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The car has been at NRC's Ottawa facility for the past several months, and was delivered there by rail. Now that construction has started in earnest on the Trillium Line upgrades, the line has been em

And now for the official word:   https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/media-room/latest-news/50168/12-december-2018-via-rail-selects-siemens-canada-to https://www.viarail.ca/en/abou

I unfortunately don't know what was written here, but just to highlight that the 1990 cuts were imposed by the federal government, here their budget speech of 1989 announcing that the government would

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On 8/19/2018 at 9:22 AM, Shaun said:

I think if each town along the line is willing to pitch in and then have the province match it, that would be a good start. 

What are the track conditions like? And would stopping at stations block the main line?

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes from the discussions at the UBCM.  As much as I'd love to see a North Van-PG passenger service reinstated, I really think it is just a pipe dream. 

 

The track is in good condition as it is maintained by CN as a secondary mainline. Stations stops do block the main, as they have on this single track mainline since it was constructed. These days, CN is usually only running 2-4 trains/day. 

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20 hours ago, Shaun said:

Would it be possible or necessary to build passing siding at stations? 

I wonder how flexible CN would be to have VIA run trains on its tracks.   

 

I see no reason additional sidings would have to be built to accommodate reinstated passenger service.  Rocky currently uses the former BC Rail station in Whistler and it doesn't have a siding, nor has it ever. Rocky also uses the Quesnel Station, and while Quesnel does have a yard, the station and platform are on the main track, not a siding. 

If there was political will to reinstate North Van-PG passenger service, I'm sure CN would play along in exchange for similar trackage fees that VIA pays for the Canadian and Skeena, which both run on CN lines in BC.

Operationally, one of the biggest impediments would likely be where the train originates from. The North Vancouver passenger station and steam shop was demolished a few years ago and there are condos being built on the site.  A VIA Cariboo Prospector service could come out of Vancouver's Pacific Central Station (which VIA already owns) but it would add almost an hour to the travel time and would require some type of equipment capable of bi-directional running.

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17 hours ago, cprted said:

A VIA Cariboo Prospector service could come out of Vancouver's Pacific Central Station (which VIA already owns) but it would add almost an hour to the travel time and would require some type of equipment capable of bi-directional running.

If the Pacific Central Station is where people want to go, I don't see an issue with making it the terminus. Nothing says that they can't have a station in the north end of town as well.

 

As for bi-directional equipment - why? There's a wye by the VIA station that is used to turn the Canadian.

 

Dan

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I just don't get how there is money to run a train, if there is not money to run a bus when there is a parallel road route and demand is bus sized and the journey by road is hours faster. At some point that's just throwing public money down a well, not to mention that the service is more likely to run only a few days a week like White River. I would rather see BC spend its cash reinforcing the rail network in the Vancouver area where enough people live to fill trains to even a 50:50 subsidy level. If down the road, West Coast Express started operations between Vancouver and Whistler or Squamish, then by all means create a transfer like the recent GO Transit-Ontario Northland announcement.

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5 hours ago, smallspy said:

If the Pacific Central Station is where people want to go, I don't see an issue with making it the terminus. Nothing says that they can't have a station in the north end of town as well.

 

As for bi-directional equipment - why? There's a wye by the VIA station that is used to turn the Canadian.

 

Dan

It's about the access from Pacific Central to the North Shore of Vancouver, not turning the train in Vancouver that becomes the issue. Coming out of Vancouver, the line to North Van is a trailing switch at Willingdon Junction. Thus if you're not able to stop and reverse direction at the junction to head through the Thorton Tunnel, you either need to back the train 7.5km from Pacific Central to Willingdon Junction, or run 15km from Pac Central to the junction in New West and turn at the wye there, both of which would be less than ideal.

To illustrate, this train is WB on the BNSF/CN Main at Willingdon Junction where it takes the diverging route into the tunnel. Had it kept on ahead, it would end up in Vancouver.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 8:11 AM, smallspy said:

If the Pacific Central Station is where people want to go, I don't see an issue with making it the terminus. Nothing says that they can't have a station in the north end of town as well.

 

As for bi-directional equipment - why? There's a wye by the VIA station that is used to turn the Canadian.

 

Dan

As cool as  it would be for a downtown terminus like that it would be totally impractical; complex move & crazy time consuming even if they didn't stop. But id love the ride! I strongly suspect it this were to ever be able to happen it is now (figuratively). The provincial government is very service oriented, the highway is junk, bus service is leaving... The province still owns the right via BC Rail to a lot of property in the Lonsdale area, a quick 12 minute SeaBus ride to downtown. 

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Speaking of VIA operations in Vancouver, has there been a upswing in commuters using the eastbound Canadian between Vancouver and Mission Harbour since the new schedule was introduced? Judging by the schedule comparison between it and the West Coast Express, it would look appealing to commuters on Tuesday and Friday.

 

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44 minutes ago, Viafreak said:

Speaking of VIA operations in Vancouver, has there been a upswing in commuters using the eastbound Canadian between Vancouver and Mission Harbour since the new schedule was introduced? Judging by the schedule comparison between it and the West Coast Express, it would look appealing to commuters on Tuesday and Friday.

 

No idea for actual numbers but I don’t think many people commuting for work would find a noon departure from Vancouver to be super useful.  As well, the VIA fare from Vancouver to Mission is $37 and the fare on the WCE is under $10.

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20 hours ago, cprted said:

No idea for actual numbers but I don’t think many people commuting for work would find a noon departure from Vancouver to be super useful.  As well, the VIA fare from Vancouver to Mission is $37 and the fare on the WCE is under $10. 

VIA does offer commuter discounts ― but only for some Corridor stops, which are served by reliable trains.

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Interesting that the fare between Vancouver and Mission on VIA is $37 dollars. The only other city pair that its comparable to on the Canadian route is Winnipeg and Portage where two trains serve. There its 31.50 in Economy on the Canadian and 30.45 in Economy on the Winnipeg-Gilliam. If you go for the Economy - Escape its $21 on the Canadian and $23.10 on the Winnipeg-Gilliam. Though with the current schedule, it's impossible to have a round-trip to Portage on VIA alone. 

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Someone posted this on Facebook:

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Winnipeg media outlets are reporting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to make some kind of announcement in Winnipeg during September as for funding for the Hudson Bay Railway.  Apparently the government is going to back a bid by Fairfax Financial out of Toronto, according to the Winnipeg Free Press, to purchase the line from OmniTRAX.  Word is some preliminary repairs are going on along the Churchill line to comply with a mandated Canadian Transportation Agency ruling.

Update. I think the article being referenced is this one. Text copied below.

 
Quote

 

Federal money for consortium takeover of Churchill port, rail waiting for Omnitrax to sign deal

 

By: Dylan Robertson
Posted: 08/22/2018 5:51 PM   
 
OTTAWA — The federal government has approved a financial package for the northern Manitoba consortium angling to take over Churchill’s railway and port, suggesting a deal could be imminent ahead of a planned visit to Winnipeg from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next month.
 
The federal Treasury Board has approved funds for the consortium, sources tell the Free Press, making that money ready for Ottawa to transfer, once Denver-based Omnitrax signs a takeover deal.
 
Officials would not say how much money is involved, nor how long it’s intended to last. The cash would likely be related to repairs along the line and initial funding needed to start soliciting business.
 
Any longer-term funding arrangement would likely need parliamentary approval, such as in next spring’s budget.
 
A May 2017 flood washed out sections of the track between Gillam and Churchill, severing the lone year-round land link to the town on Hudson Bay.
 
Since last September, Ottawa has been brokering talks between Omnitrax and a consortium of northern Manitoba groups, to have the port and railway transferred with the help of Toronto financier Fairfax Financial.
 
Those talks have been in a holding pattern for weeks, with most issues ironed out. Previously, sources claimed negotiations had hinged on Omnitrax’s reluctance to guarantee any unforeseen liabilities — if mould was found at the port after its sale, for example.
 
Officials familiar with the talks claimed that Omnitrax has been more helpful in recent weeks, from facilitating site visits to pushing interim deals forward, though some suggested it's the result of the company securing financial concessions from Ottawa.
 
Omnitrax declined to comment Wednesday.
 
The federal government is hoping to have a final deal announced before the end of the month, and have repairs underway by early September — narrowly allowing for the 60 days required to do repairs on the line that would enable light passenger-train travel before the winter freeze.
 
Trudeau is set to visit Winnipeg next month, sources say, with a tentative date set for Sept. 11. High-ranking officials are under pressure to get repairs visibly underway before that date.
 
Ottawa plans to have Fairfax’s grain associate, AGT Foods, use some of the equipment from its railways in Saskatchewan to repair the line.
 
In any case, a federal tribunal is homing in on its demand that Omnitrax repair its railway, issuing a Tuesday order to prove that work is underway.
 
The Canadian Transportation Agency sent Omnitrax’s Hudson Bay Railway subsidiary a "show-cause direction," following up on its June order to start repairs along the line by July 3 or formally abandon the railway, noting the "limited construction season" before this winter.
 
Omnitrax had instead put forward a tendering process to solicit bids to fix the railway, which it claimed meets the regulator’s demands, though it said the repairs would only proceed "assuming funding is available" from government or investors.
 
The CTA wrote Tuesday that "HBR’s contention that a tendering process constitutes compliance… is questionable, particularly in the absence of a concrete plan" to repair the railway. It doubled down on its finding that Omnitrax ought to formally walk away from the railway if it can’t afford to fix it, and can’t hold it without doing so.
 
The order gives Omnitrax until next Monday to demonstrate why the CTA shouldn’t rule it's in violation, putting the onus on the company to prove why the tribunal shouldn’t set specific deadlines for parts of the repair.
 
dylan.robertson@freepress.mb.ca
 
 
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While I don’t want to understate the issues involved in a central Vancouver terminus for a Whistler-direction service, surely a Pacific Central terminus would have some operational benefits if the equipment would need to visit VMC anyway, not to mention make a more convenient connection for those arriving from/departing on Cascades. The question would then be how cheaply a station stop somewhere in North Van could be accomplished so as not to forgo that market, similar to Sauvé in Montreal.

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Churchill update courtesy of David Maiers: 
 
Cando Contracting of Brandon, Manitoba has received part of the contract to repair the Hudson Bay Railway line to Churchill.  This caboose is part of the equipment that has been sent north, it will be used for work crew transportation.
 
Cando Contracting of Brandon, Manitoba has sent some work equipment north to assist in the repairs of the Hudson Bay Railway to Churchill.  It would appear that the line sale and imminent return to service is a go.  A small number of rickety gondolas went up on an oil train yesterday and this caboose, which would be used to transport workers, went through tonight.
 
There might be more going on than just the Hudson Bay line sale.  There is word that a contract might be handed out by the federal government worth $84 million to provide fiber optic cable service to Churchill and the north.  One would assume this would be put down along the HBR line if this is true.
 
 
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28 minutes ago, Viafreak said:

Too bad the same good news for Churchill can't be said for the Gaspe train and the Vancouver Island services. Those services are still suspended last I heard. The question keeps coming up in VIA's Annual Public Meeting as to when those services will come back.

One of them is closer to a comeback. A contrario from Southern Island Railway, Chemin de fer de la Gaspésie is alive, with operations currently underway on 39% of its length and repairs on 22% of its length. Complete reopening is planned and budgeted, but not yet announced.

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On 9/2/2018 at 8:19 PM, Allandale25 said:
Churchill update courtesy of David Maiers: 
 
 
 

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.

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15 hours ago, littlewill1166 said:

Does anyone have pics of a renovated HEP2, I think i saw a video promoting musicians on VIA that showed the seat fabrics being replaced with green ones but I'm not sure. Also, I've noticed that Toronto to Windsor is mainly LRCs now. 

Last Friday train 70 was stainless steel cars and not LRC.  the stainless steel cars are still being used on the Toronto-Windsor and Windsor-Toronto routes still. this route was always a mix of Stainless steel and LRC.

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3 hours ago, Girardin71 said:

Last Friday train 70 was stainless steel cars and not LRC.  the stainless steel cars are still being used on the Toronto-Windsor and Windsor-Toronto routes still. this route was always a mix of Stainless steel and LRC.

Yeah but 75/70 is stainless steel only on Thursdays and Fridays. The conversion of 73/78 to LRC cut the use of stainless steel more than in half since 73/78 used HEP2s daily except for Saturdays.

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