Churchill Line Sold/VIA to return service Dec. 2

Discussion in 'VIA Rail Canada Discussion' started by Seaboard92, Sep 1, 2018.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Sep 1, 2018 #1

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,719
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Finally some good news to report on Amtrak Unlimited. The Hudson Bay Railway owned by OmniTrax that has been out of service since last year has been sold. It looks like a consortium of First Nations People have bought the line.

    And the even better news repairs have already started and they strive to have the line open by winter. So maybe the VIA Hudson Bay will return this year.
     
    cirdan and railiner like this.
  2. Sep 1, 2018 #2

    Palmetto

    Palmetto

    Palmetto

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,742
    Location:
    Southmost Texas
    Great! Let's hear it for the polar bears!
     
  3. Sep 5, 2018 #3
  4. Sep 5, 2018 #4

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,039
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Interesting article, but noted one glaring error: "Stephens noted the closest Canadian shipping port to Asia is Prince Rupert, B.C., and the closest to Europe is Montreal."

    Last time I checked, Halifax was a whole lot closer to Europe than Montreal....

    Regardless, it is good news that the port will be reopened to freight and passenger traffic. I am hoping that some day, some expedition cruise ships may offer an additional means of reaching Churchill. What a grand combination trip that could make...one way by rail, the other by sea. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sep 21, 2018 #5

    MARC Rider

    M

    MARC Rider

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    Baltimore. MD
    Actually, St. Johns, Nfld. is closer to Europe than Halifax. Though I don't know how much shipping there is out of St. Johns.
     
  6. Sep 22, 2018 #6

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,039
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    You are correct....basically St. John's is a port mainly to serve the island of Newfoundland. Halifax is a major port for all of Canada.
     
  7. Oct 11, 2018 #7

    fairviewroad

    fairviewroad

    fairviewroad

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,306
    Churchill rail repairs nearly done

    My favorite part of the article:

     
    Seaboard92, cpotisch and Pere Flyer like this.
  8. Oct 11, 2018 #8

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,039
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Pere Flyer likes this.
  9. Oct 13, 2018 #9

    bretton88

    b

    bretton88

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    948
    I've heard rumors that they won't run the train all the way to Winnipeg when service does resume. So I don't think that the train will be the same when the time comes.
     
  10. Oct 19, 2018 #10

    me_little_me

    m

    me_little_me

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,665
    "Each passenger is allowed to check up to three (4) pieces of baggage, which must:"

    Huh? Oh, never mind! I forgot the Canadian dollar is worth less than the U.S. Dollar so you are allowed 4 Canadian bags or 3 U.S. Bags. [​IMG]
     
  11. Oct 20, 2018 #11

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    7,513
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    That is Amtrak inconsistency taken to a whole new level! [​IMG]
     
  12. Oct 22, 2018 #12

    Anderson

    A

    Anderson

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    8,978
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes, but I suspect that five (bags) is right out!
     
  13. Oct 22, 2018 #13

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    7,513
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Go to 1:16

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2018
  14. Oct 23, 2018 #14

    Palmetto

    Palmetto

    Palmetto

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,742
    Location:
    Southmost Texas
    The thurible is off kilter.
     
  15. Nov 1, 2018 #15

    CHamilton

    CHamilton

    CHamilton

    Conductor AU Supporter Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    5,275
    Location:
    Seattle
  16. Nov 2, 2018 #16

    NW cannonball

    NW cannonball

    NW cannonball

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,538
    Location:
    Minnesota
  17. Nov 3, 2018 #17

    bretton88

    b

    bretton88

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    948
    Now the real question is when Via will restore service and if that service will extend to Winnipeg.
     
  18. Nov 5, 2018 #18

    Urban Sky

    U

    Urban Sky

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    MTR
    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
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2018
  19. Nov 27, 2018 #19

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,271
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2018
  20. Nov 27, 2018 #20

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,719
    Location:
    South Carolina
    It's not bookable yet.
     
  21. Nov 27, 2018 #21

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,039
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    The VIA Rail train to Churchill is perhaps one passenger train that 'should' be run as a 'mixed' passenger and local freight train to defer costs, and provide additional service to the online communities it serves.
     
  22. Nov 27, 2018 #22

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,271
    There is really no need for the train to go south of The Pas (pronounced 'paw") to Winnipeg. It could be run by the First Nations similar to Tshiuetin Rail in Labrador/Eastern Quebec

    http://www.tshiuetin.net/an_informations.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2018
  23. Nov 28, 2018 #23

    Urban Sky

    U

    Urban Sky

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    MTR
    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)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2018
  24. Nov 28, 2018 #24

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,271

    A lot of cost for little benefit……expand the Keewatin Rail maintenance facilities already available in The Pas. It’s an employment opportunity for the First Nations. Keewatin Rail is based in the Pas and operates the former VIA service to Pukatawagan. 

    Sure there is some tourism….seasonal for the Polar Bears and Northern Lights. Most now arrive by air in Churchill. Can’t see the number of rail travelers increasing  sufficiently to off set the cost of running to/from Winnipeg.

    Gear the schedule to the isolated communities at convenient times……providing a link into The Pas or Churchill for shopping and appointments. Anyone going the greater distance to Winnipeg for a hospital stay etc is probably already there by air ...not spending an additional 13 hrs on the train.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2018
  25. Nov 28, 2018 #25

    Urban Sky

    U

    Urban Sky

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    MTR
    "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)... 
    image.png
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2018

Share This Page



arrow_white