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Canadian Railroads > VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022

Date: 11/12/22 11:15
VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: DrawingroomA

My friends and I occupied cabins C, D, E, & F in Cornwall Manor, all at single occupancy.  The other three were travelling on Preference points, but I had to pay so it was decided I should get the more desirable “F” – a perfectly reasonable conclusion I thought.  Now that the Canadian is running with the off-peak consist, the order of sleeper line numbers have been reversed from the summer trains. So the first of the three sleepers is 212..
All cabins were sold out at least two months in advance. One Prestige room became available a few days before but it was sold.  By departure date even the berths were sold out. I was surprised VIA didn’t add another sleeper,
Timekeeping was generally  good, with few delays which were always made up thanks to the leisurely schedule. Arrival in Winnipeg and Toronto was early - almost two hours early in Toronto.  My previous arrival in Toronto a year ago was two and a half hours early and my arrival in Vancouver in April was four hours early. It has been a long time since I have arrived late.
The food was even better than on my April westbound trip. The rack of lamb and prime rib were excellent. My dietician has said if I eat red meat make sure it is a 10 on the scale – and it was. Desserts have been improved since April. Those at dinner are of generous proportions. The triple chocolate cake, available every night as VIA’s signature dessert, will satisfy the most serious chocoholic.
The buffer car (a Manor sleeper) attached to the Park car is a nuisance, of course. I have travelled on many trains with some equipment behind the Park car (mostly on the Ocean, less frequently on the Canadian) but never for four days.  I have to admit it wasn’t as annoying as I expected, partly because I spend more time in the dome than the rear lounge and also because it gets dark early and there isn’t much to see when we were enjoying our after-dinner liqueurs.  Any time we missed something of interest I would go up the seven steps and look out the back of the dome. 
The only other negative comment we can make is the temperature on board. Until we reached southern Ontario it was cold everywhere. This isn’t a problem at night thanks to the duvets, but the dining car and Park car were always too cold. I wore my blazer almost all the time and one of the group wore her winter coat.  Admittedly the weather was unseasonably cold but it will soon be much colder.
During our final meal we were stopped for a meet at Brechin. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the SM read a poem on the PA in honour of Remembrance Day. After a minute’s silence the engineer gave a long blast on the horn and we resumed travel – a touching tribute.
The consist:
F40s # 6445, 6442 (a third unit was removed at Jasper but I don’t have its number)
Baggage # 8602
Coaches # 8104, 8108
Economy Class Skyline # 8503
Cornwall Manor (212)
Franklin Manor (211)
Dawson Manor  (210)
Skyline # 8616
Dining Car Louise
Dunsmuir Manor (crew sleeper)
Chateau Lauzon (230) Prestige)
Kootenay Park (239) Prestige)
Christie Manor (buffer)

Date: 11/12/22 12:26
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: viatrainrider

 Thanks DrawingroomA for the great report!  I knew you would have a great trip.  Surprised that the cars were cold, however.  Am looking forward to my annual ride April '23!

Date: 11/13/22 08:52
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: jbwest

Thanks for a another good trip report.


Date: 11/13/22 10:21
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: Jimbo

Thanks for the trip report.  It's always good to hear one from you.

Concerning not adding another sleeping car, do you suppose VIA is taking a page from Amtrak and generally not adding capacity except on a seasonal or perhaps major holiday basis?  

Date: 11/13/22 15:15
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: march_hare

We had a deadhead sleeper in our consist on #1, arriving this morning. So maybe they're positioning for an expanded consist eastbound?

Date: 11/13/22 17:36
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: Jimbo

For DrawingroomA - Did it appear both coaches were in service?  I'm curious which car was the buffer car for the head end - the baggage car or the first ooach?  My guess would be the baggage car.

Thanks, Jim

Date: 11/13/22 19:30
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: DrawingroomA

Both coaches were in service, although they didn't appear to be busy.

The baggage car was the buffer car. The Transport Canada order requires the buffer cars to be immediately  behind the locomotive(s) and behind the last car on the train.

We saw plenty of spare equipment in Vancouver as there always is in the off-peak season. There should be no problem adding capacity if VIA wants to. It is possible there is an issue with getting crew,. although the notice  of jobs that were available in the spring said they would be permanent positions but the employees would be laid off at the end of October.  That is strange wording, but I know nothing of labour matters with VIA..

Date: 11/13/22 19:49
Re: VIA #2 Vancouver - Toronto 7th - 11th Nov. 2022
Author: viatrainrider

Glad to hear the triple chocolate cake is back!  That was not available on my trip last May.

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