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17 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

A couple of random questions....

1. How quickly was the "Canada" lettering and flag added to the locomotive and passenger car fleet? 
Since it's a tough decision since I can't afford to buy all variations of the livery out already (LRC cars) and in the future (F40's and Canadian cars).
So far with the LRC cars I've decided to go without the logos added.

2. Why didn't the RS-18m's fitted by CN with HEP equipment for the Tempo cars ever end up in the VIA fleet? It seems they kept pulling the Tempo cars well into the VIA era.

 

Thanks in advance!

1. I started photographing in 1997, and I can't seem to find photos that I took of any sets of corridor equipment that where some cars are and some cars aren't. It seems that, at least for the corridor fleet, that the cars and locos were done quite quickly. (But it may also be that I wasn't prolific enough to catch more of the change-over.)

2. The idea was that the Tempo cars were going to be converted to the same standard as was going to be used on the LRC cars and locos as they were being delivered and thus they wouldn't need the RS-18m anymore. And while this did eventually happen, for some reason they never got around to converting the cars until 1983 or 1984 or so - and so they needed the locos until then.

 

Dan

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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

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

The Service Car carries a large onboard transformer that steps down the 480V AC HEP power to lower voltages used by the rest of the equipment. Thus, each trainset needs to have a Service Car in order

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For some reason I think the Canadian equipment might not have all had the lettering and flags until a bit later. I don't recall the year at this moment went I first encountered the Canadian. Entirely accidental as it left Edmonton one morning and I was at the right place at the right time at Walker. I vividly remember the bug shields on the locomotives of all things. I need to dig those photos out. I tried to photograph every car on the train but I ran out of film on that roll. Pretty sure that the locomotives had the Canada lettering and flags though.

I've been keeping an eye out for slides on eBay of the CN RS-18m with Tempo's painted for VIA, and even Tempo cars in VIA colours, although I discovered recently I already have a few VIA Tempo's in my collection. I've kind of come to like some of the oddball VIA stuff out there.

 

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At today's Toronto Region Board of Trade Recovery Summit Series on transportation, on a panel (screenshot below) the President and CEO of VIA Rail provided some remarks that touched on HFR.

Here is the audio: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x_Da_AQ4NYMwOCS_MOfr6x6uzrB37q62/view?usp=sharing

Quick summary (my paraphrasing):

  • VIA had its best year in 2019 and hit a revenue high and experienced 5 years of ridership growth leading up to 2019;
  • Despite the challenges of the blockade and COVID-19, we can't lose sight of modernization;
  • VIA is reaching the limit of its potential and frequency potential, and needs modernization;
  • Modernization includes: 1) new reservation system; 2) refurbishment of the existing fleet; 3) the new fleet coming online in 2022; and 4) HFR is the "flagship" and the "heart of the future";
  • $71 million was allocated by the feds in 2019 to study 2019. The Joint Project Office (JPO) report should be available "shortly" and they hope for a decision by the end of the year [it wasn't clear who is making the decision but I assume the Minister];
  • HFR: it's about frequency and connectivity, creating service for new places, improving reliability/on-time performance, getting passenger trains away from freight trains, environmental sustainability, and there is an opportunity to electrify the network [route]. It was noted that it's a large-scale project that aligns with the government's goals on job creation and aligns with green goals; and
  • SW Ontario - there was a question on more SW Ontario service. Here is the audio of the response: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yhOz5jJ1-oKlQ607wswoMMuB4sbLotVx/view?usp=sharing

Screenshot.png

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Interesting find in Scranton, PA. (Google, in its infinite brilliance, blurred the number plate) Old F unit (not good enough with motive power to recognize specifically what model it is) and a non-VIA stainless car. I am surprised to see any old VIA power of this vintage still around in any form outside of museums - I assume this one was on its way to scrap judging by its condition.

Edit: I did a big old dumb and pasted an audio link from this very thread originally. Correct link now in place.

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8 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

Interesting find in Scranton, PA. (Google, in its infinite brilliance, blurred the number plate) Old F unit (not good enough with motive power to recognize specifically what model it is) and a non-VIA stainless car. I am surprised to see any old VIA power of this vintage still around in any form outside of museums - I assume this one was on its way to scrap judging by its condition.

Your link is to a MP3 file. 😉

There's actually quite a number of ex VIA locomotives around. I believe the majority of the rebuilt 6300 series F units found new homes, with a couple still running for Ontario Southland in revenue freight service. Generally speaking quite a few of the other F units and MLW FPA4 locomotives found a new home, some in museums, but certainly some earning their keep in excursion service. There is even at least one FPA4 converted to run on natural gas running for the Napa Valley Wine Train.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The first Canadian left Vancouver tonight in ten months, which I think is good? 

 

I however forgot that the coaches got a quasi-Renaissance theme that's totally off the new(ish) branding and throws back 20 years or so. But in any event at least it's fresh. 

 

But - is this going to the rest of the consist? I really dislike the prestige Grey stripe. Now we've got three paint schemes on the trains Budd equipment. Four with the single level dome. The Canadian has definitely had some falls from branding consistency in past. Hopefully this new scheme will be on everything for the Canadian (and other Budd equipped trains by extension)? 

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16 hours ago, Dane said:

The first Canadian left Vancouver tonight in ten months, which I think is good? 

 

I however forgot that the coaches got a quasi-Renaissance theme that's totally off the new(ish) branding and throws back 20 years or so. But in any event at least it's fresh. 

 

But - is this going to the rest of the consist? I really dislike the prestige Grey stripe. Now we've got three paint schemes on the trains Budd equipment. Four with the single level dome. The Canadian has definitely had some falls from branding consistency in past. Hopefully this new scheme will be on everything for the Canadian (and other Budd equipped trains by extension)? 

I completely agree that the new livery is a massive step back. I genuinely have zero understanding of why they chose those colours. They don't align with the current VIA Rail Styling Guidelines - which can be summarized as "Tonka Truck Yellow and Black." I don't personally feel sad that they didn't go yellow-and-black on the cars, but there is no value to the paint job they put on those economy cars. While I am a big fan of legacy/throwback liveries... I suspect there are very few people who feel "nostalgic" about the Renaissance fleet. Regardless, the REN cars are at end of life and updating cars that will outlast them to match a scheme that was chosen only because it was what was on the cars when they were pulled out of the scrapyard... 

It is especially irksome when you consider the rebranding of the Prestige coaches. At least the grey and blue strips occupied the same parts of the car, leading to a somewhat logical switch in accent tone as "Class" changed. That is a fairly traditional design choice for passenger rail. But to have the economy cars with the ugly teal colour and the Prestige with the classic stainless? That makes no sense. I'm not a professional graphic designer but I think I have a reasonable eye for design. Whoever made the decision to use the REN fleet colours on HEP coaches does not. Sorry if that hurts anyone's feelings. 

Edit: Credit for photos goes to an anonymous person that I'm in contact with on the mainland since I live on an island that is apparently allergic to all forms of rail transportation.

VIA2020.jpg

VIA20201.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, MCIBUS said:

Does VIA Rail require you to show prove you don't have Covide-19 via a test showing you don't have it to travel or booking on Via Rail?

No they don't. They only ask you if you have symptom's or if you have been in contact with anyone who has had covid 19.

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11 hours ago, MCIBUS said:

Thanks Shaun. 

Merry Christmas

Also they have those 4 middle seats reserved for families, and the aisle seat is blocked off. 

 There is no assigned seating in the corridor and you pick your own seat with social distancing in mind. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a welcome change. Hopefully it will help kick grumpy journalists back into line after their rubbish about the Canadian being dead because it was late on its first run after the pandemic shutdowns. I doubt it will make the news for being early, but man, when it's late, the news jumps on VIA for their performance. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now is the time for service to be restored on Vancouver Island. Wilson's Group has announced there is a solid chance they won't return to service on all their Vancouver Island routes other than the BC Ferries-subsidized route to Vancouver. If VIA Rail jumps in and gets a multiple-times-daily running on the island, it could prove to be very popular as long as it's introduced in a time when people truly need it. That will have runoff effects on when new companies attempt to enter the market, once people realize the convenience and comfort of the rail service. As of today, there's the potential for there to be no ground transport option between Victoria and Nanaimo (with the only gap in service bein Ladysmith and Cassidy).

https://www.cheknews.ca/tofino-bus-vancouver-island-connector-service-in-jeopardy-amid-covid-19-struggles-740241/

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21 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Now is the time for service to be restored on Vancouver Island. Wilson's Group has announced there is a solid chance they won't return to service on all their Vancouver Island routes other than the BC Ferries-subsidized route to Vancouver. If VIA Rail jumps in and gets a multiple-times-daily running on the island, it could prove to be very popular as long as it's introduced in a time when people truly need it. That will have runoff effects on when new companies attempt to enter the market, once people realize the convenience and comfort of the rail service. As of today, there's the potential for there to be no ground transport option between Victoria and Nanaimo (with the only gap in service bein Ladysmith and Cassidy).

https://www.cheknews.ca/tofino-bus-vancouver-island-connector-service-in-jeopardy-amid-covid-19-struggles-740241/

Great, but who has volunteered to pay the (at least) $326 million to restore the rail infrastructure to safe conditions?

1588301434198-png.243424

 

There are very good reasons why this service has been suspended for almost a decade by now:

1588302321854-png.243425

 

I will never understand why every commercial failure of a private bus service in this country is followed by demands for spending big bucks to replace the bus through a much more expensive, less flexible and (sadly also) slower VIA train rather than demanding a modest operational subsidy to keep the existing bus service in business. And if the province couldn’t be bothered to pay for fixing the infrastructure within a reasonable timeframe, why should the federal taxpayer pay for its operation should the province suddenly change its mind...?

Edited by Urban Sky
Changed phrasing of final sentence
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On 2/3/2021 at 8:28 AM, Urban Sky said:

 

So it's totally justifiable for the province to waste the same number of tax dollars on a single massive, poorly planned highway interchange that has now been determined to have little to no effect on traffic flow but not on public transportation? It's only okay to dump hundreds of millions into a piece of infrastructure only usable by those privileged/environmentally wasteful enough to own a vehicle? God forbid we build infrastructure that lets people along a dense, linear corridor move away from car dependent and environmental abhorrent habits. Sorry, but as a car owner who commutes by car... stop wasting money on road infrastructure. We need rail. You are always super quick to jump in an defend a total lack of actual service from VIA Rail. Sorry, but I'm getting tired of it. I am hugely appreciative of the resources your offer the community but you act like there is literally no case to be made for anything that VIA isn't already doing.

Okay, sure, we only want to "waste" a fraction of the money we'd spend on rail. Then how about a public intercity network like what you find in Western Washington? Regardless, acting like we should all just be happy with the status quo is getting really old. Why is it some crime in need of your genius to ask for rail infrastructure? Guess what, I live here. I know how things work out here, I know the geography. You live so far away that in Europe you would be on another continent. You live in a place with rail service and I doubt you recognize just how absolutely horrid it is to have to rely exclusively on private transport if you don't own a car. You come in assuming that when we ask for rail service, we are literally asking for sixty-year-old RDCs to runover collapsing tracks once a day and therefore no one will use it. You think no one would use it if the tracks were fixed and we had multiple services daily that could compete with highway speeds? No, I guess we should all stop hoping and dreaming and just accept that VIA Rail has never once ever in its entire history made a single decision that didn't serve the public well. 

And regarding your whining about the "federal taxpayer" subsidizing transport on Vancouver Island... why is it that you can't help pay for a single, short VIA Rail line when my tax dollars subsidize a network that is entirely unusable to me? Why do my tax dollars subsidize a network that is primarily located (once again) so far away from me that in Europe it would be on another continent? Because it is social support. It is a public service. It helps lift up Canadians. Same reason it's okay to subsidize flights in the North. Same reason it's okay to have a coast guard even if you live in Saskatchewan. The point of a country is to support one another.

Sorry if that was belligerent but you always bring the same argument and all it is is "well the tracks are bad and the service that used to run sucked so we shouldn't try for something better so be quiet."

I'm tired of your responses. All you do is pop in to tell people they are wrong, and not to share exciting ideas or news. Part of a forum is having ideas and dreams. It isn't to sit on the sidelines and yell at people when they are even remotely optimistic. 

Note: Cut over $100,000,000 off that total figure you posted... no one in their right mind is advocating for the Port Alberni sub to be reactivated. No one. East end track gang may want it but there is literally no business case for Port Alberni to have a rail connection, not even freight. 

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8 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

God forbid we build infrastructure that lets people along a dense, linear corridor move away from car dependent and environmental abhorrent habits.

 You think no one would use it if the tracks were fixed and we had multiple services daily that could compete with highway speeds?

Two quotes above.

Do you really consider the E&N right of way to be a "linear and dense corridor?"

As for competing with highway speeds, I presume that the $227,000,000 cost doesn't get you that. I take it that's what the $548,000,000 cost will get you?

That's an astonishing amount of money when the existing bus operation could be subsidized for far under $1 million year. If that $227,000,000 existed, in particular at the Federal level, it could subsidize a lot of bus service all across Canada.

Hell, if that money existed and was earmarked for passenger rail outside of The Corridor, spending it on a Edmonton - Calgary operation would present a better business case than Vancouver Island. 

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47582686_ScreenShot2021-02-05at04_37_41.png.e0436e6d2884d36c087b0a0ae5d7373f.png

You obviously have a sheepskin hanging on your wall.  Your essay was very well written, punctuation is excellent, grammar second to none.  I'm impressed.  However I need to bring a couple of points to your attention.  An organization named the ICF now controls the former Canadian Pacific Esquimalt & Naniamo Right Away.  I urge you to continue your Studies at The University of Victoria, attending the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, and having the pleasure of adding MBA behind your name.  You will probably graduate with honors, later on in life entering politics as a Member of Parliament.  Meeting with your constituents you will become aware of people's needs, their wants, their current thoughts too.  That way you will be re-elected.  If the people you represent demand high speed rail service, as an MP you will learn how to obtain funding.  By obtaining a consensus from the public, The Government of Canada, The Government of British Columbia tax dollars will be spent where the return on investment is likely to achieve positive results.  Via Rail Canada markets the "Canadian" overseas strictly as a tourist train.  SCC rulings required Via Rail Canada to modernize their coaches so every Canadian Citizen is able to ride the train.  One last item.  The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for all lakes and rivers in Canada.  This is why you might see their vessel patrolling Lake Diefenbaker.  Saskatchewan is a beautiful province and I encourage you to use your learned skills wisely.  Good luck with your studies and I wish you well.

https://www.uvic.ca/gustavson/index.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Corridor_Foundation

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17 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

Two quotes above.

Do you really consider the E&N right of way to be a "linear and dense corridor?"

As for competing with highway speeds, I presume that the $227,000,000 cost doesn't get you that. I take it that's what the $548,000,000 cost will get you?

That's an astonishing amount of money when the existing bus operation could be subsidized for far under $1 million year. If that $227,000,000 existed, in particular at the Federal level, it could subsidize a lot of bus service all across Canada.

Hell, if that money existed and was earmarked for passenger rail outside of The Corridor, spending it on a Edmonton - Calgary operation would present a better business case than Vancouver Island. 

Yes, the E&N follows the entire eastern side of Vancouver Island, the only area of major population that it doesn't serve on the Salish Sea is Saanich. Courtenay/Comox, Qualicum/Parksville, Nanaimo, Duncan, Victoria. It passes through literally every other community.

And yes, absolutely Edmonton-Calgary should be prioritized over Vancouver Island any day, we definitely can find common ground there. I only brought up the island corridor because of Wilson's services being potentially canceled. Before cancellation, the Calgary-Red Deer-Edmonton RDC service was faster than highways will take you on the same journey today. That would definitely be the place to start, especially considering the existing transit infrastructure in both cities to get people to the major stations... but if VIA is this slow to put service through Trois-Rivières and Peterborough, then I am not holding my breath on it.

11 hours ago, Catherine Wilkins said:

You obviously have a sheep skin hanging on your wall.  Your essay was very well written, punctuation is excellent, grammar second to none.  I'm impressed.  However I need to bring a couple of points to your attention.  An organization named the ICF now controls the former Canadian Pacific Esquimalt & Naniamo Right Away.  I urge you to continue your Studies at The University of Victoria, attending the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, and having the pleasure of adding MBA behind your name.  You will probably graduate with honors, later on in life entering politics as a Member of Parliament.  Meeting with your constituents you will become aware of people's needs, their wants, their current thoughts too.  That way you will be re-elected.  If the people you represent demand high speed rail service, as an MP you will learn how to obtain funding.  By obtaining a consensus from the public, The Government of Canada, The Government of British Columbia tax dollars will be spent where the return on investment is likely to achieve positive results.  Via Rail Canada markets the "Canadian" overseas strictly as a tourist train.  SCC rulings required Via Rail Canada to modernize their coaches so every Canadian Citizen is able to ride the train.  One last item.  The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for all lakes and rivers in Canada.  This is why you might see their vessel patrolling Lake Diefenbaker.  Saskatchewan is a beautiful province and I encourage you to use your learned skills wisely.  Good luck with your studies and I wish you well.

https://www.uvic.ca/gustavson/index.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Corridor_Foundation

RE "Sheep skin," you lost me there, if it was supposed to be a witty shot at me I'm sorry but it missed because I don't even understand it. I'll have to assume (dangerous on the internet) that you are claiming I'm a wolf in sheep's clothing. I don't claim to be a sheep. I'm fully aware of the ICF - I check their website for updates about once a week because this issue is one that is close to heart for me. I have no intention of continuing my studies at UVIC, and have no interest in a career in business. My profession is education - don't worry, I don't take that tone into my classroom with me. This is the internet so you are either being very sarcastic or I am missing something, so I won't try to respond to the rest of your comment. I am aware that only government policy can really affect this - that is why I continue to vote for (and write thanks to) Members of Parliament that endorse a VRCA or some equivalent, so that neither VIA nor the government can kick trains around like a financial soccer ball.  

I assume you googled my username and found my transit maps from 2018 on CBC Prince George, hence why you assumed I am a student at UVIC. The articles about my maps (which I recognize are awful now that I have expanded my skills and create maps commercially) were published very close to the end of my studies.

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I think if the withdrawal of intercity bus service was ever going to be a catalyst for improving passenger rail service in Canada, we would have seen it a few years ago when Greyhound Canada folded ... restoration of Vancouver-PG service over the former BCR, improved Skeena service levels, the return of Calgary-Edmonton trains could have all been good solutions to connect towns reliant on bus services ... but aside from a few op eds in local papers, there is no evidence that the powers that be even considered it as a solution. 

 

While I'm completely in favour of restoring passenger service on Vancouver Island ... heck, lets go from broke and push for the line to be extended to Campbell River and run a twice daily service up and down the corridor ... but as cool as all that would be, it is a complete pipedream in the most favourable of economic climates ... which is not our present reality.

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11 minutes ago, cprted said:

I think if the withdrawal of intercity bus service was ever going to be a catalyst for improving passenger rail service in Canada, we would have seen it a few years ago when Greyhound Canada folded ... restoration of Vancouver-PG service over the former BCR, improved Skeena service levels, the return of Calgary-Edmonton trains could have all been good solutions to connect towns reliant on bus services ... but aside from a few op eds in local papers, there is no evidence that the powers that be even considered it as a solution.

Nope. Because Canada's intercity transport network is genuinely the worst I can think of in the developed world. And we'd rather have massive freeways than non-automobile options. 

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I was wondering where the old station in Victoria went until I realized that and the bridge is gone. I only walked a couple of block from the bridge into Victoria, and the tracks looks completely unusable. If you were to ask me, to restore service, tracks will have to be torn up and relaid, as well as other infrastructure improvements. Railfans may prefer the rail, but in this case, buses can provide more frequent service as well as better service directly into Victoria

If you were to ask me, I would prefer to subsidize existing intercity bus company, so the entire Western Canada could be served well. 300 million could do a lot to improve mobility options in Western Canada. It would also allow private operators to receive a bridge loans or to start new routes that may operate at a loss for a while.

 

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