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April 15, 2010:

April 15, 2010:

 

††††††††††† I woke up just out of Matapedia. We were close to schedule. The train arrived at Matapedia and the Chaleur was separated from the Ocean. After the Chaleur was moved to the adjacent track, people were allowed onto the platform. I stepped out and took some photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I asked the crew if I could go over to see the Oceanís engines couple to the coaches. They said I could. I filmed the coupling move and took one more photo of the Chaleur. The crew also told me the station in Matapedia was over 100 years old.

 

 

††††††††††† I then quickly got back on the train. The train departed a few minutes later. It was snowing slightly. The train departed 21 minutes late. As we departed, I filmed the Ocean in the station. I then went to the dining area of the Skyline car for breakfast.

 

††††††††††† My Chaleur consisted of F40PH-2 #6419, baggage car 8618, coach 8132, Skyline 8500, and sleepers Chateau Bienville and Chateau Richelieu. The baggage car and coach were coaches VIA bought from the U.S. while the dome car and sleepers were all ex Canadian Pacific. This is the shortest the Chaleur gets.

 

††††††††††† I filmed the HO scale model railway equipment in the boxes on board. The train stopped at Carleton and New Richmond. By now, the snow had stopped. The train was running close to schedule.

 

††††††††††† The train was approaching New Carlisle. This was where the train was terminated the year before. However, this time the train wasnít being terminated and would go all the way to Gaspe. I was relieved. New Carlisle was a smoke stop which I used to take a quick photo of the train.

 

 

††††††††††† Several months after my trip, I found out the railway station in New Carlisle had been vandalized.The vandals smashed windows, fax machines, computers, printers, trash cans, etc. I donít know if they were caught, but I wonder if they were VIA passengers annoyed with the Chaleur being terminated there instead of running all the way to Gaspe!

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††††††††††† I got back on the train and we soon departed. I was ecstatic.

 

††††††††††† The route east of New Carlisle was curvy and at some points, the train slowed to a crawl. For a lot of the route the train ran along the coast. At one point, we passed through Port Daniel.Something I noticed along the way was that if the train wasnít picking up or dropping off people at a station, the train would pass by without stopping. Maybe it was due to the lateness.

 

††††††††††† The train passed over an inlet and passed over a bridge. I took some photos.

 

 

 

††††††††††† Soon, we stopped at Chandler. From the dome, I could see an old factory with some old tank cars and an old GE 80-ton switcher which I photographed.

 

 

 

††††††††††† The train soon left. We passed through Grande-Rivere and Perce. East of Perce, I saw the famous rock in the distance. I took some photos of it.However, I got would later get some clearer shots on the way back.

 

††††††††††† The train passed through Barachois and soon, we were approaching Gaspe. I went back to my coach seat and finished packing. I photographed what looked like a small ferry in dry dock as we approached the station.

 

 

The train arrived 13 minutes late. Once I got off I took some photos.

 

 

 

††††††††††† Gaspe was literally the end of the line. The track ended just past the station. Several minutes later, the train reversed out of the station to be wyed. I filmed the train backing out and took a taxi to a nearby McDonaldís for lunch. Along the way, the taxi driver told me a little about Gaspe. I knew from an article in a 2005 issue of Branchline Magazine that cruise ships serve Gaspe in the summer. The taxi driver told me where they dock.

 

††††††††††† We soon arrived at the McDonalds and I paid and went inside and had lunch. After lunch I walked over to a nearby mall and bought a t-shirt. Though the cashier didnít speak English, but I managed. I didnít have any reception on my cell phone. I tried to phone home from a payphone without success. I then left the mall and walked back to the station.

 

††††††††††† By the time I got back to the station, the train had been wyed and the locomotive was almost finished being refueled. I took some photos.

 

 

Click here to see the full consist of the Chaleur:††††††† Chaleur consist 2010.

 

 

 

††††††††††† A few months ago, the Gaspe station was damaged in a fire. The fire didnít affect the Chaleur, but VIA has a temporary station on site. I went inside and asked if I could change my room so I wouldnít be over the wheels. However, I was told all roomettes (or as VIA calls them, Cabins for 1) were sold out. I then went outside and photographed the temporary station.

 

 

††††††††††† While I was waiting, I walked over to a nearby building to use a payphone that was outside, however it was broken. I returned to the station and waited for the train to board. About 10 minutes to board I saw a VIA employee open the door to the Skyline car and motioned for me to come. He asked if I was getting on board. I told him I was.

 

††††††††††† The conductor gave did change my room. I would have been in room 2 in sleeping car Chateau Richelieu. He then gave me room 1 in Chateau Bienville. It was still above the wheels though, but it was on the more scenic side of the train. I asked if I could have gotten a higher numbered room, but I couldnít. I noted to myself that this was the second time I had a room in Chateau Bienville. The first time was on my 2006 Halifax trip.

 

††††††††††† The train left on time. I made my way to the dome. The crew noticed I was in a sleeper now.

 

††††††††††† The train stopped at Barachois. Between Barachois and Perce, I photographed the famous rock to the best of my ability from the dome; however, the line goes nowhere near the rock.

 

 

††††††††††† The train passed non-stop through Perce. We went through Grand-Riviere. As we stopped in Chandler, I took some more pictures of the GE 80-ton switcher and the old tank cars.

 

 

 

††††††††††† At Chandler, they had a sewage truck draining the tanks underneath the coaches. I donít know why this wasnít done in Gaspe. After we left, I went back to my room for a nap because I was feeling tired. I woke up when the train was at Port Daniel. I returned to the dome.

 

††††††††††† New Carlisle was a smoke stop. I used it to photograph the train.

 

 

††††††††††† I got back on the train and we soon departed. A little while later, we stopped at Bonadventure. I bought a burger from the snack bar area of the Skyline car because the two items on the diner menu didnít appeal to me. I ate my dinner in the dome.

 

††††††††††† The sun went down. The train stopped at New Richmond. We soon arrived at Matapedia which was a smoke stop. We were waiting for the Ocean so the two trains could be connected. I got out and took some photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† Unlike last year, the Ocean was on time. When it pulled it, I saw it was pulled by two rebuilt F40s: 6433 and 6454. I took some photos.

 

 

 

††††††††††† The Oceanís power was uncoupled from the coaches and they ran up past the switch. I filmed the locomotives passing the station building and then coupling onto the Chaleurís locomotive. I then took some photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† The Chaleur started moving. I walked over to the Oceanís coaches and took some photos. It was pretty obvious to me they wouldnít leave the Oceanís cars behind. I took some photos and filmed the coupling move just like I did on my Moncton trip.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† During the coupling move, a VIA crewmember told me ďDonít forget to get back on.Ē I told him I would once the coupling move was finished. Once the joint was made, I boarded the Chaleur. I let the crew know I was safely back on board. They asked how I got back on. I told them I got on from the back sleeping car and they were okay. The HEP was soon restored and the train departed on time. I had a good feeling that I would make my connection with 57 this time and not be bumped to 61. I went to the dome for a little while before I called it a night.

 

April 16 2010:

 

††††††††††† I woke up in the middle of the night a couple times as we made station stops. The second time was in Charny. A few hours later, I got up shortly after 7:00 am. I got dressed and headed to the dining area of the Skyline car for breakfast. After breakfast, I went to the dome. It was raining. As we went around curves, I photographed the 10 Renaissance coaches behind.

 

 

††††††††††† I went to the sleeping car behind mine. I saw there was no snow on the Renaissance baggage car like there was last year when I rode the Chaleur. The train stopped at Drummondville and Saint-Hyacinthe. When VIA train 20 passed, I filmed it. It had a rebuilt F40PH-2 and three LRC coaches. I took a picture of the rear of the train after.

 

 

††††††††††† Soon, we were approaching Montreal. We passed an inbound AMT commuter train before St Lambert. As we stopped, it caught up to us. I photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† Just like two days earlier, the Ocean and Chaleur crossed the St. Lawrence River on the secondary bridge as the main span was up. I filmed VIAís Montreal Maintenance Centre as we passes as well as the equipment from train 21 as the deadheaded back to the VIA yard. I then went to my room and finished packing. I filmed an AMT train outside Central station before we arrived nine minutes late. I saw train 57 on the adjacent track. Todayís 57 was long. It had two F40PH-2s leading.

 

††††††††††† Once I got off the Chaleur, I took some photos of it.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† The crew kindly said goodbye to me. I took a couple photos of 57 before I went upstairs.

 

 

 

††††††††††† Once upstairs, I phoned home and was finally able to let my mom know I had made it to Gaspe. I went to a convenience store for some snacks. I then joined the line to board 57.

 

††††††††††† Boarding began 15-20 minutes before departure. I was seated in Hep2 coach 4111. From my coach seat, I could see Amtrakís Adirondack. I watched as the Adirondack departed on time at 9:30.

 

††††††††††† Train 57 left on time. Shortly after we left, I filmed a train consisting of a P42 and LRC coaches backing towards Central station.

 

††††††††††† As I said earlier the train was long. It had two F40s, a baggage car, two Hep2 VIA 1 coaches, and 8-9 economy class coaches. The train stopped at Dorval.

 

††††††††††† Between Cornwall and Brockville, train 52 passed. I filmed it as it went by. We stopped at Brockville a little while later. Between Brockville and Kingston, VIA trains 42 and 56 passed us, but I was unable to film them.I bought some lunch.

 

††††††††††† The train then stopped in Kingston. At one point, I walked down the train and saw the last two coaches were empty.

 

††††††††††† We soon departed and after a few minutes, we were passed by VIA train 42 for Ottawa. The train stopped in Belleville. The stop was a quick one and we were soon underway. Between Belleville and Cobourg, we passed the Memory Junction railway museum, which I filmed as we went past. The train made a stop at Cobourg. I noticed the train sat for awhile on account that we arrived early at several stations. At some point around Port Hope, train 60 passed, but I was unable to film it. Train 44 also passed without me being able to film it.

 

††††††††††† The train stopped in Oshawa. It felt good to be back in GO Transit territory again. As we passed the Pickering GO station, I looked for any signs of the accident from two weeks earlier but I didnít really see anything. The train stopped at Guildwood. As we passed the TTCís Greenwood subway yard, I filmed it.

 

††††††††††† The train crew announced that passengers connecting to train 75 could stay on board since 57 becomes 75 in Toronto. The train 57 arrived on time. I got off and took some photos.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I went into the station and around to the western part of the station and took a photo of train 57ís locomotives.

 

 

††††††††††† I then phoned home and left a message I was home. I went to the subway and I saw on the information board in the station that Yonge Street was closed between Dundas and Elm Street; however the subway was unaffected. I rode to Finch and caught a VIVA bus home.

 

Conclusions:

 

††††††††††† This trip on the Chaleur was way better than my trip last year. The three bad parts from last year (suitcase wheel breaking, the Chaleur being terminated in New Carlisle, and missing my connecting train due to a late Ocean) all didnít happen again.

 

††††††††††† In the future, I plan to stick to boarding at Union Station instead of Oshawa for convenience.Riding the Renaissance equipped train 66 was nice. However VIA is currently refurbishing the LRC coaches and once enough coaches are done, VIA will run trains 52, 53, 66, and 67 with the refurbished LRC coaches.

 

††††††††††† It was sad to see VIA F40PH-2 6400 in a wrecked state, but Iím glad I went to see it one more time.

 

††††††††††† Now that Iíve made it to Gaspe, I donít know when Iíll be riding southwest of Charny on either the Ocean or Chaleur again. I might go for a trip if I learn VIA will do away with the Budd coaches on the Ocean once and for all.

 

††††††††††† I would have liked to ride an articulated Nova LFS and an 11-000 or 12-000 series Classic in Montreal, though Iíll have another chance in the summer. My next trip will be in about a month when I plan to head to Dayton for an ďonce-in-a-lifetimeĒ charter and then head off to North Carolina. Until next timeÖ

 

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