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  1. On a trip to Newfoundland last week….I stopped by the small town of Botwood that played a major role in the development of transatlantic commercial air service. https://goo.gl/maps/XH6K1zMxvhzZLwwj6 Here’s the original Terminal Building used by Pan Am in the late 1930’s through the mid ‘40s during the Flying Boat Era. There’s an interesting Museum there depicting that heritage: This is a floating kerosene Flare Pot that marked the landing area out in the Bay of Exploits Here’s the schedule at Botwood in 1945. By the following year the Flying Boat era was over and Pan Am had relocated 40 miles away to Gander and the TATL service was now on a DC-4.
  2. The Marine Atlantic Highlanders was ready for boarding 2 hours before our midnight departure from North Sydney, Nova Scotia for Newfoundland. I had a cabin but there’s also coach and business-class seating available. Arrival in Port aux Basques was at 7am the next morning. My trip over to Newfoundland was 2 days after Hurricane Dorian had gone through and the boats were full trying to get caught-up on the backlog of traffic that had accumulated while they weren’t running. Capacity is 450 cars or 90 truck on 2.8 kilometres of lane-length on the ferry.
  3. Some Nostalgia......Back in 1974 when the “Adirondack’ was inaugurated it was an Amtrak train but operated by the Delaware & Hudson Railway. CP Rail ‘Skyline’ Domes were leased and painted into D&H colours. (these Domes are still in service today on VIA Rail) And like the ‘Ocean View’ Dome the past few years….this Dome Car was added at Albany-Rensselaer due to clearance restrictions south of there.
  4. Halifax Transit Ferry ‘Vincent Coleman’ at Dartmouth NS, August 24, 2019……and note the ‘Dot-Dash’ under each letter…..spelling out ‘Vincent Coleman’ in Morse Code. Coleman was a telegraph operator for the Intercolonial Railway at the time of the Halifax Explosion in 1917 which killed 2,000 and injured 9,000. Coleman was killed but not before he sent a message over the railway telegraph warning approaching trains not to come into the city......probably saving the lives of many.
  5. Here’s the e/b Ocean at Truro, Nova Scotia on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Consist included 5 coaches, 10 sleepers (9 Ren & 1 Chateau) + ‘Tremblant Park’.
  6. And that's the 'short' crossing. There's 2 ferries each way, daily year 'round. Takes about 6 or 7 hours. During the summer there is also a crossing 3 times per week between North Sydney and Argentia NL: 540 km and takes about 15 hrs. https://www.marineatlantic.ca/en/terminals-fleet/Ferry-Terminals/
  7. It’s been 50 years since CN’s 3’-6” gauge ‘Caribou’ completed its last run across the Island of Newfoundland between Port-aux-Basques (Port oh Bask) and St. John’s overnight on July 2-3 1969. This was North America’s last full-service narrow-gauge passenger train with coaches, sleepers, diner and lounge. A sample consist from the ‘60s: GMD NF210 GMD NF210 Steam Generator Storage Mail (wood boxcar) Baggage/Express Diner (as lounge) Coach (Corner Brook set-out/pick-up) Coach (Corner Brook set-out/pick-up) Coach Coach Coach Diner Sleeper (as Crew Dorm) Sleeper Sleeper Sleeper Sleeper Sleeper (Corner Brook set-out/pick-up) Sleeper (Corner Brook set-out/pick-up) CN had introduced a new fleet of ‘Roadcruisers’ six months earlier and passengers soon abandoned the ‘Caribou’ for the frequent and faster bus service that now covered the 900 km run in 14 hours vs the 22 hours the train took. Although the ‘Caribou’ was gone…. you could still ride narrow-gauge mixed trains on several routes on the island for almost another 20 years until 1988 when the railway was abandoned. At lot of the narrow-gauge passenger equipment found its way into work train and company service. At Corner Brook…..the Railway Society of Newfoundland has a nice display of ‘Caribou’ equipment on a short section of remaining narrow-gauge track. And a bit of a play on paint scheme here: Locomotive #593 would never have hauled cars painted in the CN 1960’s scheme as steam was gone by then. (nearby….the divided Trans Canada Highway through the Humber River Gorge is on the old abandoned CNR right-of-way) A Sleeping Car in Newfoundland was an 8&1 (8 Sections – 1 Drawing Room) whereas on the mainland a Standard Sleeper was a 12&1. And you can still cross the Island by bus. (CN sold the Roadcruiser service to DRL in '96) At Port-aux-Basques the bus loads along the platform area where the ‘Caribou’ once departed from….. and still connects with the Marine Atlantic (former CN) ferry on the 150 km crossing over to Nova Scotia.
  8. That will make for an impressive sized train. I'll have to get over to Truro for photos!
  9. Found this ‘Mixed’ Budd-Ren ‘Ocean’ Consist for Summer 2019 posted elsewhere: (Sleeping Car Line #’s show in brackets) F40PH2 F40PH2 F40PH2 Budd Baggage Budd Coach Budd Coach Budd Coach Ren Transition Car Ren Service/Lounge Car Ren Dining Car Ren Service/Lounge Car Ren Accessible Sleeper (Line #30) Ren Sleeper (#31) Ren Transition Car Chateau sleepers (#33) Chateau sleepers (#34) Chateau sleepers (#35) Chateau sleepers (#36) Chateau sleepers (#37) Chateau sleepers (#38) Chateau sleepers (#39) Budd ‘Park Car’ Dome Obs (#40)
  10. Allow plenty of time for connections and 24 hrs sounds like a good cushion. Why put yourself through the anxiety of a missed connection and ruin your trip. If the train is close to on-time or only slightly late you’ll find lots to do in Vancouver or Toronto while waiting. And I’m guessing you might be a train fan too so enjoy your extra time onboard in the dome, the amenities and additional meals. It's a bonus/more bang for you buck! You will be well taken care of…and you might see scenery that the train usually passes through at night. (On one trip I finally got to see the Fraser Canyon in daylight!)
  11. Although the Max8 is still flying in North America (for now!) Air Canada has cancelled the flights they use them on between Halifax and London Heathrow and also between St. John's and Heathrow as all Max8 operations have been grounded in Europe. Passengers are being accommodated via YUL, YOW and YHZ. A St. John's passenger who's flight to London takes a little over 4 hours.....now has to backhaul 3 hours west to Toronto just to connect.
  12. Yup….probably a ‘Coach Atlantic-Maritime Bus’ charter. And Maritime Bus scheduled service does make it as far west as Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec https://maritimebus.com/locations/bus-stops-quebec/riviere-du-loup/
  13. VIA Is running a Budd fill-in consist on the Ocean. It will depart Montreal tonight (Nov 28) on e/b #14
  14. VIA won't be running an extra Budd consist this Christmas....so there probably would be one available to fill in for a Ren if required
  15. No Passengers aboard. This was the train that had arrived in Halifax the previous evening and was being turned prior to its 1pm departure back to Montreal. It had just backed out of the station and had started to pull forward to the Container Terminal where it would run around the loop-track to turn…...then back down into the station. Happened in the cut between Tower Rd and Young Ave: https://goo.gl/maps/VRZWxRKsMjy And I'm just guessing here: This is an off-season consist so there would be additional Ren Coaches at the MMC in Montreal and the whole consist would probably have to return there to have the cars added.
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