VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

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VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby marquisofmississauga » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:06 pm

The situation is worse than what was reported in the press a few days ago.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.4154221

According to Reservia, the train service is still operating between Winnipeg and Gillam.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby jhdeasy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:02 pm

Trains magazine reports a trainset of Via equipment is "trapped" at Churchill, unable to return to Winnipeg.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Mark0f0 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:04 pm

jhdeasy wrote:Trains magazine reports a trainset of Via equipment is "trapped" at Churchill, unable to return to Winnipeg.


Ouch. What would that be, a pair of F40PH-3D's, a coach or two, a sleeper and a diner?

If they're still running up to Gillam, they would need to generate another set. At a time, of course, that long haul equipment is stretched pretty thin over July in particular due to that Canada 150 promo.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Ken V » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:30 pm

Mark0f0 wrote:Ouch. What would that be, a pair of F40PH-3D's, a coach or two, a sleeper and a diner?

Right. The normal consist this time of year would be two F40 locomotives, a baggage car, two coaches, a diner and a Chateau sleeper,
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Ken V » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:42 pm

The latest word from Omnitrax is that the line to Churchill won't be fully repaired until next spring. News story with photos
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby timberley » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:55 am

Ken V wrote:
Mark0f0 wrote:Ouch. What would that be, a pair of F40PH-3D's, a coach or two, a sleeper and a diner?

Right. The normal consist this time of year would be two F40 locomotives, a baggage car, two coaches, a diner and a Chateau sleeper,


The consist trapped is apparently: 6434 - 6402 - 8601 (baggage) - 8105 (coach) - 8118 (coach) - York (diner) - Chateau Richelieu

As it happens, 6402 is one of the 5 F40s wrapped in the Canada 150 scheme.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Is there any such thing as a barge capable of bringing the stranded equipment to active rail up the Nelson River, if such is even navigable? Alternately, how feasible would it be to ship this equipment to Moosonee? (And how badly does VIA need the equipment, versus draining the engine blocks & lines, letting it sit all winter, and hoping it can bring them back to life next year?)
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Mark0f0 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:30 pm

At the very least, they'd have a set sitting around as spares to bring back the Gaspe service, would they not?


I wonder if anyone outside of VIA really has a good handle on just how much equipment they have that's fully operable, how much is programmed to be out of service for depot maintenance, how many spares they feel they need at Jasper, Vancouver, Winnipeg, etc. It'd be neat to run through scenarios like, "could VIA move The Canadian to 4X weekly in the summer". VIA's been shrinking for so many years now that I'm not sure if anyone in the company even remembers the last time there was growth.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Tadman » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:38 am

mtuandrew wrote:Is there any such thing as a barge capable of bringing the stranded equipment to active rail up the Nelson River, if such is even navigable? Alternately, how feasible would it be to ship this equipment to Moosonee? (And how badly does VIA need the equipment, versus draining the engine blocks & lines, letting it sit all winter, and hoping it can bring them back to life next year?)


The Moosonee idea was the first one to hit me, too. I hadn't even considered what it would take to winterize this train and let it sit for 9 months. What a mess.

On the topic of equipment shortage, I don't think there will be one. If VIA can't spare two engines and five cars, they're in bigger trouble.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Mark0f0 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:41 am

Tadman wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:Is there any such thing as a barge capable of bringing the stranded equipment to active rail up the Nelson River, if such is even navigable? Alternately, how feasible would it be to ship this equipment to Moosonee? (And how badly does VIA need the equipment, versus draining the engine blocks & lines, letting it sit all winter, and hoping it can bring them back to life next year?)


The Moosonee idea was the first one to hit me, too. I hadn't even considered what it would take to winterize this train and let it sit for 9 months.


Shouldn't be a problem 'winterizing' it. Just drain the water on the locos and the cars, and hope that there's no vandals. Might have to pull the batteries out too and put them somewhere warm. The diesel with a fungicide added will be just fine (or I'm sure defueling it wouldn't be a big deal, even if such is just running them in notch 8 until the tanks are empty, although I'm sure there's no shortage of people in Churchill who wouldn't mind some cheap diesel at this point!).
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Tadman » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:34 pm

Makes sense. I'm curious if Churchill has a contractor capable of such work or if TMC folks will have to fly in. Churchill is a small town and who knows what kind of skilled diesel mechanics are available.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Mark0f0 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:35 am

Tadman wrote:Makes sense. I'm curious if Churchill has a contractor capable of such work or if TMC folks will have to fly in. Churchill is a small town and who knows what kind of skilled diesel mechanics are available.


Probably would need an electrician to deal with the batteries. The rest is trivial, opening valves essentially. Probably have to send 2 guys up on a plane, just for safe working practices and all that.

I'd think they'd people at the Winnipeg Maintenance Center who could take care of that. Might need a forklift or something to deal with the batteries and a few hand tools, sourced locally.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Tadman » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:44 am

Yeah that was my thought - fly in 1-2 guys to supervise 4-5 locals with some mechanical aptitude rather than fly in a whole team. Given the port and such industry, there's got to be a handful of mechanics in town.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Tadman » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:47 am

And one other thing - this is turning into a giant MESS!

Evidently a few American motorcyclists rode the entire line on dirt bikes. They claim it's easy to fix. Despite not being engineers, there might be something to this. The local First Nation railroader have mentioned that they can fix this easily. Omnitrax claims they need a 6-8 week study and can't mobilize until next spring.

Me thinks this is a Chicago-style political game. You probably don't need a study and if this were a critical CP or CN main, they'd be moving dirty 24/7, not studying. Omnitrax is probably trying to hold the line hostage in order to get the gov't to buy them out as the line did not work out for a private operator.

I'd like to know more about the port and why the numbers didn't work out, Omnitrax is pretty good at what they do.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:20 pm

The muskeg DOES turn into a morass during the summer, but it seems fishy, doesn't it? Might be that OmniTrax thinks repairing the line is uneconomic or doesn't have cash on hand, or would rather sell this line to the Keewatin Railway Company. A First Nations corporation may have an easier time getting Provincial and Federal relief as well.
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