What if I miss a connecting train?

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What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NeoArashi » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:21 pm

http://imgur.com/a/DAUmS

On August 9th, Me and my GF will be leaving Halifax and will go all the way to Toronto (a 27 hours ride, pretty long for a non-canadian ride ;) )

It's only after buying the tickets that I noticed the pretty tight connecting time at Montreal. (The system didn't let me choose another train) The Ocean toward Montreal is not known for being late, but just in case it DOES get late, and make us miss our connecting train, do we get any compensation, or at least do we get a train ticket for the next train? Both tickets (Halifax-Montreal and Montreal-Toronto) were all bought at the same time (they all share the same confirmation number)
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NS VIA FAN » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:02 pm

No big deal at all if you do miss your connection. VIA will look after you and put you on the next train for Toronto.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NeoArashi » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:29 pm

Thank you good sir. I was like only 90% sure this would happen. Thanks for confirming. My girlfriemd is gonna be far less stressed out during the ride now.

Also, if that does happen, do I just go to a ticket counter to esplain the situation, or do I tell the staff on the Halifax-Montreal train and they are the ones who will make the necessary arragements?
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby timberley » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:19 pm

NeoArashi wrote:Thank you good sir. I was like only 90% sure this would happen. Thanks for confirming. My girlfriemd is gonna be far less stressed out during the ride now.

Also, if that does happen, do I just go to a ticket counter to esplain the situation, or do I tell the staff on the Halifax-Montreal train and they are the ones who will make the necessary arragements?


I've had a few experiences with missed connections like this. As NS VIA FAN said, if you miss the connection they'll put you on the next available train to Toronto. In most cases they will announce on-board the Ocean what the situation will be, given that they know that most passengers have a connection on to somewhere. In most cases I've found they just tell you which train you'll be switched to, and then you line up for that one and explain the situation to the employee checking tickets as you board. They'll have had the situation explained to them in those situations.

Once or twice I've had to talk to an agent in the station, but it's normally quite straightforward. Those times always involved something more unusual (e.g. the one time I got bustituted from Matapedia and arrived 11h late, so had to be put in a hotel and on a train the next day...that's a very unusual situation!)

If you're going to Toronto its really straightforward. If you're going to somewhere in between, you can have issues. I used to always be going to Brockville, as that was the closest stop to my parents' place. If I missed the designated connection, the next few trains didn't stop in Brockville. So on two occasions I was put on the next train that went to Cornwall, and then put in a taxi (at VIA's expense) to Brockville. One of the two times I just skipped on the taxi and had someone come pick me up in Cornwall instead. The taxi was only allowed to drop me off at the Brockville station (for liability purposes), so even though it passed within 2km of my parents' place on the way there, I still had to make the extra 20+km trip to Brockville and have someone pick me up and backtrack afterwards.

The other issue you can run into is if you booked the two parts of the trip (i.e. the Halifax-Montreal and Montreal-Toronto) sections separately. Why would you do this? Well, sometimes you have no option. E.g. If you book one of VIA's sleeper plus class deals (formerly called Express Deals), they are only for a specific pair, such as Halifax-Montreal. You can't add a connection onto that booking, but you can book a connection separately. Similarly, if you book a VIA Preference rewards trip for the Ocean and then add a connection, these have to be separate bookings. There are surely other scenarios too. If you do this, VIA won't recognize your connection in their system. You can call them to put a note on your file about the connection (that's what I've been told to do in the past), but that doesn't actually make it show up in their system when they look for connecting passengers. So in those cases you may need to speak up and explain your situation proactively to a crew member. I've never actually had a major issue with that (VIA has always recognized it as though it were a connection, when it comes to re-accommodating me on the next train), but I've had two occasions where it almost caused problems because they didn't have me flagged as someone with a connection.

In your case, it sounds like it should be smooth and straightforward. And you're absolutely right, the westbound Ocean tends to do very well for on time performance, often arriving early in Montreal. I had one westbound trip last October where we were a full half hour early into Montreal!
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NeoArashi » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:19 am

Yeah, I did book every ticket (Ste-Foy to Halifax Halifax to Toronto, Toronto to Ottawa and Ottawa to Quebec City) under the same transaction. All have the same booking number, so by your logic, I shouldn't need to worry if it comes to that.

Now, I have 2 more questions unrelated to the original question, but still relevant to the upcoming trip.

I know Corridor trains tend to NOT have a luggage car, but what about people who connect with the Ocean or the Canadian? We are leaving for a total of 11 days (2 of which will be spent in a train) so we will have a lot of luggage. For Ste-Foy to Halifax and Halifax to Montreal, I know this shouldn't be an issue, but what do I say to the person at the Halifax station when I check my bags? That I'm going to Toronto, or to Montreal?

My GF wishes that we upgrade to a cabin for the westbound trip (we will keep a good ol' seat for the eastbound trip) on our receipt, there is a warning that we will be charged idlf we make modifications... But they won't charge us that extra if we already pay for an upgrade, will they? Also, if we both upgrade our ticket for a Cabin for 2 and take the same cabin, will the system give us the lower double occupency rate or the regular rate?
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby marquisofmississauga » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:13 pm

When you check your baggage in Halifax you will have to show your tickets. The agent will know you are going to Toronto. The connecting train from Montreal to Toronto (#65) is an LRC train that has a baggage car on the days it connects with the Ocean. If the connection is missed the later train on which you will be rebooked will not have a baggage car. VIA staff have told me that this checked baggage is sent on by truck, although I have noticed that if there is little through checked baggage for Toronto on the “rebooked train” they may put it on that train in the usual end-of-coach luggage racks. But it will be considered checked baggage and will be taken to the baggage room for you at Toronto.

Regrettably there is not a single train on the Toronto – Ottawa route that has a baggage car. Some of the Ottawa-Quebec trains do have a baggage car, most likely the ones with Renaissance equipment.

As for a fee for upgrading, you should speak to a human at VIA about this policy in case it has been changed. A few years ago we could not get a drawing room to Halifax so we booked a double bedroom and wait-listed for the drawing room. A few weeks before the trip a drawing room became available so we paid the fare difference and, much to my surprise, a cancellation/change fee for each of us. I have never paid a fee to upgrade on an aeroplane or a ship, so this came as a surprise. I wrote a letter of complaint and they reversed that admittedly modest charge – as a one-time gesture because of my loyalty. But I still think it is wrong to charge someone a fee to upgrade.

If two people book a cabin for 2 the lower per person rate will be charged by the computer.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby Mark0f0 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:44 pm

Some of the kids coming off of chronically late The Canadian trains missing connections for Corridor trains east of Toronto have been reporting, on Facebook, that VIA's been chartering buses to take them to their respective final destination stations in the middle of the night, even all the way up to Montreal.

So they are taking things very seriously. Doing an after-hours Corridor bus being cheaper than booking them whatever rooms are left at the Royal York (something they will do for Prestige passengers off of the Canadian, BTW!). Gotta hand it to VIA, they're pulling out all the stops this month to prevent bad press. There's even a lady who complained on Facebook today about her son acquiring bed bugs on The Canadian, and VIA is apparently open to discussing compensation for her clean-up costs.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby marquisofmississauga » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:31 am

In a way I am somewhat surprised that VIA is providing bus service to those who miss the same-day connections. Two years ago in my Preference renewal envelope there was a letter from the CEO inviting me to "keep in touch" with his personal e-mail address given. I suggested that the booking site should give a warning that same-day connections with the Canadian should not be made. I'm sure others made the same suggestion, but it was accepted and within a week the warning appeared. But VIA does book same day connections - even with #64 for Montreal at 11:30 - so I suspect this is the reason they look after people.

A CN derailment at Strathroy has closed the line to Sarnia for two days. VIA has cancelled trains and is not providing alternate transportation, i.e. bus service. This is unusual; until recently VIA generally does not leave people stranded. There have been exceptions, such as when the Toronto-Montreal line is blocked and they simply can't get enough buses for 5000 passengers. A person posted on VIA's Facebook site that she was stranded in Kitchener due to the Sarnia-Toronto train not being able to run. She had tickets for Halifax. VIA did absolutely nothing for her. This is a change in policy. A few years ago we were in Stratford and the train for Toronto was delayed by freight. Even though this delay was not VIA's fault, they put Montreal and Maritimes passengers in taxis to make sure they made it to their train in Toronto. Airlines are notorious for taking a "tough luck!" attitude if the cancellation is not their fault, but usually there are lots of later flights to take. There are many flights every day to Halifax, not just three a week.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby Mark0f0 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:02 am

marquisofmississauga wrote:In a way I am somewhat surprised that VIA is providing bus service to those who miss the same-day connections.


Well I'm sure the optics of dumping 17-year-old girls in downtown Toronto in the middle of the night when The Canadian arrives at 9pm, instead of taking them to Brockville, would be way too bad for even VIA. The Canada 150 passes have brought a lot of young people onto the trains.

Airlines are notorious for taking a "tough luck!" attitude if the cancellation is not their fault, but usually there are lots of later flights to take. There are many flights every day to Halifax, not just three a week.


Air Canada has a deal with VIA that VIA will accept AC tickets when AC can't run their flights. I wonder if something reciprocal exists? The train is often more money in fact than booking a flight.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NeoArashi » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:57 pm

marquisofmississauga wrote:As for a fee for upgrading, you should speak to a human at VIA about this policy in case it has been changed.

If two people book a cabin for 2 the lower per person rate will be charged by the computer.

Yes, I went to Quebec City's Du Palais station and had our trip to Halifax chabged. Ironically, we saved almost 200$ by upgrading our going trip (Ste-Foy/Halifax) by having the regular fare while having our First Nation (me)/HI-Canada (her) discounts than the escape fare on the return trip (Halifax/Montreal) usually, even with the first nation discount, it's still better to just take the escape fare without discount. Oh, and she did manually removed the modification fee. She said herselef that it's silly that even if there is a fee for modifying a escape fare trip, that we have to pay that fee for an upgrade.


marquisofmississauga wrote:Airlines are notorious for taking a "tough luck!" attitude if the cancellation is not their fault, but usually there are lots of later flights to take. There are many flights every day to Halifax, not just three a week.

Tell me about it. Last year, I went from Quebec to Thunder Bay by plane, with a stop at Toronto. I got an e-mail from Porter, saying my connecting flight was canceled... while I was already up in the air of my first plane! So I land on Billy Bishop, they tell them tgey already booked me a flight for the following day... But what about lodging? Nope, no compentation, no discount, no nothing. Fortunately, I am a youth hostel kind of guy, so I managed to stay the the Hostelling International Toronto, but still, I lost a day in Thunder Bay, as well as a 140$ hotel night there. Never got a compentation whatsoever, even with my insurance. (The reason for the cancellation was a snowstorm in Thunder Bay)
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby dowlingm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:50 am

NeoArashi wrote:
marquisofmississauga wrote:Airlines are notorious for taking a "tough luck!" attitude if the cancellation is not their fault, but usually there are lots of later flights to take. There are many flights every day to Halifax, not just three a week.

Tell me about it. Last year, I went from Quebec to Thunder Bay by plane, with a stop at Toronto. I got an e-mail from Porter, saying my connecting flight was canceled... while I was already up in the air of my first plane! So I land on Billy Bishop, they tell them tgey already booked me a flight for the following day... But what about lodging? Nope, no compentation, no discount, no nothing. Fortunately, I am a youth hostel kind of guy, so I managed to stay the the Hostelling International Toronto, but still, I lost a day in Thunder Bay, as well as a 140$ hotel night there. Never got a compentation whatsoever, even with my insurance. (The reason for the cancellation was a snowstorm in Thunder Bay)
Even under the EU's compensation regime, weather is excluded. (Looked the conditions up yesterday, as a friend was stuck in Lisbon for the night because of an issue with an AC Rouge aircraft, and it applies to non-EU flights when the origin is within the EU).
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby timberley » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:05 pm

marquisofmississauga wrote:Regrettably there is not a single train on the Toronto – Ottawa route that has a baggage car. Some of the Ottawa-Quebec trains do have a baggage car, most likely the ones with Renaissance equipment.


You're correct about that, however, that may not impede connecting passengers from checking bags. For example, passengers connecting to or from the Ocean can still check bags to/from Ottawa, even though the designated connections run with an LRC+HEP2 mix with no baggage car. I made the #15-#35 connection last week and I, along with most of the other connecting passengers, had baggage that had been checked in Halifax through to Ottawa. It was there to pick up at the baggage counter shortly after we arrived.

#35 runs LRC Club+HEP2 coaches. I've heard before about this luggage being trucked, but I've also noted them sometimes using the luggage racks on board to bring the bags. They seemed to be bringing it directly from the train this time, so I'm guessing it was all in racks somewhere on board. There is usually lots of space, and this particular time there were less than 20 of us with checked bags.

I don't know about connection with the Canadian, i.e. if you were going Ottawa-Vancouver. I have a suspicion they'd probably allow you to check through bags even without a baggage car, similar to on the Ocean, but I don't know for sure.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NeoArashi » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:07 am

dowlingm wrote:
NeoArashi wrote:
marquisofmississauga wrote:Airlines are notorious for taking a "tough luck!" attitude if the cancellation is not their fault, but usually there are lots of later flights to take. There are many flights every day to Halifax, not just three a week.

Tell me about it. Last year, I went from Quebec to Thunder Bay by plane, with a stop at Toronto. I got an e-mail from Porter, saying my connecting flight was canceled... while I was already up in the air of my first plane! So I land on Billy Bishop, they tell them tgey already booked me a flight for the following day... But what about lodging? Nope, no compentation, no discount, no nothing. Fortunately, I am a youth hostel kind of guy, so I managed to stay the the Hostelling International Toronto, but still, I lost a day in Thunder Bay, as well as a 140$ hotel night there. Never got a compentation whatsoever, even with my insurance. (The reason for the cancellation was a snowstorm in Thunder Bay)
Even under the EU's compensation regime, weather is excluded. (Looked the conditions up yesterday, as a friend was stuck in Lisbon for the night because of an issue with an AC Rouge aircraft, and it applies to non-EU flights when the origin is within the EU).

That'S lame. I got my e-mail while I was on the first flight... what if I had no money? (fortunately, I did have money). I mean, I'm not asking for a 5 star hotel with deluxe room-service, but even a cheap 2 stars with a coupon for a 10$ meal at McDonald's wouldn't have been acceptable (since it's not 100% their fault).

Last year, both me and my GF were over 2 hours late on our respective train (Montreal Quebec for her, and Montreal Halifax for me). Even with a ''modest'' 2 hours (3 in my case) of lateness, my GF was given a snack on board as well as a 50% discount on her next MTL-QC trip, and I was given a St-Hubert meal at Moncton upon arriving there.
Earlier this year, our Jonquiere/Montreal train was 3 hours late. Via provided us with a taxi coupon to our hotel as an apology.

What did I get for (technically) be over 24 hours late on my trip? Nothing. Nothing at all. It was my first every plane trip, and honestly, that left a bitter taste in my mouth. At least, it was with Porter (I will try to avoid that company from now on, if possible)

This year, my GF asked me to change her flight tickets, because her connecting time was VERY tight (less than 50 minutes, from a local to an international flight) the following day. I accidently bokked tickets for the SAME day without noticing, and since I was already less than 24 hours away from the would-be trip, and saw the check-in thing didn't work, we went to the airport, and the lady there told me of my mistake (The plane had already took off, so she said my GF actually missed her flight!!!). She arranged so that for a small fee of 75USD, my GF could get the exact same flight we accidentally booked for the original planned date. IIRC, it was with either United or American airlines. either way, we got a much better service with them than I got with Porter, especially considering that United/American airline mess was MY fault, not theirs.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NS VIA FAN » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:50 pm

Why should Porter compensate you for a weather delay that is beyond their control? Think of the cost to the airline to not just compensate you with hotels and meals.....but everyone and on every flight that experiences a weather delay. We'd all be paying in higher ticket prices! If it's a mechanical delay and within their control.....that's a different story.
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Re: What if I miss a connecting train?

Postby NeoArashi » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:43 am

NS VIA FAN wrote:Why should Porter compensate you for a weather delay that is beyond their control? Think of the cost to the airline to not just compensate you with hotels and meals.....but everyone and on every flight that experiences a weather delay. We'd all be paying in higher ticket prices! If it's a mechanical delay and within their control.....that's a different story.

I would agree if I didn't have paid for inssurance. But isn't insurance exactly for stuff like that, since they tend to compensate anyways when it IS their fault.

Anyways, I did lose close to 200$ but at least it was in Toronto that I was stuck... At least it wasn't in the middle of nowhere lol.
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