Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

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Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby Boyishcolt23 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:59 am

How come VIA no longer helps Antrak on extras on Thanksgiving ? They have trains sets to spare on our holiday weekend.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:42 pm

I dont know that they ever did, save for the year of Hurricane Sandy that really socked the fleet in New York. But that was storm-related, not holiday related.

I've long advocated for a set or two to come south from Via to the Silver trains from January-March or something like that. You could either make them longer or introduce another winter-only frequency, like the old Florida Special.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby east point » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:45 pm

Correct if wrong. Didn't VIA provide equipment for the Adirondack Montreal <>Albany freeing up that Amtrak equipment one or more Thanksgivings ?
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:25 pm

VIA's cars wont clear the 3rd rail in NY Penn (the underfloor equipment is too close),VIA's HEP setup will not mix with Amtrak's fleet.
The VIA cars were limited to use between Montreal and Albany,you changed trains to get to NYC.
The VIA set was used after the Sandy allowing some Amfleets to be used on the NEC.

VIA has not loaned cars to Amtrak for Thanksgiving services,MARC and NJT seem to be the preferred chose for loaner equipment.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby hs3730 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:08 am

I am guessing if they ever need to borrow trainsets on a weekday again, VIA would be a natural choice. Amtrak hasn't run Wednesday Thanksgiving specials (or Empire Corridor ones at all) in over a decade. Outside that, MARC and NJT have plenty to spare on weekends for the NEC, and they can shuffle Amfleets to the peripheral corridors as needed. Even after NJT gets rid of the last of their Arrows, there's still plenty of Comet II/IV/V around.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:09 pm

Does anybody other than MARC have known-known bodies to spare this year? I know NJT is the perennial go-to, but their Comet MTBF (along with everything else) has taken a bath the last couple years as budget and staffing shortfalls have taken their toll on the shops' ability to keep up with the vehicle maint backlog. This right now is Christie-era end-stage entropy showing itself all across the agency. Holidays 2017 may well be the nadir of their ability to cope, as it's been several years downhill and won't be until '18 when the Gov.-elect's incoming agency appointees will be making a big ostentatious public show out of tackling the brainrot.

CDOT's Shore Line East Mafersa coaches are same boat as VIA's in the undercarriage compartments not being able to clear the Penn third rail. Those aren't an option despite many spares being available at any given moment, and I'm not sure the cab car numbers square well enough for MNRR to stuff enough non-GCT Danbury/Waterbury/Upper Harlem shuttles full of Mafersas to pry loose meaningful numbers of Shoreliners for holiday loaners. Forget about the MBTA...they're in the thick of a car shortage from hell because their Kawasaki bi-level rebuild program at Alstom and the third-party contractor who was supposed to be helping them catch up on inspections backlog for their Pullman and Bombardier flats have both ground nearly to a halt this Fall on pace of deliveries for reasons unknown.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:57 pm

Perhaps VIA could serve the Michigan lines for a few days, long enough for those Horizon sets to come east. (That’s assuming VIA has spare equipment of course, this must be a peak season for them too.)
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby electricron » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:58 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Perhaps VIA could serve the Michigan lines for a few days, long enough for those Horizon sets to come east. (That’s assuming VIA has spare equipment of course, this must be a peak season for them too.)

You forgot one important point, Amtrak doesn’t want Horizons with their manual doors on the NEC!
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:45 pm

electricron wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:Perhaps VIA could serve the Michigan lines for a few days, long enough for those Horizon sets to come east. (That’s assuming VIA has spare equipment of course, this must be a peak season for them too.)

You forgot one important point, Amtrak doesn’t want Horizons with their manual doors on the NEC!


They have made sporadic Thanksgiving/Xmas appearances on the NEC in years past...sparingly, as the oddball extra car in the consist positioned at least-invasive platform spot for Penn or D.C. Union. That's about as tightly as AMTK has ever been willing to hold its nose when it comes to putting manual doors on a modern-era NEC crowd-swallower.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby RRspatch » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:19 pm

It will be interesting this year to see if any of MARC's Bombardier cars show up on NEC Thanksgiving extras. The cars, which are the same type that NJT uses, do fit thought the tunnels into NYP which is something MARC's original bi-levels didn't. And since the cars are cleared as far as New Haven (MN/NJT Giants/Jets football specials) they could be run that far for a cross platform transfer with a New Haven to Boston MBTA set. With the car to car connections at the same level as a single level it would be easy to tack on an Amfleet food service car on the end.
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just a freight train coming your way

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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:53 pm

RRspatch wrote:It will be interesting this year to see if any of MARC's Bombardier cars show up on NEC Thanksgiving extras. The cars, which are the same type that NJT uses, do fit thought the tunnels into NYP which is something MARC's original bi-levels didn't. And since the cars are cleared as far as New Haven (MN/NJT Giants/Jets football specials) they could be run that far for a cross platform transfer with a New Haven to Boston MBTA set. With the car to car connections at the same level as a single level it would be easy to tack on an Amfleet food service car on the end.


MARC loaners would be their glut of single-levels: the same pool of cars & cabs that were loaned out to SEPTA during the Silverliner V meltdown and to LIRR for summer extras. MARC is maintaining those ready-to-run because its Kawasaki bi-level midlife overhaul program starts in a couple months and the extra flats will be used to sub for the depleted K-car roster while they're being rotated out for rebuild. But right now those cars are just sitting around since returning off-lease from LIRR last month, so they are readily available for spot duty. MARC isn't going to imbalance its normal consist makeup by loaning out the MLV's instead. Much like NJT's MLV's, MARC runs their MLV's only in 100% MLV sets with no intermixing because I gather the NJT-spec door controls don't always place nice with unlike cars. You'll only see MARC II flats lashed up in consists with the K-cars, not MLV's. Whether Amtrak has any such ops concerns with MLV trainlining is immaterial because it's doubtful MARC would ever want to leave itself short of any uniform full sets of MLV's when it has so many extra flats to loan out that do play perfectly well with anyone's mixed sets.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby shadyjay » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:13 pm

In Thanksgivings past, MBTA and ConnDOT equipment has been used to help out Amtrak. ConnDOT equipment has included SPV-2000s, both pre- and post-conversion to push-pull. I had the pleasure (?) of riding in a "Consitution Liner" (what the SPVs became) (and backwards, no less) in 1997 from OSB to Boston, which was operating as an extra section to 174? but only from NHV, northward. Back in those days, riders were more used to unreserved trains and I believe in 1997, even the Thanksgiving extras were unreserved.

The Constitution Liners are now up for sale/auction, and MBTA has enough equipment shortages of its own to worry about.

Now with everything being reserved, the demand is more known, vs having 100 extra people show up on the platform at a particular station.
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby dowlingm » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:44 pm

VIA don't have much to lend these days - from what I recall even the cars used during Sandy were cut off in Albany.

It's a shame that VIA/Quebec/Canada didn't come to an arrangement with Amtrak to maintain the LRC trainsets after the initial lease for Adirondack diagrams while benefiting from shared parts/expertise in Montreal.
https://history.amtrak.com/blogs/blog/the-lrcs
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:21 am

The 2 Amtrak LRC test sets were stored,with plans to modify them to VIA's spec's,which was never done.
The Cars were used for a short time on the"International" (Chicago-Toronto) service mixed with Amtrak's low level cars.
Believe All were scrapped by VIA.

Most of VIA's Corridor equipment is WORN OUT(HEP II),the Canadian's OTP is not the greatest,Spare HEP-I cars are now in "winter" mothballs
till spring.
1 set of Cars and power used on the Churchill service is still on a "sea cruise" back to Montreal!
Reminder VIA underframe equipment does NOT clear the 3rd rail on MN and in NY Penn,or Sunnyside yard!
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Re: Canada VIA Helping Amtrak on Thanksgiving

Postby NS VIA FAN » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:38 am

Backshophoss wrote:
1 set of Cars and power used on the Churchill service is still on a "sea cruise" back to Montreal!

Returned to Montreal over a month ago. Power is back in service and I imagine the cars are too.
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