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Date: 02/24/24 08:35
VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: lordsigma

The future for VIA Rail’s long haul services are less sure these days than Amtrak - where a fleet procurement has been launched. VIA has named 2035 as the drop dead date - if there’s no new fleet underway by then it will be the end of the line for VIA’s LD services.

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/via-shows-its-montreal-maintenance-centre



Date: 02/24/24 09:30
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: alan2955

lordsigma Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The future for VIA Rail’s long haul services are
> less sure these days than Amtrak - where a fleet
> procurement has been launched. VIA has named 2035
> as the drop dead date - if there’s no new fleet
> underway by then it will be the end of the line
> for VIA’s LD services.
>
> https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/via-sh
> ows-its-montreal-maintenance-centre

Lots of mistakes in that article. The cars on the Canadian are not 75 years old. But obviously they can’t run forever either. As for Amtrak they still have no concrete plans to replace the long distance equipment. Just a lot of talk so far. Wonder how many more years the current fleet could operate if they got extensive overhauls?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/24/24 09:40
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: viatrainrider

Very much appreciate the article if not the news regarding the future.



Date: 02/24/24 09:55
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: engineerinvirginia

alan2955 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> lordsigma Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The future for VIA Rail’s long haul services
> are
> > less sure these days than Amtrak - where a
> fleet
> > procurement has been launched. VIA has named
> 2035
> > as the drop dead date - if there’s no new
> fleet
> > underway by then it will be the end of the line
> > for VIA’s LD services.
> >
> >
> https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/via-sh
>
> > ows-its-montreal-maintenance-centre
>
> Lots of mistakes in that article. The cars on the
> Canadian are not 75 years old. But obviously they
> can’t run forever either. As for Amtrak they
> still have no concrete plans to replace the long
> distance equipment. Just a lot of talk so far.
> Wonder how many more years the current fleet could
> operate if they got extensive overhauls?
>
> Posted from iPhone

Well, they can run forever....if you want them to and have the means to maintain them. Yes...at some point they'll be ships of Theseus...but....



Date: 02/24/24 10:00
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: lordsigma

alan2955 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As for Amtrak they
> still have no concrete plans to replace the long
> distance equipment.

Sorry I hate to be a jerk but I can’t help responding to this - that is absolutely ridiculous tin foil hat conspiratorial nonsense and is downright misinformation. A formal RFP is underway that various car makers have been accepted into. There is a process - as long as inefficient as it might be - to moving this along, but to deny its taking place is conspiracy nonsense. I’m sorry you’re obviously watching too many conspiracy podcasts or too much cable news.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/24 10:00 by lordsigma.



Date: 02/24/24 10:07
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: NPRocky

That part about having to scrap 25 cars due to the recent testing has to be wrong too.  I saw something about maybe four cars, though according to the latest "Branchline," one of those, Chateau Iberville, was in the consist of Via 603/601 in December as an extra car added to increase braking capacity in the cold.



Date: 02/24/24 11:05
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: ProAmtrak

lordsigma Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> alan2955 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > As for Amtrak they
> > still have no concrete plans to replace the
> long
> > distance equipment.
>
> Sorry I hate to be a jerk but I can’t help
> responding to this - that is absolutely ridiculous
> tin foil hat conspiratorial nonsense and is
> downright misinformation. A formal RFP is underway
> that various car makers have been accepted into.
> There is a process - as long as inefficient as it
> might be - to moving this along, but to deny its
> taking place is conspiracy nonsense. I’m sorry
> you’re obviously watching too many conspiracy
> podcasts or too much cable news.

But guess what, this has been going on and on for years, that's why I agree, there's hardly much going on when it comes to the much needed soon replacment on the Superliner Fleet, and the way Amtrak's downgraded the LD Trains since 2020, I don't see much evidence on things going back to how it used to be, especially when it comes to snow!



Date: 02/24/24 11:06
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: joemvcnj

PTJ had an article about the destructive stress testing. It was variety of RDC, HEP-I, and HEP-II cars, all Budd of course. IIRC, it was about 9 or 11 cars sacrificed.

The HEP-II cars, and a few HEP-I coaches, came from a variety of places in the US, got a hell of a strip down in their rebuilding, but a few were built in 1950. We shall see what they do with them, but the far younger LRC cars go to RR heaven first, as well as whatever REN cars they do not need for the Ocean. I hope some HEP-II cars get reconfigured for long distance once they get booted out by Siemens trains. The 3 HEP-I coaches which are unique in having galleys and not of CP heritage used on the remote Quebec trains are getting shabby.

VIA Rail has 5 ex-Amtrak 10-6sleepers they had intended to use on the Hudson Bay, but never did anything with them. 

I don't know what ONR and the ACR did with their 2nd hand equipment once the Tempo and 3 Amtrak Clocker cars got to the ACR and the ONR Northlander came off.  



Date: 02/24/24 14:35
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: NPRocky

I thought VIA turned those five ex-Amtrak sleepers back to Amtrak years ago.



Date: 02/24/24 18:34
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: P

So they tried killing the long distance trains by destroying a handful of cars to do stress tests on them - obviously expecting results to be able to justify shutting the national rail network. When the results came back as favorable to the strength of the cars, they are making plans to shut down the trains anyway. Am I seeing this correctly??

Posted from Android



Date: 02/24/24 18:58
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: PHall

P Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So they tried killing the long distance trains by
> destroying a handful of cars to do stress tests on
> them - obviously expecting results to be able to
> justify shutting the national rail network. When
> the results came back as favorable to the strength
> of the cars, they are making plans to shut down
> the trains anyway. Am I seeing this correctly??
>
> Posted from Android

No, you are not.  The question came up about how good of condition were the 50 year old plus Budd stainless steel cars, especially the frames.
So they did some destructive testing on a few representative cars to try to get an idea what the condition of the cars were in. Looking especially for corrosion damage in the underframe.
The cars passed so the requirement for a "buffer car" at the end of the train was removed. They're still in service but they are starting the process to obtain replacement equipment.
The LRC and Renaissance equipment needs to be replaced first.
 



Date: 02/24/24 19:02
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: lordsigma

Exactly right. The purpose of this really I’m sure is to raise awareness and try to get support for funding for the new equipment. They have estimated the drop dead date when they really need to have the process well underway when things would really start to become a problem.



Date: 02/25/24 03:49
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: joemvcnj

First to go are 20 year old REN cars used in the Corridor.

Then 40 year old LRC cars.

No mass scrapping plan for various Budd equipment built 1950 - 1955, nor for the CC&F (much like Pullman Standard) Glenfraser.

Nothing is built to last anymore.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/25/24 04:10
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: jp1822

lordsigma Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Exactly right. The purpose of this really I’m
> sure is to raise awareness and try to get support
> for funding for the new equipment. They have
> estimated the drop dead date when they really need
> to have the process well underway when things
> would really start to become a problem.

VIA has the perfect option for a bright future - order the LD train equipment that Amtrak is looking to procure. Or VIA can suck it up and purchase the cast-off Superliner equipment (and rebuild it) that Amtrak will replace. That's been the VIA way before as well. And they've not scrapped 25 of the long distance cars used on the Canadian. VIA has sidelined or stored some of the ex-CP Budd LD coach cars, but only due to the fact they are excess right now.

I think you are right - raise awareness, and get a story out (that we have heard on the record player before). I often fear that Amtrak may be in the same situation - "well, we tried, we can't get the proper RFP, so the LD trains are going to be restructured into day trains or discontinued. We tried!"



Date: 02/25/24 04:19
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: lordsigma

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I often fear that Amtrak may be in the
> same situation - "well, we tried, we can't get the
> proper RFP, so the LD trains are going to be
> restructured into day trains or discontinued. We
> tried!"

The biggest problem would be if there was limited industry interest - like with the locomotives where Siemens was basically the only choice for a new locomotive. For the cars there is a number of interested carmakers. The reason for the cloak and dagger right now is trade secrets - the carmakers understandably want their ideas to be private until a vendor is chosen for obvious competitive reasons.



Date: 02/25/24 04:22
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: railsmith

alan2955 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lots of mistakes in that article. The cars on the
> Canadian are not 75 years old.

The ex-CPR ones were built in 1954 and 1955, so either 69 or 70 years old this year.

But the Canadian occasionally uses some of the HEP-1 coaches that originated on U.S. railways (numbered 8130-8147), and those date back to 1946-47, so already 77-78 years old.



Date: 02/25/24 04:58
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: railsmith

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PTJ had an article about the destructive stress
> testing. It was variety of RDC, HEP-I, and HEP-II
> cars, all Budd of course. IIRC, it was about 9 or
> 11 cars sacrificed.

Eleven cars in all.

Three cars underwent tear-down and compression testing: sleeper Chateau Richelieu, dome-observation Waterton Park (both ex-CP, built 1954/55), and coach 8138 (built 1947 for NYC).

Eight other cars underwent tear-down inspections, but not compression testing.

Six were ex-CP cars (built 1954/55), used on the Canadian: Skyline dome 8505, baggage car 8618, sleeper Chateau Rouville, sleeper Stuart Manor, dining car Alexandra, and dome-observation Strathcona Park.

The other two were RDC-2 6208 (ex-CP, built 1958) and HEP-2 club-galley 4006 (built for Southern, 1947).

Lots of detail here, written by the same fellow, Eric Gagnon, who wrote the PTJ article. He covered the buffer car operation and the testing program extensively in his blog, Trackside Treasure.  http://tracksidetreasure.blogspot.com/2023/06/testing-vias-hep-fleet-final-report.html

CORRECTED Feb. 26 to note that it was Chateau Richelieu (not Chateau Rouville) that underwent compression testing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/24 07:29 by railsmith.



Date: 02/25/24 05:33
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: jp1822

railsmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > PTJ had an article about the destructive stress
> > testing. It was variety of RDC, HEP-I, and
> HEP-II
> > cars, all Budd of course. IIRC, it was about 9
> or
> > 11 cars sacrificed.
>
> Eleven cars in all.
>
> Three cars underwent tear-down and compression
> testing: sleeper Chateau Rouville,
> dome-observation Waterton Park (both ex-CP, built
> 1954/55), and coach 8138 (built 1947 for NYC).
>
> Eight other cars underwent tear-down inspections,
> but not compression testing.
>
> Six were ex-CP cars (built 1954/55), used on the
> Canadian: Skyline dome 8505, baggage car 8618,
> sleeper Chateau Rouville, sleeper Stuart Manor,
> dining car Alexandra, and dome-observation
> Strathcona Park.
>
> The other two were RDC-2 6208 (ex-CP, built 1958)
> and HEP-2 club-galley 4006 (built for Southern,
> 1947).
>
> Lots of detail here, written by the same fellow,
> Eric Gagnon, who wrote the PTJ article. He covered
> the buffer car operation and the testing program
> extensively in his blog, Trackside Treasure. 
> http://tracksidetreasure.blogspot.com/2023/06/test
> ing-vias-hep-fleet-final-report.html
>  

So could the EIGHT cars be rebuilt, if VIA so desired, since they weren't compression tested and just torn down? Or was the tear down done in a way that wouldn't allow for a rebuild. I am just thinking that VIA did a "tear down" of the entire ex-CP Budd Stainless Fleet back in 1990 or so, but that had its variety too. My understanding has always been that the EIGHT could not be put back together and would be scrapped as well. 



Date: 02/25/24 07:44
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: railsmith

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> So could the EIGHT cars be rebuilt, if VIA so
> desired, since they weren't compression tested and
> just torn down? Or was the tear down done in a way
> that wouldn't allow for a rebuild. I am just
> thinking that VIA did a "tear down" of the entire
> ex-CP Budd Stainless Fleet back in 1990 or so, but
> that had its variety too. My understanding has
> always been that the EIGHT could not be put back
> together and would be scrapped as well. 

My impression is the same as yours -- those eight cars are beyond rebuilding.



Date: 02/26/24 05:28
Re: VIA rail LD equipment article
Author: Trackside_Treasure

No, neither the compression-tested (NRC, Ottawa) nor the torn-down (CAD, Lachine) VIA HEP cars will ever be returned to service. Recently, a similarly torn-down Renaissance car joined them in the scrap line at CAD, where a few of the HEP cars have already been scrapped.

Chateau Richelieu was the car compression-tested in Ottawa.

Needless to say, VIA has not been forthcoming about this testing, nor the future of the fleet. This media campaign for the LDRR replacement fleet, including visits inside VIA's Montreal Maintenance Centre, is one of the first attempts at public interaction since the Siemens Venture social media posts that continue to pop up from VIA. I felt strongly that as a member of the Canadian public, we were all owed some answers. Well, especially we (oui!) the railfans.

Eric Gagnon
Kingston, ON



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