Jump to content

dbdb

Member
  • Content Count

    150
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

3,043 profile views
  1. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    If true, the fiber could be a boon to communities along the line. It makes a lot of sense for communities along the line to have an ownership stake in the rail line to do projects like running fiber along the right of way that wouldn't provide economic benefit to foreign investors but would certainly provide social and economic benefits to those communities.
  2. Sounds like there was a greater chance of being struck by a meteorite that getting off the ground. The chocked wheels would have stopped him and if that didn't stop him and he managed to get the engines going, release the brakes, possibly needing to reverse thrust and power over the chock blocks I doubt he would have figured out how to steer the aircraft with the tiller to some straight section of pavement to take off.
  3. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    Not just bus/rail but air/bus and air/rail too. Lots of opportunity to offer better service for passengers in a way that captures more business for the transportation companies. Ride share services could even play a role when that sector matures.
  4. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    I agree with M. Parsons, provinces would be better off looking at bus service over rail but I think the overall business model needs to change. The Canadian is nowhere near the level of service required for the prairies and BC to be anything beyond a niche even if they could stick to a schedule. What makes more sense would be an integrated network of independent van/car service to feed the network of larger cutaways and coaches and maybe even Via. The van/car services would be small operations run by members of the communities they serve with a vested interest in the service to the communities they serve, a variety of ownership structures are possible from individuals to non-profit consortium to co-op. Sort of how short line railroads work integrate with the Class I's. There was an article on CBC today that indicates Greyhound lost 20% ridership on the Yellowhead and Trans Canada corridors when the Saskatchewan Government shut down STC last year. That tells us the STC network servicing small communities fed 20% of their traffic. Unfortunately service to all those small, ever shrinking communities runs at a loss because there aren't enough passengers for the traditional bus service business model. There is no business model for a single provider big network servicing small communities. Small regional networks alone can't offer seamless end-to-end inter-regional transportation. Governments should step up to stimulate the industry but they don't need to get deeper into the transportation business. I'm not sure they should immediately jump to subsidies. Legislation is a good place to start to better encourage and accommodate smaller players and startups. Maybe the feds could bootstrap a non-profit corporation that runs on cost recovery like Nav Canada to provide booking/scheduling solutions/service to a national network of independent transportation providers. Via could bring value to solve the problem not with it's trains but it's ticketing, scheduling and logistics capabilities. Amtrak runs Cascades trains between Vancouver and Seattle twice a day but they also contact Trailways to run "throughway" coach service several more times/day to connecting with Cascades trips that don't run all the way to/from Vancouver. Via or a spinoff could be a facilitator of inter-regional non-rail ground transportation on a break-even basis without government investing in running a fleet of buses.
  5. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    I was on #2 in March when it was nearly a half day late from Winnipeg. The scenery through Ontario was way more interesting. Lots more interesting geological formations vs the usual trees and lakes. No one takes that train to get anywhere fast. On my trip people were agitated about possibly losing hotel reservations or missing flights not the fact the train was late. A realistic timetable will prevent unhappy passengers. Running through scenic areas during the day is a value add. On my trip we made up a few hours highballing it once we got past Winnipeg even with a nearly hour long wait for a new crew after ours timed out. The most time was lost on the Melville sub, Wainwright sub and Edson sub. CN has a bunch of double track projects in Saskatchewan and Alberta that could help the Canadian so it doesn't have to wait as often for long freights.
  6. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    More details The TL;DR is 16 passengers, 5 crew, baggage car + 2 locos on the ground about 3am, crew injured, no passengers injured, all taken to Hudson Bay, SK for medical assessment, remote section of track 37km north of Hudson Bay, TSB says train hit washout at 50km/h.
  7. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    They could do it the old way and run second train set as another "section" of the full train. If it's a regular occurrence expand the schedule to add additional trips which could in turn attract more passengers turning it into an advantage.
  8. This is great news. Getting that line back up and running and most members of the ownership consortium with a vested interested in the success of the communities along the line and not just the line itself will make a big difference in how it's managed.
  9. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    Maybe I'm a bit cynical but I suspect some of that decision is some pork barrel politics throwing economic benefit to areas of Quebec where the Liberals may want to earn some votes in the next federal election. If they get started now they will be able to unveil the refurbished cars just ahead of the next election. If they bought new as they are to replace the LRC cars via the RFP route, it's likely the winning bid would be from a U.S. or other foreign company with little if any of the work coming to Canada.
  10. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    For comparison, albeit U.S. dollars, Amtrak is paying $371 million for 137 brand new cars from the Siemens which works out to US$2.71/car. At $3.18 million/car the business case for rebuild is weak unless the intent is to make the all vintage stainless steel flagship train The Canadian accessible.
  11. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    Sadly this has been normal for the past few months. It would be more newsworthy had the train been on time. I was on it a few weeks ago, 8 hours late into Saskatoon, the funny thing was the yard was so packed with waiting freights Via had to go around on the main line and back in to the station. We lost about another 4-5 hours overnight somewhere between Melville and Winnipeg. Into Winnipeg, apparently they were having problems with frozen switches and once again ended up going around the station on the main line and backed in. After a quick crew change and restocking supplies in Winnipeg lost another half hour switching locomotives around and a further hour due to "freight congestion" ended up pulling out of the station 15 hours late. After that we made good time, to Redditt when our locomotive crew timed out and we waited about a half hour for a new crew to be driven in. We made good time after that only a couple of times did we have to wait more than a couple of minutes in a siding for a passing freight. . I think we were almost 16 hours down at one point and ended up only 12.5 hours late into Toronto. Only a couple of times did we have to wait more than a couple of minutes in a siding for a passing freight after Redditt the longest was about 40 minutes in Gogama for a couple of long freights. Highball signals most of the way. Just like the article our service crew did a great job taking care of us. They kept us informed, especially folks with connections in Toronto. Ultimately I'd blame CN for all the delays except leaving Winnipeg where we wasted time switching on an extra locomotive, that probably could have mostly been taken care of while the train was being serviced before passengers were re-boarded.
  12. dbdb

    VIA Rail Canada

    Washington DOT might be looking for another Talgo set after the wreck on I-5 in December.
  13. Ask and ye shall receive ... https://www.diynetwork.com/shows/alaska-off-the-grid and a few others.
  14. The ONR segments follow the similar formula to Railroad Alaska. The CP segments have some of that disaster stuff but not quite as bad and in many cases the consequence is "it will cost money because a ship will be delayed", I don't think they could afford any more creativity from the writers. The characters are a little more believable, they're still kind of caricatures but somewhat grounded in reality and not as farcical as Railroad Alaska. It's very white-bread in the CP segments but the ONR segments do feature a few FN in Moosonee and Moose Factory. What I found most infuriating about Railroad Alaska was it was all white-bread except for two black characters that were pretty much playing the caricatures a house slave and a field slave. I don't know if it represents reality but it seemed like there were more women featured than I would have expected for the industry.
  15. Ah, after some googling, you're right. My bad for not researching better. I was right that there was never a 1400hp model. Instead I'll accuse GM/EMD's marketeers of misleading advertising by rounding up 50hp on the original F units.
×