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Montreal trip report:

Montreal trip report:




            In mid July of 2006, my sister’s ball team qualified for “The Canadians”, a major softball tournament. This year, the Canadians were behind held in the Montreal suburb of Dorval.


When I found my work schedule for the week the Canadians were being held, I saw I had four whole days off. I only had to book my train tickets as my parents had already arranged for a hotel. My plan was to take VIA train 56 to Dorval on the Monday, mess around the area for two days, and then on Thursday, I would ride train 67 home.


August 7, 2006:


I got up shortly after 7:00 am and had breakfast. Shortly after that, I headed out to the VIVA bus stop to catch a bus to the subway. The day was a civic holiday though. I was shocked to find out that the next VIVA bus was due in 52 minutes! So much for “Fast, frequent service”!


I ended up flagging a taxi down and got a ride to the subway. Once I got to the subway, I paid my fair and caught a subway train down to Union, arriving comfortably before 9:00. My train was supposed to depart at 9:30 am.


Soon, boarding began. I was wondering if my train would be J-trained with VIA train 42 bound for Ottawa, but I later learned that the two trains were running separately.


Train 56 ended up being pretty full. I noticed that there were two P42’s bracketing the coaches which were all LRC coaches.


I saw train 42 depart on the track to the right of us. Shortly after that, we departed on time. When we departed, I filmed the short consist of train 85 on a track to the left of us. It consisted of F40PH-2 #6411 which was still in the Operation Lifesaver ad scheme, a Hep2 coach, and a Hep1 coach.


Soon, we raced past the TTC’s Greenwood subway yard. I filmed it as we past, and noticed that former Gloucester work cars RT-34 and RT-37, which had been parked there for over a year, had been graffitied!


The train stopped just west of Guildwood, presumably to let 42 load passengers. Train 56 soon stopped there as well. After we departed Guildwood, we stopped at Oshawa. We were passed by VIA train 41. We later passed VIA trains 53 and 43. Unfortunately, I was unable to film any of the three trains. At one point, an alarm sounded beeping. I was a little concerned at first, but found it was found that there was nothing wrong with the train. Still, the alarm was loud and annoying!


Train 56 soon stopped at Cobourg. After we left, I was finally able to film the Memory Junction railway museum as we raced past. From shortly after train 56 left, I noticed that once again, the LRC coaches’ banking mechanisms were switched on.


We soon stopped in Belleville, then Kingston. After we left Kingston, train 57 passed us. I was unable to film it. Soon, I bought lunch from the food cart. We stopped in Brockville. When we left, I saw train 42 on a side track. I tried to film it, but because of a problem with my digital camera, I was able to only film the locomotive.


I decided to explore the train. I found out that while I was in the fifth car behind the locomotive, the cars behind mine were empty and blocked off. I’m guessing VIA was ferrying a train to Montreal. Train 56 stopped in Cornwall, which is the final stop in Ontario and the last stop before Dorval. I soon started to pack my duffel bag when it ripped, but it wasn’t too bad.


Soon, we were running parallel with the CP line. We passed an AMT commuter train. Train 56 arrived into Dorval no more than two minutes late which isn’t bad. I walked to the end of the platform and took a couple photos of the train.



As train 56 departed, I filmed it pulling out. The train consisted of P42DC #912, two VIA 1 class LRC coaches, 6 economy class LRC coaches, a third VIA 1 class LRC coach, and P42DC #918. I took a picture of the train after it left.



Train 56 would continue for another 20 minutes before it reached Montreal. Meanwhile, I wandered into the station and was about to phone my parents when I noticed them pulling into the parking lot. I then headed out to meet them.


We then headed to the hotel where we were staying. I found out we had a suite. Upon getting to the room, I saw that our room was in the process of being cleaned. We put out stuff in one of my sister’s teammate’s rooms.


My family and one of my sister’s teammates decided to go to a Subway restaurant in a nearby strip mall. Since I had lunch on the train, I just got a bottle of Coke. After, I headed to a Zeller’s in the same mall. Soon, my family joined me and we did a little shopping before returning to the hotel where we discovered that our room still wasn’t ready! We then retreated to my sister’s teammate’s room until our room was done.


After we finally settled into our room, my sister’s team had to go out to play a game. I chose to stay back at the hotel. After awhile, I decided to explore the area around the hotel and take some photos of STM buses. Because of a law in Quebec that transit buses can be no older than 1989 vintage, STM’s fleet consists of Classics and Nova LFS’s. I kept an eye out for Classics without an electronic destination sign since those were the oldest buses in STM’s fleet. However, I didn’t see any. I did see one Classic with the fleet number 11-022. That gave me a chuckle because it was basically another form of writing the number 1122, which is the number of my favorite GO Transit fishbowl. In addition, in 2002, I discovered that Calgary Transit also had a fishbowl numbered 1122! However, I was unable to photograph STM #11-022 that day, but I decided to keep a look out.


I then walked over to a bus terminal at a mall and started photographing buses.




After taking some photos, I decided to explore the mall. I saw several buses with ads for a beer called “Gros Cochon”, which is French for “Large pig”! I find that name funny, even though I don’t drink. After that, I walked back to my hotel and had dinner in the restaurant. When I paid my bill, I got a chuckle: One thing on the bill said “1 Ass grilled cheese”! I hung around the hotel the rest of the evening and eventually called it a night.


Click here for Day 2.htm