old. I live in Thornhill, Ontario, which is just north of Toronto. I have been fascinated by trains my whole life and as long as I can remember, Iíve taken at least one train trip per year. In 2003 and 2004, I had the opportunity to ride excursion trains pulled by CPR Empress Steam locomotive #2816.


Besides trains, I am also a transit enthusiast. That includes subways, light rail, and buses. My all time favourite subway cars were the Gloucester subways cars which were the original rolling stock purchased for the opening of the TTCís subway in 1954. I am a member of the Toronto Transportation Society which is a club of transit enthusiasts from around the Toronto area. I am also a member of the Halton County Radial Railway museum in Rockwood, Ontario.


††††††††††† At present, I am employed by Home Depot. Many of the train trips Iíve taken between 2005 and 2010 I worked around my work schedule at my former job at Wal-Mart. For example, if I was planning a trip somewhere for a certain number of days, I check my work schedule in advance and make reservations around that.


Some helpful train travel tips:


1.†††††††† Make reservations: Many Amtrak trains and most VIA trains require reservations anyways. If you book sooner, you may be able to get a cheaper fare. Ontario Northlandís Northlander is an unreserved train, so you have to buy your tickets on the day of departure (or the night before).


2.†††††††† Get to the station early: A general rule is to get to the train station at least 30 minutes prior to your trainís departure. You should get there even earlier if you want to check baggage, (possibly 60 minutes before departure). If you do check your bags, make sure theyíre identified.


3.†††††††† Know maximum size and number of carry-on articles: Amtrak allows two carry on articles and up to three bags can be checked with no charge.VIA Rail Canada also allows two carry on articles and up to three bags can be checked with no charge. However, if you ride a VIA train with Renaissance coaches, you are allowed only one carry-on and up to four bags can be checked with no charge. Both Amtrak and VIA, regardless of equipment also allowed up to three additional bags to be checked for a fee.


4.†††††††† When you board the train, take your seat and wait for the conductor to take your ticket: Once the conductor takes your ticket, he'll put a small seat check tag above your seat with a 3 letter code stating where you get off (Example: TWO for Toronto) so if you want to sleep on the train, its okay; you won't miss your stop! A member of the crew will kindly wake you up when it gets close to your stop. You should also wait for the conductor to take your ticket before heading to the cafť car, diner, dome car, etc. If you are in a sleeper, heíll take your ticket upon boarding.


5.†††††††† Bring earphones if you bring an electronic device on board: That includes CD players, walkmans, hand-held video game systems, and scanners. You donít want to disturb other passengers.


6.†††††††† Have fun: Thatís what train travel is all about. You have the freedom to walk around the train, purchase food from the cafť car, and visit the dome car if the train is such equipped. You also are entitled access to a dining car if the train is equipped with one.


Whatís with the dot?


††††††††††† If youíve read many pages with pictures, you may have noticed a small dot at the bottom of the page that looks like this:



††††††††††† The reason it is there is that when I was in Quebec City, I looked on my website and for some reason, when I loaded my report, the last photo didnít show up. After I got home, I figured Iíd make a small picture to put at the bottom of the page so it wonít show up instead of my last picture. I made it small so it wouldnít take up a lot of space.