RDC's on the Skeena?

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RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Amtrak7 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:49 pm

These 3 pictures showed up on RP.NET

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=460085
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=460086
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=460087

It seems that RDC's are being tested for use on the Skeena. Anyone have more details?
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Ken V » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:57 pm

Rumour has it that one of the two trainsets on the Jasper - Prince Rupert run will be the two RDCs sandwiching a Skyline car. The other trainset would be the traditional type with an F40 locomotive, coach(s) and a Skyline. For the summer Touring class one of the Panorama cars would be added to the traditional consist and only be offered on alternate trips. For what actually happens, we'll have to wait and see.
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby jp1822 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:15 am

Ken V wrote:Rumour has it that one of the two trainsets on the Jasper - Prince Rupert run will be the two RDCs sandwiching a Skyline car. The other trainset would be the traditional type with an F40 locomotive, coach(s) and a Skyline. For the summer Touring class one of the Panorama cars would be added to the traditional consist and only be offered on alternate trips. For what actually happens, we'll have to wait and see.


Seems to make sense and I think this was only a matter of time before VIA found "another place" to put the RDC's that they were refurbishing. Personally I think they would have been better on the northern Quebec routes. However, a dome will still be in the consist of the Chaleur (or trains 5 and 6), with the Panorama Car being advertised for certain peak season operation. Instead of a Skyline Car though, it would have been nicer with a Park Car.

VIA should be having more Park cars in service than what they do. It does seem like the Ocean will be getting some sort of "dome" year-round on its tri-weekly schedule. But it would also be nice to have on the long distance Hudson Bay line, or even the northern Quebec routes. The Skylines and Park Cars are trule the signature cars of VIA. Course if they want to put a Park Car or Skyline on say the Adirondack or Maple Leaf, I am sure no Amtrak passenger would complain!!! VIA should have excess equipment, especially when the "deluxo" Park Cars come online - next year supposedly.
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby MACTRAXX » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:45 am

Everyone: Interesting use for two of VIA's RDCs out in western Canada on the Skeena...

The two assigned RDCs 6219 and 6251 look practically new after their rebuilding and
it is just another tribute to the Budd Company's long lasting use of stainless steel in
their building of passenger rail equipment...Were these rebuilt also by Industrial Rail?

I did notice some thing missing: With the new headlights installed on the ends why were
marker lights left out? I noticed the old placement area next to the number boards covered
over and will a flasher need to be hung on the rear as shown in two of the pictures?
This oversight if that is what it was here surprises me...

This goes to show that rebuilt RDCs still have their place in train operations for VIA...
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Tadman » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Here's the real question - for the last 60 years, railroads have tried to make cab cars and MU cars more visible to motorists. We've seen tiger stripes, candy stripes, bright yellow, bright red, CP's red chevrons, etc... So how come Via does the exact opposite on these rebuilt RDC's and paints them battleship grey, the same color as the back end of a conventional train?
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:53 am

Tad: Good observation - From looking at the pictures again I now think that a
reflectorized Scotchlite stripe be placed on the front end horizontally parallel
with the ditch lights - either in plain red or zebra striped to add some visibility
noting the choice of light gray which would as mentioned be a hard color to
spot - especially in wintertime snow conditions - and I will add that the VIA Rail
Canada logo and leaf is a nice touch on the front door - it may be a Scotchlite
decal - if anyone can clarify that let us know...

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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Amtrak7 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:08 am

What went wrong on the test? This picture shows maintenance and the caption says "fairly unsuccessful test run."
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:55 pm

Most likely the glitchs that show up after rebuilding,the sad part is the shop that did the work
has gone into bankruptcy.
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby jp1822 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:25 pm

I have since heard the RDC's are in Vancouver, as opposed to operating on the Skeena. Can anyone else confirm?
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Silverliner II » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:06 pm

First:
I had heard that both consists were to operate with RDC's, no Skyline, and only for the winter, with the conventional consists returning in the spring.

But then:
I heard the RDC's were not doing so well for the service and they went back to conventional consists.

Regarding the "missing marker light" question: Lit tail markers are no longer a requirement for passenger trains in Canada. The reflectorized panels inserted into the couplers on the rear of Corridor trains and other conventional trains would likely be used on the RDC's as well.

Example of one of those reflectors from my video:
VIA Trains By Day
"*BEEEEEP!!!* Three-Three! Three! No Alarms!"
(announcement from CN hotbox/dragging equipment detector, Milepost 33, track #3, Oakville Subdivision)
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby jp1822 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:43 pm

Silverliner II wrote:First:
I had heard that both consists were to operate with RDC's, no Skyline, and only for the winter, with the conventional consists returning in the spring.

But then:
I heard the RDC's were not doing so well for the service and they went back to conventional consists.

Regarding the "missing marker light" question: Lit tail markers are no longer a requirement for passenger trains in Canada. The reflectorized panels inserted into the couplers on the rear of Corridor trains and other conventional trains would likely be used on the RDC's as well.

Example of one of those reflectors from my video:
VIA Trains By Day


I just think the RDC's are way to far away from any maintenance facility to leave on the Skeena route (or route to Prince Rupert) and they would completely be prone to breaking down as they climb through the Rockies from Jasper to Prince Rupert. One could say this about putting RDC's on Vancouver Island, but there is a more robust maintenance center on Vancouver Island with the freight traffic that minimally now operates out there.

The RDC's could have made sense on the Niagara Falls to Toronto route, which was discontinued, or even some corridor service west of Toronto. Course RDC's last real territory was out in Nova Scotia - I can still remember seeing the RDC's stringed out on the Halifax platform after service was discontinued on so many routes out there.

Where RDC service does make better sense is for the northern Quebec service where often you have an overpowered train (two F40's) leaving Montreal with two coaches, which later splits to carry one coach each to their destination. The RDC's would seem to fit in better here.
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby ScootyPuffSr » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:38 pm

jp1822 wrote:I have since heard the RDC's are in Vancouver, as opposed to operating on the Skeena. Can anyone else confirm?

I took the Amtrak Cascades rolling out of Vancouver BC the morning of January 23; I can confirm that Via Rail RDC 6219 and a baggage-type RDC (probably 6251 but I can't confirm, sun didn't rise until we were well south of the Fraser) were parked in the Vancouver yard. I actually found the forum by searching for Via #6219.

Returning home the night of January 28, I didn't see any RDCs in the yard, but there was at least one RDC's roofline visible in the shop windows, so maybe there's some activity there.

jp1822 wrote:I just think the RDC's are way to far away from any maintenance facility to leave on the Skeena route (or route to Prince Rupert) and they would completely be prone to breaking down as they climb through the Rockies from Jasper to Prince Rupert.

My understanding was that the RDCs handled steep grades very well, and this is one of the reasons why they were chosen and used for decades on the long steep (2.2%) slopes of the old BC Rail passenger run from North Vancouver to Prince George. I've read comments from ex-BCR employees who said that between the RDC's hillclimbing ability and its late braking / quick acceleration out of corners, that 15 hour trip would have run longer than 22 hours with locomotive-hauled cars on the same route.

Of course, the RDCs weren't 60 years old when they earned that reputation...
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Re: RDC's on the Skeena?

Postby Montrealrail1 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:53 am

For longuest souvenirs about RDC in eastern Canada..
They was running on Montreal/Quebec route,but by the north shore route are no longer exist..The south shore route are the only one they keep in service..

But it could be great to see RDC on Quebec North area Abitibi/Jonquiere route,and this route have severals delays most of the time,by repacing F40 and stainless by RDC,it will probably better,now they running consist with one F40PH2d,one baggage car and one coach..

All VIA RDC have been rebuilted at INRIS in New-Brunswick,on the opposite side of the country..Could be a weird experience to made Cross Canada travel in RDC car..

I remember the yellow front and back,that now in gray.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby bdawe » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:33 am

Are the RDC's still out on that route, or was that just a test?
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Ken V » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:42 pm

bdawe wrote:Are the RDC's still out on that route, or was that just a test?

Using the RDCs on that route was nothing more than a failed experiment. I don't think they made a single revenue run before being sent back east.
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