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Canadian Timekeeping - Bit of a Rant


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#21 Woodcut60

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:19 AM

I rode the westbound Canadian in June 2017. Scheduled departure time in Toronto was 10:00 pm but we left Union Station four hours later, at 02:00 am. The incoming Canadian had a delay of ten hours and arrived at 07:30 pm instead of 09:30 am. Staff had to fly in from Edmonton.


The train arrived in Vancouver at 03:35 pm. It should have arrived at 09:42 am, so it was almost six hours late. Not too bad, and I had the opportunity to see a few sights in daylight which I otherwise wouldn't have seen. So I was not complaining. Moreover, VIA Rail staff was very serviceminded and made sandwiches and coffee.


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.
Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).
Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states; VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.

#22 railiner

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 10:38 PM

The Rocky Mountaineer looks like a first class operation and I'd love to ride it, but the prices are outrageous. I have some friends that my wife and I travel with, and they have suggested a Rocky Mountaineer trip, but we could probably take a week-long cruise to Alaska for less than what a two-day trip on the Mountaineer would cost. i'd hate to think what they would charge for a sleeper on the Canadian. 

Also, didn't Powell mess with VIA a number of years ago when VIA wanted to upgrade their Vancouver-Edmonton services, crying they were unfairly competing with his private business. But congrats to Mountaineer for bribing CN with enough cash to actually run their trains on time. Maybe that's why the trips cost so much. 

if Powell complained, it looks like he lost his case, as VIA's Prestige Class is in some ways more luxurious than the Rocky Mountaineer.....


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#23 Lonestar648

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 11:22 PM

If he complained it wasn't heeded, but the complaining could have been political posturing.  What is more impressive is the relationship he developed with CN.  VIA could stand to use him just to negotiate with CN for the Canadian.



#24 Anderson

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 03:23 AM

My understanding is that in year 1, Rockies by Daylight managed cost recovery in the 95% range and that in year 2 it was profitable...so they were forced to sell it off (rather than using the profits to either expand or to cross-subsidize the Canadian)...

 

It's also a real shame that neither this route nor the Whistler route were able to retain any sort of "local" service other than 1/2, since it would seem that there's the population density to back up some modest level of service (particularly when the weather goes to pot in the winter).


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#25 zephyr17

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:38 AM

My understanding is that CN's purchase of BC Rail from the province was contingent on getting rid of BC Rail's passenger service.  I would love to be able to take the train to Whistler.  The Sea-to-Sky Highway,(BC99) was upgraded to a 4 lane highway for the Olympics and carries a lot of traffic and is aggressively plowed and maintained.  It is not really a chokepoint.  Speaking as someone who drives it several times every winter.

 

The argument in Canada is often actually the opposite, the remote services often have more of a chance at survival.   


Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
Via Rail Canada: Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal); 
Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#26 mcropod

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 07:47 PM

It was through this discussion group, and a couple of others, as well as monitoring the live train movements with asm.transitdocs which alerted me to timekeeping on The Canadian.
It has been horrible over the five months or so Ive been checking in. I was surprised to see one train #2 stay green all the way from Vancouver recently, but everything else has been black by the time it gets to Toronto.

(snip)

The one that stayed green was, if I had to guess, #2 departing Vancouver on 2/27.  That was down to a very unusual situation which resulted in the freight trains going into the siding instead.

Likely it was. So who was the special considerations passenger?

#27 Seaboard92

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 08:33 PM

It was through this discussion group, and a couple of others, as well as monitoring the live train movements with asm.transitdocs which alerted me to timekeeping on The Canadian.
It has been horrible over the five months or so Ive been checking in. I was surprised to see one train #2 stay green all the way from Vancouver recently, but everything else has been black by the time it gets to Toronto.

(snip)

The one that stayed green was, if I had to guess, #2 departing Vancouver on 2/27.  That was down to a very unusual situation which resulted in the freight trains going into the siding instead.
Likely it was. So who was the special considerations passenger?

The special passengers are the Moonlighters group. It's a group of current and retired railroad managers who travel the Canadian on the full moon I believe every winter. Someone in the group is in really well with Canadian National. Hence it runs ontime.
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Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#28 mcropod

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 01:22 AM

The special passengers are the Moonlighters group. It's a group of current and retired railroad managers who travel the Canadian on the full moon I believe every winter. Someone in the group is in really well with Canadian National. Hence it runs ontime.


Fair dinkum? Hooley Dooley!

#29 zephyr17

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 03:51 PM

 

 

 

It was through this discussion group, and a couple of others, as well as monitoring the live train movements with asm.transitdocs which alerted me to timekeeping on The Canadian.
It has been horrible over the five months or so Ive been checking in. I was surprised to see one train #2 stay green all the way from Vancouver recently, but everything else has been black by the time it gets to Toronto.

(snip)

The one that stayed green was, if I had to guess, #2 departing Vancouver on 2/27.  That was down to a very unusual situation which resulted in the freight trains going into the siding instead.
Likely it was. So who was the special considerations passenger?

The special passengers are the Moonlighters group. It's a group of current and retired railroad managers who travel the Canadian on the full moon I believe every winter. Someone in the group is in really well with Canadian National. Hence it runs ontime.

 

Just goes to prove CN can do it if the want to.


Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
Via Rail Canada: Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal); 
Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#30 Lonestar648

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:41 PM

Absolutely!!  They can do it for this management group.  They do it for Rocky on some its routes. VIA needs better political clout and a budget for negotiating.



#31 Anderson

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 02:08 AM

 

 

 

 

It was through this discussion group, and a couple of others, as well as monitoring the live train movements with asm.transitdocs which alerted me to timekeeping on The Canadian.
It has been horrible over the five months or so Ive been checking in. I was surprised to see one train #2 stay green all the way from Vancouver recently, but everything else has been black by the time it gets to Toronto.

(snip)

The one that stayed green was, if I had to guess, #2 departing Vancouver on 2/27.  That was down to a very unusual situation which resulted in the freight trains going into the siding instead.
Likely it was. So who was the special considerations passenger?

The special passengers are the Moonlighters group. It's a group of current and retired railroad managers who travel the Canadian on the full moon I believe every winter. Someone in the group is in really well with Canadian National. Hence it runs ontime.

 

Just goes to prove CN can do it if the want to.

 

It isn't just one "someone", it's a bunch of them.  The thing that doesn't get mentioned is that CN likely takes a not-insubstantial hit with crewing and the like (breaking up and re-assembling massive intermodal trains is not cheap, and I rather suspect they have to take some extra measures to make sure that crews don't die on hours).


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)





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