Edmonton <> Calgary......A Future Corridor?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

jiml

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,801
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
The revelations about native children's "schools" is an example. The RRs' use in this has not yet become common knowledge.
I'd be very cautious heading down that road. While Canada is currently in the spotlight in this matter, the technology used to make these discoveries has been shared with US native groups. What has been reported so far is likely the "thin edge of the wedge" continent-wide.
 

Urban Sky

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
114
Location
MTR
Honestly I've wondered why we don't reroute the Canadian onto the more northernly CN route from Edmonton to Winnipeg that has significantly less freight traffic. The route may be a bit longer and not be the historical passenger route but it would be faster without the freight interference and it isn't too far away from Saskatoon. Of course the other viable route at that point becomes the CP between Edmonton and Winnipeg as well. Even less freight traffic and it still hits Saskatoon.
What makes you believe that the current travel time could be matched (or even beaten) on these secondary routes which haven't seen passenger service in 60 years? Have you checked the current speed limits or the siding lengths and spacing? Who is going to pay for upgrading these tracks to satisfy the minimum requirements for operating passenger trains at an acceptable speed? And why would it be more worthwhile than investing the same amount in upgrading the CN main line where it would benefit much more trains than just 4-6 passenger trains per week?

Honestly it still makes a lot of sense to run something between Calgary and Edmonton you are talking about two decent sized cities in a climate where the roads are treacherous at least half the year. A Piedmont style regional service would do really well in that corridor in my opinion. Red Dear would be very much similar to Greensboro on the Piedmont as well.
Why should anyone spend a single tax dollar on restoring a rail service which wouldn't stand a chance to compete with the downtown-to-downtown travel time of either driving, busing or flying?
 
Last edited:

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
139
Location
PDX
Last time I rode it, a couple of years ago, the Canadian did take the CN route through Saskatoon and Edmonton, so I'm confused about which routes exactly we're talking about here. Since I lived in Saskatoon for years and visit on a regular basis I like to think I know this geography. A map might help.
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,939
Location
Nova Scotia
Last time I rode it, a couple of years ago, the Canadian did take the CN route through Saskatoon and Edmonton, so I'm confused about which routes exactly we're talking about here. Since I lived in Saskatoon for years and visit on a regular basis I like to think I know this geography. A map might help.
This is CN's secondary route across the prairies and was the original Canadian Northern Railway mainline between Winnipeg and Edmonton. VIA's Churchill trains use the eastern end today through Dauphin and Canora. This line continues west through Humbolt, Warman, North Battleford and Lloydminster.

Saskatoon would have to be served by a new stop in Warman....20 km north of the city.

CN lines are in blue. You can also see that CP route (red) between Winnipeg and Edmonton passing through Yorkton, Saskatoon and Leduc (south of Edmonton)

Sask1.jpg
Sask2.jpg
 

jiml

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,801
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
You just beat me, although I didn't have a map that was as readable. As stated, CN has two roughly parallel routes between Winnipeg and Edmonton, and I'd describe CP's route as more of a network of shorter connected lines - well illustrated in the first map, where they couldn't be described as straight west of Saskatoon. CP's main is the one most are familiar with to the South.
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,939
Location
Nova Scotia
This is CN's secondary route across the prairies and was the original Canadian Northern Railway mainline between Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Back in the early '60s.....the Continental used CN's secondary route between Saskatoon and Edmonton via North Battleford. The Super Continental stayed on the mainline through Biggar....the same route the Canadian follows today.

Sask3.jpg
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,293
Location
South Carolina
What makes you believe that the current travel time could be matched (or even beaten) on these secondary routes which haven't seen passenger service in 60 years? Have you checked the current speed limits or the siding lengths and spacing? Who is going to pay for upgrading these tracks to satisfy the minimum requirements for operating passenger trains at an acceptable speed? And why would it be more worthwhile than investing the same amount in upgrading the CN main line where it would benefit much more trains than just 4-6 passenger trains per week?


Why should anyone spend a single tax dollar on restoring a rail service which wouldn't stand a chance to compete with the downtown-to-downtown travel time of either driving, busing or flying?
For starters a route where you can consistently move 40-60 MPH is much better than one where you are stopping every thirty minutes for thirty minutes while waiting on freights moving at 80 MPH. On the busy mainline even if track speed is high you can't really obtain it because you are always riding on the approach or slowing down to enter the next siding. So in reality your 80 is 40-60 at best. So lets take that further if you stop for thirty minutes that effectively cuts your average speed down to 20-30 MPH because you figure that you are sitting for half of that hour it takes to get up to the 40-60 range.

Meanwhile you have two under utilized routes that run to the north between Saskatoon and Winnipeg that appear to be both in the CN looks to be about a 40-60 MPH line, vs the CP which looks like it is 60 MPH to 80 MPH looking at the track condition. But for simple cases lets just say both are 60 MPH. Yes both routes are slightly longer than the current route but they also serve higher populations as well. So while the CN mainline you are averaging in that 20-30 Mile range you could have covered twice the territory on the line with far less freight service. So you could shorten the timetable back up, or even if you left the insane amount of padding in it you could at least be guaranteed of departing Winnipeg east reasonably close to schedule.

Going west out of Saskatoon I would still be tempted to use the CP route at least as far as Camrose before taking the CN line into Edmonton at that point. Again less traffic means you are spending more time moving covering territory than you are when you are crawling between siding to siding.

At this point it is about service reliability to make it justifiable to put an actual investment in the train. You already have problems in Ottawa with people thinking this train runs just for foreign tourists, partially because it is so unreliable the people who live out west can't count on it. Why would I take a train that doesn't run every day, runs up to 20 hours late regularly to go between Saskatoon and Edmonton. When I could drive it in a few hours and be guaranteed to arrive on time. If you want VIA Rail to be healthy in the future it has to be more than about tourists out west and it has to loose its corridor centric mindset. We have the same problem in the USA we pit the "successful" Northeast Corridor against the National Network trains when in reality the two should be working hand in hand with each other as both need each other to survive. What you get when you take the western provinces or the maritimes out of the equation is the question "why should I fund a train in Montreal or even better yet Senneterre that I do not use, that I will never use?"

So lets focus on making the Western provinces at least have reliable enough service that it can be counted on by the population that lives there. I'm not saying that some place like Unity or Biggar needs the equivalent service level of Dorval or Drummondville that would be insane to service those small towns with the same frequency. But we can improve their service to more than twice a week and make the train not so unreliable schedule wise that it actually makes it a usable train for them instead of their automobile. The people who live in these towns are just as important as the ones who live inside the corridor and it's time we start treating them with the same level of services and support in proportion of their population as those who live in more populated areas.

Next thing VIA needs to do is drastically shorten the Canadian and expand the service to being more frequent. Do you really need to run 8-12 sleepers on one run. If you shorten it and use the Chateau fleet which is relatively unused you could provide a much better service to the west.

What is up with this obsession with "well if it isn't competitive with flying or driving then why should I fund it"? Amtrak's Piedmont isn't competitive with flying for starters. And I should know that I fly the GSO-CLT, and RDU-CLT routes for work. It also 40 minutes faster to drive than the train is end to end. Yet the train manages to have 211,887 passengers which isn't even the whole picture as it doesn't count the Carolinian's ridership on the same corridor. And the southeastern USA has far worse transit connections than Calgary or Edmonton. Amtrak and the State of North Carolina have made this service successful there is no reason you can't copy it's formula to any other corridor in the USA and Canada.

Then you have some other trains like the Carbondale-Chicago, or Quincy-Chicago that also don't make sense using your metric as the rural areas are at the end of the route but yet the routes are doing just fine. It isn't always about the effective drive time or flight time as you will never be able to truly beat those.

Now for some fun on the Corridor (Toronto-Montreal) it takes 5 hours 10 Minutes on VIA, 5 Hours 14 Minutes by driving, and the plane does it in a fifth of the time and is much more frequent than VIA. Ottawa is thirty minutes faster to drive to Toronto and 12 minutes slower to drive to Montreal. So should we stop funding these trains because Air Canada and WestJet can beat them by substantial times? Of course not because they aren't competing in the same marketplace.

Rail is a public service and it's time we stop treating it as a business but more as a service for the publics benefit.

And if you would like to see why the Piedmont formula is a success I would be happy to host you and give you a guided tour of the Piedmont service both on board, and in each community it serves. I live in the area and I can arrange that really rather easily.

You just beat me, although I didn't have a map that was as readable. As stated, CN has two roughly parallel routes between Winnipeg and Edmonton, and I'd describe CP's route as more of a network of shorter connected lines - well illustrated in the first map, where they couldn't be described as straight west of Saskatoon. CP's main is the one most are familiar with to the South.
CP's line is a bit like that but it's still one cohesive line that even at one time had a name train the "Great Western" that operated Winnipeg to Edmonton. So it wouldn't be unprecedented either. Most people forget those two Northern lines remain aside from the CN Main line.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,420
Location
Austin Texas
Whatever happened to VIAs Plan to reroute the Canadian on the "Southern" Route through ThunderBay and on to Vancouver through Calgary and Banff instead of North through Edmonton and Jasper?( the Rocky Mountaineer isn't running/ its in the US so there should be a Slot for the Canadian!)
 

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
139
Location
PDX
OK, thank you, the map was very helpful and now I can see what we're talking about clearly. My initial reaction was 'Warman!?' But it's not like the current VIA station at the CN's Chappell yard is exactly convenient to most of the city anyways, and changes to the roads haven't made it any more so. Warman might work, and it would be a net gain I think to pick up the Battlefords and Lloyd. I'm sure my brother in Aberdeen would like it. Folks would hate you in Biggar ("New York is big, but this is Biggar" Yes, I've driven out there just to have my picture taken by the sign.) Of course, I would LOVE the irony of bring rail passenger service back to downtown S'toon after 50+ years, but I'm not sure that's even doable, much less easily. My one thought for your consideration, is why think in terms of putting the whole run Winnipeg to Edmonton wholly on one freight line or another? VIA can use a combo of CN & CP lines to piece together the best route, as I think they do elsewhere in the system. And, one last thing, I totally agree that making it reliably on time is far more important than some theoretical schedule that's never actually achieved.
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,939
Location
Nova Scotia
Whatever happened to VIAs Plan to reroute the Canadian on the "Southern" Route through ThunderBay and on to Vancouver through Calgary instead of North through Edmonton?
Here a link to discussion back in 2015 about rerouting on CP through Thunder Bay between Toronto and Winnipeg but I don't think there was any consideration given to going all the way to Vancouver on CP via Calgary.

 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,420
Location
Austin Texas
Here a link to discussion back in 2015 about rerouting on CP through Thunder Bay between Toronto and Winnipeg but I don't think there was any consideration given to going all the way to Vancouver on CP via Calgary.

Thanks, that's the route I liked the best when I first rode years ago!
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,116
Location
Denver
CP's line is a bit like that but it's still one cohesive line that even at one time had a name train the "Great Western" that operated Winnipeg to Edmonton. So it wouldn't be unprecedented either. Most people forget those two Northern lines remain aside from the CN Main line.
The Great West even had a dining car before WWII.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,116
Location
Denver
OK, thank you, the map was very helpful and now I can see what we're talking about clearly. My initial reaction was 'Warman!?' But it's not like the current VIA station at the CN's Chappell yard is exactly convenient to most of the city anyways, and changes to the roads haven't made it any more so. Warman might work, and it would be a net gain I think to pick up the Battlefords and Lloyd. I'm sure my brother in Aberdeen would like it. Folks would hate you in Biggar ("New York is big, but this is Biggar" Yes, I've driven out there just to have my picture taken by the sign.) Of course, I would LOVE the irony of bring rail passenger service back to downtown S'toon after 50+ years, but I'm not sure that's even doable, much less easily. My one thought for your consideration, is why think in terms of putting the whole run Winnipeg to Edmonton wholly on one freight line or another? VIA can use a combo of CN & CP lines to piece together the best route, as I think they do elsewhere in the system. And, one last thing, I totally agree that making it reliably on time is far more important than some theoretical schedule that's never actually achieved.
As I posted once before, the CN ran the Royal Train via North Battleford in 1978 instead of on the main line. I'm sure that confirmed to the ever-picky British media that things are pretty primitive in the colonies.

In a re-play of Potemkin's village/s, the CN repainted the stations along the route. In some places they only painted the sides facing the track.

One political argument against using the Canadian Northern line was that Greyhound Lines paralleled it. At the time the last passenger train was discontinued (North Battleford<>Lloydminster<>Edmonton Railiner) GL even ran the "Lloyd Local" into Edmonton in the morning and back as far as Lloydminster in the afternoon. I worked out a stop to discharge passengers at the Coliseum LRT station. After the train was discontinued, predictably the Lloyd Local disappeared, too.
 

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
139
Location
PDX
Back in the early '60s.....the Continental used CN's secondary route between Saskatoon and Edmonton via North Battleford. The Super Continental stayed on the mainline through Biggar....the same route the Canadian follows today.

View attachment 23587
It would appear that these two routes were about the same on time, at least back then.
 

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
139
Location
PDX
CPR station in downtown Saskatoon, now a restaurant. A few blocks from where the CN station used to be - the rail yards in the middle of town that cut off Riversdale from the rest of town needed to go, but there's no reason passenger service needs to follow freight especially now that it's not run by the freight railways.
 
Last edited:

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
139
Location
PDX
Ideally, this should all be part of a network that has daily LD going east/west along at least two corridors and intercity going north/south in both provinces. And maybe a connection to the Empire Builder, say Lethbridge to Shelby or Cutbank? No idea what cross-border rail lines still exist, much less their condition. There used to be some croos-border passenger rail in the west, but all I can think of now is the Mlwk Rd and that track is probably torn up.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,293
Location
South Carolina
Well the thing is you would pick up some decent population centers with that like you said. I mean if you really thought about it and used CP the whole way from Winnipeg to Edmonton you could in theory get a station in downtown Saskatoon which would also be a net gain. We aren't reinventing the wheel at all. Then we could take some money that would be needed to fix the CN on that section and put it on Jasper-Edmonton. At that point you should also consider extending the Skeena into Edmonton as it's really rather strange it doesn't do that already. Jasper has no form of public transit aside from VIA Rail Canada, Rocky Mountaineer (not really transit), and Brewster Bus Lines (which is more of a tourist bus than anything else). So it makes sense to extend the train down to Edmonton.

Honestly I wonder if there would be a Calgary-USA option. The rail line goes down to Shelby on the Empire Builder. Could possibly turn and go to Chicago. Or better yet take the original Mountaineer route and you also gain Regina at the same point in time. There is room to grow our cross border connections.
 

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
139
Location
PDX
Well the thing is you would pick up some decent population centers with that like you said. I mean if you really thought about it and used CP the whole way from Winnipeg to Edmonton you could in theory get a station in downtown Saskatoon which would also be a net gain. We aren't reinventing the wheel at all. Then we could take some money that would be needed to fix the CN on that section and put it on Jasper-Edmonton. At that point you should also consider extending the Skeena into Edmonton as it's really rather strange it doesn't do that already. Jasper has no form of public transit aside from VIA Rail Canada, Rocky Mountaineer (not really transit), and Brewster Bus Lines (which is more of a tourist bus than anything else). So it makes sense to extend the train down to Edmonton.

Honestly I wonder if there would be a Calgary-USA option. The rail line goes down to Shelby on the Empire Builder. Could possibly turn and go to Chicago. Or better yet take the original Mountaineer route and you also gain Regina at the same point in time. There is room to grow our cross border connections.
The route that jumped out at me was Moosejaw to Minot. But even though it has tracks, it probably isn't viable. Rail service to Waterton over the Lethbridge trestle is a nice thought but who knows if that's even possible - was there ever rail service to Waterton and/or over the Crows Nest into the BC interior and down to Spokane? Now I'm doing map fantasies for sure. Havre is the biggest town on the Builder in MT east of the Rockies, but it's not anywhere near much of anything on the CND side. 2 or 3 cross border connections in the west should be enough, right?
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,116
Location
Denver
Now back to Edmonton - Calgary - Lethbridge - wherever
The issue of safety would have to be addressed due to the vague memories of crossing accidents and the Carstairs crash. Solving all of the "potential" issues that opponents would raise is one argument for just starting over with the high-speed proposal.

When I was offered the job in Denver I had just started to piece together the puzzle of what was going on, so I never prepared a study. I was puzzled by the details of crossing accidents in which the lone motorist pulled up to the crossing, stopped, then pulled onto the track in time to be hit by the train. A UofA professor came out with a study of suicide "accidents" that was revealing. He showed a correlation between the one-man crash into abutments, poles, trees. etc. and the economic turndown. He found that the Mounties who provided rural and small-town law enforcement were reluctant to label these as suicide because then life insurance would not be paid. And the RCMP contract with the small town might not be renewed if good old Dmitri's widow was left impoverished.

I had been wondering why the transcontinental trains were safer and it occurred to me that the punctuality of the Dayliners was their curse (the evening northbound whistling for the Ellerslie crossing was the signal for my son to head to bed). Waiting for a transcon even back then would have offered time for second thoughts.

Since then I've come across more accident stories that I was not looking for where a man clearly had reasons to feel depressed and apparently made poor choices that authorities labeled as accidents.

The Carstairs crash brought out a number of failings and weaknesses that no one committed to correct. Instead, the Minister of Transport, a Vegreville car dealer, ordered the discontinuance on safety grounds, pre-empting the CTC.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,116
Location
Denver
The route that jumped out at me was Moosejaw to Minot. But even though it has tracks, it probably isn't viable. Rail service to Waterton over the Lethbridge trestle is a nice thought but who knows if that's even possible - was there ever rail service to Waterton and/or over the Crows Nest into the BC interior and down to Spokane? Now I'm doing map fantasies for sure. Havre is the biggest town on the Builder in MT east of the Rockies, but it's not anywhere near much of anything on the CND side. 2 or 3 cross border connections in the west should be enough, right?
Minot to Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat to Spokane was the "Soo-Spokane Route". There were various combinations over these lines. Seasonal resort traffic was the strong point of these trains. There wasn't much business traffic on the Moose Jaw<>Medicine Hat segment.
 

Urban Sky

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
114
Location
MTR
For starters a route where you can consistently move 40-60 MPH is much better than one where you are stopping every thirty minutes for thirty minutes while waiting on freights moving at 80 MPH. On the busy mainline even if track speed is high you can't really obtain it because you are always riding on the approach or slowing down to enter the next siding. So in reality your 80 is 40-60 at best. So lets take that further if you stop for thirty minutes that effectively cuts your average speed down to 20-30 MPH because you figure that you are sitting for half of that hour it takes to get up to the 40-60 range.

Meanwhile you have two under utilized routes that run to the north between Saskatoon and Winnipeg that appear to be both in the CN looks to be about a 40-60 MPH line, vs the CP which looks like it is 60 MPH to 80 MPH looking at the track condition. But for simple cases lets just say both are 60 MPH. Yes both routes are slightly longer than the current route but they also serve higher populations as well. So while the CN mainline you are averaging in that 20-30 Mile range you could have covered twice the territory on the line with far less freight service. So you could shorten the timetable back up, or even if you left the insane amount of padding in it you could at least be guaranteed of departing Winnipeg east reasonably close to schedule.

Going west out of Saskatoon I would still be tempted to use the CP route at least as far as Camrose before taking the CN line into Edmonton at that point. Again less traffic means you are spending more time moving covering territory than you are when you are crawling between siding to siding.
I'm still not sure on what you base your lofty claims, but they appear to me as the result of mere speculation, daydreaming and an over-reliance on fiction than of any serious attempt at research and analysis. I randomly clicked on a piece of blue line along the Prairie North Line, identified its subdivision name as "Aberdeen" and googled "CN "Aberdeen Subdivision" timetable", which yielded within 20 seconds the CN timetable for said subdivision, including the sections with the sidings and speed limits:

1626573451198.png
1626573552133.png
Source: Extract from CN Timetable uploaded by the Canadian National Railways Historical Association

It doesn't take any knowledge of advanced maths to work out the number (5) and minimum length (6490 ft or 1978 meters) of the sidings, their average (147.7 miles / (5+1) = 24.6 miles) and minimum spacing (95.5 - 65.4 = 30.1 miles), the theoretically achievable minimum travel time (4.5 miles / 20 mph + 34.0 miles / 25 mph + 34.3 miles / 30 mph + 74.9 miles / 40 mph = 4.6 hours or 4:36) and the theoretically achievable maximum average speed (147.7 miles / 4.6 hours = 32.1 mph), which means that whatever average speed is actually possible within the constraints of real-world railroading will be a far cry from "a route where you can consistently move 40-60 MPH".

I can't be bothered to do the same superficial analysis for the other Subdivisons of the North Prairie Line, but you can find their timetables here (to spare you from having to needlessly repeat my 15 minutes long Google research):
And if you want to compare the Prairie North Lone with CN's main line, you can find those timetables here:

One remark about the Gladstone and Togo Subdivisions: in the almost six years I worked for VIA, I have not come across any segment in VIA's entire network which has remotely as notoriously caused excessive delays and even frequent partial cancellations as these two subdivisions. Incidentally, the Gladstone Subdivision was also the scene of one of only two (thankfully non-lethal) derailments of revenue trains I recall during my time at VIA (The derailment of VIA 692 on 31 December 2019), whereas the other one took place on the Newcastle Subdivision (The derailment of VIA 14 on 4 April 2019), so again the kind of underutilized secondary line bypassing the much busier transcontinental main line onto which you so desperately want to divert the Canadian (or the pathetic rests which would remain from this national symbol if anyone would actually act on your "advice" regarding that service)...


***


Seems like I've already reached the character limit, but I'll try to find the time to also debunk the second half of the mostly counter-factual post you wrote...
 
Last edited:

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,293
Location
South Carolina
I'm still not sure on what you base your lofty claims, but for me, they sound like mere speculation, daydreaming and fiction. I randomly clicked on a piece of blue line along the Prairie North Line, identified its subdivision name as "Aberdeen" and googled "CN "Aberdeen Subdivision" timetable", which yielded within 20 seconds the CN timetable for said subdivision, especially the sections with the Sidings and Speed limits:

View attachment 23591
View attachment 23592
Source: Extract from CN Timetable uploaded by the Canadian National Railways Historical Association

It doesn't take any knowledge of advanced maths to work out the number of sidings (5), their average (147.7 miles / (5+1) = 24.6 miles) and minimum spacing (95.5 - 65.4 = 30.1 miles), the theoretically achievable minimum travel time (4.5 miles / 20 mph + 34.0 miles / 25 mph + 34.3 miles / 30 mph + 74.9 miles / 40 mph = 4.6 hours or 4:36) and the theoretically achievable maximum average speed (147.7 miles / 4.6 hours = 32.1 mph), which means that whatever average speed is actually possible within the constraints of real-world railroading will be a far cry from "a route where you can consistently move 40-60 MPH".

I can't be bothered to do the same for the other Subdivisons, but you can find their timetables here (to spare you from having to needlessly repeat my 15 minutes long Google research):
And if you want to compare the Prairie North Lone with CN's main line, you can find those timetables here:

One note about the Gladstone and Togo Subdivisions: in the almost six years I worked for VIA, I have not come across any segment in VIA's entire network which has remotely as notoriously caused excessive delays and even frequent partial cancellations as these two subdivisions. Incidentally, the Gladstone Subdivision was also the scene of one of only two (thankfully non-lethal) derailments of revenue trains I recall during my time at VIA (The derailment of VIA 692 on 31 December 2019), whereas the other one took place on the Newcastle Subdivision (The derailment of VIA 14 on 4 April 2019), so again the kind of underutilized secondary line bypassing the much busier transcontinental main line onto which you so desperately want to divert the Canadian (or the pathetic rests which would remain from this national symbol if anyone would actually act on your "advice" regarding that service)...


***


Seems like I've already reached the character limit, but I'll try to find the time to debunk the second half of the mostly counter-factual post you wrote...
You know what I'm done arguing with you so don't even bother. We do not see eye to eye and I'm tired of you constantly coming after me when I'm actively trying to change the way of thinking about the organization. And I for one am incredibly tired with it. If VIA does not start thinking outside of Quebec and Ontario box there won't be a VIA in three decades left outside of that small section. And the thing is I see the current system is broken when the train only works for end to end tourists because everything in the middle is so horrifically unusable as a public service that it has little to no utility left. Tourists have the luxury of planning their trip around the two days the train actually manages to run, whereas locals going to doctors appointments in winter, or going to visit family and friends in further off localities don't have that ability. Yes they can chose to take it but people have to be able to return home relatively easily at the same time because it's not like Unity, Biggar, Portage, Watrous, or Melville. Plus it needs to run relatively close to on time. Yes I would take the train and throw it on the CP routing which would mess up Watrous and Melville but the general region would still benefit. And it would only be thirty minutes away but it would still be more usable if the train was reliable.

Also when I said good for 40-60 that is going on the Canadian Track Classifications which states that 40 MPH for Freight is allowable without improvements for 60 MPH for passengers. I would know this because it's similar to the FRA Track Classes here and my local line has a 40 MPH limited on freight and Amtrak clocks along at 60 MPH.

You fail regularly to grasp the fact that the current system is broken for the more rural areas of the country. Maybe I'm more sensitive to rural areas because I come from one in the USA that is seen as a vast flyover country. Rural areas deserve reliable service.

You know I am getting really tired when you insinuate that I am stupid. I for one have not ever insinuated that you are stupid when it comes to things and I am tired of feeling like I am being called that. And maybe you have time to research things more through but then remember my life here too. I'm on the road five days of the week with varying hours so the two days of the week I get with family I try not to occupy with this website. That I even come here at all is strictly for the people on this website I do like. So with that goodnight.
 
Top