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June 14, 2013:

June 14, 2013:


            I got up at 6:15 am and got dressed. I went downstairs but the restaurant seemed to be closed. I realized I had left something in my room so I went back to get it. When I returned, I saw the restaurant was open. When I returned to the lobby, I saw the restaurant was open. I had breakfast and then went to catch a bus back to the Best Western.


            Even though I had plenty of time, the charter bus was already at the hotel. Today we had a Provost highway coach from Excel-Tours. I photographed it before I got on.



            I sat where I sat the day before. Everyone else boarded the bus and we departed. Today's charter would concentrate on the South side of Montreal. Our first photo stop was at Gare Vaudreuil. A few CIT routes stopped there. One had an XD40 running.







            We then departed and headed out on the highway. I found out the highway we were on was relatively new. A few minutes later, we were running along a railway line. I saw a freight train. At first, I assumed it was either a CN or CP freight, but it was a CSX freight. I had no idea CSX served Montreal! I photographed the train from the bus.



            Our next photo stop was at the Autobus Dufresne garage. There were school buses and highway coaches there. I took some photos.






            A coach was pulled out and we photographed it.



            We then got back on our bus and headed out. Our next photo stop was the terminal used by many Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu routes. I saw a 35 foot Orion 7 there. We photographed the Orion 7 and a few other buses.






            There was a rail line next to the terminal. I saw there was a grain elevator on the opposite side of the tracks. I saw a front-end loader with a coupler knuckle move towards three covered hoppers. Several minutes later, it returned towing the three hoppers. Someone said the grain elevator couldn't afford a trackmobile. I photograph the loader towing the hopper cars and filmed it as it went past.




            The bus garage was near the terminal. We walked over and I photographed various buses in the yard including a burnt out cutaway.








            I then photographed some retired Classics. When I saw one at first, I thought it was roadworthy, but when I looked inside, I saw a hole on the back side. I went around the back and saw the rear end of the Classic had burned.







            I asked Mario if there were any Classics that were active. He told me if I didn't see any at the garage then there were none. Aside from the three retired Classics I saw, I hadn't seen any other Classics. However, there was a portion of the garage I hadn't looked yet. I saw one that looked like it was undergoing maintenance and then I saw two more parked outside. I photographed the two that were parked outside.



            I went in one of the Classics and noticed there was no fare box and the interior looked a little unorganized suggesting that it was retired. The Classic next to it also looked retired upon closer examination. I then photographed the Classic that was undergoing maintenance. At least there was one Classic that was possibly still active.



            I then photographed a 40 foot suburban RTS.



            I then went to the burnt out cutaway. I learnt what happened to it. The bus's engine had been plugged in and there was a short which spread to the bus which started the fire. I photographed the bus and the outlet it was plugged into which showed fire damage.




The burnt out cutaway was plugged in here when the short happened leading to the fire.


            I then photographed a 30 foot RTS and a highway coach. I then went for a short ride on the RTS.




            After the ride, I photographed the RTS again.



            It was now time to get back on the bus. The people from the Veolia Transdav garage gave us hats as a bonus. One person on the bus expressed interest in buying the 30 foot RTS. He was told another person also wanted to buy that RTS.


            We then left the garage. As we were driving to the highway, I photographed a section of a wind turbine on a flatbed trailer.



            We then got on the highway. A little while later, we saw an ex STM Classic that was privately owned. I learned that the owner used to have former STCUM suburban fishbowl #33-003, but sold it for scrap and bought the Classic. I was unable to photograph that Classic.


            We had our lunch stop next. Our lunch stop was at the Longueuil Metro station which was near the University of Sherbrooke which had a food court. Along the way, we passed near La Ronde which I visited about two years earlier. Since my visit, they built a ride similar to the Windseeker ride at Canada's Wonderland.


            At the University of Sherbrooke, I went inside and had lunch. After lunch I photographed the charter bus, some RTL Nova LFS buses, and a few suburban buses.











            We then got back on the charter bus and left. Our next photo stop was at another Veolia Transdav garage. This one was in Boucherville. I saw they had acquired a 1998 Orion 5 from OC Transpo in Ottawa for parts for their Orion 5 buses. I photographed the ex OC Transpo Orion 5.





            I then photographed some retired buses parked along the fence.







            I then photographed the active fleet.











            We then got back on the bus and headed out. I knew today was the last run of the H-5 subway cars in Toronto which I had to miss. I learned that the H-5 train had broken down at Eglinton West station on its way to Downsview! At one point, someone said that the H-5 train may have been disabled by people {transit fans?} who were sticking their hands in the cab and may have inadvertently disabled the train! (I cannot officially confirm that this was the case, but they say I give transit fans a bad name for standing up for my right to photograph?!?)


            I also heard that talks with the autoworker union and VIA Rail had taken a nasty turn and a strike looked all but inevitable. However, I had checked VIA’s website and it said that on Sunday, train 57 would still operate. However, there wouldn’t be business class service or food served. Regardless, I was travelling in Economy so I knew I had a way home.


            Our next photo stop was at the Terminus de Montarville. We were there for 20+ minutes. While we were there, we photographed the charter bus and various buses that came into the terminal.









            We had stopped there on the 2010 RTL Classic charter buy the TTS. We then left the terminal and got onto the highway. We had our next photo stop at the Terminus Georges-Gagne in Delson. On the 2010 RTL Classic charter that visited Exporail, the charter bus stopped there to drop someone off after we left Exporail. I photographed various buses that came in. I also went into a nearby drug store and bought a lemonade.









            We then got back on the bus only to learn that a Blue Bird bus and a Nova LFS were coming in. We scrambled off and photographed them.




            We then got back on the bus and returned to the host hotel. Along the way, we passed the CAD plant where VIA had their F40s rebuilt. I photographed an ex SOO Line SD60 that was in for rebuild.



            We then arrived back at the Best Western. I took one more picture of the charter bus.



            I then saw VIA train #39 arrive into Dorval station. I rushed over and photographed train 39.




            I then went through the pedestrian tunnel and emerged on the other side. I then photographed another VIA train which was led by F40 #6401 However; I could only photograph the rear of the train.



            I walked over to a nearby mall hoping there was something in the food court that would appeal to me. Unfortunately, there wasn't. I ended up walking over to a nearby McDonald's for dinner.


            After dinner, I made my way back towards the Best Western. Along the way, I saw a westbound VIA train depart.


            The BHA was having its annual meeting and a slide show tonight. I went to the meeting. There were various items for sale. I bought a book for $1 about unusual things that have occurred on public transit; something I know I would find interesting.


            The meeting brought about a few key points and they talked a bit about next year’s convention which will be held in Minneapolis. Next was the slide show. Three people presented including TTS president Kevin Nicol. Some photos in the slide show were taking in the BHA’s two previous trips to Montreal in 1980 and 1999.


            The slide show went until after 9:40 pm. After, I walked to the bus stop and waited a few minutes for the route 202 bus back to my hotel. When I got back to my hotel I worked on this report some more. I set the alarm on my cell phone for 6:14 am and called it a night.


The best charter was saved for last. Click to read about it and my trip home: BHA charter 3 and end of trip