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19,000kms zig-zagging across the USA and Canada, April/May 2018

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I depart Canada tomorrow to return to my USA entry point of the journey, Philadelphia.

 

Today I had this view from my diner:attachicon.gifB7A83353-4342-46A8-BCCA-1D3725F22C3D.jpeg

 

And earlier in the arvo, the view from a little closer:

attachicon.gifC52E053F-B837-439E-8143-9B6E7E96D6B2.jpeg

 

attachicon.gif0CA065A3-0B8E-4805-B873-E93791E4503D.jpeg

 

attachicon.gif3B892E31-CBE0-4767-81CB-A9B9D0B1A546.jpeg

 

And in calmer waters downstream

attachicon.gifCBC894E4-F6E2-400D-BF21-5BD156FD605D.jpeg

Gorgeous. I absolutely loved Niagara Falls when I went in 2012. ^_^

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Nice pics!😎

 

And even though it's a tourist trap of the first order, everyone should visit Niagara Falls at least once in their life!( the Ontario side is the place to be!😄)

Edited by Bob Dylan

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I took my last domestic trains in the north American continent this morning, and I’m now safely through USA’s customs and border control procedures, even although I am still in Toronto. The call will come shortly to board an Air Canada flight to Philadelphia.

 

My journey started at Via Rail’s Brantford station where I took Train #70 Torontowards. The train’s cruising speed was around 145kph as it made its way on the eighty-minute trip to the city.

 

It tracks the northern shore of Lake Ontario for the latter part of its journey, and passed GO Trains headed west as it sped into town. Today is a public holiday here, so I wasn’t in competition with any work-bound commuters, a bonus I discovered only a few weeks beforehand.

 

So the train was not full, but still well-patronised.

 

On arriving at Toronto Union Station, it was just a short, well-signposted, walk to the airport UP service. That was running about every quarter-of-an-hour. I gave myself plenty of time, so wasn’t fussed when I was still in the ticket-line when one train departed.

 

The UP service is an above-ground train, sharing some of the alignment with suburban and inter-city traffic, but branching off onto its own lines after the last of the two intermediate stations it services before the airport.

 

It is a short train, with plenty of luggage space, and draws up close to Terminal 1 at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. A short walk leads you right in amongst it. And at just 25 minutes or so doors close to doors open, it is a speedy service. I clocked it at just under 100kph, and that seemed to be its top speed.

 

It has a very sharp curve just before reaching the airport station, and it sounds like it’s near the limit for the train as the wheels loudly protest and shake throughout the turn.

 

Both trains had wifi, and power outlets for charging devices.

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CN loco #4713 on shunting operations at Brantfords yards on a public holiday Monday morningpost-14273-0-14668800-1526922604_thumb.jpeg

 

Brantford Railway Station buildings

post-14273-0-60847500-1526922656_thumb.jpeg

 

Toronto Union Station, Via Rails Info Desk in the Great Hall which is currently undergoing restoration work post-14273-0-67005300-1526922848_thumb.jpeg

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Ha! I was in Montreal this morning, on the way to Jonquiere...also enjoyed the light Victoria Day traffic. :)

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I’m away in a few hours for my Qatar flights home.

 

I wasn’t able to take advantage of some spare hours in Philly this morning. My back was a bit crook and I didn’t want to risk it blowing up on the day of departure.

 

Thankyou for your readership and comments. I had a blast.

 

I put together my trip and booked it direct with Amtrak and Via Rail, as well as the necessary hotels, from my Oz home in the sticks, after taking into account your input, gleaned from the pages of this site.

 

Part of the reason for posting details of my trip were to add to the range of information and advice for subsequent travellers. And as a bit of a payback for the advice and help I received from these pages.

 

I hope future travellers have as much fun on the rails as I did, and that the on-train services I encountered are continued.

 

The first joy of travelling by LD train is seeing the country in a way that is not otherwise possible. The second is making contact with, and learning the stories of, your fellow passengers. I was privileged to learn some wonderful life-stories; remarkable, astonishing, life-affirming ones, from colleague passengers, who just like me, were ordinary folk, living ordinary lives.

 

As my travels commenced, I realised I was making an editorial decision not to refer to anyone’s ethno-religious background or race unless it was a key part of their story. So I sat with this policy deliberately.

 

The two nuns on the Capitol Limited, the young Amish travellers on the Empire Builder, and the now London-resident Kenyan Portugese Indian family trio on The Canadian I think were the only times I did so, because without doing so, I did not think it was possible to tell their stories. In just about every other case, this was not relevant, so I thought it would be gratuitous to do so.

 

I loved meeting my fellow passengers and having a chat with them. If you take a LD train trip and seek to isolate yourself from your travel-companions you will miss this important aspect of train travel. If you only make contact with people who look like you, you’ll also miss out.

 

Reach out - say “G’day”.

 

Governments and others who insist they speak for us assume they can control how we think of each other based on crude generalisations. Make them irrelevant in this matter - that’s for us to decide when we get a chance to have a conversation with a fellow member of the human race at a meal table or in the sight-seeing car.

 

Learn something - share something. And the LD train is the perfect place to do so.

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Safe trip home mate, and come see us again!😊😊😊

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I’m away in a few hours for my Qatar flights home.

I wasn’t able to take advantage of some spare hours in Philly this morning. My back was a bit crook and I didn’t want to risk it blowing up on the day of departure.

Thankyou for your readership and comments. I had a blast.

I put together my trip and booked it direct with Amtrak and Via Rail, as well as the necessary hotels, from my Oz home in the sticks, after taking into account your input, gleaned from the pages of this site.

Part of the reason for posting details of my trip were to add to the range of information and advice for subsequent travellers. And as a bit of a payback for the advice and help I received from these pages.

I hope future travellers have as much fun on the rails as I did, and that the on-train services I encountered are continued.

The first joy of travelling by LD train is seeing the country in a way that is not otherwise possible. The second is making contact with, and learning the stories of, your fellow passengers. I was privileged to learn some wonderful life-stories; remarkable, astonishing, life-affirming ones, from colleague passengers, who just like me, were ordinary folk, living ordinary lives.

As my travels commenced, I realised I was making an editorial decision not to refer to anyone’s ethno-religious background or race unless it was a key part of their story. So I sat with this policy deliberately.

The two nuns on the Capitol Limited, the young Amish travellers on the Empire Builder, and the now London-resident Kenyan Portugese Indian family trio on The Canadian I think were the only times I did so, because without doing so, I did not think it was possible to tell their stories. In just about every other case, this was not relevant, so I thought it would be gratuitous to do so.

I loved meeting my fellow passengers and having a chat with them. If you take a LD train trip and seek to isolate yourself from your travel-companions you will miss this important aspect of train travel. If you only make contact with people who look like you, you’ll also miss out.

Reach out - say “G’day”.

Governments and others who insist they speak for us assume they can control how we think of each other based on crude generalisations. Make them irrelevant in this matter - that’s for us to decide when we get a chance to have a conversation with a fellow member of the human race at a meal table or in the sight-seeing car.

Learn something - share something. And the LD train is the perfect place to do so.

Wow. Well said. :) Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy a train trip like that someday. It’s reassuring to know that it was as fun in practice as it seems on paper. So long, and as Bob said, come back soon.

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What an amazing trip. I loved your pictures and stories. The visual aid with the coffee creamers serving as train cars was one of my favorites. ^_^

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I hope you are safely back in OZ, after your wonderful trip. Thanks for taking us along with you!

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I hope you are safely back in OZ, after your wonderful trip. Thanks for taking us along with you!

You are very welcome, oregon pioneer. I arrived home a bit more than 14 hours ago, pretty much in tune with my East Oz clock from the time of my departure from Doha. So after a night’s rest, Niki and I are ready to get back into life from this Oz Friday morning.

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