Quantcast

Changes Coming For The Canadian?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,596
Location
Nova Scotia
Well the rumour mill is rolling.....and it's something that even VIA's President has previously alluded to.....that the Canadian will be moving to CP in 2016 between Sudbury and Winnipeg via Thunder Bay and the scenic north shore of Lake Superior.

Something had to happen with the horrendous timekeeping the Canadian now experiences on the freight clogged CN main across northern Ontario. CP is not as busy as CN east of Winnipeg....but west of there....just as busy so don't expect a complete return to CP through Calgary and Banff.

And if it does happen....it would be an easy reroute. The Canadian already enters CP track at Perry Sound in directional running territory but instead of returning to CN just south of Sudbury.....it would continue on to Winnipeg where another fairly easy route is available to get it back on CN to continue west.

I'm not buying my ticket yet but certainly hopeful!

>>>>>>

And VIA almost has another Done Deal with CP:

Looks like they may soon acquire a 28 mile segment of track between Smiths Falls and Brockville from Canadian Pacific. (News item is buried in this article).

http://www.recorder.ca/2015/07/23/is-completed-trail-the-next-stop

"They are encouraged by Via Rail's pending acquisition of the Brockville-to-Smiths-Falls line from CP Rail, a transaction Via president and chief executive officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano expects to see completed in the coming weeks"

This will put nearly the entire route via Ottawa under VIA ownership and control and includes approximately 130 miles from DeBeaujeu (Coteau) to Brockville except for some terminal trackage in the Ottawa area.

These lines have already been upgraded for 'higher speed plus new signaling systems including on the CPs Brockville Subdivision they are about to acquire.

http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment/project/brockville-subdivision
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,592
Location
Virginia
So, would VIA be stuck running a "rural service" train over part of the CN track in Ontario? Or would this allow them to net drop one such train (the Sudbury-White River) train?

Also, it is good to see VIA picking up pieces of the Corridor bit by bit. IIRC that's the chunk of track Harper was talking about adding frequencies on (if nothing else, so the Montreal MPs and Quebec bureaucrats can take the train home...).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

OBS

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
1,597
Location
Long Island, NY
Very interesting.

I also noticed a new warning when looking at availability for Train's 1/2 not to plan a same day connection to other carriers, due to freight trains delays along the route.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,654
Location
Austin Texas
Some good news from the Great White North!

It will be great to go back to the Southern CP Route along the Lake and into Thunder Bay, my late wife's hometown!

Too bad it can't also return to Calgary and Beautiful Banff! As you say, alas the Freight Traffic will continue, to hurt the OTP of the Canadian but I'm one of those who doesn't care, the Longer the Better aboard this Jewel!

Also, will the Canadian return to a stop in Sudbury, or continue to stop @ the remote Sudbury Junction?

I'm also looking forward to the first trip report from someone who has taken the Canadian in the New Super Duper Deluxe Sleeper Cars!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,596
Location
Nova Scotia
Also, it is good to see VIA picking up pieces of the Corridor bit by bit. IIRC that's the chunk of track Harper was talking about adding frequencies on (if nothing else, so the Montreal MPs and Quebec bureaucrats can take the train home...).
No.....that’s the Alexandria Subdivision which VIA already owns and extensively rebuilt about 15 years ago and now another round of upgrades including Ottawa Station which will see high level platforms constructed.

Re the White River RDC....and I guessing here; It would probably move to the CN route to provide a 'remote service' between Caperol and Sioux Lookout'
 

Swadian Hardcore

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
7,363
Location
On The Road
It's probably better for the Canadian to go through Jasper since going through Banff would disconnect it to the Skeena. Also transportation along the Yellowhead Highway is very scarce, with Greyhound only running one bus a day between Edmonton and Kamloops, and that one is an overnight. Jasper would be screwed if VIA pulled out.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,702
Location
Texas
I also noticed a new warning when looking at availability for Train's 1/2 not to plan a same day connection to other carriers, due to freight trains delays along the route.
Seems like Amtrak should have this same warning on all the Western trains. Might help manage expectations of anyone with a job or a family or a schedule of some sort.
 

Amfleeter

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
111
It's probably better for the Canadian to go through Jasper since going through Banff would disconnect it to the Skeena. Also transportation along the Yellowhead Highway is very scarce, with Greyhound only running one bus a day between Edmonton and Kamloops, and that one is an overnight. Jasper would be screwed if VIA pulled out.
Yeah - the Northern/Western route isn't THAT much less scenic than the SW route. It's plenty beautiful and it makes far more sense when it comes to the economy and transportation - Banff has plenty of transportation options. Jasper does not.

It'd be like the Empire Builder going through Missoula instead of Whitefish. Except Whitefish actually has a nearby regional airport with direct connections to Seattle, LV, and Chicago (9000 and 3500 ft runway, about 20 mi away) and a major regional center - Kalispell, which has a metro area of 100k people and urban core of 25k about 15 miles from Whitefish. Jasper has the privilege of neither - thanks to being in a National Park without even a proper airport except for an emergency landing strip. The closest metro area with an airport is 3-1/2 hours away and there's maybe 1, 2 buses a day to there. Jasper would begin its death spiral if VIA went to Banff.
 

amtrakwolverine

Conductor
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Messages
4,002
Location
Warren MI
Unless via can do a stub train from banff to Jasper if a connection exists to do it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,596
Location
Nova Scotia
Unless via can do a stub train from banff to Jasper if a connection exists to do it.
There is no track between Banff and Jasper and besides...... rerouting the Canadian away from Jasper is not even being considered. It is only the route across northern Ontario between Sudbury and Winnipeg……2,500 kilometers east, passing through Thunder Bay on CP instead of Sioux Lookout on CN.
 

Swadian Hardcore

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
7,363
Location
On The Road
Point understood, but as far as west of Winnipeg is concerned, the best option would be to run both the Canadian and the Super Continental. If that isn't possible, then the Canadian should stay on the CN route rather than going through CP since, if it were to leave Jasper, the only remaining viable way to get to Jasper would be by Brewster tour bus.
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,049
Location
Washington State
I'm all for running a Canadian and a Super Continental west of Winnepeg. Daily. I'm pretty much for going back to pre-1990 western route structure for Via. But except for the Kingston-Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec corridor, Via seems to be in worse shape politically and economically than Amtrak. Via really no longer acts as a really viable basic transportation option (2x week!), while Amtrak still serves a basic transportation function. However, since the retirement of the "Blue Fleet" of ex-CN cars (which to be fair were pretty much life expired), Via doesn't have the equipment to resume that structure, even if the financial support was there for the operation.

As a tourist, I prefer the returning the Canadian to its tradional CP route. I've ridden both and the scenery on the CP is better (although CN is pretty good). But I understand the arguments for keeping the Canadian where it is west of Winnepeg. I'd love it it if went through Thunder Bay and along the north shore of Lake Superior on the CP again, though. I wouldn't miss the long stop in scenic Hornepayne.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Eric S

Conductor
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
2,524
Location
Milwaukee
Does a 2-3 day a week train really have that great an impact on Jasper?

Also, if at some point the Canadian no longer serves Jasper (rerouted to the CP line, discontinued, whatever), it's not as if bus service could not be added through Jasper at that point.
 

Eric S

Conductor
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
2,524
Location
Milwaukee
If Jasper is a market worth serving, and VIA Rail service disappears, why wouldn't (or couldn't) bus service be added? What prevents this?

Also, it seems that if rail service disappears, and no bus service replaces it, that would suggest that it is not a particularly large or significant market OR that the rail (or bus) service is largely irrelevant to the market.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Swadian Hardcore

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
7,363
Location
On The Road
VIA Rail service to Jasper is primarily for tourism. If VIA Rail leaves, tour buses will still visit Jasper, but bus service will not be increased, and may even be decreased, because Brewster, the primary tour bus operator, is actually a partner of VIA Rail. Other tour operators also partner with VIA Rail.
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,049
Location
Washington State
VIA Rail service to Jasper is primarily for tourism. If VIA Rail leaves, tour buses will still visit Jasper, but bus service will not be increased, and may even be decreased, because Brewster, the primary tour bus operator, is actually a partner of VIA Rail. Other tour operators also partner with VIA Rail.
Isn't Jasper's existence primarily for tourism?
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,654
Location
Austin Texas
VIA Rail service to Jasper is primarily for tourism. If VIA Rail leaves, tour buses will still visit Jasper, but bus service will not be increased, and may even be decreased, because Brewster, the primary tour bus operator, is actually a partner of VIA Rail. Other tour operators also partner with VIA Rail.
Isn't Jasper's existence primarily for tourism?
Yep, there's really no reason for it to be there otherwise,other than being a Rail junction!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Swadian Hardcore

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
7,363
Location
On The Road
VIA Rail service to Jasper is primarily for tourism. If VIA Rail leaves, tour buses will still visit Jasper, but bus service will not be increased, and may even be decreased, because Brewster, the primary tour bus operator, is actually a partner of VIA Rail. Other tour operators also partner with VIA Rail.
Isn't Jasper's existence primarily for tourism?
Yes, and that's precisely my point. That's why regular bus service to Jasper will not be increased in the event of VIA Rail leaving.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,091
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
VIA Rail service to Jasper is primarily for tourism. If VIA Rail leaves, tour buses will still visit Jasper, but bus service will not be increased, and may even be decreased, because Brewster, the primary tour bus operator, is actually a partner of VIA Rail. Other tour operators also partner with VIA Rail.
Isn't Jasper's existence primarily for tourism?
Yes, and that's precisely my point. That's why regular bus service to Jasper will not be increased in the event of VIA Rail leaving.
I must admit I don't see any logical connection between your premise and your alleged deduced conclusion. Could you please elaborate upon your reasoning to arrive at the conclusion you did? Thanks much.
 

Swadian Hardcore

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
7,363
Location
On The Road
You mean my conclusion that regular bus service to Jasper will not be increased regardless of VIA Rail? OK, I'll elaborate. We agree that Jasper's existence is primarily for tourism. VIA Rail's Canadian carries many tourists to and from Jasper. So does many tour buses, but these are not "regular" buses since they cater specifically to tourists. These tour buses often partner with VIA Rail as part of their tourist itineraries.

If VIA Rail leaves Jasper, the tour buses will lose a major partner in Jasper. In that case, they have two options. They could cut service since they lost a partner, or they could increase service to fill in the void left by VIA Rail.

But regular bus service (Greyhound Canada) does not compete with VIA's Canadian. Greyhound Canada does not discreetly cater to the tourist market in Jasper, which is held primarily by Brewster and VIA Rail. So, if VIA Rail pulls out of Jasper, Greyhound Canada won't jump in to fill the tourist void. And this has been indirectly confirmed by Greyhound Canada's actions, who is downsizing and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to cut routes and will not increase service anywhere, regardless of VIA Rail. In fact, Greyhound Canada has not purchased a single bus since 2006, but have retired, sold, or scrapped buses without replacement.

In summary, Greyhound Canada will not increase service to Jasper in the foreseeable future, regardless of VIA Rail's actions. As for other bus operators, those are all tour buses, not "regular" buses.
 

The Davy Crockett

Conductor
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,313
Location
ALX
While I would really like to see this reroute, I'm taking a "I'll believe it when I see it" approach to this.

As someone at the VIA forum at Yahoo basically said: If you need to go to Thunder Bay anytime soon, you'd better book a flight on Porter.

Still, we can hope, and dream, and wish, and make offerings, and etc., etc. ...
 
Top