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1 hour ago, Urban Sky said:

Maybe there is a reason why they are called “mandatory services”...?

The Canadian is not?

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11 hours ago, Shaun said:

The Canadian is not?

It’s covered by the 1867 Confederation agreement, in which the federal government accepted the responsibility to ensure that a transcontinental passenger rail service is maintained...

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17 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

It’s covered by the 1867 Confederation agreement, in which the federal government accepted the responsibility to ensure that a transcontinental passenger rail service is maintained...

This case is specifically for the E&N, however, that "agreement" wouldn't be likely to survive in modern Court if it hasn't already been removed? https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1132/index.do

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On 3/13/2020 at 8:09 PM, John Oke said:

The Canadian and The Ocean have been canceled until March 27th. This is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

https://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-advisory-information

Further to this....

 

VIA is also curtailing a lot of service elsewhere on their system. That same link above now shows a number of corridor trains that have also been canceled or modified.

 

 https://media.viarail.ca/en/news/2020/latest-rail-update-response-covid-19

 

Dan

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On 3/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, Shaun said:

The Canadian is not?

I thought the segment of The Canadian between Sioux Lookout and Winnipeg was a "remote service" for an area with little or no road access, and therefore needed to run. (I guess not...)

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Just curious if there's an explanation of why Corridor services have been exceptionally late (compared to their usual lateness) over the last couple of days?

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11 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Just curious if there's an explanation of why Corridor services have been exceptionally late (compared to their usual lateness) over the last couple of days?

 I can't speak to any other days, but there was a tresspasser that was struck near Marysville that delayed a number of trains yesterday.

 

Dan

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19 hours ago, DavidW said:

I thought the segment of The Canadian between Sioux Lookout and Winnipeg was a "remote service" for an area with little or no road access, and therefore needed to run. (I guess not...)

If I recall correctly, the segments between Capreol and Gogama and Between Gogama and Elma are both considered remote by Transport Canada, but I have yet to see an official document which confirms this.

Also, I have been reminded in the meanwhile that BC only joined Canada a few tears after the 1867 Confederation agreement and that it therefore only covered the construction of a railroad towards the Atlantic provinces, while the construction of the transcontinental railway was covered in a later agreement. Furthermore, none of these agreements seem to cover the obligation to maintain passenger service (as already pointed out here, in reference to the Supreme Court ruling that there is no obligation to fund VIA services between Victoria and Courtenay).

Nevertheless, I’m of the impression as successive federal governments have consistently acted as if such obligation existed, with transcontinental service never cut back below twice-weekly full-scale sleeper service, linking the Atlantic (Halifax) and the Pacific (Vancouver) with the Corridor without any transfers and with providing funding for the Confederation bridge to PEI and the Trans-Canada Highway in NL as compensation for terminating passenger services to and within these provinces...

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12 minutes ago, Oc4526 said:

Found this in my Twitter feed

So far in every rendering I've seen, the seats look even worse than the current rock-hard screw-up-your-back-for-days LRC seating. I'd also like to point out that an organization with such importance as to assess rail equipment should be able to afford to pay someone to make their slideshow in something other than Microsoft Paint. That hurt to look at.

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Since there is only one locomotive per trainset it would be nice if they used the cab car for luggage and pets.

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10 hours ago, Shaun said:

Since there is only one locomotive per trainset it would be nice if they used the cab car for luggage and pets.

Just out of interest: how many intercity passenger rail services offering checked service for luggage and/or pets can you name anywhere in the world and how many revenue seats would you be prepared to loose on every single departure (twice that if a train is formed of two trainsets), in order to create the space for offering such a service?

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3 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Just out of interest: how many intercity passenger rail services offering checked service for luggage and/or pets can you name anywhere in the world and how many revenue seats would you be prepared to loose on every single departure (twice that if a train is formed of two trainsets), in order to create the space for offering such a service?

Are there revenue seats in a cab car that you would loose if you where to use that space for luggage or pets? 

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28 minutes ago, Shaun said:

Are there revenue seats in a cab car that you would loose if you where to use that space for luggage or pets? 

Go to slide 11 and check the layout for car “Economy 4A” - I count 60-something seats in that cab car...

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@Urban Sky history question for you that your schedule collection can't answer. Until the late 80's, the E&N corridor only listed Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Courtenay and usually one or two intermediate stops like Langford or Duncan. Did the RDCs serve all the smaller stations at that time or was the service truly an express service only serving the cities? There's inconsistency in what stops are listed year-to-year as well. Maybe you have some insight. 

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On 4/8/2020 at 12:27 PM, InfiNorth said:

@Urban Sky history question for you that your schedule collection can't answer. Until the late 80's, the E&N corridor only listed Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Courtenay and usually one or two intermediate stops like Langford or Duncan. Did the RDCs serve all the smaller stations at that time or was the service truly an express service only serving the cities? There's inconsistency in what stops are listed year-to-year as well. Maybe you have some insight. 

This was before I was even born and several decades before I first set foot onto this side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the timetables seem to suggest that the service was initially operated by the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway and not by VIA directly (which would explain why only a few stations are shown, as the service was only shown as a connection service). Furthermore, the service was apparently supposed to be discontinued in December 1979:

image.thumb.png.6f2994ef721ad495da3850e9644ab0cd.png

Nevertheless, the service didn't disappear with the June 1979 timetable, but appeared with virtually the same timings and with a dozen more stops and without any mention of the E&N Ry, which suggests that it had finally become a VIA service:

image.thumb.png.b6b36ebb388d7403f9b3fd0d523af3bd.png

 

Edit: this flyer dated in August 1978 (and still showing the discontinuance notice mentioned above, but crossed through with a pen) suggests that the service was operated by CP Rail, but on behalf of VIA (and with all stops listed in the June 1979 timetable plus a stop in Mud Bay):

http://streamlinermemories.info/Amtrak/VIA78E&NTT.pdf

 

Edit 2: CP's last timetable (April 1976) also suggests that they treated the service as a connection rather than one of its own services:

image.thumb.png.639a9bc4866ec3837d1998f377d42367.png

However, earlier CP timetables (until October 1960) at least show a train number (but the train number is the same as CP's flagship "The Canadian", which suggests that the E&N used its own train numbers):

image.thumb.png.ea2065fd5ff01f850b1730dfe2287fa4.png

image.thumb.png.783c54288e774157e66d8ae67727d7fc.png

The April 1950 timetable also included passenger service to Port Alberni:

image.thumb.png.cda8debd762bc9e12d78502ac92d27f3.png

Finally, the oldest timetable I could find is from a April 1907 CP timetable I found on traingeek.ca:

image.thumb.png.ff5f5a5f2d32ba7590ec5dc0415d7ba2.png

By the way, this is what Wikipedia writes about the relationship between the E&N and CP:

Quote

The CPR years[edit]

In 1905, Robert Dunsmuir’s son James sold the E&N Railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR built the railroad to Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Courtenay. At its peak, the railroad had 45 stations on the main line, 36 stations on the Cowichan line, and 8 stations on the Port Alberni line.[16]

Between 1905 and 1999, the E&N Railway was owned and operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Via Rail took over operation of CPR's passenger train service, called The Malahat, in 1978, while CPR demarketed its freight operation, claiming that freight traffic was declining. In 1996, CPR reorganized the E&N as an "internal short line" named E&N Railfreight while the railbarge operations were sold to Seaspan Intermodal. In early 1999, shortline operator RailAmerica purchased the route from Nanaimo to Port Alberni, and leased the balance of the line. At that time approximately 8,500 carloads of forest and paper products, minerals, and chemicals were transported by the Southern Vancouver Island Railway each year.

 

Edited by Urban Sky
Expanded, as mentioned above
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14 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

 

Thank you so much for this great overview. When libraries reopen I'll have to get the E&N Railway history book again and reread the 1970s-1980's section again as I recall reading about the point when it almost shut down, and that it was quite a fight to get VIA to take over the service. It hemorrhaged money for years, even before VIA took over. Cheers! 

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While I certainly stand to be corrected, but I believe service on Vancouver Island has never been operated directly by VIA.  Before service was suspended, SRY operated the Budd Cars under contract. 

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4 hours ago, cprted said:

While I certainly stand to be corrected, but I believe service on Vancouver Island has never been operated directly by VIA.  Before service was suspended, SRY operated the Budd Cars under contract. 

I can't speak to operations (again, I need to get that book out of the library again) but I know that SRY locomotives would help the RDC along in the snow at times. SRY, however, was only the operator in recent years. RailAmerica operated the railway for close to a decade.

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15 hours ago, cprted said:

While I certainly stand to be corrected, but I believe service on Vancouver Island has never been operated directly by VIA.  Before service was suspended, SRY operated the Budd Cars under contract. 

I'm fairly certain that this was the case. The Sudbury-White River run was operated by CP up until 2015 or so - it's now run with VIA crews.

 

I suspect that were Vancouver Island still running they they would have done the same thing at the same time, but seeing as how they stopped running in 2012....

 

Dan

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2 hours ago, cprted said:

Perhaps old news for those in Central Canada, but I quite like the new look for the stainless cars.

showimage.php?id=733350&key=3461206

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/733350/

I've never seen a picture of these in that livery. Any information on it? These would not be for service on The Canadian as its fleet is currently undergoing rebranding with a completely different colour palette based on VIA's newer brand identity. The stainless HEP fleet used in Western Canada will be repainted to replace the old blue stripe with charcoal as seen in this photo I took last summer. I'm surprised to see a blue-and-yellow paint scheme on VIA equipment, as VIA is moving towards a (you know what it is...) black-and-yellow  brand identity on all fronts (marketing, repaints of the Western fleet, and even the new Siemens stock will be black and yellow).

Any details on this bizarre new look?

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17 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

I've never seen a picture of these in that livery. Any information on it? These would not be for service on The Canadian as its fleet is currently undergoing rebranding with a completely different colour palette based on VIA's newer brand identity. The stainless HEP fleet used in Western Canada will be repainted to replace the old blue stripe with charcoal as seen in this photo I took last summer. I'm surprised to see a blue-and-yellow paint scheme on VIA equipment, as VIA is moving towards a (you know what it is...) black-and-yellow  brand identity on all fronts (marketing, repaints of the Western fleet, and even the new Siemens stock will be black and yellow).

Any details on this bizarre new look?

I have yet to see any car other than Prestige cars (Chateau or Park) with that charcoal stripe. As for the all the on-going refurbishment programs, I would refer to the corresponding site on VIA’s webpage:

Quote
Economy class (HEP1)
Cars: 25
Provider: CAD Railway Industries
Highlights: Interior, mechanical, and electrical refurbishment
Economy and Business class (HEP2)
Cars: 33
Provider: Montréal Maintenance Centre
Highlights: New seats, washrooms, and energy-saving LED lighting system
Accessible Economy class (HEP3)
Cars: 17
Provider: Bombardier
Highlights: New accessible areas and interior modernization
Diner (HEP1)
Cars: 4
Provider: Rail GD
Highlights: Kitchen reconfiguration and modernization of the dining area
Locomotives (EPA-42)
Cars: 14
Provider: Montréal Maintenance Centre
Highlights: Reconditioning of the engines, electrical components, and air conditioning system


Given that the picture was apparently taken at CAD, the cars shown seem to be part of the HEP1 programme...

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1 hour ago, Urban Sky said:

I have yet to see any car other than Prestige cars (Chateau or Park) with that charcoal stripe. As for the all the on-going refurbishment programs, I would refer to the corresponding site on VIA’s webpage:


Given that the picture was apparently taken at CAD, the cars shown seem to be part of the HEP1 programme...

There are a handful of HEP1 cars in regular service on the corridor, so perhaps they are harmonizing the paint scheme with the new paint scheme that has been appearing on the HEP2 cars. 

However, I would have only estimated that there are about 10-12 HEP1 cars in service on Corridor routes and Northern Quebec routes. Given that they are refurbishing 25 cars at CAD, is it possible that VIA is preparing to replace the Renaissance trainsets in the Corridor with these newly refurbished HEP1s?

I have been frequently travelling in the Corridor over the last year or so, and I have often gone out of my way to choose departures likely to have HEP1s to go from Ottawa to Montreal or Montreal to Quebec City, not only because of their old-style charm, but also because of the panoramic windows, extra legroom, and table in the 4-seater section which the service attendant often let me use to work on my laptop. The new seats for the refurbished HEP1s on VIA’s webpage look great.

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15 hours ago, Chris_the_traveller said:

There are a handful of HEP1 cars in regular service on the corridor, so perhaps they are harmonizing the paint scheme with the new paint scheme that has been appearing on the HEP2 cars. 

However, I would have only estimated that there are about 10-12 HEP1 cars in service on Corridor routes and Northern Quebec routes. Given that they are refurbishing 25 cars at CAD, is it possible that VIA is preparing to replace the Renaissance trainsets in the Corridor with these newly refurbished HEP1s?

I have been frequently travelling in the Corridor over the last year or so, and I have often gone out of my way to choose departures likely to have HEP1s to go from Ottawa to Montreal or Montreal to Quebec City, not only because of their old-style charm, but also because of the panoramic windows, extra legroom, and table in the 4-seater section which the service attendant often let me use to work on my laptop. The new seats for the refurbished HEP1s on VIA’s webpage look great.

Here are some pictures of HEP I cars that where refurbished by CAD. I'm assuming that they are HEP I because of the analog train numbers. https://railpictures.net/photo/733350/ ( Not my photo).

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