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On 6/27/2018 at 9:38 AM, Shaun said:

Is it a good idea to have fixed train sets? If one car has a problem the entire trainset needs to be taken out of service. 

Not to mention that regardless on demand, you need to run a full trainset, which prevents other cars to be used on busier routes.

But does the benefits of having a fix trainset outweigh the negative aspects of it?

I believe that fixed units are what the modern standard for DMUs and EMUs or BMUs so that they can have all wheel drive so that the units talk to each other and accelerate, etc, simultaneously. If Via chooses a locomotive train set, then it is possible that the set of passenger cars will also be fixed. If there were to ever be a crippling fault in one of the fixed unit cars, that required long term maintenance, they can still remove it from the rest of the cars, just not easily. I am not sure if they would have to replace that car with another one, or if the fixed set could still run minus 1 car, it might just depend on the type of train.

Fixed units, in one form or another, seem to be basically the only option for modern trains, just look at basically any new train orders around the world and you will se fixed units.

-Charlie

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I was thinking more in terms of demand based on specific scheduled trains. 

If all fixed trainsets are the same length, then they all have the same maximum capacity, meaning that even if trains are empty they still need to run a full trainset. If there is more demand than what the trainset can handle, your are SOL. 

Does this disadvantage still out weigh using non fixed trainsets?

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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.

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A fair proportion of the trainsets used on the Corridor today are top-and-tail sets of a locomotive, a club car, 4 coaches and another locomotive - so for all intents and purposes, VIA is already using some fixed-length trainsets today.

 

Another option when required is to couple two trainsets together. And again, VIA already does this to a limited degree today.


Dan

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7 minutes ago, Shaun said:

The trains to Sarnia consist of a locomotive and two Budd cars, and trains that go only as far as London are shorter. 

So for the Sarnia runs, they won't be running full trainsets? Or use rebuild RDC's? 

How can the Sarnia consists be shorter than a locomotive and two coaches?

 

Do you check your posts for clarity before you hit "submit reply"?

 

Dan

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On 6/28/2018 at 1:09 PM, Charlie said:

I believe that fixed units are what the modern standard for DMUs and EMUs or BMUs so that they can have all wheel drive so that the units talk to each other and accelerate, etc, simultaneously. If Via chooses a locomotive train set, then it is possible that the set of passenger cars will also be fixed. If there were to ever be a crippling fault in one of the fixed unit cars, that required long term maintenance, they can still remove it from the rest of the cars, just not easily. I am not sure if they would have to replace that car with another one, or if the fixed set could still run minus 1 car, it might just depend on the type of train.

Fixed units, in one form or another, seem to be basically the only option for modern trains, just look at basically any new train orders around the world and you will se fixed units.

-Charlie

Irish Rail received its 22000 class DMU consists as 3 and 6 cars but have since reformed some of them into 4 and 5 car by swapping around middle cars without (so far as I am aware) sacrificing being able to shut down an engine to save diesel etc.

On 6/28/2018 at 3:08 PM, dbdb said:

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.

If VIA bought cab cars they could run J-trains with 2 locos again without having to wye :) Always thought it was a shame that the LRC locos didn’t get remade into NPCUs with a HEP engine rather than rotting in Moncton 

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On 6/29/2018 at 8:58 AM, Shaun said:

The trains to Sarnia consist of a locomotive and two Budd cars, and trains that go only as far as London are shorter. 

So for the Sarnia runs, they won't be running full trainsets? Or use rebuild RDC's? 

I've taken VIA rail 126 times between Toronto and London this year and I can say that the only train that consists of two Budd Cars is Train 85/88 travelling between Toronto and London via Kitchener. The train to Sarnia arrives from Ottawa as Train 53 in Toronto and departs as Train 87. Also if you want to sit in in the business class car without paying extra for it you can do it on trains 84, 85, 87, and 88 by asking for car 3.

Also, trains 82 and 83 between Toronto and London only carrying commuters is usually 7 cars long which is longer than most other trains on the route. Train 82 continues as train 64 to Montreal after being cleaned in Toronto.

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On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 10:03 PM, Shaun said:

Looks like VIA added additional running time to the Canadian. 

http://www.travelweek.ca/news/here-is-the-new-schedule-for-vias-canadian-train-between-toronto-vancouver/

 

So how many more hours does it now take to travel from Toronto to Vancouver? 

Well this should definentley improve service as you now see the most scenic scenery in day light vs night. Vancouver to Kamloops through the canyon is now day light as well as Jasper to Edmonton.same with the return.Winnipeg to Saskatoon is all day light now too. And it will help with Greyhound's Edmonton operations also as trains will be absent at Greyhound's busiest times.

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On 6/27/2018 at 9:03 PM, Shaun said:

Looks like VIA added additional running time to the Canadian. 

http://www.travelweek.ca/news/here-is-the-new-schedule-for-vias-canadian-train-between-toronto-vancouver/

 

So how many more hours does it now take to travel from Toronto to Vancouver? 

If adding hours on the total trip help VIA 1 and 2 run something even remotely close to on time, then it is a win. 

No one picks VIA for the trip across the country due to speed, but having the train show up on time to the points in between will increase ridership. Just the other day I had car trouble and needed to book tickets on VIA 2, to get me to Kamloops where a rental car was waiting ... the ticket agent on the phone laughed out loud when the topic of what time the train would be there came up. So if VIA employees are laughing to customers about the on-time reliability of Train 1 and 2, we have a pretty big problem.

Thankfully in my case, the train was only 40 mins behind schedule (good enough for me), but VIA 1 was running 9 hours behind, so it hit Kamloops just before we got there, meaning our train had to sit on the siding for an extra 25 mins waiting for Train 1 to take on fuel and clear the station. 

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^ Media article:

Latest on the Churchill situation:

[great picture contained below in the article]
 

Quote
NDP mulls way to speed up Churchill rail fix
May ask court to force Omnitrax to begin repairs immediately
Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton heard from Churchill residents on Tuesday. Locals said they fear their town will disappear without a rail line serving the port.
By: Dylan Robertson 
Posted: 07/4/2018 10:40 PM
 
OTTAWA — Afraid Omnitrax will stall repairs along Churchill’s railway into the fall, the provincial NDP is pondering asking a court to compel Omnitrax to get repairs underway before the winter.
 
Tuesday was the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) deadline for Omnitrax’s subsidiary, the Hudson Bay Railway Company (HBRC), to start repairs along the line, imposed in a ruling last month after the provincial NDP filed a formal complaint.
 
 
But no shovels are in the ground yet, and Omnitrax only had the engineering firm Aecom start its request for proposals last Friday. Meanwhile, Omnitrax is hinting it can’t afford the repairs — despite the regulator saying their obligation to start immediate repairs doesn’t change based on their finances.
 
NDP Leader Wab Kinew said he’s trying to avoid the regulator finding ending up in a lengthy appeal process, because that might delay repairs until next year.
 
"We want to make sure that we do right by the people of Churchill and other communities affected, so we’re thinking carefully about our next step here," Kinew said in a Wednesday interview.
 
In a Tuesday lunchtime statement, Omnitrax claimed its 10 months of talks with Ottawa about transferring the port and railway to local owners had "broken down." It also hinted it might not complete repairs if it can’t sell the line.
 
"We are not in a position to fund the entirety of the repairs to the HBR in the absence of a sale agreement," reads the press release.
 
That contradicts the CTA’s order, which says it’s up to HBRC to either repair the line, find a buyer or enter a formal continuance process, which would have Ottawa try finding a buyer and nationalizing it if no one can be found. "A company that does not avail itself of this option has ongoing obligations," the regulator ruled.
 
On Wednesday, the CTA said it can file its rulings with the Federal Court as well as certain superior courts when they aren’t followed. If they still aren’t followed, that can result in being found in contempt of court. "Agency staff are monitoring the situation to assess compliance with the order," spokeswoman Trinh Phan wrote.
 
Kinew said the NDP will be asking the CTA if it can issue another ruling which clarifies Omnitrax must get repairs underway. The party might also petition the Federal Court for an enforcement order to have Omnitrax get repairs started immediately.
 
Otherwise, the company can seek permission to appeal the ruling next Friday, which could take the Federal Court two months until it actually hears that appeal. That could stall any repairs until next year, because the area usually freezes in November. Kinew said he’d ask the Pallister government to be part of the court action, if it comes to it.
 
"We’re trying to figure out what can we do that’s going to create the best chance to get the rail line fixed this year," he said, adding issues with the transfer talks suggest the need to "push this (CTA) process along."
 
Omnitrax’s repair plan remains unclear, because it is limiting access to its tendering documents — which would reveal the most recent costing, timeframe and damage assessment — to select rail contractors.
 
The area’s MP, Niki Ashton, also visited the town to hear from residents on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she told reporters in Winnipeg Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needed to "show some gumption" and "backbone" by visiting Churchill himself.
 
John Woods / The Canadian Press</div><div data-redactor=
 
John Woods / The Canadian Press: Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton heard from Churchill residents on Tuesday. Locals said they fear their town will disappear without a rail line serving the port.
"We heard: ‘Why is the prime minister spending so much time travelling the world when we here are hurting so badly?’"
 
She said Ottawa’s "empty rhetoric" is causing "unmitigated anger, frustration and deep disappointment," Ashton told reporters at the Via Rail Union Station in downtown Winnipeg. 
 
Separately, Manitoba Sen. Patricia Bovey said the town seemed resilient during her visit this week. "The collective presence of that community is inspiring; the determination in adversity is magnetic," she said.
 
Bovey said the town is focused on its long-term viability, and a Tuesday summit on that topic aboard the coast guard’s Amundsen icebreaker was "utterly fascinating" and "very constructive." She said it touched on climate change, sovereignty, Indigenous rights and Winnipeg businesses that ship to Nunavut.
 
"We’re on the cusp of some very significant changes and opportunities," she said.
 
Yet, Bovey admits town residents are under immense stress and desperately want a solution to the rail disruption. She’s also wondering how officials managed to send up a propane shipment which seems to have fallen short.
 
Last week, town officials said the province’s 2.2-million-litre sealift of propane that arrived last October was almost depleted, and locals would have to ration supplies until another shipment arrives in mid-July. That’s despite a decline in the town’s population and fewer tourists during the northern-lights season.
 
"One can only ask: ‘How on Earth did that happen?’ It was plus 4 © on Monday when we were out on the water. That’s not warm," Bovey said.
 
The provincial government did not explain the shortfall last week, citing the media blackout for the St. Boniface byelection. "I certainly understand an election blackout, and I understand operational budgets and all — but this is an emergency," Bovey said.
 
Ashton had harsher words, saying locals fear their town will disappear.
 
"The people of Churchill have had enough, enough of Omnitrax’s games, enough of feeling they’re being held hostage — and that was a word I kept hearing repeated," she said.
 
The local school lost 50 pupils this year, and reportedly another 20 when Omnitrax laid off port workers in 2016. Ashton said pensioners are now leaving the town, unable to live on fixed incomes with mounting food costs.
 
Transport Minister Marc Garneau acknowledged residents’ frustration.
 
"I can understand them, because we are getting into the active part of the construction season, so we’re very mindful of that," he told the Free Press at an unrelated news conference. "The government is certainly very engaged on it, because of our commitment towards the people of Churchill and of northern Manitoba."

 

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6 hours ago, dowlingm said:

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.

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16 hours ago, cprted said:

If adding hours on the total trip help VIA 1 and 2 run something even remotely close to on time, then it is a win. 

No one picks VIA for the trip across the country due to speed, but having the train show up on time to the points in between will increase ridership. Just the other day I had car trouble and needed to book tickets on VIA 2, to get me to Kamloops where a rental car was waiting ... the ticket agent on the phone laughed out loud when the topic of what time the train would be there came up. So if VIA employees are laughing to customers about the on-time reliability of Train 1 and 2, we have a pretty big problem.

Thankfully in my case, the train was only 40 mins behind schedule (good enough for me), but VIA 1 was running 9 hours behind, so it hit Kamloops just before we got there, meaning our train had to sit on the siding for an extra 25 mins waiting for Train 1 to take on fuel and clear the station.  

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.

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I wonder why the Govt of Canada does not run a Ferry service to Churchill from the closest port that it can to transport not only supplies,people,etc  but whatever else is needed Im sure something temporary could be put in place until the rail line is fixed, Even if only one trip a week would be better than they have now and much better than air service.

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2 hours ago, roeco said:

I wonder why the Govt of Canada does not run a Ferry service to Churchill from the closest port that it can to transport not only supplies,people,etc  but whatever else is needed Im sure something temporary could be put in place until the rail line is fixed, Even if only one trip a week would be better than they have now and much better than air service.

The port is only ice-free for about 3-4 months/year.

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10 hours ago, roeco said:

I wonder why the Govt of Canada does not run a Ferry service to Churchill from the closest port that it can to transport not only supplies,people,etc  but whatever else is needed Im sure something temporary could be put in place until the rail line is fixed, Even if only one trip a week would be better than they have now and much better than air service.

What do you think that they're doing now? There are a fleet of about 4 or 5 boats that shuttle around all of the northern ports.

 

But as noted, the shipping season is not long.

 

Dan

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20 minutes ago, roeco said:

isn't that during prime tourist season? And it sure would help stock piling supplies.

I think traditionally prime tourist season is actually October/November, when the polar bears gather along the shoreline in anticipation of the bay freezing up, so they can venture out and hunt seals.

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With Greyhound pulling out of western Canada, would it help to have the Canadian run once daily in each direction? 

Is there enough equipment to be able to provide that service? 

Could individual provinces contribute towards VIA services in their own province? 

Like the project in Halifax where they are contracting VIA for commuter service? 

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17 hours ago, Shaun said:

With Greyhound pulling out of western Canada, would it help to have the Canadian run once daily in each direction? 

Is there enough equipment to be able to provide that service? 

Could individual provinces contribute towards VIA services in their own province? 

NO. Greyhound cutting a few bus trips using 55 seat coaches isn't going to mean the Canadian needs to be doubled. In Alberta, the Canadian doesn't serve Highway 16 corridor east of Edmonton. Methinks Lloydminster to Edmonton has more demand than Wainwright to Edmonton...

Provinces would be better off subsidizing bus service rather than new or enhanced rail service outside of perhaps some corridors (Edmonton - Calgary). Even that corridor retains PWT's bus service, so using rail as a basic form of transport (3-4 hour journey) in competition with Red Arrow is going to a non-starter. As a faster service than Red Arrow to get people out of their cars would be a different conversation, but this conversation is about replacing 55 passenger and smaller buses with passenger trains.

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