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Urban Sky

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  1. Just speculating here, but I can see 4 things which clearly favored VIA over WCE: 1) WCE needs their trains (and crews) for their regular schedule, whereas VIA had a full consist ready for a departure which has been cancelled until further notice. 2) The presence of a baggage car allowed passengers to transport their dogs in a crate, which was advertised prominently. 3) VIA/CN/CP LEs are probably not qualified on WCE equipment and WCE LEs are not qualified East of Mission. 4) Without prior tests, it is always better to stick to a solution which resembles established operations and practices as much as possible. Don't want the whole mission to fail because someone forgot a vital constraint...
  2. Cycling: Train 1 (which departed Toronto on Sunday) was scheduled to arrive in Edmonton only at 20:50 today - one hour after Train 2 (which was supposed to leave Vancouver yesterday) was scheduled to leave Edmonton...
  3. With all due respect, I don't think it's fair to accuse someone of lying, when you can neither rule out incompetence, human error while acting in good faith nor that the information used was either incorrect or actually correct and just unknown to you. Having worked 3 years in the same team as the guys who write the Corporate Plans and another 3 years in close collaboration with the Fleet Planning team, I believe I'm slightly better placed to make assumptions about why these claims found their way into these reports and how plausible they are... Have a good night!
  4. Are you seriously suggesting that modifying the shell of a car design is easier than changing its interior, which is modular anyways? As for changing the train length, the nominally 5-car Siemens trainsets are semi-permanently coupled, meaning that they can be shortened to 3 or 4 cars or lengthened to 7 cars. It may take a few hours, but it can for sure be done in response to seasonal demand. Anyways, any new fleet will need adapted maintenance facilities and that's why everything else than converting the entire non-corridor network doesn't make any sense. Converting the JONQ/SENN services would certainly still be the easiest, but converting the Skeena (with its two measly cycles which run hundreds of kilometers away from the next maintenance center), but not the Canadian would border on insanity...
  5. As I said before: I lack the expertise (and to be honest: also the interest) to determine the remaining economic life of VIA's P42 fleet. Nevertheless, I hope we can all agree that VIA objectively doesn't have any need for this tiny 21-units fleet in the next few years. Sure, the F40s won't last forever, but I assume that Siemens will be very interested in replacing VIA's non-Corridor, given the considerably synergies they could exploit given that they will have already established maintenance facilities...
  6. I lack the subject matter knowledge to confirm or challenge the points brought forward by VIA. Has Amtrak rebuilt any of its P42s yet and if yes, were they rebuilt to standards which would make them compliant to all regulatory requirements which would be applicable in Canada for a similar rebuild?
  7. I would assume that there is always a price point at which you can fix old equipment to make it compliant, but this doesn't change the fact that VIA's fleet size is far too small to support three different locomotive types (Amtrak has more than twice as many P42s in its roster than VIA has locomotives). With the F40 already used across the entire network and sufficient spares and parts available for quite a few years to come, it would be extremely wasteful to invest into the P42s. If anyone wants them, I'm sure that VIA will happily sell them...
  8. It's not like that report hasn't already been pointed out to him a full 2 months ago on Urban Toronto:
  9. As we've already established, the F40s still have 5-6 years of economic life ahead of them and if there is any railroad which has experience with operating equipment well past its useful life, it would be VIA (and with about 20 F40s being freed up on the Corridor very soon, there won't be any shortage of spare units or parts). My personal expectation, however, is that once the new fleet is presented to the public, any appetite for continued fleet fragmentation (one of VIA's biggest ills during its 40+ years of existence!) will wane and that the public or political pressure to procure a very similar fleet for VIA's non-Corridor operations will become impossible to ignore. That might even open up the opportunity to expand VIA's mandate to allow for new services beyond the Corridor, but that's just speculation at this point...
  10. My understanding is that the economic life of locos basically lasts for 20 years and may be extended for another 20 years through a rebuilt. Therefore, the F40s (which were delivered in 1986-87) would be good for another 5-6 years, whereas the P42s would require a rebuild now to remain active (which would be entirely pointless, as plenty of F40s are going to get freed up very soon by the delivery of the new fleet). My personal hypothesis is that VIA has a long-haul fleet replacement strategy, but that they don't mention a word publicly to not provide the federal government an opportunity to wiggle themselves out of funding HFR or to delay a final funding decision further. A bit like saying: "If you really want to announce good news for VIA, it has to be HFR first..." As for Portugal, I just would like to stress that I never implied that their rail service is worse than VIA. I'm just saying that finding myself turning the question "What time of the day do I want to take a train?" into a "What time of the day are there actually trains?" made me feel very familiar in a way I had never felt anywhere else in Western Europe. These low frequencies are of course not unique to Portugal (or North America), of course: the same applies to Northern Norway/Sweden/Finland and large parts of Eastern Europe (especially the Baltic and Balkan countries)...
  11. No, they will get retired, as there will be more than enough spare F40s once they are withdrawn from the Corridor.
  12. I have no reason to doubt that if my own native language was the dominant language in my country, virtually spoken by everyone in my region and the most important language globally, I would also lack awareness that some of my discussion partners might not be native speakers and therefore not be fully versed in the subtle nuances between the respective meanings of seemingly synonymous words like argument, discussion or debate. You are of course right that we are having a discussion (and not an argument) here, but if you really find my posts "extremely or utterly foolish or silly" (i.e. the dictionary definition of "asinine"), then quite frankly, your impulse to stay away from this board (or at least this thread) might indeed be the most appropriate course of action to avoid further frustration on your side... *** For anyone who wants to continue this discussion, the current topic we are discussing started in reference to a video made by "Not Just Bikes", who's European experience seems to draw mostly from Northern European countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia. As someone who grew up in Germany (where virtually all stations, platforms and trains are accessible without any ticket verification or requirement to reserve a seat), I also experienced my first trip with VIA (including a three hours forced layover in MTRL, because OTTW-QBEC weren't really a thing back then) as bizarre and convoluted. However, by traveling across other parts of the continent, like the United Kingdom (where I lived and studied for three years), France, Italy and Spain, I realized that the experience of rail travel in Europe is by far not as homogeneous and diametrically different from the respective experience in North America as I thought it to be. For instance, if you want to experience a Western European country where intercity trains are just as slow and infrequent as in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor (just with much newer trains and lower fares), I highly recommend Portugal. Therefore, please understand that as someone who has travelled by a large variety of rail services across more than 30 European countries and from East Coast to West Coast on VIA and Amtrak, I might feel inclined to challenge anyone who claims that rail travel here is so dramatically different and more archaic than "in Europe". It can be bad, for sure, but it really isn't as hopelessly bad as many people here believe it to be, because of how distorted their understanding of how fast and convenient rail travel is in other parts of the world is... Have a great weekend, everyone!
  13. Given that there are passenger gates at many major stations in Europe and North America and rarely any at minor stations in Europe and North America, what exactly is the argument we are trying to have here?
  14. If you are explicitly excluding MTRL and TRTO, which stations are we actually talking about and why exactly is it a problem that you can't wait on a narrow platform with zero facilities until the (probably delayed) train shows up so that you can delay your own boarding by standing in the way of the passengers who detrain?
  15. Fascinating to hear how the situation was three, four or even five decades ago, but when I took the Avanti West Coast train for a roundtrip between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly in February 2020, both stations had barriers with ticket checks to prevent you from accessing any platform unless you had a valid ticket for a train which was ready for boarding on that platform. I'm still curious to learn how exactly that is so different from boarding a VIA train in QBEC/MTRL/OTTW/TRTO...
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