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"Christmas on the Rails" at the Halton County Radial Railway, December 11 and 12



^ Image, Halton County Radial Railway Ride into the holiday season with the Halton County Radial Railway! The museum’s opening its doors one last time until the spring for a unique seasonal experience from 1 until 6 p.m. Saturday,...... Read on...

christmas on the rails 5.jpg

^ Image, Halton County Radial Railway

Ride into the holiday season with the Halton County Radial Railway! The museum’s opening its doors one last time until the spring for a unique seasonal experience from 1 until 6 p.m. Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12. Ride the rails through the woods with snow on the trees and Christmas carols in the air. Even Santa might make an appearance!

“Christmas on the Rails” features decorated streetcars, hot cider, hot chocolate, cookies and hot dogs. Streetcar rides every 20 minutes from 1 p.m. until one hour after the last booking. Grounds open at noon, weather permitting.

Advance tickets only. Learn about ticket prices and how to buy tickets here.

All visitors 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated to attend. Masks must be worn indoors and on the cars and social distancing is required.


The Halton County Radial Railway (HCRR) at 13629 Guelph Line in Milton is a full-size operating electric railway and museum, featuring historic electric railcars operating on two kilometers of scenic track. The HCRR is owned and operated by the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA), a non-profit, educational organization. The HCRR is Ontario’s first and largest electric railway museum.

The OERHA is made up of active members who volunteer to maintain, restore and operate the museum for its many visitors throughout the year. A group of men who wanted to save Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) streetcar 1326 from the scrap yard formed the HCRR and OERHA in 1954. After receiving the donation of this streetcar, the group acquired ;and that used to be a part of the Toronto Suburban Railway in Nassagaweya Township, and subsequently, rescued a number of other street and radial cars. The museum’s grand opening to the public took place in 1972.

Since the beginning, the vision of the HCRR was to inform, educate and inspire the public about the electric railway history of Ontario and Canada. Today, the museum displays and operates a variety of historic streetcars, radial cars and work cars and maintains a collection of photographs, memorabilia and archival materials.


Transit Toronto videographer and photographer Damian Baranowski visited “Christmas on the Rails” in 2019. Here are some photos and a video from his visit.

christmas on the rails 1.jpg

^ Image, Damian Baranowski

christmas on the rails 2.jpg

^ Image, Damian Baranowski

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^ Image, Damian Baranowski

Halton County Radial Railway: https://hcry.org/.
Peter Witt cars: https://transittoronto.ca/streetcar/4501.shtml.
PCC cars: https://transittoronto.ca/streetcar/4502.shtml.
PCCs in CLRV Colors: https://transittoronto.ca/streetcar/4512.shtml
Rail grinder cars: https://transittoronto.ca/streetcar/4508.shtml.
CLRV cars: https://transittoronto.ca/streetcar/4503.shtml.
Transit Toronto’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/transittoronto.
Transit Toronto on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransitToronto97/.


York Mills GO Bus Terminal: Platform changes started December 4



Starting Saturday, December 4, some GO Transit buses are serving passengers at different platforms than formerly in York Mills GO Bus Terminal: Westbound buses along the 33 / 33A / 33B / 33E Guelph / Georgetown / North York route...... Read on...

Starting Saturday, December 4, some GO Transit buses are serving passengers at different platforms than formerly in York Mills GO Bus Terminal:

  • Westbound buses along the 33 / 33A / 33B / 33E Guelph / Georgetown / North York route pick up passengers from platform 2, instead of platform 5.
  • Westbound buses along the 36 / 36A Brampton / North York express route pick up passengers from platform 5, instead of platform 2.

VIA Rail unveils the first of its new train sets



Image, Reece Martin Tuesday, November 30, VIA Rail Canada officially unveiled the first of its 32 Siemens Mobility train-sets, which will eventually serve passengers along the Quebec City / Montreal / Toronto / Windsor corridor. Photographer and blogger Reece...... Read on...

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Image, Reece Martin

Tuesday, November 30, VIA Rail Canada officially unveiled the first of its 32 Siemens Mobility train-sets, which will eventually serve passengers along the Quebec City / Montreal / Toronto / Windsor corridor. Photographer and blogger Reece Martin visited Ottawa to attend the launch and provided us with his photos of the new train-set.

VIA placed the $989M order for the train-sets in December 2018, and Siemens delivered the first from its factory in Sacramento, California to VIA Rail’s Montreal maintenance depot in September. VIA will start winter trials of the new trains this month and expects to put the first set into service during the second quarter of 2022.

“In addition to being one of the most environmentally friendly fleets in North America, this modern new fleet will offer our passengers an unparalleled, barrier-free, and fully accessible travel experience”, explained VIA’s president and chief executive officer, Cynthia Garneau.

via2.jpg

Image, Reece Martin

Through its fleet replacement process, the national passenger railway service was looking to procure a new fleet that:

  • included 32 bi-directional train-sets with 9,100 passengers seats to replace the cars and locomotives currently in service along the Quebec-to-Windsor corridor;
  • offered enhanced universal accessibility features for passengers with reduced mobility, including multiple accommodations for wheelchairs and other mobility devices on the trains;
  • used more fuel-efficient, Tier 4 diesel engines, with the option to operate on electrified rail infrastructure as it becomes available.
  • were capable of operating in either direction (push-pull) to reduce the turnaround time for trains at stations in urban centres, reducing operating costs.

(Tier 4 engines meet the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s emission standards, by reducing particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by 85 to 95 percent.)

via4.jpg

Image, Reece Martin

Four 200-horsepower Cummins QSK95 16-cylinder diesel engines power the SC-44 Charger diesel locomotive. The trainsets have a design speed of 200 kilometres per hour, although the rail infrastructure currently limits services to just 160 kilometres per hour.

The five coaches are 25.908 metres long and 3,201 millimetres wide and include a driving trailer to permit push-pull operation to lower operating costs and provide more passenger capacity.

via5.jpg

Image, Reece Martin

Each set includes 194 economy and 87 business class seats, with wider aisles than the current trains, adjustable tray tables, ‘comfortable and ergonomic’ seats, and a reliable data connection.

On board the new state-of-the-art trains, passengers can enjoy wider aisles, automatic touchless interior doors, extendable tray tables, comfortable, ergonomic seats, among other features. Water dispensers provide passengers with access to fresh water using their own bottles. In addition to offering new levels of comfort and accessibility, the new fleet includes privacy pods in business class and better Wi-Fi connectivity.

via6.jpg

Image, Reece Martin

The new fleet also provides a barrier-free, fully accessible travel experience that, VIA claims, better meets the needs of people with disabilities and their support persons with wheelchair lifts in every accessible car, mobility assistance spaces, large fully accessible washrooms and Braille and raised signage. VIA says, “With 1 in 10 Canadians affected by a mobility disability, being an accessible mode of transport is no longer optional — it is a necessity. Creating a barrier-free Canada means giving people with limited mobility the chance to travel comfortably, freely and without restrictions.”

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Image, Reece Martin

Read Reece’s post about the new trainsets on Urban Toronto, here.

Or, view his YouTube video of his visit:


Lakeshore East GO trains resume regular schedules, December 5



Metrolinx has finished repairing GO Transit’s 09 Lakeshore East line after a fatal incident on the tracks and a subsequent investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour into the event. GO trains resume operating with a regular schedule along the...... Read on...

Metrolinx has finished repairing GO Transit’s 09 Lakeshore East line after a fatal incident on the tracks and a subsequent investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour into the event.

GO trains resume operating with a regular schedule along the line today, Sunday, December 6. Trains along the 71 Stouffville line continue to drop off or pick up passengers at Danforth and Scarborough GO stations today, then resume regular service tomorrow, Monday, December 6.

Trains along the 01 Lakeshore West line resumed regular service yesterday, Saturday, December 4.


Weekend events affect transit services, December 3, 4, 5



Santa Claus Parades, holiday markets and other seasonal events in the Bowmanville area of Clarington, the Elmira area of Woolwich Township, Hamilton, the Hespeler area of Cambridge, the Jackson’s Point area of Georgina, Stouffville, the Sutton area of Georgina and...... Read on...

Santa Claus Parades, holiday markets and other seasonal events in the Bowmanville area of Clarington, the Elmira area of Woolwich Township, Hamilton, the Hespeler area of Cambridge, the Jackson’s Point area of Georgina, Stouffville, the Sutton area of Georgina and Toronto this weekend — Friday, November 3, Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5.


GO continues modifying Lakeshore East service this weekend after fatal incident: December 2 update



Update — Sunday, December 5, 7:15 a.m.: Lakeshore East trains resumed regular service today, Sunday, December 5. Metrolinx continues repairing GO Transit’s 09 Lakeshore East line this weekend after a fatal incident on the tracks last weekend. GO trains continue...... Read on...

Update — Sunday, December 5, 7:15 a.m.: Lakeshore East trains resumed regular service today, Sunday, December 5.


Metrolinx continues repairing GO Transit’s 09 Lakeshore East line this weekend after a fatal incident on the tracks last weekend.

GO trains continue to operate with a modified schedule Friday, December 3 and then a modified weekend schedule Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5.

Friday, December 3
  • Trains continue to operate with the same modified weekday schedule that they’ve followed since since the incident occurred Saturday, November 27. That means GO trains operate between Union Station and Guildwood GO Station and between Pickering and Oshawa GO stations. Buses shuttle passengers between Guildwood and Pickering, dropping off or picking up passengers at Rouge Hill GO Station.
  • Trains and buses operate every 30 minutes until about 7 p.m. After 7 p.m., service is hourly.
  • All Lakeshore East line stations receive service.
Saturday, December 4
Sunday, December 5

Westbound

  • Trains operate on an hourly schedule between Guildwood and Union Station every hour from Guildwood at 35 minutes past the hour.
  • For Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Guildwood passengers, buses operate from Oshawa GO Station, drop off or pick up passengers in all stations to Pickering, then continue express — without stopping — to Guildwood.
  • Buses leave Oshawa every hour or more, starting at 5:15 a.m.
  • Buses leave stations 20 - 35 minutes earlier than regular train times.
  • Buses don’t operate to and from Rouge Hill.

Eastbound

  • Trains operate on an hourly schedule between Union and Guildwood every hour from Union at 15 minutes past the hour.
  • For Guildwood, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa passengers, buses operate express from Guildwood every hour to Pickering and then serve passengers in all stations to Oshawa.
  • Buses leave Guildwood every hour or more, starting at 7:10 a.m.
  • Buses leave stations 8 - 23 minutes earlier than regular train times.
  • Buses don’t operate to and from Rouge Hill.
Buses
  • GO has hired Coach Canada to help get you where you need to go due to an ongoing shortage of employees. By hiring Coach Canada, GO can make sure that its bus drivers are available to operate GO buses and maintain regular service,
  • Coach Canada buses will be available at Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax and Pickering GO station bus loops to get you to Guildwood.
  • GO staff will be on site at each station to help guide you and answer your questions.
  • The Where’s My Bus application isn’t operating for the replacement buses.

Coach Canada - Megabus.jpg

^ GO passengers may be riding a bus that looks like this one, as Coach Canada is helping fill the gap during construction work. Image, Metrolinx


PRESTO fare cards


  • Passengers who have set up default trips on their PRESTO cards need to override their default by pressing the “Override” button on the PRESTO device, then tap your card as you would normally.

Westbound

  • Tap on the PRESTO machine at your bus loop and tap off on machines at your destination.

Eastbound

  • Tap on the device at your originating station when boarding trains. Tap off at the PRESTO machine at your destination.

Alternate travel options


  • Trains and buses don’t operate to and from Rouge Hill this weekend.
  • GO has suggested alternate travel options:

  • Toward Union Station from Rouge Hill

  • Board a westbound TTC bus along the 38 Highland Creek route to Scarborough Centre Station and transfer to a southbound train along Line 3 Scarborough. At Kennedy Station, transfer to a southbound GO train along the 71 Stouffville line to travel to Union Station.
  • Board a westbound TTC bus along the 38 Highland Creek route to Scarborough Centre Station and transfer to a southbound train along Line 3 Scarborough. At Kennedy Station, transfer to a westbound Line 2 Bloor - Danforth train to Yonge Station. Then transfer again to a southbound train along Line 1 Yonge - University.
  • Board a westbound TTC bus along the 38 Highland Creek route to Kingston Road and Deep Dene Drive. Transfer to a westbound bus along the 86 Scarborough route. At Kennedy Station, transfer to a westbound Line 2 Bloor - Danforth train to Yonge Station. Then transfer again to a southbound train along Line 1 Yonge - University.
  • Toward Pickering GO Station from Rouge Hill
  • Board a westbound TTC bus along the 85A Sheppard East route to Port Union and Kingston Roads. Transfer to an eastbound Durham Region Transit bus route along the 900 PULSE Highway 2 route to Kingston and Liverpool Roads. Walk southward to Pickering GO Station.
  • Toward Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa GO stations from Rouge Hill
  • Board a westbound TTC bus along the 38 Highland Creek route to Scarborough Centre Station. Transfer to an eastbound GO bus along the 96 Oshawa / Finch express route. Route 96 buses stop in the bus terminals at all three GO stations.

GO trains along the 71 Stouffville line stop in Danforth and Scarborough GO stations this weekend to provide travel options for passengers travelling to and from those station during this weekend’s Lakeshore East disruptions.

Regular service along the 09 Lakeshore East and 71 Stouffville lines resumes Monday, December 6


GO trains along Stouffville line stop in Scarborough and Danforth GO stations, December 4 and 5



Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5, GO Transit trains along the 71 Stouffville line stop in Scarborough and Danforth GO stations to provide passengers with more travel options during track repairs along the 09 Lakeshore East line this weekend....... Read on...

Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5, GO Transit trains along the 71 Stouffville line stop in Scarborough and Danforth GO stations to provide passengers with more travel options during track repairs along the 09 Lakeshore East line this weekend.

Southbound trains operate with regular schedules between Old Elm or Mount Joy GO stations and Kennedy GO Station. They leave Scarborough hourly at 14 minutes past the hour and Danforth at 20 minutes past the hour, arriving in Union Station at 34 minutes past the hour.

Northbound trains start in Union six minutes earlier than usually. They leave Union hourly at 8 minutes past the hour, Danforth at 19 minutes past and Scarborough at 25 minutes past. Trains operate with regular schedules between Kennedy and Mount Joy or Old Elm.


Lakeshore West GO trains resume regular schedules, December 4



Although Metrolinx had planned to modify service along GO Transit’s 01 Lakeshore West line to support construction on the rail corridor this weekend, it has temporarily cancelled the plans. Instead, trains operate with regular schedules Saturday, December 4 and Sunday,...... Read on...

Although Metrolinx had planned to modify service along GO Transit’s 01 Lakeshore West line to support construction on the rail corridor this weekend, it has temporarily cancelled the plans. Instead, trains operate with regular schedules Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5.

GO has operated Lakeshore West trains with modified schedules, since a fatal incident occurred on the 09 Lakeshore East line Saturday, November 27.


GO continuing to modify Lakeshore East service after fatal incident: December 1 update



Update — Sunday, December 5, 7:15 a.m.: Lakeshore East trains resumed regular service today, Sunday, December 5. *Update — Thursday, December 2, 4:43 p.m., here. As a result of a fatal incident Saturday, November 27 near Pickering GO Station, GO...... Read on...

Update — Sunday, December 5, 7:15 a.m.: Lakeshore East trains resumed regular service today, Sunday, December 5.


*Update — Thursday, December 2, 4:43 p.m., here.


As a result of a fatal incident Saturday, November 27 near Pickering GO Station, GO Transit is continuing to modify service along the Lakeshore lines — potentially until tomorrow Thursday, December 2.

GO is providing passengers with 30-minute service at all stations along the 09 Lakeshore East line using both rail and bus services until about 7 p.m.:

  • Trains operate between Union Station and Guildwood GO Station and between Pickering and Oshawa GO stations.
  • Shuttle GO buses operate between Guildwood and Pickering to connect with train service.

GO says that, while it recognizes that bus connections can make for a longer travel time, it asks that you continue to use home stations, because parking lots are filling up quickly. As of now, Guildwood GO station is at total parking capacity.

To best use limited resources and make sure that it can provide 30-minute service during peak periods, GO revises the schedules for the Lakeshore East line to provide hourly service after 7 p.m. for the coming days.

Starting at 7:10 p.m. each day, westbound service along the line is hourly until the end of the day. Starting at 8:05 p.m., eastbound service is hourly.


From the Metrolinx News blog post, “Latest customer updates on Lakeshore East GO train disruptions after weekend incident”, here:

“New images show how complicated these tasks can be, as workers expect their mission to continue through the upcoming weekend.

“The job requires dozens of people and involves righting at least two rail vehicles that toppled over Saturday night.

“When lifting occurs, experts create an exclusion zone to ensure everyone stays safe. It is an area around the lifting operation where people are excluded, other than the ‘riggers’ - experts setting up the lines - and machine operators.

Lakeshore East repairs 1.jpg

^ Crews work to clean up the scene of the incident on Wednesday, December 1. Image, Metrolinx

“This is why crew members can be seen standing well away from the rail truck.

“The operation itself involves many Metrolinx teams, as well as experts from the contractor.

“Experts for the contractor have developed a ‘work methodology plan’ to outline how tasks are performed. Part of that effort is a risk assessment, with controls put in place to keep everyone safe. The exclusion zone is an example of one of these controls.

“The contractor has been performing this work because they are one of the most capable rail recovery teams in the country.

“They are doing this against the backdrop of having lost a team member during the incident on November 27.

“Last night (November 30), the excavators lifted and re-railed the rail truck - which weighs over 61,000 pounds.

The ballast car was lifted this morning (December 1).”

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^ Rail crew members look on at the scene in this image taken at night. Image, Metrolinx


Video: Queen streetcars in snow



It’s easy to take a good photograph on a bright, sunny day. It’s far more challenging when the weather is working against you, but there can also be tremendous rewards. Richard Glaze believed that, which is why he took...... Read on...

It’s easy to take a good photograph on a bright, sunny day. It’s far more challenging when the weather is working against you, but there can also be tremendous rewards. Richard Glaze believed that, which is why he took his camera out with him on at least four occasions as the snows fell. Transit Toronto’s James Bow has edited together Richard’s snowy vistas of streetcars operating on Queen Street, from the east end, all the way to City Hall.

Music: Night Snow, by Asher Fulero (YouTube Audio Library). Lost World, by White Hex (YouTube Audio Library).

Visit our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TransitToronto97. Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/transittoronto. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/transittoronto. Visit the Halton County Radial Railway’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/StreetcarMuseum. Visit the Museum itself at http://hcry.org](http://hcry.org).


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