Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

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Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby Bigt » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:49 pm

Hello from the U.S. What type of equipment is now used most often on the
Toronto - Montreal runs? Am interested in taking a family member - who has
never been on a train - for a short trip, maybe Brockville or Cornwall, to Montreal
and back, and, would like to be able to tell them about the equipment in advance.
Any information would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby Nicholas Chen » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:31 pm

I believe that they run mostly with LRCs pulled by an F40 or P42, at least that's what I saw a lot of when I visited Montreal and Toronto this summer (although I unfortunately didn't get to take VIA). Via's fleet is available here, which includes pictures, floor plans, and 360° views of the cars.
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby Ken V » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:31 am

It's true that most trains between Toronto and Montreal use LRC equipment but some use Budd stainless steel coaches (called HEP-2) or have a mix of both. Trains 63 and 64 typically operate with the Budd cars but will sometimes use an LRC first class car. Train 669 and train 52, which goes via Ottawa and bypasses Cornwall, normally have a HEP-2 consist.
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby dowlingm » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:37 pm

Some trains also run with Renaissance equipment [EDIT: my info is dated on this, it appears that at present Rens are not scheduled on TOR-MTL]

You could also have a train like 50/60 (a J-train consisting of a train to Ottawa and a train to Montreal, separating at Brockville) where the complete train is a locomotive with Renaissance coupled to another locomotive with LRCs attached.

VIA does take J-Trains to extremes occasionally :) http://tracksidetreasure.blogspot.ca/20 ... rains.html
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby Bigt » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:34 am

Great photos! The Alco's and EMD F's are what I remember best. Saturday afternoon
trains from Cornwall to Montreal, a quick dinner, then, off to the Forum for a Habs game!
I told you, train riding in Canada has been a while for me!
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby dowlingm » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:36 pm

Here is a (lousy) pic of the equipment for 62/52 pulling into Toronto Union at 0850 to depart at 0920 for Montreal and Ottawa this morning. The HEP cars included 4116 and 4118.
https://flic.kr/p/BhReij
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby dowlingm » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:44 pm

Bigt wrote:Great photos! The Alco's and EMD F's are what I remember best. Saturday afternoon
trains from Cornwall to Montreal, a quick dinner, then, off to the Forum for a Habs game!
I told you, train riding in Canada has been a while for me!

And now the successor to the Forum lies where the tracks into CP Windsor Station once lay.
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby timberley » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:57 pm

There is actually a little trick to tell what equipment is scheduled to run on any particular train on any particular day. This is all programmed in the reservations system to facilitate seat assignment, etc. Ticket agents can access the full information, but you can also see it from the main booking site.

Here's how it works. Go on VIA's website. Enter in your destinations/date/etc., and click through to book. You'll get a screen showing your train and class options. Go to the train you want and select a class of service (any class will work).

Once you've done this, you'll see a few icons to the right hand side of the screen - sometimes a bag (if checked baggage is available), a seat, a WiFi logo, and a symbol "i" in a circle. Click on the "i", and a pop-up window will open.

Look at the address bar for this pop-up window. It should have a url something like this:

"https://reservia.viarail.ca/tools/viewclassinfo.aspx?c0=H&t0=50&e0=LRC&cc0=VIA&s=0"

The important information is towards the end of the url. Specifically this part: "0=50&e0=LRC&cc0=VIA" - In this section, "50" is the train number "LRC" is the equipment type, and "VIA" is the carrier (the reason "VIA" must be specified is because VIA will allow some GO train bookings, which show up as "GO" and "TRN" as the equipment type).

There are 5 possible codes for equipment:
LRC = LRC equipment
HP2 = HEP2 equipment*
HP1 = HEP1 equipment (i.e. the Canadian, Churchill train, etc)
MIX = HEP2 equipment with an LRC Business Class car
REN = Renaissance equipment

*Note that "HP2" trains may include one or two HEP1 coaches in addition to the HEP2s, but they will be primarily HEP2. This mainly applies to trains 63/64 and their connecting counterparts 75/70, which have recently typically had some HEP1 coaches mixed in with the HEP2s.

This trick applies across the board, unless last-minute equipment changes are made.

The majority of the Corridor fleet is indeed LRC, but HEP2s run on a number of trains. The only Renaissance sets currently in use in the Corridor are between Montreal and Quebec City, though there are reportedly plans to start running them again between Montreal and Toronto via Ottawa some time in the near future.
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby chriskay » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:58 am

That is seriously useful. How did you ever figure that out?
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby timberley » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:31 pm

chriskay wrote:That is seriously useful. How did you ever figure that out?


I can't take any credit for it! Someone over on the CanadianPassengerRail Yahoo! group first pointed it out (at least that's where I first heard of it), and I suspect he noticed it at some point when looking at the urls and then doing some digging.

It's a really invaluable trick for figuring out what equipment is assigned to each train. Though not an absolute guarantee (as I said, sometimes substitutions are required), it is generally correct.
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Re: Toronto - Montreal Equipment Type

Postby marquisofmississauga » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:43 pm

timberley wrote:...
It's a really invaluable trick for figuring out what equipment is assigned to each train. Though not an absolute guarantee (as I said, sometimes substitutions are required), it is generally correct.


Yes, it is more accurate now than it was about a year ago. Much of that information was wrong (I'm not referring to last-minute changes which can happen at any time). One Toronto-London (and on to Windsor) train I take a few times a year was showing HEP-2 equipment for many months when it was LRC. Trains 63 & 64 between Montreal and Toronto - they continue to and from Windsor as 75 & 70 except on Sat. and Sunday when they are short-turned at London as 81 & 80 - are shown as "mixed." The economy coaches are a mixture of HEP-2 and HEP-1 and the Business Class car is usually LRC. This information may be important for long-legged passengers who appreciate the extra leg-room of the long-distance HEP-1 coaches. Trains 85 & 88 normally run with one HEP-2 VIA 1 coach (in economy service) and one HEP-1 so all passengers get good leg-room.
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