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Boston trip 2012:

Boston trip 2012:




            When I was planning my Boston trip last year, I heard that Seashore also has an event in early October called Transit Day. On Transit Day, Seashore runs cars and buses that don’t usually operate. It was too late to go in 2011, but I decided to go in 2012. I figured it would be fun and I may get to ride former Edmonton BBC trolleybus #125 and/or former HSR GM Articulated bus #518203 again. Last June, I was on a charter in Hamilton that made a profit which went towards getting #518203 operational again.



A charter on these two buses raised money for Seashore.



            Despite the fact the event is called Transit Day, it’s actually held on a Saturday and a Sunday.


            My plan was to take Amtrak’s Maple Leaf to Buffalo then fly from Buffalo to Boston on October 3. I would spend two nights in Buffalo before taking Amtrak’s Downeaster to Portland the Friday before Transit Day. I would rent a car in Portland and visit Seashore on both days before I caught the Downeaster back to Boston. Once in Boston, I would ride the Lakeshore Limited to Syracuse and then take the Maple Leaf home the next day.


            I chose to fly from Buffalo because Amtrak was busing the Boston section of the Lakeshore Limited on October 3, and it would have cost as much to fly from Buffalo as it would have to take the Lakeshore from somewhere between Buffalo and Albany then take the Lakeshore to Boston. The trip unfolded as follows.


October 3, 2012:


            I got to Union station at 7:23 am; almost an hour before the Maple Leaf was scheduled to depart. I could have slept another 20 minutes, but it's better to be early than late.


            While waiting, I went to the Skywalk and photographed the Maple Leaf before I filmed VIA train #71 depart.



            I then went to another area and photographed the Maple Leaf.




            I then lined up to board the train. On the way, I noted the Ontario Northland ticket counter had the Ontario Northland signage removed. The Northlander had made its last less than a week earlier. I noticed a pile of debris by an escalator. I knew Union Station was undergoing renovations, but I overheard some say it had just happened. The amount of debris would have certainly injured someone if it had fallen on them. I photographed the debris.



            Boarding began less then 15 minutes before departure. I was seated in Amfleet 2 coach #25118. The train left on time.


            Shortly after we left, I filmed a couple VIA trains led by F40PH-2s. A few minutes later, VIA train 70 passed, but I was unable to film it.


            As we passed VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre, I filmed the equipment in the yard. I went to the cafe car for a snack.


            The train stopped at Oakville. After we left Oakville, I saw an Oakville transit D40LF parked behind the garage roughly where I saw Orion 5 #902 on the Niagara Double Decker charter last August. I'm sure that D40LF wasn't retired, so there's a chance #902 is still active as well.


            The train stopped at Aldershot. After we departed Aldershot, I was given a form to fill out for customs. I filled it out as we passed through downtown Hamilton.


            We later stopped at Grimsby. We then stopped at St. Catherines. After we departed St. Catherines, the cafe car closed. The bridge over the Welland Canal was down. The train stopped at Niagara Falls. It turned out to be a double stop before passengers were allowed to get on and off the train. The train departed at 10:38 am. We then crossed into the U.S.


            The train then backed into the Niagara Falls New York station. Several minutes later, Customs came on. When they got to me, they were okay. One of the agents; a woman recalled seeing me previously. I told her I had ridden the train into the United States before.


            After the agents left me, I photographed a Grey Line Bluebird bus.



            The inspection was finished after 12:00 pm. We were allowed onto the platform I stepped off and photographed the train as well as two CSX GP38s doing some switching.






            I then got back on the train. I worked on this report some more as well as logging onto Amtrak's Wi-Fi network. The conductor scanned my ticket for the American portion of the Maple Leaf. The Maple Leaf departed Niagara Falls, New York one minute early. Shortly after we left, we stopped to realign a switch. The train soon departed.


            I went to the cafe car for lunch. The train passed a CSX local led by two GP15s. I later returned to the cafe car for another milk. The train stopped at Buffalo Exchange Street station. At least a dozen people boarded at Buffalo Exchange Street. The train soon departed. After we departed, I readied my stuff in preparation to get off at Buffalo Depew.


            The Maple Leaf arrived into Buffalo Depew four minutes early. I got off and photographed the train.



            I then filmed the train pulling out. As the last car passed, an Amtrak employee on the train said something about reporting to the police. I know Amtrak allows photography. I had a valid reason to be there on account I had just gotten off the train. Fortunately nothing came of this. I took one last picture of the train.



            I phoned my mom and let her know I was at Buffalo. I then took a taxi to the airport. On the way to the airport, I saw a jaywalker. When we pulled into the Airport, I saw a MFTA Classic in service but I was unable to photograph it.


            I checked in for my flight. I was flying on Jetblue Airways. I had plenty of time before my flight left. I cleared security though they had to go through my money belt like the last few time I've flown.


            I worked on this report some more. I saw my flight was delayed by 35 minutes. I had a 10 minute massage at a place in the terminal. After my massage, I photographed the plane I would be flying on.



            Jetblue flies two types of aircraft: Airbus A320s and Embraer E-190s.  I would be flying on an E190. Boarding of the flight began around 5:15 pm. Just before they closed the doors, a someone on the plane realized he was on the wrong plane and scrambled to get off. How no one caught this I don't know in a post 9-11 world!


            The plane pushed back and we took off an hour late. I filmed the take off run. The flight is supposed to have taken less than 90 minutes gate to gate with an hour of flying time. I watched the Satellite TVs on the plane. When we were half way, the pilot got on the radio and said a screen had failed in the plane and we'd be returning to Buffalo. We did and I filmed the landing.


            At this point, I had no idea what was going to happen next. I phoned home and let my mom know what was happening.


            Fortunately, they were able to fix the plane and we refueled and took off again. I filmed the landing in Boston this time. We had arrived over three hours late. If I had taken the Lakeshore Limited, I wouldn't have gotten in much later. Jetblue did compensate us for the inconvenience. I got off and photographed the plane.



            I then went to the baggage claim and retrieved my suitcase. I then bought an MBTA seven day pass worth $18 and caught a Silver Line bus to South Station. I noticed the Silver Line buses were now unloading passengers on the street across from the station. I photographed the bus after I got off.



            I went to catch a red line train but missed the one I intended to catch. Like last year, I was staying at the Motel 6 in Braintree. When I finally got there, I checked into my room and phoned home. I then went out searching for somewhere to eat. I eventually ate at Burger King. I returned to my hotel and soon called it a night.


October 4, 2012:


            I got up and got dressed. I walked to a convenience store and bought some cereal. I returned to my hotel and had breakfast. I worked on this report some more.


            I then headed out. I got on the subway. I briefly spoke with the operator before we left the Braintree station. I rode to JFK/ U Mass and waited for a train to Ashmont. I rode to Ashmont and went to ride the Mattapan line. PCC #3260 showed up moments later and I photographed it.



            Someone asked if I was going photography. I said only transit photography. During the ride, I spoke with someone whose son was an avid railfan. When we got to Mattapan, I photographed PCC #3260 and filmed it going around the loop.



            I then photographed the PCCs in the yard. I saw not much had changed with PCC 3265 which looked retired when I saw it last year.






            PCC #3262 showed up. I photographed it before I got on and rode back to Ashmont.



            While I was on the PCC, we passed cars 3230 and 3260. When I got back to Ashmont, I photographed #3262 some more.



            I then filmed the car when it departed Ashmont. I then photographed a mural in the station depicting the Mattapan PCCs.



            I then boarded a red line train and rode to Park Street. I got off and transferred to the green line and rode to Riverside. I photographed the Green line train and a Boeing work car.




            I then walked to where I had seen the Boeing LRV in storage as well as some accident damaged LRVs. However, they weren't there. I took some photos.



            I then made my way back to the station. Along the way, I photographed some LRVs that needed work as well as another Boeing work car.






            I then got to the station and boarded a three car train. I rode downtown, but the train went out of service at Kenmore. I got off and photographed it before I filmed it pulling away.



            I got on the next train and rode to Boylston. I got off and took some photos of type 5 car #5734 and picture window PCC #3295.






            I then left the station and had lunch at McDonald's. After lunch, I caught a red line train to Harvard and waited for a trolleybus. Trolleybus #4111 showed up on route #73. I photographed it before I got on.



            I rode #4111 for awhile before I got off and photographed it before I filmed it pulling away.



            I wandered around the area for a few minutes before I caught trolleybus #4102 back to Harvard. I photographed #4102 before I got on.



            When I got back to Harvard, I filmed 4102 pulling away. I waited a few minutes to see if an RTS would come, but I eventually decided to board a Red Line train and rode to Park Street where I switched to the Green Line and rode one stop to Government Centre where I switched to the blue line.


            I boarded a Blue Line train and rode to Suffolk Downs. When we passed by the yard, I filmed it. I saw the yard was mostly empty. The 0600 series Hawker cars which I had photographed the year before were no longer in the yard. Most likely they were scrapped.


            I got off at Suffolk Downs and then rode one stop back to Orient Heights. I walked around trying to look in the yard. I photographed a couple trains in the yard.




            I then walked back to Orient Heights and waited for an inbound Blue Line train. It was after 6:00 pm. I was wondering if the Jetblue flight I took the day before was delayed again. I rode a blue line train to Airport station and filmed it pulling out. I had thought I'd have to go to the terminal, but I saw there was an arrivals screen just outside the fare paid zone so I checked the screen and I learned that the flight was 28 minutes late. I didn't stick around to see if it was any later. I boarded a Blue line train and headed out. I got off at State station and filmed the train pulling out. I then transferred to the Orange line. I decided to go to Oak Grove; the north end of the Orange Line. I photographed the Orange Line train when it arrived.



            I noticed the subway yard for Orange Line trains at Wellington Station. After Malden Centre, I was the only passenger in the car! At Oak Grove, I got off and photographed the train.



            I then walked to the other end of the platform and boarded the front car. I rode the train to Downtown Crossing and filmed it pulling away.


            I then transferred to the Red Line rode one stop to South Station. The train I rode was the newer series of cars on the Red Line. However, the cars I rode were labeled “Big Red” for being high capacity cars. The capacity was increased by removing some seats. Since I was only riding one stop, it didn't bother me so much. At South Station, I got off and photographed the “Big Red” car.



            I then went upstairs. I was curious to see if the Silver Line was still loading and unloading passengers on the street or where it usually runs. I went to the usual terminal and waited. A Silver Line dual-mode trolleybus arrived. I photographed it before I got on.



            I rode to the next stop and photographed it before I filmed the coach pulling away. I then caught another bus back to South Station. I had to run to catch it, but I did manage to photograph it before I got on.



            When I got back to South Station, I photographed the bus again.



            I then walked up to South Station. I saw a private coach on one of the station tracks. I photographed it.



            I then bought dinner and made my way back to the subway. Just like yesterday, I just missed a train heading for Braintree. I had to wait 9 minutes for the next train. I rode it to Braintree and then photographed it.




            I then returned to my hotel and watched TV and worked on this report. After awhile, I went out to a Dunkin' Donuts and bought some milk. I returned to my room and watched TV and went on the internet. I eventually called it a night.


October 5, 2012:


            I got up shortly after 8:30 and got dressed. I walked to Burger King for breakfast. After breakfast I returned to my room and watched a little TV and worked on this report some more.


            I finished packing and checked out of my hotel. I then walked to the Subway station and boarded a Red Line train to JFK/U Mass. I got off and just missed a connecting train to Ashmont. I waited for the next train. I was planning on riding the Mattapan line again.


            At Ashmont, I had to wait several minutes for the next car to arrive. Soon PCC #3268 arrived. I photographed it before I got on.



            While I was waiting for the car to depart, I saw another PCC was coming. My car soon departed. I saw the second PCC was #3260; one of the PCCs I rode the day before.


            I rode the PCC to Mattapan. I got off and photographed #3268.



            I filmed #3268 going around the loop and took some more photos.



            PCC #3260 soon arrived. I photographed it before I got on.



            I rode the car back to Ashmont and then photographed it.



            I then went to catch a Red Line train. When I got onto the platform, I saw a train pulling into the station. However, it didn't stop. I waited several minutes before the next train arrived. I got on and rode to Park Street. I left the station and had lunch at a restaurant. After lunch, I caught a Green Line train to Lechmere. When I was in Boston last year, MBTA was busing people between North Station and Lechmere due to construction. The construction work has since been completed and Green Line trains are once again running to Lechmere. When I got to Lechmere, I photographed the train I had arrived on and then filmed it going around the loop.


            I waited for the next train to arrive. While I was waiting, I photographed a Type 7 LRV still in the old livery.



            An MBTA employee asked if I was taking pictures, but he didn't say I wasn't allowed or anything like that. I then photographed the next train that arrived before I rode to Science Park station. I once again visited the Museum of Science. I paid my admission and went inside.


            One of the first exhibits I saw was a temporary exhibit about shipwrecks. They had a map of various shipwrecks. One of the ships mentions was the Titanic, but they had a picture of the Lusitania and labeled it the Titanic!





This isn’t the Titanic!





            They had an exhibit about the SS Republic which sank during a hurricane in 1865. I photographed some exhibits based on it.




            I then headed out and made my way to the robots exhibit. Unfortunately, since I was there last, the museum employees had removed most of the blocks that on my previous trips to Boston I had set up as a tower and then made the Roomba knock them down! I took some photos there and the weather exhibit.





            I then photographed some more exhibits including an exhibit about ALVIN; the first manned submersible to visit the wreck of the Titanic.
















            I then went to the third floor and photographed a working beehive.






            I then photographed one more exhibit before I left the Museum of Science.



            I walked back to the Green Line and caught the next inbound train. I photographed it before I got on.



            I rode to Government Center and filmed the train pulling away. I was hoping to ride the Blue line to Bowdoin, but I had just over 40 minutes before my train left and I wanted to be at North Station 30 minutes before so I caught a Green Line train back to North Station. The train was led by a Type 7 LRV still in the old livery. When I got to North Station, I photographed it.



            I filmed the train departing before I left for North Station. Since it was rush hour, the station was busy. The train I would ride arrived as Downeaster #686. I saw it was led by Amtrak “Cabbage” #90220. I photographed the train before I got on.



            I was seated in Amfleet 1 coach #82994. I sat in a forwards facing seat on the left hand side of the train. I gained a seatmate right away. I heard the train was pretty much sold out. The train departed on time.


            The train stopped at Woburn and crossed over the Merrimac River before stopping at Haverhill. We crossed into New Hampshire and stopped at Exeter. We soon departed and stopped at Durham. My seatmate got off at Durham. The train departed and stopped at Dover. After we left Dover, I bought dinner from the cafe car. We crossed into Maine and stopped at Wells and Saco. We soon departed Saco.


            This was the first time I had ridden north of Saco on the Downeaster. I would be riding to Portland which is where the train terminates for now. However, next month, Amtrak will be extending the Downeaster to Brunswick.


            The train stopped at Old Orchard Beach which in the summer is a tourist trap. We were 15 minutes from Portland. Train #688 passed but I was unable to film it.


            Train 687 arrived into Portland 9 minutes late. I got off and photographed the train.






            I looked around the station briefly before I caught a taxi to my hotel. I could have taken a bus but it would have taken me over an hour while a taxi ride would be less than 10 minutes. I told the taxi driver I was staying at the Knights Inn in South Portland. We actually drove past the hotel even though there was a big sign out front. I told the driver he had passed it and actually had to nag him before he turned around and got me to my hotel. Of course, the fare was higher thanks to the idiot driver. I paid and checked in.


            I phoned home and let my mom know I was in Portland. I then walked to a nearby convenience store and bought some milk. I eventually set the alarm on my phone and called it a night.


Click for my first visit to Seashore:  Seashore part 1