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Canadian Railroads > VIA Canadian trip report

Date: 03/19/17 20:12
VIA Canadian trip report
Author: jbwest

Rode from Vancouver to Toronoto leaving Van on Tuesday 3/14.  Good trip, very little new to report.  Consist from the rear was Park car, Prestige sleeper, two deadhead manor cars, diner, three in service manor sleepers, skyline, one coach, baggage, and two units.  We arrived Toronto about four hours late.  Only real issue was the two DH sleepers in the middle of the train made it a long walk back to the Park car, but not a huge issue.  Fairly full train, lots of good conversation.  On time as far as Jasper, then started loosing time.  About six or so Prestige passengers, which the crew said was about average for winter. Looking forward to my next trip.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/17 20:16 by jbwest.

Date: 03/19/17 20:57
Re: VIA Canadian trip report
Author: jp1822

I have seen some pictures of Manor sleepers placed ahead of he Prestige sleepers. It doesn't make a lot of sense to have these cars run deadhead here and then have the sleepers in front of the diner "in service." It's long walk for the Prestige passengers and then for Sleeper Plus passengers to head back to the Prestige Park Car (in off season).  

Date: 03/20/17 03:38
Re: VIA Canadian trip report
Author: andersonb109

We had the two dead head Manor's a well. This is the first year I've experienced that. First we thought they were occupied to Jasper (I boarded in Edmonton), but they weren't. Why not put them ahead of the diner and revenue cars ahead of the Park. But there must be a reason. On the plus side, at least there are spare cars on the train should something go wrong with one of the others. 

Date: 03/20/17 05:52
Re: VIA Canadian trip report
Author: DrawingroomA

I was told that the reason the "Sleeper Plus" sleepers would all be ahead of the dining car was to give Prestige passengers easier access to the diner. On my last trip (November of last year) there were no non-Prestige sleepers after the dining car. The two Manor sleepers after the diner, a recent change for the off-peak season, are sometimes in service on all or part of the trip. It seems VIA, for whatever reason, is not removing them from the consist even if they are not needed on  a particular run. So now Prestige passengers must walk through two usually deadhead sleepers to get to the diner and non-Prestige passengers must walk through the deadhead sleepers to get to the Park car.

An almost complete consist - except for the Park car and Prestige Chateau sleeper -  is being kept at the Toronto Maintenance Centre. As with last year, the Park car and Prestige sleeper are removed from the incoming train and added to the new consist.

Date: 03/20/17 09:14
Re: VIA Canadian trip report
Author: jbwest

The two "deadhead" sleepers behind the diner did have crew using them.  Since at one time roomettes showed as sold out and then reappearred, I am guessing that the "deadhead" sleepers make more revenue space available in the in service cars.  One might argue running the extra two manors regularly behind the dinner reduces switching, makes them available for revenue service if needed, provides space for crew, and makes it a bit more difficult for regular sleeper passengers to get back to the Park car, giving the Prestige passengers a bit more room without having to enforce access rules.  The downside being the Prestige folks walk farther for their meals.  But net net it probably makes sense for VIA.  And it was not a huge problem for those of us forward of the diner.  One of the things I found interesting on this trip is the bar in the Park car seemed more like, well, a bar.  The crew seemed more interested in providing folks with alcoholic beverages. In the past I was never asked if I wanted a drink, I often had to hunt down a service person, and the service people did not seem very experienced in serving alcolholic beverages.  It was almost as if the railroad was giving up a good profit center for moral reasons.  This time the Park car had a bit more of a "tavern" car ambience.  It might just be a particular mix of crew and passengers, but I'm guessing it has to do with training crew to provide a higher level of service to the new Prestige passengers.  It certainly made for a more convivial evening in the Park car. I'm not a big drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine before dinner and some Crown Royal on the rocks as a nightcap.  I do wish they would carry fewer Niagara wines and more Okanagan wines.  But those are nits, it is still the last great train ride in North America.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/17 09:21 by jbwest.

Date: 03/23/17 10:02
Re: VIA Canadian trip report
Author: viatrainrider

On my current trip west from WPG the sleeper behind the diner was occupied leaving WPG, and in the second, at least the sections were occupied leaving Jasper as well as some rooms. So appears these sleepers are used as needed.

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