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15 hours ago, Shaun said:

If the Ren Sets are so unreliable, and we have spare sleepers in storage, why not run Budd equipment over Rens?

Because (without any intention of going into more details) my job would be a lot easier if Chateaus were indeed as “plentiful” as @smallspy seems to believe...

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20 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Because (without any intention of going into more details) my job would be a lot easier if Chateaus were indeed as “plentiful” as @smallspy seems to believe...

By my count, there should be 21 Chateau sleepers available for service - unless some proportion of them have been kept in somewhat less than a serviceable state in the intervening 16 years since the arrival of the Renaissance Equipment.

 

This is as opposed to the 39 or so Manor sleepers that should be available for service. And yes, I fully realize that the Manors are for all intents and purposes fully allocated to use on The Canadian, so we won't worry about those.

 

Which then raises the question - considering that the fleet hasn't drastically changed since the launch of the Renaissance equipment (save for the 8 Chateaus that were converted to Prestige Class), why is there now a shortage of equipment when there wasn't then? Again, keeping in mind that there is no longer a need for equipment for either The Enterprise (call it 4 sleepers) and The Chaleur (another 4 or so).

 

Dan

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1 hour ago, smallspy said:

By my count, there should be 21 Chateau sleepers available for service - unless some proportion of them have been kept in somewhat less than a serviceable state in the intervening 16 years since the arrival of the Renaissance Equipment.

 

This is as opposed to the 39 or so Manor sleepers that should be available for service. And yes, I fully realize that the Manors are for all intents and purposes fully allocated to use on The Canadian, so we won't worry about those.

 

Which then raises the question - considering that the fleet hasn't drastically changed since the launch of the Renaissance equipment (save for the 8 Chateaus that were converted to Prestige Class), why is there now a shortage of equipment when there wasn't then? Again, keeping in mind that there is no longer a need for equipment for either The Enterprise (call it 4 sleepers) and The Chaleur (another 4 or so).

 

Dan

There are six main factors which affect how plenty or scarce a certain car type (in this case: sleepers) are:

1. How many consists requiring sleepers are operated.

2. How many cars are required per consist.

3. How many cars are planned to be guard cars, which can be used to swap out defect cars.

4. How many cars are reserved for planned maintenance.

5. How many cars are temporarily unavailable due to defects or Undergoing projects.

6. How many cars are unavailable for a longer period (or permanently) due to wrecks.

Any change in the six factors above will change how many cars are available to increase the capacity currently offered...

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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

There are six main factors which affect how plenty or scarce a certain car type (in this case: sleepers) are:

1. How many consists requiring sleepers are operated.

2. How many cars are required per consist.

3. How many cars are planned to be guard cars, which can be used to swap out defect cars.

4. How many cars are reserved for planned maintenance.

5. How many cars are temporarily unavailable due to defects or Undergoing projects.

6. How many cars are unavailable for a longer period (or permanently) due to wrecks.

Any change in the six factors above will change how many cars are available to increase the capacity currently offered...

Assuming that there are no damaged units in storage, they could be fixed up and put into service? Some of the HEPII cars that are currently being rebuilt could be allocated as coach (33).  But then you are missing skyline cars, but I guess we could do without. 

What about dining cars?

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5 hours ago, smallspy said:

This is as opposed to the 39 or so Manor sleepers that should be available for service. And yes, I fully realize that the Manors are for all intents and purposes fully allocated to use on The Canadian, so we won't worry about those.

There is 40 Manor sleepers in service for VIA. The most that I have seen on a Canadian trainset would be 8. If that is the case, there would be at least six spare Manors depending on the requirements of trains 3 and 4 which operate April to October between Edmonton and Vancouver.

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On 12/28/2019 at 12:34 PM, Urban Sky said:

There are six main factors which affect how plenty or scarce a certain car type (in this case: sleepers) are:

1. How many consists requiring sleepers are operated.

2. How many cars are required per consist.

3. How many cars are planned to be guard cars, which can be used to swap out defect cars.

4. How many cars are reserved for planned maintenance.

5. How many cars are temporarily unavailable due to defects or Undergoing projects.

6. How many cars are unavailable for a longer period (or permanently) due to wrecks.

Any change in the six factors above will change how many cars are available to increase the capacity currently offered...

While I appreciate the listing, I'm quite aware of the steps and processes involved.

 

 And which still doesn't answer my question - what has changed since 2003, when there was enough equipment (even if it was only barely) to today, when you are saying that there isn't?


Dan

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4 hours ago, smallspy said:

While I appreciate the listing, I'm quite aware of the steps and processes involved.

 

 And which still doesn't answer my question - what has changed since 2003, when there was enough equipment (even if it was only barely) to today, when you are saying that there isn't?


Dan

#1

The Canadian ran on a schedule between 1990 and 2008 which allowed to only operate with 3 cycles (e.g. leave TRTO TuThSa morning, arrive VCVR FrSuTu, depart VCVR same day, arrive TRTO MoWeFr afternoon and depart TRTO again the next morning).

 

#2

I have no idea how many Sleepers were operated on a peak consist back in 2003, but last time I took the Canadian (end of April this year), it had 8 Manors and 1 Chateau for crews and I believe we operated with 9 (sometimes even 10) Manors throughout the summer.

 

#3-#6

The HEP fleet has aged by another 16 years since 2003, which naturally constrains the availability of each individual car type...

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In the CEO's report, I believe that the LRC's have less than ten years left after rebuild. Does that mean they could be repurposed to run in other corridors? 

Since there is no tender for conventional fleet replacement as of now, we are at least 5 years out before new trains can be delivered.  

The Rens are to be retired in 2021, so unless the Ocean is going to be cancelled I don't see how this is going to work. 

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19 hours ago, Shaun said:

Does anyone know how this collision occoured in September?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/via-rail-train-collides-empty-rail-car-1.5273017

Or what locomotive was damaged?

September 5, train 519 derailed as it was taking the siding at Ernestown with one car coming to rest fouling the main line. Train 48, with a P42 leading, which was running 20 minutes behind had an allision with the derailed car that damaged the entire right side of train 48. Passengers transferred to train 650, which was running behind 48. Train 650, which normally terminates at Kingston carried on to Ottawa that night. Was listening to it on the scanner.

2 hours ago, Shaun said:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/via-passenger-train-derailment-gladstone-manitoba-1.5411509

VIA train to Chirchill derailed travelling at 100kmph. Only 7 passengers on board. 

It was train 692 to Winnipeg

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3 hours ago, D40LF said:

September 5, train 519 derailed as it was taking the siding at Ernestown with one car coming to rest fouling the main line. Train 48, with a P42 leading, which was running 20 minutes behind had an allision with the derailed car that damaged the entire right side of train 48. Passengers transferred to train 650, which was running behind 48. Train 650, which normally terminates at Kingston carried on to Ottawa that night. Was listening to it on the scanner.

It was train 692 to Winnipeg

How significant was the damage to the rest of train 48? Are the cars damaged back in service?

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On 12/30/2019 at 12:35 PM, Urban Sky said:

#1

The Canadian ran on a schedule between 1990 and 2008 which allowed to only operate with 3 cycles (e.g. leave TRTO TuThSa morning, arrive VCVR FrSuTu, depart VCVR same day, arrive TRTO MoWeFr afternoon and depart TRTO again the next morning).

 

#2

I have no idea how many Sleepers were operated on a peak consist back in 2003, but last time I took the Canadian (end of April this year), it had 8 Manors and 1 Chateau for crews and I believe we operated with 9 (sometimes even 10) Manors throughout the summer.

 

#3-#6

The HEP fleet has aged by another 16 years since 2003, which naturally constrains the availability of each individual car type...

So I've been mulling this around the old noggin for the past couple of days, and unfortunately it still doesn't quite sit right at my end.

 

And here's why.

 

The sleeper fleet, unlike the coach or loco fleet, has historically run with a much greater "swing" in terms of fleet usage from low periods to high periods. That means that at low periods a very substantial portion of the fleet - as high as 50% - sits idle which allows for servicing, maintenance and any upgrades required. And also, in theory, allows for those cars to be ready for when they are needed in the peak periods. And this is how the railroads have operated since the 1950s if not earlier.

 

Now considering your points #3 through #6 - is this no longer the case? Is the fleet being used to such a great degree for much of the year nowadays that they have to now assume the fleet requirements in the same way as the Corridor fleet, which is operated basically all day, every day?

 

Dan

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On 1/3/2020 at 9:08 AM, smallspy said:

So I've been mulling this around the old noggin for the past couple of days, and unfortunately it still doesn't quite sit right at my end.

 

And here's why.

 

The sleeper fleet, unlike the coach or loco fleet, has historically run with a much greater "swing" in terms of fleet usage from low periods to high periods. That means that at low periods a very substantial portion of the fleet - as high as 50% - sits idle which allows for servicing, maintenance and any upgrades required. And also, in theory, allows for those cars to be ready for when they are needed in the peak periods. And this is how the railroads have operated since the 1950s if not earlier.

Which is why I said that the HEP fleet can of course replace the Renaissance fleet on the Ocean, but the question remains what capacity will be available during the summer and Christmas peaks.

Quote

Now considering your points #3 through #6 - is this no longer the case? Is the fleet being used to such a great degree for much of the year nowadays that they have to now assume the fleet requirements in the same way as the Corridor fleet, which is operated basically all day, every day?

 

Dan

You can always schedule inspections and light refurbishments during off-peak periods (that's why it is called "planned maintenance"), but the older a fleet gets, the more equipment failures (requiring "unplanned maintenance") you experience and the longer it takes to repair them (because, for instance, spare parts are increasingly difficult to procure)...

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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Which is why I said that the HEP fleet can of course replace the Renaissance fleet on the Ocean, but the question remains what capacity will be available during the summer and Christmas peaks.

You can always schedule inspections and light refurbishments during off-peak periods (that's why it is called "planned maintenance"), but the older a fleet gets, the more equipment failures (requiring "unplanned maintenance") you experience and the longer it takes to repair them (because, for instance, spare parts are increasingly difficult to procure)...

So would we not need a plan to refurbish or fix up the cars in storage now? 2022 is only two years away.

 

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9 hours ago, Allandale25 said:

 

Quote

To find that out I had to file an ATIA request.

It really irks me that a publically-run company like VIA Rail doesn't have these figures available without having to go through the painful process of (and paying) filing an ATIA request. Excellent set of tweets, although there are some painfully glaring errors. The biggest of which I noticed when opening the first map: The user claims that Niagara Falls sees only seasonal service - that's not true at all. Niagara Falls is served once daily in each direction by an Amtrak train operated by VIA Rail staff. Considering how jammed that train was this summer when I used the service, it could certainly use some expansion, but it's far from "seasonal."

The current schedule lists it as operating on 1234567 and departing Toronto at 08:20 and returning at 19:41 daily.

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What strikes me the most is the overall +35% increase for the 3 Québec stations (Palais, Sainte-Foy, Charny), with 66,840 new boardings vs 2008, whilst the figures do not transpose onto the 3 Montréal stations (+47,496) nor intermediate stations (+1,890). That means there has been a sharp increase in eastward Océan boardings with service in Sainte-Foy rather than Charny, and/or a very high popularity of the Québec/Ottawa train.

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On 1/4/2020 at 6:03 PM, Shaun said:

So would we not need a plan to refurbish or fix up the cars in storage now? 2022 is only two years away.

 

I can assure you that the looming departure of the Renaissance fleet has not gone unnoticed at VIA HQ, but even refurbishing or fixing cars in the existing fleet require capital funding, which has to be allocated by the federal government and politicians, which might question the value-for-money when investing millions into 65 years old cars (recall that in 2018, CAD received $46 million - or $1.84 million per coach - to refurbish 25 HEP cars)...

 

On 1/7/2020 at 11:24 PM, InfiNorth said:

It really irks me that a publically-run company like VIA Rail doesn't have these figures available without having to go through the painful process of (and paying) filing an ATIA request. Excellent set of tweets, although there are some painfully glaring errors. The biggest of which I noticed when opening the first map: The user claims that Niagara Falls sees only seasonal service - that's not true at all. Niagara Falls is served once daily in each direction by an Amtrak train operated by VIA Rail staff. Considering how jammed that train was this summer when I used the service, it could certainly use some expansion, but it's far from "seasonal."

The current schedule lists it as operating on 1234567 and departing Toronto at 08:20 and returning at 19:41 daily.

First of all, it might actually be in the interest of the taxpayer if detailed data is kept outside the public domain, as revealing the profitability of individual markets could invite private operators to poach on the most attractive markets while avoiding costly ventures into the less attractive markets, which would increase the deficit of a publicly-owned railroad and reduce its ability to increase its service.

Second, I believe that the information published by VIA in its Annual Reports is already rather detailed and has allowed me to prepare dozens of tables to demonstrate a large variety of points in discussions like the one we are having here at the moment:

image.thumb.png.1040da7f3be08c601a270f1b9d75cebc.pngimage.thumb.png.de5b02f133b9e79312172de2372355ec.png

Compare this with, for instance, the Ontario Northland Transport Commission (ONTC), where I had to work myself through 5 different PDF timetables and dissect them into individual routes (which often overlapped across timetable files), just to calculate ONTC's total annual mileage, in order to calculate their relative (i.e. per train/bus-km) costs and revenues, because they don't seem to publish any operational stats.

Finally, I'm not exactly sure why filling out a single-paged form and enclosing $5 as a cheque would represent such a high burden towards obtaining any information which might be of interest to any Canadian.

That said, no question that the Maple Leaf is indeed far from just a seasonal service...

 

On 1/8/2020 at 11:49 AM, webfil said:

What strikes me the most is the overall +35% increase for the 3 Québec stations (Palais, Sainte-Foy, Charny), with 66,840 new boardings vs 2008, whilst the figures do not transpose onto the 3 Montréal stations (+47,496) nor intermediate stations (+1,890). That means there has been a sharp increase in eastward Océan boardings with service in Sainte-Foy rather than Charny, and/or a very high popularity of the Québec/Ottawa train.

VIA Rail only introduced its first Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa (QMO) trains in December 2012 (with trains 28 and 33) and merged the remaining connections between its Quebec-Montreal and Montreal-Ottawa trains in June 2016. Before that, a passenger traveling from QBEC to OTTW would have been counted as a passenger boarding in QBEC as well as in MTRL. Therefore, the introduction of QMO trains would have reduced the number of passengers shown as boarding in Montreal (and thus also the overall passenger count), even if all travel patterns and passenger flows had remained completely unchanged... 

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1 hour ago, Urban Sky said:

 

Excellent response, I especially appreciated your comparison with the ONTC "reports." I still stand by my point that having a pricetag, no matter how small, seems a bit silly when the information already exists and in most places where trains are operated publicly (or somewhat so, as in the UK), the data is accessible easily. The point wasn't that it was too expensive - it's simply that I don't believe it's acceptable to call information available the public and then charge a fee to see it. Just an opinion there, and your side of it is entirely valid. Cheers! 

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/637053120098571/permalink/818466248623923/

 

Quote
MEET VIA RAIL's New Fleet (Updated)
This had been in CRO VIA NEWS early last year (as a pdf) but it since been modified improved and uploaded for the Canadian public to see by VIA with the video.

 

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On 1/9/2020 at 11:28 PM, InfiNorth said:

Excellent response, I especially appreciated your comparison with the ONTC "reports." I still stand by my point that having a pricetag, no matter how small, seems a bit silly when the information already exists and in most places where trains are operated publicly (or somewhat so, as in the UK), the data is accessible easily. The point wasn't that it was too expensive - it's simply that I don't believe it's acceptable to call information available the public and then charge a fee to see it. Just an opinion there, and your side of it is entirely valid. Cheers! 

As someone who has witnessed how ATIA (Access to Information Act) requests are handled, I can tell you that this is a labor-intensive process which involves people from multiple departments: someone from Communications to write the response, someone from a relevant department who can research and provide the correct answers and someone from Legal to determine the appropriate balance between an individual's right to access information and a corporations right (or in some cases even: obligation) to keep certain information classified, for competitive or legal reasons. If we make the highly optimistic assumptions that a single ATIA requests involves only 3 different employees (one from Communications, one from Legal and one from an appropriate department to provide the requested information) and VIA's labor costs at $50.56 per hour*, then why should a Crown Corporation (and by extension: the taxpayer) dedicate paid work time worth $150 into answering a request, if the individual requesting that information doesn't even value it at $5 (i.e. 3% of the labor cost of providing that information)? Also, I would like you to provide some links to information which other publicly-owned railroads publish and which you believe should also be published by VIA...

 

*VIA Rail's Annual Report 2018 indicates "Compensation and employee benefits" of $324.3 million (p.66) and a number of 3,207 "full time equivalent employees" (p.8), which results assuming a 40-hour week and 50 work weeks (52 weeks minus 2 weeks of vacation) per year in an hourly cost of $324.3 million / 3,207 FTE / 2,000 hours = $50.56 per hour. 

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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

 

I definitely value their time more than the five dollars. I would never claim that it's not worth more. I'm sorry that we hit it off on the wrong note, we simply differ in opinions. Please don't construe that I am some hater of VIA Rail employees or something. I appreciate the work you do, trust me on that.

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5 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

I definitely value their time more than the five dollars. I would never claim that it's not worth more. I'm sorry that we hit it off on the wrong note, we simply differ in opinions. Please don't construe that I am some hater of VIA Rail employees or something. I appreciate the work you do, trust me on that.

Absolutely no offense taken, InfiNorth, and I believe that I'm the one that came across wrong, as I was really only arguing that a nominal fee is needed to ensure that the ATIA process isn't abused for useless requests, but that it of course should not price out any Canadian to exercise his legitimate rights granted under the ATIA (and I believe that a $5 fee achieves both). That said, I would really be interested in what information is shared in other countries (or at other Canadian passenger railroads, not that there are that many), so please feel free to post any links to such data sources... :)

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