トロント郊外で、のんびり列車の旅を体験

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昨日(4月22日)はアース・デーでした。クルマの利用が当たり前の北米社会に属するトロントも、例にもれずダウンタウンは渋滞が多い毎日です。そんな中で「列車を楽しむ」人々も多く、根強い人気があります。先日エルマイラのメープルシロップフェスティバルのブログ・エントリーで触れた「ウォータールーの観光列車」。当日はツイッターでつぶやきましたが、今シーズンの始まりを告げる一番列車に乗ってみました。
https://seetorontonow.jp/?p=885

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乗り込んだのは、「Waterloo Central Railway」。列車に乗るためのチケットは、ウエブサイトで事前に購入します。意外に早く売り切れてしまうので、事前に購入がオススメです。
チケットなど情報:http://www.steam-train.org/

トロントからだと、ウォータールーという街まで約1時間ほどのドライブが必要です。行き方は、ハイウエイ401を西に、キッチナー/ウォータールー方面に走り、途中で8号線から7号線を北に、Bridgeport Rd. E.で降り西に向かいます。401を降りて7号線に入ると15分くらいで現地に到着。駅舎手前には無料駐車場があるのでそこにクルマを置き、まず駅舎に入ります。

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これが駅舎の入り口。

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中に入ると、入り口すぐのところにカウンターがありますので、オンラインでチケットを購入した時に印刷した控えを見せると、代わりにチケットをくれます。

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このチケットは帰りの列車でも使いますので、大切にとっておきましょう。私はこの日一番列車に乗ったので、チケットの色は青。出発は1日3回で、青、ピンク、緑の3種類になり、時刻表も兼ねていますので、特に帰りの時間は間違えないようにしましょう。

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列車はかなりレトロなもので、全席自由。ぞろぞろと乗り込みます。

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レトロな列車とは言うものの、要するにお役御免になった車両をボランティアの皆さんがきれいに復元し、再利用しているもの。ボランティアとは言え、皆さんはCP(日本で言うと国鉄)をリタイアした経験豊富な方々が集まっていますから、安全面も含めてきちんとしたルールにのっとって運行されているので安心です。

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車両に乗り込み、しばらくすると「コンダクター」と呼ばれる車掌さんがやってきて、切符にはさみを入れてくれますが、ハートマークだったりして遊び心も満点。列車は本当にゆーっくりと走ります。車内はファミリーが多く、和気あいあいとした雰囲気満点。旅情溢れる列車の旅を満喫することができます。のんびりゆられながら約50分間の車窓風景を楽しむと、エルマイラの駅に到着。

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列車を降りると、基本的にはホームも何もないのにビックリします。ここからはトラクターが待っていますのでそれに乗り込み、会場に向かいます。この日は朝8時の列車に乗り、エルマイラ駅に着いたのは9時。トラクターに乗っているのは約10分ほど。

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帰りの列車は正午発で、フェスティバル会場での滞在時間は約3時間になりますので、シロップを買い、パンケーキを食べ、ブラブラと歩いて帰りのトラクターに乗り、エルマイラの駅に向かいました。

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実は車窓から、蒸気機関車が見えていたのですね。ウォータールーの駅で話を伺うと、セントジェイコブスの駅に車両を保守管理する場所があって誰でも見ることができるというので、早速クルマを飛ばして行ってきました。

というわけで、次回はセントジェイコブスの駅で見た、かなり珍しい蒸気機関車について、ご紹介いたします。

43 thoughts on “トロント郊外で、のんびり列車の旅を体験

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