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Boston trip 2011:

Boston trip 2011:




            After I went to Seashore in 2008, they acquired several interesting pieces of equipment. They included a MBTA Boeing LRV, an ex Edmonton BBC trolleybus, a set of Blue line Hawkers like what I rode on my 2008 Boston trip, former Hamilton Street Railways GM Articulated bus #518203 and a former New Jersey Transit PCC streetcar. They also acquired a couple pieces of equipment from Trolleyville USA.



Former HSR GM articulated #518203 is one of several pieces of equipment to go to Seashore post 2008.


            I began planning on returning to Boston sometime in 2011 to see these pieces of equipment. I decided to go in the first weekend of July so I would once again go to Founders' Day at Seashore which in 2011 was on July 2nd. My plan was to leave Toronto on June 28 and ride the Maple Leaf to Syracuse. The next day, I would ride the Lakeshore Limited to Boston.  I would spend a whole day in Boston transit fanning then head to Seashore by way of Saco, Maine like what I did when I visited Seashore in 2008. I would return to Boston that night then two days later, I would ride the Lakeshore to Schenectady. The day after, I would ride the Maple Leaf to Toronto. The trip unfolded as follows.


June 28, 2011:


            I got to Union just less than 30 minutes before the Maple Leaf was scheduled to depart. Since I rode it back in January to Niagara Falls, its departure was moved 10 minutes sooner to 8:20 am. {Sigh}; I still remember when it left at 9:40 am.


            I saw there was a long cue line waiting to board. At one point, I was standing behind a man in a skirt! Boarding soon commenced. I was seated in Amfleet 2 coach #25082. I saw the Northlander arrive a couple tracks over led by GP38 #1805, the last GP38 in Ontario Northland's older Chevron livery. I also saw VIA train 86 arrive from London led by rebuilt F40PH-2 #6452. At this point, about 60% of VIA's F40s have been rebuilt.


            The train as VIA 97 departed on time.  We were passed by several GO trains.


            A VIA train with a P42 and LRC coaches raced past, but I was unable to film it. Outside of Mimico, I filmed the equipment that would become today's train 85 to Sarnia which was led by rebuilt F40 6432. I filmed the equipment at VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre. Some things I saw was rebuilt F40 #6448 coupled to a sole Renn baggage car and nothing else! I also saw LRC locomotive 6917 which had moved outside. Last August, the THRA's attempt to save the unit was successful, but now they are trying to raise money to move it. They also salvaged parts off of another LRC unit for their unit.


            The people asked me if I knew how to use the Wi-Fi on this train. Since this is an Amtrak train, VIA's Wi-Fi which is used on other corridor trains doesn't work.


            My ticket was taken. A little while later, the cafe car opened. We stopped at Oakville. I went to the cafe car. On the way to the cafe car, I saw a lighted display which I had never noticed in Amfleet 2 coaches before. I photographed it on the way back from the cafe car.



            I was given a customs form to fill out. The train stopped at Aldershot. After we departed, I filled out the form. As we passed through the CN/Southern Ontario Railway yard, I filmed some SOR diesels.


            I watched Unstoppable as we approached Grimsby. A little while later, we stopped at St. Catherines. We soon departed. The drawbridge over the Welland Canal was down so we proceeded. A CN freight passed on the other side of the train. A little while later we were approaching Niagara Falls, Ontario. As we stopped at the station, I saw two GO Transit double Decker buses in the yard next to the Niagara Transit garage. I also saw one of Niagara Falls Transit's Classics inside the garage. The train stopped for a few minutes then moved a few coach lengths forward to allow people to get on and off. Why they do it, I don't know.


            Several minutes later, the train departed. We crossed into the United States. I got out my passport and prepared for the customs inspection. The train ran past Niagara Falls, New York station then backed in.


            After several minutes, customs came on and inspected the passengers. The agent who interviewed me was okay. Another scanned my passport. I was okay, but at least 12 other people in my coach had to go inside the station for further processing.


            While I was waiting, I watched a pair of CSX GP15s doing some switching. At some points, I saw them kicking cars.


            The train departed Niagara Falls 33 minutes late. We stopped to realign the switch behind the last car. We were soon underway again.  We passed a scrap yard where some school buses were being scrapped. We passed an empty CSX coal train waiting for us to clear. Moments later, we passed behind a warehouse where I saw someone flipping the train off. We slowed down as we passed some track units on an adjacent track. We soon began picking up speed again.


            After my second ticket was taken, I saw an Alco switcher at a factory. I headed to the cafe car for lunch. The train stopped at Buffalo Exchange Street and Buffalo Depew. At Buffalo Depew, a CSX intermodal train passed. We then departed Depew.


            East of Depew, we caught up to the CSX intermodal and passed it. We passed a railway yard where I saw an Alco road switcher doing some switching but I was unable to photograph it.


            A little while later, a CSX reefer train passed led by two Union Pacific locomotives. I decided to walk to the coach in front of mine and saw it was Amfleet 2 coach #25100 which was the coach I rode in on the Three Rivers! This was the first time since that trip that I had crossed paths with that coach. We passed a couple freights including a ballast train. I also saw a trespasser walking on the tracks next to my train.


            Outside of Rochester, we slowed to a stop. Amtrak train 63 passed led by P42 #189. As it passed, I filmed it. Our train started moving shortly thereafter.  We passed a CSX freight. The train stopped at Rochester. At Rochester, I photographed that looked like what was left of other platforms. There is only one platform at the current Rochester station, but it looked like there were more at one point. Shortly after departing Rochester, we stopped. After a few minutes, we were moving again.


            We passed a railway yard. We were soon out of the Rochester area. I was feeling thirsty, so I bought some milk from the cafe car. I then returned to my seat. The train then started slowing down and then it stopped. After a few minutes, we started moving again. We passed several CSX track units.


            We picked up speed after awhile. We passed a westbound CSX freight. Later, we passed a small yard and a CSX intermodal.


            Amtrak train 281 passed on the opposite side of the train, so I was unable to film it.


            When I saw I had cell phone reception, I called Julie and found out we would be about 41 minutes late. At this time, this was about 12 from the time Julie said train 64 would arrive into Syracuse.


            We passed a small airfield. About 10 minutes from Syracuse the conductor let me know we were nearing Syracuse and I would be exiting 1 car back. I attempted to film the yard with old passenger cars and Lackawanna E-units, but I barely got the later. The train stopped a few miles outside of the station for a few minutes. We eventually got underway and arrived into Syracuse 41 minutes late. I got off and walked to the end of the platform and took some photos.



            I then photographed a CSX intermodal with five locomotives.



            I filmed the Maple Leaf departing before I went into the station. I found out the next bus would be leaving in more than 15 minutes, so I took a taxi to my hotel.


            I checked in and got settled in my room. I phoned home and let my dad know I was in Syracuse. A little while later, I headed for the Carousel Centre. I walked to the bus stop. I had a timetable which told me there was an outrageous amount of time before my next bus. I ended up walking several blocks to near the hotel I stayed at last time I was in Syracuse. I didn't stay there because when I was booking my hotel, the website said that dates were unavailable. I did notice there was a Tim Horton’s donut store nearby! When I stayed there on my Washington-Lancaster trip, it was under construction.


            I caught Orion 5 CNG #9966 to the Carousel Centre. I got off and photographed the bus.



            I had dinner in the food court and looked around the mall for awhile. I then caught the bus back to my hotel. I watched TV for awhile. I went out to a nearby gas station and bought some milk. I asked for a wake-up call at 8:30 am. I watched some more TV and eventually called it a night.


June 30, 2011:


            I got up at 8:30 and got dressed. I went to the lobby for breakfast. After, I went back to my room and finished packing. I watched a little TV before. I called Julie and found the Lakeshore Limited was running on time. I checked out of my hotel and walked to the nearby bus stop because I thought the bus would come by 10:21 am. However, no bus showed up. I began to wonder if I had to walk several blocks again to pick up the bus. I eventually called a cab to pick me up at the Hess gas station near my hotel. I also called Julie and found the Lakeshore was now two minutes late.


            The cab showed up just before 11:00 am. I knew I still had some time. However I had been fretting that I would miss the Lakeshore again like on my Washington-Cleveland trip. During the ride, I told the driver I had been to the Carousel Centre and he said it was going to be expanded. I asked if it would be bigger than the West Edmonton Mall. He said yes. I asked if it would get a roller coaster. He said they might as well as hotels and a boat dock, but he said he'd believe it when he sees it.


            I also heard that Amtrak may build its own line to reduce delays by CSX, but I'd believe it when I see it!


            We soon got to the station and I paid the driver. I went inside and found that the Lakeshore was 17 minutes late. I bought some chips and a bottle of fruit punch before I walked onto the platform.


            Trains 48 and 448 arrived 15 minutes late. I filmed the train pulling in. I noticed that Amtrak F40PH #406 was in the consist! 406 was repainted into the Phase 3 livery and is part of Amtrak's 40th anniversary train that is touring the U.S. I hope to see that train in August.




            I was seated in Amfleet 2 coach #25116. I got a window seat, even though Amtrak's website now said that the train was sold out. The train left at 12:18 pm. I worked on this report some more. I then decided to go to the dining car for lunch.


            The dining car was a Temoinsa refurbished diner, but they weren't taking any more reservations. That's a bad move for Amtrak. I ended up getting lunch in the lounge car. Train 63 passed but I was unable to film it.


            The train passed through Rome. Later, we slowed and passed a derailed tank car and gondola, but I was unable to film them. Yet another trip where I saw derailed equipment!


            The train stopped at Utica. I photographed the equipment from the Adirondack tourist train. When we departed, I photographed some ex BC Rail MLW units lettered for the Mohawk, Adirondack, and Northern railway.


            A little while later, we overtook an eastbound CSX freight which was being led by a Ferromex unit.


            A westbound CSX Intermodal train raced past. I went to the cafe car and stayed there until Amtrak train 281 passed and I managed to film part of it. I returned to my seat as we passed through Fonda. We passed a couple CSX freight trains.


            We passed through Amsterdam non-stop. East of Amsterdam, we passed a covered hopper car on a siding whose ladders and roof hatches were damaged.


            The train stopped in Schenectady. We soon departed. About 10 minutes later, the crew made an announcement that at Albany, they would be removing one of the engines from the train. I figured it would most likely be the 406. The train would also be split in Albany with the first five coaches going to Boston and the rest of the train going to New York.


            The train stopped next to the Amtrak yard in Albany and the HEP was turned off. I sat on the opposite side of the train and took some pictures.




            I saw the three units reverse into the yard. I was right and 406 was uncoupled. The two P42s were then coupled back onto the train. The Boston section was then uncoupled from the New York section.


            Power was restored and we went to the Albany station. Amtrak 283 was already in the station. Albany was a smoke stop, so I got off and took some photos.






            I got back on the train. I gained a seatmate at Albany. I went to the cafe car and filmed train 283 departing. I saw train 48 to New York was in the station and took some photos.




            Another Amtrak train pulled into the track in between 48 and 448. I filmed it pulling in. Train 48 departed. Moments later, we left. As we split away from 48, I took some photos of it.



            I returned to my coach seat for a little before I went to the cafe car. I saw a freight train pass. I bought the last milk they had and I stayed in the cafe car for awhile until train 449 passed. When it passed, I filmed it. I returned to my seat to work on this report some more. At one point, we passed through a tunnel. A little while later, we crossed into Massachusetts


            The train stopped in Pittsfield. After awhile, we were traveling through a marshy area. Next, we passed through a forest and by a lake. I don't remember passing though on my way to Boston in 2008, but then again, the train was running later and it was starting to get dark.


            The train passed through a rock cut. I decided to watch a DVD. At one point, we passed a railway museum, but I was unable to film it.


            West of Springfield, we passed through a major CSX yard. I saw a set of equipment called the “CSX Safety train” that had some cabooses and passenger cars. However, I was unable to film it.


            The train stopped in Springfield.  Springfield was a smoke stop. I got off and took some photos.




            I got back on the train and went to the cafe car. I photographed an Amtrak shuttle train that consisted of P42 #108, an Amfleet 1 coach, and a former Metroliner coach converted to a cab car.



            The train departed Springfield. I went back to my coach seat and continued to watch the DVD which was a GPS video by the late Ray Neilson about Boston's trolleys. The cafe car attendant announced the cafe would close after the next stop, so I bought dinner.


            After dinner, I finished the DVD and resumed writing this trip report. The train stopped in Worcester. At this point, my seatmate got off. I didn't talk with him much until less then 10 minutes before Worcester. Just east of the station, we passed a yard with two MBTA commuter trains. One of them had one of MBTA's new MP36 units. I knew that from Worcester on, the train would only stop to discharge passengers.


            At one point, we passed a yard with a couple locomotives, a caboose, and an open end observation car. However, I was unable to film the yard.


            The sun was starting to set. A few minutes later, we passed an area with lots of solar panels.


            We passed a freight yard where I saw a CSX ballast train and another locomotive doing some switching.


            We passed an MBTA commuter train. Later, we passed a small freight yard and stopped at Framingham. We soon departed.


            Soon, it was almost completely dark. A CSX freight passed us. Later, another MBTA commuter train passed us.


            I noticed the train made up a lot of time. The HEP in the train went out for a few seconds but came back on.


            The train stopped at Boston Back Bay which is where I got off in 2008. However, on this trip, I chose to stay elsewhere and I was staying on to Boston South Station. The HEP went out again in Back Bay. It soon came back on and we departed Back Bay.  I readied my stuff in preparation to get off at South Station.


            Train 448 actually arrived into Boston South Station on time! I got off and took some photos.




            I then went inside the station and took a picture of Amtrak train 67 awaiting its 9:30 departure. I had seen it when my train entered the station. I noticed it had a P42 leading instead of an electric.



            I then went to the Red line and bought a weekly pass. I then caught a red line train to Braintree. I was staying at a Motel 6 that was across the street from the station. Braintree is also served by MBTA commuter trains. I checked to see if the line has service on Saturdays, but it doesn't. I then checked into my motel and went to my room and phoned home.


            A few minutes later, I walked over to a donut store and bought some milk. I returned to my hotel and worked on this report some more. I watched some TV before I called it a night.


July 1, 2011 {Canada Day}:


            I got up and got dressed. Today, I would be transit riding in and around Boston.

I went down to the lobby and asked if there were any restaurants nearby. He told me there were some places a few blocks away.


            I headed out and eventually bought some cereal and some milk from a gas station.  I ate it on a park bench then walked back to Braintree. I caught a Red line train to the JFK/U Mass station and transferred to an Ashmont bound train. When I got to Ashmont, I went to ride the Mattapan line. At the platform, I saw a PCC approaching. I was going to photograph it. However, an MBTA employee doing some work on a light pole said I wasn't supposed to take pictures. I told him MBTA allows photography, but that loser continued to say I wasn't allowed to take pictures.


            I boarded PCC 3254 and rode two stops and got off. I photographed the car and filmed it pulling away.



            A few minutes later, PCC 3234 showed up and I rode it to Mattapan. Along the way, we passed PCC 3263. I took some photos and filmed the car going around the loop.




            I saw PCC #3265 which looked like it was missing some parts. I don't know if it's retired or if it will be repaired in the future and run again. I photographed 3265.



Has PCC 3265 been retired?


            PCC 3263 showed up. I photographed it and filmed it going around the loop before I got on.



            My PCC passed #3234. I wondered where 3254 was. We got back to Ashmont. I got off the PCC and saw the MBTA employee who gave me trouble was still there. I went to another part of the station and photographed 3263 without incident. I filmed it going around the loop on my secondary camera. After 3263 left, 3254 showed up. I guessed I missed it. I took some photos of it and filmed it without incident.





            I then got on a red line train and rode to Park Street A couple stations after Ashmont; I noticed the door at the back of the car I was in was open! Another passenger also noticed it that brought the issue to the driver who closed it at the next station. I left the station and looked around. I had lunch at a food court then I went back to the station. I boarded a Riverside bound Green line train. Just past Boylston, I saw one of the three MBTA Boeing LRVs that were converted to work cars in a pocket track.


            I rode the train all the way to Riverside. I knew there were some Boeing LRVs in storage and I was hoping to photograph at least one of them. In the yard, I saw the other two Boeing LRVs that were converted to work cars, I photographed them.




            I caught a glimpse of Boeing LRV #3542 in storage at the back of the yard. I also saw some wrecked LRVs from various accidents. I knew that one of them was #3612 which is I had video of on my 2008 trip to Boston! It was damaged in a collision caused by a texting MBTA driver! That accident plus the deadly 2008 Metrolink accident shows the dangers of texting while driving. I took some photos.




            I headed back to the station and took a couple more photographs of the Boeing work cars in the yard.




            At Riverside station, I boarded a train and rode to Boylston. I was able to film the third Boeing LRV in the pocket track as we passed. I got off and took some photos of type 5 car #5734 and picture window PCC #3295.





            My friend the late Ray Neilson actually got to drive 3295 on a charter back in 1994. At one point, both those cars could be chartered, but now they're isolated from the Green Line. Ironically, 3295 is younger than the PCCs on the Mattapan line!


            I boarded a Green line train to Government Centre and transferred to the Blue line. When I was in Boston in 2008, they were running four car trains of both the old Hawker equipment and the newer cars. Since then, the older Hawkers were retired and they began running six car trains. I had learned the yard was near the Orient Heights station. I boarded a train and rode to Suffolk Downs. As we rode past the yard, I filmed it and caught a glimpse of some Hawkers.


            At Suffolk Downs, I got off and filmed the train depart. I then caught an inbound train back to Orient Heights and got off. I noticed a public parking lot near the fence by the yard and I was able to walk along the fence to a point where I was able to get a shot of some of the Hawker trains in storage.




            I then headed back to the station and rode a blue line train to Government Centre. I then transferred to a Green line train and rode to Park Street and transferred to the red line. I rode some older red line cars to Harvard and filmed the train leaving. I then caught a trolleybus on route 73 and rode it several blocks before I got off and photographed it.



            I filmed the bus leaving and caught another back to Harvard. Just before the station, I got off and photographed RTS 0319. I then boarded RTS #0319 and rode several blocks before I got off and photographed and filmed it pulling away.



I then went into a store and bought something to drink and a snack. I then rode trolleybus #4111 on route 72 back to Harvard station. I photographed 4111.



            I then rode the red line to Park Avenue. I then transferred to the Green line. I had noticed that MBTA was running buses between North station and Lechmere as a result of elevator construction at Science Park. I was curious to see what buses were running.


            After I got to North Station, I went out and saw a line up of buses. RTS 0331 was leading a line up of buses. Besides 0331, there was one more RTS and a line of D40LFs. I boarded 0331 and rode to Lechmere. At Lechmere, I got off and took some photos.






            Aside from being devoid of Green Line cars, Lechmere looked the same as it did in the DVD I have.


            I eventually got back on 0331 and rode back to North Station. After I got off, I took some photos of RTSs.




            I then got back on the Green line and rode to Park Avenue. I had dinner at a nearby McDonald's. After dinner, I rode the Red line back to Ashmont. I was once again going to ride the Mattapan line. Earlier when I was transferring between the Green and Blue lines, I saw a notice confirming that MBTA allows photography.


            When I got to Ashmont, I saw the employee who gave me problems earlier was no longer there, so when PCC 3230 arrived, I photographed it without incident.



            I rode 3230 to Mattapan and got off and photographed it.



            I filmed it going around the loop and took some pictures of other PCCs in the yard.





            I rode 3230 back to Ashmont and photographed it there and filmed it leaving.



            Another patron asked if I was a tourist. I said yes. He asked if it was my first time to Boston. I told him it was my third, but I was only 3 when I first went to Boston and I don't remember my first visit.


            I then boarded a red line train and rode to JFK/U Mass. I got off and left the station. I photographed a Crystal Transport D60LF that was laying over in a nearby supermarket parking lot.




            I then headed back to the station and rode a Red line train to Braintree. I then went back to my hotel. When I got there, I discovered my room key wasn't working. Unlike Hotel Parc Avenue in Montreal, this was a key card. I went to the lobby and got it straightened out. I then went to my room and worked on this report some more as well as watching The Hangover on TV.


            At one point, I went out and bought some milk at the convenience store I had bought breakfast earlier in the day. I went back to my hotel and asked for a wake-up call at 6:30 am. I worked on this report for a few more minutes before I took some Nytol and called it a night.


Click here for Part 2:             Part 2; Return to Seashore