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VIA Rail Canada


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6 hours ago, lifty4ever said:

One idea i had and it might be a short sighted one tbh but VIA could buy some of Amtrak's outgoing Amfleet I cars and use those. Yes they are rather old but then so are our BUDDs by an extra 20-30 years and they're still going strong so it wouldn't be the worst idea, The coaches could be converted for long distance use (Amfleet Is are for corridor use) and some could be converted into diners and potentially, sleepers. Amfleet sleepers did exist at one time but i think they were test mules for Amtrak to decide how they wanted the Viewliner to be. We need to start thinking more green anyway and if Amtrak were just gonna scrap a bunch of em, why not let VIA buy some for their own use. It would also solve the whole Renaissance fleet needs replacing this decade thing. 

Even for an order of 17 or 27 sleepers (which is how many Renaissance sleepers they have in their fleet), if VIA came knocking on CAF's doors with money, they'd probably oblige. The only barrier here is VIA getting said money. I've heard that there may be talks to give VIA a significant increase in subsidy but i'll believe that when i see it

The problem with both your suggestions is that the last thing VIA needs is yet another fleet type which introduces new complexities into its fleet. Also, every restart of a production line has massive fixed costs which would lead to much higher unit costs than for an active production line (like that used for VIA's new Corridor fleet). Also, any new VIA fleet (new or second-hand) must be accessible. Viewliners seem to are, but not sure about the Amfleets - and converting coaches for Sleeper use is a complete non-starter.

Finally, we need to be careful about distinguishing between operating funding (which may be called a subsidy) and capital funding (which should rather be called an investment): increased capital funding would suggest the expansion of non-corridor services (since corridor services already generated a positive contribution towards VIA's fixed costs pre-Covid), whereas increased capital funding implies investments in things like HFR or a non-corridor fleet...

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

The problem with both your suggestions is that the last thing VIA needs is yet another fleet type which introduces new complexities into its fleet. Also, every restart of a production line has massive fixed costs which would lead to much higher unit costs than for an active production line (like that used for VIA's new Corridor fleet). Also, any new VIA fleet (new or second-hand) must be accessible. Viewliners seem to are, but not sure about the Amfleets - and converting coaches for Sleeper use is a complete non-starter.

Finally, we need to be careful about distinguishing between operating funding (which may be called a subsidy) and capital funding (which should rather be called an investment): increased capital funding would suggest the expansion of non-corridor services (since corridor services already generated a positive contribution towards VIA's fixed costs pre-Covid), whereas increased capital funding implies investments in things like HFR or a non-corridor fleet...

On the subject of Amfleets being accessible or not, VIA could have some of the cars converted to be such. That was the original plan for some of the HEP 1 cars before VIA found such modifications couldn't be made to them due to their age. 

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3 hours ago, lifty4ever said:

On the subject of Amfleets being accessible or not, VIA could have some of the cars converted to be such. That was the original plan for some of the HEP 1 cars before VIA found such modifications couldn't be made to them due to their age. 

Converting your existing fleet (as ancient as it might be) is one thing. Acquiring a fleet which will then require expensive conversions before they (provided no unforseen major issues arise, as was the case with the HEP1s you mentioned) are ready for service is a completely other thing. And be careful what you wish for: any second-hand solution provides a pretext for the federal government to negate the need for a long-haul fleet renewal...

Edited by Urban Sky
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2 hours ago, Shaun said:

It would probably be cheaper in the long run to get new cars. 

I guess leasing is not an option?

Leasing doesn't make sense for a public railroad which has an owner with almost unlimited capabilities to borrow money very cheaply. Besides that, I am not aware of any rolling stock owner which offers FRA-compliant intercity rail equipment for lease...

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14 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Leasing doesn't make sense for a public railroad which has an owner with almost unlimited capabilities to borrow money very cheaply. Besides that, I am not aware of any rolling stock owner which offers FRA-compliant intercity rail equipment for lease...

I was thinking more of what the TTC did with the T1 cars. They bought them new and then "sold" or transferred them to a leasing company to release the capital, and to "lease" them back instead.

If a company like Siemens is going to build and maintain the fleet over it's lifetime, could they not "lease" the rolling stock to VIA for 30 years? 

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1 hour ago, Shaun said:

I was thinking more of what the TTC did with the T1 cars. They bought them new and then "sold" or transferred them to a leasing company to release the capital, and to "lease" them back instead.

If a company like Siemens is going to build and maintain the fleet over it's lifetime, could they not "lease" the rolling stock to VIA for 30 years? 

Yes, I guess VIA could do that (provided the federal government allows it to enter a leasing agreement), but what's the advantage over having the federal government pay for the entire fleet upfront?

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6 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Yes, I guess VIA could do that (provided the federal government allows it to enter a leasing agreement), but what's the advantage over having the federal government pay for the entire fleet upfront?

You could blend it into an operational cost instead of a capital cost? Not sure if it's advantage....just throwing it out there. 

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20 hours ago, Shaun said:

You could blend it into an operational cost instead of a capital cost? Not sure if it's advantage....just throwing it out there. 

Considering how people insist that "even VIA's Corridor services lose money", just because they don't understand the difference between variable and fixed costs (recall that Corridor services recovered 130% of their variable costs and thus contributed many millions towards VIA's overheads), it would be suicidal to burden VIA's operating budget with such a massive operating costs. Much better to have the government pay for the fleet renewal, as its cost will be forgotten soon after the new fleet arrives...

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19 minutes ago, Oc4526 said:

Yes, I believe its train set 2200 (5 car) plus Locomotive 2201 

I assume that second loco is to "bookend" the other locomotive VIA already had for testing/assessment. This is quite exciting

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4 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

I assume that second loco is to "bookend" the other locomotive VIA already had for testing/assessment. This is quite exciting

Could be for Maintenance training, or to protect the Cab car on its delivery run.

1 hour ago, smallspy said:

There's also a video of the trainset (plus one loco) on the way as well.

 

 

Here's a daylight shot from a Live Virtual Rail Cam in Nebraska (Might have to rewind to 8:46:20 CT ) 
 

 

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6 hours ago, Oc4526 said:

 

Here's a daylight shot from a Live Virtual Rail Cam in Nebraska (Might have to rewind to 8:46:20 CT ) 
 

 

i forgot to mention.
With Virtual Railcams the feed can only be seen up to 12 hrs after the timestamp.
Therefore after 8:46:20 pm Ct tonight , The footage will not be available. 

Here is a screen grab for those who might miss the feed
406565466_ScreenShot2021-09-27at16_23_48.thumb.png.f20941c9923b462fe7a30957930365d1.png.  1383825985_ScreenShot2021-09-27at17_14_05.thumb.png.db10e56bf622e51ec77216d922498c68.png

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55 minutes ago, Shaun said:

Regarding the LRC locomotives, could they not have re-powered them instead of retiring them? Was it that an option that was considered?

I am not sure if that was considered but I do know that they looked at converting them into cab cars but nothing came out of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, all things considering, how likely is it that a skyline car will be added to the Ocean's consist in the future? I know that technically it could be done now but the dome seating needs to be modified to have reversible seating so the seats can be turned at each terminus. What is the likelihood of such modifications being made? I ask because it's strange that VIA didn't modify the seating in any of the Renaissance coaches. 

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27 minutes ago, lifty4ever said:

So, all things considering, how likely is it that a skyline car will be added to the Ocean's consist in the future? I know that technically it could be done now but the dome seating needs to be modified to have reversible seating so the seats can be turned at each terminus. What is the likelihood of such modifications being made? I ask because it's strange that VIA didn't modify the seating in any of the Renaissance coaches. 

It's probably a lot of work for rolling stock that needs to be replaced soon.  You would need to replace all of the seats, and the mounts that they sit on. 

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