Canadian and Ocean cancelled until Nov 1, 2020

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NS VIA Fan

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Both the Canadian and the Ocean have been cancelled until Nov 1, 2020


And it makes sense. Why would anyone want to be travelling now anyway. I can see a corridor point to point journey resuming but who is going to want to ride the Canadian or Ocean when you will spend all your time in your accommodations. Who would be comfortable riding in the dome or even taking a meal in the dining car. These are trains for socializing!

Right now most provinces have domestic travel restrictions at their borders that would make it difficult for any travellers on a transcontinental train. For example..... Any non essential travellers crossing the New Brunswick/Quebec Border (on the route of the Ocean) also between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has to self-isolate for 14 days. And it's seems to have worked. New Brunswick has only 120 confirmed Corvid cases total and no deaths. 118 have now recovered.
 

Rasputin

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What is happening with the so-called essential services which the Canadian was supposedly providing to a number of communities, primarily First Nations communities, in Northern Ontario?
 

NS VIA Fan

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What is happening with the so-called essential services which the Canadian was supposedly providing to a number of communities, primarily First Nations communities, in Northern Ontario?
I was wondering about that too but over the past few years there has been a number of woods roads constructed into those areas. Perhaps Northern Ontario is not so reliant on the railway for access anymore.
 

zephyr17

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Well, unfortunately i think it speaks to the fact that the Canadian no longer serves a basic transportation function. It can't, running only twice a week. It caters primarily to tourists, largely international tourists, during the peak season, and they can't even get to Canada now, even if they wanted to. The reasoning always seems to have been the tourists help pay for the train (I have heard several times from staff that the train actually makes a profit in the summer months, particularly since Prestige. I have no hard facts and cannot vouch for that, though), so it is there for those that depend on it. Well, now it isn't there for anyone.

As much as I prefer the VIA Canadian to Amtrak, and I typically ride the Canadian once a year. Amtrak long distance trains run at least daily, except for the Cardinal and the Sunset, and still serve a basic transportation function. You can see it in the clientele, and see it in the ratio of coach to sleeper passengers. And the daily schedules support it.

I worry that this highlights the very lack of a basic transportation function for the train and that the Canadian government will no longer see fit to support it once all this is over, and I dearly love that train.
 

jebr

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Another example of our Cousins North of the Border being Smarter than us!!!
Not really. It's speaking to a reality that VIA and the Canadian Government see the train as a leisure destination primarily for people to enjoy a vacation on, and not as essential transportation that people can rely on to get them from city to city. It makes it far easier to cut the train completely if/when budget shortfalls linger - if people have the impression that it's there basically as a tourist ride, it becomes hard to justify when so many people within your own country need help and services that are viewed more essential.

Frankly, so far the US' response in regards to public transit funding in general has been much stronger, mainly because it actually exists at all. Canada's federal government has provided no emergency funding to transit agencies, whereas the US has provided around $25b in the CARES act. It's gotten bad enough that Greyhound Canada has cut all routes temporarily, removing yet another essential mode of transportation.

Yes, it's important to help curb the spread, and to not take transit if you don't need to, but we still need these services to exist for people who rely on them to get around, and to exist when the pandemic becomes manageable and we start wanting to take longer-distance travel again, or not be reliant on our personal vehicles for daily transportation needs.
 

Seaboard92

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The Ocean every time I've been on it has actually been more Canadians traveling than tourists. The train is relatively full from Montreal to Moncton.

Now note the Skeena itself is starting back on June 1st as of right now. And Rocky Mountaineer is starting back July 1. And one of Rocky's lines is now out of service for freight. So I'm curious what they plan to do about that.
 

flitcraft

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Ironically, I got an email today from Via re-upping my expired Privilege status till April 2021...now if only there will be trains to use it one!
 

zephyr17

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... And Rocky Mountaineer is starting back July 1. And one of Rocky's lines is now out of service for freight. So I'm curious what they plan to do about that.
The line that is affected is the former BC Rail line to Prince George north of Squamish. The core CN and CP routes to Jasper and Banff via the Fraser River Canyon are open, being the primary Canadian transcontinental routes. The Rocky Mountaineer probably just won't run their route through Whistler, which was a fairly recent addition to their portfolio, anyway.
 
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jiml

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Not really. It's speaking to a reality that VIA and the Canadian Government see the train as a leisure destination primarily for people to enjoy a vacation on, and not as essential transportation that people can rely on to get them from city to city. It makes it far easier to cut the train completely if/when budget shortfalls linger - if people have the impression that it's there basically as a tourist ride, it becomes hard to justify when so many people within your own country need help and services that are viewed more essential.

Frankly, so far the US' response in regards to public transit funding in general has been much stronger, mainly because it actually exists at all. Canada's federal government has provided no emergency funding to transit agencies, whereas the US has provided around $25b in the CARES act. It's gotten bad enough that Greyhound Canada has cut all routes temporarily, removing yet another essential mode of transportation.

Yes, it's important to help curb the spread, and to not take transit if you don't need to, but we still need these services to exist for people who rely on them to get around, and to exist when the pandemic becomes manageable and we start wanting to take longer-distance travel again, or not be reliant on our personal vehicles for daily transportation needs.
When the current government handouts are done the Canadian government is going to have to find money somewhere, and I suspect VIA will be a casualty of this. I will not be surprised if it returns with a shadow of its former route structure and uses the opportunity to escalate equipment retirements - not unlike the airlines are doing. That having been said, they're also not going to have the cash to pay for all or at least part of that nice new Siemens rolling stock. The sum of these two factors may yield an interesting schedule.
 

neroden

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The way for governments to find money right now, in this specific type of situation, is to print it.

This is actually proven economic doctrine at this point, basic stuff from The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by Keynes -- tested and proven for about 80 years now. The sad thing is that all too many politicians *still don't understand this*.

Sound economic policy is for Canada to massively increase spending when the country reopens, and to finance it with the printing press. No serious economist disagrees any more, not after 80 years of testing. The question is whether Canada's government is smart enough to do it. I think they are. The other question is whether the US government is smart enough to do it... who knows.
 

Seaboard92

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The line that is affected is the former BC Rail line to Prince George north of Squamish. The core CN and CP routes to Jasper and Banff via the Fraser River Canyon are open, being the primary Canadian transcontinental routes. The Rocky Mountaineer probably just won't run their route through Whistler, which was a fairly recent addition to their portfolio, anyway.
It is still scheduled for this July after the restart. So once the border opens I'm planning on taking that route.
 

NS VIA Fan

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……... So once the border opens I'm planning on taking that route.
Don't think the Canada/US Border will reopen anytime soon. Ontario Premier Doug Ford is adamant he does not want it open so it doesn't look good for the Maple Leaf.......and he has the backing of the Premiers of BC (Cascades) and Quebec (Adirondack).

It's certainly a Federal jurisdiction...and no mater what Trump might say.....reopening would have to be by mutual agreement between the two countries.......but 'Essential' travel and trade still continues.

 

zephyr17

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It is still scheduled for this July after the restart. So once the border opens I'm planning on taking that route.
Hope it works out for you. It is a great ride, I took it years ago on BC Rail's RDC. If it does go it is probably the last chance ever to ride Cheakamus canyon and Lake Seton. There's no source of traffic in the middle section of the route and CN has clearly decided they don't need it as a through route.
 
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zephyr17

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Have to say I have the same concern as NS VIA Fan. I live in Washington about 80 miles from the BC border and go up there a lot.

No one here expects the border to reopen to non essential travel any time soon.
 

gaspeamtrak

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Quebec school opening's have been pushed back to Monday May 25 at the earliest...
The high schools and Colleges and universities wont open till after labour day...
 

Bob Dylan

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The way for governments to find money right now, in this specific type of situation, is to print it.

This is actually proven economic doctrine at this point, basic stuff from The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by Keynes -- tested and proven for about 80 years now. The sad thing is that all too many politicians *still don't understand this*.

Sound economic policy is for Canada to massively increase spending when the country reopens, and to finance it with the printing press. No serious economist disagrees any more, not after 80 years of testing. The question is whether Canada's government is smart enough to do it. I think they are. The other question is whether the US government is smart enough to do it... who knows.
Canada Yes!
The US? Not till we change the Current Leaders in Washington!
 

Michigan Mom

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What happens to US citizens who own property in Canada... no means of going there to do maintenance work and so forth?
 

NS VIA Fan

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What happens to US citizens who own property in Canada... no means of going there to do maintenance work and so forth?
No.....I don't think so. Essential Travel only.

Here there are also restrictions on inter-provincial travel between provinces with check points at those borders Not just between Canada and the US. For example I live in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island is just a quick 75 min ferry ride away but this year the PEI government has said that if you own a summer cottage there you may be able to come over but be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days in your cottage before going out......so certainly not feasible for a quick weekend trip to the beaches we've been doing for years.
 

jiml

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What happens to US citizens who own property in Canada... no means of going there to do maintenance work and so forth?
It's the same in both directions. Lots of Canadians with US vacation properties they're paying taxes or maintenance fees on, but can't visit. Friends of ours are concerned that they won't get back to Florida in time to prep their place for hurricane season.
 

railiner

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Some folks have dual citizenship, but not many....I imagine that means they can cross the border at will (for "essential purposes", of course)...?
 
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