Saturday, October 29, 2016

Layover at Dorval

After my recent trip to Saint John, NB (see Saint John Railway Scenes and CN 406, Times Two), I hopped on a plane back to Winnipeg. Well, actually, I took two planes... a little prop plane to Montréal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (aka "YUL") and then a jet from there to Winnipeg's James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

I had a three-hour layover in Montréal. I decided that I wasn't going to just sit around playing with my computer or phone. I knew from a past layover that the Dorval VIA / AMT train stations were within walking distance, and since I like to walk, this could be done!

Dorval is on the CN Kingston subdivision and the CP Vaudreuil subdivision.

These Shoes Are Made For Walking

VIA 6414 at Dorval
I was fortunate that I was only a few seats back from the front of the plane, so I was able to deplane quickly and zoom out of the airport. I walked through the acres (hectares?) of parking garages and open air parking lots toward the Dorval train station.

It is a good 15-20 minute walk at a brisk pace.

I was carrying my camera bag (a Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW, if you're curious) and my laptop bag, so by the time I reached the station I was a little warm and my back was a bit sore. No worries!

The AMT and VIA stations are quite close to each other but they are separate. AMT has a pair of tracks with little one story shelters beside them, and VIA has a full train station beside their own pair of tracks. There is a tunnel that goes under all four tracks so you can go to any platform without crossing tracks.

VIA at Dorval

I looked at the AMT schedule - displayed on the station outside - and determined that nothing was coming until 13:02, so I walked over to the VIA station.

VIA 35 showed up very soon after I arrived, with VIA 6414 for power. You may remember that 6414 was the Loto Quebec unit when they were still wrapped, and was derisively labelled as "the Turd".
Spotting the consist at Dorval
In the photo above, you can see the second engineer looking back to spot the train at the right place on the platform.

There was quite a crowd on the platform but it did not take long for everyone to get on or off the train. I elected to shoot video with my iPhone as the train departed.

The consist was 6414 / 3451 / 4177 / 4118. I noted that VIA 3451 had a poppy sticker on it already.

After VIA 35 left, I went inside to check the schedule.
VIA schedule at Dorval
Nothing for an hour. Off to AMT.

Agence Métropolitaine de Transport

I knew I would have a bit of a wait for the next AMT train, but I was hoping for a freight train to come along. CP, CN and CSX all come through Dorval at different times, and on my last visit to Dorval I caught a CP freight.

I paced around by the AMT side for a while, but nothing came along until the scheduled AMT train, led by cab car 3017.
AMT 3017
They sure have a lot of horns on these cars!

I was on the wrong side of the sun but I had decided to stay here because I would have the fence in the way on the other side. Maybe wrong, maybe right, but that's the decision I made. It's important to think of these things if you have time to do so.

After a very brief stop, they continued on their way and I shot AMT 1325 pushing the consist westward.
AMT 1325 at Dorval
AMT 1325 is an F59PHI locomotive.

The End

The next VIA train was VIA 34 at 13:18 and the next AMT train was after that. My flight to Winnipeg was at 14:40 so I thought I might be pushing it a bit to wait for VIA with a long walk to the airport after that, so I set off for the airport.

In the end I was glad I didn't hang around, as the security line was pretty long and I didn't have a lot of time to wait before my flight boarded. It was the right decision.

But Wait, There's More

I neglected to mention earlier in this series that I took a few photos of NB Southern switching in Saint John that week.
GMTX 2639 in Saint John
GMTX 2639 and NBSR 911 were switching the west end of the Dever Road yard (aka "Ponderosa yard"). I took a few minutes to watch them do their thing. There is no really good angle to photograph units here without this upward look to them.

When I last saw #911 in December 2014, it was still HLCX 911. Since then, NB Southern purchased the unit and patched it to be NBSR 911. It still has the crossed out "Union Pacific" on the side, but I'm sure it will be repainted into green and yellow like the rest of the fleet eventually.
NBSR 911
For now, enjoy the patch job.

Just One More Thing

Totally not train related, but I also spotted a couple of cruise ships in the Saint John harbour.
Cruise ships in Saint John, NB
The big one was "Anthem of the Seas", a new Royal Caribbean International behemoth delivered in April 2015. This monster is just over 1/3 km long with a capacity of 4,180 - 4,905 passengers. It has a crane on board to lift a "NorthStar" observation capsule up to 300' above sea level, and an indoor skydiving simulator, as well as many other amenities.
"Anthem of the Seas" in Saint John, NB
The smaller vessel was the Disney Magic. This vessel was launched in April 1997 and can carry up to 2,700 people even though it is not much shorter than the Anthem. The Magic is definitely not as tall!
"Disney Magic" in Saint John, NB
Maybe the excursion train I saw on October 11 had been carrying cruise ship passengers?

See Also

Disclosure: This post contains one or more affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any item from Amazon via that link, I receive a small commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you. Just so you know.


Kevin said...

Thank you for walking over to the station! I really liked the VIA shots with the F40 in the sun, and the stainless steel cars. I also really like the space that there is in Canada, even in urban areas. The autumn colours are looking good too. Interesting that you saw Disney Magic, I saw it too a few months ago here in the UK!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi Kevin, I'm glad you liked the photos! It was something different for me to see VIA "corridor" trains as well as the AMT train.

Those cruise ships get around, don't they?

Thanks for reading from "across the pond"!