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February 6th, 2008:

February 6th, 2008:


I got up at 9:30 and got dressed. I then headed downstairs for breakfast. I had some cereal, but pouring milk onto it was interesting as the students on the field trip had used all the milk up! I ended up using dozens of mini milk cups for coffee on my cereal.


Today, I would be riding around on buses. There were a few I wanted to see. I wanted to see their Articulated Nova LFS demo, one of their articulated Classics, (similar to what I saw on my Halifax trip), and some of their older Classics.


Dan and I were given directions to a convenience store a couple blocks away where we could buy day passes for RTC. After, we rode route 800 to Place D’Youville. Dan isn’t much of a bus fan, so he was going to look around the old city while I headed out on the buses.


I first rode a Nova LFS on route 801 for a distance and then rode back to Place D’Youville on a similar bus. I then saw a Classic in the old STCUQ livery a block away. I walked over and saw that it was an older Classic as it still had a myler destination sign instead of an electronic sign. I photographed the bus before I got on.



I rode 8615 to Ste. Foy and got off when I found a restaurant and had lunch. After lunch, I caught a Nova LFS back downtown. Shortly after, I took a ride on Classic #9001 which was in a transition between old STCUQ livery and the current RTC livery. Once I got off, I took a photo of 9001.



I then caught a Nova LFS back to Place D’Youville. I was looking for any articulated bus. I photographed a few buses before I wandered down by the skating rink I saw Bonhomme Carnival the night before. I headed back and immediately saw the Nova LFS Artic demo. I ran and caught it. I rode the bus for a few minutes. I took some interior shots before I got off and took a photo of the bus and a video of it pulling away.




The LFS Artic is not in production yet, but when it is, I’m sure many transit systems in Quebec will order it. There were quite a few people on the artic (#0881). I think RTC should buy some for use on routes 800 and 801 as they do have high frequency and they have high ridership.


Once I got back to Place D’Youville, I took a photo of a Classic surrounded by smoke from a nearby (and newer) Nova LFS!



I then went back to photographing Classics. I was looking for the articulated Classics, but none showed up. I did see a few older Classics though.










I decided to ride to the far end of routes 800 and 801 because they terminate in Ste. Foy. I thought that if I was to see either an articulated Classic, it would be along that route. I boarded a 9400 series Classic on route 801 for the long ride. I didn’t see any articulated Classics though.


I eventually decided to get off and ride back to a mall to have dinner in the food court. I got back there a few minutes after 5:00 pm. I looked behind me and saw an RTS running for the local transit system in Levis which is across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City.


I then went into the mall and looked around the mall for a few minutes before I would have had dinner. I found that they were closing and locking most of the stores, even though it was 5:30 pm. What kind of mall closes at 5:30 pm on a Wednesday?!? The mall where the Wal-Mart I work at usually closes at 9:00 pm Monday-Friday and closes at 6:00 pm on weekends. And the mall in Quebec City was a pretty big one as well.


I then caught a route 800 bus back to Gare-Du-Palais. There are a few restaurants in the station, but I was feeling more like fast food like McDonald’s. I had seen one the day before when Dan and I were walking around old Quebec. I first would have taken a bus there, but the buses weren’t running as frequently. I then wanted to walk there, but I forgot which street to go up. I ended up taking a taxi there.


I had dinner at McDonald’s and walked back to Gare-Du-Palais. I then caught a route 800 bus back to my hotel. As we passed the train shed at the station, I saw VIA train 24 had arrived. It consisted of P42 #903 and seven Renaissance coaches. I was pretty sure that it would become tomorrow’s train 21 to Montreal that Dan would be riding.


When I got back to the hotel, I saw Dan on the computer in the lobby. He told me what he had done. Among the things he did was ride a funicular which we had discovered the day before; (D’oh, I forgot about that!) Dan also rode the ferry to Levis and back and went by Place Desjardins at Carnival de Quebec.


Later, Dan showed me some of his pictures from the day and his previous trips. I was interested to learn the ferry terminal in Levis was at the former VIA station that still had signs for VIA. One of his photos showed the train shed and even though the tracks are long gone, I could almost imagine a VIA train pulling into the station.


Later, Dan and I went back to the lobby and looked at some of my older trip reports on my site. I noticed that there was an electrical outlet on the 2nd floor that was completely inaccessible unless you had a ladder. Dan and I agreed it was an odd place for an outlet! A little while later, we went back to the room and called it a night as Dan had to be up pretty early the next day.


February 7, 2008:


Dan had gotten up at 4:40 am and left the hotel 45 minutes later. I woke up at that time, but went back to sleep until 9:15 am. I got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. This time there was plenty of milk and I didn’t have to use the little milk packages intended for coffee. I went back up to the room and finished packing. I looked out the window and photographed one of the highway coaches used by the field trip from my room.



Around 10:30, I checked out of the hotel. I then walked over to the bus stop to pick up a route 800 bus. I had just missed a bus, but the buses ran every 10 minutes and I still had plenty of time before my train left. However, it was really cold out. Prior to the trip, many people had told me Quebec would be cold. I was lucky it wasn’t too cold on the first three days. Besides, I wouldn’t be outside for too long.


My bus came and I rode down to Gare du Palais. I got there shortly after 11:00 am; two hours before my train was scheduled to leave. I saw that my train would still be leaving on time and not replaced by a bus. I checked my suitcase to Montreal because my connecting train doesn’t have checked baggage.


At 11:30 am, I decided to have lunch. I bought lunch from a Subway restaurant inside the station. After lunch, I went back to the waiting room. I saw that even though there was a Panorama lounge for VIA 1 passengers with a massage chair, there were massage chairs for people in economy as well. I had a massage in one of those chairs. After, I walked up to the gate and snapped a photo of my train.



I went back to the waiting game. Boarding began at 12:40 pm. Once I got into the train shed, I took some photos.





I was seated in Renaissance economy class coach #7207. While waiting for the train to depart, I took some interior photos of the coach. The train left on time. Shortly after we left, I took a picture of some ships in the harbor.



The train wound its way through the area and then stopped at Ste. Foy. We soon departed. I took a picture of the Quebec Bridge from the train. When the bridge was under construction, its center span collapsed killing some people. When the bridge’s predecessor was being built, it too collapsed killing quite a few people.



            I filmed a small freight train passing us before we crossed the river. The train passed through Charny without stopping. 45 minutes later, we took a siding to let train 22 pass. As it passed, I filmed it. We took sidings at two places to let some CN freights pass by. The train stopped at Drummondville and picked up a pretty big crowd.


            The train stopped at St. Lambert and then crossed the St. Lawrence River before arriving into Montreal’s Central station 10 minutes late. Once I got off, I took some photos.




            I then went upstairs to retrieve my checked bag. It was 4:14 pm and my connecting train was scheduled to depart at 5:00 pm. I wasn’t sure if I could pick up my bag in time. Even if I did miss my connection, I could take train 69 which leaves 75 minutes later. Fortunately, I was able to get my bag and line up for train 67.


            While I was waiting for the train to board, I watched the VIA attendants. One of them looked kind of like Luba Goy from the Royal Canadian Air Farce with a blond wig. Boarding soon commenced. I was seated in LRC economy class coach #3368. I had a window seat on the right hand side of the train.


            While waiting, I saw a train back in from VIA’s Montreal Maintenance Centre and I watched train 37 depart for Ottawa. Less than 10 minutes before departure, I saw VIA train 60 arrive from Toronto behind F40PH-2 #6407. I noticed the heat was on pretty high on my coach and it almost felt like a sauna.


            Train 67 departed on time. Shortly after we left, I filmed the consist of what would be VIA train 14, the eastbound Ocean pass by. It had the former CP Budd built coaches as once again, VIA was temporarily running a set of Budd cars on the Ocean.


            Train 67 made its only scheduled stop at Dorval. Shortly after we left Dorval, we passed an eastbound AMT commuter train on the parallel CP line led by a former Amtrak F40PH.


            It soon got dark out. I bought dinner. At one point, we stopped. The train crew announced they were doing an inspection. After 10 or so minutes, we were underway.


            Later, we stopped at Kingston, even though we weren’t scheduled to stop there, However, I don’t think it was a passenger stop as I didn’t see anybody get on or off. The train crew announced we were about half way to Toronto. We soon left.


A little while later, we raced though Belleville, Cobourg, and Port Hope. Soon, we passed through Oshawa. It felt good that I was in GO Transit territory again. Soon, we arrived into Toronto Union station 16 minutes late. Shortly after we arrived, I took some photos.




            I noticed on the track beside us was the consist of train 47 from Ottawa. It soon began to pull away from the station. I filmed the train pulling out and walked down the platform and took one last photo of train 67.



            I headed to the escalator which stopped about half way down; I walked the rest of the way. There were people waiting to board train 67 heading to Aldershot, the train’s final destination. I then called home and got on the subway.


            It had snowed quite a bit in Toronto and there were pretty big piles of snow. I noticed this when my dad met me at Finch. I arrived home a little while later.




            I had been meaning to check out Carnival de Quebec for awhile. Now that I have, it was great! I only wish that my camera didn’t screw up when I was going down the snow raft run and that I was able to ride an articulated Classic. It was good to see my friend Dan again.


            In July, I learned that my 4th grade teacher whom I first learned about the Carnival had passed away in January; before the trip. I kinda thought she’d be interested in this trip. However, she could have been in Quebec City in spirit.


            As for me, I won’t be taking any trips for awhile. I plan to go to Boston in the summer. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the only way I foresee another trip is that the Maple Leaf is to be discontinued as a result of CN abandoning the bridge it uses to cross into the U.S. However, right now the Maple Leaf looks like it will see summer 2008 and beyond. Until next time…