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Wayside Observer

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About Wayside Observer

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    In your worst nightmares

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  1. Yes, there was a long section of level straightaway that was provided to accommodate the future station when the north Yonge extension was built. It was neat riding through there when the station itself was being added as the construction went through different phases. At one point the platform area hand been hollowed out and was lit up with dim strings of those construction lights with bulbs in wire cages and trains crawled through slowly. The view from the front corner seat on a Gloucester train was great because it was on the side platform side of the train and you could twist to look out either the front or side window and it looked for all the world like an abandoned station when it was at that stage.
  2. From the pictures you posted, it looks like you had a really nice vacation. Did you get a chance to ride Peter Witts in Milan while you were there?
  3. For sure. The power consumption is a drop in the bucket compared to putting out the compliment of new cars that’s out at any given time, three subway lines, the Scarborough RT and all the buildings and structures that are powered up around the clock. So yeah, it’s easier just to sit down at the controls and move cars as needed rather than couple dead cars to a donkey or put the pole up and cajole one that’s been off for a while in the middle of winter to start up and move around on its own. So how much juice is it using? Well, how about a science project? Ok, ok, alright, I hear the groaning about how everyone was in the middle of a grand old foam fest session and I come along and ruin it with this BS about using tools and equipment to gather objective facts and data. Anyways, one possible way to determine this would be to energize the substation at HCRR, measure current output to get a number on what’s drawn off the line with the 600 on because there should be a couple of things placing a slight load on it plus anything they’ve got direct wired on the line that draws as soon as the 600 V comes up. That’s overhead. Electrical overhead, nothing to do with overhead wire. Next step, turn on one CLRV to the point where the subsystems are on at a quiescent state. Take a second current measurement and subtract the first. You have the idle current draw of a sitting car. It’ll fluctuate a bit as the air compressor cycles etc. but not a big deal unless there’s a leak and the duty cycle gets out of line. Multiply by line voltage and now you’ve got the idle power draw of a sitting CLRV. Multiply by by the number of idle cars in the yard at Russell by the number of hours of idle time by the average hydro rate to get a ballpark cost figure. It’ll be small, a rounding error in the overall TTC operating budget.
  4. They used to really move it between Kennedy and Lawrence East as soon as they got clear of the 90 degree turn coming down from the station and again between Lawrence East and Ellesmere. The TTC has tested out various combinations of maximum speed and acceleration and braking rate profiles on the line to try and make it a little bit more reliable and last a little bit longer though and some performance has been traded off. The political pressure to keep it running must be immense because I can’t imagine anybody wants to be the person responsible for removing a rapid transit line from the subway map. Giving up on the CLRVs and busing streetcar lines is not a powder keg like that which is why you didn’t see a whatever-it-takes approach to those compared to the RT. I’m sure people do like to embellish and it’s like a fishing story. Depending on the instrumentation though and how it’s all put together, especially if the subsystems gather there own separate speed data, a one km/hr discrepancy between 81 when the train should bail at 80 might be within the realm of possibility. I can name transit vehicles where the ATO/ATC box receives its own speed data from a separate set of sensors from the train’s controller box and they sometimes aren’t in exact agreement. Different sized wheels between trucks being one cause. It’s the age old instrumentation conundrum. If you have one clock, you know what time it is. If you have two, you wonder which one’s right. Anyways, the run down from Finch was better before North York Centre opened. Trains would come barreling down to Sheppard and if it was an eight car Gloucester, a trailing cloud of brake dust would waft down into the station following the train.
  5. But Doug Ford's keeping more coins in your pocket! Just remember that. Anyways, going by my recent experience complaining about costs going up, expect to hear from the entitled baby boomers about how they don't use it means you shouldn't have it. That by the way would be the people who benefitted from cheap tuition, cheap books, cheap energy, cheap food, cheap housing, plentiful jobs, good jobs, working careers centred over the longest run of post-WWII prosperity, good pensions, all that stuff that they took advantage of that they've then taken away from subsequent generations. So remember when you tap your card at full price as your student debt piles up because unlike them, you're not getting a student grant you're getting a loan to pay back with interest, your digging a little deeper and flinging it on that pile of debt helps pay for the valuable service of subsidizing their heavily discounted seniors' tickets.
  6. It depends on who you ask. According to some, civilization ends at Bloor St.
  7. Oh wow those mashed potatoes look like they’re a meal in themselves. I’m having a down home supper of grilled pork chops, maple sweet potatoes and baked beans. It’s been weeks since I’ve fired up the barbecue so I thought it was time.
  8. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. Its so true though. The political correctness crowd might be upset, rightly so, at the species of primate depicted in the cartoon being denigrated by being compared to Metrolinx though.
  9. Even a strike can be left off the list ever since the Essential Service designation that Rob Ford sought and got unless the people in charge are that worried about a wildcat.
  10. I'll second that. Remember how pockmarked the H6 cars were by the end with all the patched over holes cut in the ceiling panels and end panels there were?
  11. You mean telecine. Kinescopes were machines that went in the opposite direction and had a film camera facing a CRT screen with long persistence phosphors to record video on movie film. Movie film playback is an interesting beast since the sound and picture requirements are completely opposite. For the best picture, the film needs to advance, come to a complete stop and be perfectly accurately registered in the gate, shutter open, shutter closed, then in motion to advance to the next frame so it's alternating between a complete stop and moving pretty fast. On the other hand, for sound playback without awful wow and flutter or warbling, the film needs to stay moving at a steady rate with absolutely minimal speed variation over the sound head located 19 frames downstream from the projection gate. For 35mm, that means it has to be moving at a steady 90 feet a minute only 19 frames of distance away from where it's constantly stop/starting. Usually there's a polished drum spinning backwards against the film on the backing (non-emulsion) side with a light tension to buck the rough movement from the gate mechanism and even out the film speed so it's consistent before it hits the sound head. I forget the exact measurements for 16mm like the Expo movie but the setup's similar along with the requirements to go from stop/start in the gate to smooth movement through the sound head housing. The union didn't like the ATO demo in NYC and there was a suspicious fire where the automatic trains got burned and that was the end of that. NYC's dabbling in ATO now but retrofitting it on existing lines is not easy compared to building a new line where the ATO is designed in from the outset. The MTA started going ATO on the 7 Flushing line first and the Carnarsie St. line (L?). Those are relatively simple lines by NYC standards with no branching and no interlining with other lines. In the case of the Flushing line, there's the middle track reversible express section but that's about it for complexity. The problem is, retrofitting an ATO system on other lines where you have multiple branches, local/express tracks, and interline operation with other lines and that's really difficult. Do you cut over every line to ATO that has an overlapping section at the same time? Or, if you don't, how do you manage ATO plus wayside only over the same section of track over the same service hours of the day with no temporal separation? It becomes a staggaring undertaking when you start thinking about those things. Retrofitting ATO on the TTC subway or, for that matter the Montreal metro's a relatively sane project. That's actually one thing the movie made me think about, if the Montreal metro ATO retrofit that started operating in 1976 was partially inspired by the experience they had with the Expo train system. The air conditioning, that's Toronto miserlyness. Sure, they bought H5s with air conditioning in the mid/late seventies. They finally started buying buses with air conditioning in the mid eighties. But they were still buying streetcars without air conditioning in the middle of the 80s too. I couldn't believe they didn't spring for A/C on the ALRVs but they'd only just started getting air conditioned buses around then too but honestly, that should've included the ALRVs. There are still world's fairs but they're not a big deal like they used to be. My understanding is like it's a giant version of the old CNE where companies, countries, provinces, states, you name it set up pavilions showing off the best of everything they had, not just technology. The Canada 150 back in 2017 felt like such a bust. The centennial and the Expo put both Montreal and Canada on the map in a big way. Look at all the centennial projects that were built in communities all across the country. Nothing like that was done for Canada 150, just the show in Ottawa in front of parliament hill. Good point about the T1s. Those are the last of the traditional married pair subway cars and the Scarborough RT cars, wow, those have been turned into nasty awful little trains on the inside and the Line 3 wrap on the outside is a joke of a Grade 3 art project. You know, I remember when that line opened and it was so exciting with these new high tech trains with such high hope and promise for the future that turned into such a letdown so fast. Nobody thought it would be the colossal white elephant it was. I miss the original interiors with the transverse seats with the cushions, the wood trim and cream, and the unique RT paint scheme that didn't fall into any of the schemes the TTC used on anything else. That monotone grey everywhere is hideous and that exterior Line 3 garbage is insulting at how stupid they assume the customers are about knowing which of the two rapid transit lines at Kennedy they're getting on to.
  12. Yeah, I ended up with the impression that the script was clearly written by someone who didn't fully understand the material they were trying to explain with they way they struggled in places. I was able to glean some information from the displays they showed though. Maximum authorized speed was communicated to the trains through audio frequency signals fed into the running rails of each section of line and that was picked up and decoded by the ATO box on the train. What I couldn't figure out was how the status of the blocks of line ahead was sent back to the train unless the speed code was changed from line speed and dropped to 0 MPH in the blocks behind one occupied by a train to force the next train behind to stop or if a second set of codes was present. The Victoria Line in London also opened in 1967 and had a track circuit based ATO system where one set of tones pumped into the track gave the maximum authorized speed in that section and the other set gave the state of the signalling system about whether it was clear, at danger or restricted, so similar. What surprised me about the Expo line in the movie was the wayside beacon located almost like the Identra coil readers were in Toronto before each station that signalled to the trains to slow down and stop. If that's the extent of stopping a train and positioning it accurately on the platform to the 1.5 foot tolerance they mentioned in the narration, that'd be extremely dependent on the train hitting the beacon at the expected speed every time and not coming in slower due to closely following the one ahead, and accurate braking rate maintenance regardless of loading and weather conditions. That's not much to go on to get a high degree of repeatability under varying conditions and I would've thought there'd have been a lot more positional feedback designed into the system for lining up platform stops at the stations. I have to say watching out the front window in that movie of the moving train while the controller handle's cranked all the way over to the shutdown position is a bit wild! It is a shame though that the whole thing was junked after Expo; if more housing than Moshe Safdie's Habitat was built along the line after Expo closed, the train would've been a great little rapid transit line to connect it all to the main island or at least to the Ille St. Helene metro stop. What really struck me about the movie was seeing how much stuff there was in the Expo grounds. There's not a whole lot left which is a shame. My understanding is that it was a lot of fun and a huge deal especially Expo 67 lined up with the centennial that year. There was a big show on for the 50th anniversary back in 2017 that a lot of boomers including my parents who went to Expo went and visited for. The film itself is in sad shape unfortunately. To be brutally honest, it's a beat up release print that's been run through a projector a ton of times and it's picked up some scratches along its length and it's gotten dirty plus fifty years of age and the colour dyes are deteriorating and it may be developing vinegar syndrome. I played the first couple of minutes again with the volume turned up and I could hear problems with the sound after all but still does sound a lot better than the damage to the picture area would suggest it should. The issue with the credits at the end weaving up and down probably isn't due to the film being warped but more likely the sprocket holes have worn after the many trips it's had through a projector so it's wandering around a bit as each frame gets moved through the gate on the telecine machine (hopefully not another projector with a camcorder filming a movie screen) instead of being accurately registered in the same position each time. And the film wasn't cleaned either before being captured on video, that's for sure, but to be fair, it's getting harder to find that service with the regulations around some of the chemicals that were used. One place I worked at had a film cleaning machine in a special room with a barrier several inches high along the doorway to the film cleaning room so any chemical spill would be confined to the room and wouldn't get into the hallway and there were standing orders for how chemical spills were to be handled including specific instructions that the fire department was to be called for a hazmat team to assist if more than a certain volume was estimated to have spilled. Another place dropped the service completely and became a straight up telecine operation. Three guesses and the first two don't count if they lowered their prices to reflect the absence of film cleaning before being put through the telecine machine.
  13. Oh yeah. That was total sixties for sure. Did you notice something interesting about that film? The amount of debris and scratches in the picture area was pretty severe especially during the first half; obviously that print got run through a projector a ton of times but the soundtrack sounded clean and didn’t reflect the film damage. Maybe they had a copy of the soundtrack on tape or fullcoat mag stock but I’d have expected better fidelity if that was the case. Weird. I cringed though at the part where they were talking about the dual control system where the power for the traction motors goes through the manual (H1 console!) control stand or the automatic box like it’s a K type platform controller in a Peter Witt car where the operator’s hand is right on a crank that switches the 600! No, it’s a control stand or an ATO box feeding control information into the propulsion package in each car. This is easier than you’d think at first glance on multiple unit cars since all you need to do is get the ATO box to put valid commands onto the train line buss and actuate some valves to change train air brake pipe pressure. The propulsion and braking packages don’t care where the air pipe pressure changes or train line electrical buss changes come from. ATO box, the car’s control stand, a control stand in another car somewhere else in the train, in a multiple unit environment it doesn’t matter, dogs don’t know it’s not bacon. No kidding. I was talking with a couple of friends about it and if the Gloucesters being retired in late 1990 was the beginning of the end, the CLRV retirement a couple of weeks ago was the end of the end, if you will. There’s very little left that interests me. Life calls, very true. Sometimes it calls literally. One friend called and we went for breakfast this morning. I resisted the temptation to screw with the restaurant’s jukebox wall box feed. Another called with some info about the upcoming football season. Another called to ask about this side project I’ve got going on the bench for him. Actually, I’ve got more shit than I can shake a stick at going on outside of my full time job which is why I never have any free time and I could honestly use some personal downtime to decompress. Last night I finally put together a chair and ottoman that I bought two Boxing Day sales ago and put a floor lamp next to them to make a nice reading nook but that’s the kind of backlog I’ve been dealing with. So foaming now that everything that interested me is gone is pretty much not on the list. Definitely time for a break. As for the guy who shouted me down when we were talking about the GTA rot a while ago who things I should volunteer to make this a better hobby? Part of me wants to say it’s beyond redemption. Part of me wants to ask WTF he thinks this thing is along with the pile of remote assistance that some friends and I have been providing to another place that has a balky LRV. Part of me wants to say have you seen my house and my work schedule? Life called and I’ve been keeping the hold button down way too long. It’s time to pick it back up and go with a minimum foam existence for the next while.
  14. I just read your posts now. Holy crap, that's bullshit. I'm sorry you got ripped off like that. What a bunch of assholes. The ad on Amazon says it ships from the USA. Amazon's also an American company. Since you've got your original photos in your Flickr account plus the camera original film or files and can prove copyright ownership, you can probably write up a DMCA takedown notice and send it to Amazon which would compel them to pull this asshole's products with your pictures on them from being sold. It's surprisingly easy to write up a DMCA takedown notice and email it off. I had no idea until a friend of mine showed me since he does it regularly with his stock photos that routinely get pilfered. It's a tool worth considering at any rate.
  15. CFL. Bigger field + an extra player + only 3 downs = more intense game. Or one question I've never gotten an answer to, the Northern Football Conference mixed rulebook. Canadian sized field. 12 players. Canadian rules...except for four downs. Why??? In this case, it happens to be a De-fault that was Dis-charged. Which would you rather have, Marantz or McIntosh? Edit: Or, for lower budget options, Scott or Fisher.
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