Friday, July 27, 2012

Ontar-eye-O, Part 1

Last week I went to southern Ontario for work. I flew in and out of Windsor and worked about an hour away from there. I had a few brief opportunities for railfanning while I was there.

But first, on the way to the airport I paused at the BNSF yard in Winnipeg to shoot BNSF 2322 and make sure it was still there!
BNSF 2322 and BN 12580 in Winnipeg

Then I flew to Windsor. I arrived in the early evening and poked around a bit in Windsor before heading out. I saw the VIA Rail station and took a few photos, but there were no VIA trains scheduled for a few hours.
VIA Rail sign in Windsor

Here's a view of the station. This station is currently being replaced by the building in the distance to the right. You can read about the new station here.
Windsor VIA Rail station

I went inside to take a few photos. The station agent said it was OK as long as she wasn't in any of them!

There are a few upgrades in the existing station. It has wireless Internet, and these new e-ticketing machines.
E-Ticket machine in Windsor, ON

Here's the arrivals and departures board. Four trains each way per day, not bad for the western end of the Corridor.
Arrivals and Departures board in Windsor Ontario

I left Windsor and headed east. On my way, I decided to make a quick stop in Essex to see the historic train station there. Of course, it was dark so I took some long exposure shots. This was my favourite, of the 1909 Essex Terminal Railway caboose.
Essex Terminal caboose 53 in Essex Ontario

Here's my best night photo of the station. Note the grain elevator silos in the background. They had a light on in the entrance and that made it difficult to get a balanced shot. I should have tried an HDR shot.
Essex train station at night

In part 2 I relate how I tried to shoot a VIA Rail train (missed), a CP train (missed), and finally a VIA Rail train in Windsor (got it) as well as more photos of the Essex train station during the day. Read on


Eric said...

Hi Steve,

I have to use those e-ticketing machines when heading for Toronto on VIA No 651. Why? Because VIA pulled the station agent from the Kingston station, due to the lack of trains after 651's departure until over 2.5 hours later. Someone unlocks the door, you scan your confirmation email, and out pops a ticket.

The first time I boarded without scanning, I heard the on-board staff tell someone that the confirmation email was NOT a ticket.

Some of those Toronto-Windsor trains represented some of VIA's last blue & yellow consists, and often rated four locomotives. Some interesting stuff going into my second VIA Rail book.

Thanks for sharing,

Steve Boyko said...

I find it strange that you can't print an E-ticket at home. Or can you? You know that airlines accept your home-printed tickets.

I'm looking forward to your second VIA Rail book!

Eric said...

I'm not sure about home printing of VIA tickets, Steve. The e-ticketing kiosk spits out the ticket that is similar in appearance to what the agent would print out at the counter. With one major exception - the e-ticket is in two pieces: one stub and the other perforated with two travel portions, whereas at the counter it prints out joined.

They sure are compact (and so far in my experience, reliable) pieces of machinery.

I'm looking forward to the second book too :) Today it's been transformed into a series of post-it notes - it's coming together!

One Man Committee said...

Great photos! That's a nice station that VIA is building in Windsor. I do like the vintage 60s CN-built terminal there, but it appears that VIA has finally outgrown it. It's encouraging to see that kind investment in passenger rail infrastructure.