Facebook Page
Washington-Lancaster trip:

Washington-Lancaster trip:




            Despite the fact on my Dallas Trip, I finished my quest to visit the TTC’s last 19 PCC streetcars that were mothballed in 1995; there were a few loose ends to tie up. One example was PCC 4603 at the National Capital Trolley Museum.


            Prior to my Washington-Cleveland trip in 2007, I learned that the National Capital Trolley Museum had to vacate their site in order for a highway to be built through their site. However, they wouldn’t have to relocate far. They moved up a hill, but kept the same street address! However in my opinion you wouldn’t build a highway through the Smithsonian or the Lincoln Memorial, so why should NCTM be any different?


            However, I decided to go once they reopened. I found out from their site that they would reopen in late 2009, so I decided to go in summer of 2010. Although their reopening date was delayed several times, NCTM finally reopened in March 2010.


            Another loose end was PCC 4602 at the Lake Shore Electric Railway. The warehouse where it was being stored in 2007 was only a temporary location and I planned to go back to Cleveland once they opened in their permanent home.


            However that wasn’t to happen. In summer 2009, the Lake Shore Electric Railway put most of their collection up for auction including 4602. I vowed to go to whichever museum acquired 4602. In November of 2009, the winning bids were announced. 4602 was acquired by the National Capital Trolley Museum which I was planning on visiting anyway! So I would be potentially tying up two loose ends at once.


            I opted to go in mid July of 2010. As stated in my last trip report; this would be my first trip after I left my job at Wal-Mart. My last shift at Wal-Mart was three days before my trip.


            My plan was to ride VIA train 73 to Windsor. In Windsor, I would take Transit Windsor’s Tunnel bus to Detroit. I would mess around in Detroit for a couple hours before I caught Amtrak’s Thruway bus to Toledo and connect to the Capitol Limited to Washington DC. I would spend three nights in Washington DC before riding Amtrak to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While there, I planned to visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and then ride a Keystone to New York and transfer to the Lakeshore Limited to Syracuse. I would overnight in Syracuse and then head home the next day on the Maple Leaf. I used the voucher I got from VIA train 95 being over an hour late into Niagara Falls for my VIA ticket. The trip unfolded as follows.


July 14, 2010:


            I got to Union station around 10:50 am. I walked over and peeked in through a door and photographed train 85. I was hoping to film it departing, but a GO train blocked my shot and I took a photo instead.



            I then walked back and joined the line up for train 73. Boarding soon commenced. I was seated in LRC coach #3364.


            The train left on time. As we left, I filmed VIA’s Toronto Maintenance Centre as we went past. I bought lunch from the food cart when it came past.


            The train stopped at Oakville and Aldershot. West of Aldershot VIA train 72 passed us but I was unable to film it. We soon arrived into Brantford. We soon left and stopped in Woodstock. At Woodstock, I photographed a boxcar with a mural on it. After we left, I saw three tank cars on their sides next to the tracks, but only got a bad video of one of them.


            The train stopped in London. A couple minutes we departed. This was the start of new mileage for me as I’ve previously ridden the Quebec City-Windsor corridor as far as London.


            The train was soon going through farmland. The train passed Glencoe non stop. We soon passed through Themesville where in 1999, VIA F40PH-2 #6423 was wrecked in an accident. The train stopped in Chatham. As we approached Chatham, I filmed a CN baggage car off to the side of the main line.


            We soon departed. Train 76 passed, but I was unable to film it. We also passed a yard with the shells of several ex Transit Windsor fishbowls.


            Train 73 arrived 13 minutes late. I got off and took some photos.




            I saw the train was led by F40PH-2 #6411, the Operation Lifesaver unit. I took some photos.





            I then went to catch a bus. In order to get to Detroit, I had to get on a Transit Windsor bus to the Greyhound station and transfer to Transit Windsor’s Tunnel Bus to Detroit. I went out looking for a bus stop. Because of road work, I had to walk a few blocks extra and I just missed a bus. I found a payphone and phoned home and let my dad know I was in Windsor.


            Seconds after I hung up, I headed back to the bus stop and I saw a car rear end a mini-van! There didn’t seem to be any injuries and little damage to the cars involved.


            As I continued to wait for the next bus, I photographed a Transit Windsor DE40LFr going the other way. Several minutes later, I boarded another DE40LFr. Several stops later, a mother got on with a “SUV stroller” and two badly behaving kids. They were loud and kept hitting each other and made remarks my sister nor did I make when we were that age! I was relieved when they got off.


            However, the bus didn’t go to the terminal and I rode further into Windsor and got to a bus terminal. I asked how to get back to the Greyhound station and the driver told me to take the route 1C bus. I photographed the bus and Nova LFS #551 which was the second Nova LFS I ever rode. Its sister 553 was the first and I wondered if I would see it.




            The route 1C bus came 10 minutes later. It was another DE40LFr. I got on and rode to the terminal. At the terminal, I saw a Classic and an Orion 5, but I was unable to photograph them. I did see #553 as the next bus on the Tunnel Bus which I photographed.



            I went inside the terminal and asked where to get the Tunnel Bus. I was told where to get on and Transit Windsor transfers weren’t accepted on the Tunnel Bus. I then boarded 553 for the run to Detroit.


            I first rode 553 in the summer of 1998 when my sister’s ball team was playing in a tournament in Windsor. The morning after my first ride on 553, I pointed it out to my parents as the bus I had ridden the night before. My mom said, “That’s a bus?!?” I ended up taking four more bus rides after that. One was on a fishbowl. The second was on 551. The next two were on 553 again. So when I rode it, it felt good to be on that LFS again.


            I was the only passenger on this run! We headed off into the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. We drove through the tunnel and were caught in a line up of buses. Finally, it was my turn to clear customs. I went into an office and was soon interviewed by a man. He asked me what I did. I told him I work and my parents’ ice cream store.


            He then asked me if my parents knew if I was going to the states and I said yes. He asked for my phone number. Sheesh, this person was as bad as the anal customs agent who I crossed paths with on my Arizona Make-up trip! At this time, I was unsure if this agent had called my parents or not. I was soon allowed to go. I got back on 553 and rode a short distance before I got off and photographed the bus and filmed it pulling away.



            I got off here because it was near a People-mover stop. The Detroit People Mover is an elevated train that uses Mark 1 cars like the Skytrain in Vancouver and the Scarborough RT in Toronto. The line runs in a clockwise loop and uses two car trains. I photographed a train before I headed into the station to ride.




            I rode a few stops before I got off and filmed the train pulling out. One thing I noticed is that the trains have the exact same chimes as the Scarborough RT and H-class subway cars in Toronto! I got off and bought dinner at a nearby deli. After dinner, I caught another train back to where I first got on. I filmed the train pulling out and took one more photo.



            I then caught a route 53 bus to the Amtrak station to await my bus to Toledo. It was a long wait. While I was waiting, I went to the agent at the station in regards to a problem I noticed the day before when I checked my tickets.


            Amtrak’s Maple Leaf while crossing the boarder issues two tickets: One ticket for the U.S. side and one ticket for the Canadian side. When I got my tickets, I noticed I only had a ticket for the U.S. side of the Maple Leaf. In the place for the Canadian side, they printed a second ticket for train 49 to Syracuse instead. I got the situation fixed in short order and I had all the right Amtrak tickets.


            I went to a White Castle across the street for something to drink. A guy was asking around for some change, after he asked me for a bit, I gave him $0.31 in Canadian coins!


            I bought a coke and returned to the station as the sun went down. My bus arrived late. Just before it arrived, I photographed a CN freight.





            I then photographed the bus when it arrived.



            I handed my thruway ticket to the driver and got on the bus. The bus left 11 minutes late. The ride to Toledo was just over an hour. At one point we got off the interstate. We soon got back on after a ride through a pleasant looking area.


            Soon, we were approaching Toledo. As we got off the highway, I looked for places I could recognize from where I was during my layover in Toledo on my last trip. The bus went directly to the Amtrak station which is convenient.


            The bus arrived 15 minutes late into Toledo. When I got off, I took some pictures of the bus.



            I had called Julie to find out when train 30 was due. The Eastbound Capitol Limited is scheduled to arrive into Toledo at 11:39 pm and depart 10 minutes later. However, Julie said the train was 28 minutes late. While waiting, I looked around the station. I picked up a brochure about a proposed high speed rail network in Ohio.


July 15, 2010:


            I continued to wait for the Capitol Limited. The train finally arrived 51 minutes late. I took some pictures before I got on.






            The train was led by P42s 76 and 123. It had 1 baggage car and 9 Superliners. I was seated in Superliner 1 coach #34002. That coach was also in the consist of the Texas Eagle I rode from Chicago to Dallas back on my Dallas trip. I gained a seatmate right away. I knew at this point that the train was sold out. Fortunately unlike the last time I rode the Capitol Limited, my seatmate wasn’t fat! Shortly after the train departed, we stopped to let a freight train pass. We were soon underway again. I went to sleep in the sightseer lounge car since I wasn’t getting off in the middle of the night.


            I got up when the train was outside Pittsburgh. I went back to my seat briefly. Pittsburgh was a smoke stop. I used the opportunity to photograph the train as well as Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian.









            After the train left Pittsburgh, I went to the sightseer lounge car until it was time for breakfast. From the train, I photographed an amusement park.



            I then went for breakfast. The dining car was a Cross-Country Café just like what the Texas Eagle and City of New Orleans uses. After breakfast, I went back to the lounge car.


            My friend Dan whom I met on my 2007 Adirondack trip said the eastbound journey on the Capitol Limited was more scenic than the westbound and he was right. The train stopped in Connellsville. We soon departed and a little while later, we were on Sandpatch. The route has some curves and I photographed the train from the lounge car.



As we approached Cumberland, we were told it would be a smoke stop after the train got a new crew. This was a double stop. After waiting in the stairwell of the Superliner coach, the train moved up and we were allowed onto the platform. I took some photos of the train.



            I got back on the train and we soon departed. As we approached Martinsburg, I saw a CSX work train with a caboose! The caboose appeared to be manned as there was no SBU on it. I photographed it.



            The train departed and stopped at Harpers Ferry. I saw a MARC MP36. I then went to the diner for lunch. After lunch I returned to my coach seat.


            We were soon running parallel to the Washington Metro. We soon stopped in Rockville. Soon we were approaching Washington Union station. The train arrived 41 minutes late. I filmed an AEM7 moving up to a train of Amfleet coaches. I then got off and took some photos.











            I then went to the Metro station and bought a day pass. I rode the Red Line north to Fort Totten station. I then transferred to a Green Line train to Greenbelt station. I saw a few 1000 series cars in the middle of the trains as that is where they’ll be until they’re retired as a result of the 2009 fatal crash.


            Upon getting to Greenbelt station, I just missed an Orion 5 on a bus route that would go near my hotel. However, there were two other routes that serve the area and an Orion 6 showed up on one of the other routes.


            Just like in 2007, my Metro day pass didn’t work on buses. In my mind, that’s a stupid move in part of the WMATA. I paid $1.70 in cash and rode the bus to the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Greenbelt Road. My hotel was on Baltimore Avenue, but when I got off the bus, I couldn’t even see it and I had to walk for several minutes.


            I eventually made it to my hotel which was a Super 8. I checked in and went to my room. I phoned home and I heard from my dad the agent who interviewed me the day before actually phoned my parents and that my dad responded to him with disgust! When that anal customs agent from my Arizona Make-up trip interviewed me, she didn’t call Wal-Mart of if she did; no one there ever said anything to me about it! This makes me wonder what would have happened if I was still working at Wal-Mart at the time of this trip!


            After a few minutes, I headed out to the intersection of Baltimore and Greenbelt and missed a bus to Greenbelt Metro. However, a bus on route 83 showed up shortly thereafter and I got on thinking it would go to Greenbelt. However, I was wrong and it took a roundabout way, though I did eventually get to the College Park Metro station. I got on the green line and rode to Gallery Place-Chinatown station and transferred to the red line. I rode the red line one stop went then transferred to a southbound train to the Federal Triangle. This was close to the White House. I got out and walked over to the White House. I photographed it.


The White House; Is Obama home?


            President Obama was in Toronto about a month earlier among other world leaders for the G8/G20 summit. The summit was not one of the city of Toronto’s proudest moments as police were given extra powers and civil liberties were all but suspended for four days. A GO Transit special constable gave me trouble when I was photographing a GO train at the Oriole station. VIA and Ontario Northland trains didn’t serve Union station at all during those days. There were riots which led to at least one cop car getting torched. My sister just missed being caught in the riots by 10 minutes at one point! As a result of what happened, there are inquiries being launched.


            I then headed back to catch a bus. I saw a C40LF that had the message “Emergency-Call Police” on its destination sign. However, when the bus got to a stop the driver stated that everything was okay. I let that bus go and got on an Orion 5 which took me back to the Metro Centre station. I photographed the Orion 5 after I got off.



            I also photographed a Van Hool on the DC Circulator which I rode on my 2007 trip.



            I filmed the Metro Orion 5 departing and then got on the Red Line to the Friendship Heights metro station. When I got there, I photographed a Metro Transit 30 foot Orion 5.



            Last year, YRT retired their only 30 foot Orion 5. However that bus was purchased by an individual so it escaped the scrapper.


            I photographed a couple other buses before I boarded a Metro Flexible for a short ride.





            I took a brief ride on Flexible #4081 and got off and filmed it pulling away. I then walked back to the station and got on a bus on Ride-on route 29 and rode to Glen Echo Park. I got off and walked over and photographed their ex SEPTA PCC.




            When I was at Glen Echo three years ago, I noticed a pair of standard gauge trucks in front of PCC 2732. SEPTA’s PCCs run on wide gauge track and the car is currently sitting on a piece of track built to the SEPTA track gauge. The tracks embedded in the pavement are standard gauge. I heard that 2732 was to get a set of standard gauge trucks so it could sit on the ex DC Transit tracks. However, they may have changed their minds.


            I went inside the park and rode the restored carousel. The horse I was on however didn’t go up and down, so I vowed to return. However, it was the last ride of the day.


            I then went by the entrance to the Crystal Pool which had been repainted. I took some photos.



Too bad the Crystal Pool is gone. It was hot that day!



            I saw the sun was beginning to set. I took some more pictures of PCC 2732 before I went to a nearby 7-11.





            At the 7-11, I bought dinner. It was spicy. I caught a Ride-On route 29 bus back to the Friendship Heights station.


            I finished my dinner before I got on the red line and rode to Fort Totten station. As we passed near the Amtrak yard, I saw the coaches from the Capitol Limited I had ridden into Washington on. At Fort Totten, I transferred to the Green Line and rode to Greenbelt.


            At Greenbelt, I saw I had a fairly long wait for the next bus, so I just took a taxi to my hotel. I went over to a nearby gas station and bought a milkshake in a bottle and took it back to my hotel. I eventually called it a night.


Click here to read about my visit to the new National Capital Trolley Museum:             Washington-Lancaster trip part 2.