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May 31, 2009:

May 31, 2009:


            I didn’t end up getting much sleep because I had chosen the cheapest accommodation at my hostel: A 10 person room. There were at least three people snoring. I deeply regretted not spending $39 more for a private room.


            I eventually got up and got dressed. I soon realized it wasn’t even 6:00 am so I decided to lie down and took a brief nap. I got up just before 9:00 am and walked over to a nearby restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast, I walked over to what I thought was an STO stop. To get to where the charter began, I had to take route 67 or 77. STO has infrequent service on Sundays.


            At the stop, an STO bus on route 67 drove past without stopping! I wasn’t happy. A second STO bus passed without stopping. I became even more annoyed! With the help of a road crew, we flagged down a third STO bus. The driver said they didn’t normally stop at that stop during the weekend; but how was I supposed to know that? It didn’t say anything on the stop! This was almost as annoying as dealing with the taxi company that made me miss Amtrak train 48 on my Washington-Cleveland trip.


            I rode the bus to a stop which was much closer to the restaurant I had breakfast at. I waited for a few minutes and a bus on 77 showed up. I got on.


            Some other people attending the charter including the fans I rode around with the day before got on at the Rideau Center. We all sat near the back of the bus which was a 2007 Nova LFS. On the way, we passed a museum that I had visited when I was a kid. A few minutes later, we saw STO Classic #9508 signed up “Test Routier”. Soon, we arrived at the Terminal Promenades which was where the charter was to start. We had over an hour before the charter started. There was a mall nearby which I looked into.


            Over the next hour, more charter attendees showed up. 15 minutes before the start of the charter, I looked out in the direction where the bus was to coming from and saw an STO fishbowl. I knew right away that it was our charter bus. As promised, the bus was 7901. When it arrived, I photographed it.




            Just before 7901 showed up, Richard Hooles and a couple more bus fans from Toronto showed up. I soon paid for the charter. Originally, it would have cost $40, but there was so much interest, the organizer reduced the cost to $35. I took some interior photos of the bus and sat near the back.


            We soon departed. Along the way, we passed Classic #9508. I photographed it from 7901’s rear window.



            I spoke with other charter attendees. Some had come from Montreal. I showed some photos I had brought. Most of the photos I had on me were taken on the day I argued with that one YRT driver. One guy from Montreal said he’s heard bad things about that driver!


            Our first photo stop was Portage. We photographed 7901 here.




            At our next photo stop, I climbed onto a ledge and got an aerial shot of 7901.



            Next, we stopped near the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.



            Next was the Tunney’s Pasture Transitway stop which is served by STO on weekdays. We photographed 7901 and two OC Transpo Inveros.



            After we left, it started raining. Our next photo stop was at the Rivermead park and ride.



            We then headed up to the Galeries Aylmer mall. It was still raining. We got out and photographed the bus.



            Moments later, a woman pushing a stroller came up. She thought we were a regular bus in service! We had just finished explaining to her that this was a private charter when a man and his son came up and also thought we were an in-service bus! We told the driver to pull up away from the stop before more people thought we were in service. Shortly after we moved the bus, STO Nova LFS #0511 arrived and mounted the curve before stopping. The four people got on.



            I got back on 7901. Moments later bus #0511 left. As it left, it mounted the curve again! I photographed that.


Whoops! At lest he hit the curve instead of 7901!


            We soon left. Our next two photo stops were by a movie theatre and at the “Parc-o-bus Centre Robert-Guertin”




            We next went to a junk yard where former Ottawa GM Old Look #5911 is kept. I got a so-so picture of it and a picture of 7901 reflecting in a puddle.





            I found out from our driver that 5911 was not part of OC Transpo’s Historic fleet. Our next stop was the STO garage. The bus drove through the inside of the building. I took some photos.




            Next we stopped outside and we were allowed out to take some photos. I photographed the rear of fishbowl #7757; an ex OC Transpo fishbowl.




            7757 was backed out and I took some more photos of it; inside and out.



            I also photographed other buses parked outside including RTS #0011, the retired Classic #8401, former RTC (Quebec City) Classic #8620, Nova LFS #0514 which was fire damaged, and a LFS Hybrid bus.







            At one point, I heard and then saw a steam train belonging to the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train. I filmed it and took a not so good photo.


The Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train can be seen in the bottom right of the photo.


            Meanwhile, 7901 was moved to pose it beside 7757.




            Shortly after I took the photos of the two fishbowls, I heard from another charter attendee from Toronto that when 7901 was being moved, it struck the mirror of Classic #9402! The mirror was broken, but 7901 only suffered a scratch; not even a dent.




The discoloured area is where 7901 hit 9402’s mirror. It could be buffed out.


            This wasn’t the first charter I was on where our vehicle was involved in a collision! In 2001, I was on a PCC streetcar charter in Toronto when our car rear-ended CLRV #4062. Fortunately, there wasn’t any damage and both cars could operate under their own power!


            Meanwhile, we had the group photo at the garage. I also took a couple group photos.



            We soon left the garage. We passed by a police station at the intersection of Boulevard de la Carriere and Chemin du Lac-Lemay. I wondered if this was the police station that my roommate Osy was taken to as a result of his wrongful arrest.


            We had one more photo stop at the Jean-René-Monette park and ride.




            After, we headed back to Terminal Promenades. On the way, we went on the highway. When we arrived, there were three more bus fans there. One of them was Mike Boone from Belleville who has come on several charters hosted by the Toronto Transportation Society. I took some last shots of 7901.




            As the bus began to pull away, I filmed it. However, our driver kept stopping for photos.



            Meanwhile, the route 67 bus pulled up and I got on. From the bus, I filmed 7901 finally pulling away. A few other charter attendees also got on. One got off to transfer to the route 59. The rest of us rode to the Rideau Centre.


            By now, the mall was closing. I headed over to the Transitway and waited for a route 94 or a 95. The route 95 showed up first. When it arrived, I photographed the bus.



            I rode the D60LF to the train station. I noticed when I got there that train 49 was using the same equipment that I rode into Ottawa yesterday as train 44. I also noticed train 638 as a J-train. That train consisted of P42 #915, two VIA 1 class LRC coaches, four economy class LRC coaches, P42 #920, another VIA 1 class LRC coach and an economy class LRC coach. I filmed it pulling out when I heard an announcement that my train was boarding.


            I sprinted back to the station and photographed my train before I got on.



            Once again, I was seated in LRC coach #3322. I managed to get a window seat on the left hand side of the train. The train left on time. At one point, I saw a Porter Airlines plane that had taken off from Ottawa’s airport.


            Train 49 stopped at Fallowfield. I bought dinner. The train then stopped at Smith Falls. At Smith falls, I watched a CP freight with a GP9 leading a GP38-2 backing out of the yard. We were waiting for train 46 to pass by before we could leave. When train 46 passed, I filmed it. We soon departed Smith Falls.


            As we approached Brockville, I filmed train 66 passing with two P42s and 10 Renaissance cars. We soon stopped. After we left, I took a brief nap as I was feeling tired from the charter and not getting much sleep the night before. Soon, I filmed train 648 passing. We also stopped at Belleville and then made a quick stop at Trenton Junction.


            I tried to phone Osy to try to give him the location of the police station I saw on the Charter, but he didn’t answer.


            A little over an hour later, we stopped at Oshawa. I was glad to be back in GO Transit territory again. We stopped at Guildwood. Soon, we were approaching Toronto. We actually arrived 10 minutes early. I got off and took some photos.




            I tried to get a shot of the locomotive from the west end of the station, but by then, the train had departed for VIA’s Toronto Maintenance Centre. I phoned home and let my mom know I was in Toronto. I then got on the subway and headed to Finch where my mom picked me up.




            Aside from not getting enough sleep at the hostel, this trip was excellent. I’m actually kind of glad Air Canada jacked the ticket price on the flight I otherwise would have taken. The charter was excellent.


            I may still give the Ottawa Backpackers hostel in Ottawa another chance. However, I would get a private room next time.


            My next trip will be in a little more than a month when I plan to go to Halifax on the Ocean. Until next time…


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