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Canadian Railroads > Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990


Date: 01/12/14 12:06
Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: eminence_grise

Twenty four years ago on Jan14th,1990, the final CP route Via train 2, the "Canadian" departed the former CN Vancouver BC station for its final run. There was a good crowd on hand to watch it leave, including TV and print media.

Three months previous to this event, the Brian Mulroney Conservatives had changed directions on policy regarding Via Rail passenger service. Many service cuts were to take place across Canada that cold January day. Initially, Via had seen service improvements under the Federal Conservatives, following massive 1981 cuts by Pierre Trudeau's Federal Liberals.

However, by 1990, it was the belief of the Conservative Cabinet ministers of the day, and the Prime Minister that Via Rail was a high profile drain on the Federal Treasury, and the service cuts were necessary for the financial restraints suggested by the Finance Minister.

By 1993, Brian and the Tories were out of power, however his cuts to Via service never returned.

Many of the staff involved with running the CP route "Canadian" were given a generous retirement package,meaning that return to the CP routing would not be easy.

Via had also established a coach train "Canadian Rockies by Daylight" operating in daylight between Vancouver and Banff/Calgary and Jasper. This too was abolished with the cuts of 1990, but the service and equipment was purchased by Grey Lines tour operator Peter Armstrong, later to become the "Rocky Mountaineer" tour train. Armstrong received Federal Government assurances that the "Canadian" would not revert to the CP routing.

By 1993, Brian and the Conservatives went down to defeat, to be replaced by a decade of Federal Liberals until again the Tories came back to power under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Now in 2014, we seem to be facing the possibility of further Via service cuts. This year is pivotal in Canadian politics.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/14 13:47 by eminence_grise.




Date: 01/12/14 12:45
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: DavidP

I'm pretty sure the final eastbound departure was on January 14, 1990. January 15th was the first day of the new, drastically pared down schedule. Sad day either way!

Dave



Date: 01/12/14 17:46
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: PCCRNSEngr

As a passenger on the last #2 we departed on January 14th. At midnight we became a Passenger Extra all the way to Toronto as #2 schedule over the CP had been discontinued.



Date: 01/12/14 18:40
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: CCMF

Looks like a passenger extra in that shot with the white lights ..... but of course in later years it ran over a part of the BN getting out of town too .....

Bill Miller
Galt, ON



Date: 01/12/14 22:11
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: eminence_grise

CCMF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Looks like a passenger extra in that shot with the
> white lights ..... but of course in later years it
> ran over a part of the BN getting out of town too
> .....


One of the expenses Via had to pay was the twice a year reprinting of the CP employee timetables if they included any scheduled Via trains. This used to take place at the spring and fall time change, but later it took place when Via changed scheduled operating times.

Thinking back,I seem to recall that a new CP employee timetable came out to correspond to the final Via runs. The last trains had lost their timetable schedule on CP.



Date: 01/13/14 03:48
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Now in 2014, we seem to be facing the possibility
> of further Via service cuts. This year is pivotal
> in Canadian politics.


David Gunn's assessment of VIA appears to be pretty accurate. They just keep cutting and cutting and cutting.

Within the last few years, service on Vancouver Island is pretty much dead. The service to Gaspe is probably going down the same path. The SKEENA . . . oh, excuse me . . . the Jasper-Prince Rupert train may soon be RDCs spliced with a skyline dome. Tri-weekly trains are becoming bi-weekly trains . . .

Pretty soon there won't be anything left to cut.



Date: 01/13/14 08:08
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: skeezix91

I was wondering the other day, if VIA's trying to sell off to private interests.

Brian H.



Date: 01/13/14 12:45
Re: Last CP route Via "Canadian",Vancouver 1990
Author: eminence_grise

skeezix91 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was wondering the other day, if VIA's trying to
> sell off to private interests.
>
> Brian H.

A year or so ago, The Canadian Government held an Enquiry into the Future of Via Rail. Although in theory a public enquiry, it had a very limited audience, really just potential buyers should the service be sold by the Canadian Government.

Little was divulged to the public or the media, so we don't know if there were any offers.



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