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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

[bit about white paint]

I guess that's truly not an option on exceptionally long and remote lines like in Northern Quebec. Very interesting - I've heard of albedo-lowering for city temperature control but I'd never considered it for railways. 

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12 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

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

It should also be noted that this restriction is only happening in Northern Quebec, and no where else on the CN system.

 

Which makes me think that it is some overzealous or underinformed divisional superintendent pushing his or her weight around.

 

Dan

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22 hours ago, Chris_the_traveller said:

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.

I was not trying to prove you wrong, but I don't feel comfortable to make any claims (like in this case: that the schedule hadn't changed) without referring to some publicly available data sources...

 

12 hours ago, smallspy said:

It should also be noted that this restriction is only happening in Northern Quebec, and no where else on the CN system.

Which makes me think that it is some overzealous or underinformed divisional superintendent pushing his or her weight around.

Dan

I would assume that the derailment of CN 466 reported in the link I shared should be reason enough to impose some temporary restrictions. Granted, in other parts of the world you would have an industry regulator which ensures that mainline derailments happen so rarely that you can actually find news reports about them, but we have to live with what we got...

 

4 hours ago, nfitz said:

Kind of ironic that the only route with regular service nation-wide seems to be Churchill.

Indeed, considering that this line was severed north of Churchill between May 2017 and December 2018, but it is not possible to offer communities north and south of Thompson the opportunity of a shopping trip to Thompson (requiring a same-day return) with the one frequency per week which is currently offered on the other mandatory services (MTRL-JONQ, MTRL-SENN and SUDB-WHTR)...

 

On a positive note, trains 28 and 35 have been restored as second daily frequency between Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa, as of today...

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11 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I would assume that the derailment of CN 466 reported in the link I shared should be reason enough to impose some temporary restrictions. Granted, in other parts of the world you would have an industry regulator which ensures that mainline derailments happen so rarely that you can actually find news reports about them, but we have to live with what we got...

This is what I don't get - there have been other derailments that have occurred as well that have been attributed to the heat (if you don't already, I suggest that you try and receive the daily TSB incident bulletins. They make for some great reading.), and yet no other location on the CN network has imposed such drastic restrictions.

 

But hey, what do I know. I'm just an informed observer....

 

Dan

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So with no flights from Toronto to Windsor and greyhound not running for the time being VIA is sold out on almost every single trip from now until the end of the month. 

At least trains aren't running empty. 

Screenshot_20200716-213946.png

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11 hours ago, Shaun said:

So with no flights from Toronto to Windsor and greyhound not running for the time being VIA is sold out on almost every single trip from now until the end of the month. 

At least trains aren't running empty. 

Screenshot_20200716-213946.png

As you can see in my list below, neither 71 nor 73 have been operating since March, as only trains 72/75 and 84/87 currently operate in Southwest Ontario:

On 7/12/2020 at 9:48 PM, 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

Except for those trains which actually operate according to the temporary schedule, “Sold out” only means that the train has been “inhibited” (i.e. the available inventory has been set to zero seats) for that particular departure...

 

On 7/15/2020 at 8:48 AM, smallspy said:

This is what I don't get - there have been other derailments that have occurred as well that have been attributed to the heat (if you don't already, I suggest that you try and receive the daily TSB incident bulletins. They make for some great reading.), and yet no other location on the CN network has imposed such drastic restrictions.

 

But hey, what do I know. I'm just an informed observer....

 

Dan

That TSB bulletin report sounds indeed interesting. Any idea where I can subscribe to it?

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On 7/17/2020 at 9:29 AM, Urban Sky said:

That TSB bulletin report sounds indeed interesting. Any idea where I can subscribe to it?

Alas, I don't. I have friends within the industry who forward them along to me, but nominally they do not appear to be publicly available. (This is in contrast to the daily civil aviation bulletins (CADORS), which are publicly accessible starting here: https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/cadors-screaq/m.aspx?lang=eng.) And seeing as how VIA is an operating railroad, it too should have some employees who receive them.

 

If I had to ask, perhaps start by asking some of your compatriots on the operations side?

 

Dan

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I'm surprised that the train to Churchill is so busy with tourists during covid.  Why is it so hard to add another coach car to the train? I'm sure they have lots of equipment lying around seeing that other trains are not running.

 

 CBC.ca: Northern Manitoba First Nation protests VIA Rail over ticket access, fair treatment.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/war-lake-ilford-via-rail-tickets-1.5669707

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11 hours ago, Shaun said:

I'm surprised that the train to Churchill is so busy with tourists during covid.  Why is it so hard to add another coach car to the train? I'm sure they have lots of equipment lying around seeing that other trains are not running.

First off all, due to Social Distancing, only half of the seats (31 out of 62 seats per HEP 1 coach) can be currently sold. Therefore, 2 coaches during CoVid-19 have the same capacity as one coach pre-CoVid and you would need 4 coaches on every consist (i.e. 12 in total) to match the capacity pre-CoVid...

Second, normally equipment can be shuffled around between Toronto, Winnipeg, Jasper and Vancouver using the Canadian, but it hasn’t been operating since mid-March. Therefore, you have to play around with what is available in Winnipeg and that’s what is being done at the moment, with some cars being switched between the consists when they meet in Thompson to provide extra capacity between Thompson and Ilford...

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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

you have to play around with what is available in Winnipeg and that’s what is being done at the moment, with some cars being switched between the consists when they meet in Thompson to provide extra capacity between Thompson and Ilford...

Are they actually switching out cars in Illford? Along with that, I do wonder why they don't have first-come-first-serve coaches for locals added at The Pas - when I rode the train, both directions, between Illford, Thompson, and The Pas, the train was absolutely packed with locals who all got off and on in Thompson with loads of groceries - including from towns that have road access, showing that it's important even for communities that do have road connections. I understand that it's not economically ideal but, I mean, they aren't allowed to stop all services on that route because it's a mandated service area... so why not operate with the locals in mind? I'm also really surprised that tourism in Churchill is still going as even in BC most of our First Nations communities have closed themselves to everyone.

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12 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

 I'm also really surprised that tourism in Churchill is still going as even in BC most of our First Nations communities have closed themselves to everyone.

Indeed, I thought there was still an exclusion zone in effect for northern Manitoba?....or maybe I’m confusing it with Saskatchewan...

Last I checked, any resident of Ontario south or east of Terrace Bay, or all of Quebec still has to isolate for two weeks on arrival in Manitoba to begin with anyway?

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8 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Are they actually switching out cars in Illford? Along with that, I do wonder why they don't have first-come-first-serve coaches for locals added at The Pas - when I rode the train, both directions, between Illford, Thompson, and The Pas, the train was absolutely packed with locals who all got off and on in Thompson with loads of groceries - including from towns that have road access, showing that it's important even for communities that do have road connections. I understand that it's not economically ideal but, I mean, they aren't allowed to stop all services on that route because it's a mandated service area... so why not operate with the locals in mind? I'm also really surprised that tourism in Churchill is still going as even in BC most of our First Nations communities have closed themselves to everyone.

Take a look at the timetable (it’s still the same as pre-CoVid): The two consists meet Wednesdays and Fridays in Thompson and Sunday nights in The Pas, which is why there is no need to short-turn cars going north. However, this is also the reason why it is more difficult to also add capacity for passengers from the South of Thompson (e.g. Thicket Portage) for their two “grocery days” permitted by the timetable (Wednesday and Friday), but the current tensions are thankfully “only” with communities on one side (in this case: North) of Thompson and they are addressed with top priority, as this is an extremely politically sensitive situation requiring urgent action...

 

As for the “tourists” mentioned in the article, my understanding is that this isn’t necessarily the out-of-province crowd which usually uses the Sleeper car, not at last because all Sleeper accommodations have been suspended until further notice (there is still a Chateau Sleeper on all consists, but it’s used for crews only).

 

In short, I don’t see why the service wouldn’t be “operated with the locals in mind”, but I don’t know of any way of denying certain passengers tickets to preserve them for other passengers, which would work reliably and without sparking new waves of criticisms. Thankfully, Transport Canada usually exempts VIA’s mandatory services when demanding to reduce the subsidy need, which is why there is thankfully little pressure to pursue economic considerations at the expense of local needs...

 

PS: I can’t stress enough that my sympathies lie unconditionally with Canada’s indigenous communities, even during conflicts which threaten or even halt rail operations. As an employee of a Crown Corporation, I feel like I’m serving all Canadians, but especially those groups which “have always been here” and which depend on our passenger rail services as a lifeline without which their already often disgracefully low standards of living (I only say: “water boiling notices”) would deteriorate even further...

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9 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Take a look at the timetable (it’s still the same as pre-CoVid): The two consists meet Wednesdays and Fridays in Thompson and Sunday nights in The Pas, which is why there is no need to short-turn cars going north. However, this is also the reason why it is more difficult to also add capacity for passengers from the South of Thompson (e.g. Thicket Portage) for their two “grocery days” permitted by the timetable (Wednesday and Friday), but the current tensions are thankfully “only” with communities on one side (in this case: North) of Thompson and they are addressed with top priority, as this is an extremely politically sensitive situation requiring urgent action...

 

As for the “tourists” mentioned in the article, my understanding is that this isn’t necessarily the out-of-province crowd which usually uses the Sleeper car, not at last because all Sleeper accommodations have been suspended until further notice (there is still a Chateau Sleeper on all consists, but it’s used for crews only).

 

In short, I don’t see why the service wouldn’t be “operated with the locals in mind”, but I don’t know of any way of denying certain passengers tickets to preserve them for other passengers, which would work reliably and without sparking new waves of criticisms. Thankfully, Transport Canada usually exempts VIA’s mandatory services when demanding to reduce the subsidy need, which is why there is thankfully little pressure to pursue economic considerations at the expense of local needs...

 

PS: I can’t stress enough that my sympathies lie unconditionally with Canada’s indigenous communities, even during conflicts which threaten or even halt rail operations. As an employee of a Crown Corporation, I feel like I’m serving all Canadians, but especially those groups which “have always been here” and which depend on our passenger rail services as a lifeline without which their already often disgracefully low standards of living (I only say: “water boiling notices”) would deteriorate even further...

At least the train is still running. I think of that as a good thing. 

Do we have any Information on the progress on refurbishing the sleeper cars that have structural damage? What type of work is being done? Is it all done in house? 

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12 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

(there is still a Chateau Sleeper on all consists, but it’s used for crews only).

Stupid question that is entirely not at all within the topic being discussed, but I know that historically there used to be crew quarters in the baggage cars on the Canadian but I was told they have been removed - is there actually a set a sleeping compartments on both the Canadian and the Churchill train that are for crew use only? 

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1 hour ago, InfiNorth said:

Stupid question that is entirely not at all within the topic being discussed, but I know that historically there used to be crew quarters in the baggage cars on the Canadian but I was told they have been removed - is there actually a set a sleeping compartments on both the Canadian and the Churchill train that are for crew use only? 

The Chateau car on the Canadian is usually for crews only, all passengers are normally assigned in the Manors. Conversely, on the Churchill, passengers and crews are assigned in Chateaus or - if there is one on the consist - a Park car. As for the baggage cars (and to the best of my knowledge), there are no crew facilities like seats, beds or toilet...

 

4 hours ago, Shaun said:

At least the train is still running. I think of that as a good thing. 

Do we have any Information on the progress on refurbishing the sleeper cars that have structural damage? What type of work is being done? Is it all done in house? 

It is for very good reasons why the Churchill train is the only VIA service currently operating at its regular frequency...

As for the structural inspections, I can’t really share any information, but I believe that some cars are being repaired in-house, some by external contractors and that some cars have already been repaired (but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “refurbishment”)...

 

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12 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

The Chateau car on the Canadian is usually for crews only, all passengers are normally assigned in the Manors. Conversely, on the Churchill, passengers and crews are assigned in Chateaus or - if there is one on the consist - a Park car. As for the baggage cars (and to the best of my knowledge), there are no crew facilities like seats, beds or toilet...

 

It is for very good reasons why the Churchill train is the only VIA service currently operating at its regular frequency...

As for the structural inspections, I can’t really share any information, but I believe that some cars are being repaired in-house, some by external contractors and that some cars have already been repaired (but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “refurbishment”)...

 

Do they need to remove the interior to fix the frame issues? 

I wonder if they will be fixing up the seats and arm rests that where worn out.  

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3 hours ago, Shaun said:

Do they need to remove the interior to fix the frame issues? 

I wonder if they will be fixing up the seats and arm rests that where worn out.  

No, I don’t think so.

No, unless a refurbishment was planned anyways.

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8 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

No, I don’t think so.

No, unless a refurbishment was planned anyways.

I wonder if VIA is refurbishing the Chateaus at this time. The 21 non-Prestige Chateaus were looking worn out on the inside save for a few reupholstered seats and beds.

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A bit of a historical and obscure question. 

Does any one know how many ex CN fluted side cars made it into VIA's livery? The cars that made it into VIA livery have similar stripes to those used on the RDC's originally.

My copy of Rails Canada Vol. 4 is still packed away after 2 years but I don't recall seeing any photos of them in there. So far, I have only been able to find photos of:

1192 Greendale (Custom painted HO scale model, so I assume it is based on a prototype)
1193 Green Harbour http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1849272
1700 Windigo
1701 Manitou http://images.techno-science.ca/searchpf.php?id=231208&lang=en

Of interest to me in particular was the photo 1193 in Jasper on the Super Continental as that means they did pass through Edmonton.

Thanks for any help!

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9 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

A bit of a historical and obscure question. 

Does any one know how many ex CN fluted side cars made it into VIA's livery? The cars that made it into VIA livery have similar stripes to those used on the RDC's originally.

Here's 'Greendale' xBangor & Aroostook RR (closest to camera) in VIA Stripes and 'Greenwald' (xBoston & Maine RR) on the e/b 'Atlantic' at Saint John NB on September 7, 1981. 'Greenwald' would have been in Saint John 20+ years previously running on the 'Gull' from Boston.......and just hours before this photo.....the 'Atlantic' would have crossed over the Bangor & Aroostook route 'Greendale' took to Northern Maine on the 'Potatoland Special'

 

49772901136_3238bea7a3_c.jpg

 

And 'Greendale' and 'Greenock' on the 'Atlantic' at Moncton on November 10, 1981

 

49773553237_41d35c86d0_c.jpg

 

'Greendale' at Stellarton NS in March 1973. It's the through Sleeper between Sydney and Montreal on the 'Cabot'. It eventually went to VIA 

 

49772900076_ab8d3c8ff1_c.jpg

49772898146_ea0fe1c130_c.jpg

49772366403_bd23df6733_c.jpg

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Most of those stainless-steel-sheathed cars were in pretty rough shape, structurally, by the time they were to get passed on to VIA. Much of the issue stems from their design and construction - P-S was basically the bargain-basement builder of the lot, and their cars were really only designed to last for 25 years or so. The fluting, although not structural, did an excellent job of retaining moisture against the structural members, as did the insulation that they used.

 

The ex-NH/BAR/B&M cars shared many similarities to the PS-built Green-series cars so CN tried a bit harder to keep them going, thus why several of made it to VIA. I don't know as much about Manitou and Windigo, but they also lasted well into the VIA era and got repainted - likely due to their unique sleeping configurations.

 

For the record, it wasn't just the P-S-built stainless-steel-sheathed cars that didn't hold up well and were jettisoned early - the Budd-build Champlain/ex-Crusader cars were built to a different standard/design than the much-later design of cars such as what CP bought in the early 1950s, and they too suffered terribly from corrosion.

 

As for which specific cars actually got the blue-and-yellow, I don't think any others made it other than what @ghYHZ has outlined above. I can't find any photographic evidence of any others.

 

Dan

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4 hours ago, ghYHZ said:

Here's 'Greendale' xBangor & Aroostook RR (closest to camera) in VIA Stripes and 'Greenwald' (xBoston & Maine RR) on the e/b 'Atlantic' at Saint John NB on September 7, 1981. 'Greenwald' would have been in Saint John 20+ years previously running on the 'Gull' from Boston.......and just hours before this photo.....the 'Atlantic' would have crossed over the Bangor & Aroostook route 'Greendale' took to Northern Maine on the 'Potatoland Special'

 

49772901136_3238bea7a3_c.jpg

 

And 'Greendale' and 'Greenock' on the 'Atlantic' at Moncton on November 10, 1981

 

49773553237_41d35c86d0_c.jpg

 

'Greendale' at Stellarton NS in March 1973. It's the through Sleeper between Sydney and Montreal on the 'Cabot'. It eventually went to VIA 

 

49772900076_ab8d3c8ff1_c.jpg

49772898146_ea0fe1c130_c.jpg

49772366403_bd23df6733_c.jpg

I didn't know that CN/VIA owned stainless cars other the Crusader cars.

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21 hours ago, Viafreak said:

I didn't know that CN/VIA owned stainless cars other the Crusader cars.

Those weren't stainless steel cars, at least not structurally.

 

Pullman-Standard (and ACF) would regularly offer railroads the option of stainless steel sheathing to allow their cars to look like Budd-built cars in their fleets. (Conversely, Budd also offered a "slab side" appearance package that better suited the application of paint to the cars, and to match the smooth-side cars built by the other manufacturers.) The cars above were built of cor-ten, high-tensile and mild-alloy steel - which can rust quite readily with the appropriate ingredients - and then had a stainless steel skin placed over them.

 

The downside of the stainless steel sheathing is that it was very good at holding moisture in (not that the regular smooth skins weren't), and did a great job of hiding rust damage to the structure of the car. A large number of these cars were later rebuilt with plain steel sheets for their sides when it came time to do major structural repair work - provided the cars lasted that long.

 

For the record, CN also had in their possession at least 3 additional Budd-built stainless steel cars. During Expo '67, they leased 3 dome cars from the B&O for 18 months to provide additional capacity for all of the people traveling to and from Montréal.

 

Dan

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