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8 minutes ago, Shaun said:

How do people get to and from Jasper? Since the Canadian is suspended until November.

wow I thought all the via stuff went to Toronto, And wouldn't it make sense to have it run Edmonton-Jasper-Prince Rupert on a modified schedule.

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37 minutes ago, Shaun said:

How do people get to and from Jasper? Since the Canadian is suspended until November.

I seriously doubt this service will geared for tourists, but rather to provide remote service along the line, so no worry about how to get to Jasper.

All the current COVID-19 protocols for food/beverage service will be applied to this train — water and snack; pack your own lunch. No sleeper service, no dome/lounge.

28 minutes ago, roeco said:

wow I thought all the via stuff went to Toronto, And wouldn't it make sense to have it run Edmonton-Jasper-Prince Rupert on a modified schedule.

If memory services, I think there are minor maintenance facilities in Jasper.

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32 minutes ago, downbeat said:

I seriously doubt this service will geared for tourists, but rather to provide remote service along the line, so no worry about how to get to Jasper.

All the current COVID-19 protocols for food/beverage service will be applied to this train — water and snack; pack your own lunch. No sleeper service, no dome/lounge.

If memory services, I think there are minor maintenance facilities in Jasper.

It's about 7 hours from Edmonton to Jasper, so to do it without sleepers and dining cars all the way to prince Rupert is a bit tough. But it would help people who need to travel during the pandemic, especially as winter hits. 

32 minutes ago, downbeat said:

I seriously doubt this service will geared for tourists, but rather to provide remote service along the line, so no worry about how to get to Jasper.

All the current COVID-19 protocols for food/beverage service will be applied to this train — water and snack; pack your own lunch. No sleeper service, no dome/lounge.

If memory services, I think there are minor maintenance facilities in Jasper.

Meanwhile...train service to Banff via Canmore.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-banff-train-study-1.5605293

I'm not sure why they wouldn't just extend the train to make Louise, and allow people to be shuttled from Banff to Lake Louise.

Is there enough space to double track the CP line all the way from Calgary to Banff?

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The Skeena does not normally run with sleepers; it is a day coach, and does the trip from Jasper to Prince Rupert in two days, overnighting in Prince George.

The main point of resuming once-a-week service on this line is to provide service back to the isolated communities along the train's route. Jasper (and connections further to Edmonton) is not the main destination - Prince George and its services (like the hospital) are.

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I'm surprised, quite frankly, that they are bothering to run the eastern portion of the schedule (Jasper-Prince Rupert). That part of the route, save for McBride nd a few small hamlets close to Prince George, is virtually devoid of settlements. The western portion of the route, on the other hand, I've always wondered why it doesn't have more service. BC Transit funds the awful BC Bus North service along the exact same route at a lower frequency and it seems to work, and on top of that, other than Prince Rupert-Terrace, you can do the entire route on scheduled local transit buses if you have enough time. It's probably the most transportation-diverse corridor in all of BC. It would make far more sense to be operating Prince Rupert-Prince George only. 

I'm actually pretty impressed that VIA was bright enough to not create overlapping services with BCBN, as previously BCBN's schedule on the same days as VIA trains and even operated at almost the exact same schedule. VIA even decently fills in gaps in local services.

Here is a breakdown of long distance services available as of VIA Reinstating trains 5 & 6:

Jasper/Valemount → Prince George: VIA Rail Sunday BCBN Monday, Friday
Prince George → Jasper/Valemount: VIA Rail Thursday BVBN Monday, Friday

Prince George → Prince Rupert: VIA Rail Monday BCBN Thursday, Saturday
Prince Rupert → Prince George: VIA Rail Wednesday BCBN Friday, Sunday

BC Transit Local Long-Distance Services (Westbound)
Prince George → Burns Lake: Tu, Th, Sa
Burns Lake → Smithers: Mo, We, Fr
Smithers → Hazeltons: Mo, We, Fr 
Hazeltons → Terrace: Tu, Th, Sa

BC Transit Local Long-Distance Services (Eastbound)
Terrace → Hazeltons: Tu, Th, Sa
Hazeltons → Smithers: Mo, We, Fr
Smithers → Burns Lake: Mo, We, Fr

Burns Lake → Prince George: Tu, Th, Sa

VIA Rail's return to the area adds back in an extra day of backbone service each week, and is complemented locally by tons of other small services. All in all, in terms of backbone service, while the train isn't running every second day as it was before, passengers can now once again travel three times a week as they could before.

Edit: Please don't ask what happened to the formatting. I have no idea.

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24 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

I'm surprised, quite frankly, that they are bothering to run the eastern portion of the schedule (Jasper-Prince Rupert). That part of the route, save for McBride nd a few small hamlets close to Prince George, is virtually devoid of settlements. The western portion of the route, on the other hand, I've always wondered why it doesn't have more service. BC Transit funds the awful BC Bus North service along the exact same route at a lower frequency and it seems to work, and on top of that, other than Prince Rupert-Terrace, you can do the entire route on scheduled local transit buses if you have enough time. It's probably the most transportation-diverse corridor in all of BC. It would make far more sense to be operating Prince Rupert-Prince George only. 

I'm actually pretty impressed that VIA was bright enough to not create overlapping services with BCBN, as previously BCBN's schedule on the same days as VIA trains and even operated at almost the exact same schedule. VIA even decently fills in gaps in local services.

VIA’s only maintenance facility along the line is in JASP. The operating days chosen are the only operating days which allow for a full lay-over day in PRUP (which avoids that a late arrival of train 5 delays the departure of train 6 the next morning) and two full days for maintenance in JASP:

Sunday: JASP-PGEO

Monday: PGEO-PRUP

Tuesday: Layover in PRUP

Wednesday: PRUP-PGEO

Thursday: PGEO-JASP

Friday and Saturday: maintenance in JASP

Edited by Urban Sky
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5 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

VIA’s only maintenance facility along the line is in JASP. The operating days chosen are the only operating days which allow for a full lay-over day in PRUP (which avoids that a late arrival of train 5 delays the departure of train 6 the next morning) and two full days for maintenance in JASP:

Sunday: JASP-PGEO

Monday: PGEO-PRUP

Tuesday: Layover in PRUP

Wednesday: PRUP-PGEO

Thursday: PGEO-JASP

Friday and Saturday: maintenance in JASP

Brilliant, that makes great sense. Thanks! I'm assuming that on the Jasper-PG-PR route, crews are "tied" to their consist for the round trip journey and based out of Jasper? Also, is VIA relocating technicians and service abilities to Jasper for the time being, or is Skeena equipment always serviced in Jasper?

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13 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Brilliant, that makes great sense. Thanks! I'm assuming that on the Jasper-PG-PR route, crews are "tied" to their consist for the round trip journey and based out of Jasper? Also, is VIA relocating technicians and service abilities to Jasper for the time being, or is Skeena equipment always serviced in Jasper?

The equipment for the Skeena is serviced in Jasper, but all major maintenance is done in Vancouver...

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2 hours ago, Shaun said:

I hope CN paid for the damages and the overtime for the extra crew. 

This is not how insurance works.

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4 hours ago, webfil said:

This is not how insurance works.

Then I hope their insurance would pay for it. I think you knew what they meant.

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Is VIA running trains between Union and Niagara Falls? Since the border is closed I'm assuming that the Maple Leaf cannot come into Canada. I tried to see if it's possible to book a ticket but it says the connection is not available.

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29 minutes ago, Shaun said:

Is VIA running trains between Union and Niagara Falls? Since the border is closed I'm assuming that the Maple Leaf cannot come into Canada. I tried to see if it's possible to book a ticket but it says the connection is not available.

According to the website it's suspended until further notice. It relies exclusively on the Amtrak equipment that crosses the border, so that makes sense. Is GO not running their summer services to Niagara Falls?

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5 hours ago, Shaun said:

Is VIA running trains between Union and Niagara Falls? Since the border is closed I'm assuming that the Maple Leaf cannot come into Canada. I tried to see if it's possible to book a ticket but it says the connection is not available.

5 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

According to the website it's suspended until further notice. It relies exclusively on the Amtrak equipment that crosses the border, so that makes sense. Is GO not running their summer services to Niagara Falls?

As you can see in VIA's most recent temporary schedule posted on its website, it currently operates only the following services (with only Economy Class, i.e. no Business Class or Sleeper accommodations are offered at this point):

  • Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa: 22 and 39 (starting July 14 also: 28 and 35) operate daily
  • Montreal-Kingston-Toronto: 62, 63, 66 and 669 operate daily
  • Ottawa-Kingston-Toronto: 48, 52, 53 and 59 operate daily
  • Toronto-London-Windsor: 72 and 75 operate daily
  • Toronto-London-Sarnia: 84 and 87 operate daily
  • Montreal-Hervey-Jonquierre: 601 operates Fridays, 602 operates Sundays
  • Montreal-Hervey-Senneterre: 603 operates Fridays, 606 operates Sundays
  • Sudbury-White River: 185 operates Saturdays, 186 operates Sundays
  • Winnipeg-The Pas-Churchill: regular service
  • Jasper-Prince George-Prince Rupert: 5 operates Sundays/Mondays, 6 operates Wednesdays/Thursdays

The following services are currently suspended:

  • Halifax-Montreal ("Ocean", until November 1)
  • Toronto-Vancouver ("Canadian", until November 1)
  • Toronto-Niagara Falls(-New York City)

As for service to Niagara Falls, GO Transit has suspended its rail service on that route (since March 14), but I've attached the November 2019 schedule which showed limited rail service on that route...

GO_Route_NF_20191102.pdf

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29 minutes ago, Urban Sky said:

As you can see in VIA's most recent temporary schedule posted on its website, it currently operates only the following services (with only Economy Class, i.e. no Business Class or Sleeper accommodations are offered at this point):

  • Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa: 22 and 39 (starting July 14 also: 28 and 35) operate daily
  • Montreal-Kingston-Toronto: 62, 63, 66 and 669 operate daily
  • Ottawa-Kingston-Toronto: 48, 52, 53 and 59 operate daily
  • Toronto-London-Windsor: 72 and 75 operate daily
  • Toronto-London-Sarnia: 84 and 87 operate daily
  • Montreal-Hervey-Jonquierre: 601 operates Fridays, 602 operates Sundays
  • Montreal-Hervey-Senneterre: 603 operates Fridays, 606 operates Sundays
  • Sudbury-White River: 185 operates Saturdays, 186 operates Sundays
  • Winnipeg-The Pas-Churchill: regular service
  • Jasper-Prince George-Prince Rupert: 5 operates Sundays/Mondays, 6 operates Wednesdays/Thursdays

The following services are currently suspended:

  • Halifax-Montreal ("Ocean", until November 1)
  • Toronto-Vancouver ("Canadian", until November 1)
  • Toronto-Niagara Falls(-New York City)

As for service to Niagara Falls, GO Transit has suspended its rail service on that route (since March 14), but I've attached the November 2019 schedule which showed limited rail service on that route...

GO_Route_NF_20191102.pdf 2.65 MB · 0 downloads

In recent weeks, VIA has been operating the Jonquière/Senneterre trains as an overnight service, using the regular economy class equipment. It leaves Montreal at 8:15pm and then arrives at the northern destination on the Saturday morning.

The trainsets return in the night from Sunday to Monday. 

Not sure how long this will go on for. Not sure if this schedule change was imposed by CN.

 

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1 hour ago, Chris_the_traveller said:

In recent weeks, VIA has been operating the Jonquière/Senneterre trains as an overnight service, using the regular economy class equipment. It leaves Montreal at 8:15pm and then arrives at the northern destination on the Saturday morning.

The trainsets return in the night from Sunday to Monday. 

Not sure how long this will go on for. Not sure if this schedule change was imposed by CN.

 

That's really interesting, because that makes the service entirely and completely inhospitable to the wilderness community (hunters, hikers, etc) and even to the stops enroute... if it's VIA's decision to do that, I can't imagine it's popular with their regular clientele. 

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13 hours ago, Chris_the_traveller said:

In recent weeks, VIA has been operating the Jonquière/Senneterre trains as an overnight service, using the regular economy class equipment. It leaves Montreal at 8:15pm and then arrives at the northern destination on the Saturday morning.

The trainsets return in the night from Sunday to Monday. 

Not sure how long this will go on for. Not sure if this schedule change was imposed by CN.

 

11 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

That's really interesting, because that makes the service entirely and completely inhospitable to the wilderness community (hunters, hikers, etc) and even to the stops enroute... if it's VIA's decision to do that, I can't imagine it's popular with their regular clientele. 

As you can see when checking these trains in the reservation system, their schedule has not changed. For the reasons of the overnight operations reported above, see also:

https://groups.io/g/Canadian-Passenger-Rail/topic/75293474

Edited by Urban Sky
Included quote from Chris_the_traveller

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26 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

Don't tell me, tell the person originally sharing the information. I was speculating about a reason. 

I was only able to edit my post now and to include his quote, since I only had my phone when I wrote that post. As for the reasons for the temporary overnight operations (apparently heat-related restrictions imposed by the infrastructure owner), I refer to the link I provided...

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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I was only able to edit my post now and to include his quote, since I only had my phone when I wrote that post. As for the reasons for the temporary overnight operations (apparently heat-related restrictions imposed by the infrastructure owner), I refer to the link I provided...

Just curious, why don't you hear about trains not running during the day in Europe because of this? What workarounds have been used to avoid disallowing train travel during daylight? As far as I know, this was also the same reason behind my 30km/h journey through Northern Manitoba last year (going that slow all the way from Thompson to Churchill is relaxing but...)

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9 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Just curious, why don't you hear about trains not running during the day in Europe because of this? What workarounds have been used to avoid disallowing train travel during daylight? As far as I know, this was also the same reason behind my 30km/h journey through Northern Manitoba last year (going that slow all the way from Thompson to Churchill is relaxing but...)

It's an issue everywhere in the world - even in supposedly mild-climate places like the United Kingdom:

Quote

Gareth Dennis, railway engineering consultant, says steel works across a roughly 60-degree temperature operating range, while Network Rail notes that rails can be 20 degrees warmer than air temperature. In order for rails to function in winter temperatures without cracking, the steel in British rails is designed to operate between roughly -10 and 30 degrees without any stress, says Kevin Groves, chief spokesperson for Network Rail, though the rails can handle up to 36 degrees without buckling. "If you live in Saudi Arabia, you just shift your rail up the engineering scale say from +10 to +50, as track has the same engineering range wherever you are," he explains. "You just prepare it based on your typical climate."

That's accomplished via "stressing" steel when it's laid as rails, essentially stretching it out using hydraulics so it doesn't expand or contract within a certain temperature range. "Stressing is an activity that happens when any new track is laid," Groves explains. "If you went up to any rail and decided to cut it, it would ‘ping’ back to its ‘stress free’ length as a track is stretched and welded when laid to enable it to cope with our normal summers."

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/trains-cancelled-heat-uk

 

Therefore, the issue in Quebec is less that the climate would be extremely cold, but that the temperature range is so extreme: the average high temperature in Quebec City is 25.0 C in July, whereas the average low temperature is -17.7 C in January, which is a range of 42.7 C and thus more than the 36 degrees which the Network Rail spokesman mentioned as being the limit for their rails...

In terms of mitigation strategies, Network Rail deploys the following:

Quote

With hot weather forecast across Britain, we’re working hard to prepare the tracks for the added strain of higher temperatures.

Here’s how we do it:

  • We work closely with specialist weather forecasters and local weather stations to make plans and take action so rails are less likely to buckle.
  • We have installed mini weather stations and thousands of track-side probes to monitor local conditions.
  • We introduce speed restrictions during the hottest part of the day at vulnerable locations as slower trains exert lower forces on the track and reduce the likelihood of buckling.
  • We paint certain parts of the rail white so they absorb less heat – and expand less. Typically, a rail painted white is 5°C to 10°C cooler.
  • Our teams check track stability each winter as part of ongoing maintenance, and strengthen any weak parts before summer.
  • As most track is made up of long pieces of rail that are stretched and welded together, there is much less chance of buckling in very high temperatures because there is reduced compression.
  • When a track is made up from short rails bolted together, we leave small gaps between each one to allow for expansion.

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/stories/how-we-prevent-tracks-from-getting-too-hot/

 

I don't know what strategies CN applies, but painting rails white seems like a cheap (and obvious) one...

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23 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

As you can see when checking these trains in the reservation system, their schedule has not changed. For the reasons of the overnight operations reported above, see also:

https://groups.io/g/Canadian-Passenger-Rail/topic/75293474

 

 

23 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

As you can see when checking these trains in the reservation system, their schedule has not changed. For the reasons of the overnight operations reported above, see also:

https://groups.io/g/Canadian-Passenger-Rail/topic/75293474

I saw their reservation system and I am familiar with the regular schedule. I was just highlighting that this not just a one-off late train, it has been departing Montreal around 8:15pm on several Fridays.

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