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Canadian Railroads > VIA detour Nov 27-28th, 2021


Date: 12/02/21 18:41
VIA detour Nov 27-28th, 2021
Author: moonliter

The search of new mileage has always been a passion of mine (others call it, an obsession) so when a post appeared two week ago about the possibility of detouring trains over the York sub I rushed out to the station and bought a pair tickets.  I figured that I’ll work the trip details out later. 

Detail 1 was to call my friend and ask him if he even wanted to ride over the Bala and York subs, fortunately he said yes.  The next problem was to wait for confirmation that the trains were indeed going to be detoured.  This uncertainty and the fact my friend lives in Brockville strongly suggested that it would be better to drive from Ottawa via Brockville to Oshawa.  Another reason for choosing the driving option was the fact I wanted to be able shoot a photo of a detoured train on the York sub. 
 
I was up at 06:00, out the door at 07:00 and arriving at the first stop, Brockville at 08:10.  Here my friend Doug jumped into the car and we were off to Oshawa, ON.  As we were approaching Oshawa we pasted a westbound CN container train. This presented us an opportunity in get a photo of a freight train on the York sub. This resulted in us heading straight to Pickering (13 miles west of Oshawa) rather than stopping in Oshawa to find exactly when we would be heading to Toronto to catch our 15:17 departure on VIA No.46.  

I knew of a spot that would work for in Pickering and arrived there at 11:10 AM, the container train which turned out to be CN No.121 passed in front of us about six minutes later.  A pair of “J”-ed VIA trains was scheduled to depart Toronto Union at 11:32 so I decided to stay put and grab a photo of No.64/42 here.  While waiting for VIA to arrive I tried to find out about the buses through GO’s website.  The disruption of train service was mentioned but connecting to the schedule did not work so I ended phoning.  About 15 minutes later I had my answer. Buses were scheduled to depart at 10 and 40 minutes after the hour so I was hoping to catch the 13:10 but figured it would most likely be the 13:40 bus.  Travel time for the bus was predicted at 1 hour & 10 minutes to Union.  It was snowing and the traffic was fairly heavy (Christmas shoppers?) but our bus made steady progress to downtown Toronto arriving at 14:55.  Five minutes later we were in the concourse of Union Station with 17 minutes to spare before train time.

The boarding started at roughly 15:15 so we were not under way until 15:30.  Car 4 was full, and the scanning of tickets stated at once.  This was good because the food service cart followed shortly afterwards thus I was able to have a coffee and cookies before leaving the Bala sub.   It was quite lovely twisting up the Bala sub through the forest of snow covered trees and watching the children tobogganing down the slippery slopes of the Don valley. 16 miles later we reached CN Doncaster where we took the southwest connecting track to the York sub.  Once on the York sub we reversed direction so we were now facing as our train clattered over the diamond with the Bala sub.  18.4 miles later the connection was made from the York sub to the Kingston sub at a point called Pickering Jct.  A few minutes later we arrived back in Oshawa.

Gerry Gaugl
Ottawa ON     

Photo 1: Map of Pickering, ON   
Photo 2: CN 121 crossing the multiple lanes of the 401.  Pickering, ON
Photo 3: VIA "J" ed No.64/42 about to cross over the 401.  Pickering, ON








Date: 12/02/21 18:50
Re: VIA detour Nov 27-28th, 2021
Author: moonliter

Photo 4:  VIA No.64/42 on the York sub crossing over the 401.  Pickering, ON
Photo 5: VIA 643 from Ottawa crossing the 401 via the York sub. Pickering, ON
Photo 6: One of many GO buses to Toronto Union Station.  Oshawa, ON
 








Date: 12/02/21 19:07
Re: VIA detour Nov 27-28th, 2021
Author: moonliter

Photo 7: The York sub crossing the 401, as viewed from the GO bus.  Pickering, ON
Photo 8:  Arriving at Toronto Union Station … by bus!  Toronto, ON
Photo 9:  View on the diamond crossing of the York sub and the Bala sub from VIA No.46 sitting on the southwest connection from the Bala sub to the York sub. CN Doncaster  November 28, 2021

**Note**  The detour was to end late Sunday night however a tragic accident on Saturday night delaying the reopening of the Kingston sub.
" A 41-year-old man was killed east of Toronto after being pinned under a rail car on Saturday evening. Durham Regional Police say he was part of a team that was conducting   construction and maintenance work on behalf of Go Transit operator Metrolinx at the 117-year-old Rouge Hill bridge in Pickering.  Lakeshore East GO train service was suspended over the weekend while the repair work was being conducted. Service in the area will be disrupted on Monday and Tuesday, and possibly beyond, as the investigation continues."

Gerry Gaugl 
Ottawa ON









Date: 12/03/21 18:48
Re: VIA detour Nov 27-28th, 2021
Author: ABB

Thanks for the pictures, when I heard about this detour I was tempted to come up from Massachusetts to get the rare mileage. But with Covid around it wasn't worth it.

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