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#1 williamn

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 06:42 PM

Rode Via from Toronto to Stratford and back this weekend on some fairly ancient HEP1 cars. I know some have been refurbished - will it extend to those on this route? My friend remarked that the age and state of the train reminded him on his travels in North Korea!

 

I presume at some stage these cars will have to be replaced? They're not far off 70 years old, right?



#2 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 08:38 PM

On my trip this past June, to ride the Corridor and the Ocean train, I was disappointed in the Toronto to Montreal train as they last minute substituted the old stainless steel car with 2X2 seating instead of the nice 1X2 LRC Business Class car I had booked.  They also arbitrarily changed my seat assignment from middle of the car to 3rd row almost over the trucks without any notice.  And I was informed car was full and no other seat available.  I took the train anyway to Toronto and on to Halifax on The Ocean.  Although very nice The Ocean bedroom seat were hard as rocks and no recline.  Seat backs were straight up 90 degree angle from the seat bottom.  Bed going was comfortable but the return bed back to Toronto was slanted and difficult to sleep on.  When I got back to Toronto, I got to ride a LRC business car Montreal to Toronto and it was very nice.  I was scheduled to return to Montreal midweek but discovered that once again the business class car I would ride had substituted the stainless steel car and assigned me once again to same seat with no movement of seat assignment available.  So, I cancelled that trip and returned to USA on Maple Leaf train from Toronto(business class).  I was a much happier camper.  So those who say Via Rail LD trains are better than Amtrak do not reflect my views.  I have traveled The Canadian several times and food to me is too exotic.  Let's just say I don't much care for bison, duck, or lamb which is basic fare in the dining car.  Give me the Amtrak steak any day and the good ole Angus burger.  I also like several of the special dishes served on Amtrak.  Sorry for running on, but I have hard time stopping when I start writing.



#3 Dayliner381

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 07:05 AM

You were probably riding in HEP 2 equipment used in corridor service, as opposed to HEP 1 cars, normally used on long distance trains, but occasionally in the corridor. The former have blue and yellow striping, signifying that the cars are equipped for MU operations in J-trains.

 

The HEP 2 cars were originally from US railroads, built in the 1940s, so the car bodies are approaching 70 years old.

 

The interiors and the mechanical systems date from the rebuilding in the 1990s, and as such they are more up to date than the systems on either Amfleet or Superliner I equipment. The trucks are rebuilt from ex CN CCF cars from the 1950s, and generally do not ride as well as either LRC or HEP 1 cars..

 

The HEP 2 cioaches have been cosmetically reurbished since their 1990s rebuilding, but the business class cars have not, and the interiors are showing their age.

 

The HEP 1 long distance cars have not been cosmetically refurbished either since their complete rebuilding in the early 1990s, whereas most of the sleepers, diners and dome cars have been updated.

 

The mechanical systems of these cars are excellent. I recently rode in Laurentide Park on the Ocean. The air conditioning was much better than in the Renaissance equipment on the train. The updated interior looked fine, but the trucks under Bedrooms C and D rode roughly.

 

Despite the stainless steel car shells that seemingly last forever, the HEP2 cars are becoming expensive to maintain, and their retirement  is planned as part of VIAs corridor equipment replacement, for which an invitaion for proposals was recently published.

 

In contrast the HEP 1 equipment originally built for the CPR's Canadian, and rebuilt by VIA, is the most economical to maintain of any equipment in the fleet That includes especially the Renaissance cars, which get limited use because they are so expensive to operate.



#4 williamn

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 12:46 PM

Interesting, thanks for that info! The safety card said HEP1 but I guess it could be wrong. I did notice some VERY rough riding. I would post a pic but don't know how...



#5 Dayliner381

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 03:24 PM

You could have been on an HEP 1 as they do operate in the corridor occasionally. 

 

It is easy to tell the two apart.

 

Exterior: HEP 1 cars  have blue striping; HEP 2 have blue and yellow.  HEP 1 have large picture windows; HEP 2 have uniform window height, but the width varies depending on the car's origin. HEP 1 cars are numbered in the 8100 sereis; HEP 2 in the 4100's.

 

Interior:  HEP 1 cars are low-density long idstance confirguraiton with leg rest seats, and open luggage racks. HEP 2 cars have higher density seating with footrests only, enclosed luggage racks, and a small galley at the end of the car..

 

Most HEP 1 coaches date from the mid-1950s and were rebuilt beginning in the late 1980s. These were originally built for the CPR Canadian. Additional former US coaches date from 1946-47. During the rebuilding the window panels were recut to match the ex-CPR cars.

 

The HEP 2 cars date from the 1940s and were rebuilt in the early 1990s. As noted above, the window panels were recut to a uniform height, but to save money the original window widths were retained during the rebuilding process. Hence some cars have picture windows and some have smaller windows, with the seat rows not necessarily lining up, i.e. airline style. 

 

The series numbering is a bit confusing. The HEP 1 cars are actually newer (measured by original construction), but they were rebuilt first.



#6 williamn

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 09:50 PM

Ah in that case the car I was in was HEP1 and the other car of the train ( declassified first class I think ) was HEP2. My car did feel very dated inside, especially compared to the trains I have taken before between Toronto and Montreal. 



#7 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 04:05 AM

Heres an interior shot of a HEP-2 Coach.

DSCN6482.JPG

The HEP-1 equipment is original CPR plus a few cars VIA obtained from the US for the first HEP rebuilding program. They were originally intended for long distance travel on the Canadian. Ocean, Atlantic and Chaleur. I don't believe any of the HEP-1 cars have enclosed luggage racks (as above)

#8 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 01:54 PM

It's funny as much as you guys want to avoid the HEP cars on the corridor. If I were riding those trains I want to ride those cars more then the others.

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#9 williamn

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 03:55 PM

Yeah mine was definitely HEP1 - HEP2 looks positively modern in comparison! Can imagine they have value to enthusiasts but just looks unattractive and dated to a general passenger.






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