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THE TURNOUT Number 306 December 2002

ISSN 0227-244X

One of the exhibits at the Iron Horse Festival held in St. Thomas, ON on the weekend of August 24-25. 2002, was newly built Union Pacific SD70M No. 4830. Here two visitors examine the locomotive. As part of the patriotic fervor arising out of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the sides of the Union Pacific locomotive are adorned with the U.S. Stars and Stripes. The flag is permanently painted on as it was given a first painting, then covered with primerand painted again. It will be very difficult to remove it!

Photo by Hollie Lowry


Bombardier has rolled out what it believes is the answer to providing high-speed rail service throughout North America using existing track and without the prohibitive cost of electrifying rail networks.

Called JetTrain, it uses a turbine engine, instead of a Diesel engine, to generate power. The train, which can generate 5,000 hp., is also 20% lighter than conventional Diesel trains, giving it better acceleration and stopping performance.

But will it be successful?

Going on the basis of Bombardier's and predecessor Montreal Locomotive Works's past performance, there is not much room for optimism. The highly touted Turbotrain of the 1960's and 1970's turned out to be less than a howling success what with so many operating and technical problems and the LRC locomotives of the 1980's weren't any much better either. In fact, both of them have now disappeared from the Canadian railway scene.

As mentioned in the last issue, Bombardier is now having problems with the Acela Express trainsets it built for Amtrak. So much so, Amtrak says it will not buy another trainset from Bombardier.

Whether the JetTrain joins the list of past railway "failures" or Bombardier finally does it right, only time will tell.

Railway Stations of the Past by Bob Melvin

An article and photo on Manotick Statio appears in "Articles & Photos"

A " Rennaisance " Traveller's Overnight Journey

by Douglas Wannamaker

On Monday July 29th, I boarded the overnight train to Montreal on the "Rennaisance Train ", which was composed of 2 coaches, a canteen/lounge coach (with a baggage compartment), and 3 sleepers; plus the train was hauled by one of the GE-P42DC locomotives. There was also another train that was composed of 3 Silver&Blue coaches and an F40PH-2 locomotive that made up the complete lash-up of both trains.

At 2330 hours, both trainsets departed for Montreal from Union Station, & I was in the first economy coach behind the locomotive. The coaches themselves came from Britain and were overhauled (to meet with Canadian standards) at the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The coach that I rode in was of a different design (different from the interior of an LRC coach); in which the aisle was not aligned down the middle -- instead, it was off to the side. There were single seats on the right-hand side and double seats on the left-hand side. All of the seats had storage shelves that are designed for small suitcases (and/or carry-on bags) that could be stowed under the seats, but the larger suitcases (and duffelbags) were stored in the luggage compartment of the canteen/lounge car.

The trays on the back of each seat could be pulled towards the passengers, and a narrow rectangular tray would fold out. To extend the tray; a second rectangular tray (on top of the narrow tray) can be opened up so that the passenger would have a full tray to use if needed. At each seat (double & single) there are window blinds that can be adjusted, and sliding doors at each end of the car. The lighting in the coach had been improved, as there were lights along the aisle (located along the edge of the seat decks) and along the windows as well. Also, there was an accessible washroom (for men & women) at the west end of the coach near the entrance to the 2nd coach of the train.

I had a chance to walk through some of the train, as I could not go beyond the canteen window counter, but at least I had a sneak peek of the lounge seating area that was used only for the constellation class passengers who had booked sleeping accommodations on the train.

When our train arrived in Kingston, the F40PH-2 locomotive and the 3 Silver & Blue cars were separated from our Montreal-bound train and reversed onto a wye. Then the entire consist was stored on the wye turn-around with the F40PH-2 locomotive facing towards the Kingston station and would leave for Toronto in the morning. Meanwhile, the crew boarded the GE-P42DC locomotive and our train was on the move to Brockville, where there would be a 2-hour layover upon arrival.

When our train arrived in Brockville, the locomotive was shut down for the 2-hour layover and the train remained on the main line until 0500 hours. At 0500 hours, our train departed from Brockville as the first rays of dawn appeared; and after crossing the Quebec border, our train safely arrived in Montreal at 0800 hours on Tuesday morning (30th of July). I thoroughly enjoyed my first overnight train trip to Montreal and it was an eventful experience.

Did You Know ?

94% of GO trains arrive within five minutes of their scheduled time. (Toronto Metro, October 3)

This Month's Quotes

News From the Past (Turnout Number 56, December 1977)

C.N: How inflation has hit the railroad industry: September 1977 vs. September 1973

LCL's (compiled by Hollie Lowry)

Turnout Index Page : Toronto & York Main Index