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Urban Sky

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About Urban Sky

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  1. Urban Sky

    $Billion VIA Order to Siemens?

    Just for the records: the RFQ document did not ask for the initial order of 32 trainsets to be bimodal from the moment of delivery.
  2. Urban Sky

    Big VIA Order to Lego!

    As surprising as it might sound to some Anglo-Americans, we celebrate April Fools Day in Quebec like everywhere else in North America: ”In France and Quebec, April Fools' Day is called poisson d'avril. The concept is similar: An April fish is a new, just-hatched fish. If a person is an April Fish, they are easily caught -- or easily made a fool of.” CBC News radio article (1981) “Stories like this will be everywhere today — especially in Quebec, where the spirit of “poisson d’avril” runs strong — and we are vulnerable to media hoaxes perpetrated by journalists and broadcasters eager to shake things up from the routine of reporting serious news.” Montreal Gazette newspaper article (2016) Christmas greetings from Montreal, everybody!
  3. For further reading: https://www.railway-technology.com/features/featureis-the-end-near-for-europes-passenger-night-trains-5885394/ Full report: here Quote from the report: To make a similar point about Toronto-Montreal:
  4. Urban Sky

    $Billion VIA Order to Siemens?

    Unfortunately, the article is in French, but it shows a surprising depth of research, especially when it comes to questions of trade, where it suggests that whereas imposing local content quotas is legal for urban rail projects in Ontario and Quebec, this would be illegal for federal intercity rail procurements: VIA Rail: Siemens avait une longueur d'avance sur Bombardier
  5. "The Cavalier" fell victim of the January 1990 bloodbath, but was briefly revived as the "Enterprise" (trains 50/51) between January 2000 and October 2005, first using HEP and then Renaissance equipment, as described in this interesting report. However, we might be getting a bit off-topic here...
  6. I don't think that local communities which depend on non-Corridor train service rely on any targeted marketing. However, any new user which becomes aware and uses the train decreases the per-rider subsidy and therefore helps to preserve the service. The train names were abandoned when VIA Rail's timetable design changed from leaflets to booklets in November 1997. Here a list of train names from the 1997-05-05 timetable:
  7. Have you ever had a look into what ongoing transportation options you have once you arrive in The Pas (Population: 5,368) without a car?
  8. I’m not Canadian and have only lived here for 6 years, but my grasp of indogenous history in this country is that it is usually better to listen to their communities’ demands than to second-guess their needs. I believe they have been very vocal about their desire in restoring the Status Quo prior to the wash-outs and their wishes have finally been granted...
  9. “Heart patient's death on Greyhound bus leads to calls for more flights, better service in northern Manitoba [...] Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Chief Marcel Moody said cancer patients and other First Nations people are being forced to take long bus rides for medical help. “There's incidents like this happening on a weekly basis,” he said in an interview with CTV News. Moody said more flights south and better health services in the north should be available. "If we can avoid another death in a similar circumstance I think we have to try our best to help our people as best we can,” Moody said. [...] Indigenous Services Canada said based on the most cost effective mode of travel, the bus is the normal mode of transportation, taking the client's medical condition into consideration.“ https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/mobile/heart-patient-s-death-on-greyhound-bus-leads-to-calls-for-more-flights-better-service-in-northern-manitoba-1.4135349
  10. "Every year 530,000 people travel to Northern Manitoba, according to Travel Manitoba. Those visitors spend more than $115 million annually during those trips. Churchill tops the list of destinations for the region. “We lost a lot in the summer,” said Daley. “We lost the first couple weeks of October… usually it’s our train traffic. We lost that this summer.” During the summer months, the majority of visitors arrive in town by train. “Having the rail line out and losing 80 per cent of our summer business… you just put your head down and keep going,” Daley said." https://globalnews.ca/news/3982336/tourism-industry-in-churchill-taking-hit-since-rail-line-wash-out-last-spring/ "Churchill, however, faces a number of tourism hurdles that may explain the relatively low numbers in the region. The most obvious problem is transportation. There are no roads connecting Churchill to the rest of Manitoba. The only way to get there is by air or rail, and neither option is wallet-friendly. A flight from Winnipeg to Churchill is typically several hundred dollars – and that does not include the costs to get to Winnipeg in the first place. VIA Rail offers passenger trains to Churchill twice a week. While a one-way rail trip costs about $200, it also takes two days." http://cwf.ca/news/currents/currents-tourism-gateway-options-could-help-churchill-survive-loss-of-port/ "Michael Woelcke, a regional manager for Via Rail, says the Crown company hasn’t yet tallied its losses, but is expecting to lose between 5,000 and 9,000 passengers, after strong bookings for the current beluga whale-watching season and autumn polar bear season." https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/tourism-not-a-total-loss-in-churchill-440860693.html PS: The restored schedule already allows same-day visits to Churchill (Tue+Thu+Sat) and Thompson (from the North: Wed+Fri), while The Pas requires a night (arrive late Wednesday evening, depart 27 hours later)...
  11. This is indeed possible, but would adversely affect the train's utility for tourism and would require to either deadheading equipment between The Pas and Winnipeg on a regular basis or to duplicate the maintenance facilities already present in Winnipeg. Sept-Iles and Schefferville are isolated from the North American rail network, The Pas and Churchill are not... Such a service existed until 2001, as shown in VIA's 2000-10-29 timetable: Monday: Gillam (10:00) to Churchill (17:35) Wednesday: Churchill (09:00) to Gillam (16:35) Saturday: Gillam (10:00) to Wabowden (16:15) Sunday: Wabowden (08:30) to Gillam (15:00)
  12. Urban Sky

    Ocean Derailment

    Not this time:
  13. I would assume that "closer to Park car" and "further away from noisy locomotive horns" are the two main motivators for preferring to be further back in the consist. As for the side on which your window will be, I remember that our windows of the Cabin for 2 was in the direction of travel on the right side, but unfortunately, these car diagrams don't show any Cabin for 1 numbers: https://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/cabin-one
  14. When? As soon as it has been confirmed that the infrastructure is safe for passenger operations. Where? Not really a question if I read the following Press Release: https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/media-room/latest-news/221241/04-october-2017-via-rail-temporarily-changes-its-schedu
  15. Urban Sky

    New Schedule Real Life Performance #2

    I've started to track the actual travel times on the Canadian by retrieving them from ReserVIA (and by playing around with the date stamp in the URL). I've attached the actual and scheduled travel time (in hours) of train #2 from Vancouver (calculated from the scheduled departure in Vancouver, i.e. 12:00 since July 27 and 20:30 before that). Note that red refers to Vancouver, yellow to Winnipeg and green to Toronto. Also, the departure of September 28 was terminated in Capreol (arrival times shown for Capreol instead of Toronto). Source:
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