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August 8, 2006:

August 8, 2006:

 

I got up and had breakfast. Today, I was planning on visiting Exporail which is a railroad museum just South of Montreal. My mom gave me a ride there. We left around 8:45 am, thinking traffic would be heavy.

 

When we got onto the highway, I saw an AMT commuter train with their newest coaches: Bombardier built bi-levels similar to what GO Transit in Toronto uses. We also drove past the Alstom facility in Montreal were they had some ex AMT 800 series coaches stored there amongst other things.

 

We ended up getting to Exporail around 9:20 am, 40 minutes before the museum was to open. My mom had to go because my sister had a game later. While I was waiting, I walked over to the nearby Saint-Constant AMT commuter station. On a crossing nearby, I saw a cross on the tracks that had ďEli 1989-2006Ē written on it. It appeared that sometime this year; a 17 year old named Eli was struck by a train at this crossing and killed.

 

Eventually the museum opened, and I went inside. I first tried to ride ex Montreal streetcar #1959, but it wasnít taking passengers yet, so I photographed it anyway.

 

 

I then went into the main display building that had several interesting pieces of equipment. Some of these included ex CP MLW M-640 diesel #4744, an experimental AC unit, CP FM Trainmaster #8905, CN Alco FPA-4 #6765, CN boxcab electric #6711, and CPís Royal Hudson steam locomotive #2850, which hauled the royal train decades ago. I photographed various pieces of equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the exhibit had a stairwell that lets people walk underneath CN 6765 and CP 2850 which I checked out. Next, I went to the second floor of the building and saw an Operation Lifesaver display just like what I passed my time at Montrealís central station when I was coming back from Halifax. I used the opportunity to take an aerial photo of 6765.

 

 

After, I boarded former Montreal streetcar 1959 and rode the museumís display trolley line to the back of the museum where I got off and filmed the car pulling away. I photographed a set of former CN Multiple Unit cars before heading into another display barn that had several pieces of equipment including several steam engines and streetcars. One streetcar was the only surviving ex Montreal PCC.

 

 

After leaving the display barn, I photographed VIA LRC locomotive #6921. These locomotives were built by Alco and were purchased at the same time VIAís LRC coaches were purchased. All but seven units were stored following VIAís massive 1990 cutbacks. The remaining seven units (6921 included) were retired when VIAís P42ís were delivered. 6921 was the only LRC locomotive I ever got to ride behind.

 

 

Nearby was former VIA sleeping car Eureka. The car was originally owned by CN and was retired in 1994. I also noticed the carís steps were damaged.

 

Former VIA sleeper Eureka; note the damaged steps.

 

††††††††††† After photographing Eureka, I took photos of ex CP Alco M-424 #4237 and M-636 #4563. I then went over to see the museumís other ex VIA stock: FP9 #6309 and dome observation ďSibley ParkĒ

 

 

 

††††††††††† When VIA was formed in the late 1970ís, they acquired 17 Park cars from CP. With VIAís massive 1990 budget cuts, they only rebuilt 14 which they converted from steam heat to head end power. The other three were stored until 2004 where they were sold. Throughout the day, I would keep coming back to Sibley Park and photographing it. I strained to get some interior shots of the car.

 

This is one of my limited successes of photographing the interior of Sibley Park.

 

††††††††††† After photographing Sibley Park, I took some photos of two former CP RDCís at the museum. At one point, AMT GP9 #1311 ran past without any cars. Unfortunately, I was unable to photograph it.

 

 

Meanwhile, there was going to be a demonstration of the museumís turntable. One member of the museum was looking for volunteers to help turn the turntable. I stepped up and helped spin the turntable. I filmed me turning the turntable. Next, they had a handcar which they asked for volunteers to help operate. I stepped up again and got to move the handcar back and forth.

 

 

After, I went back to Sibley Park and photographed it again. I then photographed LRC locomotive #6921 again. I then photographed a set of CN narrow gauge equipment and ex CN F-unit #9171.

 

 

I then rode streetcar #1959 back to the front of the museum where I went into a restaurant for lunch. I had a minor problem ordering as they forgot about my hot dog, but I straightened them out.

 

After lunch, I took a ride on Exporailís miniature railroad. I got to ride the miniature train twice around the line taking some photos and video.

 

 

 

After I got off, I walked over to the barn with ex Montreal PCC 3517 in and took some more photos. One car was open and had an exhibit of snow removal and even made reference to when in 1952 the Southern Pacific streamliner train the City of San Francisco got stranded by snow in Donner Pass for six days! To make this more interesting, that happened in Nevada and this is supposed to be about Canadian railways. Oh well, Iím not complaining, besides, the story is kind of interesting.

 

 

After, I took a picture of the car that was running when I last visited the museum in 2002; ex Montreal observation car #3. The museum had changed a lot in the past four years. (The Exporail main display building was under construction when I was last at the museum.)

 

 

After, I went back to VIA FP9 #6309 and Sibley Park and took some more photos. I also noticed the blue paint on Sibley Park was peeling revealing the original maroon stripe the car was delivered to CP in back in the mid 1950ís

 

 

 

 

Next, I continue to explore and took photos of perhaps the museumís latest addition; former AMT commuter car #827.

 

 

I went into the carbarn where PCC 3517 is. At one point, I peeked through a window of Exporailís other carbarn which is not open to the public.

 

I returned to the main exhibit barn. I asked if I could possibly go inside Sibley Park, but they said no. I took a few more photos of various pieces of equipment in the building as well as an operating HO scale model railroad.

 

Eventually, my mom came, five minutes after our planned meeting time, which wasnít so bad. She was late because of traffic. On the way back to the hotel, I saw what she meant, though it wasnít as bad as it was when she came down, the traffic was backed up for miles and miles and miles! We got back to the hotel. My family was preparing to go out for another one of my sisterís games. I charged my digital cameraís batteries before I headed out to the mall to photograph buses.

 

 

After photographing a few Classics, Classic #11-022 pulled up I took a photograph of it before I got on.

 

 

I rode 11-022 to a bridge over the railway line. I filmed the bus pulling away. Next, I filmed an outbound AMT commuter train and then took a photo of it.

 

 

I waited for the next commuter train to come by and filmed it passing underneath the bridge I was standing on. After, I took a bus back to the mall where I had dinner at the food court. I then walked back to my hotel and eventually called it a night.

 

Click here for part 3: Montreal trip report day 3.htm