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Virginia Trip:

Virginia Trip:




            My friend Mark and I learned that several of the surviving actors from “The Dukes of Hazzard” would be at an event in Luray, Virginia. We decided to go.


            Mark had intended to fly to Washington and rent a car, but I wanted to ride Amtrak at least part way. I lobbied and managed to convince him to take Amtrak home from Washington even though we’d still fly there.


            Our plan was to fly to Washington DC and spend a couple days there visiting the National Capital Trolley Museum and other things before we would rent a car and head out to the event. After the event, we would return to Washington and drop off the rental car and take Amtrak Regional to New York and transfer to the Lakeshore Limited to Utica. We would overnight in Utica and then take the Maple Leaf home the next day.


            When I began my job at Home Depot in late March, I was told that I was a temporary employee and my contract would end just before the trip. However, they ended up extending my contract. Fortunately, this trip would not be affected in the end.


            The trip unfolded as follows:


July 26, 2017:


            Mark's dad gave us a ride to Pearson airport in his Maserati. We had checked in the day before. We got our baggage tags and then went to clear security. We cleared both security and U.S. Customs without any problems. We then found our gate. I took the opportunity to photograph a few Air Canada planes.





            Mark and I decided to get something from the Tim Horton's in the terminal while we waited. After, I photographed an Air Canada Boeing 777 as it prepared for take off.




            I then worked on this report for a few minutes. I attempted to log into the airport's

Wi-Fi, but it was giving me problems. I did eventually manage to connect.


            Our plane soon arrived. I photographed it.



            While waiting for our plane to board, I photographed an Air Canada 777 landing.



            Like the first time I rode behind Norfolk and Western #611, Mark and I were flying on an Embraer 175 to Reagan National Airport. The plane departed 21 minutes late.


            As we taxied, I photographed a KLM Boeing 787 Dreamliner and an El Al jet.





            I filmed the take off roll. I watched the movie “Boss Baby” on the plane's entertainment system which took up the flight.


            We were soon approaching Washington DC. I filmed the landing. We were soon parked at the gate. We got off. I photographed the plane.



            We made our way to the baggage claim. When we got to the baggage claim, our flight wasn't listed. After several minutes, an employee brought our suitcases out. We thought it was unusual, but we then headed out.


            We boarded a southbound Yellow train to Huntington station which is the southern end of the line. I had directions to get off at the next stop, but Mark said we should go to Huntington. We did.


            South of King Street-Old town, we went along a section of line I last rode back in 1995 when I first visited Washington DC! After leaving the Eisenhower station, it was trackage I never covered before. We arrived at Huntington which was the next stop. I have now ridden the Yellow and Orange lines in Washington in their entirety.


            We left the station. I saw a Metro bus on route 10A and we got on. We overshot the stop and got off. We had to wait for another 10A bus going the other way. We eventually made it to our hotel. We checked in and went to the room for a little while.


            I phoned my mom at the ice cream store and let her know I was in Washington.  A little while later, Mark and I headed out. We were hungry and I thought it would be a good idea to go to the food court at Pentagon City. We walked a few blocks to the bus stop and caught a Fairfax Connector bus on route #101 to Huntington station. When we got to the platform, I noticed the train we had arrived on earlier was the next train out so in the time we got off, it had enough time to go to the end of the line and back again!


            We boarded the front car and rode six stops to Pentagon City. We then went inside the mall and had lunch at the food court. After lunch, we looked around the mall and then went into a Best Buy across the street. At one point, I photographed an ad claiming that every month WMATA adds 20 new 7000 series subway cars into service. We agreed it's much better than Bombardier is for delivering new TTC streetcars.



            We then caught a blue line subway to McPherson Square station. After our subway departed, a train came in on WMATA's new Silver line. I photographed it.



            A train of the new 7000 series cars came in going the other way. I photographed it.





            Mark and I walked a few blocks south to the White House. This trip is the first time I've been in the United States since Donald Trump became president.


            As we walked, we saw an Orion 5. However we were unable to photograph it. When we made it to the White House, we photographed it.



            We then walked along and came across another WMATA Orion 5. We photographed it.



            I wanted to ride it but it wasn't at a bus stop. We then walked a few blocks south. I filmed an out of service WMATA Orion 5.



            We crossed the street and photographed the Washington Monument.



            We then started walking down the Mall. I saw the DC Circlator was now using XD40 buses. I photographed one.



            We walked towards the U.S. Capitol. At one point, we heard a train whistle. Mark wondered where it came from, but I pointed out the line used by CSX, Amtrak, and Virginia Railway Express. A minute later, I saw a VRE train at L'Enfant Plaza station.


            We stopped and got something to drink as it was hot out. I photographed another WMATA Orion 5. I mentioned it could be Orion 5s here as it was for fishbowls at the West Edmonton Mall during our 2007 Western Canada trip.



            We soon got to the Capitol building. We photographed it and the reflecting pool.







            We then caught a bus on the Circulator to Union Station. I photographed it after we got off.



            Mark realized he lost his headphones. I thought he might be able to get some more at a store inside the station, but it wasn't the case.


            After awhile, we headed out. I wanted to ride the new DC Streetcar. We followed signs to it. I saw they had moved the Washington bus terminal to Union station. I also saw a Van Hool like I rode on my Washington-Cleveland trip 10 years ago with an XD40. I photographed the buses from the Circulator.



            We found the streetcar platform and waited. When the car arrived, I photographed it.




            We got on and rode to the end of the line. The new streetcar line opened last year. If I had more time in Washington when I arrived there from Lynchburg last year, I could have ridden it.


            The line uses six cars apparently built by two different builders; #101-103 and #201-203. The line uses four cars at a time. We were on car #103. On this day, cars 101-103 and 201 were on the line.


            When we got to the other end of the line which was near the car barn, we got off and took some photos.



This is the car barn. Cars 202 and 203 were in the yard.




            The line ended near where the Blue and Silver Metro lines pass overhead. I filmed a train of 7000 series cars and photographed the last car and streetcar #103.



            We then rode #103 back to Union station. Along the way I photographed car #201.



            We got back to Union Station and I photographed the car again.



            We then had dinner in the food court. After, we headed back to Huntington and transferred to Fairfax Connector route #171 back to the hotel. At the hotel, I worked on this report for a little while before I went out looking for a convenience store. I found a 7-11 a couple blocks away. I bought some milk before I headed back to the hotel. I set my alarm for 8:30 am and called it a night.



July 27, 2017:


            We got up and got dressed. We went to the lobby for breakfast. After breakfast, we returned to the room and headed out. Today, we were going to visit the National Capital Trolley Museum.


            We walked to the bus stop and caught a bus to Huntington station. We bought day passes and headed out. We rode the Yellow line train to Fort Totten and transferred to the Red line. When the next Red line train came, I saw it was one of the new 7000 series trains. I photographed it before We got on.



            We rode to Glenmont station at the end of the line. This was our first time riding on a 7000 series train. There was another train at Glenmont that was out of service and pulled into the nearby yard. I was reminded of how on a previous trip I had seen two trains depart Glenmont station for the yard at the same time.


            Mark and I decided to take a taxi to the museum. Once we got there I saw that former Toronto PCC #4602 was running! #4602 was the car they had bought from Trolleyville back in 2010. We went inside and paid admission. #4602 was leaving in a few minutes. We went for a ride. As we passed the maintenance barn, I saw PCC #4603.


            When we returned to the visitors center, we photographed #4602.



            There was a tour of the display barn. Mark and I decided to join the tour. We went inside and photographed the cars on display. I noticed Washington PCC #1101 was also in the barn.












            The tour group then got to sit inside Blackpool boat tram #606 which they had acquired from Trolleyville back in 2010 like #4602. I learned that they intend to paint #606 into its green and cream colours similar to the boat trams I saw and rode in San Francisco back in 2016.


            After the tour, we watched silent movies for a few minutes. I heard #4602 was going out again. I decided to go for another ride. When we passed the maintenance barn, I attempted to photograph PCC #4603.



You can see #4603 in the left most open door.


            We rode to the other end of the line. There were two other transit fans on the car. They got out. I decided to join them. We filmed #4602 going around the loop and then photographed it before we got back on.







            We rode to the passing siding and stopped. We again got to step off and photograph #4602.





            We got back on and headed back to the visitors center. I met up with Mark and told him about the ride. Mark wished he could have gone if he had known.


            We went to the gift shop where I bought two postcards. We then left the museum. I did stop to take one last photo of #4602 and some original track from Washington's original streetcar system.







            I asked Mark what he thought of the National Capital Trolley Museum. He said it was interesting. He said he wanted to go to Seashore some day. I told him it might be possible.


            We stopped under the Interstate Connector highway and I pointed out a fire hydrant which may have been used the night of the 2003 car barn fire that destroyed eight of NCTM's streetcars. Mark also asked where the original location for the museum was. I pointed out the general area where it would have been.


            We walked to the McDonald's near Layhill and Bonifant and had lunch. After lunch, we caught Ride On route #49 to the Rockhill station. We then took a Red Line subway south.


            At one point, we passed a CSX freight train. At another stop, I saw what looked like a WMATA 4000 series car that had been cut into portions. I attempted to photograph it.



            When we left the station, I saw there were more subway car body segments but I was unable to photograph them.


            We got off and Metro Center and transferred to the Blue Line. We rode one station south and got off.


            Mark and I decided to visit the American History building which I had visited in 2010. We went inside and ended up spending most of the time in the transportation exhibits. We photographed the exhibits.






            We came upon Washington streetcar #303. We photographed it.



            At one point, Mark did an artsy shot of him holding his Smart Card from Metro out in front of #303 like the statues of men with their change.


            I then photographed more exhibits.



























            Mark and I ended up getting separated but we met in another area of the building covering media technology including an Apple 2 computer. I took a few photos.




            We then left the area. We headed in the direction of the subway. However, I suggested we ride an Orion 5. After a couple tries, one showed up right away. I photographed the Orion 5 before we got on.



            Traffic was heavy. We rode the Orion 5 to a subway station before we got off and I photographed the bus before I filmed it pulling away.



            We then caught a Yellow line train to Pentagon City and stopped at the Best Buy where Mark got some new headphones. We then had dinner at the food court. We looked around the mall for a little before we headed back to the Metro.


            A Blue line train pulled in first. I suggested we ride to King Street Old Town station to see if we could watch any trains pass; Amtrak or otherwise. We got on. However, before we got to King Street station, we were passed by a southbound Amtrak Regional Train. However it was still at Alexandria station when we got there. I photographed it.



            Just then a second Amtrak train led by P42 #184 which is the Phase 4 heritage unit pulled it. I filmed the train and photographed it and the other regional until our Yellow line subway came.







            We rode back to Huntington and caught a Fairfax Connector route #171 bus back to our hotel. I worked on this report for a little while.


            Back at the hotel, I worked on this report and at one point; I went to the 7-11 again.


            I set the alarm on my phone for 8:30 am and called it a night.


Click here for our trip down to Luray:         Virginia trip part 2