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Ottawa Trip 2019:


Ottawa Trip 2019:




            In 2012, Ottawa began construction of a new light rail line called the Confederation Line. The line would be built over part of the Transitway right of way and use electric cars instead of the diesel cars used on the original O-Train (later renamed the Trillium Line).


            When I went to Ottawa the line was well under construction and some cars had been delivered and begun testing. I decided when the line was open, I would return to Ottawa to ride the line. I knew I needed three days off from work and waited until the line was open.


            For awhile there was much speculation on which line would open first: The Confederation Line in Ottawa or Ion in Kitchener. Both lines openings were pushed back several times. In the end, Ion won by almost three months.


            After the Confederation line opened, I decided I would try to go in October when I had three days off work that was not on a Sunday. As it happens, I got October 9-11 off. My plan was to ride VIA train #52 to Ottawa and stay two nights before taking train #45 back home. The trip unfolded as follows.


October 9, 2019:


            I got to Union station at 7:30 am; just over an hour before Train #52 departs. I saw on the departure board that VIA train #97 the Maple Leaf was replaced by a bus. My train was fine though. I don’t know how much of the route would be bussed. I would later learn that trackwork is the reason however it appears the American part of the route will still be a train.


            Boarding began at 8:10 am. I was seated in LRC coach #3353. I had a backwards facing window seat on the left-hand side of the train.


            I then saw the Canadian backing into Union station. I filmed it. The train departed on time. I took one more photo of the Canadian.



            When we passed Greenwood Yard, I was preoccupied and took a quick photo.



            The train stopped in Oshawa. East of Oshawa, we passed a CN intermodal train. VIA train #41 passed, but I was unable to film it.


            Awhile later, we stopped at Cobourg. We soon departed. The fall colours were coming out. We passed a field with pumpkins awaiting harvest.


            A westbound VIA train passed and I attempted to film it. I filmed the Memory Junction railway museum. Another westbound VIA train passed but I wasn’t expecting it so I couldn’t film it. A little while later, a westbound CN intermodal freight passed. The train passed non-stop through Belleville.


            Between Belleville and Kingston, the train seemed to slow. We soon increased speed. A CN freight passed on the south side of the train. Another westbound VIA passed, but I was unable to film it. The train stopped at Kingston a few minutes later.


            East of Kingston, I bought lunch. A westbound VIA train passed, but I was unable to film it. West of Brockville, we stopped to separate trains 52 and 62. The HEP went out. Another westbound VIA train passed but I was unable to film it. That train consisted of an F40, an LRC Business Class coach, and two HEP2 coaches. The first HEP2 had been refurbished. I could tell because the refurbished HEP2 coaches are in a different livery than the unrefurbished coaches.


            HEP was soon restored. The train soon started moving again and stopped at Brockville.


            Outside of Smith Falls, we stopped to let a CP freight pass in front of us. After several minutes, we were underway again. I attempted to film a Toronto bound VIA train just past Smith Falls.


            The train stopped at Fallowfield a few minutes later. Just past Fallowfield we stopped to let VIA train #47 pass. As it passed, I filmed it. We were soon underway again. We were now late as we should have been in Ottawa 10 minutes prior.


            Several minutes later, we were approaching downtown Ottawa. We were running beside the new line. I attempted to photograph a train as it passed.




            Train #52 arrived into Ottawa 32 minutes late. I got off and photographed the train.




            I then walked to the parking lot at the east end of the station and took one more photo.



            I then walked to the Tremblay station on Ottawa’s new line 1. I bought a three-day pass which would require 8 rides to be worth it.


            I just missed a train but the next train would come in 4 minutes. While waiting, I photographed a train heading in the opposite direction.



            I noticed that at the stations, there are OC Transpo employees who block a whistle just before the train leaves. It reminded me of how the Toronto subway system used to have guards who blew a whistle before the doors closed. The Scarborough RT always had chimes. The Hawker subway cars had chimes installed in the mid-90s. The 36 M-1 cars never got chimes so the guards on those trains continued to blow whistles until the last M-1s was retired 20 years ago. However, in 2013 on the last run of the H-5s, guards blew whistles in addition to the chimes on the train.


When my train arrived, I photographed it.



            The Confederation line which is also called “Line 1” uses LRVs built by Alstom. Back in Toronto, Metrolinx has similar cars on order for the Finch West LRT due to Bombardier being unreliable with deliveries.


            I rode to the Rideau stop four stations away and got off I photographed the train and filmed it pulling away.



            I then walked to my hostel. It took a few minutes, but I found the place. This was not the hostel I stayed at in 2009. I checked in. However, my room wasn’t ready. They did allow me to leave my suitcase. I did and walked over to the nearby Rideau Center. I looked around and then made my way over to the intersection of Rideau and Mackenzie. I was going to try to ride an STO Classic.


            Since I was last in Ottawa, STO has retired many of their Classics. However, the Classics they bought from Calgary are apparently in better shape so they’re sticking around. I walked until I found an STO bus stop. I then waited to see if a Classic would show up.


            I knew even before the trip that I would not see fishbowl #7901 as STO had retired it from revenue service. They are keeping it as a historic bus though. While waiting, I photographed several buses.















            I photographed STO Nova LFS which was the oldest LFS I would see on this trip.



            I then photographed more buses.



















            Eventually STO Classic #9137 showed up. I photographed #9137 and got on.



            #9137 is former Calgary Transit Classic #5061. I rode #9137 to the terminal where I hung out at on my 2015 and 2017 trips to Ottawa and got off. I photographed #9137 and filmed it pulling away.









            I eventually boarded an STO Nova LFS back into Ottawa. On the way we passed another STO Classic. I didn’t get a good look at its number but it might have been #9134.


            Once downtown, I got off and waited to see if another STO Classic would come. I photographed some more buses.




            I saw an STO Classic coming. It was #9137 again. I photographed it and decided to ride it one more time.



            I rode back to the terminal and got off and photographed #9137 and filmed the bus pulling away.



            I then went back to the terminal to once again see if another STO Classic would show up. I photographed some buses.









            I photographed a poster for Liberal candidate Greg Fergus that someone had vandalized. Canada is going into a federal election in the near future.



            I caught an OC Transpo bus to the Pimisi station on Line 1. An eastbound train was already in the station. I ran and boarded the first car. I rode to Rideau station and got off and photographed the train.




            I then filmed the train pulling out of the station. I then went to the Rideau Center and ate dinner in the food court. I then returned to the hostel and was able to get my suitcase and got my room key. I had a private room.


            The hostel is in a former jail. The old cells are the room. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was shocked to see my room was as wide as my bed! I did manage to make it work.


            I went online for awhile and went out a few times. I eventually set an alarm on my phone and called it a night.


Click here for the next two days of my trip:             Part 2