Last night, heading home, I decided but didn't commit to hopping on SkyTrain going in the wrong direction. That is, at Waterfront Station, many people go Westbound past the station to the switch, where the train "turns around" and heads Eastbound. People (smartly) do this to get a good seat before trains fill up with commuters, often by Stadium-Chinatown Station. As the SkyTrain pulled in, however, so did a West Coast Express train, taking people living in the Tri-Cities then on to Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and beyond, all the way to Mission. In all my 10+ years living here, I had never taken the train, mostly because my final destination is pretty much halfway between the longest stretch, from Waterfront Station to Port Moody Station. And I call myself a train aficionado.
Last night I felt my shit was fairly together, so I paid my 6 bucks and boarded the train that wouldn't leave for another half an hour. Since the train was empty, I took some photos of the interior, and recorded 20 minutes of video from Waterfront to Port Moody (70 MB, BitTorrent link). The conversation in the background of the video was a group of teens discussing how awesome they were. I also took mundane video of the train leaving the station (BitTorrent link). People who do it day in and day out must think it's terribly boring by now, but the rail activity and mountain and water views, not to mention my first ever in-person viewing of an oil spill's aftermath made me almost forget I had a camera in my had documenting the trip. My impressions of the train ride were that inside it feels slower than it looks when a train goes by (as it does near my office in Gastown), and that the air conditioning gave me the same slight sickness that it does in airplanes.
Almost everybody on the train that got off at Port Moody Station either drove or took one of the many community shuttles, almost all of which were headed East. Myself, I walked back up to St. John St. and took the 160 home, not looking up from my book the whole trip back. I had taken that bus ride a thousand times while working for the library in Port Moody, so nothing new there. The train ride, however, made me feel like a kid again.