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Canadian Railroads > Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?


Date: 03/02/19 12:36
Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: andersonb109

Oh no, another thread on the Canadian's poor performance. But of interest to me as I'm booked on No. 1 two weeks from tonight....or more likely Sunday morning. There must be extra equipment available with only 2x per week scheduled in each direction. If not enough Park Cars are available, just use a regular one and put those passengers in a second Chateau. What about the Budd equipment sometimes used on the Ocean? Why not use that? Of course there are no spare crews in Toronto either. But how much is VIA spending on putting passengers up in the Royal York 2x per week?  Say they get a discounted rate of $200 per room. Say there are only  50 people booked in sleepers. That's a cost of $10,000. Say it costs another $200 per employee to fly a crew in from Winnipeg. Assuming a crew of 15, that's a total of $3,000. So what's the problem? What am I missing? At least until CN gets their current mess straightened out and the weather improves. The extra set would be all cleaned, cars thawed out and re-stocked, and a rested crew ready to go at 22:00 as the schedule calls for, allowing for at least a chance to get to Vancouver the same day as planned. Or is this truly the sunset of this great train?




Date: 03/02/19 14:01
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: Streamliner

Of all the complaints about very late runs of 1 & 2, can we even imagine what it must be like for crew members?  What must it be like to pretty much NEVER know exactly when you will be departing on a trip, when you will be arriving at your destination or when you will be getting HOME?  I guess these folks must find it almost impossible to make a date, buy tickets for an event, make your kid’s soccer game or even keep a simple dinner reservation.  Is this anyway to run a railroad?



Date: 03/02/19 20:14
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: viatrainrider

Regarding Park cars for an extra set:  Think at this time of year there must be an extra Prestige Park available.  Old Park cars nice but not for Prestige.

VIA on board staff are very dedicated people and I hear of the stress not showing to the passengers;  however, yes, it must be hard on all concerned.

Keeping figures crossed for better days ahead with better weather, new departure time from Toronto.



Date: 03/03/19 02:48
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: andersonb109

Yesterday's No. 1 departed Toronto at 3:30 today. How nice for the passengers who just wanted to get to bed at a reasonable time. That said, it appears VIA did a great job of turning the train given it's late arrival. Amtrak should so well.  I have a hotel booked in Vancouver for two nights. But it needs to be canceled by 18:00 two nights prior. I've looked all over and can't find anything that can be canceled day of arrival. And if the train turns up at 6 in the morning, I would still need someplace to stay until normal check in time that afternoon. If' the train is later than that check in time, I will be asking VIA for appropriate mileage to be put into my account. Delta does that all the time...even for minor delays. Often without even asking. Current No. 2 is out of Edmonton "only" 4 hours late. But now entering the black hole. So as our President is fond of saying...."we will see what happens." 



Date: 03/03/19 04:24
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: viatrainrider

PS to my post above:  I too have wondered why t here is not an extra set of equipment at Toronto.  A few years back, there was an extra set.  I arrived at Toronto on an equipment set that had come through severe cold - minus 40 C at Hornpayne - and showers were froze and other defects account severe cold.  Well, I left Toronto that same night on a different set.  I knew this because the car names different and everything was thawed and very spiffy.  So I wonder the same.  Why is there close to another set of equipment that appears to be  kept at Vancouver when it could help to get # 1 out of town on time if kept at  Toronto?

I now stay at YWCA hotel in Vancouver.  I have given them advance notice that I might not get there in time to use the room on what would be a normal Wednesday arrival.  They agreed that I could let them know as soon as possible and could cancel my first night there.  I pretty  well knew by Jasper.



Date: 03/03/19 04:52
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: ghCBNS

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yesterday's No. 1 departed Toronto at 3:30 today.
> How nice for the passengers who just wanted to get
> to bed at a reasonable time. That said, it appears
> VIA did a great job of turning the train given
> it's late arrival. Amtrak should so well.  I have
> a hotel booked in Vancouver for two nights. But it
> needs to be canceled by 18:00 two nights prior.

The last couple of times I;ve been on the Canadian.... I don't make hotel reservations in advance anymore. With the Apps available now......about 12 hrs out and by that time you should have a pretty good idea of the trains ETA......just start searching. I've never had a problem finding something and usually at a pretty good last minute deal. Usually still downtown or it might be out by the airport or a highway Super 8 but you don't have the anxiety of losing your hotel deposit ruining your trip.



Date: 03/03/19 05:05
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: DrawingroomA

viatrainrider Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Regarding Park cars for an extra set:  Think at
> this time of year there must be an extra Prestige
> Park available.  Old Park cars nice but not for
> Prestige.
>
> VIA on board staff are very dedicated people and I
> hear of the stress not showing to the
> passengers;  however, yes, it must be hard on all
> concerned.
>
> Keeping figures crossed for better days ahead with
> better weather, new departure time from Toronto.

With four Prestige Park cars in the fleet and three needed for the off-peak service, there is one spare. But the winter season is the only time that major maintenance can be performed. The spare is normally held in Vancouver. Earlier this year I saw the spare Prestige Park car on the end of a Montreal-bound train, presumably  bound for the main maintenance centre.

In the peak consist season (end of April to mid-October) all four Prestige Park cars and eight sleepers are in operation on most trips. It is a big problem if there are any serious issues with any of this equipment. Prestige is usually full all summer.  There would be no acceptable alternative accommodation for those booked in the six rooms of a Chateau sleeper if it was bad-ordered. It would take six regular Chateau sleepers to provide six drawing rooms (cabins for 3). There is no comparison, of course, and from what I have seen the non-Prestige Chateau sleepers are getting shabby. They were not given the major re refurbishment that the Manor sleepers were. Even this substitution would not be possible in Toronto on short notice and no chance at all mid-route if, for example, the air conditioning failed.



Date: 03/03/19 06:50
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: thehighwayman

For the past couple of years I have watched these ongoing discussions about VIA, CN, delayed trains etc.

Folks, you need to realize something ... posting your comments here amounts to "preaching to the choir!"

Sending letters to VIA is also "preaching to the choir."

Perhaps a massive letter campaign to CN, Prime Minister Trudeau, and Transport Minister Marc Garneau might be more effective.

I strongly suggest a physical letter ... one where they have to take the time to physically handle the letter to read it.

Nowadays, an email might be quicker and easier, but snail-mail takes them more time to process ... and a response to you requires them to actually write to you. And you should be writing your letters to them at least every week.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

 

Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON



Date: 03/03/19 08:46
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: Chessie

" ... can we even imagine what it must be like for crew members?  What must it be like to pretty much NEVER know exactly when you will be departing on a trip, when you will be arriving at your destination or when you will be getting HOME?  I guess these folks must find it almost impossible to make a date, buy tickets for an event, make your kid’s soccer game or even keep a simple dinner reservation.  Is this anyway to run a railroad? "

Sounds like railroading since ... railroading began. 



Date: 03/03/19 18:45
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: Streamliner

Chessie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> " ... can we even imagine what it must be like for
> crew members?  What must it be like to pretty
> much NEVER know exactly when you will be departing
> on a trip, when you will be arriving at your
> destination or when you will be getting HOME?  I
> guess these folks must find it almost impossible
> to make a date, buy tickets for an event, make
> your kid’s soccer game or even keep a simple
> dinner reservation.  Is this anyway to run a
> railroad? "
>
> Sounds like railroading since ... railroading
> began. 

Railroads in Germany run with tick-tock precision, down to the second.  American railroads used to be close to that.  Virtually NO major, passenger railroad, operating in the First World, has EVER put down the poor on time performance that VIA has shown over this past year with 1 & 2, NONE!



Date: 03/03/19 21:33
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: jp1822

DrawingroomA hit the nail on the head. Main reason there's NOT an extra trainset is because VIA is trying to do maintenance on the Prestige Cars. There ONLY downtime is off-peak season (two sleepers and one Park Car). VIA runs this equipment to the max in peak season; there's NO spares if something happens to one of these Prestige Cars in peak season. Compare THAT to Amtrak's "back-up plan" of spares for the Viewliner Sleeper and Viewliner Diner fleet......pathetic. 

Also, I think there's a reason as to why VIA has not gone after the remaining Chateau Sleeping cars to refurbish......

As many have pointed out, along these same lines:

"There is no comparison, of course, and from what I have seen the non-Prestige Chateau sleepers are getting shabby. They were not given the major re refurbishment that the Manor sleepers were."

I think VIA is holding out for converting some additional Chateau sleepers into Prestige sleepers, along with perhaps one more Park Car. I think it is just a hold out presently to see what's going to unfold with the Canadian in totality. Although, they might be able to hold off on the Park Car given VIA will in peak season now only be operating two trains a week between Toronto and Vancouver, with a Edmonton to Vancouver" section, which if worst comes to worst could operate with a non-Prestige Park Car. Under the new schedule - train pulls out of Edmonton when everyone will be in bed. Next day is the only major use of the Park Car before arriving into Vancouver in early morning (again, with schedule that will go in place by May 2019). 



Date: 03/04/19 15:50
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: joemvcnj

MIght they be waiting to send the shabby Chateau cars to the Ocean once they junk the REN cars in a few years when the new Corridor fleet comes in  ? 



Date: 03/04/19 16:06
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

thehighwayman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> but snail-mail takes them more time to process ... and a response to you requires them to actually write to you. 


Businesses are not "required" to do anything.  I've found wrting a snail mail letter is ignored just as thoroughly as an email.  Many businesses have probably laid off the people who used to answer mail.  

It's a sad state of affairs.  



Date: 03/04/19 16:30
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: agentatascadero

Streamliner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Chessie Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > " ... can we even imagine what it must be like
> for
> > crew members?  What must it be like to pretty
> > much NEVER know exactly when you will be
> departing
> > on a trip, when you will be arriving at your
> > destination or when you will be getting HOME?
>  I
> > guess these folks must find it almost
> impossible
> > to make a date, buy tickets for an event, make
> > your kid’s soccer game or even keep a simple
> > dinner reservation.  Is this anyway to run a
> > railroad? "
> >
> > Sounds like railroading since ... railroading
> > began. 
>
> Railroads in Germany run with tick-tock precision,
> down to the second.  American railroads used to
> be close to that.  Virtually NO major, passenger
> railroad, operating in the First World, has EVER
> put down the poor on time performance that VIA has
> shown over this past year with 1 & 2, NONE!

Streamliner.......Silence (yours) is GOLDEN.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 03/05/19 01:21
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: Chessie

I wasn't referring to Germany and I wasn't referring to passengers.  I was referring to train crew as you cited in your earlier post before changing the subject.  Not knowing when one is coming or going is the norm for T&E in North America, not the exception.  The sky is not falling. 



Date: 03/05/19 12:11
Re: Why Doesn't VIA Provide an Extra Set of Equipment in Toronto?
Author: Streamliner

Chessie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wasn't referring to Germany and I wasn't
> referring to passengers.  I was referring to
> train crew as you cited in your earlier post
> before changing the subject.  Not knowing when
> one is coming or going is the norm for T&E in
> North America, not the exception.  The sky is not
> falling. 

OK, but how often was it nearly as bad for passenger crews in Canada or the USA, as it has been on 1 & 2 over the past year?  Not knowing exactly when one is coming or going is one thing.  Having swings of 24+ hours either way is quite another, at least in my opinion.



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