Railroad related web content provided as an educational volunteer effort of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
To help preserve passenger rail heritage click here to join today! Support APRHF by shopping at Amazon Smile! Hosting made possible by our sponsors.

Custom Search
HOME APRHF TRAINWEB.COM .NET .ORG .US FORUM FACEBOOK NEWS RAILCAMS TRAVEL RAILFAN MODEL JOBS PARTY
TrainWeb Reports & Web Sites: Featured Today! Previously Featured Slideshows Highlighted Past The Big Stories Directory

Other Useful Railfan Information

Other Useful Railfan Information


Looking for us?

Online mailing lists for Toronto area railfans:
There are a number of Yahoogroups.com mailing lists where local railfans exchange information, answer questions, and generally hang out. These include:

C-P-R - Discussion of CP Rail
C-N-R - Discussion of CN Rail
CNET - Mailing list of the CN SIG of the NMRA
ontfan - A paging list for nifty trains in the southern Ontario area
CanPassRail - Discussion of Canadian Passenger Railways
Bruce Rys - Discussion of railway lines in the Bruce Peninsula
Sign up with Yahoogroups (it's free), register with these lists, and you'll get plenty of interesting email!

 
Two dormant mailing lists are available at the listserver at the University of Nebraska. These are:

CPRSOO - CPR/SOO
CNET - Mailing list of the CN SIG of the NMRA
To access these lists, send an email message to listserv@crc.vms.unl with the body reading
"subscribe cnet " and your name

Up close and face to face:
The C-N-R/C-P-R list members hold an annual meet at Bayview Junction every summer where fans can gather and put faces with the names. Watch for details on these mailing lists.


When do the trains run around here?

A good question!

  • The main CN and CP freight lines run just about all the time. If you stake out the CN Halton and York Subdivisions, or the CP North Toronto and Galt Subdivisions, you can't avoid seeing a train before very long. For planning purposes, count on better than a train per hour. This is an average, there are lulls and there are periods of congestion on these lines.

  • CN's Lakeshore subdivisions - the Kingston and Oakville - will give you frequent VIA runs, with weekday GO trains hourly in off hours and constantly at rush hour. GO service is hourly on weekends... but these routes are quiet in the wee hours.
  • CP's Mactier Subdivision sees 8-12 trains per day
  • CN's Weston Subdivision sees 6 VIA runs daily, frequent GO service at rush hours, and bi-hourly daytime GO service on weekdays
  • CN's Uxbridge, Newmarket, Weston Subs see GO trains at rush hour but only one or two daily roadswitchers
  • CN's Bala Subdivision sees moderately heavy freight traffic north of Doncaster, but only a few daily freights south of Doncaster, plus rush-hour GO and 2-3 daily passenger trains.

Here's some information about


Safety and Security - Can I take pictures here?

The two most frequent questions the author gets from people thinking about visiting Toronto are, "Is Toronto a safe place to railfan?" and "Will I get hassled by the police if I am taking pictures of trains?"

First, about crime - Toronto is a very safe city, but no big city is perfectly safe.

  • Use common sense, especially if alone, at night, or in secluded areas.

  • Keep expensive cameras and electronic devices out of sight whenever possible.
  • The public transit system is especially safe, and there aren't many "bad neighbourhoods". North Etobicoke and North Scarborough are the most troubled areas, but even these places aren't particularly dangerous for visitors.

Now, about Homeland Security - Railfanning is not grounds for paranoia in Toronto.

  • I have never heard of a railfan getting the "potential terrorist" treatment in Toronto.

  • VIA and GO Transit are becoming more security conscious. Shooting in GO stations is technically against the rules. Lately, security in Toronto Union Station has been tightened. But no one has been getting the third degree over casual photography.
  • If you hang around one spot for long periods, you may be checked out by the city cops, but their interest is mostly about whether you are a drug dealer or whatever. Just be polite and friendly and answer their questions directly. They are really nice once they know you're just shooting trains.
  • Relations between railway police and railfans are good, provided you stay off railway property. But they will write trespassing tickets readily (the fine is about $100) if you are found on the tracks. Don't count on getting off with a warning.


Railfan Amateur Radio in Toronto

There are plenty of railfan hams (or is it ham railfans?) in the Toronto area.
Some repeaters to try if you're a visiting ham are:

  • VE3 WOO 145.110 (-) PL 82.5

  • VE3 CTV 145.370 (-)
  • VE3 YYZ 145.350 (-) King City

Don't forget the favourite railfan simplex channel - 146.490

 


Upper Canada Railway Society

The UCRS is a long-standing railway club with chapters in Toronto and Hamilton. Until recently, the UCRS published the monthly publication Rail and Transit. The publication is dormant at the moment. The UCRS still holds meetings in the Toronto and Hamilton areas.

The UCRS' address is:
P.O. Box 122, Station 'A',
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M5W 1A2
(This is not an official ad, just useful information)

Despite the pause in its newsletter, the UCRS still maintains its UCRS Home Page


The ultimate information source....

....The Canadian Trackside Guide.

 
Again, this is not an official ad...but it's my humble opinion that the Trackside Guide is the best, most valuable, source of information on railways in Canada. It's published annually by the Bytown Railway Society. It has locomtive and equipment rosters for mainline and industrial rail operations, guides to preserved equipment, passenger schedules, mileage and siding data for all Canadian rail lines, etc, etc, etc!

If you can't find a copy in local hobby stores, the Bytown Railway Society's snailmail address is:
P.O. Box 141, Station 'A'
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1N 8V1

The BRS also publishes the monthly newsletter Branchline

Click here to contact Bytown by email or access the Bytown Web Site


Hotels, Motels, and Campgrounds for Railfans

I haven't done much research yet, but here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Royal York Hotel, Skydome Hotels...pricey high-class hotels with good views of Union Station

  • There is a large hotel next to Hiway 401 at McCowan with a good view of the CP Toronto Yard throat. It is regularly bought and sold so I won't name its current owners. Hace a nice indoor pool area for the family. Look for a tall red brick tower just north of the highway.
  • Indian Line Campground...Finch Avenue West near Derry Road...right beside the Halton Sub
  • Darlington Provincial Park...Camping by the Kingston Sub
  • Albion Hills Conservation Area....by the Mactier Subdivision, north of Bolton

Be sure to write me with your own favourites!


A nice quiet place to curl up with a book....

If you are looking for places with railway reading:

The Metro Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street north of Bloor, has a good collection of periodicals including the CRHA's newsletter.

The Metro Urban Affairs Library, in the new City Hall building at 55 John Street, just two blocks north of the John Street Interlocking Tower, has a great collection of old UCRS Newsletters, Railway Age magazines, urban planning and historical/heritage documents about Toronto's railways. You'll also find lots of material on urban transportation, including the TTC and GO Transit.

Metro Toronto Library Information


Toronto's Transit Heritage

Toronto has a rich history of streetcars and electric interurbans - and an excellent modern-day public transit system. Check out William E. Miller's TTC page for all sorts of good stuff about the Toronto Transportation Commission.


Scanner Radios and Antennas (My other obsession)

Railway Radio frequencies in use around Toronto are:

CN

Road - Channel 1

161.415

All trains monitor this channel

RTC - Channel 2

161.205

Kingston Sub RTC

RTC - Channel 3

160.935

Uxbridge/Newmarket RTC
Toronto Union Station Towers

RTC - Channel 4

160.665

Bala, Weston, York, Halton RTC

RTC - Channel 8

161.025

Oakville, Halton RTC

Police

161.235

MOW

160.215
160.455
160.515

CP

Road Channel 1

161.475

Galt Canpa Havelock

Road Channel 4

161.115

Mactier North Toronto Belleville

Road Channel 5

161.325

Galt

Road Channel 7

161.535

Mactier

Road

160.815

Hamilton

Police

159.885

MOW

160.845
161.175
161.265
161.505

GO Transit

Area-wide

413.9375

Willowbrook Shops

419.4375

VIA Rail

TMC Operations

463.9625

Yard and train servicing operations

On Board Service

160.200

Loco to train communication

A local fan and ham enthusiast, Bryan Passifiume', maintains an excellent web site about Toronto Area Rail Scanning with all sorts of good scoop!

Back to homepage

Webmaster: Paul Cordingley
Toronto Ontario Canada
Our e-mail address: pcordingley(insert "at")rogers.com

Copyright © 1996, Paul Cordingley
Revised - February 17, 2005
url:http://www.trainweb.us/railsintoronto/othrinfo.html


View TrainWeb.US Stats

Click below for pages in the directory of TrainWeb sites:
0-9 A B C D E
F G H I J K
L M N O P Q
R S T U V W
X Y Z
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL CATEGORY DIRECTORY

Visit our Rail Magazine promotion trading partners:      (Click here to add your print rail magazine.)


Custom Search
TrainWeb Reports & Web Sites: Featured Today! Previously Featured Slideshows Highlighted Past The Big Stories Directory
HOME APRHF TRAINWEB.COM .NET .ORG .US FORUM FACEBOOK NEWS RAILCAMS TRAVEL RAILFAN MODEL JOBS PARTY
Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us | Advertise With Us | Silver Rails Country for Train Enthusiasts
View Stats  | Page updated:02/08/2016  | Version 2016b08c  | Links  | ©2015-2018 NordiLusta, LLC