An ‘Ocean’ Mileage Run (with lots of photos!)

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by NS VIA Fan, Apr 5, 2019.

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #26

    Woodcut60

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    Woodcut60

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    Excellent trip report and photos. Thank you, and this brings back so many nice memories. I did a trip in 2017 (Halifax-Montréal-Toronto-Vancouver).
     
  2. Jul 17, 2019 #27

    gaspeamtrak

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    Hello all.
    Here is quick report on my trip from Toronto to Halifax and back.
    The trip on # 64 was excellent ! The meal was excellent and the Ladies who were serving us were top notch!
    The lady who was giving out the drinks was excellent! She tried to the Scotch for me and would not pour properly so she took the "nob" off and poured a huge shot ! Needless to say I didn't complain! :)
    We were about 10-15 minutes late leaving Toronto but were on time into Montreal
    The lounge was excellent.
    We had to line up outside of the lounge to check in for our sleepers and choose and meal time...
    This was a little crazy but it got sorted out.
    #14 Was excellent !!!
    Our consist was :
    6441
    6452
    8622
    8123
    8137
    8138
    8140
    7601
    70217
    7309
    7401
    7314
    79515
    7512
    7602
    8223
    8219
    8214
    8203
    8208
    8202
    8702 Assiniboine Park , 20 cars long!!! :):):)
    The train was so long that we didn't fit into the platform in Halifax. We had to walk up about 3 cars to get off onto the platform!!!
    The trip was incredible!!! The food was awesome! I would compare it to "Business Class " on the airlines or even better!!! :):):)
    I think I was "8208 going down and coming back I was in 8203 I think?:)
    I went down on a Friday arrived Saturday and stayed at "The Westin Nova Scotian " and left on Sunday and arrived back in Toronto
    Monday afternoon on # 65
    When we left Halifax they had split the train to fit the platform and had to double over to connect to the back 3 or 4 cars. !
    You don't see them doing that every day!
    We were held up leaving Halifax doing this and because the president of CN was arrivng into Halifaxas we were about to leave so you know who got delayed!!! :):):)
    It was another excellent trip back to Montreal with most of the same crew and a few other new ones
    The equipment does need a overhaul but everything worked!!!
    When I went to go to bed it was quite stuffy in the roomette and I mentioned this to the porter and the tech who was a young fellow agreed and within a few hours I had to cover up with blankets because I was cold !!!
    Well done Via!!! :):):)
    We were about 1.5 hours late in to St Foy but made up the time into Montreal!!!
    Way to go Via /CN. !!!
    The trip on #65 was OK but didn't feel the same, maybe I was getting tired!?
    The crew on this train in "Business Class" did there job but that was it .
    The Lady's working # 64 seemed better and there service was Excellent!
    Over all it was a great trip and I would do it again in a heart beat!
    There was not freight traffic after St Foy not even Moncton!!!
    It was the same way coming out of Halifax we met #120 in the basin.
    Don't wait to long to do this trip.
    Some of the crew were saying that the "Renaissance " cars maybe retired by 2021???
    Don't wait to do this trip ! DO IT NOW!!! while you can...
    Hope this is and okay trip report.
    You can ask me any questions and I will try and answer them >:):):)
     
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  3. Jul 17, 2019 #28

    Noob76

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    Does The Ocean line usually run on time?
     
  4. Jul 17, 2019 #29

    jiml

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    Thanks for the report. We're doing the exact same trip in early November, right down to the hotel. You are correct about VIA corridor service - it can be just the basics or top-shelf, not unlike any airline or Amtrak. We had both on a recent Toronto-Montreal round-trip. Nothing to complain about going east; fantastic service on the return. Interestingly the load on the eastbound was about 2/3, whereas the westbound was jammed and still received great service.

    The rumor of the Renaissance retirement comes up every so often. The problem is how they'd equip a 20-car train without them. There just isn't the surplus equipment available and certainly no sleepers or diners on the market, unless that's where Amtrak's latest Viewliners end up.;) It is very difficult to cut back a train that is already down to 3/week and is often sold-out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  5. Jul 18, 2019 #30

    NS VIA Fan

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    Great trip report gaspeamtrak!

    And to answer the question from Noob76...…yes, the Ocean does have pretty good time keeping. It’s just during the summer with those long often sold-out trains where you see it starting to slip. At the smaller stations the Ocean might have to make double stops for the coaches…and then the sleepers.

    And now in Halifax….since they have started splitting the long trains and boarding on two tracks VIA has implemented a special schedule for the Ocean from July 3 to October 13 only. It shows the Ocean departing 15 minutes earlier at 12:45 instead of 1pm. All other times remain the same. 12:45 is now the time when everyone has to be onboard and they start putting the two sections together.....then it departs at 1pm.

    https://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/media/pdfs/schedules/winter2018/30_Halifax-Montreal_temporary.pdf
     
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  6. Jul 19, 2019 #31

    gaspeamtrak

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    Thank you "NS VIA FAN" for the kind words :)

    Well here is another trip I will try and write for all of you...

    1) Amtrak # 280 Buf/Depew Dp: 4:46am / Arr: NYP12:58pm
    2) Amtrak # 49 NYP Dp: 3:40pm /Arr: Chicago Union Station 9:50am
    3) Amtrak # 5 Chicago Union Station Dp:2:00 Arr: Sacramento Cal. 2:13pm, Overnite in Sacramento
    4) Amtrak # 11 Sacramento Dp: 6:35am Arr: Los Angeles 9:00pm Overnite in LA
    5) Try and squeeze in a "quick round trip to San Diego"
    6) Amtrak # 4 Los Angeles Dp: 6:00 Dp: 6:00pm Arr: Chicago 2:50pm
    7) Amtrak # 48 Chicago Dp: 9:30 pm Arr: Buf/Depew 8:46am

    I will be doing this trip if every thing lines up and nothing gets in the way :)
    I will be doing in the middle of September.
    I have " Business Class " for parts "1 & 4" and " Roomettes " for the rest of the trip...
    You maybe wondering why I'm going to NYP in section 1 (# 280 ) and then reversing the trip back on # 49 in section 2?
    I want to see the route in day light because it is so interesting and I don't want have to catch # 49 in Buffalo at 12:10 am in the morning
    and if is late it could mean not getting on till 2:00am or later!!!o_O
    The only thing that worries me is the connection in Chicago with # 5 ???
    I have built in and extra day in Chicago if # 4 misses # 48 !!!;)
    Thank you, time to hit the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    P.S. I also want to try out supper on # 49 to see what is all about!!!;) and compare it to the Western Trains...
     
  7. Jul 22, 2019 #32

    dogbert617

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    That doesn't sound bad. Plus at least heading east to Chicago you're taking SW Chief eastbound train #4 to connect to train #48, which seems to run into fewer delays vs. CA Zephyr eastbound train #6(per checking train on time and delay status for past trains on juckins.net , comparing both eastbound #4 and #6) getting into Chicago. Thus, you have greater odds of making your same day connection going east into Chicago, onto train #48.

    BTW for connecting between train #49(westbound Lake Shore Limited) and #train #5(California Zephyr) when I searched all the way back to 1/1/18 on juckins.net , only 3% of connecting between these 2 trains, or 13 out of 437 days of connecting trains looked at here, were missed connections in Chicago on the same day. Now looking back as far as 1/1/18 for connecting between eastbound SW Chief train #4 to eastbound Lake Shore #48(this connection is even better!), only 1% of connecting between these 2 trains, or 4 of 448 days of connecting trains looked at, were missed connections. As for the connection in Chicago you aren't doing thankfully(eastbound California Zephyr to eastbound Lake Shore), 5% of connections on the same day between these 2 trains were missed connections, or 23 out of 443 days. I'm VERY glad you aren't trying to take eastbound #6 California Zephyr into Chicago to connect to Lake Shore, and are trying to connect between these 2 trains via eastbound #4 Southwest Chief instead.

    As for contemporary dining, I still have yet to try it. Early reviews didn't look good right after it was launched, but I know more recently Amtrak introduced some hot menu items for contemporary dining on Capitol Limited and Lake Shore. Please do report about your contemporary dining food items that you eat on your Lake Shore train trips, since I'm curious if the contemporary dining food has been getting any better, or not as of late.

    I'm amazed the Via Ocean has something like 20 cars, that is impressive! And I thought it was interesting that the Amtrak Empire Builder had something like 11 or 12 cars, though half of the train is combined/split in Spokane for passengers coming from each of the train's western 2 branches. One half of the cars go to Seattle including the dining car, the other half including the observation/sightseer car goes to Portland, meaning PDX sleeper passengers will get their last breakfast meal and first eastbound dinner meal as a boxed meal. Will have to read your other posts here, to read more about your Ocean train trip. How many hours and minutes was your train trip as shown in the timetable, between(IIRC) Montreal and Halifax? Plus the approximate actual length of your train trip including delays, if you remember at all? Hopefully you didn't run into too many delays, but as it always the case with train travel, you never know when you'll run into the occasional freight train delay.

    Also funny you mention so many stations had 2 stops for the train, since that also was the case with Empire Builder as well. If I recall correctly from talking to one of the coach car attendants on my train going west, the only ones in the middle of the route that can support such a long length train where ONLY one stop needs to be made where all doors can open at once, are at St. Paul and Minot. Also technically in Chicago, either the rear or front-most car of that train barely cannot open, so they have passengers walk between boarding at a different car to get onto that other train car! Never mind of course at so many of the stations in the middle of the route, that they only have to handle coach passengers and not any sleeper passengers, meaning the stops don't take too long at those stations with shorter platforms. Finally not too long ago, I read some data somewhere that says for Amtrak ridership on long distance trains, about 85% of the ridership rides in coach, and only like something like about 15% of riders upgrade to a sleeper.
     
  8. Jul 23, 2019 #33

    jiml

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    Your only reason for getting up so early on Day 1 is to double-back on the Empire route to sample the food? That's dedication.;) Sounds like a great trip otherwise.
     
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  9. Jul 23, 2019 #34

    JRR

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    We did the same trip in 2017, but in the opposite direction.
     
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  10. Jul 25, 2019 #35

    gaspeamtrak

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    We were on time into Montreal.
    After St.Foy when you back out across the river again and head east there isn't much freight traffic till Moncton where the CN freights join the line again. They take "Southern "route. Can anybody name the line?
    We were a little late into Halifax, maybe 30 minutes. You don't have to worry much about freight train delays on this line like poor old "Amtrak" has to suffer.
    Coming back we were 15 minutes late leaving Halifax as they had to couple the train together as we were to long for the platform and the CN presidents train delayed us!!! We were about 1 hour late at St Foy the next morning But some how made the time up!!!
    Leaving Montreal for Toronto we left on time but were 30 minutes late into Toronto.
    I will let you know what I eat on # 49 for supper !!! That is why I'm back tracking on the first part of my trip...:):):)


     
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  11. Jul 26, 2019 #36

    NS VIA Fan

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    That’s the NTR the National Transcontinental Railway……fast and CTC signaled and CN’s main freight route to the Maritimes. Heading east the Ocean and CN freights use the same route from Charny (across from Ste Foy & Quebec City) to St. Andre Jct. just west of Riviere-du-Loup. Here the Ocean continues east along the St. Lawrence River valley following the Intercolonial Railway through Campbellton and onto Moncton…..but CN freights take the Pelletier Cut-off…joining the NTR which hugs the very northern tip of Maine to Edmundston then cuts diagonally across New Brunswick to Moncton.

    The Ocean has used this as a detour route and VIA did use it for an RDC ‘Railiner’ between Moncton and Edmundston.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  12. Jul 27, 2019 #37

    jiml

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    One has to wonder how much time that detour would save. Of course with freight train interference maybe none.
     
  13. Jul 27, 2019 #38

    railiner

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  14. Jul 27, 2019 #39

    railiner

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    Great illustration of the different routes...it would be neat if you would also add the former CP Atlantic Limited route, just for information...:)


    That was what I meant to reply to your post with....sorry I included it in your quote...not used to the (new format?)...couldn't find 'edit' button...


    Now i found it!:oops:
     
  15. Jul 28, 2019 #40

    gaspeamtrak

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    Thank you for that excellent map sir ! :)
    I remember going to my grandparents in Gaspe I think it was Christmas time and there was a derailment past "St.Andre JCT. on the "ICR"
    They sent our train to Edmunston and bussed us to Campbellton ,NB to catch the Gaspe train.
    The Gaspe train had to reverse 12 miles back to Matapedia,Que and move the engines to the front of train to head to Gaspe.
    Needless to say CN/VIA got us there but late .;)
    I bet you VIA/AMTRAK would not go to that length today to get you there!!!:p
    One other point , I can't remember if the train was combined with the"Ocean" or was a separate train by itself!???
    Oh well...
     
  16. Jul 28, 2019 #41

    NS VIA Fan

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    I was on one of those Ocean Detours several years ago. Here’s a Trip Report I had posted then:

    It was one of those early March days in eastern Canada when the weather doesn’t know if it should be raining or snowing. Well it was pouring rain…so I just grabbed a coffee and sat down at the computer.

    Checking my e-mail I got word of a derailment: A freight had just spilled 23 cars near Mont Joli, Quebec blocking VIA’s eastbound Ocean. The F40's were to run-around and haul the Ocean 100 miles back to Riviere du Loup/St. Andre Jct., reverse again and run on CN’s freight-only mainline (the NTR -National Transcontinental Railway) via Edmundston to Moncton then resume it’s normal route from there to Halifax.

    But what would they do with w/b Ocean due out of Halifax at 1pm. A quick call to VIA confirmed it would also run via Edmundston and my chance for a 300 mile “Rare Mileage Run”!

    Could I pull it off? I had no problem booking a Roomette to Montreal on ReserVIA and WestJet could get me back Sunday evening for $99. It was a go! But I had 220 kms and 3 ½ hours to get to Halifax so I had to get moving.

    I stopped at the Halifax Airport to drop off my car then took a shuttle bus into city. Convenient as it stops at the Westin Hotel where the VIA station is located. I arrived with 45 minutes to spare. Since I had already booked on-line……and my ticket was ready.

    Today’s Ocean was a Budd consist complete with a Dome Obs “Park” car up against the bumper-post.

    VIA OCEAN #15 w/b
    6424 F40
    6436 F40
    8619 Baggage
    8143 Coach
    8118 Coach
    8127 Coach
    Skyline Dome 8503
    Emerald Diner
    Chateau Montcalm
    Chateau Jolliet
    Chateau Viger
    Chateau Levis
    Banff Park Dome Observation

    We left Halifax on time at 1:05 in pouring rain. Out past the container terminals and Rockingham Yard where a double-stack was being assemble for it run through to Toronto. We were OT at Truro and no sign of the e/b Ocean #14 we should have met at Belmont. I estimated he was about 6 hours late on the detour and we would meet at Moncton. Just west of Folly Lake the train is high on a hillside and the rain had turned to wet snow at the higher elevations. Across the valley I got a glimpse of the ski hill at Wentworth.

    I spent most of my time in the dome of “Banff Park” on the tail end. The attendant provided complementary coffee and tea all day and took bar orders as requested. The dome was about a third full. The sleeper load out of Halifax was light but would fill out at Moncton and later in the evening thru northern New Brunswick. The coaches were full and they had their own “Skyline” dome forward.

    We rolled into Moncton OT at 5:20 pm. VIA had buses waiting to take passengers on to Bathurst, Campbellton, Rimouski etc. Cities that would be by-passed by the detour.

    We were out of Moncton at 5:45pm and still no sign of e/b #14. At Pacific Jct. 12 miles west we received a high green and diverged from the Ocean’s usual route west and headed up CN’s Napagogan Subdivision (the NTR) for a 300mile “Rare Mileage Run” to St Andre Jct This is CN’s mainline west from the Maritimes: fast, CTC and approx 75 miles shorter than the usual route through Campbellton.

    The Ocean once ran regularly on the NTR in the late ‘60 & early ‘70 but was replaced by an RDC Railiner which lasted until the big VIA cutbacks in January 1990.

    Time now for supper and I made my way to “Emerald” An xCP diner and identical to one you would find on the “Canadian” I had the “Annapolis Valley” for $18. consisting of a garden salad, hot rolls, roast turkey with all the trimmings and apple crisp for dessert.

    I was still looking for the e/b Ocean. When we hadn’t meet by Chipman I assumed that I had somehow missed the meet near Moncton. We finally met them in Juniper at 8:35pm, running approx 11 hours late! (They arrived in Halifax around 3am the next morning)

    I sat in the dome for most of the evening checking our route and speed using my GPS. Northern New Brunswick had received a fresh dusting of snow where the south had received rain. The night was fairly bright, so it made for good after-dark viewing from the dome. Just east of Grand Falls there are some impressive high fills and trestles. One, the Salmon River Bridge is 3900' long (second longest in Canada) and 200' high.

    At Grand Falls we entered the Saint John River valley running parallel to the United States border for the next 60 miles. Interesting: the towns across the river are only a quarter mile away but it’s an hour earlier (eastern time) The track along the opposite river bank is the former Bangor & Aroostook and just beyond that: US1. Get on this highway here and it will eventually take you to Key West, Florida!

    On this side we were pacing traffic on the Trans Canada Highway, probably getting stares from the locals wondering “what’s a passenger train doing here?

    I was impressed with how fast we were covering the NTR. Leaving Moncton on time at 5:45pm we reached Chipman at 6:53, Napagogan at 8:04, Juniper: 8:20 to 8:35 (meet #14) Grand Falls: 10:13, another meet at Riviere-Verte from 10:45 to 11:12 then into the divisional point of Edmundston, New Brunswick at 11:25pm. Take out the down time at Juniper and Riviere-Verte and it’s only about a half-hour off the schedule of the last Moncton to Edmundston Railiner in 1990. Not bad for trackage that’s been freight only for a number of years.

    At the pace we were going I thought we would be waiting for time when we eventually reached St. Andre Jct where the Ocean’s usual route would be regained and its schedule assumed west of there. But in Edmundston now we just sat. A couple of buses arrived with passengers from the New Brunswick north-shore area. Then another bus arrived with the “Chaleur” passengers. (The Ocean and Chaleur would normally meet at Matapedia and combine for the trip to Montreal) I watched the activity out on the platform for a while then went to bed.

    I woke just as we were leaving Edmundston at 4:30et (5:30at) (time change here) We’d been sitting for 6 hours! It was just getting light as we passed thru Lac Baker and crossed into Quebec. I headed back to the dome for the complementary continental breakfast: coffee, juice, muffins, cereal yogurt etc. (There’s also a full breakfast available in the diner)

    The sun was up now as we rounded the high fill at the south end of the lake at Estcourt, Quebec. The tracks couldn’t get any closer to the USA than they are here: the bottom of the fill Is the international boundary.

    Back in 1977, CN built a 20 mile cut-off to get the trains out of the hills, off the old Monk Sub (now abandoned) and down to river level and the fast straight track of the Montmagny Subdivision along the St. Lawrence. From Pelletier to St Andre Jct. it’s almost a steady 1.1% downgrade.

    The fresh snow of last night and the ice on the trees from yesterday’s freezing rain made for very scenic views from the dome in the morning sun. We rolled down through the rock cuts and at several places there were excellent views to the Mountains on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence River which is almost 15 miles wide here.

    We reached St Andre Jct at 6:48am then stopped in la Pocatiere at 7:12 for 10 minutes. Quite a few boarded here; these were the passengers bused from the missed stops at Amqui, Mont Joli and Rimouski. La Pocatiere is the location of a Bombardier plant where the shells for NJT and MTA equipment were being assembled. There is also a test track around the yard with catenary strung overhead.

    We continued on to Charny (suburban stop for Quebec City) at a steady 80mph. To reach the stop here first required us to pull forward onto the Drummondville Sub then back into Charny, located on the line to the Quebec Bridge. We had to wait a moment for a Montreal bound train to clear then arrived in Charny at 9:15 for a 10 minute service stop (4.5 hours late) I had time to get off for a few pictures.

    I always enjoy sitting in the dome for the 25 miles out of Charny. We’re doing 90mph easily passing everything on parallel Autoroute 20. We continued on to Montreal making quick stops in Drummondville, St. Hyacinthe, and St Lambert finally coming to a halt in Central Station at !2:15pm (4:15 late)
     
  17. Jul 28, 2019 #42

    NS VIA Fan

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    I now had 6 hours to kill which wasn’t too difficult in Montreal. Out for lunch then I spent a hour or so riding the Metro. Back at Central Station I took an electric MU 16 mile out to Deau Montagnes and back. Leaving Central Station we headed north thru the 3 mile Mount Royal Tunnel (VIA trains arrive and depart on the south side of the station) Several stops were made before crossing a couple of rivers and arriving in Deau Montagnes. A scenic ride and it takes about 35 minutes each way. Time now to make my way out to Dorval Airport. I could have taken a commuter train from the former Windsor Station site but I would be cutting it close to my flight time. A combination of the Metro and 2 city buses got me there in about 50 minutes for $2.50.

    Dorval Airport was the usual Sunday evening mob scene and I was surprised it only took me about 45 minutes to check-in and get through security. I then spent the next half hour or so checking out the various aircraft at the gates (Hay, I like planes too!)

    WestJet 628 to Halifax was scheduled for boarding at 7:30 pm but the 737-700 inbound from Vancouver was about 20 minutes late. After a quick servicing and boarding, push-back was only 10 minutes behind schedule. We were soon in the air for the 65 minute flight to YHZ (Halifax). We entered US airspace just east of Sherbrooke, basically following above the former Canadian Pacific Railway line across Maine and once the route of VIA’s Atlantic, which was running mate of the Ocean on the Montreal-Halifax route. We re-entered Canadian airspace along the New Brunswick border then out over the Bay of Fundy and on into Halifax arriving at 10pm (Atlantic Time)

    As I only had a carry-on, it was a quick dash from the gate to the car then on the road for home arriving there just after midnight. A great “Rare Mileage Run”

    Back in the office on Monday morning were the usual questions around the coffee pot: What ya do on the weekend? Oh I just went to Montreal for 6 hours! Yeah sure!
     
  18. Jul 28, 2019 #43

    NS VIA Fan

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    I'll see what I can do!
     
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  19. Jul 28, 2019 #44

    jiml

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    I knew you'd have the answer!:D
     
  20. Jul 28, 2019 #45

    jiml

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    There really is not the same level of public "coverage" of Atlantic routes as there is for the rest of the country. I was on one of the last runs of the Atlantic and discussed with a friend (who said they were a railfan) that we had just taken a VIA train through the US to Halifax. I got an incredulous look and first "No, not possible." and then "It must have been a detour." It was only when it was cancelled a few weeks later that I got an acknowledgement "Oh, that train... thought it was cancelled years ago." Of course the Lac Megantic disaster more recently dredged up a lot of the history of the route, including the former passenger service.
     
  21. Jul 28, 2019 #46

    jiml

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    The Chaleur was combined with The Ocean up until its cancellation. IIRC it worked fine eastbound, but there were huge timekeeping issues rejoining the two for the return to Montreal (one train waiting for the other).
     
  22. Jul 28, 2019 #47

    NS VIA Fan

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    Here’s a brief Chaleur History......

    The Chaleur name first appears in CN’s summer 1964 timetable as a Montreal <> Campbellton train replacing the Advanced Ocean Limited. It appeared again in the winter 1964/65 timetable for the Christmas holidays and by the summer 1965 timetable, it was now a permanent year-round train.

    In June 1967, Canada’s Centennial Year, the Chaleur gained a Gaspe section with through coaches, sleepers, meal & lounge cars between Matapedia and Gaspe. Prior to that, Gaspe passengers changed at Matapedia to an RDC Railiner or conventional trains running between Campbellton and Gaspe.

    The Chaleur was extended to Moncton in October 1967 and lasted until January 1970 ** when it was discontinued and the through cars to Gaspe were now included in the Scotian eastbound from Montreal to Matapedia and in the Ocean westbound. The through cars lasted until the fall of 1979. During this period the service transitioned from CN to VIA.

    (**except in summer 1968 when the Chaleur went direct to Gaspe and the Matapedia-Campbellton-Moncton section was replaced by the Cabot)

    The Chaleur did return as a separate Montreal - Gaspe train for the summers of 1970 ‘71 ‘72 ‘73 & ‘74 and even carried a Skyview (x Milwaukee Skytop) sleeper observation for a couple of seasons.

    On October 28, 1979 VIA restructured the Montreal <> Maritime services and the through cars to Gaspe were gone and replaced by a connecting service again at Matapedia with either an RDC or conventional train depending on the season. VIA did offer a through Montreal-Gaspe full service coach & sleeping car train during Christmas 1979 ‘80 ‘81 & ‘82.

    Then in May 1983 the Chaleur was back once again as a full service train between Montreal & Gaspe. This continued until another restructuring of the Maritime service in June 1985 (& the return of the Atlantic).....the Ocean became a Montreal-Moncton train (not running to Halifax) and was combined with the Chaleur between Montreal and Matapedia.

    The next big change came with the massive cuts in January 1990. The Ocean was extended back to Halifax but cut to triweekly and began alternating with the Atlantic to provide a six day a week service between Montreal and Halifax. The Chaleur was once again a separate through train to Gaspe but also cut-back to tri-weekly and alternated with the Ocean between Montreal and Matapedia.

    By the early ‘90s enough of the former CP Budd fleet had been rebuilt and the Chaleur was re-equipped including a Skyline Dome car. Occasionally Park Dome Observations even ran through to Gaspe.

    In December 1994 with the discontinuance of the Atlantic. The Ocean began operating six days a week between Montreal and Halifax and on three of those days it was combined with the Chaleur. The Chaleur did operate as a separate train in summer 2008 and during most Christmas Holiday periods. Around 2000....the Chaleur lost its name and a couple of years later service to Gaspe ended (with hopes it might return someday!)
     
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  23. Aug 9, 2019 #48

    gaspeamtrak

    g

    gaspeamtrak

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The trip to New York City from Buffalo is quite interesting...:)
    I have been checking the arrival times in Buffalo for last night and tonight/tomorrow morning was 4:07 am and tonights /tomorrows's arrival looks to be the same!!!
    That's part of my reasoning of catching #49 in NYP instead of Buffalo !!!:confused::confused::confused: I should have a good sleep!!!
    I don't have and alternative if I miss the Zephyr !!!:oops::oops::oops:
    I built a day in Chicago if I miss the connection coming home...
    Maybe I should have built a lay over day in Chicago too !!!
    Oh well lets hope they get this all sorted out before my trip !
    Also #5 and #6 have seem to be really late in both directions lately also?
    Any idea's why ? trackwork or flooding???
    Thanks...
     
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  24. Aug 9, 2019 #49

    dogbert617

    d

    dogbert617

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The California Zephyr is often late, due to freight train traffic as I remember hearing. Yes you would be very smart going east to stay overnight in Chicago, as an insurance policy just in case you don't make your connection going east from #6 into Chicago, to catch #48. I'd say you have better odds making your connection from train #49, to #5 in Chicago.

    Now to check juckins.net , to see how often these 2 same day connections have been missed. Going west transferring from #49 to #5 from January 1, 2019 to August 7, 2019, it says only 2% of connections between #49 and #5 have been missed same day connections( https://juckins.net/amtrak_status/archive/html/connections.php?a_train_num=49&c_train_num=5&station=chi&date_start=01/01/2019&date_end=08/08/2019&df1=1&df2=1&df3=1&df4=1&df5=1&df6=1&df7=1&buffer_mins=5&sort_dir=DESC&dfon=1 ). Going east between train #6 to train #48, it says 11% of same day connections between these 2 trains have been missed( https://juckins.net/amtrak_status/a...f6=1&df7=1&buffer_mins=5&sort_dir=DESC&dfon=1 ). So, YIKES!
     
  25. Aug 9, 2019 #50

    jiml

    jiml

    jiml

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Toronto area
    Makes perfect sense. Those are really late times for the westbound! I also enjoy the route from NYP to Depew in both directions. Up until the recent dining changes, the LSL eastbound was a perfect fit too. Not only was its departure time from Buffalo (and subsequent arrival in New York) much better than either of the Empire Service trains before and after, but if close to on-time you'd start with a nice breakfast leaving Depew and a good hot lunch before Albany. This made the cost of a roomette a relative no-brainer, since that segment is usually little more than coach and Business Class ended at Albany.
     

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