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| February | August | October | December |
February 17th, 2011
With a few hours to kill, I finally made my way down to Smiths Falls to see what there was to see, seeing one intermodal heading west, two Vias, and the yard job. Being somewhat rusty I did not catch any of the symbols.
February 19th, 2011
We stopped near highway 138 to catch a CP on the Winchester sub on our way to Montreal, but missed three in the process.
August 13th, 2011
After an extended trainless period and with the death of my as-yet unreplaced Tamron 18-200MM superzoom lens, I finally got out to the tracks southbound out of Ottawa via Bank St to the St. Lawrence, picking up a westbound stack train at Winchester on CP, CN #377 at Iroquois, and an assortment of Vias in the Brockville area. Years after the first one went into service (and was subsequently wrecked), I finally shot one of the rebuilt VIA F40PHs.
October 28th, 2011
Catching me off-guard, I found that the Lachute sub along Maloney Blvd in Gatineau is being put back in, displaced slightly from its previous alignment to make room for a bus transitway. Need to figure out how they're handling the single-track bridge along the route further up...
December 12th, 2011
I took a breather from my chaotic Ottawa life to test my new camera on CP and CN and on some aircraft at CYOW on the way back up. I learned on my lone CN that my camera's mode dial is much easier to knock than its predecessor and blew the approach shot completely. Overall, big fan of the new camera, though! Keep an eye on the site in early January, should be quite a bit of interesting new material from the holidays...
December 20th, 2011
I went into London for a few hours and explored my way back to Marlow.
December 21st, 2011
I left High Wycombe for London, dropped off my bag at a friend's house, had lunch with my cousin, got on the train to Cambridge at London-Liverpool St, watched trains at Cambridge for some time in failing light, had curry with a friend there, and hopped the train back to London-King's Cross and back to my friend's house.
December 22nd, 2011
We took the London overground to Willesden Junction, explored there, took the Underground on the Bakerloo to the Jubilee line, got off at Westminster, found Parliament closed for the holidays, walked to Trafalgar Square for lunch, on to Covent Garden, toured the Transport Museum, found the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, grabbed a doubledeck bus on route 242 to Hoxton to the Monster Supply Shop, stopped in at the East London Furniture Company, on to London Hackspace, and across to Brick Lane for curry on a street where salespeople from each of the numerous curry restaurants try and pitch you on a deal to get you to eat there instead of next door, then took the Overground back to Camden Town, catching a Freightliner intermodal on the Overground tracks as we detrained.
December 23rd, 2011
Walked to London-St Pancras International for the 8am EuroStar to Brussels. I was hoping to have some time to explore both the train and the platform, but was surprised to discover airport-style security and procedures at St Pancras and so was not able to get a shot of the EuroStar either there or in Brussels. The Chunnel was... well, dark. And my seat on the EuroStar was marketed as a "window" seat, but it had a pillar between the large windows and so I could not see out. It was fairly anticlimactic and I ended up sleeping most of the trip instead. In Brussels I watched trains come and go at the station, finding them dirty and unattractive. I caught the ICE at 14:25 to Cologne, where I got off the train, walked across the platform, and boarded the train to Duisburg that was leaving so soon I was moving before the ICE that I had gotten off!
December 24th, 2011
My hosts here took me exploring in the area immediately around where I am staying. We explored Munchengladbach (without the camera) and then Krefeld, riding the tram back.
December 25th, 2011
We travelled to Cologne for lunch with family of my hosts, then spent an hour exploring the cathedral, railway station, and historical bridge in the city's centre.
December 26th, 2011
I left Krefeld for Fulda, taking an hour to step over the border into Holland with a quick trip into the town of Venlo. The weather was unpleasant and so I did not go far. Then back on the train and off to the small city of Fulda, northeast of Frankfurt.
December 27th, 2011
I explored Fulda with a friend there, then took the train up to Hamburg for the next item on the checklist.
December 28th, 2011
I visited Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model train layout, and then spent some time exploring downtown Hamburg before taking off for Berlin.
December 29th, 2011
A friend of mine living in Berlin showed me around this vast historic city, walking for some five non-stop hours. It is an amazing place which words can't really describe. From there I took the overnight train to Zurich, Switzerland.
December 30th, 2011
I travelled from Berlin to Zurich on the overnight City NightLine train, arriving in the morning and leaving my bag at Zurich's only hostel (which cost more than the train) before hopping back on the train to Sargans to take a bus into Liechtenstein. After walking an hour in Liechtenstein I got back on the bus and back to Sargans, where I caught a train to Bregenz, Austria, before returning to Zurich to spend a long, nostalgic evening with an old friend.
December 31st, 2011
I took the train from Zurich to Geneva where I caught up with my family in transit in a different direction entirely, and celebrated New Years at the Hotel Calvy in Geneva.