It's been an interesting year of watching the rails for me, even if I haven't been out nearly as much as I have in past years. However, I think I made up for my lack of time spent trackside with the quality of some of my trackside experiences.
Here are a few of my favourite highlights from 2017.
1. Double enders - I began to see Via Rail Canada's double ender corridor trains a few times, which fellow railfans say is the wave of the future for the national passenger rail operator. With P42s on either end of these corridor trains, there is no need to wye engines and turn them around. It's a quick turnaround for a train when one journey is done and the return trip is imminent. This is a shot I took of a double ended train crossing Cedarview Road in March of this year.
And another from the Twin Elm Road crossing from March.
2. Wraps! - Of course, the Via project to wrap many of its engines and LRC coaches in Canada 150 wraps was a welcome site for those of us who don't get to watch much railway action other than Via Rail. I spent a good portion earlier this year hanging out at the local Via stations and along its local trackage searching for these specially marked units and coaches. This is one of my favourite shots, taken of P42 920 pulling in to Fallowfield Station. I caught this unit a few times.
And here are a few more wraps shots, including this one of one of the many wrapped coaches.
And here is another shot of a double ender with a wrapped engine and coach from April. The Via corridor trains have really taken on a rainbow appearance of late, with the wrapped coaches, the coaches in the original paint scheme and the coaches in the renaissance green scheme.
Here's a good wrap shot taken along the 401 in Kingston in May.
So for the first half of the year, much of my trackside experiences were pretty much like this, since I didn't have the opportunity to catch anything else.
Speaking of Via, I did manage to duck out in early January and capture some shots of the CP Smiths Falls yard. And, although it was exceedingly quiet, I did manage to capture a Toronto-bound Via Rail train rounding the curve into the yard.
I also managed to drop by the Central Station on Tremblay Road to catch some shots. The Belfast Road overpass is once again accessible to railfans, with the O-Train Confederation Line construction finished near the overpass. I used this access to catch this shot of Via Renaissance equipment being pulled east by a F40PH-2.
Then there was a lucky break when I was in the neighbourhood near the station in January and caught these two generations of Via power side by side from the TrainYards retail plaza side of the station.
Those are my Via highlights from the year. I will be sure to try and get out there soon and catch some more Via action. I still haven't caught any of the F40 wraps. I guess that's as good a place as any to start for the coming year.