The train stopped at
Soon, we were approaching
I then walked back to the station
and asked a taxi to take me to the Econo Lodge in
One thing to note is that this is
the third time I’ve been to
When I got to the hotel and checked
in, the clerk did not accept my discount saying I should have mentioned it when
I made the reservation! I was annoyed since the Econo Lodge in
I got up and got dressed. I first went to the lobby and spoke to the manager about my discount. She gave me a partial discount for the rest of my stay. I then had breakfast at a nearby restaurant.
After breakfast, I grabbed my things and headed out to a bus stop and picket up a bus to the Warrensville Heights RTA light rail station. When I boarded the bus and asked for a transfer, the driver looked at me a little funny. For some reason, RTA doesn’t give transfers for people who pay their fare in cash, which is dumb. People can but a day pass for $3.50, which I ended up doing.
I got of at the light rail station.
I bought a bottle of Coke before I got on the next train downtown. The car I
was in looked like it was refurbished. We were soon under way. I was riding
RTA’s blue line which normally runs between
I then boarded a Waterfront train
and rode to Cleveland Browns stadium. I then walked a few blocks to where most
I then photographed other pieces of equipment in the warehouse. I also spoke to one of the people at Lakeshore Electric; (what Trolleyville is now called). We talked a bit about PCCs and the collection in general. He said the Toronto PCC was the most reliable of Trolleyville’s five PCC streetcars. That view was different from the view that one of the members of Trolleyville told me in 1996 shortly after they acquired 4602, but 4602 became a good car once all the bugs were worked out.
My friend the late Ray Neilson once got to operate 4602 when it was at Trolleyville’s old location. He also operated car 4603 at NCTM before the fire.
I then photographed a lot of the streetcars and two fishbowls which were also stored in the warehouse.
This car: ex
The museum member allowed me into
the fenced off area to photograph Trolleyville’s three ex Shaker Heights PCC
cars. One car #63 was in decent shape while cars 71 and 76 are in need of
serious restoration. This volunteer also told me that there is a dead raccoon
somewhere inside 71. They can’t find it, but they could smell it. This reminds
me of how at the TRHA museum in the John Street Roundhouse in
Ex Shaker Height PCC #71. There is a dead raccoon inside it somewhere.
Behind the three PCCs was ex Aurora Elgin and
Next, we went back and I photographed one of the museum’s latest
acquisitions: Cleveland Airporter #172. I was told that this could be the only
operational Airporter. Three other Airporters are preserved. Two are at the
The two of use joined two other Lake Shore Electric members. I told them
about my quest to visit all 19 of the TTC’s last PCC streetcars. They were impressed
by my track record (no pun intended) of having visited all but two car. When I
told them how I visited cars 4607 and 4608 in
I told them about my current trip and they said it was good how my Capitol Limited was less than an hour late.
I then went behind the warehouse and got to operate a handcar just like what I did at Exporail last year. It took me a little while to get started, but I soon figured it out.
After, I took a few more photos inside the warehouse before I donated $2 to the museum. I then visited the freighter William G. Mather which is a museum. The ship sailed from 1925 to 1980 when it was retired. Shortly after paying admission, I noticed a display on the Edmund Fitzgerald which I photographed.
I then toured the William G. Mather. While I board, I took some photos.
The stack and a series of 5 lights that showed how the cargo load was balanced.
I then went to the engine room and took a photo there.
After, I went outside and took two more photos of the ship.
I then spoke with one of the people in the museum. We discussed the
Edmund Fitzgerald. Interesting enough, the Mather’s log from the night the
Fitzgerald went down was on display. That night, the ship was in
We also talked about the freighter Daniel J. Morrell which had sunk in
The bow section of the Daniel J. Morrell sank almost immediately. The stern section sailed on for five miles before it sank. One can almost imagine what it must have been like. The only survivor lost two toes from hypothermia. I find it was amazing he had survived at all because he was half naked when the ship sank.
I also mentioned about my favourite
I then went to the
Out of curiosity, I asked how long they keep lost articles. They told me
they donate them after a month. They asked if I had lost anything. I said,
“Yes, 10 years ago.” I had left a baseball hat at the Great Lakes Science Centre
when I was last in
I then walked back to the RTA station and rode back to
I briefly looked around the airport before I headed back to my hotel. I
thought I would get back sooner if I took RTA’s green line since the next
departure was on the green line. I ended up getting there at ; missing half of
I got up and got dressed before I headed out and eventually had breakfast
at a Burger King. I then rode a bus to the RTA station. I eventually bought
another day pass. I saw I would be riding a car still in its original livery. I
took a picture of it before I rode to
As we passed the yard where the RTA trains are stored, I saw an old
I transferred to a Waterfront train and rode one stop to the Settlers
Landing stop. I got off and waited for a train to pass through in the opposite
direction. The reason was to visit where the most disturbing event of my school
While waiting for a southbound RTA train, a nearby lift bridge was raised to let a barge pass underneath. I watched it for a few minutes and then headed back to the crossing and saw an RTA train in the Settlers Landing station and photographed it.
As the RTA train departed, I filmed it passing through the crossing. I
then walked back to
I then rode back to
Johnny Cash’s old tour bus is on display outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I then walked a few blocks to the World War 2 vintage submarine USS Cod which is on display. I took a picture of it.
That day, they were having a reenactment of a rescue the Cod was involved in during World War two. At one point they fired the Cod’s deck gun out into the lake. The loud blasts were enough to set off a car alarm! After the demonstration, I went inside the Cod. It was interesting climbing in/out of the Cod with a duffel bag, but I managed!
I entered by way of the forward torpedo room. During my tour, I took a couple photos of the inside of the Cod.
I then climbed out of the submarine. I then headed back to
I eventually caught a bus on route 19 back to
July 9, 2007:
My wake up call came 30 minutes sooner. I got up and got dressed. I proceeded to check out of my hotel and called Julie to find out when train 48 was due into Cleveland. I was told it would be 20 minutes late.
At 6:00 am, the taxi didn’t come. It didn’t come after 5 minutes. I called to find out where my cab was. I was told the cab company didn’t have all my info to send a cab. I told them that they never asked. The cab company said, “It should have been natural for you to tell us.” It should have been more natural for them to ask! When I was giving them info, at one point, they even insulted me by calling me “Ma’am”, even though they had my first name as Tom. (How many women are called “Tom”?!?) When I angrily told them I was a man, I became disconnected. I called them back immediately and demanded my cab. It showed up at 6:40. I was hopeful the train was still 20 minutes late and I would make it.
By the time I got to the Amtrak station, it was 7:14. There was no train at the station. I went inside and found out the train had left at 7:00 am, right on time! The one time the Lake Shore which rarely runs on time is punctual, I miss it!
The taxi driver took me to the Greyhound station at no additional cost. I phoned my dad and told him I had missed my train.
My ticket for train #48 I didn’t get to use because of the taxi company in Cleveland. If you are planning a trip and want to know the taxi company that screwed me, please email me.
I was able to buy a ticket for the next departure to Buffalo at 8:15 am for $23.50. I would get to Buffalo at 12:20. I would still make the Maple Leaf though, but had the cab come when I first asked it to, this would not have happened. I had breakfast at the cafeteria in the station. I had skipped breakfast at the hotel because I was planning on having breakfast on train 48.
My bus left on time and we made two stops at Ashtabula, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania. We arrived at Buffalo on time. Once I got into the terminal, I took a photo of the bus.
The bus I had to take to
The bus station in Buffalo is a few blocks away from the Buffalo Exchange Street station. I called Amtrak to double check if I could board there instead of going to Buffalo Depew station. I was told I could.
I bought some lunch from the bus station before I walked over to the Buffalo Exchange Street station. I called Julie and found out train 63 would be about an hour late.
While I was waiting, train 64 arrived. I filmed it pulling into the station and then took a couple photos of it at Buffalo.
When train 64 departed, I filmed it pulling out. I went back to the waiting game. I noticed the Buffalo light rail ran a block away. I headed out and photographed a couple light rail trains in both the old livery and the new livery.
I kept checking the status of 63. It was loosing more and more time. This was because it was hot out and when the temperature reaches a certain point, Amtrak trains on CSX tracks are slowed down to 20 mph less than track speed. The 2002 derailment of Amtrak’s Capitol Limited was attributed to sun kinks caused by hot weather.
I had tried to phone home on my new cell phone, but I ran out of money so my cell phone was more or less “dead weight”.
I also photographed a few buses while I was waiting. At one point, a CSX hyrail truck passed by which I filmed. Train 63 finally arrived about an hour and a half late. I filmed the train pulling in. I noticed the train was the exact same consist as the Maple Leaf I rode down to New York on. It even had the same locomotive!
I was the only person getting on 63 at Buffalo Exchange Street. I was seated in Amfleet 2 coach #25105, a refurbished coach. Shortly after we left, I was given a card to fill out for Canadian customs. This would be the first time I would ride the Maple Leaf INTO Canada. I was seated near some kids who kept babbling on and on.
Train 63 stopped at Niagara Falls, New York. At Niagara Falls New York, U.S. customs agents got on and interviewed people. I find this odd that they have to check a train LEAVING the U.S. and Canadian customs Agents only check people coming into Canada. This reinforced my wish that Amtrak could do something similar to what they do with the Cascade service to Vancouver in the west by having the customs inspection inside the station.
After awhile, the customs inspection was done. The train then departed and stopped in Niagara Falls, Ontario where Canadian customs began to interview the passengers. Both times, I was fortunate enough not to have someone who was really anal like the customs agent on my “Arizona Make-up trip”.
After the inspection was done, I filmed the equipment that had come in as VIA train 95 earlier in the evening as the train departed. Once my ticket was taken, I went to the café car for dinner.
After dinner, I went into the washroom and bought $20 of minutes for my cell phone and called home. The train stopped at St. Catherines, Grimsby, and Aldershot. It felt good to be back in GO Transit territory. The train stopped at Oakville before arriving into Toronto at 10:15, 90 minutes late. Once I got off, I took a couple more photos of the train.
I then went downstairs and called home from a payphone. I noticed it now cost $0.50 to make a call instead of $0.25. I then got on the subway and went home.
First of all, there is no excuse for the cab company in Cleveland making
me miss my train. This incident has given the company a very bad image and I am
just as mad as them as I am with SAIT, (see my Western Canada trip). I’m still
a bit peeved with the hotel in
Aside from the cab company in
Since my ticket on train 48 is good for almost a year, I plan to use it on a “Cleveland Make-up trip”. I will stay in another hotel downtown and use a different cab company to the Amtrak station. However, this trip won’t be until September.
As a result of what happened in Cleveland, on my next few trips, when I have to phone a taxi, I will say, “And can you please make sure the cab will be on time.” I know I shouldn’t have to, but I don’t want to miss any more trains! Until next time…