Jump to content

Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, dbdb said:

Unrelated to snow, there was a biggish derailment just west of Saskatoon near Landis, SK -- 40 cars and 2 locos on the ground, CN mainline closed since this morning:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/train-derailment-saskatchewan-landis-1.4839654

#2 (eastbound) is scheduled through there overnight.

It seems like it’s been held in Edmonton currently:

https://reservia.viarail.ca/tsi/GetTrainStatus.aspx?l=en&TsiCCode=VIA&TsiTrainNumber=2-&TrainInstanceDate=2018-09-28

Edit: Seems like it has finally left Edmonton and is on its way towards The East again...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 5 hours late into Saskatoon.  From the ETAs to Winnipeg it looks like they plan to make up most of the lost time before reaching Manitoba.  I'm not sure how realistic.  It left Saskatoon at 10:12, when I just looked estimated arrival in Watrous is 10:40.  That's not possible at track speed.  Watrous to Melville at 12:50 is optimistic.  Only possible if they can run track speed all the way, no stopping, no pulling into sidings, no slow orders.  That said there is an awful lot of slack in the schedule between Wainwright and Rivers making up most of the lost time is possible if Via gets highball signals all the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, dbdb said:

About 5 hours late into Saskatoon.  From the ETAs to Winnipeg it looks like they plan to make up most of the lost time before reaching Manitoba.  I'm not sure how realistic.  It left Saskatoon at 10:12, when I just looked estimated arrival in Watrous is 10:40.  That's not possible at track speed.  Watrous to Melville at 12:50 is optimistic.  Only possible if they can run track speed all the way, no stopping, no pulling into sidings, no slow orders.  That said there is an awful lot of slack in the schedule between Wainwright and Rivers making up most of the lost time is possible if Via gets highball signals all the way.

These timings are used to tell passengers what’s the earliest time a delayed train might reach their departure station. That’s why they apply some kind of “best-case planning” scenario, to ensure that nobody get’s an estimate which turns out too pessimistic. Better arrive at the station on the realization that the ETD of your train has been pushed back further than learning that it has already left without you... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Via dispatchers must use so called "discovery math".  Saskatoon at mile 191.6 - Watrous at mile 129.0 = 62.6 miles.  Divide by maximum possible track speed all the way at 80mph = 0.78 hours or about 47 minutes.  47 minutes is optimistic. More than double the 28 minutes estimated.   It actually reached Watrous at 11:17 or 65 minutes after departure from Saskatoon.

I see now the estimated time to arrive in Winnipeg is midnight, back to 5 hours late with another optimistic estimate with no updated departure estimate.  It reached Melville at 1:31pm and left at 1:57pm.  Arrived in Rivers at 9pm, just over 6 hours given they lose an hour crossing time zones.  Rivers is 136 track miles from Melville for an average speed of 23mph.  At least it's faster than a bicycle, about the speed of a fast horse.  Via should just indicate the Canadian schedule is accurate to within +/- 1,440 minutes (1 day).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think adding more time is really a solution. The Government has the power to make CN treat VIA better. 

 

Hopefully the money that CN spends on infrastructure will make things less painful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Via Canadian problem is a symptom of a bigger CN capacity problem.  How much of CN's current troubles were manufactured during the Hunter Harrison era?  While looking for some articles on double tracking projects this year I found a Western Producer article from 2001 discussing CN ripping out 64km of double track around Jasper built in the 70's to improve capacity to the west coast for grain.  No doubt it would have cut maintenance costs in the short term but was it worth it in the long term where CN is struggling to handle everything, not just grain?  CNs COO wants to see the entire mainline between Winnipeg and Edmonton double tracked but so far it's only relatively short sections and there's no tangible goal.  I have to wonder if CN has any sort of strategic plan to guide long term goals and increased traffic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, dbdb said:

The Via Canadian problem is a symptom of a bigger CN capacity problem.  How much of CN's current troubles were manufactured during the Hunter Harrison era?  While looking for some articles on double tracking projects this year I found a Western Producer article from 2001 discussing CN ripping out 64km of double track around Jasper built in the 70's to improve capacity to the west coast for grain.  No doubt it would have cut maintenance costs in the short term but was it worth it in the long term where CN is struggling to handle everything, not just grain?  CNs COO wants to see the entire mainline between Winnipeg and Edmonton double tracked but so far it's only relatively short sections and there's no tangible goal.  I have to wonder if CN has any sort of strategic plan to guide long term goals and increased traffic.

If I'm not mistaken some parts of the area between Vancouver and Jasper have different subdivisions. 

I know this because on our way to Jasper a train ahead stalled, so we reversed back and then crossed over onto another track into Jasper. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the other issues that sewers VIA is siding length.  Many of the sidings out there simply are too short for the 120+ car trains running these days, but VIA can fit in all of them.  So when the RTC is faced with the choice of holding a 132 car coal train for hours or having VIA take the hole, VIA ends up in the hole every time. 

 

Any regulatory change to force the host railways to keep VIA running on schedule will have to be paired with a significant infrastructure investment to increase double tracking and lengthen sidings.  Honestly I don't really see much political appetite to drop hundreds of millions or more into rail infrastructure outside a few specific projects.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CN is just the worst host railroad.

On Amtrak in 2017, the Canadian National has a F grade, wich means above 1500 minutes of host-responsible delay per 10,000 train miles. The Canadian Pacific is the best host with a grade A (below 600 minutes).

Just read this....

Quote

In 2017, over 200,000 passengers (84%) arrived late at their destinations on the Illini/Saluki service. Amtrak trains were delayed by CN freight trains on nearly 90% of trips on this service, many being made to stop in sidings to wait for CN freight trains, or follow them for many miles at slow speeds. Additionally, Amtrak trains were delayed by an average of 26 minutes on a daily basis due to problems with CN maintained infrastructure.

Read more in the Host Railroad Report Card & FAQhttp://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CY2017-Report-Card-–-FAQ-–-Route-Details.pdf

---

On a side note, do VIA Rail have a host railroad report?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, cprted said:

One of the other issues that sewers VIA is siding length.  Many of the sidings out there simply are too short for the 120+ car trains running these days, but VIA can fit in all of them.  So when the RTC is faced with the choice of holding a 132 car coal train for hours or having VIA take the hole, VIA ends up in the hole every time. 

 

Any regulatory change to force the host railways to keep VIA running on schedule will have to be paired with a significant infrastructure investment to increase double tracking and lengthen sidings.  Honestly I don't really see much political appetite to drop hundreds of millions or more into rail infrastructure outside a few specific projects.

How about through the Praries? Is it mostly double tracked?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Shaun said:

How about through the Praries? Is it mostly double tracked?

Not through Alberta. There are good portions west of Edmonton that are double tracked, but east of Edmonton is mostly single tracked with lots of sidings. I would suggest taking a look at a Trackside Guide. That would answer your question about double track segments. 

Of course, they are double tracking segments west of Edmonton. I'm not aware of any double tracking in Alberta east of Edmonton, but then there is the Prairie North line which takes some load off of mainline. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Across Manitoba, there is about 66 miles of double track between the east side of Winnipeg and the west side of Portage La Prairie. However about five miles east of Portage, there's a single-tracked bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/30/2018 at 1:59 AM, M. Parsons said:

Of course, they are double tracking segments west of Edmonton. I'm not aware of any double tracking in Alberta east of Edmonton, but then there is the Prairie North line which takes some load off of mainline. 

For the past year and a half, CN has been undergoing a very aggressive program of doubling portions of the mainline from Edmonton to Winnipeg. Their ultimate goal is to have the whole of the line doubled, although that will take some time to accomplish. In the meantime, They're adding something like 60 miles of double-track between Edmonton and Winnipeg this year and early next.

 

Dan

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2018 at 3:15 PM, cprted said:

One of the other issues that sewers VIA is siding length.  Many of the sidings out there simply are too short for the 120+ car trains running these days, but VIA can fit in all of them. 

I thought when Canadian went three-weekly it got too long for a few of the sidings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dowlingm said:

I thought when Canadian went three-weekly it got too long for a few of the sidings?

The Canadian has been 3/7 since the early 70s.  Even when the Canadian is at it's longest, it is still 1/3 the length of most freight trains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cprted said:

The Canadian has been 3/7 since the early 70s.  Even when the Canadian is at it's longest, it is still 1/3 the length of most freight trains.

3/week since Jan. 1990. In the early '70s there was a daily Canadian on CP and a daily Super Continental on CN

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to rail work by the CN, the Canadian will run only twice weekly between Edmonton and Toronto, starting on the 29 of April 2019. The schedule will be available from October 3.

Edit: there will still be normal 3 week service between Edmonton and Vancouver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, FelixINX said:

Due to rail work by the CN, the Canadian will run only twice weekly between Edmonton and Toronto, starting on the 29 of April 2019. The schedule will be available from October 3.

That's not what VIA's site says. The plans are that there will continue to be twice-weekly service between Vancouver and Toronto, with a third departure that will travel only between Vancouver and Edmonton.


Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, smallspy said:

That's not what VIA's site says. The plans are that there will continue to be twice-weekly service between Vancouver and Toronto, with a third departure that will travel only between Vancouver and Edmonton.


Dan

What is the difference?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FelixINX said:

What is the difference?

Maybe it wasn't the intent, but your post seemed to intimate that the Canadian would only run between Edmonton and Toronto. It isn't - it's running all of the way to Vancouver.


Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, smallspy said:

Maybe it wasn't the intent, but your post seemed to intimate that the Canadian would only run between Edmonton and Toronto. It isn't - it's running all of the way to Vancouver.


Dan

I see, sorry about this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×