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Passenger Trains > Dinner Train start - up in Ontario (Canada) next month.


Date: 05/10/08 19:25
Dinner Train start - up in Ontario (Canada) next month.
Author: TheCurator

While wandering around the OSR's yard last Thurs. (before you ask, yes, I had permission) I spotted a line of what I thought at first glance to be a line of six de-skirted Budd s/s passenger cars but what turned out to be demotored RDC's.

After snapping a few photos (sorry about the one - the sun was high overhead) I went over to chat with a guy cleaning off the graffiti on one of them. Turns out he was the owner. He has plans to operate a dinner train from Guelph to Campbellville and return, starting hopefully in mid-June. I asked about power and he said probably the Ontario Southland's black S-10 switcher.

According to the owner, the 'cars' are from Virginia and were originally owned by VRE. I snapped a shot of the name on one of the cars but it can't be read and is barely readable in person - Ethan Allen Connection.

I've included a shot of the interior of one after being gutted, and what's left of the logo on another. Maybe someone here can decipher it.









Date: 05/10/08 19:26
Re: Dinner Train start - up in Ontario (Canada) next mo
Author: TheCurator

What remains of the logo.




Date: 05/10/08 19:32
Re: Dinner Train start - up in Ontario (Canada) next mo
Author: TheCurator

Almost forgot - for anyone who's seen the RDC consist sitting at VIA Rail's Mimico yard for who-knows-how-long, this guy's good friends of the owner of those. Apparently the RDC owner hopes(?) to start up a commuter rail service with 'em.

Sounds like a rumour to me, but who knows...



Date: 05/10/08 21:10
Re: Dinner Train start - up in Ontario (Canada) next mo
Author: GenePoon

TheCurator Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> According to the owner, the 'cars' are from
> Virginia and were originally owned by VRE. I
> snapped a shot of the name on one of the cars but
> it can't be read and is barely readable in person
> - Ethan Allen Connection.


The demotored Budds go back farther in time than their service in Virginia. They first were powered RDCs, mostly of Boston and Maine origin, but were sent to Morrison-Knudsen in Boise to be converted to non-powered commuter coaches for use in the Boston area.

Virginia Railway Express bought them as a quick way to get a fleet of passenger cars, as their use in Boston was just ending at the time. When VRE got its "permanent" fleet, which has turned out to be not-so-permanent, the Boise Budds were sold off. Caltrain got some for use on special trains; they later went to Grand Canyon. Some were acquired from VRE by the State of Vermont which planned a commuter train in the Burlington, VT. area in the late 1990s. For one season, before the commuter operation began, the State sponsored a daily roundtrip passenger train between Burlington and Rutland, VT; its schedule was timed to Amtrak's Ethan Allen at Rutland, providing a connecting service for Amtrak passengers to and from Burlington. The Ethan Allen Connection operated with an engineer, conductor and brakeman. Tickets were sold on board, preprinted at...of all places...a movie theater in Burlington. The train consisted of one diesel, usually a Vermont Railway red-painted GP38; a boxcar with a diesel-powered HEP generator inside; and three Boise Budds.

The times I rode it, the Ethan Allen Connection was a leisurely ride through a truly scenic part of New England. But ridership was not sufficient for the State to continue its operation, although there continued some back-burner activity for some time, toward permanently expanding passenger service from Rutland to Burlington. Doing so with the Amtrak train would require an additional equipment set, however; the Boise Budd consist would have been a much lower-cost way of providing such service.

Unfortunately the Burlington, VT commuter train, which operated several roundtrips a day between Burlington and Charlotte (pronounced "shar-LOT") turned out to be a failure and the state discontinued it after spending much money on equipment and on infrastructure upgrades. The passenger equipment was sold; I'm wondering whether all of the cars now on the planned dinner train operation are the ex-Vermont "fleet." I think Vermont had six or seven of them.

The fragmentary logo mentioned by The Curator and shown in a photo is the Virginia Railway Express logo. For the whole logo, see:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Virginia_Railway_Express_Logo.png



Date: 05/12/08 00:05
Re: Dinner Train start - up in Ontario (Canada) next mo
Author: dan

heard a dome is going to ontario, maybe for this operation?



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