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Calgary fishbowl charter:

Calgary fishbowl charter:




            In winter/spring of 2013, I learned the CTHF which organized the articulated Classic charter I was on last year was organizing a farewell charter to Calgary’s fishbowls which has dropped to about 13 active units.


            Despite how disappointing my time at SAIT turned out to be, I still had plenty of fond memories of riding Calgary’s fishbowls when I was living in Calgary from August of 2002 to April of 2003.


            I had joined VIA's preference program in 2007. I had accumulated enough points to go part way from Toronto to Edmonton on the Canadian in sleeper. My initial plan was to take the Canadian from Toronto to Edmonton and catch a bus to Calgary. I would spend a few days in Calgary before I returned to Edmonton and fly home a few days later. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a room on the Canadian on the day I intended to leave. So I came up with another plan.


            My final plan was to fly from Toronto to Calgary on the Wednesday before the charter. I would spend three nights in Calgary before I attended the charter. After, I would head up to Edmonton where I would visit the Edmonton Radial Railway Society at Fort Edmonton Park as they have one of the PCCs that were mothballed in 1995. I had seen the car in 1998, but the photos I have aren't good. I would also visit the West Edmonton Mall at some point. I would the ride the Canadian home from Edmonton. The trip unfolded as follows:


September 11, 2013:


            My dad gave me a ride to the airport. Yes, I was flying on September 11. Life still continues despite the event that happened 12 years earlier on the day.


            My dad dropped me off at Terminal 3 at Pearson. It was good flying an airline other than Jetblue for a change! For the first time since 2009, I was flying Westjet.


            I checked in and cleared security. I then went to my gate though another flight was boarding. I then photographed an El Al Boeing 767.



            I then wandered around and bought lunch. I returned to my gate and worked on this report some more.  My plan soon arrived at the gate. I photographed it.



            The plane was a Boeing 737-800. I also photographed an Air Transat Airbus A-310.



            Boarding soon commenced. I noticed I had no one in my group of seats. The plane left on time. I filmed the plane's take off. I watched the plane's satellite TV. I eventually worked on this report some more.


            Soon, we were approaching Calgary. I filmed the landing. We were soon parking at the gate. I got off and photographed the plane.



            I then went to claim my suitcase. It took several minutes, but my suitcase eventually appeared.


            I then waited for my cousin Trevor who I stayed with the last time I was in Calgary on my Western Canada Trip. However, he was going out of town the next day, so I was staying at a motel not too far from SAIT's main campus.


            I couldn't find Trevor at first, and I didn't have his phone number. I was about to log into the Wi-Fi at the airport to look up his phone number when Trevor came. We then left the airport and we headed onto the highway. We got off and drove past Calgary Transit's spring garden garage. When I was living at SAIT, I was able to get a tour of the garage! I will go into the story later. I did see two of Calgary's remaining fishbowls parked near the front. I photographed them.



            We eventually got to my hotel which was a Canada's Best Value Inn located two C-train stops west of SAIT's main campus. I checked in and dropped my stuff at the room. We then went to a nearby Boston Pizza and had dinner. After dinner, I returned to my room and Trevor went home.


            I watched TV and saw something about a freight train derailment in Calgary. I thought I knew where it was so I decided to check it out. I left and walked over to Banff Trail C-Train station. I just missed a C-Train heading towards downtown. I bought a ticket which was good for 90 minutes. While waiting for the next train, I photographed a C-Train going the other way.






            When my train arrived, I got on. Since I last visited Calgary in 2007, Calgary Transit had adopted a new livery.  Many SD160 LRT cars have received the new livery though some were still in the older livery.


            The train left Banff Trail station. Two stops later, we passed SAIT's main campus. I booed at SAIT. When we got downtown, I noticed that the downtown C-Train stops had been changed. I got off the train at the first stop in the “free zone” and filmed the train pulling out.


            I then walked two blocks south. I saw some ballast hoppers. At first, I thought they were on the derailed train, but that wasn't the case. However, some of the ballast hoppers were lettered for the SOO Line and the Milwaukee Road! Needless to say, I photographed them.





            After awhile I walked back to the C-Train. I decided to ride a portion of the new Western extension of the route 202 line. Trevor's wife Mary played a roll in the construction of the extension.


            I rode two stops and got off. I eventually transferred to the route #72 bus. The route #72 is more of a circle that runs around a large section of Calgary clockwise. Route #73 runs around counterclockwise. I believe Calgary Transit routes 4 and 5 are similar.


            I rode the bus to Brentwood C-Train station where it went out of service. I waited for a train north because since my Western Canada trip in 2007, the route 201 had been extended one stop further northwest to Crowfoot station. I was delighted to see a train of older U-2 cars pull in. I boarded the front car and rode two stations to Crowfoot. At Crowfoot, I got off and photographed the train.



            I saw my ticket was about to expire. I bought a new one. The train I was on departed before I could get back. I waited for the next train. I rode to Banff Trail station and got off. I then walked back to my motel. I bought some milk and a muffin at a McDonald's near my motel. I worked on this report some more and called it a night.


            September 12, 2013:


            I got up and got dressed. I went to the lobby for breakfast. After, I returned to my room for a few minutes before I headed out. I walked to Banff Trail station and bought a day pass. I boarded a train and rode one stop to Lions Park where I transferred to the route #19 bus. I was going to visit Trains and Such. As we passed SAIT, I booed again. I noticed that the North Hill Diner where I had eaten a few times while at SAIT was now a steakhouse. A few minutes later, I got off and transferred to the route 2. I saw the hobby store was no longer Trains and Such, but went in anyway. I didn't buy anything while I was there. I then headed downtown. I then transferred to the C-Train and boarded a route 202 heading for 69th Street which is the new western terminus of the line. I boarded a train of newer cars. Along the way, we passed through Calgary's only underground station. When I got to 69th street, I photographed the train.



            I then left the station and explored the area. I could see the Rocky Mountains off in the distance. I photographed them.



            I then made my way back to the C-train and headed out. Since 2007, the line had been extended three stations at the other end from Whitehorn which was where it ended when I was at SAIT.


            Past Whitehorn, we passed a new yard. With the new extensions, I guess the two yards couldn't handle more trains. The line now ended at Saddletowne station. I got off and photographed the train.



            I then got back on and rode to Marlborough. On the train, I saw someone with some model trains. I asked him where he got them and he told me it was at a different hobby shop. I decided to go there the next day.


            I got off at Marlborough ate lunch at a nearby Wendy's. I had eaten at that Wendy's when I was going to SAIT at least once per week. After lunch, I went to Marlborough Mall across the street. I looked around for a few minutes and then headed out on the C-Train. I got off near Center Street and walked over to the intersection of 5th and Center. I was hoping to see some high floor buses. After awhile, I only saw one Classic, but I was unable to photograph it. I decided to go where I had done fanning when I was at SAIT. When I got there I saw a lot of Classics. I photographed many of them.





            The driver of Classic #5092 waved at me and asked why I was taking pictures. When I gave him an honest answer we had a nice talk.  I soon went back to photographing Classics.












            I was hoping a fishbowl would show up. However, none did. I eventually boarded Classic #5038 and went for a short ride. I got off and photographed it before I filmed it pulling away.



            I returned to the area and photographed a few more buses.






            I eventually got on a D60LFr and rode a few blocks. I got off and walked to the C-Train. I saw my train consisted of U-2 cars. I photographed the train before I got on.



            I rode to Dalhousie station. I got off and transferred to the route #137 bus to Market Mall.


            When I first got to Calgary in 2002, my dad and I got the stuff I needed at the Zellers in the mall. We had to make multiple trips there. Eventually, my dad started referring to it as the “Damn mall”! I would go there throughout the two semesters I lived in Calgary but this was the first time I visited the mall in over 10 years. Like many Zellers stores, the one at Market Mall was now a Target.


            I had dinner at the food court. After dinner, I bought some milk at a Safeway in the mall. When I was going to SAIT, I bought my groceries at Safeway. However, I didn't buy them at the Market Mall location. There was a Safeway grocery store one C-Train stop in either direction from SAIT. The bags they gave would often fall apart before I got back to my dorm.


            I then caught a bus back to the C-Train and rode to Banff Trail. I then walked to my hotel. I watched TV for a little while and looked in the phone book and saw the address of the hobby shop where the guy I saw on the C-Train had bought the model railway cars. I also saw that Trains and Such had moved to a new location near Chinook C-Train station. I worked on this report before I called it a night.


September 13, 2013:


            I got up and got dressed. I went to the lobby for breakfast. After, I returned to my room for a few minutes before I headed out. I walked to Banff Trail station and bought a day pass again. I rode the train one stop to Lions Park station and transferred to the route #19 bus. This time I stayed on longer. We passed the stop where I got off the times I took the Route #19 bus to class at SAIT and stayed on.  I got to the hobby store a few minutes later. I looked around but didn't buy anything. I then caught a route #72 bus to Whitehorn station. I then caught a C-Train downtown and transferred to C-Train route 201 and rode to Chinook. I then went to find Trains and Such. It took me a few minutes, but I eventually found it. I looked around for a few minutes before I bought a book on train wrecks that was displayed in the break room at SAIT. I then left Trains and Such and walked to the Chinook Center Mall. I looked around and had lunch in the food court. While I was there, I photographed the steam locomotive/helicopter on the mobile which I also photographed on my Western Canada trip.



            I went into an HMV and bought a book. I then caught a cutaway on route #506 back to Chinook C-Train station. I then rode the C-train downtown and transferred to the route #202 C-Train and headed to the place I was the day before where I saw all those Classics. I waited and I eventually saw some Classics arrive. I photographed them.














            I was there for two hours. I eventually left on Classic #5111, which is a Classic Calgary Transit had bought second hand from somewhere in Connecticut. I rode a few blocks before I got off and photographed #5111.



            I then boarded a D40LF on route 24 and rode out to Ogden. I saw some cars for the CP Holiday train. I could tell because they said “Canadian Pacific Holiday Train”. I took some photos.




            I then walked up further and took some more photos.





            I then caught a bus back to Alyth yard. I photographed a couple CP freights and I got a glimpse of CP FP9As #4106 and 4107 which pull the Royal Canadian Pacific.










            I then caught a bus back to downtown. I got on the route #201 C-Train. I was feeling hungry and I decided to go to Arby's for dinner. However to get there, I had to cut through SAIT's main campus, but I didn't feel like taking the long way. I grudgingly made my way from the SAIT C-Train stop and went to Arby's. After supper, I caught a route 19 bus back to my hotel. I went online and worked on this report some more. I saw on the Canadian Public Transportation Board that someone had seen a Calgary Transit fishbowl in service in the area I was! If I had stayed there for 30 minutes longer, I would have ridden it! That was a major disappointment!


            I eventually asked for a wake up call at 8:00 am and called it a night.


Click here for the charter itself:       Calgary fishbowl charter part 2