Typical Canadian consist in mid-April?

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JoeRids

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
141
Hey there, I am taking the Canadian next week, leaving Wednesday April 12! Does anyone know what the typical consist is, now that we are heading into the Spring season? How many domes will there be? Is there a Skyline "activity" car added at this time, or is there still the coach dome and Park dome only?
 
In the winter/off-season months in recent years there has been an unstaffed Skyline car behind the Sleeper Plus sleepers and ahead of the diner and Prestige sleeper. So three domes altogether.
 
In the winter/off-season months in recent years there has been an unstaffed Skyline car behind the Sleeper Plus sleepers and ahead of the diner and Prestige sleeper. So three domes altogether.
3 domes, staffed Park, unstaffed Sleeper Plus Skyline, staffed Economy Skyline has been the off-season standard for some years. However, this winter they have dropped the Sleeper Plus Skyline, leaving only the Park and the Economy Skyline. April is shoulder season, I don't know when the Sleeper Plus Skyline will be restored to the consist (it may have already happened). I suspect it will be before peak season starts. In any case, be prepared for no Sleeper Plus Skyline, and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
 
3 domes, staffed Park, unstaffed Sleeper Plus Skyline, staffed Economy Skyline has been the off-season standard for some years. However, this winter they have dropped the Sleeper Plus Skyline, leaving only the Park and the Economy Skyline. April is shoulder season, I don't know when the Sleeper Plus Skyline will be restored to the consist (it may have already happened). I suspect it will be before peak season starts. In any case, be prepared for no Sleeper Plus Skyline, and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
When I did a winter trip several years ago, there was no separate Sleeper Plus Skyliner, but we had full access to the Park car, except for the 1st 3 rows of the dome. I assume that's still the case, eh?

(We also had access to the Economy dome, which appeared not to be the case in at least one recent YouTube.)
 
I ride every year at the beginning of the off-season (early November) and there's always been a Skyline (usually not staffed) between the sleepers and the diner. The minimum winter consist in recent years has been.
Baggage
Economy (coach)
Skyline
3 Manor sleepers
Skyline
Diner
Crew Sleeper
Prestige Chateau
Prestige Park.

This winter they dropped the second Skyline.

Sleeper Plus has unrestricted access to the Park during the off season (defined as departures from October 16-April 14 in VIA's "Compare Amenities" PDF) irrespective of whether or not there is a Sleeper Plus Skyline. The first two to four rows of the dome are reserved for Prestige, depending on the Prestige load and usage. On my last trip, it started at 4 rows, but the concierge knocked it down to 3 the second day, then knocked it down to 2.
 
I ride every year at the beginning of the off-season (early November) and there's always been a Skyline (usually not staffed) between the sleepers and the diner. The minimum winter consist in recent years has been.
Baggage
Economy (coach)
Skyline
3 Manor sleepers
Skyline
Diner
Crew Sleeper
Prestige Chateau
Prestige Park.

This winter they dropped the second Skyline.

Sleeper Plus has unrestricted access to the Park during the off season (defined as departures from October 16-April 14 in VIA's "Compare Amenities" PDF) irrespective of whether or not there is a Sleeper Plus Skyline. The first two to four rows of the dome are reserved for Prestige, depending on the Prestige load and usage. On my last trip, it started at 4 rows, but the concierge knocked it down to 3 the second day, then knocked it down to 2.
I traveled in Feb. 2018: just one Skyline between coach & sleepers. Here's the consist posted at Vancouver station:
1680812073963.jpeg


... and here's a view of the whole train from out the front window of the Park dome -- just one Skyline in view.
1680812516998.png
 
When I did a winter trip several years ago, there was no separate Sleeper Plus Skyliner, but we had full access to the Park car, except for the 1st 3 rows of the dome. I assume that's still the case, eh?

(We also had access to the Economy dome, which appeared not to be the case in at least one recent YouTube.)
Good grief- if there’s no sleeper skyline dome, and sleeper passengers can’t access the coach skyline dome, that would kind of stink.
 
Good grief- if there’s no sleeper skyline dome, and sleeper passengers can’t access the coach skyline dome, that would kind of stink.
Unrestricted access for Sleeper Plus to the Park car for the off-season (departures October 16-April 14). There is no indication the Sleeper Plus Skyline will be cut during shoulder and peak seasons.
 
This should probably be in a separate new post but does anyone know if they are still running a buffer car after the Park car.

We’re not traveling until October and we were hopeful that they might have the issue sorted by then
 
This should probably be in a separate new post but does anyone know if they are still running a buffer car after the Park car.

We’re not traveling until October and we were hopeful that they might have the issue sorted by then
All recent photos still show the buffer cars.

I read posts on Facebook that the 4 cars chosen for destructive testing passed the 880,000 pound compression test, which was the primary area of concern. However, there were issues found with the truck bolsters (which the buffer cars would not help with in case of collision). If true, that may make the case to remove the buffer cars, once VIA's and Transport Canada's bureaucracies digest the data. I do not vouch for the accuracy of the reports, it is just a social media report, I am just passing it on.

I am riding it myself in October/November (2 departing Vancouver 10/30, 1 departing Toronto 11/12). I pretty much expect the buffer cars will still be on it, but hope to be pleasantly surprised.
 
Zephyr17

Thanks for the update. Like you we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. While the end result seems obvious, the bureaucratic digestion process always seem to take longer than it should.

We depart Toronto October 3rd so here’s hoping that six months is enough time.
 
Zephyr17

Thanks for the update. Like you we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. While the end result seems obvious, the bureaucratic digestion process always seem to take longer than it should.

We depart Toronto October 3rd so here’s hoping that six months is enough time.
Here's a capture of the Park car followed by a buffer car on this morning's Canadian in Toronto (Sunday 4/9):
1681083470191.png

Railcam link is:
 
I am on the train as I write this and I can report that the additional sleeper skyline dome has returned. Having said that, my sleeper attendant did advise that the coach skyline dome is really only for economy. No matter; there’s enough room for everyone!
Photo was taken from the park car.
 

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I also heard from another passenger who was on the train when it only had two domes that the coach skyline dome was also restricted to coach passengers. Seems bizarre- one dome for all sleeper passengers would seem inadequate- even in the off season.
 
I also heard from another passenger who was on the train when it only had two domes that the coach skyline dome was also restricted to coach passengers. Seems bizarre- one dome for all sleeper passengers would seem inadequate- even in the off season.
Last Sunday's train out of Toronto had 1 coach & 5 sleepers. 5 sleepers fully occupied to maximum capacity would carry about 90 passengers, and the coach could seat up to 62.
 
By Unstaffed is that to mean no service at all in/on this car ?
Correct. The Sleeper Plus Skyline is often unstaffed during the shoulder and off season (when it runs).

More times than not it has been unstaffed (but present) during my early November trips. I generally expect it not to be.

When it is unstaffed the only bar service is in the Park.
 
Last Sunday's train out of Toronto had 1 coach & 5 sleepers. 5 sleepers fully occupied to maximum capacity would carry about 90 passengers, and the coach could seat up to 62.
A Skyline plus the Park Car seems to be more than adequate dome space for 5 Sleepers. It is not like all 90 passengers ever want to sit in the Domes at the same time.

When I rode last in season there was one Skyline Dome and one Diner per 5 Sleepers, and there were three such sets. Of course there was the Park Car at the end. Additionally there was a skyline Dome for the Coach passengers.
 
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Hmm, interesting they moved the crew sleeper from between Prestige and the diner to between Economy's Skyline and Sleeper Plus where it's been for the last few years when I travel off season. It makes more sense there than making Prestige passengers go through the crew sleeper in order to get to the diner. I like how VIA changes up the consists every so often, makes things interesting.
 
I am booked on #1, on 7 April 2024.
Anyone have a guess on what the likely consist will be?
I am in Car 112, Room B….
Anyone have any advice on whether it’s good to keep that, or try for another for some reason?
Would appreciate any input from those who have experienced the ride…🙂
 
I am booked on #1, on 7 April 2024.
Anyone have a guess on what the likely consist will be?
I am in Car 112, Room B….
Anyone have any advice on whether it’s good to keep that, or try for another for some reason?
Would appreciate any input from those who have experienced the ride…🙂
If I remember correctly, during off-peak period, car 112 is the third Manor Sleeper counted from the front:

F40 locomotive
F40 locomotive
Baggage
Coach #02
(Coach #03)
Skyline
Manor 10
Manor 11
Manor 12
(Manor 13)
(Manor 14)
(Manor 15)
Skyline
Diner
Crew Chateau
Prestige Chateau #30
(Prestige Chateau #31)
Prestige Park #39
 
I cannot speak to next April but below is a photo (taken at the Jasper station of last Wednesday‘s consist (#1(10/4)). All of the Sleeper Plus sleepers were Manors (including the crew sleeper marked “Not In Service”). Prestige sleepers were Chateaus Dollard and Salaberry. Observation was Prince Albert Park.
 

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