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  1. Train léger de Charlevoix banner from RéseauCharlevoix.com No, it is not an april's fool nor a Christmas gift! I came over this service last week while looking for XC-ski shuttles. It completely went under my radar; an hybrid ski shuttle/rail transit service has been running for a whole year now, provinding service between town of Baie-Saint-Paul and Le Massif ski resort, as well as to remote waterside communities with reasonable frequency ― communities forgotten by the profit-oriented coach lines as they are on dead-end roads off route 138. The thing reminds me of the Mont-Tremblant bus transit system; it's oriented towrads town/resort service, but serves also local movements. The railroad is owned by Groupe Le Massif via its subsidiary Train Touristique Charlevoix, that bought Chemin de fer Charlevoix from SCFQ in 2009. The service is operated by a NPO whose administration is shared with local actors. Le Massif wants its resort expansion to profit to Charlevoix. The stations are the same as the Le Massif sightseeing train, which links Montmorency Falls in Québec with Casino de Charlevoix from spring to autumn for a whopping 370 $. The material bought in 2011 in Germany is very peculiar. It consists in two sets of 2 DMU railcars, the two single-class 628.1 prototypes ever built for Deutsche Bundesbahn ― two of the three 628.1 ever produced. That kind of material is quite a rare sight in North America, it just now is romantic. They were retrofitted with additional lights and horns to fit northamerican standards. Personnel has to place ramps at the stations in order to fill the large gap between the cars and the platforms, which were built to accommodate Le Massif's Pullman cars and RS-18 locos. Pictures from BonjourQuebec.com Ridership was under the estimates for last year, but the service has since been rebranded into "Transit" instead of "Shuttle". I just can hope for the best for this service, but the ticket price cannot just make it : 20 $ (up 6$ vs last year ― and 10$ cheaper than in summertime) for a 20-km/12-mi (35 min) ride is just too expansive IMHO, but the incredible scenery offered and the ski-in/ski-out concept worth the try. Service is expanded throughout summer to La Malbaie (62-km/38-mi, 105 min), with terminus just in front of the Fairmont Richelieu hôtel-casino complex. Ski racks then transform into bike racks (with a 5$ supplement). I started wiki content yesterday, if you have any infos or pictures to add : http://www.cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php?title=Charlevoix_Light_Rail_Transit Picture © Nicolas Houde, hosted on Railpictures.ca Ski-in/ski-out directy at Grande-Pointe station! Picture from Centre d'expertise sur la construction commerciale en bois.
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