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Canadian Railroads > Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service


Date: 01/03/22 14:06
Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: RDC1

In 1986 I took the overnight train between Toronto and Montreal 
and enjoyed it. I had a lower berth, got a good nights sleep, and thought
it was a great way to get between the two cities. The early morning
arrival also gave you a full day at your destination.

Does anyone know when this train was discontinued?
Is there any chance this service might be reinstated in the
future?

 



Date: 01/03/22 15:19
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: Train29

Not sure the end date. It was nice. They also separated the train at Brockvillewhere it sat for sometime to lengthen out the schedule,  with some cars going to Ottawa. For a brief period of time it even carried a Park Car for early morning coffee and muffins. It saved cost of an expensive downtown hotel at either end. Perhaps one of our Canadian posters can speculated on restored service. It's not do to lack of equipment with other train's frequencies reduced. 
 



Date: 01/03/22 16:29
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: Passfanatic

That's interesting that VIA rail an overnight service from Toronto to Montreal. In the USA, Amtrak runs one of their Northeast Regional Trains from Boston to Newport News, VA-this train used to be known as the Twilight Shoreliner. For a while it had a sleeper car. I think this train might have only operated as far south as DC. Under the Northeast Regional Branding, the train ran without a sleeper for a very long time until recently. I believe that the sleeper only operates between BOS-WAS though.



Date: 01/03/22 17:28
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: renf

I traveled from Toronto to Montreal and back by that overnight sleeper several times.  It was very pleasant and veryj convenient.  I was sorry to see it discontinued.

When I worked in Washington, I took the sleeper to New York where you could stay yjour compartment until 7:30 AM or so.  And I recall going from Washington
to New York for dinner and a show and then boarding a sleeper at Penn Station that would arrive in Washington the next morning.  Let's make America
great again with those verjy pleasant and conveniant Amrrak seervice.  I never took the sleeper from Chicago to Louisville.



Date: 01/03/22 17:55
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: mundo

Overnights in Europe is growing faster then they can obtain the sleepers to handle it. This is cutting lots of short air flights to help keep the air clean and green.
It does work folks



Date: 01/03/22 18:32
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: DavidP

Would be a good use for Renaissance sleepers.

Dave



Date: 01/03/22 19:44
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: 4489

DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Would be a good use for Renaissance sleepers.
>
> Dave

They used REN set(s) for the Enterprise in it's last iteration!!



Date: 01/03/22 19:49
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: DrawingroomA

RDC1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
...
>
> Does anyone know when this train was
> discontinued?
> Is there any chance this service might be
> reinstated in the
> future?
>
The  Cavalier, as it was called by CN and VIA was a victim of the Mulroney chop of 50% of VIA's service on 15th Jan. 1990.   I used it many times. My favourite trips were connecting with a transatlantic ocean liner in Montreal - a most civilised way to start a trip to Europe.

VIA revived the train, known as the Enterprise, in January 2000 -  10 years since the Cavalier was discontinued.. I'm sure someone can give us the exact date. It operated until Sept. 2005. I can't remember the exact date - but I should because I was on the last w/b run.

Originally the Enterprise operated with a Budd sleeper or two and a Park car. Breakfast was served buffet-style in the Park car. I had mixed feelings about the change to Renaissance equipment in 2002 because, of course, there was no Park car. On the plus side there were no roomettes and single occupancy of the double Ren. rooms was  priced at the same as the roomette rate - a very good deal.

During the so-called annual public meetings over the past few years a question has often been asked if VIA intends to resume the overnight train. The answer has always been no.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/22 19:51 by DrawingroomA.



Date: 01/03/22 22:07
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: moonliter

>> RDC1 Wrote:
> > Does anyone know when this train was
> > discontinued?

DrawingroomA wrote:
> VIA revived the train, known as the Enterprise, in
> January 2000 -  10 years since the Cavalier was
> discontinued.. I'm sure someone can give us the
> exact date. It operated until Sept. 2005. I can't
> remember the exact date - but I should because I
> was on the last w/b run.

My friend Doug Stoltz and I rode the first eastbound Enterprise.  This was on January 16th, 2000. We headed to the Park car where we first met a young Jason Shron, another older friend of ours, Fred Angus.  On September 16th, 2005 (five years, eight months later) I boarded the last eastbound Enterprise at Kingston for Montreal. Both Enterprises had departed Toronto and Montreal late evening, September 15th, 2005.  I managed to photograph DrawingroomA's train, first at Cornwall and then again in Brockville.  The last two photos are of my train in Cornwall, ON.

Photo 1: VIA's Enterprise No.51 Cornwall, ON
Photo 2: VIA's Enterprise No.51 Brockville ON
Photo 3 & 4 :VIA No.50 Cornwall, ON

Gerry Gaugl
Ottawa ON








Date: 01/03/22 22:10
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: moonliter

Last eastbound VIA Enterprise, No.50 at Cornwall, ON  September 16, 2005.

Gerry Gaugl
Ottawa ON




Date: 01/04/22 07:39
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: cnr6776

Rode the Cavalier several times during the seventies. One of my favorite trains.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/04/22 09:21
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: chakk

I rode a sleeper from Toronto to Ottawa in the 1980's, but did not sleep well because the sleeper was adjacent to the locomotive.  Too much noise.



Date: 01/04/22 11:55
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: jp1822

VIA's re-incarnation of the Cavalier in the 21st Century was the Enterprise. It largely provided the needed Toronto/Montreal connection to/from the Canadian. One could leave Halifax heading West and connect right on through to Toronto except for a half day layover in Montreal before the Enterprise went out at 11:30 pm. It did connect with the Canadian quite well, often waiting for a late inbound at Toronto if necessary. On days it didn't connect through, ridership, per VIA, was VERY low. And then it didn't split to have the Ottawa section. That would have possibly been OK If it was intended to run with just the ex-CP Budd sleepers, but the main purpose was for the Enterprise to try out the Renaissance sleepers. Since they semi-permanently coupled together, splitting was not going to be easy. I often wondered what would happen if it had an extension to Quebec City..... 



Date: 01/04/22 12:39
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: joemvcnj

It also waited for the late arriving International to come in from Toronto. We once waited 40 minutes for it. So that was a defacto Chicago-Montreal service with cross platform transfer. Now the whole thing is chopped into hash and would take multiple days. The Quebec remote train would not wait for it. 



Date: 01/04/22 13:29
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: DrawingroomA

Thank you, Gerry, for posting the photos. I always like to see pictures of a train I am on.



Date: 01/05/22 06:06
Re: Toronto-Montreal Overnight Service
Author: jeffgeldner

In the States, another reinstated run was the Spirit of California, It ran from Sacramento to LA on an overnight schedule including a heritage sleeper. The Lark, SP's overnight train, was discontinued on that route in 1968. The Spirit of California only ran from 1981 to 1983 when Governor Dukemagen cut it from the state's budget. In Mexico, popular overnight trains were El Tapatio between Guadalajara and Mexico City and El Regiomontano between Monterrey and Mexico City. When the Mexican railways were privatized, the trains were discontinued as no equivalent to Via Rail Canada (or Amtrak) was established.

Some routes that I would like to see reinstated for overnight service would be Portland Oregon to Vancouver B.C., Calgary to Edmonton, Winnipeg to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago to Toronto, New York to Toronto, New York to Montreal and, of course, Toronto to Montreal and Ottawa. The Winnipeger last ran in 1967 although the Great Northern's train to Winnipeg ran until 1970. Attached is a copy of a page from the Soo Line timetable from 1952 of one cross-border service once offered.

Unfortunately, given politics in both Canada and the States, I doubt we shall ever see such reinstatements of service. It is interesting to see the reinstatement of overnight trains in Europe, however.




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