VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

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VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

Postby NH2060 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:38 am

(Thanks to "dowlingm" for mentioning this in the Amtrak forum)

Two routes under consideration include Halifax-Moncton and Moncton-Campbellton with a morning and evening trip for each. Service could start as early as Spring or Summer 2016:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scot ... -1.3311659

I would imagine Moncton-New Glasgow and Halifax-New Glasgow could be a potential market down the line as well if this pans out well.

I don't think we can begin to daydream about a return to Sydney yet though ;-)
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby NS VIA FAN » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:57 am

NH2060 wrote:(Thanks to "dowlingm" for mentioning this in the Amtrak forum)
I would imagine Moncton-New Glasgow and Halifax-New Glasgow could be a potential market down the line as well if this pans out well.

I don't think we can begin to daydream about a return to Sydney yet though ;-)


Little chance of a train making it to Sydney again. The line is embargoed east of Port Hawkesbury (St. Peters Jct) and hasn’t seen a revenue run since last December except for a couple of engine/equipment moves. The line will probably be abandoned in the spring unless the government steps in or there is some movement on the long proposed container terminal at Sydney.

The CB&CNS through New Glasgow is still active and I guess passenger trains returning are prehaps a future possibility. The “new” VIA Station still stands.

In June 1988, VIA consolidated the stations at New Glasgow and Stellarton (located about 3 km apart) in a new facility about midway between the two towns and next to the Trans Canada Highway providing easy access. The new station was in use for about a year and a half when the RDC service to Sydney ended in 1990.

It’s still standing today….not in use but part of the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry complex. When VIA’s Bras d’Or ran in the early 2000s, it passed by in front of the station on the tracks of Genesee & Wyoming’s Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway but stopped at the old Stellarton station (yard office) to change crews.

And I have a personal interest in this station. I did the civil site design when it was constructed in the late ‘80s.

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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby dowlingm » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:55 am

It's an interesting move on VIA's part. Unfortunately as they are able to operate somewhat more obscurely compared to Amtrak, we have little chance of finding out what economic rationale was used here or whether it's just political whims in action. At least this is just requiring rolling stock and crewing over active routes, as opposed to reinstating Chaleur or Malahat which requires substantial track work too.
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby NeoArashi » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:52 am

So a daily service for these routes, huh?

That's pretty good. Glad they are finally adding services outside the coridor. More importantly, I'm glad the services added/restored is for a trip that's more than 2 hours.

IIRC, Moncton/Campbelton is almost 6 hours, and the Moncton/Halifax part is around 4 and half long. If it can increase ridership, I guess it could eventually lead to the restoration of the original 6 days/week frequency of the Ocean. Wishful thinkin, perhaps?

But didn't the VIA Rail president say that he'd like to attract private funding to lower the cost the taxpayers have to pay for this? If that's still his goal, adding train will only help getting such funding, and maybe, just MAYBE, help Via Rail make new routes? IIRC The people of Thunder Bay have begged Via to make a route tgat leads/passes trhough TB for a while now.

Again, wishful thinking. Feel frre to ignore my ideas ;)
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby dowlingm » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:47 pm

The notion of private partners would have gone down well with the just ousted government. We'll see what different approach, if any, Minister Garneau brings,
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby NH2060 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:11 am

NS VIA FAN wrote:The CB&CNS through New Glasgow is still active and I guess passenger trains returning are prehaps a future possibility. The “new” VIA Station still stands.

In June 1988, VIA consolidated the stations at New Glasgow and Stellarton (located about 3 km apart) in a new facility about midway between the two towns and next to the Trans Canada Highway providing easy access. The new station was in use for about a year and a half when the RDC service to Sydney ended in 1990.

It’s still standing today….not in use but part of the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry complex. When VIA’s Bras d’Or ran in the early 2000s, it passed by in front of the station on the tracks of Genesee & Wyoming’s Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway but stopped at the old Stellarton station (yard office) to change crews.

And I have a personal interest in this station. I did the civil site design when it was constructed in the late ‘80s.

Interesting! Thanks for sharing that. The "Park and Ride" setup could only help any potential ridership by catching anyone driving from points east (Antigonish, etc.)

NeoArashi wrote:So a daily service for these routes, huh?

That's pretty good. Glad they are finally adding services outside the coridor. More importantly, I'm glad the services added/restored is for a trip that's more than 2 hours.

IIRC, Moncton/Campbelton is almost 6 hours, and the Moncton/Halifax part is around 4 and half long. If it can increase ridership, I guess it could eventually lead to the restoration of the original 6 days/week frequency of the Ocean. Wishful thinkin, perhaps?

Well according to one of the articles 80% of the Ocean's total ridership comes from within the Maritimes. And it appears that it implies that most if not all of that 80% is composed of "intra Maritimes" passengers. Which is remarkable considering that the Ocean also services Montreal, St. Foy, etc. and is primarily a sleeper train with coaches for local travel. I can easily see an AM and PM train in each direction for both "new" routes. Probably nothing more than that would be needed (except for maybe a midday round trip at a later date), but otherwise that should satisfy rail travel demand there in spades.


It will be interesting to see if St. John-Moncton(-Haifax/New Glasgow?) is considered should the current service proposal succeed. Granted VIA hasn't run a train on that line in 21 years so it would be a lot more of an undertaking, but certainly given St. John's size in comparison to even Moncton and Campbellton it's at least worth looking into. As long as VIA doesn't think passengers would mind riding on some stick rail of course ;-)
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby NeoArashi » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:47 am

80% of the people are riding from Within the Matitimes? Maybe between Campbelton-Moncton, but I'm unsure about the Halifax-Moncton part.

Made 3 round trip on the ocean (Charny-Moncton in May 2009, Charny-Halifax in October 2010 and Ste-Foy-Halifax in August 2014) and every times, it seems that a lot more people get on at Moncton (when heafing to montreal) and always saw a s**tload of people getting off the train at Moncton while heading toward Halifax.

I always was under the impression that there are a lot more people between Montreal-Moncton than the rest of the trip.

Oh well, maybe it was just a coicidence... Only took this train thrice, after all ;)
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby NS VIA FAN » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:21 am

NeoArashi wrote:80% of the people are riding from Within the Matitimes?...................

I always was under the impression that there are a lot more people between Montreal-Moncton than the rest of the trip.

Oh well, maybe it was just a coicidence... Only took this train thrice, after all ;)


And that’s my impression too and I’m on the Ocean often. You’ll have a few locals boarding in Halifax or Truro and going to Moncton of Campbellton….but the Ocean really starts to fill out at Moncton, Miramichi, Bathurst and Campbelton for the quick overnight run into Montreal.

Perhaps the article means that 80% of the Ocean’s passengers come from the Maritimes as opposed to boardings at Amqui, Mont Joli, or Rimouski, Quebec…..not that 80% are riding just within the Maritimes.
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Re: VIA Plans New Rail Services For New Brunswick, Nova Scot

Postby gaspeamtrak » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:50 pm

What a sharp looking station!
Just a little info. On the "Gaspe " line the station in Gaspe burnt down a few years ago and they built a new one and it has never seen a Via train yet !I have a picture of it on my cell phone my friend took for me not sure how to down load it but will try...

NS VIA FAN wrote:The CB&CNS through New Glasgow is still active and I guess passenger trains returning are prehaps a future possibility. The “new” VIA Station still stands.

In June 1988, VIA consolidated the stations at New Glasgow and Stellarton (located about 3 km apart) in a new facility about midway between the two towns and next to the Trans Canada Highway providing easy access. The new station was in use for about a year and a half when the RDC service to Sydney ended in 1990.

It’s still standing today….not in use but part of the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry complex. When VIA’s Bras d’Or ran in the early 2000s, it passed by in front of the station on the tracks of Genesee & Wyoming’s Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway but stopped at the old Stellarton station (yard office) to change crews.

And I have a personal interest in this station. I did the civil site design when it was constructed in the late ‘80s.
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