June 2, 2012:
††††††††††† Mark and I got up at 7:30 am and I headed to the lobby for breakfast. After breakfast, I headed back to my room. Mark went to breakfast shortly after I got back. After Mark returned, we finished packing and went to check out. We walked to the intersection of Dundas and Wellington to wait for a bus to take us to the Woodstock Transit bus garage. While we were waiting for our bus, we photographed some other Woodstock Transit LFSes in service.
††††††††††† Our bus came and we got on. We ended up getting to the garage miles early. Of course, it's better to be early than late. We wandered around the area to pass the time. The Woodstock Transit bus garage is near the CN line. At one point, I saw VIA train 671 pass, but I was unable to film it.
††††††††††† Eventually, other transit fans started arriving. I walked over to the garage where many transit fans were gathering. I checked in with Kevin Nicol. I could hear a freight train coming. I went out and photographed the train which was being led by three locomotives including and ex Illinois Central SD70. I photographed the locomotives and some of the cars including a covered hopper lettered for the Rock Island railroad.
††††††††††† Eventually, a Woodstock Transit employee said we could go into the garage. A door opened revealing Woodstock Transit fishbowl #14 which is the only active fishbowl in revenue service in the province. I photographed #14 and Classic 06-04 which was right behind it.
††††††††††† I saw the driver from the night before. She recognized me.
††††††††††† Classic 06-04 was originally built for Santa Monica, California. It still has it Santa Monica side destination sign which is signed up blank.
††††††††††† On another lane was Woodstock Transit fishbowl #16 which is in storage. The bus is missing some of its standee windows, but it's operational. It's still plated and the plates are still valid. I photographed #16.
††††††††††† I noticed fishbowls 14 and 16 have seats that look like the seats in TTC fishbowl #8058 which is preserved at the Halton County Radial Railway Museum. Someone started up fishbowl #16.
††††††††††† We had been assigned tickets which designated which bus I would be on first. Both Mark and I were on the Classic. We got on and soon headed out. Our first photo stop was at the VIA station where we picked up five more charter attendees. We photographed the buses.
††††††††††† We got back on the buses and headed out. Our next photo stop was a truck stop off Highway 401 which is where Greyhound stops in Woodstock. As we arrived, I recognized Toby and Darcy from previous TTS charters. We parked the buses in the corner of the truck stop and photographed them.
††††††††††† We got back on the buses and headed out. Our next photo stop was Woodstock's new hospital. We photographed the buses from atop a small hill.
††††††††††† A Nova LFS running on route 6 showed up. We photographed it with our charter buses.
††††††††††† Some of us filmed 14 and 06-04 as they went around the loop in front of the hospital and I photographed them where they stopped.
††††††††††† Next, we stopped at Southside Park where we saw some kids practising T-ball. The coaches looked confused as our group got out and photographed the charter buses and a Nova LFS on Woodstock Transit route 5.
††††††††††† We got back on the bus and headed our. Our next photo stop was a few blocks east of the VIA station.
††††††††††† We got back on the buses and had a photo stop by a field. Interestingly enough, the grass in the field wasn't as high as the lawns of some of the houses the Dayton trolleybus charter passed.
††††††††††† We photographed our charter buses and a Nova LFS in service.
††††††††††† Next was our lunch stop. We had about 50 minutes. I photographed the buses before I had lunch at a nearby McDonald's. In the meantime, the buses were moved to a parking lot behind a Quality Inn hotel.
††††††††††† After lunch, I retrieved my backpack and suitcase from the Classic. This was the point where we would switch buses. I took some more photos while I was waiting to board the fishbowl.
††††††††††† Eventually the driver came back and we were allowed on the fishbowl. I noticed the seats were a bit cramped. However, this was the first time since December I had ridden a fishbowl.† The buses soon departed. Our first photo stop was at the intersection of Wellington and Dundas. We photographed the charter buses and the six buses in service.
††††††††††† After the service buses departed, we got on our buses and we headed off. Our next photo stop was along the route 4 by a playground. We photographed the charter buses.
††††††††††† A few of us actually climbed onto the playground for a better vantage point of the buses. I was one.
††††††††††† We then got back on the buses and headed out. We then stopped along Woodstock Transit's route 3 where we photographed the charter buses, a Nova LFS in service, and a Para-trans ELF cutaway.
††††††††††† Next, we stopped at Dundas and Kent. We took some photos.
††††††††††† We then got back on the buses and we headed to the garage. They positioned the buses behind the garage. I took some photos.
††††††††††† A few minutes later, I heard a fishbowl engine. I knew it had to be #16. A few minutes later, 16 pulled out to the back of the garage. It's nice to see an inactive bus that is operational for a change. I filmed 16 pulling up and photographed it with 14 and 06-04. Someone had taped a Mobile Watch sign to the front of #14.
††††††††††† I then went inside 14 and took some interior photos. However, I was trapped in the bus for several minutes before I got out. They had also pulled out the spare LFS and posed it with the fishbowls and Classic.
††††††††††† I also photographed some spare parts for fishbowls in the garage.
††††††††††† We then had our charter group photo.
††††††††††† After the group photo, we were taken into the back to look at vintage photographs and I saw some altered pictures/newspaper articles on various lockers which I photographed.
This isnít funny!
††††††††††† We then headed back to the bus. I took a picture of the spare LFS at the garage signed up North Pole.
††††††††††† Kevin asked who needed a ride to the VIA station and Greyhound station. He told people wanting to go to the VIA station get on the Classic and people wanting to go to Greyhound get on #14. Mark said that he wished that we had been on the fishbowl as we boarded the Classic.
††††††††††† Both buses soon departed and a few minutes later, we arrived at the VIA station. We pulled the Classic right up to the station building and photographed it.
††††††††††† The Classic backed out to turn around. Mark and I filmed the Classic pulling out of the station en route back to the garage.
††††††††††† After, we headed onto the platform and photographed the three boxcars used as a mural across from the station.
††††††††††† About 15 minutes later. A westbound CN freight passed. As the locomotives passed, we photographed them.
††††††††††† Several cars into the train, I noticed smoke coming from the wheels on a grain car. I filmed that as it came past. Mark and I noticed the train was starting to slow down. Hopefully the crew would have got a hotbox alarm and were bringing the train to a controlled stop to investigate.
††††††††††† Mark and I stayed until VIA train #76 passed. As it passed, I filmed it.
††††††††††† It's too bad that train 76 no longer stops at Woodstock. Otherwise, we could have taken it home and we would have been back in Toronto a lot sooner.
††††††††††† Mark and I then walked to Dundas and Wellington where we looked in a store that sells die cast models. We eventually each bought a model of a Bombardier streetcar that looks like a smaller version of cars the TTC has on order for their Transit City LRT lines which are slated for completion some time around 2021.
††††††††††† We wandered around the Dundas and Wellington area for awhile before we had dinner at a fast food restaurant called Urban Burger. After dinner, we walked back to the VIA station. We got there just in the nick of too late to photograph a CN freight led by an ex LMS Dash 8. I managed to take a couple going away photos though.
††††††††††† We got to the station and I made my way onto the platform and photographed another CN freight which didn't have any interesting units.
††††††††††† About 90 minutes later, Mark and I went out to watch VIA train 75 arrive. I filmed it pulling in and photographed the train.
††††††††††† Even though the sun was out, it was raining and raining hard! I waited for train 75 to depart. When it did, I filmed it pulling out. I then photographed a double rainbow which was visible from the station.
††††††††††† No more trains passed. I went back into the station and worked on this report some more. Shortly after 8:00 pm, we went out onto the platform to await train 78 to arrive. Train 78 arrived one minute late. I filmed the train as it pulled in.
††††††††††† I recognized the equipment on the train from being on VIA train 73 the previous day! Mark and I were seated in LRC economy class coach #3309. The train soon departed.
††††††††††† I logged onto the train's Wi-Fi service. Just before Brantford, VIA train #79 passed. As it passed, I filmed it. The train stopped at Brantford. We soon departed.
††††††††††† I worked on this report some more. The train stopped at Aldershot. It was good to be back in GO Transit territory again. We soon departed. Outside of Oakville, the train slowed down to a crawl. We then stopped. A westbound GO train passed. We were soon moving again. We stopped at Oakville a few minutes later.
††††††††††† We soon departed from Oakville. We overtook an eastbound GO train at Port Credit.
††††††††††† As we passed VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre, I filmed it. I could make out the Maple Leaf, the Northlander, and the equipment that would become the next day's train 652 to Montreal. I readied my stuff in preparation to get off in Toronto.
††††††††††† Train 78 arrived into Union station 9 minutes late. As we pulled in, I noticed we were pulling into track #3 which is mostly used for GO trains and the Northlander. I also saw the Canadian as it departed.
††††††††††† I got off the train and took some pictures.
††††††††††† I then went inside the station and phoned home. My mom told me my dad would meet me at Finch.
I had learned that Union subway station had reopened last night around 11:00 pm. Mark was meeting his sister at the Eglinton West subway station which was in the opposite direction I was going so I said goodbye to him.
††††††††††† When I got down to the platform, I had just missed a subway train. I waited for the next train which arrived five minutes later. Earlier in the day, a gunman had opened fire in the food court of the Eatonís Centre in downtown Toronto killing one and injuring several people. At the time, the suspect was still at large. As a result of the shooting, Queen and Dundas stations on the Yonge subway line were closed and trains were running through non-stop.
††††††††††† I got to Finch and met my dad. We then headed home.
††††††††††† This was the first time since December that I had ridden a GM fishbowl! While Woodstock Transit #14 is the last fishbowl in revenue service, some places across Canada have Fishbowls as historical buses. The TTC has decided to keep fishbowls 2345 and 2444. STO in Hull is keeping 7901 which I rode in 2009 on another charter. Hopefully Woodstock will keep 14 running for awhile yet.
††††††††††† The charter was fun and I am glad I went. It was nice that Woodstock Transit fishbowl #16 was operational and able to be pulled out of the garage at the end of the charter.
††††††††††† VIAís new Panorama Lounge was big and very nice; though if it had a coin operated massage chair or two, it would be much better. However, Iím not sure when Iíll go into the new Panorama Lounge again.
††††††††††† As for me, my next trip will be in a month when I plan to go to Chicago for several days. Until next timeÖ
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