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VIA's Rail Car Fleet


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Poll: Your preferred VIA Rail car type?

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Long-Distance Fleet (Sleeper)

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Corridor Fleet (Coach/Business)

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#1 Blackwolf

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:23 PM

Copied from another discussion to here, because this is a better home for it to live at.

For the LD fleet: VIA has two "Long-Distance" fleets in reality. The Montreal to Halifax Ocean is normally assigned an all Renaissance-equipped route with three dedicated consists, but currently (and this has been the case over the past few winters) one of the consists has been taken out of service to rehab the rapidly aging interiors while upgrading the handicap access to meet new requirements. While this is happening, a stainless steel Budd consist is substituted. Outside this one route, all the other LD trains (Canadian, The Pas, Winnipeg-Churchill, Gaspe', Prince Rupert) use the vintage Budd-built stainless steel cars that are circa 1950's.

For the corridor fleet: they use all three classes of passenger car: Budd Stainless Steel, Bombardier Light, Rapid, Comfortable (LRC), and Alstrom Renaissance. It all depends on which train you pick time-wise in the schedule that generally dictates your class of railcar. For instance,Train #57 between Montreal and Toronto is an all Budd stainless steel consist (VIA calls this their HEP-II fleet, meaning the cars were originally steam heated but upgraded to Head End Power, then upgraded again so that the cars have MU cables to allow for either a cab-car or locomotives on both ends; they are identified by having both the blue stripe and a smaller reflective yellow stripe above the windows.) Meanwhile, Train #61, which departs on the same route one hour later is equipped with an LRC consist. Train #659, which departs Montreal at 4 PM, is a Renaissance-equipped train.

If you are curious, you can tell what each train will be equipped with by doing the following:

Go to VIA's website.

Using their booking widget, type in the city pair you want to travel between. I'll put in Montreal to Toronto, one way, for this example. Click search.

A new page will open, and on it will list all of your options for trains. I use Firefox for my browser, so when I hover my cursor over a link, on the bottom of my screen will pop up the URL address of the connecting web page. As such, if I hover my cursor over the underlined train number on VIA's scheduling page, I can look at the URL without actually opening the page. If your browser does not do this, the next step is to click on a train number, then look at the URL in the address bar after it loads.

Example: javascript:openClassInfo(3,'&t0=57&e0=HP2&s=0')

HP2 = Budd Stainless Steel cars.
LRC = Bombardier Light, Rapid, Comfortable cars.
REN = Alstrom Renaissance cars.

Hopefully that helps!! :)
Amtrak
Capitol Corridor (too many times to count!); Coast Starlight (x20); California Zephyr (x5); Empire Builder (x2); Lake Shore Limited (x3); Maple Leaf (x1); Adirondack (x2); Cascades (x1); Pacific Surfliner (x5); San Joaquin (x7); Capitol Limited (x1); Cardinal (x1)

VIA Rail
Ocean (x3); Windsor Corridor (x2); The Canadian (x1)

#2 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

If I could figure this out following the above instructions, you can too... :rolleyes:

Disclosure in my voting:
I've not been in the Renaissnce cars. I saw them in Halfax a couple years back, but I was visiting Mrs. Crockett's family and didn't have the time to ride AND keep peace in the family. And the only Budd cars I've ridden in have been 'South of the Border' - the Canadian Border.
I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train.

#3 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:52 PM

My vote is for the Renaissance Fleet for both Corridor and LD and in my opinion the best time to ride the Ocean is during the summer when Sleeper Touring Class is offered. You have the best of both worlds: The Dome Observation "Park Car" + your accommodations in modern, smooth riding Renaissance equipment.

Corridor....I guess I would say I'm evenly split between Ren and LRC but I might give the Ren a slight edge for the Huge Tray Table for working on + the option of being able to reserve a single seat.


The Budd Fleet is well maintained but it is nearly 60 years old and now, 20+ years since the last major rebuilding when the cars were HEP'd. Cosmetically the cars have recently been upgraded but still it's 60 year old equipment......there's lots of shakes,rattles and vibrations!

The Canadian is a gem and a great railfan nostelgia trip......but I have found myself wondering how nice it would be to have a modern Renaissance Delux Bedroom between Toronto and Vancouver along with the Domes and that Sleeper Plus (Silver & Blue) Service!


Edited by NS VIA Fan, 24 February 2012 - 03:58 PM.


#4 jhjr

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

Took the Via Ocean round trip from Montreal to Halifax over New Year's. Budd equipment on the way out and renaissance on the way back. I preferred the Budd equipment slightly, but both types of equipment have good features. Best renaissance feature is the ability to lock your room with one of those plastic key-punch cards when you leave your cabin. The renaissance equipment looked better, but also seemed more cramped than the Budd equipment. Also, the Budd sleepers had a community shower - on the renaissance sleeper there wasn't a community shower. You would need to book a shower room. Don't know if that's the case with all renaissance sleepers or just the ones used on the Ocean.





#5 amtraknovi

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

Copied from another discussion to here, because this is a better home for it to live at.

For the LD fleet: VIA has two "Long-Distance" fleets in reality. The Montreal to Halifax Ocean is normally assigned an all Renaissance-equipped route with three dedicated consists, but currently (and this has been the case over the past few winters) one of the consists has been taken out of service to rehab the rapidly aging interiors while upgrading the handicap access to meet new requirements. While this is happening, a stainless steel Budd consist is substituted. Outside this one route, all the other LD trains (Canadian, The Pas, Winnipeg-Churchill, Gaspe', Prince Rupert) use the vintage Budd-built stainless steel cars that are circa 1950's.

For the corridor fleet: they use all three classes of passenger car: Budd Stainless Steel, Bombardier Light, Rapid, Comfortable (LRC), and Alstrom Renaissance. It all depends on which train you pick time-wise in the schedule that generally dictates your class of railcar. For instance,Train #57 between Montreal and Toronto is an all Budd stainless steel consist (VIA calls this their HEP-II fleet, meaning the cars were originally steam heated but upgraded to Head End Power, then upgraded again so that the cars have MU cables to allow for either a cab-car or locomotives on both ends; they are identified by having both the blue stripe and a smaller reflective yellow stripe above the windows.) Meanwhile, Train #61, which departs on the same route one hour later is equipped with an LRC consist. Train #659, which departs Montreal at 4 PM, is a Renaissance-equipped train.

If you are curious, you can tell what each train will be equipped with by doing the following:

Go to VIA's website.

Using their booking widget, type in the city pair you want to travel between. I'll put in Montreal to Toronto, one way, for this example. Click search.

A new page will open, and on it will list all of your options for trains. I use Firefox for my browser, so when I hover my cursor over a link, on the bottom of my screen will pop up the URL address of the connecting web page. As such, if I hover my cursor over the underlined train number on VIA's scheduling page, I can look at the URL without actually opening the page. If your browser does not do this, the next step is to click on a train number, then look at the URL in the address bar after it loads.

Example: javascript:openClassInfo(3,'&t0=57&e0=HP2&s=0')

HP2 = Budd Stainless Steel cars.
LRC = Bombardier Light, Rapid, Comfortable cars.
REN = Alstrom Renaissance cars.

Hopefully that helps!! :)



I am on Train 2 , VAN to TOR, the hyperlink seems to say HP1&s, are those Budd Stainless?



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