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July 5, 2008:

July 5, 2008:


I got up before 7:00 am. I decided I wasn’t going to sleep anymore and got ready. I went to the front desk to see if I could pay, yet I couldn’t until after I had to leave to get to Seashore. I headed off to Back Bay station after stopping at a 7-11 across the street to buy some snacks. I then got to Back Bay station and bought a week pass for $15.00. I would have to use it 9 times for it to be profitable. I would.


I boarded a Forest Hills bound train and rode to North Station. My train was scheduled to leave at 8:50 am.


When I got to North Station, I filmed my subway departing before heading into the train station. When I got to the station, I saw three MBTA commuter trains, but no Downeaster. The arrivals board said my train was to leave on time. It also said that Amtrak 690 was due at 8:25, but then the board changed to announce the train was 10 minutes late. Meanwhile, I photographed the MBTA commuter trains.




Amtrak train #690 from Portland arrived and I photographed it. The train would become 691, my train to Saco. Boarding soon commenced. I walked onto the platform and took a photo my train.



I was seated in Amfleet 1 Capstone coach #82632. The Downeaster runs as a push-pull train with a P42 at one end and a former F40 cab car at the other. The seats in the coaches are arranged so half face forwards and half face backwards to avoid flipping the seats at the end of the line which decreases turning time.


Train 691 departed on time. Shortly after we left, I filmed the MBTA yard. Shortly after we left, I went to the café car for breakfast. This would be the only time on the trip I had to pay for breakfast as breakfast in free at my hostel, and the two hotels I stayed at.


The train stopped at Woburn and crossed over the Merrimac River before stopping at Haverhill. We departed and soon stopped to let train 692 pass by. I filmed 692 as it passed. The train had F40 cab car #90220, four Amfleet 1 coaches, one Amfleet one café car/business class car, P42 #150 and GP38H-3 #520.


We were soon underway again as we stopped at Exeter, Durham~UNH, and Dover. We passed a couple Pan Am Railway freight trains. The train stopped in Wells.


After we departed, I called what I thought was the Enterprise car rental in Saco, but no one answered, so I left a message. The train soon arrived into Saco nine minutes late. Once I got off, I took some photos.





I filmed the train pulling out. I waited for my ride. I called the number again, but no answer. I soon realized I was dialing the wrong number, (only the last digit)! I called Enterprise and they picked me up 15 minutes later in a Chrysler PT Cruiser and drove me to the dealership. On the way, I noticed a water park.


When I got to the dealership, I filled out the necessary paperwork. The people at the dealership talked me into paying an extra $20 for insurance if the rental car was wrecked.


I had requested an economy car because it was the cheapest. However, they didn’t have any that day, so they gave me the PT Cruiser I was picked up in for no additional cost! I was a bit worried on gas mileage, but I was assured the car was good on gas.


I was soon on my way. I made a wrong turn pulling into a parking lot by mistake, but I then got to Seashore without any further problems. I had gotten there about 30 minutes later than I wanted to, but I still had plenty of time.


The day I visited Seashore was Founders’ Day and they had several cars out. I took some photos. Seashore is also the first trolley museum in North America; having stated in 1939. In comparison, HCRR started 25 years later.







I began looking around the museum. I looked inside one barn and photographed former Boston air-electric PCC #3127.



I then walked over to another barn and took some photos of some buses and trolleybuses on the way.






I photographed two former New York City “Redbird” subway cars. One had converted to a work car and painted yellow before finally being retired.



I then entered the car barn where I saw what I had come to see: Former Toronto Witt car #2890. I took some photos of the car.




Because the Halton County Radial Railway Museum is built to the TTC track gauge of 4 feet 10 7/8 inches and Seashore is standard gauge, 2890’s trucks have to be regauged. So right now, 2890 is sitting on shop trucks while Seashore would regauge 2890’s trucks. I photographed the trucks under 2890.




I also photographed some sheets about 2890 that were in the windows.




I then looked around the barn and photographed some other cars including a weird looking car from Hungary.



This is the strange car from Hungary. I don’t know what else to say.



I then went outside and photographed an exhibit on how Seashore’s cars are delivered to the museum. They even have a former Boston PCC on a flatbed trailer! The day I visited, that car was covered by a tarp.



This board explains how Seashore’s cars are delivered.


I spoke to a member at Seashore. When I told him I was a member of HCRR, they told me that earlier in the week; some people from HCRR had visited.


I then went back to the visitors’ centre. They were starting a trolley parade. I photographed many cars and in some cases compared them to cars at the Halton County Radial Railway Museum. The first car was Biddeford & Saco RR #31. This car was the first car Seashore acquired. I compared that to TTC 1326, the first car HCRR acquired.



The next car I photographed was Cleveland streetcar #1227. Sister cars 1218 and 1225 are part of the Lakeshore Electric Railway’s collection which I visited on my trip to Cleveland.




Next came in Wheeling Traction Company car #639. The car has been recently restored. However, some work still has to be done. I noticed the third axle of the car kept slipping when the car was trying to accelerate.



The next car to appear was former Chicago Surface Lines car #225. When the car was in service in Chicago, the doors were to be closed when the car was moving, but that seldom ever happened. Operators would start the car when the last man had grabbed onto the handle; not stepped inside the car like what they did when a woman was the last passenger. My friend Greg in Chicago is a motorman at the Illinois Railway Museum and I believe he is trained on cars like 225.



Next came Manchester & Nashua St. Railway car #38. I compared that car to TCR 55 at HCRR as this car was the second car Seashore acquired.



After car 38, the next car was former MBTA snow scraper #5159. The next car after was a former MBTA line car with a platform that can be raised.




They brought in former MBTA Flyer E800 trolleybus #4013.  I took some photos of it and even got a ride in it. There are about 10 similar buses still with MBTA as part of their reserve fleet and they don’t venture out a lot.




Seashore has some double wire to run trolleybuses, though they don’t have a full loop and the buses have to back up when they get to the end which is kind of a shame. Though that’s better than HCRR; they have acquired a number of trolleybuses from Toronto and Hamilton, though they presently have nowhere to run them and they sit in the museum’s parking lot. My personal opinion is that HCRR should have sent the trolleybuses to Seashore instead of Peter Witt #2890 in exchange for 797. However last year, one of HCRR’s former Toronto trolleybuses was sent to the Illinois Railway Museum in exchange for some spare parts. Like Seashore, the Illinois Railway Museum has wires for trolleybus operation.


I then photographed a few fishbowls.





Next in the trolley parade was former Dallas streetcar #434.



Next came a former MBTA track unit that has an electromagnet. They demonstrated the magnet by having the unit pick up a metal chair! Next came the former New York Redbird subway cars I photographed earlier.





Next former SEPTA PCC #2709 showed up. As it went around the loop, it made the characteristic squeal. I learned that all PCCs make the noise as a result of the shape of the wheels; they are “bell shaped”. In the early 1990s, residents along the TTC’s Harbourfront streetcar line complained about the noise the PCCs made when they went around the loop, the cars were removed and used on other lines. However, I don’t think the newer cars are much better. Those cars were the 19 cars that were mothballed in 1995.


            The first cars out would be the redbirds. I photographed the interiors of the cars and took a seat in car 9327. After awhile, the cars finally headed out. The ride on the redbirds reminded me of the times I got to ride the Gloucesters at HCRR. After the ride, I looked around the exhibits at the visitors’ centre and bought something to eat. I was soon stunned to realize I had used up much of the space on my 1 GB memory stick. I had a couple smaller memory sticks, so I realized I had to be careful.


            I wanted to ride former SEPTA PCC 2709, but they were in the process of putting it away. I was disappointed. I then went to see the two “State Of the Art Cars” that were demonstrated on several rapid transit systems including New York, Cleveland, Boston, and Chicago.



I then went by the main restoration barn at Seashore and took a few photographs including what appeared to be one of 2890’s trucks lying around.



I believe this is one of 2890’s trucks awaiting regauging.



I then went on and photographed some more trolleys on display in various states of restoration.





Next, I photographed some of the buses in Seashore’s collection including a former TTC Flyer D700 that was bought by a seniors’ residence in Philadelphia before coming to Seashore.









Former TTC Flyer D700 #7521.


Even though the fishbowl on the left looks like a Calgary Transit fishbowl in the old two-tone blue, it’s actually from Connecticut.



I then returned to the parking lot to return my bag to my rental car. In the parking lot, I saw and photographed former Portland Flexible #8801.



I dropped my bag in my rental car.


This was my rental car on the trip, a Chrysler PT Cruiser.


Next, I took a ride on former Third Ave Railway Company car #631.



After the ride, I photographed PCC 2709 in the barn and some other exhibits.





I then proceeded to take a few more photos of the buses and trolleybuses in Seashore’s collection.





I decided to buy something from the gift shop. While I was looking, I saw a children’s book about the Downeaster. I think this is the first Amtrak route to be the subject of a children’s book! I eventually chose a fridge magnet that had Peter Witt 2890 in the background. I then walked up to the street. Along the way I photographed some cars. I then went by the street and photographed former Cedar Rapids and Iowa City RR car #118 and former MBTA RTS #8400.




I then walked up and took some more photos of other cars at Seashore including former Boston picture window PCC #3274.



By now it was 4:15 pm. I was planning on leaving at 4:30 as the museum would close at 5:00 pm. I decided to leave early. I got into my rental car and headed out. I stopped at a gas station just before I returned my rental car. Even though gas cost more than $4.00 per gallon, the gas cost me less than $6.00 since I only dove to Seashore from the rental place. I compare it to driving from my house to the Wal-Mart I work at. I then returned to the Enterprise dealership and after getting my stuff out of the car, returned the keys to the drop off box as the dealership closed at noon.


I then called a cab. It took three times because I got a busy signal, but I finally got through. The cab soon came and took me back to the Amtrak station, though I had about three hours before my train was to arrive. Before we got to the train station, the cab driver heard a radio transmission that there was a freight train coming with five locomotives. He took a detour to avoid the railway crossing and dropped me off at the train station just as the last car of the freight train passed. I paid the driver and got out. I waited around the station before I walked over to Rapid Ray’s for dinner. After dinner, I returned to the station.


After awhile, Amtrak train #695. I observed it was the same set of equipment that I rode up to Saco on this morning. It had P42 #108, four Amfleet 1 coaches, an Amfleet 1 café car with business class seats at one end, and former F40 NCPU #90213. I filmed the train arriving then departing.


A little while later, I photographed a southbound Pan Am Railways freight led by two locomotives still in Guilford colours.



I waited around awhile, taking a couple walks. I noticed that when a red light was on the main street, cars would often stop on the railway tracks on the crossing just before the light. I wonder how often there are accidents here.


Amtrak train 697 arrived at 8:30 pm. I filmed the train arriving and then departing.



A few minutes after 697 departed, my train; Amtrak Downeaster train #698 pulled in. I filmed the train arriving.



Train 698 had the same equipment as the train I rode down to Saco on as well as the equipment from train 695. This time, the NCPU was leading. I was seated in Amfleet 1 coach #82632. I sat in a forward facing seat on the left hand side of the train. Shortly after my ticket was taken, the café car opened. I bought some apple crisp from the café car and ate it at my seat.


The train stopped in Wells and then crossed into New Hampshire. By now, it was dark. We then stopped at Dover, Durham ~ UNH, and Exeter. We then crossed into the state of Massachusetts. We then stopped at Haverhill and Woburn. As we neared Boston North Station, I saw some RDCs on a side track. Train 698 arrived into Boston North Station 13 minutes late. Once I got off, I took a photo.



I then went to the orange line subway station to take a train back to Back Bay. I photographed a trolley on the Green Line and then my Orange Line subway arriving.




I rode back to Back Bay station and walked back to my hostel. Once I got there, I was eventually finally able to pay. I bought some milk from the 7-11 across the street and eventually called it a night.


Click to read about my next day in Boston: Boston trip part 2