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Canadian Railroads > Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...


Date: 01/01/22 22:04
Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: gaspeamtrak

I saw this on another website ? Has anybody seen or heard about this yet? I also saw it on "Trade" website...
Looks like we may have only another 3 -5 years to ride the old " BUDD" cars...
Sad to say nothing last forever. I will be riding Via's long distance train as much as I can... :):):)



Date: 01/02/22 06:08
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: DrawingroomA




Date: 01/02/22 06:35
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: Train29

Perhaps  just to replace the Rennaissance cars on the Ocean? That said, the Budd sleepers are a bit dated. They have the only sections remaining in regular service and many find roometets far too small for anything longer than one overnight.  Maybe replace the sleepers and coaches but keep the Budd diners, four or which are just now being refurbished with competely new kitchens and seating...and the domes. Having recently taken Rocky in the U.S. the cars really are nice with huge glass windows. But without forward visability, it's just not the same not seeing the train's progress and watching the signals turn from green to red (or in the case of the Canadian from green to yellow and then red!). It hasn't been that long since four Park Cars and several Chateau's were also fully rebuilt. Maybe they are just doing this so rooms can have exterior locks to make sure passengers stay in their rooms! :(   Whatever they select, they better be sure they can handle the extreem winter conditions the train runs through. I recall they tested Superliners on the Super Continental  and found them incapable of operating in -40 conditions which in spite of "global warming"  still exist on an annual basis. 



Date: 01/02/22 07:45
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: jp1822

When aboard the Canadian, I find that the ONLY time I spend in my sleeper is in the evening - to sleep. Otherwise, it is dome and diner! DD! So in that regard, I don't know how many really mind the roomettes and sections per say. They are the "cheaper" option for folks as well. The double bedrooms come at a premium, and thus why the consists will SWELL to large car numbers in peak season. 

Is the train dated? Yes. Is the reason why it is "dated" yet still kept within a first class realm the reason why it draws the patronage that it does? Yes. 

VIA did introduce the Prestige Class, and it has been successful...... So this could be interesting if VIA does decide to replace all or some of the ex-CP Budd long distance trains!

But one thing is for sure - with the retirement of the Renaissance equipment (or still pending retirement on some cars) and then no facilities to turn equipment at Halifax (Gaspe still has a loop but it likely needs refurbishing by now!) the Ocean needs new equipment to get to Halifax (and Gaspe if they ever get around to fully restoring the line - there's hope!). I actually like the Renaissance Sleepers, but only when paired with a Park Car observation/dome car off the rear. Otherwise, the train had really no "lounge space." The "Service Cars" are not lounges, and when built were not meant to be service lounges (just a quick place to get breakfast as the train would have cruised into an early morning arrival to some European city!).  

Amtrak's got Viewliner Sleepers, Viewliner Diners, and Viewliner Baggage cars that they may want to sell to VIA Rail........Course those cars would freeze right up in winter up in Canada. 

Perhaps there's a hybrid solution? 

RETIRE:
- ex-CP Budd Chateau sleeper cars get retired (they have never been overhauled like the Manor cars recently were). Retire and keep, don't scrap, at least initially. Could even reserve for additional conversion to Prestige Class. 

RETAIN:
- ex-CP Budd Manor sleeper cars largely stay (for regular service, for backup, for potential expansion needs - hah!)
- ex-CP Budd Diners retained
- ex-CP Budd Skyline Domes retained
- ex-CP Budd Park Car/Domes retained
- ex-CP Budd Chateau Prestige Cars (converted)

Something that not many people may realize, but VIA Rail actually did a lot of "private chartered events" with the Park Car/Domes and other cars in its fleet (The Glen Fraser Lounge too). So the "vintage" cars retained could also fall into this category as well.  

VIA would need to put some sort of long distance fleet in place for the Ocean, and perhaps some extra cars ordered for this service get used on the Canadian......In general I think VIA should look at (if money is unending and the sky is the limit):

1) A sleeper car that caters to the budget conscious: an all-roomette type car. 
2) A sleeper car that takes a middle of the road approach with more double bedrooms, perhaps some that can be made "en suite" and still flexible enough to sell as a double cabin. Weighted more towards Maritime Service on the Ocean, but some available to Canadian. 
3) A sleeper that has an upgraded double bedroom car. Weighted more towards the Canadian, but some available to the Ocean.
4) A modern Skyline dome/lounge car (forward facing) that can also be used as an "end of train" car, but no rounded end like the Park Car. Can also double as a cafe (under the dome) etc. just to add to its flexibility). Could be used on Ocean and Canadian. The modernity could put it weighted towards the upgraded sleeper cars.  
5) A Diner. The above car could actually be enough to double as a Diner as well, but if it can be done, a separate Dining Car is always better. These would be all for the Ocean. 
6) A new modern long distance coach car.
 
It'd be nice if VIA could get the new cars to blend a little with the old cars. The Canadian Pacific did it when they first launched the Canadian - the stuck the old Tourist sleeper upfront!

If VIA gets more dome cars. leave the Panorama cars for the Prince Rupert service only. Market that train more to get the "Tourist" ridership it needs for "Touring Class." 

The biggest problem is going to try and find a new fleet that can service Churchill. VIA tried ex-Amtrak (Heritage) 10-6 Budd cars and they failed miserably. So the Chateau cars were put back in their place. It'd be best to reduce the number of variety of long distance fleet cars, but VIA has to understand also that it has been the diversity of its cars that's likely sustained it. If the Canadian operated with no domes whatsoever, I doubt you'd see the swell of cars like there were pre-pandemic. VIA should also likely plan for the replacement of its RDC cars - now only operating on the Sudbury-White River route. Lastly, VIA should right its wrong and put the Ocean back to six days a week once we get through the pandemic - or put the corridor train in out of Moncton......... 

This is also just an RFI - request for Information. It could end up getting ditched altogether. VIA does have a pending equipment issue on the Ocean. Current consist is just not sustainable if it goes back to pre-pandemic levels. And they are re-building the train line from Matapedia to Gaspe. So not sure what to think of that. But this was all to be Renaissance equipment territory, and that ended up not lasting long (or not at all in the case of the Gaspe train). 

 



Date: 01/02/22 09:02
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: cn6218

In the spirit of wild speculation, let me add some thoughts.

The Canadian probably should get what is left of its original Budd fleet.  VIA just had four diners rebuilt, so one would assume that they intend to hang onto them, and they can certainly use two diners per train in the summer season.  The Canadian primarily caters to the tourist trade, and they are people who aren't necessarily seeking out "fast and modern" equipment.  It its comfortable and gets them there eventually, that will probably keep the passengers coming (one disgruntled TO member, not withstanding).  There ought to be enough equipment to equip the Hudson Bay train too, and with plenty of park cars available, one should be a permanent fixture on that train.

To replace the Budds and Renaissance on the Ocean (and Chaleur if it ever runs again), buy Superliners.  They are a proven design, and you can fit a lot of passengers into a fairly short train, compared to conventional equipment.  With no turning facilities in Halifax, Skylines and Park Cars are a non-starter (unfortunately).  Get reversible seats in the Superliners, and the problem is more or less solved.  There may be no forward visibility, but the extra height almost makes up for the lack of domes, in my limited experience.  It's also probably politically expedient to toss Bombardier a bone on this one after they got shut out on the corridor replacement (for good reason).  The experts on the TO Passenger board will all tell you Amtrak needs more Superliners too, and starting a production line might give them the needed push..

GTD



Date: 01/02/22 10:09
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: PHall

Well the first question might be who owns the rights to the Superliner design?



Date: 01/02/22 10:23
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: dan

Bombardier  i think



Date: 01/02/22 10:41
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: joemvcnj

Canada doesn't have ADA, but they have some sort of accessibility requirement. We don't know if Superliners meet their criteria. They don't ours. 

I have yet to hear what happens to all of the Corridor's LRC, HEP-II, and P42 equipment.

RDC's on the White River train won't last forever either. I would guess at some point, it would be equipped to be like the Quebec trains, and serviced by the ONR in North Bay, if not contracted to them completely with a federal subsidy since they wish for the Northlander to return mid-decade. 

Trudeau's plan of a few years ago of Sarnia Shuttles and some short-haul servcie out of Halifax seem to have fallen to the wayside.

Nobody seem to talk about the ACR Hearst service anymore either. 

Forget about Vancouver Island. 
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/22 10:44 by joemvcnj.



Date: 01/02/22 12:57
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: cn6218

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Canada doesn't have ADA, but they have some sort
> of accessibility requirement. We don't know if
> Superliners meet their criteria. They don't
> ours. 

That's a good point about accessibility.  VIA lost a major court case (Charter of Rights and Freedoms based, I think) that said they had to provide accessible equipment on the Ocean.  So they spent millions more making modifications to some Renaissance cars so they would comply.  If/when they ditch the Rens, they'll have to come up with a different solution.

The existence of high level platforms at Montreal is often mentioned as  reason Superliners could not be used on the Ocean, but for a new build, I'm sure there could be some sort of engineered solution.  They manage to run bi-levels into Central Station for commuter trains, so I can't believe this is an insurmountable problem.

GTD

What's the problem with Superliners and ADA?  Don't at least some of the cars have what's known as a "handicapped" bedroom?  Obviously a lift is needed at stations without higher-level platforms to get wheelchairs onto the train, but that will be the case with any kind of equipment.



Date: 01/02/22 13:40
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: joemvcnj

cn6218 Wrote:

> What's the problem with Superliners and ADA? 
> Don't at least some of the cars have what's known
> as a "handicapped" bedroom?  Obviously a lift is
> needed at stations without higher-level platforms
> to get wheelchairs onto the train, but that will
> be the case with any kind of equipment.

They would have to be like the various breeds of California cars with a straight staircase, an elevator, and wide aisles upstairs. I don't think they can confine people downstairs and out of the food service cars besides. Can you see Amtrak maintaining these elevators any better than the dumb waiters in the dining cars ?  With square footage taken up interior stairs and elevators, they might as well get single level cars. 

Bi-level EXO commuter cars that operate in Central Station have traditional gangways between cars and are 14'6" tall, which was required of their NJT clones, and lack luggage racks. 



Date: 01/03/22 04:35
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: jp1822

The priority is a next generation long distance fleet for the Maritimes - in whatever form of service emerges (overnight trains to Halifax, restoration of overnight service to Gaspe etc.). Shifting what's left of the Budd cars that are "east" of Montreal to Toronto and use on the Canadian and Western Routes, certainly will help. Surprisingly, VIA has not performed a major overhaul of the Chateau cars right? That's a bit puzzling and that's the only reason why I hold out in thinking - is VIA looking to TRY to introduce some sort of new "sleeper" in place of the Chateau cars. But the Chateau cars are a proven sleeper car for the Hudson Bay train. May not want to mess with a good thing.

Lastly, for what it is worth, VIA does seem to care about passenger amenities and customer service. Design of a good "long distance coach" for say the Hudson Bay Train and Rupert Rocket (Train to Price Rupert), let alone a good "sightseeing car" or "observation car" I think would be in the cards also for VIA Rail Canada (but more for the Maritimes since the Budd Skyline Domes, Panorama Car, and Park Dome/Lounge Cars can fill the void West of Toronto). The Hudson Bay train was operating regularly (and may still be, not sure) with Park Cars. Was a nice touch for this train, and long over due.....

The RDC's are likely up for retirement. They did serve VIA well and were excellent ways to get the "feeder" traffic from secondary routes to main routes. RDC's are certainly having their last stand on VIA. Will we see some P42s on the Canadian? Likewise the LRC's may be old, but they also just went through a refurbishment. Maybe Amtrak will look to sell them to Ontario Northlander service or other remote routes that may be having a rise from the ashes. Who knows. Still lament what I see as early retirement of the Renaissance fleet - the sleepers largely. But maybe VIA will get it right with its NEW equipment. It's always been getting things second hand for the most part (from Amtrak or otherwise) over the years! 



Date: 01/03/22 16:25
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: Passfanatic

I have ridden the VIA Rail Corridor routes a handful of times but never the long distance routes. I am supposed to ride the Canadian departing Toronto on 3/27 and then getting into Vancouver on 3/31. However with the dome cars being closed, it's possible that those plans may not happen for several months. I would love to ride the VIA long distance trains while the current rolling stock is still around. I also want to ride the RDCs on the Sudbury to White River Line. I know that the long distance rolling stock is very old, but it's still in good shape. However, all good things don't last forever and it's time for VIA Rail to start looking into replacement options for the long distance fleet. The same goes with the RDCs. In the next five years, I have plans to ride the Canadian, the route from Sudbury to White River-I plan to take the eastbound leg of the Canadian back from Sudbury Jct. I hope to ride the Hudson Bay train.



Date: 01/03/22 16:52
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: dan

Just rebuild the stuff by some santa fe hi levels make them handicapped accesible perhaps 2 cars per canadian  , or  just 1 between coaches and the diners, they have a good passenger car rebuilding program in the past.   Maybe amtrak will sell some superliners if they get new equipment, be neat if there could be  new north american car?



Date: 01/07/22 06:13
Re: Via has Launched an RFI for long distance equipment...
Author: Flyer92122

This is probably plan B since they can't buy Amtrak's stored Viewliners anymore. My money is on Anderson or Gardner from Amtrak reaching out to Via at some point the last 3 years. That being said a joint order between the two companies would make sense once Amtrak gets honest management,  Via's need are so small a tag on order would make sense in a perfect world. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/22 06:14 by Flyer92122.



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