Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

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Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby NS VIA FAN » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:23 pm

VIA ran four additional Oceans this Christmas Season but instead of the usual Renaissance equipment....it was solid Budd Stainless Steel. And besides the usual Park Dome Observation there was also a Skyline Dome for coach passengers. Here’s the last of the extra Oceans for this season: VIA #15 west at Truro, NS this afternoon, January 2, 2016. Consist included:

2 F40s
1 Baggage
4 Coaches
1 Skyline Dome
1 Diner
6 Chateau Sleepers
1 Domes Obs Evangeline Park

Certainly a nice train to look at.....but for the smooth ride along with the comfort of a deluxe cabin.....I'm looking forward to my ride on a Renaissance Ocean in early February.

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Re: Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby NeoArashi » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:06 am

Lovely! I love the stainless steel bud cars. More comfy IMO. The only problems is that since all seats are double seats, you are much more likely to end up having to share a seat with a stranger.

I'm in the Ocean as I type this, heading toward Halifax, and I got the good ol' renaissance train.
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Re: Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby timberley » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:31 am

Great photos! Just a correction: VIA actually ran 6 extra departures (3 each way) over the holiday period. However, unlike last year where all 6 trips were Budd, this year 2 of those departures were with the normal Renaissance equipment, and 4 were with the Budds. It's just a matter of equipment cycling, and was a little odd because of where Christmas fell and the need to reschedule normal dates.

I rode the Ren Ocean westbound on the 20th, in Room 5 of a Ren sleeper. A very nice ride in the middle of the car, and overall a very pleasant trip. The majority of my negative feelings towards the Rens have to do with riding them as a coach passenger, where the cramped seats and lack of any real lounge space are a major annoyance.

I returned on the Budd equipped #14 on Dec. 29th. I had 2 companions with me this trip, so we took advantage of the rooms offered in the Budd equipment and booked Drawing Room A (which ended up being in Chateau Montcalm). Now that's something you can never do on the Ren Ocean! (though there is a drawing room in the Park, it is only sold for 2 passengers) It was an excellent trip, quite smooth riding actually, and you can't do any better for space. It reminded me again of just how much more comfortable the Budd beds are when compared to the Ren ones! I also slept much better than I normally do in the Rens - the Budds do rattle and shake a certain amount, but I find the type of movement in the Rens much more disruptive to sleep. To each their own :P

Also the full diner and chef on the Budd trip was a definite step above the normal Ren meal offerings, though they have come a long way and are actually quite good these days too.
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Re: Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby NS VIA FAN » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:35 am

Perhaps I will have to try a Chateau Sleeper again the next time a Budd Ocean is running….. but previously the ride quality (vibrate and rattle) was nowhere in comparison to the smoothness of a Ren.

Just last month I was on the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver…..in a bedroom (Cabin for 2). The folding partition between rooms rattled and I could hear everything said in the other room. On a four night journey, oh how I wished for the solid walls and quietness of a Ren Bedroom….not to mention the availability of a shower in some of the rooms if desired. Too bad VIA can’t offer Rens on the Canadian also.
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Re: Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby timberley » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:53 am

NS VIA FAN wrote:Perhaps I will have to try a Chateau Sleeper again the next time a Budd Ocean is running….. but previously the ride quality (vibrate and rattle) was nowhere in comparison to the smoothness of a Ren.

Just last month I was on the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver…..in a bedroom (Cabin for 2). The folding partition between rooms rattled and I could hear everything said in the other room. On a four night journey, oh how I wished for the solid walls and quietness of a Ren Bedroom….not to mention the availability of a shower in some of the rooms if desired. Too bad VIA can’t offer Rens on the Canadian also.


I will grant that the Rens are somewhat quieter and they don't rattle the same way the Budds do (and yes, soundproofing is somewhat better), but when you factor in the more cramped room, the lousy beds, and the stiff bench/couch seat in the day-time setup, I couldn't imagine wanting to spend 4 nights in a Ren sleeper, at least compared to a Budd! Having said all that, I do still like the Rens just fine - much better than no train at all!

My biggest gripe still remains that when travelling alone, I have to pay 15% more for my room than I would (per person) if I were travelling with someone else. I know that's a lower surcharge than on the Canadian, but I think it's unreasonable when there is literally no single sleeper option offered on the Ocean. It's either coach, or take the double room and pay the surcharge. In the Budds it makes sense, because you *could* choose a roomette or berth (and I do when travelling alone), and the surcharge helps discourage people from occupying extra space that could be sold to someone else. But what's the point when all the rooms are doubles?
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Re: Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby jp1822 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:14 am

Ironically my first ride on VIA Rail Canada was the Ocean out to Halifax in Drawing Room. There was just the two of us, but we took the Drawing Room (Bedroom A) just to get the extra room. We actually got off a 2 hour late Adirondack in St. Lambert - as planned (just not that late) and made a same connection. No real big issue to be had. We had a great time in Halifax - stayed at was then I think the Westin (maybe it still is) in Halifax right near or above the VIA Rail train station. The exchange rate from USD to Canada was VERY favorable so we booked the Drawing Room in both directions. I can remember that the Chateau cars at that time were not all that worn. It was in the 1990s so closer to when VIA had done the renovation of the cars. It always seemed that the Budd cars on the Ocean were in better condition than those on the Canadian. For example, the dome seats lost their cushioning in a very short period of time. They probably got more use. But even the Park Car of the Ocean - which did have a pretty good following - was VERY comfortable, and very well appreciated by those aboard.

I don't think I could travel on the Renaissance cars if it didn't have a Park Car. I think the Park Car now operates year-round, which is great as the Renaissance service cars are a joke! They were more apt for service on the Enterprise. I even took the Enterprise when it first debutted with Budd cars - but booked a roomette in the Chateau car. Pleasant trip to be had!
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Re: Budd Stainless Steel & Domes for the Holidays

Postby cnr1949 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:02 pm

Thanks for the photos - they remind me what winter looks like in the rest of Canada (I'm on the West Coast). I've had only one ride on the Ren, Halifax to Montreal, in coach. I do remember the smooth ride. On The Canadian I usually have a roomette which is always near the end of the car so over the wheels, which drowns out any chat in other compartments, unless the train is stopped. The showers, though not private, have made travel on the Cndn much more bearable.
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