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Finally!....New VIA Equipment

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Oh, I think the Rens are gone regardless. I don't think I've seen a Ren set west of Montreal in years (I do recall one or two showing up a long time ago) and VIA is really only doing two round-trips with them Montreal-Quebec City (out of the five such trips on the timetable), and based on the present timing it might well be that they're only running two sets:
QBC-MTR 0620-0943
MTR-QBC 1300-1612

QBC-MTR 1245-1626
MTR-QBC 1745-2058


Flushing the Rens isn't going to take a lot of work. However, the Budds are another story:
-They provide the only checked baggage-equipped trains Toronto-Montreal (which is a thing)

-They likely ease moves from the J/S train out of Montreal and the occasional all-Budd Ocean

-From what I can tell, they're still heavily used on the SW Ontario routes (I'm counting 3x daily round-trips, and I don't think any of those are timed for a same-day turn).
-Also, I don't think they really need to "reinforce" the LD fleet: The Canadian probably never runs with more than two coaches, and based on pax numbers I doubt the Hudson Bay train does either. The Prince George/Prince Rupert route might occasionally pull a third coach in summer, but that's all I can really see.

So in VIA's shoes, I probably keep running one Budd train each way between Montreal and Toronto each day and use the others in SW Ontario as-is, or maybe slide them to Montreal-Quebec (which has high-level platforms anyway).

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There is actually a way you can check out which equipment is on which train. When you go to book click train info. And in the URL you will see One of a few options.




REN= Renaissance

LRC= Light Rapid Comfortable.

RDC= Rail Diesel Car


I concur with your opinion I think that the Rens are going to be phased out in the coming years.


Currently the Ocean Requires two sets of I computed that accurately. Which runs with four coaches, and eight sleepers. If VIA generally only uses manors on the Canadian they would have enough cars to outfit the Ocean as an all Budd train.


Currently they own 29 Chateau sleepers and 40 manors. So in theory you could outfit the Ocean with 12 Chateau sleepers, two skylines, two diners, and two baggage cars without messing up any other trains. And probably improve the utilization of the fleet somewhat as well.


Likely when the new equipment comes it'll replace the LRC fleet.

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That's actually how I got my fleet counts...I'm just not enough of a masochist to try counting all the Montreal-Toronto trains when I'm not planning a trip on the route;-)

Right now, the split on Montreal-Quebec is 2 Rens and 3 LRCs each way. Toronto-London had 3 HP2 sets and the rest were LRCs (this swept in both the Sarnia train, Windsor trains, and the one that originates/terminates in London). In my experience, Toronto-Montreal will have one or two HP2 sets in use each way (usually one, but I think a second one goes into the mix sometimes), and there's the J/S train as well. I think they occasionally run a Budd set through from Montreal to Windsor or vv (since I know there's some interoperation of equipment, and all of the SW Ontario trains are midday).

Anyhow...the Rens can be removed from Corridor service with relative ease, so I think we're on the same page. The Ocean is a trickier customer, since I think during the Summer the Canadian starts running through basically the entire Budd sleeper fleet (I've heard stories of there being three "pods" at times), though during the winter there's obviously enough slack that a few Budd Oceans get thrown into the mix to better fit the holiday schedule. That being said, there should be enough Rens for daily operation, at least on paper.

Edit: You forgot MIX, which is the code for "we don't know what the hell we'll be running" (technically it stands for a mixed consist...occasionally that's Budd coaches and an LRC Business Class car or some other odd animal...but I've seen a MIX set be of the same equipment).

Edit 2: Is it just me, or does that map make VIA's map look oddly like it screams "Here are a bunch of ex-CP lines we want to acquire"? The Quebec and Gatineau Railway is your second access to Quebec City (north of the river) while I don't honestly recall who built the line through Peterborough that they want as well.

Edited by Anderson

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Going all Budd in the winter on the Ocean would actually improve service because the Rens struggle with the harsh Canadian winters. So it would actually help via service he rens by taking them out of service all winter long.


Of course there is something I've heard leaked from my sources at VIA that they are getting ready to get second hand sleepers and diners from the United States. The only possible fleet I know of that would be coming available would either be Amtraks former 10-6 sleepers in Beech Grove or Iowa Pacific. But no one really knows what Ed owns and what he doesn't.


Maybe VIA is trying to say they want all trains on the ex CP. it's a far better route west then the CN route honestly.

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And we forget that Churchill or what's left of the Hudson Bay service now I believe only uses one trainset.

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Some 10-6 sleepers wouldn't be a bad addition to the VIA fleet (I'm honestly surprised they don't have any 10-6 sleepers in the mix as it is, or any all-bedroom cars for that matter...as nice as an open section can be, there's not that much demand for them most of the time, while there's usually plenty of demand for bedrooms and a reasonable amount for roomettes).

Edit: In VIA's shoes, I'd have to presume that the Hudson Bay train will go back to what it was at some point in terms of any fleet use plan (so...is that two sets or three that it would need?).

Also...if they could get a slug of 10-6 sleepers (what did Amtrak have, 10-20 of them as crew cars?) that would probably be enough to replace the Rens for most of the year. Presuming that the HP1 coaches are compatible with whatever comes in from Amtrak, they might need another diner or two to cover the Ocean but otherwise they could arguably reshuffle some of their spare HP1 coaches (presuming there are spares, given current needs versus the needs of the early 1990s) and ditch the Rens alongside the new equipment order.

Edited by Anderson

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Some 10-6 sleepers wouldn't be a bad addition to the VIA fleet (I'm honestly surprised they don't have any 10-6 sleepers in the mix as it is, or any all-bedroom cars for that matter...

VIA did that a few years back when they acquired the ‘Northern Spirit’ 10 & 6 sleepers d from Amtrak for the Winnipeg to Churchill trains. VIA had a lot of issues with them and they didn’t last long in service.

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CP did not didn't buy any 10-6 cars to my knowledge, and I don't think CN did either. Both CP and CN bought sleepers with sections long after US railroads gave up on sections and largely went to all private room after WW II. When US RRs did buy streamlined cars with sections, generally the cars were all section cars like the ones in the CZ order, not in combination with private rooms, or were on the old standard Pullman layout of 12-1 (12 sections, 1 compartment). The partial section car was kind of a Canadian thing, not a US thing. CP's "Canadian" order, which is the sole source of current sleeping cars on the Canadian, were only Manor and Chateau configurations, both of which contained 4 sections per car. Both the Manor 4(sctn)-4(rmt)-5(DB)-1(cmpt) and the Chateau 4(sctn)-8(rmt)-2(DB)-1(cmpt)-1(DR) were real mutants in terms of floorplan compared to US RR orders.


I don't know why the Canadian RRs kept the sections long after they were largely gone from US RRs, price sensitivity or regulation come to mind as hypothetical reasons, but they certainly did and that made the pool Via was choosing from initially very different than Amtrak's and pretty much everything had sections. There many have been some all-room cars in the former CN "Blue Fleet" cars, I am not nearly as familiar with those as I am the CP Budds, but I don't think so. In any case, the Blue Fleet was largely scrapped after the big 1990 train-off.


The sections are kind of the bane of Via and I am pretty sure they'd like to be rid of them, along with the individual roomettes. I am sure Via would have really liked it if, back in the day, CP or CN had ordered 4-4-2 (4 double bedroom, 4 compartment, 2 drawing room) sleepers like the Santa Fe Regal series, all private rooms for at least 2 people. There's a reason that Via chose the Chateaus, with 4 sections and 8 roomettes and only 4 private rooms for two or more, to tube for conversion to Prestige.

Edited by zephyr17

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There were some streamliner sleepers on US roads with a combination of open sections and private rooms...

Here are some:


CB&Q 460 Silver Flower

CB&Q 461 Silver Gladiola

CB&Q 462 Silver Hyacinth

CB&Q 463 Silver Iris

CB&Q 464 Silver Orchid

CB&Q 465 Silver Tulip

These were all Budd, stainless steel, 6 Sections, 6 Roomettes, 4 Double Bedrooms, built August-September of 1952 for the Burlington's "Blackhawk" and "American Royal Zephyr".


Then there were:

GN 1160 Gunsight Pass

GN 1161 Ptarmigan Pass

GN 1162 Dawson Pass

GN 1163 Piegan Pass

GN 1164 Logan Pass

GN 1165 Triple Divide Pass

GN 1166 Lincoln Pass

CB&Q 1167 Cut Bank Pass

CB&Q 1168 Red Gap Pass

GN 1169 Swift Current Pass

GN 1180 Stevens Pass

SP&S 700 Indian Pass

These were Pullman-Standard, 4 Sections, 8 Duplex Roomettes, 4 Double Bedrooms, built December 1946 - January 1950, for The Empire Builder, the last two later to The Western Star


SP&S 702 Snake River

GN 1260 Skykomish River

GN 1261 Sun River

GN 1262 Snohomish River

GN 1263 Milk River

GN 1264 Bad Axe River

GN 1265 Chumstick River

GN 1266 Sheyenne River

GN 1267 Skagit River

GN 1268 Mouse River

GN 1269 Poplar River

GN 1270 Tobacco River

GN 1271 Fraser River

GN 1272 Spokane River

GN 1273 Pend Oreille River

GN 1274 Bois De Sioux River

These were Pullman-Standard, 4 Sections, 1 Compartment, 7 Duplex Roomettes, 3 Double Bedrooms, built November to December 1950, for The Empire Builder


Santa Fe had 26 Pullman-Standard, 6 Sections, 6 Roomettes, 4 Double Bedroom sleepers delivered in June 1942 for various trains across its system. These were all named in the "Valley" series.


There were probably some more, but that's all I had time to research for now....

Source: Car Names Numbers and Consists, Robert J. Wayner, Wayner Publications, 1972

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The CPR acquired new 10-5 sleepers in 1950. They were built by CC&F and finished at CP's own Angus Shops in Montreal. The sleepers were used between Montreal and Boston (jointly operated with B&M) Montreal and New York (with D&H) and Toronto and New York (with NYC) as well as the extensive network of overnight trains in what is the 'corridor' today.


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When the new CPR 'Canadian' was launched in 1955 it was not the solid Budd Stainless-Steel train we think of it as. The Tourist-Class section sleepers were still popular so CP took some old 1920s heavyweight 14 section sleepers and rebuilt them (in their Angus Shops)applying Stainless-Steel Fluting (and Beaver-Crest) to the sides to match the new Budd equipment but the old doors, old square-style windows remained along with heavyweight style clerestory roof. These were the U Class Sleepers.


Scroll down here to Photo 12:

(Photo 9 is a Grove Sleeper)



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