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Canadian Railroads > Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada


Date: 06/07/24 16:15
Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: jp1822

So, I've heard that the ex-BC Panorama cars that VIA owns were sent to Montreal Maintenance Center (MMC) to get refreshed and restored to operate on the Canadian for peak season in FY2024. However, it's said, MMC personnel evaluated the cars and said the cars were beyond repair and the initiative to re-activate them for the FY2024 peak season on the Canadian would certainly not happen. In short, it was basically suggested that the cars get scrapped. Sounds like they just couldn't hold up against the Canadian winters and weather??? The lasted just as long as the Renaissance cars nearly in revenue service. 

Not sure what is true or not true regarding these cars (scrap, repair, put back in service), but I am saddened to hear about the condition and sidelining of these cars. Clearly if they are not operable, I get it. But these cars were really special and extraordinary viewing cars. I didn't think they made too much sense on the Canadian (from Edmonton to Vancouver), but I did enjoy them while travelling Touring Class (Totem Deluxe) on the Skeena (train to Prince Rupert). They were spectacular to be in on this route. I always thought they could substitute as viewing or sightseeing cars in the Maritimes as well - either for the Ocean or Chaeleur (train to Gaspe). 

Curious on status and potential activation or disposition of these cars. The rear-end observation car Pavilion that was also obtained in this bulk purchase with VIA's Panorama cars never saw revenue service (not sure status or future of that car), but Glen Fraser did (former coach turned club car). Haven't seen nor heard of any use of the Glen Fraser either. All of these cars - Panorama, Pavilion, and Glen Fraser were purchased as a block from ex-BC Passenger Rail Corp when it was shut down after the turn of the century, or so I've learned / was told over the years..........

Not sure if I'd like taking the Ocean out to Halifax without a nice "lounge car." No Skyline or Park Car dome anymore, and the Service Cars of the Renaissance cars are just not planned out well as a lounge car. VIA Rail takes a bit of pride to ensure passenger comfort with unique onboard experience. Hudson Bay trains now have an upgrade with Skyline Dome Cars, which I think is a positive. The Skeena (train to Prince Rupert) still has a Park Dome Car, but no Panorama Car as mentioned. Was great when it had all four cars - baggage, coach, Panorama, Park Dome Car. Chaleur - when it ran - always had a Skyline Dome Car. Quebec trains didn't get any "viewing or sightseer car" and now the Ocean is down to bare basics. VIA Rail does have extra Park Dome Cars. Be nice if they operated on the trains up to the interior of Quebec during peak seasons. But I know the combo and split of the train can be a logistical issue. 

Anyway - just thought I'd try to check up on the Panorama Cars!



Date: 06/07/24 17:06
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: railsmith

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, I've heard that the ex-BC Panorama cars that
> VIA owns were sent to Montreal Maintenance Center
> (MMC) to get refreshed and restored to operate on
> the Canadian for peak season in FY2024. However,
> it's said, MMC personnel evaluated the cars and
> said the cars were beyond repair and the
> initiative to re-activate them for the FY2024 peak
> season on the Canadian would certainly not happen.
> In short, it was basically suggested that the cars
> get scrapped.

Go to the toob that's made for u and search for a posting by Brockville Railfan, who filmed Prince Albert Park and a Panorama car westbound on the tail of Train 61 for Toronto yesterday. It doesn't answer your question but does suggest that Montreal is not the end of the line for the Panoramas.

The observation car Pavilion was sold in 2020 to Walden's Ridge Railway Company, Knoxville, Tenn.



Date: 06/07/24 17:15
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: DrawingroomA

railsmith Wrote:
...
>
> Go to the toob that's made for u and search for a
> posting by Brockville Railfan, who filmed Prince
> Albert Park and a Panorama car westbound on the
> tail of Train 61 for Toronto yesterday. It doesn't
> answer your question but does suggest that
> Montreal is not the end of the line for the
> Panoramas.
>
> The observation car Pavilion was sold in 2020 to
> Walden's Ridge Railway Company, Knoxville, Tenn. 

From a  GO train this afternoon  I saw that Prince Albert Park and the Panorama car were on a track outside the Maintenance Centre. Previously, other equipment that I have seen on that track has been added to the next departure of the Canadian.  Maybe they will be on Sunday's #1.



Date: 06/08/24 06:22
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: jp1822

Interesting as Prince Albert Park Dome Car is an overhauled Prestige Park Car. Loved these Panorama Cars. Hopefully not as bad as what they originally thought and they'll be put back in service, at least for this year, as the Canadian is certainly pretty BOOKED UP for most peak departures! I was able to grab two rooms when they added another sleeper to the train a month or so ago, and had the quick short sale.......



Date: 06/09/24 15:54
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: DrawingroomA

On another enthusiasts site there is a consist of today's #1 ex-Toronto. The two cars were on that train in the deadhead position.



Date: 06/09/24 16:32
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: jp1822

DrawingroomA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On another enthusiasts site there is a consist of
> today's #1 ex-Toronto. The two cars were on that
> train in the deadhead position.

Heading to Vancouver......Interesting. I could see sending the Park Dome Car (Prestige) as protect, but not the Panorama car if it is not "serviced or returning to service in any way." Perhaps Vancouver maintenance shops are going to do some work on it! The other two Panorama cars are in Montreal Maintenance Facility, if known? 



Date: 06/10/24 17:32
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: jp1822

Presume these dead head cars - the Park Car and Panorama Car are heading all the way to Vancouver and didn't have some sort of stop over at Winnipeg or Jasper? Train still enroute!  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/24 17:33 by jp1822.



Date: 06/13/24 05:27
Re: Fate of the ex-BC Panorama Cars Owned by VIA Rail Canada
Author: jp1822

Anyone know if this Park Car and Panorama Car that was deadheaded made it all the way to Vancouver, BC or made some other pit-stop along the way (e.g. Winnipeg, Jasper)? Presume it may have just re-positioned? Hopefully the Panorama Cars are heading for something other than a long term storage........



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