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On 6/30/2021 at 4:21 PM, anyfong said:

What an awful and shameful move. Taking even more steps to discourage rail travel to people who need to use it.

I have the impression that some essential context is missing here:

Bisson added that Via employees can sometimes anticipate which passengers will cause trouble “because they’re acting a certain way and when this is taking place, you know if you’re going to have a good trip or a bad trip,” Bisson said. “You know if you’re going to call the cops at one point or not call the cops.”

But he said that employees have also recommended some solutions, such as requiring mandatory ID checks, when verifying tickets. Right now, he said that employees are only required to check ID before serving alcohol.

You may want to read the entire article first before concluding that this is exaggerated:

https://globalnews.ca/news/6551471/via-rail-violence-greyhound/

 

On 6/30/2021 at 4:40 PM, Chris W said:

So to sum up: Instead of reinstating service beyond the current skeleton frequency levels, they somehow have enough in the budget for a pilot project revolving around security checks? They're not an airline.

To put things into perspective: VIA Rail's most recent Annual Report shows an Operating Loss of $280 million in 2019 and of $415 million in 2020. How much do you think can introducing ID checks of all passengers boarding at four different stations possibly cost?

 

9 hours ago, Michel said:

If you want to think of something shameful then you should worry about them not putting everyone's bags through a metal detector. 

This is definitely a very effective measure - at least if your goal is to copy the aspects of air travel which makes travellers hate themselves for not having a better alternative to travel...

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2 minutes ago, Urban Sky said:

Bisson added that Via employees can sometimes anticipate which passengers will cause trouble “because they’re acting a certain way and when this is taking place, you know if you’re going to have a good trip or a bad trip,” Bisson said. “You know if you’re going to call the cops at one point or not call the cops.”

But he said that employees have also recommended some solutions, such as requiring mandatory ID checks, when verifying tickets. Right now, he said that employees are only required to check ID before serving alcohol.

This is why the British Transport Police 61016 service exists on National Rail and most public transport in the UK. In most cases it is better for witnesses and bystanders to discreetly text that something is wrong or questionable behavior is seen, facilitating a police and staff response at the nearest station. ID checks does nothing to vet a person's behavior. However, if alcohol sales do exist on train, then definitely, an ID check would work there.

5 minutes ago, Urban Sky said:

To put things into perspective: VIA Rail's most recent Annual Report shows an Operating Loss of $280 million in 2019 and of $415 million in 2020. How much do you think that introducing ID checks of all the passengers boarding at four different stations will cost?

It depends on how this would be implemented. If scanning an ID document is required, then it would cost a lot. If just visually checking the document, then maybe not by much.

Train travel is not the same as plane travel. To improve security on an otherwise security check-free system requires a collaborative effort between governments, organizations, community groups, and advocacy groups, concentrating on alleviating the effects of homelessness, substance use, mental health issues, and healthcare in general. I see this ID check measure making rail less accessible as it is just a hassle. To make rail travel more accessible, the system should be designed to be as convenient and accessible as if it were a subway system - more frequent trains, simpler ticketing system, solving the last-mile problem at many stations, and a more efficient boarding process (waiting on the platform rather than in the concourse, designated waiting areas for people with disabilities).

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3 hours ago, anyfong said:

This is why the British Transport Police 61016 service exists on National Rail and most public transport in the UK. In most cases it is better for witnesses and bystanders to discreetly text that something is wrong or questionable behavior is seen, facilitating a police and staff response at the nearest station. 

Small reality check: the distance between Capreol and Winnipeg is 1499 km by rail (i.e. slightly longer than between Penzance in Cornwall and Thurso in Upper Scotland, which is the longest distance you can travel by train in the United Kingdom). Have a try with Google Maps and see how many police stations you can identify in communities through which the Canadian passes on its journey across Northern Ontario. Oh, and good luck waiting for a response for your emergency-reporting texts if you can go multiple hours without any cell reception...

 

3 hours ago, anyfong said:

ID checks does nothing to vet a person's behavior.

Not directly, but it can still help with arresting a violent passenger after he fled a train and with preventing him from boarding a train again. And, in some cases, this may act as a deterrent against violent misconduct in the first place...

 

3 hours ago, anyfong said:

Train travel is not the same as plane travel. To improve security on an otherwise security check-free system requires a collaborative effort between governments, organizations, community groups, and advocacy groups, concentrating on alleviating the effects of homelessness, substance use, mental health issues, and healthcare in general. I see this ID check measure making rail less accessible as it is just a hassle.

[...]

I am fully aware that different people can have very different priorities, but as far as I am concerned, I'd rather not travel with (let alone: work for) a rail company which prioritizes passenger convenience over the safety of anybody who happens to be on board a train...

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Why not have train marshall's on board for those trains in the middle of nowhere?

Two officers per train. Canadian, ocean, and the train to Churchill.

On rotation how many officers would be required? 20? 

Then you would need to provide sleeping arrangements and food on board.  

All of that cost would need to be added to each ticket.  Might cost $2.00 for every ticket sold if you include the corridor trains. 

 

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3 hours ago, Shaun said:

Why not have train marshall's on board for those trains in the middle of nowhere?

Two officers per train. Canadian, ocean, and the train to Churchill.

On rotation how many officers would be required? 20? 

Then you would need to provide sleeping arrangements and food on board.  

Let's do the maths (very superficially, of course!):

A one-way trip on the Ocean is aproximately 21 hours, therefore 3 round-trips per week are 126 hours per week and 6570 hours per year.

For the Canadian, it would be 96 hours and 2 round-trips per week (ignoring trains 3 and 4 for the sake of simplicity), thus 384 hours per week and 20,023 hours per week.

For the Churchill, it would be 44 hours and 2 round-trips per week (ignoring trains 690 and 691, for the sake of simplicity), thus 176 hours per week and 9,177 hours per year.

In total, that would be 686 labour hours per week and 35,770 labour hours per year.

Let's assume that every guard works 40 hours a week, has 4 weeks of annual vacation and misses another 4 weeks due to things like sick leave or training. That leaves 1760 of policing hours per guard, which leads to 20.3 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs), so good guess, but recall that is really a back-of-the-napkin calculation with best-case assumptions. With VIA Rail's Annual Report 2019 showing "compensation and employee benefits" of $340.8 million and 3,308 FTEs for that year, this translates to $103,023 per FTE or $2.1 million for 20.3 FTEs. However, keep in mind that there are lots of indirect labour costs, such as for recruiting, training and all kinds of administrative tasks.

 

3 hours ago, Shaun said:

All of that cost would need to be added to each ticket.  Might cost $2.00 for every ticket sold if you include the corridor trains. 

This is simply not how the laws of demand and supply work: ticket prices won't increase because prices are already set (at least in theory) at their revenue-maximizing point and passengers' willingness-to-pay is not influenced by changes in VIA's cost structure. Instead, VIA's operating costs would go up and its cost-recovery rate would decrease, thus increasing VIA's subsidy need...

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It appears the Canadian Government is yet again have another Fisability  Study on a hig Speed Corridor from:

Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto.

How many are they goin to have before it's actually built? This is just another election promise that will never happen?

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28 minutes ago, MCIBUS said:

It appears the Canadian Government is yet again have another Fisability  Study on a hig Speed Corridor from:

Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto.

How many are they goin to have before it's actually built? This is just another election promise that will never happen?

 

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4 hours ago, MCIBUS said:

It appears the Canadian Government is yet again have another Fisability  Study on a hig Speed Corridor from:

Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto.

How many are they goin to have before it's actually built? This is just another election promise that will never happen?

Process is indeed painfully slow, but it seems like you've missed quite a few steps...

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From their website:

Quote

Revised schedule between Aug 11, 2021 and October 1, 2021: the Ocean is operating once per week between Halifax and Montreal. Due to COVID-19, we have had to make changes to our on-board services and overall experience. While full inventory remains available on these trains after October 1, 2021, as we approach the date, we will update customers as it becomes clear what service will actually be possible based on the evolution of the pandemic

https://www.viarail.ca/en/plan-your-trip/service-status

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On 7/9/2021 at 1:10 PM, downbeat said:

Just spotted on Via’s Instagram!

42A00C9E-4EAC-41EE-AEBC-FD8E15C01B82.jpeg

Oh, so they've improved their rolling stock so the park car can just tack on the back of the REN fleet...? Or is this just the umpteenth edition of VIA's graphic designers making strange choices?

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3 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Oh, so they've improved their rolling stock so the park car can just tack on the back of the REN fleet...? Or is this just the umpteenth edition of VIA's graphic designers making strange choices?

 

VIA has been running a Park Car on the back of the Renaissance equipment for years. But when the Ocean returns next month it can no longer be turned in Halifax so the Park Car is being dropped from the consist. There is still hope a Skyline Dome might be added when social distancing onboard permits.

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7 minutes ago, John Oke said:

Why can’t they turn it anymore in Halifax?

The loop track that VIA used at the Container Terminal has been removed and there is no longer any place to turn a train in Halifax.  VIA has decided that when the Ocean returns....the consist will be bi-directional. The F40 locomotives will be back to back and just run around the consist to opposite end... ready to depart west the next day.

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2 hours ago, ghYHZ said:

VIA has been running a Park Car on the back of the Renaissance equipment for years. 

Both those photos show the Skyline attached to a transition car, not to a renaissance passenger car. It was a tongue-in-cheek jab at how VIA has to waste one (or two) entire cars worth of train in mixed consists because of their past inability to plan their equipment purchases well. 

1 hour ago, John Oke said:

Why can’t they turn it anymore in Halifax?

The rail loop in the harbour has been closed because shipping containers are more important (in their opinions, not ours).

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15 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Oh, so they've improved their rolling stock so the park car can just tack on the back of the REN fleet...

 

9 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Both those photos show the Skyline attached to a transition car, not to a renaissance passenger car. It was a tongue-in-cheek jab at how VIA has to waste one (or two) entire cars worth of train in mixed consists because of their past inability to plan their equipment purchases well. 

The rail loop in the harbour has been closed because shipping containers are more important (in their opinions, not ours).

 

Yes it is a Transition Car but it is also part of the 'REN fleet' (as you state in your original post).......and that's the photos I posted here!  A Park Car 'just tacked on the back of the REN fleet'.......and VIA has been doing this (covid aside) for about 15 years. The Park Car originally operated in the summer and fall tourist season then year 'round since 2013. 

And yes.......shipping containers are much more important to Halifax than a 3day/week train that can be configured to operate bi-directional and no longer requiring the loop-track that was taking up valuable container terminal space. 

Just google 'Marco Polo Container Ship'.....carrying the equivalent of 16,000 TEU 20' Containers. (this thing was huge when I saw it docking in Halifax!)

https://www.portofhalifax.ca/port-of-halifax-welcomes-largest-containerized-cargo-vessel-to-call-a-canadian-port/

  

 

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Here's the Ocean using the old loop track in Halifax that was taking up valuable space at the Container Terminal. In photo #3 the Ocean is backing down into the station.....properly positioned to depart the next day.

 

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On 7/11/2021 at 8:50 PM, ghYHZ said:

Yes it is a Transition Car but it is also part of the 'REN fleet' (as you state in your original post).......and that's the photos I posted here!  A Park Car 'just tacked on the back of the REN fleet'.......and VIA has been doing this (covid aside) for about 15 years. The Park Car originally operated in the summer and fall tourist season then year 'round since 2013. 

And yes.......shipping containers are much more important to Halifax than a 3day/week train that can be configured to operate bi-directional and no longer requiring the loop-track that was taking up valuable container terminal space.

I get sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet. I will put a big bold sarcastic comment ahead next time I guess. 

I'm fully aware of the Ocean's equipment. I was commenting on the fact that they showed a fully-windowed REN car slapped right next to the Park Car rather than using an image of the hideously useless transition car. And I'm fully aware that the container port is more economically important, but thanks for spelling it out.

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4 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

I get sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet. I will put a big bold sarcastic comment ahead next time I guess. 

I'm fully aware of the Ocean's equipment. I was commenting on the fact that they showed a fully-windowed REN car slapped right next to the Park Car rather than using an image of the hideously useless transition car. And I'm fully aware that the container port is more economically important, but thanks for spelling it out.

I don't think the sarcasm was lost on him, since he stressed that expanding the port was "much more important to Halifax" (e.g. its people and communities, not just the national or local economy) than whether a thrice-weekly train continues to operate with a panorama car at its tail end...

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4 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

I get sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet. I will put a big bold sarcastic comment ahead next time I guess. 

I'm fully aware of the Ocean's equipment. I was commenting on the fact that they showed a fully-windowed REN car slapped right next to the Park Car rather than using an image of the hideously useless transition car. And I'm fully aware that the container port is more economically important, but thanks for spelling it out.

Maybe do us all a favour and lay off on your attempts at sarcasm altogether? Saves having to explain yourself later on....

Thanks!

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  • 5 weeks later...

After nearly 17 months......here's the first run of VIA's Ocean making it's way west through Truro, Nova Scotia this afternoon..... August 11, 2021.

IMG_5813.thumb.JPG.8dc7a1509bae5d3c62f175c2ff11c45b.JPG

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The Ocean now uses a hybrid mix of Budd and Renaissance equipment. As the train is no longer turned in Halifax it will operate with a bi-directional consist and the power will just run around to the opposite end. Previously the F40's had run 'Elephant Style' (nose to tail) They are now back to back.

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The train has a baggage car on each end now so one will always be adjacent to the locomotives and convenient to the 2nd Engineer in the cab as he also does baggage car duties.

IMG_5809.thumb.JPG.6ae8161b461d1bf96448eedea46bd74f.JPG

 

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On 8/12/2021 at 6:46 AM, ghYHZ said:

After nearly 17 months......here's the first run of VIA's Ocean making it's way west through Truro, Nova Scotia this afternoon..... August 11, 2021.

IMG_5813.thumb.JPG.8dc7a1509bae5d3c62f175c2ff11c45b.JPG

IMG_5823.thumb.JPG.dad77c328143cdecdd1d26eb93561b2d.JPG

IMG_5825.thumb.JPG.0be4cc7fcf7356c3125bb789b43f6478.JPG

The Ocean now uses a hybrid mix of Budd and Renaissance equipment. As the train is no longer turned in Halifax it will operate with a bi-directional consist and the power will just run around to the opposite end. Previously the F40's had run 'Elephant Style' (nose to tail) They are now back to back.

IMG_5810.thumb.JPG.9682f7654ea86241debd6cce8c1e7c00.JPG

The train has a baggage car on each end now so one will always be adjacent to the locomotives and convenient to the 2nd Engineer in the cab as he also does baggage car duties.

IMG_5809.thumb.JPG.6ae8161b461d1bf96448eedea46bd74f.JPG

 

Did they re-wrap or paint the REN cars during the pandemic? I don't recall them being that shiny.

What modifications where made to the HEP cars? MU cables? But they didn't rebuild them?

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11 hours ago, Shaun said:

Did they re-wrap or paint the REN cars during the pandemic? I don't recall them being that shiny.

What modifications where made to the HEP cars? MU cables? But they didn't rebuild them?

The Ren cars got an external and internal refurbishment - some bodywork, new paint, new carpets....

 

No mods were required or necessary to the HEP cars, beyond what they had already been scheduled to receive.

 

Dan

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On 8/14/2021 at 9:27 AM, smallspy said:

The Ren cars got an external and internal refurbishment - some bodywork, new paint, new carpets....

 

No mods were required or necessary to the HEP cars, beyond what they had already been scheduled to receive.

 

Dan

So are the interiors of the HEP cars still the same? Since the exterior looks the same. 

 

I hope they fixed the leaking HVAC systems on the Ren cars, and this may prolong their life a bit since there are no replacements on order as of yet. 

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