Home Open Account Help 152 users online

Canadian Railroads > Northern Spirit Cars


Date: 01/10/10 20:52
Northern Spirit Cars
Author: jp1822

So are the Northern Spirit Cars completely "junk" at this point or is there any hope they could be used in some service on VIA - be it an overnight run on the Montreal-Toronto train (even though I know this route was not successful with the Enterprise running etc.), but would they work perhaps on the Chaleur train or some other overnight train if VIA were to ever establish one (sleeper service on the northern Quebec routes as an overlay to the day trains operating here etc.)? Seems to me, these "Northern Spirit" cars largely fell short in the harsh winter weather when operated on the Hudson Bay Route.

But with VIA potentially getting more and more tight with its sleepers during peak period times, just wondering if it is worth VIA to somehow get these cars back in shape for running on perhaps the Chaleur (i.e. Montreal-Gaspe route)?

How many Northern Spirit cars are there?

Would the Northern Spirit cars have more capacity than the typical Chaleur or Manor series cars? I believe they are "ex-Amtrak 10-6 sleepers."

Could these cars be candidates for the next "Canadian luxo cars" to be transformed?"

Where are these cars at now?

On my last Canadian trip in 2008 I believe, I thought I spotted these cars outside Winnipeg on a side track (storage). It's interesting that VIA was able to winterize the Renaissance cars and some cars they bought from BC [Passenger] Rail but never mastered winterizing these cars. I was just thinking that perhaps these "Northern Spirit Cars" could somehow be overhauled and be a "Tourist" class sleeper on the Chaleur or something (perhaps converting one car into a sleeper with lounge section by removing some sleeper space like Amtrak tried to do on some of their Heritage Dorm/Sleeper cars). Course it could also be that they are former "Amtrak" cars and Amtrak didn't do the best in overhauling their Heritage fleet to HEP? Structural integrity issues? I'd also be curious if VIA would ever consider purchasing Amtrak's "Heritage Single Level Crew/Dorm Cars" that Amtrak retired around 1996. They actually could be of interest as "crew cars" for VIA on the Canadian to free up sleeper space in the Manor and Chateau sleeper cars during peak periods. Plus these cars and perhaps one of the Northern Spirit sleepers, as mentioned above could be converted into a lounge/sleeper as part of a "Tourist Class" sleeper.



Date: 01/11/10 13:00
Re: Northern Spirit Cars
Author: DrLoco

SOme random thoughts.
They are ex-AMTK 10-6 sleepers. I rode in 2 of them on the Hudson Bay-er, I mean, WINNIPEG-CHURCHILL and CHURCHILL-WINNIPEG trains. They still had their AMTK intercom system (with the OLD pointless arrow logo on it). On the trip up, the hot water pipes froze, so Nobody was able to have hot water...not that that was a big deal the first night (since I was the only person in the sleeper--I had the car to myself), But after picking up several sleeper passengers at Thompson, there were definitely some grumbling going on. I should probably mention at this point that I was riding the train in December of 2001...and the temperature at the 'Peg was -17C. at Churchill it was -36C...

They looked nice, and matched the rest of the train, and VIA did a respectable job of upgrading the interiors just enough to make them passable, but these cars need a serious rebuild if they are ever to be successful. The car I was on had a nonstop rattle from somewhere underneath the car, which would only go away when were got above 60mph...and the car had some pretty serious flat spots...not that that was the fault of the car---just bad train handling.

So, yeah, they'd be neat to use, but they need a good rebuilding...and will Harper pony up any more money for VIA? I doubt it.
I don't know how many they had, but based on the number of trainsets they had running at the time on the lines to Lyn Lake and to Churchill, they would have had at minimum 3, with a 4th as a spare.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/10 13:05 by DrLoco.



Date: 01/11/10 15:41
Re: Northern Spirit Cars
Author: jp1822

DrLoco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SOme random thoughts.
> They are ex-AMTK 10-6 sleepers. I rode in 2 of
> them on the Hudson Bay-er, I mean,
> WINNIPEG-CHURCHILL and CHURCHILL-WINNIPEG trains.
> They still had their AMTK intercom system (with
> the OLD pointless arrow logo on it). On the trip
> up, the hot water pipes froze, so Nobody was able
> to have hot water...not that that was a big deal
> the first night (since I was the only person in
> the sleeper--I had the car to myself), But after
> picking up several sleeper passengers at Thompson,
> there were definitely some grumbling going on. I
> should probably mention at this point that I was
> riding the train in December of 2001...and the
> temperature at the 'Peg was -17C. at Churchill it
> was -36C...
>
> They looked nice, and matched the rest of the
> train, and VIA did a respectable job of upgrading
> the interiors just enough to make them passable,
> but these cars need a serious rebuild if they are
> ever to be successful. The car I was on had a
> nonstop rattle from somewhere underneath the car,
> which would only go away when were got above
> 60mph...and the car had some pretty serious flat
> spots...not that that was the fault of the
> car---just bad train handling.
>
> So, yeah, they'd be neat to use, but they need a
> good rebuilding...and will Harper pony up any more
> money for VIA? I doubt it.
> I don't know how many they had, but based on the
> number of trainsets they had running at the time
> on the lines to Lyn Lake and to Churchill, they
> would have had at minimum 3, with a 4th as a
> spare.

As mentioned, be curious to see these cars completely rebuilt in perhaps a luxo style (at least one car so they could add a "Tourist Class" to this route) and assigned altogether on the Chaleur (Gaspe-Montreal) train - running tri-weekly.



Date: 01/12/10 20:44
Northern Spirit Cars
Author: jp1822

Also, wouldn't be the first time that VIA Rail Canada has completely refurbished a passenger rail car from top to bottom. I would think that such a refurb would be like what VIA did to its fleet back in the early 1990s with the ex-CP stainless steel Budd cars.



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0553 seconds