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’83 Nostalgia - A Ride on the New ‘International’


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#1 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:45 AM

Hard to believe its been 35 years.but back in January 83 I picked up a VIA CanRailPass and set off on 15 days of train riding. The Pass was $160 and good anywhere in Eastern Canada...plus for a supplement on Amtrak, I could include a ride on the recently inaugurated (Oct 82) International. No advance planning or reservations were required....If a seat was available.just show your pass and you got a ticket!

My CanRailPass got me as far as Sarnia....then I had separate ticket coupons between Sarnia and Port Huron and Port Huron and Chicago. (VIA crews changed with Amtrak at Port Huron)

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#2 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:48 AM

I spent a couple of day in Chicago....making a quick round trip to Milwaukee on the Empire Builder (first time on a Superliner)...then returned on the Marquette......and also a ride out to East Chicago and back on the CSS&SB.

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#3 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:50 AM

Returning.we had VIAs contribution to the International.....the xCN** Tempo equipment: Coach 360, Café 343, Coach 368, Coach 372 but with Amtrak F40 323 for power.

(**the xCN Tempo equipment eventually went to the Denver Ski Train and has come full-circle back and now operates on CNs Algoma Central Agawa Canyon Tour Train)

In Port Huron at sunset:

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#4 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:51 AM

We crossed through the tunnel and back into Canada at Sarnia and I remember my interrogation by Canadian Customs went something like this. Citizenship? Canadian Where have you been? Just rode the new train to Chicago and back Railfan? Yes....then he was on to the next person. Oh how simple things once were!! We took the route through London and Brantford.arriving back in Toronto at 2150.

Now what to do?? Well the Canadian was leaving at midnight and that could be my hotel for the night. The coach ticket was free with my Pass but for $18 I could upgrade to a Lower Berth and ride as far as Sudbury. I took a seat in Yoho Park as we departed at 2359 up the Newmarket Sub.then back to my warm berth on that cold and snowy night and stayed awake to watch as we crossed over from CN to CP at South Perry. This was similar to what the w/b Canadian does today but we stayed on CP right into downtown Sudbury for a 7:30 arrival on a clear -20 morning.

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#5 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:53 AM

Transcontinental service had been discontinued through the Ottawa Valley between Montreal and Sudbury but VIA still maintained a tri-weekly service on this route to Ottawa. (At that time....the Canadians through cars between Montreal and Vancouver were handled in a Corridor train between Montreal and Toronto)

The RDC Railiner leaving Sudbury at 0900 would get be over to North Bay in plenty of time to connect with the Ontario Northland Railways Northlander at 1255 for Toronto.

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#6 aewanabe

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:53 AM

I rode that train with my parents from Kalamazoo to Toronto and return, back in 1992. As a young rail fan I recall being utterly thrilled that I actually got to spend all day on the train (a first at that time)! I also remember that at Sarnia they added some VIA equipment to the rear of the Amtrak consist, probably LRC from my somewhat faded memory. Thanks for the pictures and report!


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

Edited by aewanabe, 30 January 2018 - 05:55 AM.


#7 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:55 AM

Even though the Northlander was shown in the VIA Timetable and ran on CN from North Bay to Toronto.....it was still considered a ONR train and a separate ticket was required with a supplement of $25. The Northlander used the xTEE (Trans European Express) equipment and I had a seat in one of the enclosed compartments with 3 facing seats on each side. So very European!....but a GMD FP7 had replaced the original TEE locomotive. Arriving back in Toronto at 1820

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#8 OBS

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 07:08 AM

Thanks for the memories!



#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 02:51 PM

Most enjoyable, I too had,several similar adventures when the Rail Passes were good in both Canada and the US!😎
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 trainman74

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 05:31 PM

If anyone's curious, the decal on the side of that older South Shore Line equipment was this:

WaflbMB.jpg

#11 Woodcut60

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 03:34 AM

Awesome trip report. Loved seeing your old tickets and time tables!


Edited by Woodcut60, 01 February 2018 - 03:35 AM.

Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.
Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).
Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states; VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.




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