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Washago trip report:

Washago trip report:




††††††††††† In late September, I decided to take at least one more trip in 2005. I decided I would spend a day in Washago, Ontario. I would ride VIAís Canadian there because the Canadian leaves Toronto on a different route than when it comes into Toronto. Once I got to Washago, I would spend the day railfanning, and then take Ontario Northlandís Northlander passenger train back to Toronto. The date I chose was October 4th, 2005, because it was a Tuesday where I didnít have work.


October 4, 2005:


††††††††††† I got down to Torontoís Union station before 8:30 so I could watch Amtrakís Maple Leaf departing for New York. When I got to the skyway, I saw that the Canadian was not in the station. I set up past the bridge and took a picture of the Maple Leaf in the station and VIA train 651, the replacement to the Enterprise.



†††††††††† When the Maple Leaf departed, I filmed the train as it went past. I went back into the Skywalk where another railfan and I watched the Canadian backing into the station. I filmed the train pulling in. The Canadian was extra long. It had three F40PH-2 locomotives and 30 cars, including a few Chateau type sleeping cars which arenít commonly used on the Canadian. I then saw the puny consist of VIA train 85 consisting of a VIA F40PH-2 and two coaches. I realized that the Canadian was not going to depart on time! I then headed to the main departure lounge. Shortly after 9:00, we were allowed to board. As I walked to my coach, I took photos of various coaches on the train.




††††††††††† I was seated in the coach behind the baggage car. We left about 30 minutes late. After my ticket was taken, I headed to the dome car. As I said before, the Canadian takes a different route out of Toronto than it comes into Toronto on. The train follows the line taken by GO trains on the Bradford line to past Canadian Nationalís Doncaster subdivision. Once past there, the train backs onto the Doncaster sub and head East, turning north onto CNís Bala sub.


††††††††††† Due to the length of the train, we had to go quite a ways until the last car cleared the switch. We backed onto the Doncaster sub, and from the dome car, I took a couple photos of the move.



††††††††††† Once we were on the Doncaster sub, the train didnít head east right away. During the time I wandered to and from my coach. Some passengers made remarks saying that the train was lost! We were soon underway again. When we turned onto the Bala subdivision, the train crew made an announcement over the P.A. about an older man who comes out every time the Canadian runs through and waves to the train. I had met this person a few times when I went out to film the Canadian passing through. I waved to him from the dome car, but I donít think he saw me.


††††††††††† I also filmed the new VIVA bus terminal as the train raced by it. Soon, we were out of York Region. With the season being mid autumn, the leaves on trees had changed colours and made for a lovely view for various people in the dome car. I took some interior shots of the coaches and the dome car. We passed a northbound freight train along the way.


††††††††††† The Canadian arrived into Washago at 11:45 am, 35 minutes late. I got off and photographed the locomotives near the station.



Because of the Canadianís length, the train had to make a double spot. It moved up several coach lengths so people could board sleeping cars further back. I took video of the double spot and the Canadian leaving town. I also photographed the rear of the train.



††††††††††† After awhile, I sat at the train station. The first train to pass was the freight train that the Canadian passed by. The train was lead by two SD40-2Wís in the CN North America paint scheme.



††††††††††† One thing I noticed about Washago was that the station was on a tight curve where the wheel flanges squealed as they went around. There was a railway crossing at the north end of the station where the trains blew their horns. After another freight train passed by, I went to a restaurant for lunch. Washago is a very small town.


††††††††††† After lunch, I took a walk around the block where I saw a newer Volkswagen beetle painted and lettered to look like Herbie! Next, I walked back to the station to watch some more trains. Two trains passed by with leased power from the BNSF!



††††††††††† Throughout the day, I kept checking the progress of the southbound Northlander. At first it was on time, but throughout the day, it was delayed. I soon realized I was running out of space on my digital cameraís memory card. I was intending on deleting the photo of the Canadianís locomotives in the station, but accidentally deleted the movie of the double spot! I was more than a little upset realizing what I had done. It also reminded me back in February when I ran out of space on my digital cameraís memory card while filming Amtrakís Lake Shore Limited pulling out of Buffalo. It was ironic how that time, I missed the end of the train. Now I was missing the front!


††††††††††† A few more freight trains passed by. Since the Northlander was so late, I decided to go to a video store to buy my ticket because the store opened just before the Northlander was due in, and I didnít want to rush for the train. Even though I could have bought it on the train, I just chose to buy it from the store, which I did.


Upon returning to the station, one more freight passed by with two leased locomotives in the consist. I filmed it showing how Washago was the noisiest place Iíve ever railfanned. At 5:26, running 56 minutes late, the Northlander arrived. I filmed the train pulling in. It consisted of a GP38, a HEP generator car converted from an F7B unit, two former GO Transit single level coaches, and a cafť car that was also a former GO Transit single level car. I got on the first coach, and soon we were off. After my ticket was taken, I headed to the cafť car for a snack. I took a couple photos before I returned to my seat. I noticed that the train ride was somewhat bumpy compared to the Canadian which where the ride was as smooth as silk. As we approached Toronto, we took a siding while waiting for a GO train to pass. We arrived at Union station 55 minutes late. Once I got off, I took a couple photos of the train and video of the train pulling out to deadhead to the yard.



After I left the platform, I stopped at a Mr. Sub for dinner before getting on the subway to go home.




This trip was made for a long day. The biggest problems I had was me accidentally deleting the movie of the Canadianís double spot. I got a couple more memory sticks after. Should I go railfan in Washago again, Iíll remember to bring earplugs with the tight curve and the whistles at the railway crossing. While I didnít mind the Canadianís lateness, I was a tad annoyed with the Northlander, but at least I bought tickets in my ďpreferredĒ way. Until next timeÖ