Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How many trains can you catch in 30 minutes?

The nice thing about commuter traffic is that it's both predictable and constant.  Living close enough to the Lakeshore east line that I can listen to the engines throttle up from my back porch gives me a venue to catch a lot of commuter traffic.

Early mornings reflect a sequence of trains that have to cover a mix of long and short haul commuter traffic in a variety of services.  The nice thing about the mix of GO and VIA is the power options and the mix of express and local trains together on the same lines and makes for some interesting management.

Between 6:45 and 7:15 AM, you have 7 different trains in 6 distinct consists prioritizing themselves over the Kingston sub east of Union Station.  5 of those pass through in the first 15 minutes, often parallel to each other and can have as many as 3 consists over the stretch below Danforth Avenue at the same time.  On October 10th I decided I would capture all of this action into a single vid, which ended up being 5 minutes in length.

2 of the trains are on a single consist, being the VIA 50/52 trains that are tied together until Belleville, then split their respective ways to Montreal and Ottawa.  This is the first of the bunch that passes through and can often be in a drag race with a westbound GO express that departs roughly 1 minute later than the VIA depending on lateness of the VIA units.  With the GO units, the convention is to have express units use the same center track as VIA while the westbound GOs share the north track with local units.  Some track switches manage the overlap of westbound local and express trains.  All of this is within close tolerances as the units are often within short minutes of each other.

A couple of unique hits on this video.  One of the GO trains had dual MP40 units up front, an express EB train probably moving an extra power unit to Oshawa.  I also got a good throttle up for an F59PH leading WB with an MP40 pusher.  For the final sequence I managed to catch a head-to-head meet of the EB and WB units on the short bridge over Woodbine Avenue.  This was a good sequence of trains to catch in such a short period.

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