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Joe Engineer In Training

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  1. I saw a video from Not Just Bikes YouTube channel where he lamented the inefficient boarding procedure of Via Rail. I always wondered why they did that only at certain select large stations (Ottawa, Montreal), and others (Dorval, Fallowfield, Kingston, etc.) you could simply walk out onto the platform. These latter stations even have some trains passing at line speed and I would think that would be more of a danger if at all. If they are concerned about people getting on the wrong train, wouldn't a turnstile with a barcode scanner at the platform entrance (like at many SNCF railway stations in France) that unlocks (perhaps) 15 minutes before departure do the trick? I know that recommended arrival of 30 minutes before departure is what Via states on the website, but is never enforced in practice. I once showed up 10 minutes before a departure at Montreal Central Station and simply showed up at the top of the stairs to the platform, showed my ticket to the inspector and walked onto the train. I do agree that holding people in the station until all passengers have disembarked is a process that should be changed to minimise station dwell times, especially if HFR causes the boost in ridership that will likely occur. I also read an unverified report that the new trainsets would be comprised of 2 business class and 3 economy class. This seems like a high ratio, as I always remember a 1:3, 1:4 or even 1:5 business to economy ratio. If such speculation is true, is there a planned introduction of a new in-between class with the wider 2+1 seats but no complimentary food? (Comparable to many European first-class or Premier class products)
  2. I remember just a year or two before the new fleet order, Via Rail refurbished a portion of the LRC fleet to run 'until 2030'. Would these refurbished units be able to run during the summer and December as holiday extras, with the retired unrefurbished units being used for spare parts?
  3. It was announced in the news on Thursday that Route #35 Red Head is slated to be eliminated. The transit commission estimated that the route has about 15 riders daily. There was a separate news story a few weeks prior of not being able to obtain an accurate ridership count. For the few months that I have temporarily stayed here, this route almost always seems to use among the oldest buses in the fleet, as per my personal observation. I wonder if the transit commission considered bus replacement costs in their decision to cancel this route.
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