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Summer Trip 2007


Orion VIII

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I leave in the morning. PACE and CTA maps are terrible to understand, if you can even find one online, so I won't try to find any more info until I get there.

At least one day that we head downtown we'll be using the MDW Metra line from Big Timber or Elgin, and possibly CTA blue or green line from Forest Park or Harlem respectively.

The railfan park at Rochelle, IL is also one of our stops.

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I leave in the morning. PACE and CTA maps are terrible to understand, if you can even find one online, so I won't try to find any more info until I get there.

At least one day that we head downtown we'll be using the MDW Metra line from Big Timber or Elgin, and possibly CTA blue or green line from Forest Park or Harlem respectively.

The railfan park at Rochelle, IL is also one of our stops.

Very cool! Have fun!

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I saw the following on my way here today.

An Airport bus (45' with three doors on either side) on a trailer in Fort Erie

NFTA D40 9348 in Buffalo

Cleveland RTA 2001 Neoplan

Setra S417 demo coach on 80/90 in Indiana

Fairfax Connector (yes, their buses stalk me :angry:) D40LFRs 9703 and 9751 on delivery through Indiana, very nice paint scheme!

Several Megabus J4500s maliciously advertising $1 express fares.....what a scam

Into Chicago, after countless toll booths, I saw a South Shore Lines MU train and several NS trains.

CTA Subways on the red and blue lines in the middle of I-90, as well as a Flxible, several LFSs and D40LFs. The highlight, however, was CTA RTS 4858 which broke down on I-90 at I-55, conveniently stranding us in the left lane watching subways pass every minute or two. :D Got some nice videos, then pictures of them attempting to tow away the RTS.

Of course, it's supposed to rain all week, :), but after my parents witnessed the traffic today, on A SUNDAY EVENING, they have been scared away from driving downtown.

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Oh yeah, Chicago driving was horrible. I drove on the NW Tollway, on I-290 from Schaumburg to the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to Indiana and the long drive to Toronto via Sarnia. Unfortunately I drove last Monday during afternoon rush hour. My uncle had the advantage to drive one early Sunday morning through Chicago proper near the Loop. Got to see the Dan Ryan and the Eisenhower without traffic whatsoever! I was impressed with the L trains in the middle of the interstate. Reminded me of the Spadina Subway in the middle of Allen Rd.

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Welcome to Illinois!! We joke about the Dan Ryan calling it The State of Illinois parking lot!

James

Yet my parents are still resisting a [dreadful to them, 'do you know who rides buses here?' :P]10 minute bus ride (on the 55 Garfield) in favour of driving. :lol:

Today

Spotted PACE Nabis on some 500 series routes here in Elgin, then we went to the railpark at Rochelle. Due to flooding in Wisconsin, the BNSF Aurora Sub was shut down, and a foreman told us it will likely be a week before they are using it again. The only success of the day was UP heritage unit 1995 leading a westbound. On the way back I spotted a Northern Illinois University Gillig Phantom in De Kalb.

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Thanks James, ;), I knew I'd made a few mistakes. :D

This morning we went to the IRM, to find that due to flooding, nothing was operational. Their barns, however, were full of gems, but the barn that I wanted to visit the most, the one housing most of their trollybuses, was closed. I did, however, get lots of pictures of locomotives, very nice coaches, interurbans, CTA cars and some seemingly odd PCCs with full skirting. A Day Out With Thomas was last weekend and next weekend, so Thomas was 'sleeping' in barn 9, complete with his mask that you see him in the TV show.

Afterwards, we headed towards Fry's Electronics where I was wowed by extremely low computer prices. Several PACE NABIs were seen on that stretch of trip.

Next was deep dish pizza at Nancy's of Elmhurst. The address we were given led us to a house, as did the phone number, so we settled for a take-out version in Schaumburg. I got to see a PACE Orion VI, number 6058, and based on its black panels, is not in any better shape than Ontario VIs.

Tomorrow is taking us downtown.

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As promised, Metra took us downtown today, from Elgin (pronounced Eljin) Terminal to Union. I was unimpressed with their coaches, and feel the Bombardier bi-levels are far superior.

When I emerged onto Jackson, at Canal, I was pelleted with NABI artics, Flxibles, RTSs and D40LFs. LFSs must be based at a more suburban location, as I did not see any in the extreme downtown.

We rode the Orange line from Quincy around the loop to Roosevelt Station, where we got on a Green line train to East 63rd. Again, I was unimpressed with the ride quality and capacity of the cars. Very nice junctions and yards, however. The view from inbound Green trains is likely the best you can get for the price.

Back downtown, a Coach USA SLF235 circled the block several times, and the driver waved at me after the first time he passed me. :lol:

Tomorrow morning we leave Elgin, IL for Birch Run, MI via South Bend, IN and Battle Creek, MI.

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This morning we left the hotel in Elgin, IL, traveling here to Birch Run, MI. On the way, I saw more PACE buses, this time some VIs and a I. The I looked very odd with its hammerhead destination sign.

In Battle Creek, MI, I saw some shorter Thomas HFs, but I do not know if they were transit buses, or if they were just shuttles of some sort. In Flint, I saw the standard D40LFs that I see every time I'm there.

Tomorrow we visit Frankenmuth and Prime Outlets, then head home.

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I returned home late last night. All I saw transit-wise was a cutaway in Lapeer, MI.

Some photos from my trip will be posted soon.

If I'd seen this posting sooner, I'd have reccomended you go visit Midwest Bus in Owosso, which isn't too far from Frankenmuth. More often than not, there's some interesting stuff in their lot. Earlier this year there was a MAN 60' artic from Denver and a host of ex-PAT Orion 1s. The MAN's since been scrapped, sadly; I hope the same hasn't happened to a pair of 35' TMC RTS Series 08s.

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If I'd seen this posting sooner, I'd have reccomended you go visit Midwest Bus in Owosso, which isn't too far from Frankenmuth. More often than not, there's some interesting stuff in their lot. Earlier this year there was a MAN 60' artic from Denver and a host of ex-PAT Orion 1s. The MAN's since been scrapped, sadly; I hope the same hasn't happened to a pair of 35' TMC RTS Series 08s.

Thanks, I'll go there at (Canadian) Thanksgiving. (American Columbus Day)

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  • 1 month later...
Friday afternoon I leave for our Comfort Suites in Saginaw. I will visit the place you recommended, Evan, as well as try to get some nicer STARS pictures, hopefully an improvement over last year with the nicer weather. :lol:

Very cool. Owosso's possibly about an hour south-west of Saginaw, but it's worth the visit (try to hit it on a Saturday). If you're trying to map it, it should be off of Stewart Street, if I recall - but Googling Midwest Bus and mapping their given address will get you there just fine.

I'd be going up this weekend if I weren't going to the Motor Bus Society convention in Dayton, OH. At least at this time a year, the grounds aren't too wet (hopefully) and there aren't as many active wasps flying around. Just wear some pants and closed shoes, and you'll have a blast.

If you don't want a spoiler, don't read any further...but here's what you may expect.

I was just there around 3 weeks back, and you should have quite a diverse array of buses to crawl through and photograph. Of course, plenty of RTS', including buses from Red Rose Valley Transit (PA), but also ex-Muncie (IN) and LACMTA (CA) buses done up for Fairfax (VA).

The two Muncie RTS 08s were still there, and there were at least two or three MCI 102A2s from Denver. There were a few Gillig Phantom T-30s from Grand Rapids, and a few Orion Is from The Henry Ford Museum.

Of course, you've got to photograph the Worldbus prototype out in back. You'll think it's nothing much, but at one time, it was the only low-floor design considered by both TMC and MCI. A sign of what could have been, I suppose.

By the way, if you're EXTREMELY patient in Flint (and don't mind waiting in a seedy part of town), you may catch a glimpse of some of their leftover TMC RTS' or newer MCI commuter coaches - but I won't guarantee anything. These run from Genessee County into Oakland County on commuter runs, so they don't appear in Flint as frequently as the D40LFs (sadly). It's been a long time since I've seen an RTS in service on any normal Flint route.

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So shall I just show up to the place? Will I need to call or visit someone, or is it 'self serve'? :(

Thanks for the pointers, we usually go to Durand on the Sunday morning, driving through Owosso on our way back to Frankenmuth for an afternoon at Bronner's, but I will try and see if I can visit Midwest on Saturday. ;)

What is Flint's garage like with visitors? For the last two years, my dad's offered to let me see if I can go in, since it's right by the train station. Should I bother, or stay away? Same for Saginaw STARS, are you or anyone else familiar with them?

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I'd be going up this weekend if I weren't going to the Motor Bus Society convention in Dayton, OH. At least at this time a year, the grounds aren't too wet (hopefully) and there aren't as many active wasps flying around. Just wear some pants and closed shoes, and you'll have a blast.

i may join you!

its Dayton,DC or Ottawa...

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So shall I just show up to the place? Will I need to call or visit someone, or is it 'self serve'? tongue.gif

Just walk around the lot with a camera, and no one should bother you. If someone asks, just explain you're a bus fan, and you're snapping some stuff.

Being a 'young-un' familiar with most American junkyards' methods of dealing with teen clientele, I was used to having to ask permission to walk around and shoot. I've done that twice; each time, I've never met any resistance.

My last visit there, I just drove up unannounced and walked around with a camera. A few workers may have occasionally glanced, but I doubt this even happened. So long as you're not gutting buses (although I wish I'd snagged the buildplate from that MAN artic), you're definitely in the clear.

Rather nice, actually; a change from most junkyards or for that matter, American transit institution.

They may be open Sunday too, but I'm not entirely certain. Saturday's the only day on the weekend I've actually gone.

What is Flint's garage like with visitors? For the last two years, my dad's offered to let me see if I can go in, since it's right by the train station. Should I bother, or stay away? Same for Saginaw STARS, are you or anyone else familiar with them

I've not tried. I've driven up there once, but they have an odd gated access to the entire property (including the train station), and I never felt 'right' driving up there.

You may want to try calling Flint MTA to see if they wouldn't mind you shooting some stuff at their garage, just to be safe. I don't know you'll necessarily get the most understanding person immediately on the line, but maybe try speaking to a media rep or ombudsperson and see what happens.

i may join you!

its Dayton,DC or Ottawa...

Cool!

Look for the overweight, bespectacled twenty-something lugging two or three cameras, a cooler full of slide film and a tripod and introduce yourself to me.

-Evan

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Cool!

Look for the overweight, bespectacled twenty-something lugging two or three cameras, a cooler full of slide film and a tripod and introduce yourself to me.

-Evan

I think you're my twin.

What type of slide film do you shoot?

Canon cameras?

Since I'm hijacking this thread now anyways... some pics from my Spring/ Summer trip... K-64 slide film...

84490041.JPG

84490043.JPG

84490017.JPG

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I think you're my twin.

What type of slide film do you shoot?

Canon cameras?

Since I'm hijacking this thread now anyways... some pics from my Spring/ Summer trip... K-64 slide film...

I'm rather new to slide film stuff, but I've previously shot some consumer Kodak "Elite Chrome" E-6 stuff I picked up at a local Meijers - seemed to work quite nice.

For this trip, I've got five rolls of fresh Fuji Sensia ISO200 36 exp. My friend also donated a stash of Velvia and Sensia rolls ranging from ISO 50 to ISO 400; however, as they're also expired, I'm not entirely trusting them to their color accuracy. I'll shoot 'em, but they'll be duplicates.

And yeah; I love Canons. I've got both an EOS A2 and A2e (tempted to upgrade the 'e to an EOS 5) with a basic 35-80 mm lens and a 540EX Speedlite to go between the two. Not the greatest, but it works. I really want to get a basic 50 mm prime (f/1.8, IIRC) for low-light scenarios.

May possibly bring the parent's old AE-1 along for good measure. Dunno yet.

Nice pictures! I've never seen Dayton's Flxibles before; do they still have any around? I was down in the city in April shooting some stuff for the book. Saw plenty of '97 Nova RTS' and D40LFs (actually somewhat attractive in the RTA scheme, my only exception to my anti-D40 appearance rule) and, of course, the infamous Skoda ETB. Never any 870/Metros, though. Odd, because I think virtually all Ohio agencies ran 'em, seeing as they were built in-state.

-Evan

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I'm rather new to slide film stuff, but I've previously shot some consumer Kodak "Elite Chrome" E-6 stuff I picked up at a local Meijers - seemed to work quite nice.

For this trip, I've got five rolls of fresh Fuji Sensia ISO200 36 exp. My friend also donated a stash of Velvia and Sensia rolls ranging from ISO 50 to ISO 400; however, as they're also expired, I'm not entirely trusting them to their color accuracy. I'll shoot 'em, but they'll be duplicates.

My preference is Kodachrome. Fuji comes a close second.

And yeah; I love Canons. I've got both an EOS A2 and A2e (tempted to upgrade the 'e to an EOS 5) with a basic 35-80 mm lens and a 540EX Speedlite to go between the two. Not the greatest, but it works. I really want to get a basic 50 mm prime (f/1.8, IIRC) for low-light scenarios.

Try to get the f1.8 USM. I'm not overly impressed with the cheapest f1.8, although it gets the job down. Not the best at focusing.

I don't really carry around a flash, but I have dedicated Sigma. Doesn't have all the bells and whistles (like LCD display and lots of buttons) as the Speedlites, and more expensive Sigma's, but it does fine considering it's meant to work the Canon ETTL and ETTL-II metering in the first place.

Nice pictures! I've never seen Dayton's Flxibles before; do they still have any around? I was down in the city in April shooting some stuff for the book. Saw plenty of '97 Nova RTS' and D40LFs (actually somewhat attractive in the RTA scheme, my only exception to my anti-D40 appearance rule) and, of course, the infamous Skoda ETB. Never any 870/Metros, though. Odd, because I think virtually all Ohio agencies ran 'em, seeing as they were built in-state.

-Evan

The Flxibles are only used on school runs, apparently. The one I posted (and have as my photo of the month on Barp) was the only one I got a good shot off. I got one with my digital camera from a moving bus, and that was it. Although, that one I did get, I made sure to shoot a whole bunch of extra slides of.

While my plans for my next two week holiday are Montreal-Ottawa-Boston-Philidelphia-Pittsburgh?, I'm hoping sometime to get back to Dayton, as well as visit other places in Ohio.

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Just walk around the lot with a camera, and no one should bother you. If someone asks, just explain you're a bus fan, and you're snapping some stuff.

Being a 'young-un' familiar with most American junkyards' methods of dealing with teen clientele, I was used to having to ask permission to walk around and shoot. I've done that twice; each time, I've never met any resistance.

My last visit there, I just drove up unannounced and walked around with a camera. A few workers may have occasionally glanced, but I doubt this even happened. So long as you're not gutting buses (although I wish I'd snagged the buildplate from that MAN artic), you're definitely in the clear.

Rather nice, actually; a change from most junkyards or for that matter, American transit institution.

They may be open Sunday too, but I'm not entirely certain. Saturday's the only day on the weekend I've actually gone.

Ok, sounds good!

I've not tried. I've driven up there once, but they have an odd gated access to the entire property (including the train station), and I never felt 'right' driving up there.

You may want to try calling Flint MTA to see if they wouldn't mind you shooting some stuff at their garage, just to be safe. I don't know you'll necessarily get the most understanding person immediately on the line, but maybe try speaking to a media rep or ombudsperson and see what happens.

We go in there every time we go, to do some railfanning, timed, of course, around the arrival of one of the Amtraks. I caught a brand new D40LF there in 2003, at the back.

I probably wont bother trying to go in either of the garages, due to a lack of time, but Owosso seems to be VERY interesting!

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Ok, sounds good!

We go in there every time we go, to do some railfanning, timed, of course, around the arrival of one of the Amtraks. I caught a brand new D40LF there in 2003, at the back.

I probably wont bother trying to go in either of the garages, due to a lack of time, but Owosso seems to be VERY interesting!

Cool. Have a good trip, and let me know what you find at Midwest.

Keep your eyes peeled for neat parts, too. I found a bunch of silkscreened seats from Detroit buses of the '80s last time, along with an engine cover from a Hertz Series 04 RTS. Once, there were actually two front modules for Nova LFS', painted only in primer. Still don't know who those were for.

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Cool. Have a good trip, and let me know what you find at Midwest.

Keep your eyes peeled for neat parts, too. I found a bunch of silkscreened seats from Detroit buses of the '80s last time, along with an engine cover from a Hertz Series 04 RTS. Once, there were actually two front modules for Nova LFS', painted only in primer. Still don't know who those were for.

You mean to say these parts may be garbage anyway, and would look great in my house? :P

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