Skrillex Tour Train 2012

Having heard about the Skrillex 2012 Tour Train and only imagining myself shooting it, I found myself with the intriguing possibility of being able to catch it in what amounts to my own backyard.  I heard (from Eric of Trackside Treasure via the Canadian Passenger Rail Yahoo group) that it would be leaving Montreal for its cross-country trek early July 16th.  Based on the timing provided, I realized that I could probably snag it somewhere close to home.  Looking more closely at the itinerary, I noticed that it specified Doncaster as a way-point, which meant only one thing: VIA on the York Sub.  Too good to pass up, I got in the car and headed for my favourite spot, Plug Hat Road.

A future post will talk about the other action I saw there that morning, so let’s focus on the task at hand.  I first heard mention of the train on my scanner as it was clear to stop approaching Liverpool in Pickering.  I listened for further mentions and it got a few, mostly as it took the sidings to let eastbound freights pass.  Finally, around 9:45, I heard CN 106 talking to VIA 3 as they cleared the siding just south of me (Beare East, for those keeping track), asking what they were doing. “A special train across Canada,” they said.  Sure enough, I heard the engine gear up and exhaust came up behind the CP Belleville sub bridge.  At last!  It played peek-a-boo to start…


Then picked up steam as the engineers gunned it.  Exhaust hung in the air, as it was an exceptionally hazy and humid day, even that early in the morning.



A sight to see: VIA on the York Sub.


Assiniboine Park brought up the rear. 


You can’t really see it in the photo, but someone was lounging in the dome car.  I heard someone over the scanner talking about getting some snacks ready to take to the rear of the train while they were waiting in the siding; perhaps they were for this guy.  Anyway, after they passed under the bridge, I went across the road and got the going-away shot.


Bye Skrillex!

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6 Responses to Skrillex Tour Train 2012

  1. John P. Mackay says:

    Nice catch of this train at York Sub. Wondering why not using Kingston Sub into Toronto then on Bala Sub (north) all the way through Doncaster.

    • Adam Walker says:

      Thanks John!
      I don’t believe there is an westbound-to-northbound connection between the Kingston and the Bala down in the Union rail corridor. They would need to go out to Mimico, wye the train there, then head east to go north. I imagine the cost of paying CN to use the York sub from Pickering Junction to Doncaster was worth it to avoid that hassle.


  2. Eric Gagnon says:

    Innovatively ‘fanned, Adam. Perfect set-up. The setting is looking model railroad-like in that lighting (i.e. Woodland Scenics ground foam-ish) and the train looks great, as it did in Kingston.

    I’ve heard some ‘so what’ comments regarding this train, but it was a unique movement, and you managed to catch it on rare mileage. Arrival at VIA’s Winnipeg station on Tuesday night was at 1830 – slightly behind schedule, but still a quick run.

    Thanks for sharing, and for the link,

  3. Pingback: Plug Hat Choice Cuts | The Walker Express

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