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On 2/4/2022 at 3:36 PM, Shaun said:

What was wrong with the bridges that where there previously? Are the stations along this line in good condition?

Like I said, the line is subject to maritime conditions (coastal erosion, saltwater corrosion, washouts and windsweeps during storms). They were in state of disrepair, because of negligence by former owners (CN, SCFQ) especially following some early 2000-2010's hurricanes . The line, critical for the transport of gross and manufactured goods (windmill blades, cement mix, lumber), was bought by the governement in 2015.

For the stations, in 2013, most of the remaining stations along the Halifax and Gaspé lines in Québec were closed (La Pocatière, Rivière-du-Loup, Trois-Pistoles, Mont-Joli, Bonaventure, Port-Daniel, Barachois, Grande-Rivière) or became bare shelters with no services (Rimouski, New Richmond, Chandler).

Gaspé station was severely damaged by a fire in the early 2010's. Via replaced it by trailers. City of Gaspé built a station of its own, instead. It still sits at the end of the line and is used as a tourist info centre, waiting for the trains to come back. The new station was some tourist train terminus for a couple of years before the line was damaged again; the tourist train engine was dismantled and carried by truck to New Richmond to be put back in service but the cars still sit in Gaspé. Left is a picture I took exactly 10 years ago, right is a picture from 2017 (CC BY-SA 3.0, Ymblanter).

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a9/Gare_temporaire_%C3%A0_Gasp%C3%A9.jpg/640px-Gare_temporaire_%C3%A0_Gasp%C3%A9.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/52/Gaspe_station_information_center.jpg/640px-Gaspe_station_information_center.jpg

I remember from my last trip along the line (2012) that New Carlisle station was in a good shape, despite having its original interior, windows, doors and seats.

I went to New Richmond in early 2018. Took some pictures around the station. Part of the building is used as an office for SFG, the line operator.

image.thumb.png.4595a9e97b7cd7da30715c0cfcf8bff6.png

Chandler station is now a ticket office for Nova Lumina, a multimedia experience.

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7 hours ago, Oc4526 said:

For those interested. Via 2300 is currently parked on the north storage track at the Via Stn 

(Current as of 12:03 Pm )

36D827B4-541E-4306-8486-9DCBB3804C67.thumb.jpeg.f9142184185e5ce234acaec2e3d5678e.jpeg

More cold weather testing? When is the 2nd train set supposed to arrive?

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1 hour ago, Shaun said:

More cold weather testing? 

Yes Via is still testing the train with the existing infrastructure.

Quote

When is the 2nd train set supposed to arrive?

No idea on when the rest of 2301 is supposed to arrive.

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13 hours ago, Tom1122 said:

I seem to recall that one of the Northern Quebec service stops somewhere that someone can get a bus to Quebec City. I can't remember where. Does anyone have an answer?

As a much less useful answer to this question, Riviere-a-Pierre is the start of the Velopiste Jacques-Cartier, which takes you right to the terminus of the 77 (and its commuter variants) in Quebec City... in case you want most of your journey to be by bike.

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54 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

As a much less useful answer to this question, Riviere-a-Pierre is the start of the Velopiste Jacques-Cartier, which takes you right to the terminus of the 77 (and its commuter variants) in Quebec City... in case you want most of your journey to be by bike.

That sounds like a very interesting rail-bike-rail excursion, if the Renaissance cars (and thus checked baggage service) are to return on the QMO services!

https://www.velopistejcp.com/carte-interactive

The cycling path is of course the former ROW which VIA used for its twice-weekly Quebec-Chambord service until the November 1981 cuts:

20220220_120800.thumb.jpg.c31b054c0fc348c36724642836c93029.jpg

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On 2/20/2022 at 9:14 AM, Urban Sky said:

That sounds like a very interesting rail-bike-rail excursion, if the Renaissance cars (and thus checked baggage service) are to return on the QMO services!

https://www.velopistejcp.com/carte-interactive

The cycling path is of course the former ROW which VIA used for its twice-weekly Quebec-Chambord service until the November 1981 cuts:

I was planning on doing it with a folding bike during my 2019 cross-Canada journey but didn't even up bringing the folding bike. As an aside about bikes - is VIA Rail going to continue their somewhat steep per-ticket bicycle surcharge with the introduction of the Venture equipment? 

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On 2/20/2022 at 12:19 PM, InfiNorth said:

I was planning on doing it with a folding bike during my 2019 cross-Canada journey but didn't even up bringing the folding bike. As an aside about bikes - is VIA Rail going to continue their somewhat steep per-ticket bicycle surcharge with the introduction of the Venture equipment? 

I have no idea, but given that it would now be self-serve (store in the car and retrieve by yourself) rather than a checked-bike-in-the-baggage-car service, the industry standard would be to charge a nominal reservation fee (maybe $5-10) per bike and trip...

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7 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I have no idea, but given that it would now be self-serve (store in the car and retrieve by yourself) rather than a checked-bike-in-the-baggage-car service, the industry standard would be to charge a nominal reservation fee (maybe $5-10) per bike and trip...

 

On 2/20/2022 at 12:19 PM, InfiNorth said:

I was planning on doing it with a folding bike during my 2019 cross-Canada journey but didn't even up bringing the folding bike. As an aside about bikes - is VIA Rail going to continue their somewhat steep per-ticket bicycle surcharge with the introduction of the Venture equipment? 

Amtrak charges $5-$20 depending on rte for a reserved spot (except for select routes that have free first come first served spaces) 

 

On the topic of Amtrak’s carry on bike service.  I noticed the Maple Leaf now offers this service. Though not sure on how Via Rail would handle it  once service resumes. 

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9 hours ago, Oc4526 said:

 

Amtrak charges $5-$20 depending on rte for a reserved spot (except for select routes that have free first come first served spaces) 

 

On the topic of Amtrak’s carry on bike service.  I noticed the Maple Leaf now offers this service. Though not sure on how Via Rail would handle it  once service resumes. 

Thanks for providing the reservation fee for a spot on the bike rack at Amtrak! As for the Maple Leaf, I assume that it would make for an interesting test bed to figure out appropriate policies and procedures before the new fleet arrives...

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6 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Second weekly Canadian will return April 29th with the first departure out of Vancouver. Really hoping we see a third weekly departure one day.

I would expect it to return in 2023, but only West of Edmonton, as had been the case in the 2019 Summer season...

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9 minutes ago, Urban Sky said:

I would expect it to return in 2023, but only West of Edmonton, as had been the case in the 2019 Summer season...

Was that not due to CN track capacity issues between Toronto and Edmonton? I thought that was only temporary?

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2 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I would expect it to return in 2023, but only West of Edmonton, as had been the case in the 2019 Summer season...

That's incredibly disappointing.

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On 3/5/2022 at 5:13 PM, Shaun said:

Was that not due to CN track capacity issues between Toronto and Edmonton? I thought that was only temporary?

On 3/5/2022 at 7:10 PM, InfiNorth said:

That's incredibly disappointing.

I don't think that CN is resisting a full restoration of the third frequency, but you would need to completely change the schedule (i.e. departure times and days of operation) and if you can't provide the tour operators with something like 18 months notice, you risk that they just cancel the spaces they already committed to (because they are not going to be enthusiastic to reorganize their itineraries around your change of mind) and losing further goodwill. Therefore, I don't see a chance for the third round-trip to be fully restored before April/May 2024 (given that it hasn't been operating during the winter since 2012).

Furthermore and as unpopular as the April 2019 schedule change was, it almost entirely solved the OTP issue (at least from a tourist's and tour operator's perspective) and I simply don't see how you could maintain an OTP which is remotely acceptable to tour operators while running three round-trips per week with only four consists. Unfortunately, the levers which are necessary to make thrice-weekly viable again (difficult to believe that this didn't even require a fourth trainset prior to 2008!) are held by the federal government, not VIA.

In any case, let's watch if the tourism-driven business model of the Canadian stabilizes as international tourism hopefully normalizes next year and then see whether it is still the best which can be done with the little resources (and hostile operating environment) which are available...

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On 3/5/2022 at 5:03 PM, Urban Sky said:

I would expect it to return in 2023, but only West of Edmonton, as had been the case in the 2019 Summer season...

Are any of the court battles Amtrak is facing with CN south of the border set any precident? If they make progress?

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28 minutes ago, Shaun said:

Are any of the court battles Amtrak is facing with CN south of the border set any precident? If they make progress?

Why would a court battle in the United States and governed by US laws set any precedent for Canada?

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Are we any closer to reinstating full service along the Corridor (especially in Southwest Ontario) and long distance service like Sudbury-White River back to pre-COVID levels now that restrictions are being eased? 

A huge brace of trains are still yet to come back, particularly those heading west from Toronto to Windsor. Those being: 78, 79, 82, 83, 85 and 88.

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9 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

Why would a court battle in the United States and governed by US laws set any precedent for Canada?

A lot of what happens in the US can effect Canada.  If Amtrak makes progress with CN in the US or could mean that progress can also be made in Canada in terms of passenger rail being treated like a third class.

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12 hours ago, Shaun said:

A lot of what happens in the US can effect Canada.  If Amtrak makes progress with CN in the US or could mean that progress can also be made in Canada in terms of passenger rail being treated like a third class.

Indeed, whatever laws the lawmakers in the US create to strengthen Amtrak’s hand when dealing with its host railroads could also be replicated by its peers in Canada to benefit VIA.
 

Conversely, courts can only apply those laws which happen to have been enacted within their jurisdiction…

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Is anyone following DownieLive Travels By Train? Mike Downie of Vancouver is a very passionate young vlogger who recently did a 10-week trip across Canada by VIA Rail through each province, except Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island where no train operate. He's done other VIA-related videos as well, and a lot of transit-related videos about Vancouver. I don't know where he's going next, but I know I'll be there with him.

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1 hour ago, Mark Walton said:

Is anyone following DownieLive Travels By Train? Mike Downie of Vancouver is a very passionate young vlogger who recently did a 10-week trip across Canada by VIA Rail through each province, except Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island where no train operate. He's done other VIA-related videos as well, and a lot of transit-related videos about Vancouver. I don't know where he's going next, but I know I'll be there with him.

A bit too zany-tik-tokky for my liking (I'm more on Geoff Marshall's frequency) but super glad that someone has finally filled the niche of making VIA Rail cool on social media. Has he done the Labrador train?

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