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12 hours ago, Shaun said:

So in the winter it will return to its normal schedule?

Did you actually read the description in the photo of which you posted the link? The first five words literally read: “For a few short weeks…”

The current “accessible schedules” say that the departure time of 601/603 has reverted to 07:30 in the morning and a previous version says that the overnight schedule was in force from July 4 to August 12:

CE5A7794-F80B-43E1-B50E-1DB5BDDC1E45.thumb.jpeg.1f8362608c7c7934845c271d1e02f72f.jpeg
 

The above is easily confirmed on ReserVIA, which shows train 603 still departing at 15:15 on August 12, but at 07:30 on August 15

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On 8/17/2022 at 10:31 AM, John Oke said:

Per Via’s Instagram, the Chargers will enter service Q4 2022

https://www.instagram.com/p/ChXRcFmrDdv/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

 

On 8/20/2022 at 8:37 PM, Shaun said:

Did they complete all of the modifications to TMC to support fixed trainset?

Per Via Rails Fb page.  The Venture train sets  are expected to enter service at the end of 2022. (No solid date or press release yet) 

62394571-ADF2-4DA1-B150-77BCB0327C1B.thumb.jpeg.05d20f8b8c84293a661093ecfa389766.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/5/2022 at 12:48 PM, Urban Sky said:

Prior to March 17, 2020, the Renaissance cars were deployed on the following trains:

Monday-Friday:

20MQ-37QMF & 24FMQ-29QM

Saturday: 

34OM-639MO

Sunday:

622MQ-637QMO & 624OMQ-29QM


The current Accessible schedules show “Baggage Check-In” for trains 20/622MQ and 29QM, which suggests a similar deployment…

A recent cycling plan has been posted on Groups.io (might require registration), which suggests that the following trains have Renaissance equipment:

  • #20 (Monday-Friday)
  • #24 (daily)
  • #29 (daily)
  • #37 (Monday-Friday)
  • #39 (Saturday+Sunday)
  • #622 (Saturday+Sunday)

image.thumb.png.f4374e70c1bde311801b3794720c2d1e.png

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10 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

A recent cycling plan has been posted on Groups.io (might require registration), which suggests that the following trains have Renaissance equipment:

  • #20 (Monday-Friday)
  • #24 (daily)
  • #29 (daily)
  • #37 (Monday-Friday)
  • #39 (Saturday+Sunday)
  • #622 (Saturday+Sunday)

image.thumb.png.f4374e70c1bde311801b3794720c2d1e.png

Did they fix the leaking and faulty AC units? They look nice with fresh paint. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

If Via is so short on rolling stock, why couldn't the company purchase and adapt the just-retired Comet railcars from the AMT Exo, as those were refurbished less than a decade ago? They should be good for 10 years. Use 1 cab car and 2 coaches as 3 economy-class cars, paired with a Business class HEP car, and then the locomotive to make 8 full trainsets (reversible at that)? This would free up all of the stainless steel equipment and all economy-class coaches for the long-distance trains. The Siemens railcars are just enough to replace the current fleet and have no provision for expansion.

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41 minutes ago, Joe Engineer In Training said:

If Via is so short on rolling stock, why couldn't the company purchase and adapt the just-retired Comet railcars from the AMT Exo, as those were refurbished less than a decade ago? They should be good for 10 years. Use 1 cab car and 2 coaches as 3 economy-class cars, paired with a Business class HEP car, and then the locomotive to make 8 full trainsets (reversible at that)? This would free up all of the stainless steel equipment and all economy-class coaches for the long-distance trains. The Siemens railcars are just enough to replace the current fleet and have no provision for expansion.

I don't think that the people at the federal government would be happy about adding capacity in the corridor. 

Do you know how many of those cars were cab cars? We don't know if they are compatible with the VIA fleet. 

 

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1 hour ago, Shaun said:

I don't think that the people at the federal government would be happy about adding capacity in the corridor. 

Do you know how many of those cars were cab cars? We don't know if they are compatible with the VIA fleet. 

 

There are 24 Comet cars, 8 of which are Cab cars. Exo uses the same HEP voltages as Via Rail does.

Why do you expect there would be an objection to adding capacity? Especially given that Dedicated Tracks, as Via proposed it, would entail departures every 30 minutes in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto segment (which would be possible on their own line), which would require at minimum 20 trains, more likely about 25 trains. Plus the Lakeshore routes, Quebec City and SW Ontario, which would need close to 60 trains to run all those services. Increasing the headway to 30 minutes will induce further demand.

Greyhound used to run hourly buses in the Ottawa-Perth-Peterborough-Toronto route. So a huge potential demand is there, and Via should get the missing link built as soon as possible on that segment.

I wonder why Via hasn't considered a low-cost 'Savings Class' coach, with city bus seats in a 3+3 layout (twice as many people as in an Economy class coach), a $2 surcharge for a window seat, a $3 surcharge for an aisle seat, $2 surcharge for a forward-facing seat, $10 surcharge per luggage item $5 surcharge for a heavy coat and no Wi-Fi (saving mobile equipment cost and bandwidth). By doing so, the base fare (for a backwards-facing middle seat mind you) could be advertised as low as $8, and be a real competition targeting the Megabus crowd. I am sure that would attract a whole new group of riders, especially young people.

Over in Europe, these sorts of trains are becoming more common. 

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3 hours ago, Joe Engineer In Training said:

I wonder why Via hasn't considered a low-cost 'Savings Class' coach, with city bus seats in a 3+3 layout (twice as many people as in an Economy class coach), a $2 surcharge for a window seat, a $3 surcharge for an aisle seat, $2 surcharge for a forward-facing seat, $10 surcharge per luggage item $5 surcharge for a heavy coat and no Wi-Fi (saving mobile equipment cost and bandwidth). By doing so, the base fare (for a backwards-facing middle seat mind you) could be advertised as low as $8, and be a real competition targeting the Megabus crowd. I am sure that would attract a whole new group of riders, especially young people.

Over in Europe, these sorts of trains are becoming more common. 

Because it's VIA Rail, not RyanAir. Their purpose isn't to nickel-and-dime you, it's to be a public service. The reason those trains are becoming popular in Europe because they are running as open-access carriers on public rails, and thus are incentivized to turn a profit - meaning they are incentivized to figure out ways to draw out more customers. VIA Rail doesn't exist for the purpose of turning a profit, it's a public service. Would you advocate for public transit buses to charge extra for people to be able to sit down? No. And thank god for that. One of the few things that wins people over to VIA is comfort and ride quality. Sticking people in uncomfortable, crowded, low-end cars is going to lose ridership when their trains are often already delayed, canceled, or slower than driving isn't going to win passengers. It's going to lose existing ones.

With all due respect... are you aware of what VIA Rail is?

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16 hours ago, Joe Engineer In Training said:

a $2 surcharge for a window seat, a $3 surcharge for an aisle seat,

Just to clarify, you believe an aisle seat is more valuable than a window seat?

16 hours ago, Joe Engineer In Training said:

$5 surcharge for a heavy coat and no Wi-Fi (saving mobile equipment cost and bandwidth).

They charge people in Europe for heavy coats?

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5 hours ago, Doppelkupplung said:

We're young, we always want the window. Trust me, when you're older, aisle is the way to go. 

Fair, but the post I quoted was alluding to trying to attract primarily younger ridership.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm paging anyone who usually argues with me, please, please argue with me and change my view. I can't see VIA Rail lasting another five years with this absolute blunder on the part of the federal government to privatize HFR. 

VIA as a public transport service is dead, thanks to our slow right-wing shift in government, and the transcontinentals are dead thanks to the failure of the existing rollingstock from its age. At this point I'm kind of in shock - I don't even know what to think. I cannot believe how short-sighted and ill-conceived privatization of long-distance rail is in Canada, while Amtrak is trying to bolster its roster, its route network, its reputation, VIA is being cut apart in a murder of a thousand papercuts.

https://www.railwayage.com/regulatory/canada-to-create-separate-railway-for-corridor-hfr/?RAchannel=home

Please @Urban Sky tell me I'm wrong, I really need to hear this time. Just for my mental health. I know you're not an insider anymore, but you have a better idea of the dynamics of VIA Rail than anyone on here

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3 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

I'm paging anyone who usually argues with me, please, please argue with me and change my view. I can't see VIA Rail lasting another five years with this absolute blunder on the part of the federal government to privatize HFR. 

VIA as a public transport service is dead, thanks to our slow right-wing shift in government, and the transcontinentals are dead thanks to the failure of the existing rollingstock from its age. At this point I'm kind of in shock - I don't even know what to think. I cannot believe how short-sighted and ill-conceived privatization of long-distance rail is in Canada, while Amtrak is trying to bolster its roster, its route network, its reputation, VIA is being cut apart in a murder of a thousand papercuts.

https://www.railwayage.com/regulatory/canada-to-create-separate-railway-for-corridor-hfr/?RAchannel=home

Please @Urban Sky tell me I'm wrong, I really need to hear this time. Just for my mental health. I know you're not an insider anymore, but you have a better idea of the dynamics of VIA Rail than anyone on here

I think you are taking it out of context.  There are similar projects right in our own backyard. Line 5 for Metronlinx is build by private companies and operated by Metronlinx. 

GO transits Milton corridor is crewed by CP and the rest is crewed by Alstom and the cars are maintained by Alstom which is a private company. Although the corridor is publicly owned. 

YRT contracts out their services and maintenance to third party carriers. 

In England every few years companies bid to run and operate on public corridors, and if one company doesn't meet the standards they loose the contract.

Which ever private company that is selected to build this and operate the line they have a vested interest in its success. They have skin in the game to ensure that it will work. 

It doesn't mean that it's the end of services outside of the corridor or this new corridor. 

Those services are still mandated as an essential service and will continue to be provided unless the mandate changes.

If the liberals loose or fall and Pierre becomes Prime Minister we will likely loose a lot of the social services that we enjoy today because they are "fiscally responsible".  But in order for them to cancel services to those communities that are mandated to (especially in Quebec) it will be a political nightmare for them. They likely need to appeal to rural communities to get enough seats to win, since cities vote Liberal.  

As for the situation with the current fleet it's not ideal that they need to use buffer cars but there may be a way to repair them (we don't know).  Don't write off the service as dead just yet. 

We tend to mimic policies south of the border and will Amtrak Biden spending billions on Amtrak, imagine how it would look if we cancelled our national railway.  We would be the laughing stock of the developed world, when even Africa is spending money to build passenger rail.  

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18 hours ago, Shaun said:

GO transits Milton corridor is crewed by CP and the rest is crewed by Alstom and the cars are maintained by Alstom which is a private company. Although the corridor is publicly owned. 

CP has not crewed the Milton line trains for years. CP owns the majority of the corridor (CP Galt Sub), not the public.

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On 11/2/2022 at 4:30 PM, Shaun said:

I think you are taking it out of context.  There are similar projects right in our own backyard.

Thanks for the perspective on GO - My issue here is that costs increase, by definition, when you have to turn a profit. Looking at it from the perspective of BC: BC Transit only operates one transit system in the entire province, with the rest being contracted out. The one that is run by BC Transit is pretty much the most reliable, robust, system, with the best paid employees and best work environment. The other systems, even the larger ones, that are contracted out are known for being horrible employers, unreliable, and generally not great.

Using the UK as a "this worked elsewhere" doesn't really quell my fears. Look at the re-nationalization wave that the UK is going through, and look at how badly the UK Rail Network lagged behind and became unaffordable for most people during the privatization years. While it's not black-and-white and there are certainly examples of carriers who have provided decent service within the whole "Network Rail" business, overall, it hasn't been very smooth sailing. In terms of private operators, while I'm extremely socialist and don't like the idea of privatized anything (yeah fight me), I really like the open-access, publicly-owned-tracks-with-private-trains idea. I doubt our market, in its current state, would support such a system in Canada even if we had public tracks, but at least I know that in some places private rail works. I just can't really think of a place with the geography of Canada where privately owned rail operators have worked. In Australia, the long distance trains were cruise-ified and cut back. In Russia - well actually let's not go there. 

I still have big concerns over the notion of VIA Rail only being a brand name and not an actual organization. Government employers pay better and generally have far better working conditions than subcontracted-through-subcontractor employers, and don't have to cut corners because they are incentivized to try to glean every penny out of a contract that they can.

 

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On 11/4/2022 at 9:08 PM, InfiNorth said:

Thanks for the perspective on GO - My issue here is that costs increase, by definition, when you have to turn a profit. Looking at it from the perspective of BC: BC Transit only operates one transit system in the entire province, with the rest being contracted out. The one that is run by BC Transit is pretty much the most reliable, robust, system, with the best paid employees and best work environment. The other systems, even the larger ones, that are contracted out are known for being horrible employers, unreliable, and generally not great.

Using the UK as a "this worked elsewhere" doesn't really quell my fears. Look at the re-nationalization wave that the UK is going through, and look at how badly the UK Rail Network lagged behind and became unaffordable for most people during the privatization years. While it's not black-and-white and there are certainly examples of carriers who have provided decent service within the whole "Network Rail" business, overall, it hasn't been very smooth sailing. In terms of private operators, while I'm extremely socialist and don't like the idea of privatized anything (yeah fight me), I really like the open-access, publicly-owned-tracks-with-private-trains idea. I doubt our market, in its current state, would support such a system in Canada even if we had public tracks, but at least I know that in some places private rail works. I just can't really think of a place with the geography of Canada where privately owned rail operators have worked. In Australia, the long distance trains were cruise-ified and cut back. In Russia - well actually let's not go there. 

I still have big concerns over the notion of VIA Rail only being a brand name and not an actual organization. Government employers pay better and generally have far better working conditions than subcontracted-through-subcontractor employers, and don't have to cut corners because they are incentivized to try to glean every penny out of a contract that they can.

 

The other way to think about it is that is a private company can build and run a corridor service and turn a profit why wouldn't the government want a piece? 

I hope that there are plans to spur development around the service offering and that will result in some costs recouped for the Infrastructure Bank's initial investment since the revenue will go to the private corporation and not the general public. 

However as long as the service is running and is a good service at an affordable price then i don't see a problem, but if it turns out that the HFR route is double the price and people take the south corridor instead that would be a failure.  

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The Future of Passenger Rail in Canada: VIA's New Siemens Fleet for the Corridor

On November 8, 2022, VIA Rail introduced into limited service its new rolling stock to replace and modernize its Corridor fleet: the Siemens Venture cars and Charger Locomotive. Join us as we board one of the very first revenue runs of the first trainset and give you a look around the future of passenger rail in Canada.

 

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I used to be hopeful, but as of this morning, I'd say rail on Vancouver Island is dead as a doornail other than maybe having an Trillium-style LRT system in Victoria. The bridge over Shawnigan Lake Road was completely demolished when a clearly idiotic truck driver decided height restrictions were just suggestions.

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The Start of a New Era: First Day in Service of VIA Rail Canada's New Siemens Venture Fleet

For the first time in over 20 years, VIA Rail Canada welcomes the first train of a brand-new fleet to serve passengers in the Corridor. On November 8, 2022, Train 33 and 26 saw the very first revenue runs of the new Siemens Venture trainsets between Ottawa and Montreal. Those new trains are fully accessible and a major upgrade compared to the existing fleet used by VIA Rail. Join us on one of the very first revenue runs on the new VIA trains. We are really excited for the future of passenger rail in Canada and look forward to more opportunities to ride them in the future.

 

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7 hours ago, sseguin said:

The Start of a New Era: First Day in Service of VIA Rail Canada's New Siemens Venture Fleet

For the first time in over 20 years, VIA Rail Canada welcomes the first train of a brand-new fleet to serve passengers in the Corridor.

Make that 40 years. Renaissance fleet was not brand-new ― otherwise they would not have left to rot a whopping 25 % share of what they had just bought, the cars would have survived their first winter without major modifications and they would have been accessible by the inception of the service.

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14 hours ago, webfil said:

Make that 40 years. Renaissance fleet was not brand-new ― otherwise they would not have left to rot a whopping 25 % share of what they had just bought, the cars would have survived their first winter without major modifications and they would have been accessible by the inception of the service.

While they were second hand the majority of the cars had been stored out in the open since being built and had never even been tested. But I think in this context I think new refers to the cars being new to VIA.

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