Here are some photos from one of my trips back in 2008... you may click on the slideshow to open the album in a new window/tab. Regular content will resume on Friday 5 November. Thank you for visiting!
GO Trains are commuter trains run by GO Transit, now a division of Metrolinx of Ontario, a government-owned regional transit authority (formerly GTTA, the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, not to be confused with the former legal name of GO Transit, Greater Toronto Transit Authority) serving more than 7 million Canadian residing in the Golden Horseshoe.
GO Train in its early days GO Train and downtown Toronto in 1980
GO Transit or Government of Ontario Transit was created as a three-year experiment on 23 May 1967 running DMUs along the rail line in the Greater Toronto Area along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. GO Trains carried 2.5 million riders in its first year and was considered a success. The GO Bus as extensions of the train services started in 1974. Today the GO system carries more than 50 million riders annually and the vast majority of them are carried by GO Trains. On 11 October 2006, GO announced that it had achieved its one billionth passenger mark.
I got to meet my childhood hero, and it's everything I dreamed it would be! Yes, by it, I mean a train, of course, given how weird and awkward I am as a human being, this shouldn't come as a surprise. It all happened when I still lived in Asia, more than half a lifetime ago. The Chinese Railways, whatever they called themselves back in the 1990s, bought (or "leased") a set of the X2 (a.k.a. X2000 or SJ 2000) from SJ for services on the KCR (Kowloon to Canton Railway) at 125 mph (the first ever regular service in China at that speed). Granted, being Chinese, they'd also conveniently and inadvertently copied its design, albeit not quite so successfully (see DJJ1).
由慕尼黑啤酒 - 自己的作品，CC BY-SA 3.0，链接 (the Chinese X2)
This time around, the X2 also brought me about my first impressions of the friendly Swedes. Judging from the sign of me taking pictures like a mad (or normal) Chinese tourist, not one, but two drivers invited me on a tour of the cab. Finally, not only did I …
Between the Internet and the LKAB presentation at the Heavy Haul Conference in Calgary some five years ago, I've become no stranger to these iron ore trains of the Arctic Circle.
It has been a while since I last laid my eyes on some AAR 100-ton trucks, although they were surrounded by otherwise unfamiliar equipment. Photos don't do the IORE justice when it comes to their incredible might. In person, they, even with just a single section, almost in a weird way, look really long.
The City of Kiruna itself feels like a deja vu. Snow and mountains in the backdrop, fatally frigid temperatures, sizable, heavy freight trains, and a passenger depot that was moved out of the city centre (although for different reasons than we are used to in our neck of the woods), to the yard at the edge of town. Fortunately, Kiruna isn't very big. It takes less than half an hour to complete a leisurely walk downtown, and there is a bus that shuttles people in between.