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Urban Sky

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  1. No, I don’t think so. No, unless a refurbishment was planned anyways.
  2. The Chateau car on the Canadian is usually for crews only, all passengers are normally assigned in the Manors. Conversely, on the Churchill, passengers and crews are assigned in Chateaus or - if there is one on the consist - a Park car. As for the baggage cars (and to the best of my knowledge), there are no crew facilities like seats, beds or toilet... It is for very good reasons why the Churchill train is the only VIA service currently operating at its regular frequency... As for the structural inspections, I can’t really share any information, but I believe that some cars are being repaired in-house, some by external contractors and that some cars have already been repaired (but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “refurbishment”)...
  3. Take a look at the timetable (it’s still the same as pre-CoVid): The two consists meet Wednesdays and Fridays in Thompson and Sunday nights in The Pas, which is why there is no need to short-turn cars going north. However, this is also the reason why it is more difficult to also add capacity for passengers from the South of Thompson (e.g. Thicket Portage) for their two “grocery days” permitted by the timetable (Wednesday and Friday), but the current tensions are thankfully “only” with communities on one side (in this case: North) of Thompson and they are addressed with top priority, as this is an extremely politically sensitive situation requiring urgent action... As for the “tourists” mentioned in the article, my understanding is that this isn’t necessarily the out-of-province crowd which usually uses the Sleeper car, not at last because all Sleeper accommodations have been suspended until further notice (there is still a Chateau Sleeper on all consists, but it’s used for crews only). In short, I don’t see why the service wouldn’t be “operated with the locals in mind”, but I don’t know of any way of denying certain passengers tickets to preserve them for other passengers, which would work reliably and without sparking new waves of criticisms. Thankfully, Transport Canada usually exempts VIA’s mandatory services when demanding to reduce the subsidy need, which is why there is thankfully little pressure to pursue economic considerations at the expense of local needs... PS: I can’t stress enough that my sympathies lie unconditionally with Canada’s indigenous communities, even during conflicts which threaten or even halt rail operations. As an employee of a Crown Corporation, I feel like I’m serving all Canadians, but especially those groups which “have always been here” and which depend on our passenger rail services as a lifeline without which their already often disgracefully low standards of living (I only say: “water boiling notices”) would deteriorate even further...
  4. First off all, due to Social Distancing, only half of the seats (31 out of 62 seats per HEP 1 coach) can be currently sold. Therefore, 2 coaches during CoVid-19 have the same capacity as one coach pre-CoVid and you would need 4 coaches on every consist (i.e. 12 in total) to match the capacity pre-CoVid... Second, normally equipment can be shuffled around between Toronto, Winnipeg, Jasper and Vancouver using the Canadian, but it hasn’t been operating since mid-March. Therefore, you have to play around with what is available in Winnipeg and that’s what is being done at the moment, with some cars being switched between the consists when they meet in Thompson to provide extra capacity between Thompson and Ilford...
  5. As you can see in my list below, neither 71 nor 73 have been operating since March, as only trains 72/75 and 84/87 currently operate in Southwest Ontario: Except for those trains which actually operate according to the temporary schedule, “Sold out” only means that the train has been “inhibited” (i.e. the available inventory has been set to zero seats) for that particular departure... That TSB bulletin report sounds indeed interesting. Any idea where I can subscribe to it?
  6. I was not trying to prove you wrong, but I don't feel comfortable to make any claims (like in this case: that the schedule hadn't changed) without referring to some publicly available data sources... I would assume that the derailment of CN 466 reported in the link I shared should be reason enough to impose some temporary restrictions. Granted, in other parts of the world you would have an industry regulator which ensures that mainline derailments happen so rarely that you can actually find news reports about them, but we have to live with what we got... Indeed, considering that this line was severed north of Churchill between May 2017 and December 2018, but it is not possible to offer communities north and south of Thompson the opportunity of a shopping trip to Thompson (requiring a same-day return) with the one frequency per week which is currently offered on the other mandatory services (MTRL-JONQ, MTRL-SENN and SUDB-WHTR)... On a positive note, trains 28 and 35 have been restored as second daily frequency between Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa, as of today...
  7. It's an issue everywhere in the world - even in supposedly mild-climate places like the United Kingdom: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/trains-cancelled-heat-uk Therefore, the issue in Quebec is less that the climate would be extremely cold, but that the temperature range is so extreme: the average high temperature in Quebec City is 25.0 C in July, whereas the average low temperature is -17.7 C in January, which is a range of 42.7 C and thus more than the 36 degrees which the Network Rail spokesman mentioned as being the limit for their rails... In terms of mitigation strategies, Network Rail deploys the following: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/stories/how-we-prevent-tracks-from-getting-too-hot/ I don't know what strategies CN applies, but painting rails white seems like a cheap (and obvious) one...
  8. I was only able to edit my post now and to include his quote, since I only had my phone when I wrote that post. As for the reasons for the temporary overnight operations (apparently heat-related restrictions imposed by the infrastructure owner), I refer to the link I provided...
  9. As you can see when checking these trains in the reservation system, their schedule has not changed. For the reasons of the overnight operations reported above, see also: https://groups.io/g/Canadian-Passenger-Rail/topic/75293474
  10. As you can see in VIA's most recent temporary schedule posted on its website, it currently operates only the following services (with only Economy Class, i.e. no Business Class or Sleeper accommodations are offered at this point): Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa: 22 and 39 (starting July 14 also: 28 and 35) operate daily Montreal-Kingston-Toronto: 62, 63, 66 and 669 operate daily Ottawa-Kingston-Toronto: 48, 52, 53 and 59 operate daily Toronto-London-Windsor: 72 and 75 operate daily Toronto-London-Sarnia: 84 and 87 operate daily Montreal-Hervey-Jonquierre: 601 operates Fridays, 602 operates Sundays Montreal-Hervey-Senneterre: 603 operates Fridays, 606 operates Sundays Sudbury-White River: 185 operates Saturdays, 186 operates Sundays Winnipeg-The Pas-Churchill: regular service Jasper-Prince George-Prince Rupert: 5 operates Sundays/Mondays, 6 operates Wednesdays/Thursdays The following services are currently suspended: Halifax-Montreal ("Ocean", until November 1) Toronto-Vancouver ("Canadian", until November 1) Toronto-Niagara Falls(-New York City) As for service to Niagara Falls, GO Transit has suspended its rail service on that route (since March 14), but I've attached the November 2019 schedule which showed limited rail service on that route... GO_Route_NF_20191102.pdf
  11. The equipment for the Skeena is serviced in Jasper, but all major maintenance is done in Vancouver...
  12. VIA’s only maintenance facility along the line is in JASP. The operating days chosen are the only operating days which allow for a full lay-over day in PRUP (which avoids that a late arrival of train 5 delays the departure of train 6 the next morning) and two full days for maintenance in JASP: Sunday: JASP-PGEO Monday: PGEO-PRUP Tuesday: Layover in PRUP Wednesday: PRUP-PGEO Thursday: PGEO-JASP Friday and Saturday: maintenance in JASP
  13. Whereas the retirement of the Renaissance fleet will reduce the available fleet for the Ocean, the delivery of the new fleet will free up HEP I and II cars currently assigned to the Corridor...
  14. I think the first two answers have been sufficiently by now (but let me add that the Renaissance cars used on the Ocean are modified in a way that they can’t be used on the Corridor without modifying them again), so let me explain the last answer: You only need a baggage transition car if you mix Renaissance cars with other fleet types. For a pure Renaissance Corridor train, you only need a Baggage car, a Business car, a Service car, an Accessible Coach and whatever number of Coaches you want to add... Wrong, that means they will need to be retired before 2026. The RFQ for the new fleet specified that the new fleet must be delivered between 2022 and 2024 (and you can bet that the measly 2 Renaissance trainsets will be among the first to get replaced), so better plan your farewell trip with them once Corridor service ramps up enough that they return to service (all 10 Corridor trains currently offered as an “Essential Service” are LRCs), as they won’t last much longer...:
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