New year. Same great Montreal.

This year started with a quick run to Montreal to drop my kid back off at school. Though I really hadn’t intended to spend any time trackside there were a few occasions where chance afforded me just that kind of opportunity. It’s been just over a month since I was in the city and I’d forgotten that I’d grabbed a few train photos while there – until now. I didn’t take many and here some favourites I’d like to share.


Most of the morning trains are finished for the day but waiting at Lucien l’Allier were these two train sets.

As I stood on the platform admiring the view it occurred to me I had the time to run about a block along the line to Guy overpass. From here, there’s a terrific view into the station and I managed to get there just quick enough to catch 1330 shoving its train out. Despite the backlit conditions, I really rather quite like these two photos.

Later that day and it’s time to start heading back the hotel and, ultimately, my car for the drive home to the Island. Again, my connections take me right through LuLa and timing provided a quick pause to check out the evening’s trains. 1330 is still working and on the adjacent platform is one of AMT’s new ALP45DP engines. Though I don’t have a photo, about an hour after I took these I was pulling into the parking lot of superb Montreal hobby shop Hobby Jonction, just in time to watch perhaps the same ALP45DP shoving a train west.

On that same camera role a few “firsts” for me. Despite the popularity of taking “selfie” photos I do not like having photos of myself. Then, there was this moment where I had a bit of time on my hands and broke the selfie ice with this:


Kind of in focus? Check.

Smiling? Check.

Not too creepy? Well, two out of three eh?

Let’s call this a win. I haven’t taken any others since but it’s neat to pretend I’m doing something cool for a change. Of course, this sort of stuff is just a gateway isn’t it for other popular photographic activities. A few hours after taking my first selfie I took this one, of a truly excellent coffee I was enjoying at Eva Bee:


My kid raves about this crazy store. It was a blast visiting for the first time. I have no idea how I could possible describe the experience or what the store is really all about. What I do know is the people are super cool, the music was fun, and this coffee was one of the finest I’ve ever enjoyed. It’s likely the most grand coffee presentation I’ve ever been offered and this cost about two dollars – for everything. I felt almost guilty. Needless to say coffee this good was a welcome invitation to lunch and soon this platter was joined with more. The food is all local and made to order. Everything was terrific.

Great food and commuter trains. Most of all, I was invited on a road trip by my kid and I’m so grateful to have been a part of that. Thanks for bringing me to your Montreal Des! I had a blast and can’t wait to go back. Hopefully for longer next time!



    1. Hi,

      There are three different classes of engine in these photos:
      1330 is a F59PHI. These were built by General Motors. Similar engines are used by other commuter rail operations such as Vancouver’s West Coast Express and I believe Amtrak has a few too.

      1353 is one of AMT’s newest and is an ALP45DP. These are built by Bombardier and are a dual-mode engine that can be powered by electric, overhead catenary, when on AMT’s electrified Deux Montagnes route or by traditional diesel-electric means when operating on the rest of AMT’s lines. As shown here it would be used on their non-electrified routes. It’s a completely different engine from the F59PHI.

      Peeking into the very background of one of the photos of F59PHI #1330 is one of AMT’s F59’s. While very similar to the F59PHI these engines are built inside a much boxier carbody and are older. The true F59 is a product of Toronto’s GO Transit. GO designed an engine specific to their needs and the demands of long, heavy, commuter trains. The design proved extremely successful and GO’s large fleet was composed exclusively of these engines for several decades. GO modernized their fleet on a different engine but many of their F59’s have been dispersed to other commuter agencies, such as this one running in Montreal. Several have made it into the United States as well.

      For more information on the AMT fleet, there’s a terrific Wiki page for AMT on the Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board at:

      I hope this helps. Canadian commuter rail is a favourite subject of mine and I’ve rather enjoyed sharing it.


      1. Wow! Thanks for all of that. Fascinating. Its great to see a different perspective from accross the atlantic. I just don’t see sights like that here in Scotland! Although, I have a magazine article about GO from many years back. When they were in bright green and white livery! Very eye catching!

      2. No problem and glad to help.

        I would think that the equipment for the scene would be completely different. We’re still very dependant on loco-hauled trains where I would presume most on your scene would be sets of EMU or DMU.

        That GO scheme was expertly branded and very sharp. I’m a big fan in so many ways.

        Speaking of great schemes, nothing wrong with Strathclyde colours – I know I’ve certainly spent enough time daydreaming of a Scottish commuter layout.


  1. Yes, most of the trains here are multiple units. Sadly, the strathclyde red (orange!!!) has long gone. But like yourself I also dream of making a small commuter layout during that period! Bickersgate (my first attempt at building a layout) is based around Northumberland near Newcastle-upon-tyne in England.

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