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admin 10.12.2013

With Amtrak coming back to Roanoke, blending access to the public bus and train seems to make a lot of sense. U.S Vice President Joe Biden visited 30th Street Station in Philadelphia Thursday to unveil Amtrak’s new Cities Sprinter electric engine, which will power trains along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington beginning Friday. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed an agreement with Norfolk Southern for making infrastructure improvements necessary to extend Amtrak passenger rail service from Lynchburg to Roanoke. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. Welcome to Inhabitat, your online guide to the best green design ideas, innovations and inspiration to build a cleaner, brighter, and better future.
Feb 03, 2015 — A Toronto jury has been told that an alleged terror plot involving a Via Rail-Amtrak train travelling from New York into Ontario was motivated by Islamic extremism. It's the first day of the trial for two men who face multiple charges in the alleged 2012 plot. Crown lawyer Croft Michaelson told court the men were plotting to murder as many people as they could to strike fear in the community and force the Canadians and Americans to pull their troops from Muslim lands. He said one of the ways they agreed upon was to derail a passenger train travelling from New York to Toronto but he says an undercover F-B-I officer managed to gain their trust and record conversations about their plans, which became crucial evidence. Amtrak recently unveiled their latest plans for a new high-speed rail corridor in the Northeast US that will connect Boston, New York, Philadelphia and DC.
I went to the DR in one of those tubular metal time capsules--you know, one of those sardine cans that succeed in squeezing many hours into few, but for which you have to pay by consenting to be compressed with other humans into living blocks of lumber stacked in rows. When Ia€™ve taken the Maple Leaf in the past, to my recollection, there was no paperwork--just as when you cross in a car--and at most, customs officials would walk through the train and youa€™d be on your way. As in the other lounges, the attendant was serving champagne (OK, Canadian sparkling wine). Since I could see my breath, I broke out the red Antarctica coat and Norwegian cap, although I probably could have gotten away with less, particularly as the morning grew warmer. Six cathedrals have stood on the same site over time; the fifth one was largely destroyed by fire in 1968, and its white stone faA§ade stands very impressively in front of the sixth, a rather modernistic one. It had two engines, a baggage car (many locals were carrying supplies), two coaches, a dining car, and four sleepers. To discover images and hq pictures, type your search terms into our powerful search engine box or browse our different categories. I voluntarily entered the time capsule just like any other freight being transported, such as furniture being loaded into a moving van, starting at the back (a€?row 25 or highera€?). Note the New York-Albany-Buffalo-Niagara Falls-Toronto connection made by the Maple Leaf, which is a train run jointly by Amtrak of the US and VIA Rail of Canada. Ita€™s always fun to watch local produce for sale, and I went through the stalls of the Saint Lawrence Market, which dates from 1803, although the buildings are of a later period. She also had a huge tray of assorted petits-fours, and the ambience was fun, indicating the start of a good trip. I wanted to walk about near the station for a bit, then check into the hotel, then finish my visit.
That and other creative tax reducing investment plans plus a Robert Moses type czar could have us speeding on the rails in less than ten years. I know it's frustrating to see many GOP candidates and serving members say they are against building a HSR system.
Then, just as one fastens down furniture securely to avoid damage, we all voluntarily attached ourselves to our seats. For this reason I got two tickets each way, one from New York to Niagara Falls NY and another from Niagara Falls ON to Toronto.
We were fed minimally during the four hours of time travel to Santo Domingo, on soda or juice and potato chips. Amtrak rolling stock is used throughout, but the train is code-shared with VIAa€™s Corridor service, and VIA staff is used for the Canada portion.
On arrival, not only was it a€?Everyone off the traina€?, it was a€?with all your luggagea€?.
I later found out that the muffins, which seemed to be apple-bran, were baked regularly aboard the train.
The left one is Main Street, the middle one the rail line through Union Station, and the right one the Red River, flowing north.
I got an very good bargain paying for the room in advance and almost disappeared inside of it. When the time capsule arrived, there was still all the human compression inside, so it had to be decompressed, that is, emptied slowly from the front, such as when taking wrapped chinaware out of a barrel. The original Maple Leaf was a Grand Trunk Western Railroad service between Chicago and Toronto. And so we trudged in the continuing drizzle into the Niagara Falls customs office at the rail station. Ia€™d read that the hotel had been built as an apartment house, and I ended up with a large bedroom, large bath, kitchen, and huge living room.
Starting in the early 20C, grain producers and others, rather than shipping their goods all the way to the Atlantic or Pacific, wanted a rail a€?na€™ sail route reaching them in central Canada, making use of the relative closeness of Hudson Bay.
On exiting, we, now decompressing from our stiff, wooden status, took a breath of fresh air as we reentered the normal world. I decamped around the desk in the living room so I could write and made forages to the other rooms as needed. In 1912, Port Nelson at the end of the Nelson River and on Hudson Bay was chosen, and Canadian National started building the line in stages, swinging in an arc that eventually pointed northeast toward that destination.
I didna€™t care one way or the other until I saw how much better the level ones were--and Ia€™d lucked out and had one in each direction.
I take out my iPhone and see how many Guest Rewards points I have using the Amtrak App for iOS which is a free application I downloaded from the App store. Also note that from New York to beyond Albany, the route duplicates in the Hudson Valley that of the Ethan Allen Express to Rutland, recently availed of and described.
Usually compartment beds come down in an unwieldy fashion from up above, but this one came down from one side like an ironing board, attached at the head. After much time and expense, it was decided that that harbor would silt up to easily, and Churchill was selected as the alternative after WWI.
I know I speak for many Republicans and conservatives when I say that it's not the idea so much as it is the cost of realizing the idea. After I have determined what type of deal I can get by using my points from my previous travels, I follow the seven steps below to maximize my trip experience. Its history is complex, a fact I discussed with another railfan over breakfast one day on the train. At the upper end of the park (downstream) I came across the modernistic Esplanade Riel Pedestrian Bridge, all of which hangs by cables from a central pylon.
What I remembered was the magnificent stone Grand Staircase inside the main entrance hall flanked by huge life-size solid-bronze statues of bison, the provincial emblem. Thata€™s the reason that the rail line today, proceeding northeast along the Nelson River, suddenly turns left to head due north to Churchill, on the east bank of the Churchill River.


I remember an anecdotal story about a bridge in California that needed replacing years ago. While on business in the DR, our attorney, who is politically active, invited several of us to a fundraiser at a golf club for HipA?lito MejA­a, who had been President of the DR from 2000 to 2004 and who is running again as a favorite candidate in next yeara€™s election. At the gate in Penn Station, there was a Canadian check-in set up by Amtrak, where you were given luggage tags and a form to fill out. She interrupted me to move on, but I said I wasna€™t finished: train, Churchill, then the same in reverse.
I crossed it to visit Saint-Boniface, which bills itself as le Quartier FranA§ais de Winnipeg.
They stand far enough forward so that ita€™s difficult to photograph them from the front, hence this picture from the top of the stairs, but seeing them in person is impressive.
It seemed to be the very traditional type that you have to have the attendant set up for you.
I heard during some of the speechmaking that even extranjeros (foreigners) in the room were supporting his candidacy, and he came by to sit a few minutes at our table and chat (in English--hea€™d studied in the US). The train left on time, went up the west side, over the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge and up the Hudson Valley in the continuing drizzle.
But the next one down the hall, the level-entry one (mine!), had the usual seat and nearby a toilet with sink.
The Toronto passengers were all in the first coach, but all coaches had comfortable reclining seats with fold-down tables and laptop plug-ins.
So I said, yes, in Calgary, Edmonton--another interruption, but I persisted: Windsor and Regina.
At the same time CN operated the Super Continental over a more northerly route (blue on map) from 1955 to 1977. Beyond that, to its north was the Exchange District, which has a notable collection of early 20C architecture--the time Winnipega€™s population was exploding--particularly around Old Market Square.
CN built a handsome rail station in Churchill (newly restored and landmarked), larger and more ornate than others in the north, which showed their optimism for passenger business in northern Manitoba in the early 1930a€™s. There was none of that nonsensical airline business of a€?no electronicsa€? or a€?tables in the upright and locked positiona€?.
In 1977-8, all passenger services were taken over by VIA, the Canadian permanently, and the Super Continental until 1981 and from 1985-1990. We stopped for train servicing at one small town, and I walked in the sunny chill to the front and back of the train, to see what the two engines looked like as well as the Park Cara€™s rounded rear. Returning to the hotel, I used some of Winnipega€™s skyway system, similar to that in Minneapolis, whereby buildings are connected one story above ground for blocks and blocks. However, even during the height of ocean travel in those years, few if any ocean liner passengers wanted to enter Canada via Hudson Bay. Actually, there was nothing I needed to buy, and didna€™t really need to take all five special items I took. In 1932, a certain Grant MacEwan was the first person to cross through what was then Churchill customs as a passenger on his way from Britain to Saskatchewan.
The two items I could have left home were rubbers to wear over my shoes (Ia€™m glad I didna€™t pack boots!), but after a while in Churchill I realized I didna€™t even need them. When huge budget cuts hit VIA in 1990, the Super Continental service was abolished entirely, and the Canadian was moved north to the route of the Super Continental.
The Hudson Bay was supposed to leave Winnipeg just after noon, but it was delayed in arriving by one hour, which delayed our departure. Most people entered Canada via the Saint Lawrence River, but he was strongly determined to take the Hudson Bay route.
We shouldn't pretend that answers for their problems in their countries will work here, and we most certainly should not let the federal government take a good idea and screw it up.
Three meals a day were included for sleeper passengers in the dining car, among a great deal of conversation with others seated at the table. However, this was to be a very different sort of rail experience, a laid-back one where you expect that sort of thing and take it in stride.
Better yet, I pulled it out halfway and used it as a desk for the laptop while I sat over on the seat.
Letting the individual states negotiate with several competing construction companies will cut construction time and cost.
They were really helpful there getting in and out of the zodiacs (boats) with all the splashing water, but I wore them only one day in Churchill for possible warmth, and didna€™t really need them either. After stopping on the NY side, we crossed the bridge over the spectacular gorge situated to the north of the falls, but any somewhat distant view of the falls was obstructed by the highway bridge to the south of us. Locate Winnipeg on the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, which flow into large, shallow Lake Winnipeg, which gives the city its name (Cree win-nipi means a€?muddy watera€?). Also, they have long stops scheduled at three of the somewhat larger stations, so the time is made up by using up that a€?fata€?. I wasna€™t able to get a straight answer if therea€™d ever been an observation car on this train. The train route is a large C, and skirts both these lakes by first running west on the main line to Portage la Prairie, then northwest via Dauphin and into Saskatchewan. The only lounge area was the unused seats in the back of the dining car, so there wasna€™t many places to go. But in the East, losing the route along Lake Superior is a definite loss, since the upper route is nowhere as scenic, and services mostly small communities. After cutting a gentle arc there, it returns to Manitoba just before The Pas, then continues northeast via Thompson along the Nelson River. I also heard that the three main-course choices on the menu was a reduction--there used to be a much more ample menu. When I went to Spitsbergen, I bought in Norway a blue, heavy, lined Norwegian sweater, which was useful there, but which I dona€™t use in New York because ita€™s too heavy. Churchill is at the mouth of the Churchill River, so you can picture the sudden dog-leg taken north when plans changed.
Also, curiously, meals were NOT included for sleeper passengers, so you paid per meal--I ran a tab. While the person who posted this on YouTube has videos of several such departures, in different seasons, I purposely chose this one because it is without snow.
This is the area of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks of Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay. The trip north was in late October, and both en route and in Churchill there were occasional snow flurries, and patchy snow and ice on the ground, but there was no total snow cover anywhere, which presumably happens later in the season. This dilutes the salt water of the Bay, making it brackish near the coast, so that ice freezes here first. The Prairie Provinces have a large Slavic population, largely Ukrainian, and this was par for the course.
The former southern route serviced Banff and Lake Louise at the south end, while the present northern route services Jasper.
Since many if not most of the pictures I show from now on show snow, to imagine my experience you have to picture mostly a brown terrain with frequent patches of snow.


This is what attracts the polar bears to this region, since it offers the earliest possible departure time on ice floes to sea. For the uninitiated, pierogis, which my mother used to serve, bear some resemblance to ravioli, but are really quite different.
Finally, in place of any down jacket, I brought along the bright red, lined coat that was included in the Antarctic trip.
If ita€™s also a grassland, ita€™s a prairie as well, and both terms apply in particular to the central area of both Canada and the US. The train was quite full, due to a number of tour groups, and the dining car steward could not handle the pressure. This large coat I rolled up and put in a small, light overnight bag, and everything else, including a light jacket for warmer days, fit very easily into my usual one roller bag. Once he decided I was neither spy nor drug smuggler, I went to sit in the waiting room, since the train stayed there for a full hour, even once everyone was finished.
Here is the dining car, with good food and service; meals are included for sleeping-car passengers. Only the first two have road connections to the south, after which the rail line becomes Churchilla€™s only land connection to the rest of the world. Winnipeg is on the eastern edge of the Canadian prairies, a fact that struck the eye immediately on the train in the stretch of Manitoba angling up to the Saskatchewan border.
There are several lounge cars with observatory domes, but particularly nice is the Park Car. There were fields of very black earth, such as on this Manitoba Prairie farm near our route, which made me do a little more research. More likely, hea€™d announce on the PA a seating a€?with reservations onlya€?, and I never once found out how he gave out his reservations. I was to physically pick up in Toronto the four VIA tickets Ia€™d purchased months before on the phone. Ita€™s named in honor of the National Parks, and has a circular, glassed-in rear as well as a raised viewing dome. This is a map of the prairie soil types in the Prairie Provinces, all of which extend south into the US.
He was quite rude to a couple Ia€™d met, and I ended up in a shouting match with him at the head of the dining car.
Also, while Ia€™d gotten three Rooms-for-One, Ia€™d been wait-listed for an upgrade from a berth to a Room-for-One leaving Winnipeg, and it had come through a few weeks earlier. Some are indicated to be a€?request onlya€?, but even so, the train rarely had to stop at most of the a€?scheduleda€? stops.
I had to pay for that upgrade as well, and I was able to take care of it all at the Niagara Falls station instead of in Toronto.
The route is used heavily by local rural populations, many indigenous, to be able to go from miniscule towns to shop in small towns. We mentioned earlier the town of Portage la Prairie, which even acknowledges in its name that ita€™s on the prairie.
But since the train runs only twice a week in each direction, that would seem to require a stayover.
The name derives from people having to portage (carry their canoe) across the prairie from the Assiniboine River to Lake Manitoba. Now, for the next point, also take note of the area on this map between the black soil and Lake Manitoba. The prairie is also a biome, one that contrasts with the taiga biome further north in the Prairie Provinces. When you board the train, they will find you a comfortable seat near the dining cart and the restrooms. It was built between 1914 and 1920 and is the largest and most opulent rail station in Canada. The building is owned by the city, and the trainshed and trackage are owned by the commuter rail operator GO Transit. Don't worry, this type of help is available throughout your whole trip from the short breaks between cities where you get out to stretch your legs, to when you need to possibly switch trains. Actually, it then runs west, as on the following map, and is referred to as the aspen parkland, a biome in its own right, although a transitional one.
Ita€™s the largest transition zone in the world between boreal forest (taiga) and grassland, and the competition is constant to see if the prairie or the forest overtakes the other. Winnipeg has tallgrass prairie to the west, as mentioned above, and also to the south, and the aspen parkland to the northeast.
Coming up the slope from the train area, I entered the magnificent Great Hall (through those columns on the right).
Compare how closely the above map of the prairie compares with the population of anglophones in central Canada. While on the train you have all types of dining options including steak, seafood, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
When I stepped outside into the wet darkness under the stationa€™s illuminated columns on Front Street West and pulled my hood up over my jacket, I had an eerie, yet comforting feeling of arriving in a special place. I went around the east side of the station and walked three blocks down The Esplanade, a historic grand street in the old part of town. You havena€™t really experienced darkness until youa€™ve seen it in the wilderness at night. Free WiFi is available, as well as spacious seating and a power outlet to charge your electronics. Ia€™d booked a night in the Novotel Toronto, located in a recycled commercial building that even had a large stone arcade covering the street.
We went through The Pas that first night, but by midday of our one full day on the train, we were in Thompson, and stepped out for a stroll. Stepping inside and shaking off the raindrops, there was a welcoming (gas) fireplace chasing away the chill. This was the day when there would be occasional flurries, and youa€™d see the boreal trees all white in snow and ice, and then later, another area with no snow. That means I had the entire next day until 10 PM, and I decided to explore what is essentially Old Toronto.
As you can judge, the route to Churchill was now all taiga (green) leading up to tundra (gray). We then had our second and final night on the train, leading to a morning arrival in Churchill the next day. The settlement had been named York after the victorious soldier-son of George III, Prince Frederick, the Duke of York and Albany. Later, after he kept on losing battles, they dropped that name and the city was incorporated as Toronto in 1834, reverting to its original native name.



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  • Pakito, 10.12.2013 at 20:56:26
    Can commence hunting at the setting tracks and erecting his extremely personal urban playground.
  • morello, 10.12.2013 at 18:49:39
    Cause that we chose Thomas the tank engine only calls for.