Possible Reroute for The Canadian

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The Canadian on CP north of Lake Superior?

Postby NS VIA FAN » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:50 am

It’s being reported in Don Philips column in Trains Magazine the Canadian may be rerouted on CP along the scenic north shore of Lake Superior between Sudbury-White River-Thunder Bay and Winnipeg and this reinforces the rumor that VIA’s president would also like to see this reroute happen.

Operationally.....it doesn’t appear that it would be too difficult to run on CP north of Superior. The westbound Canadian already leaves CN at Boyne/Reynolds and enters CP for 90 miles of directional running near Parry Sound.....but instead of switching back to CN at Wanup (near Sudbury) it could just continue west through downtown Sudbury stopping at the CP Station that the White River RDC does now.

(Speculation here: Would the Canadian make the stops the White River RDC does now...with those RDCs being transferred to cover the remote service obligation on CN (Capreol-Hornepayne-Sioux Lookout-Winnipeg) that would lose passenger service with the reroute?)

To reach the Winnipeg VIA Station.....the Canadian could use a 4 mile connecting track (xCN Pine Falls Sub) on the east side of the city from CP at Manson/Pine Jct to CN at Beach Jct. My SPV Railroad Atlas shows this entire track still in place as the Central Manitoba Railway.

Eastbound, the Canadian would run on CP across northern Ontario......then go back on CN at the Wanup/St Cloud diamond where directional running begins (and its current route)south of Sudbury

It’s all mainline track except for a short 4 mile connection track in Winnipeg and looking at Google Maps……that connection appears to see regular use so probably some minor upgrading to passenger train standards. This is the same track the Canadian previously used in the '80s after VIA combined all services at the former CN Winnipeg Station.

https://goo.gl/maps/1FGpHdpeY6M2
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Re: The Canadian on CP north of Lake Superior?

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:13 pm

NS VIA FAN wrote:It’s being reported in Don Philips column in Trains Magazine the Canadian may be rerouted on CP along the scenic north shore of Lake Superior between Sudbury-White River-Thunder Bay and Winnipeg and this reinforces the rumor that VIA’s president would also like to see this reroute happen.

...

(Speculation here: Would the Canadian make the stops the White River RDC does now...with those RDCs being transferred to cover the remote service obligation on CN (Capreol-Hornepayne-Sioux Lookout-Winnipeg) that would lose passenger service with the reroute?)


That is good news. I'd like to see RDC service over the entire Super Continental route Sudbury-Winnipeg, but only expect to see Sudbury Jct - Sioux Junction service. At/after Sioux Jct, roads become viable access options for most settlements & First Nations along CN; there's also service facilities at Sioux Jct.

(There's also the option of Franz-Sioux Jct service, I suppose. Or, you could get crazy and offer Sudbury - SSM - Franz - Sioux Jct - Winnipeg... imagine that railfan's dream :P)

If I'm dreaming, I would also love the reroute to come with joint VIA/Amtrak Thruway service between Thunder Bay and Duluth.
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Re: The Canadian on CP north of Lake Superior?

Postby Ken V » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:51 pm

mtuandrew wrote:I'd like to see RDC service over the entire Super Continental route Sudbury-Winnipeg, but only expect to see Sudbury Jct - Sioux Junction service.

If a replacement service is reintroduced on the CN route it would likely be between Capreol and Winnipeg. There's no value whatsoever in serving Sudbury Jct.. I expect it would also use a conventional locomotive, baggage car and a coach. Because of the distance involved two trainsets would probably be needed.
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Re: The Canadian on CP north of Lake Superior?

Postby jp1822 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:31 pm

Ken V wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:I'd like to see RDC service over the entire Super Continental route Sudbury-Winnipeg, but only expect to see Sudbury Jct - Sioux Junction service.

If a replacement service is reintroduced on the CN route it would likely be between Capreol and Winnipeg. There's no value whatsoever in serving Sudbury Jct.. I expect it would also use a conventional locomotive, baggage car and a coach. Because of the distance involved two trainsets would probably be needed.


Appears VIA ran a regular conventional train set at one time between Capreol and Winnipeg - straight through - with a sleeper tagging along. VIA definitely has the equipment to run a locomotive, baggage, coach, Skyline (perhaps) and Chateau sleeper. I liked the scenery of the Canadian over the CN route MUCH better when it ran overnight between Capreol and Sioux Lookout. I believe the Sioux Lookout station also just went through a major rehab right? Could Sioux Lookout be used as a jumping off point for "northern Ontario" outdoor activities? I did like the daylight scenery from Sioux Lookout to Winnipeg - lots of interesting rock formations on the Canadian Shield and BEAUTIFUL lakes. We made random flag stops to drop off canoes and fishermen who would be on their way to a cabin along the lake. With the train to Gaspe not operating, the same type of equipment could be used for this route. If the overnight option was utilized, I think VIA could just operate one train set back and forth. But VIA should have enough Skylines (that could also function as a kitchen area). It would be nice if the eastbound could do a same day connection with the Canadian (operating three days a week). Same for westbound.

And reading Don Philips' article it definitely sounds like CP has realized that this former route of the Canadian is at present underutilized and CP could even gain some extra revenue by hosting the train. It would certainly be a win-win as I am sure the people of Thunder Bay would welcome the train back with open arms!
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby NS VIA FAN » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:18 am

Even if a remote service train is operated on the entire route between Capreol and Winnipeg I don’t see any need to operate a Skyline…..there are better uses for one elsewhere. There will probably be little through traffic between endpoints……mostly short-haul passengers riding into the closest larger community.

If you look back to the schedule I posted above (from the 1980’s) there was a through train between Caperol and Winnipeg that operated only two days a week each way and it consisted of coach café and baggage-dorm where the roomettes were sold to the public. There were also a local train between Capreol and Sioux Lookout....and the Winnipeg-Sioux Lookout trains that ran east out of the city on Friday nights and west on Sundays that were remnants of the old Camper’s Special serving cottage country. In the 30 years since……a lot of these communities have gained road access and really no need now to provide a remote service over the entire route.

Perhaps a segmented daytime service could operate such as Capreol-Hornepayne, Hornepayne-Armstrong and Armstrong-Sioux Lookout.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:40 am

Why Capreol vs. Sudbury Jct?
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby Station Aficionado » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:49 am

mtuandrew wrote:Why Capreol vs. Sudbury Jct?

mtu, isn't the problem with Sudbury Jct. the absence of servicing facilities? There's a yard at Capreol. That said, Capreol is even further afield from downtown Sudbury than is Sudbury Jct. Is there any sort of transit service between Capreol and downtown Sudbury? IIRC, there is no transit service to Sudbury Jct. For those familiar with the area, is there a connection between CP and CN that would reasonably allow a train coming south from Capreol to access the CP station in downtown Sudbury? I don't know if the calling hours for a rerouted Canadian would permit a connection to an RDC serving the CN route, but I'd think having all the trains serve the same station in Sudbury would be a good thing.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:23 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:Why Capreol vs. Sudbury Jct?

mtu, isn't the problem with Sudbury Jct. the absence of servicing facilities? There's a yard at Capreol. That said, Capreol is even further afield from downtown Sudbury than is Sudbury Jct. Is there any sort of transit service between Capreol and downtown Sudbury? IIRC, there is no transit service to Sudbury Jct. For those familiar with the area, is there a connection between CP and CN that would reasonably allow a train coming south from Capreol to access the CP station in downtown Sudbury? I don't know if the calling hours for a rerouted Canadian would permit a connection to an RDC serving the CN route, but I'd think having all the trains serve the same station in Sudbury would be a good thing.

Lack of facilities at Sudbury Jct. makes sense.

It looks from Google Maps like you *could* route a train between Capreol and Sudbury, but it's easier to send patrons on Greater Sudbury Transit Route 703.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby Station Aficionado » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:32 pm

mtuandrew wrote:It looks from Google Maps like you *could* route a train between Capreol and Sudbury, but it's easier to send patrons on Greater Sudbury Transit Route 703.

Yep, given the bus service, Capreol would seem the appropriate endpoint. Besides, based on Ken V's and NS Via Fan's comments, there might not be that many riders getting on/off at Capreol in any event.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby Ken V » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:24 pm

In addition to the points made already Capreol has a railway shop facility where minor maintenance and repairs can be undertaken. After arrival in Sudbury the Budd RDCs take the connecting track up to Capreol to spend the night. This connection might not be that valuable for paying passengers however. I don't know if the track is in the best shape.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby NS VIA FAN » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:26 am

Operationally between Sudbury and Toronto and with about 90 miles of Directional Running already in place south of Sudbury to near Parry Sound I assume the routes currently followed would remain status-quo.

At South Parry (Boyne/Reynolds) all trains return to their respective lines for the remaining 150 miles between there and Toronto.

As there is no place to turn a train as long as the Canadian in Toronto (other than sending it 40 west to Bayview near Hamilton to wye) the Canadian currently just makes a big loop around the city. It comes directly south on CN’s Bala Subdivision and enters the east side of Union Station. When it is ready to depart for Vancouver…..it leaves the west side of Union Station and heads up the Newmarket Sub to Snider, backs up ….then runs east on CN’s York Sub to Doncaster where it regains the Bala Sub again to continue west.

Here’s the Canadian’s current ‘Loop’ around Toronto:

Image

But now with the possible CP involvement…..there’s another option to 'loop' the train:

The westbound Canadian could continue to depart from the west side of Union Station but instead of looping on the Newmarket and York Subdivisions….it could switch over to CP’s MacTier and Parry Sound Subs and follow this route westbound only and enter the current directional running at South Perry…..thus maintaining the required ‘loop’for operational purposes.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby marquisofmississauga » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:36 am

NS VIA FAN wrote:...

But now with the possible CP involvement…..there’s another option to 'loop' the train:

The westbound Canadian could continue to depart from the west side of Union Station but instead of looping on the Newmarket and York Subdivisions….it could switch over to CP’s MacTier and Parry Sound Subs and follow this route westbound only and enter the current directional running at South Perry…..thus maintaining the required ‘loop’for operational porpoises.


That is interesting. This would still require a back-up manoeuvre, this time at West Toronto. I believe it was a few years ago, prior to the building of the Weston Sub. underpass, that CP removed the connecting track at the diamond that would permit direct northbound operation. The Canadian would have to proceed west on the Galt sub., then back up along the North Toronto Sub. before proceeding north on the Mactier Sub. That is not a big deal, of course.

Perhaps the Canadian could go up the CN/GO Weston Sub. if there is still a connection between that and the CP Mactier Sub. I recall seeing a connection several years ago near the Weston GO station.
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby dowlingm » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:18 pm

Wouldn't need weird backup manoeuvers etc. if the train was run more often and thus its length shortened... I was in downtown Toronto near the Metrolinx Richmond Hill line on Saturday and #2 came along heading towards the Union Station approaches. Not the best picture but I had a 45lb kid on my shoulders and was scrambling to get my smartphone camera working. Because of a nearby bridge and vegetation further along, there was no good angle to get more than a few cars of the long consist.
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Re: The Canadian on CP north of Lake Superior?

Postby Highball » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:15 pm

NS VIA FAN wrote:It’s being reported in Don Philips column in Trains Magazine the Canadian may be rerouted on CP along the scenic north shore of Lake Superior between Sudbury-White River-Thunder Bay and Winnipeg and this reinforces the rumor that VIA’s president would also like to see this reroute happen.


Recently picked up the July issue of Trains Magazine and in Don Phillip's commentary, there are positive aspects mentioned by CP CEO Hunter Harrison, of the Canadian reroute occurring. Harrison has approved switching the Canadian to the CP route, since their line, although well maintained, is under utilized .... most CP traffic runs south to and through Chicago, plus CP gains revenue from VIA. The reroute would certainly be a huge positive for VIA's Canadian with timekeeping compared to the heavy traffic on CN's Northern Ontario route. To quote Don Phillip's last paragraph in his column ... " The reroute is not yet a solid agreement. But it seems to have a better than even chance. "
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Re: Possible Reroute for The Canadian

Postby Station Aficionado » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:13 pm

Ok, it's been three months since Phillips' column appeared. Anyone heard or seen anything that would confirm what he said?
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