VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:25 am

TRAINS Newswire reports that service to Churchill is no longer "suspended", but rather "discontinued":

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... in-by-ship

Fair Use:

VIA announced Wednesday that it will drop one of two weekly round trips south of Thompson, Man., to Winnipeg, Man., starting Nov. 1. Tri-weekly service north of Thompson — now truncated to Gillam, Man. — is being maintained, as is the weekly round trip as far south as The Pas., Man. The rail line provides the only all-weather access to First Nations communities along its northern Manitoba route.

The adjustments mean only one set of equipment will be needed to protect the service. The sole Winnipeg departure now leaves Wednesdays from Winnipeg for Gillam, makes a Friday round-trip from there to Thompson, then a Saturday round-trip to The Pas, and finally leaves Gillam early Monday for Winnipeg, arriving Tuesday.


A tri-weekly schedule to provide "remote area" service (Sleepers. Diners, Domes are surely "Adios) Winnipeg-Gillman that will require only one set of equipment will be instituted as outlined in the report. Further, VIA will recover its stranded equipment at Churchill by ship.

Not surprising, the indigenous population plans protests (could they be giving the Polar Bears "get out of jail free" cards?), but it would appear that this line with marginal freight traffic potential will only be restored if it is acquired by the public sector.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Tadman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:33 am

Crud. I travel a lot and one of my favorite things to do is take a train to nowhere. Since the train won't actually terminate in a rocky field, I usually pick a service that ends somewhere very far north in a quiet town. I turn around and take the same train home. I've done this in Narvik, Seward, Aberdeen, etc... and have plans to do so in Bariloche this month. I was about to buy tickets to Moosonee when that got sacked. I was too young to ride the BCRail RDC's. I've been trying to figure out how to ride the Tshuiten train. Churchill was on my list and it looks like that hope is kaput.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:55 pm

If you get a chance, go beyond Aberdeen to Thurso and Wick. I've never been north of Inverness, but those points are almost literally at the end of the world (I believe one of them is the station for John O'Groats). Don't know what's there in the way of amenities for travelers, but last time I checked there were at least 2 trains a day (dmu's).
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Mark0f0 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 pm

http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail ... its-schedu

In the spring of 2017, the service on the railway from Amery (northeast of Gillam, MB) to Churchill, in Northern Manitoba, was suspended indefinitely due to flood damage. A VIA Rail train was in Churchill at the time of the flooding, and has remained there. Within the next few days, this equipment will be shipped by sea to Montréal for maintenance.
As rust has already begun to form on exposed metal, recovering its assets at this time will enable VIA Rail to avoid the increased costs and time that would otherwise be required to repair the equipment and return it to service when the infrastructure repairs are completed and service can resume safely.Should the equipment remain exposed to the elements much longer, it would require a comprehensive overhaul to ensure its safe return to operation. This process would not only be extremely costly but would take several months to perform, having an impact on service for an extended period of time.


How exactly would rust form on exposed metal? I don't understand. What's the difference between having the equipment sitting in the rain of Toronto or Montreal, and having it sit at Churchill?

I can understand that VIA wants its engines and cars back instead of being abandoned in Churchill, away from potential vandalism and contributing to services elsewhere, but the offered reasoning seems bizarre.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:49 pm

Being exposed to the salt water laced air from the Harbor will find it's way to start the rust and corrosion problems on the stainless steel car sides and on internal surfaces in the cars and the F40's stranded there. By now,the wheelsets will be totally rust covered,there could be signs of corrosion in all the battery boxes on that set of equipment and in the windings of the main altenator,HEP altenator, and traction motors in the F40's and could be present in the air brake systems as well. rust could be present under the "Canada 150" wrap on one of the units. Rust and corrosion can be inside the prime movers and gen-set engines to boot.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby mdvle » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:32 am

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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby electricron » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:42 am

Where's all the rust I was reading about was spreading throughout the abandoned train waiting in Churchill? If there was internal rust, there should also be external rust.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby mdvle » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:44 am

Last week Transport Canada gave Omnitrax notice of default on its agreement with the Federal Government, giving Omnitrax 30 days to restore service or face a lawsuit from the Government of Canada for $18.8 million (the amount given in 2008).

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ottawa-sends-notice-to-omnitrax-1.4354131

Now all of a sudden Omnitrax is claiming for a mere $10 million or less they can make temporary repairs to allow some freight traffic to move on the line (passenger traffic would not be allowed).

Also, head of Omnitrax Canada Merv Tweed had an opinion piece published in the Winnipeg Free Press where he places all of the blame on the Trudeau government. It may interest some to know that Merv Tweed was formerly a Conservative MP in Ottawa.

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/dear-prime-minister-its-time-for-you-to-lead-on-churchill-451204073.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merv_Tweed

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/churchill-rail-flood-omnitrax-tweed-lawsuit-1.4359149

The editorial mentions that Omnitrax was unaware in 2008 that the Canadian Wheat Board was going to be dismantled by the government. As pointed out in a comment on the editorial given that the elimination of the Canadian Wheat Board was a campaign issue for the Conservative Party at the time, and the party was in power in a minority government since 2006, it shouldn't have been a surprise.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:02 am

Could Churchill become this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/world ... -city.html

Fair Use:

KENO CITY, Yukon Territory — The journey to the heart of Yukon’s historic mineral wealth started with a question posed to a waitress at the aptly titled Gold Rush hotel in Whitehorse, the territorial capital: What’s the weirdest place in Yukon?

Her answer was a patch of pay dirt around 290 miles north, past endless forests of spruce and golden-leafed aspen, at the end of a gravel road known as the Silver Trail. There lies Keno City, a gold-rush-era relic with about a dozen full-time residents, tap water not fit for human consumption and two bars whose owners haven’t been on speaking terms for more than a decade.

Perched among hills rich in silver, zinc and lead, Keno City began as a Swedish prospector’s staked claim in 1919, its name inspired by a popular gambling game and intended to lure hearty fortune-seekers with the promise of an ore-laden metropolis in Canada’s frigid northern reaches.

People made a go of it here for 70 years, as the region became one of Canada’s largest producers of silver. But in 1989, the town was largely emptied by the closure of the United Keno Hill Mine. That turned the nearby company town of Elsa into a ghost town and prompted even the most stubborn holdouts to rebrand their beloved mining outpost as a quirky testament to human tenacity.

"You walk into a place like Keno and you’re like: ‘What? How many people live here, 12?’” said Dirk Rentmeister, 57, a former miner who grew up in Keno and was drying out a freshly detached moose head in his driveway..
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:46 pm

Since the stranded set is now taking the"long way around" back to Quebec cruise,hopefully the amount of rust and corrosion will be kept to minor levels on the cars and locos. Wonder what VIA's MMC will find when the set finally arrives there.
Omnitrax is working to "break" the contract,cut the losses and RUN, the entire summer work season was wasted on politics instead of repairs,and holding the city of Churchill hostage to boot!
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby electricron » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:59 pm

Backshophoss wrote:Since the stranded set is now taking the"long way around" back to Quebec cruise,hopefully the amount of rust and corrosion will
be kept to minor levels on the cars and locos. Wonder what VIA's MMC will find when the set finally arrives there.
Omnitrax is working to "break" the contract,cut the losses and RUN, the entire summer work season was wasted on politics
instead of repairs,and holding the city of Churchill hostage to boot!

There you go again, the construction period that far north is during the winter season - not during the summer season!
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby XC Tower » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:25 am

Any further word on possible repairs and resumption of service?
Thank you for any information.









XC
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby mdvle » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:42 pm

XC Tower wrote:Any further word on possible repairs and resumption of service?
Thank you for any information.
XC


Best way is to search "news churchill rail line" in a search engine.

Things did however progress with counter claims this week with the Government of Canada filing its threatened lawsuit, and Omnitrax filing an arbitration claim under NAFTA.

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/news/nickel-belt/feds-file-lawsuit-against-omnitrax-which-responds-with-nafta-arbitration-claim-1.23095943
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:04 pm

I wonder if a Sunset Limited situation would occur here? ("indefinitely" being 5, 10, 15 or more years)
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: VIA Train to Churchill Suspended Indefinitely

Postby jp1822 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:00 pm

Passenger train service to Churchill has gone the same way as service on Vancouver Island (The Malahat) and the Gaspe Penninsula (The Chaleur). Remote service trains are slowly being discontinued.
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