Eastbound Canadian breaks down

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Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby mdvle » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:10 pm

The Eastbound Canadian brokedown and lost power in the early hours of Christmas Day in -30 C (-22F) in a rural area of Saskatchewan.

The train later was able to back up to the small town of Spy Hill where passengers found the town had arranged food for them in the town hall and were able to keep warm until VIA's alternate arrangements could be made and implemented.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/via-rail-stranded-spy-hill-1.4464542
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby marquisofmississauga » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:09 am

Because the eastbound train would not be going to Toronto, the scheduled return of that consist as #1 on Boxing Day has been cancelled all the way from Toronto to Vancouver. For the past few years a spare set of the Canadian (except for the Prestige Park car) was kept in Toronto. That appears not to be the case so far this year. There is some extra equipment in the maintenance centre yard, such as coaches, a Skyline car or two, a Prestige Château sleeper and a diner. There were some Manor sleepers, but I haven't seen them in the past week although they could be inside the centre. So it seems a spare set could be made up most of the time even if a non-Prestige Park car was used. There is plenty of equipment in Vancouver that could be transferred to Toronto. In past years a Winnipeg-based on-board crew was occasionally flown to Toronto. Perhaps VIA could not do that so close to Christmas or maybe they just don't want to do so.
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby marquisofmississauga » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:05 am

Train #1 that departed Toronto at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday the 24th is presently running 24 hours and 43 minutes late at Edmonton. For a while one of the VIA tracking sites showed the train apparently running on time - but it was the right time only a full day late.
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:04 pm

Whatever the issue was, it seems to have affected more than one train set: VIA has cancelled two successive runs of the westbound Canadian (the one scheduled to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on 28.xii.2017 and the one scheduled to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on 30.xii.2017). The agent I spoke to on the phone yesterday (29.xii.2017) used the word "mechanical" and said that their people were having trouble sorting it out…
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby Mark0f0 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:47 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:Whatever the issue was, it seems to have affected more than one train set: VIA has cancelled two successive runs of the westbound Canadian (the one scheduled to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on 28.xii.2017 and the one scheduled to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on 30.xii.2017). The agent I spoke to on the phone yesterday (29.xii.2017) used the word "mechanical" and said that their people were having trouble sorting it out…


Yeah they better get to the bottom of it, especially since Northern Ontario or Northern Manitoba isn't nearly as kind to a stalled train and that many passengers as rural Saskatchewan was.
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby marquisofmississauga » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:32 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:Whatever the issue was, it seems to have affected more than one train set: VIA has cancelled two successive runs of the westbound Canadian (the one scheduled to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on 28.xii.2017 and the one scheduled to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on 30.xii.2017). The agent I spoke to on the phone yesterday (29.xii.2017) used the word "mechanical" and said that their people were having trouble sorting it out…


Sorry, but I am confused by this information given by the VIA agent to Allen Hazen.

Firstly, at this time of year there are not two trains scheduled to operate two days apart. There are only two trains per week and they are three and four days apart. There is no train expected to leave Edmonton for Vancouver on the 28th of Dec. If the train due out of Toronto on the 26th had not been cancelled it would have been due in Edmonton at 06:22 on the 29th. I can't figure out how there would be a train due to travel Edmonton to Vancouver on the 30th unless, of course, it was the expected 26th departure from Toronto operating a day late.

From information published elsewhere, the train that broke down near Spy Hill was repaired in Winnipeg and left for Vancouver somewhat later than the time it would have departed had it been in service and on time. Reservia was showing this train but not selling any space. All types of accommodation, including the three levels of economy fares, were listed and shown as sold out. VIA had already told passengers that the train of the 26th ex-Toronto was cancelled all the way to Vancouver. So had it been in service there would likely be few if any passengers on it.
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby Allen Hazen » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:49 am

Sorry, my mistake. For 28th and 30th, read 29th and 31st. VIA offered us seats on the train due to leave Edmonton on the morning of the 2nd of January. This sounds like every other day interval: perhaps over the holidays they expands the normal every three day winter schedule to every two?

Has anyone heard any scuttlebutt about what the exact problem was?
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby marquisofmississauga » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:01 am

Allen Hazen wrote:Sorry, my mistake. For 28th and 30th, read 29th and 31st. VIA offered us seats on the train due to leave Edmonton on the morning of the 2nd of January. This sounds like every other day interval: perhaps over the holidays they expands the normal every three day winter schedule to every two?

Has anyone heard any scuttlebutt about what the exact problem was?


This second train is still a mystery. There are only two departures a week in each direction until the 29th of April ex-Vancouver and 3rd of May ex-Toronto. Unlike the Montreal-Halifax Ocean, there are no extra departures of the Canadian during the holiday season. I have checked with VIA and there was no train due out of Edmonton on Sunday the 31st of Dec. If there was, it would have left Toronto on Thursday the 28th. There won't be a Thursday departure from Toronto until May.

Train #1 due in Edmonton on the 2nd of Jan. is presently running a mere two hours 16 minutes late, which is as good as it gets these days. Passengers on or waiting for the eastbound #2 are not so lucky. It is over 15 hours late.
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Re: Eastbound Canadian breaks down

Postby marquisofmississauga » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:36 pm

marquisofmississauga wrote:...
Train #1 due in Edmonton on the 2nd of Jan. is presently running a mere two hours 16 minutes late, which is as good as it gets these days. Passengers on or waiting for the eastbound #2 are not so lucky. It is over 15 hours late.


Number 1 has been stopped at Dugald for a few hours. The ETA for Winnipeg now puts it 7 1/2 hours late. Perhaps it is waiting for #2 which has been at the Winnipeg station for some time.
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