VIA might get funding for new equipment

Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby NH2060 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:02 am

electricron wrote:Canada doesn’t have to adopt the high platform standard of 1219 mm (48 in) used only at the two stations in Montreal and Quebec. The tracks and trackbed can be raised at those two stations if a different standard is adopted.

Maybe at Gare Du Palais, but Gare Centrale? Absolutely not. There's barely enough room to clear the catenary.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby gaspeamtrak » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:54 pm

All I can say is "YIPPEE" it's about time!!!
I just have one hope is that they order cafe/ lounge cars in the order like Amtraks Amfleet" 1"s!!!
That is my biggest gripe on Via's corridor service between montreal / Ottawa/ Toronto/ and Windsor with trips of almost 5 hours it would be nice to have some where to go for half hour get some "hot" food and sit down at a table...
That "crap" they serve the coach passengers from the food cart is "Crap".
That's my 2 cents worth... :P :P :P
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:08 pm

Believe about 1/2 of the LRC car fleet got overhauled,that contractor went "belly up" like the contractor for the RDC overhauls.
Believe the HEP 2 cars will be pulled when they become unrepairable,some are ex Amtrak Heritage Fleet.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby NH2060 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:11 pm

Backshophoss wrote:Believe about 1/2 of the LRC car fleet got overhauled,that contractor went "belly up" like the contractor for the RDC overhauls.

Twas in fact the very same contractor for both projects.

As much as I would love to see the HEP-2s stick around awhile longer my gut tells me they'll be taken out of service first given their age.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby Tadman » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:18 pm

Watch this space (or one at TMC/MMC) for CSR coaches soon. The Chinese are getting aggressive in the passenger marketplace, and I found the first class coaches in Argentina quite comfortable. I spent the night in a coach due to sleeper sellout and it wasn't bad with regard to the seats.

Also worth noting that although Canada has been supportive of BBD where possible, the country is nowhere near as protectionist as the USA. Witness the lack of a Jones act-like legislation - Algoma Central has been buying new Chinese freighters for a few years now. This means that any potential rolling stock could come from Siemens in Europe or CSR in China. Also, CSR is opening a plant in Chicago. Once the new CTA cars are built, that plant is empty for now.

Also, don't forget Nippon Sharyo west of Chicago. Given that Canada doesn't have the absurd US collision standards, that plant could start cranking out single level cars like the South Shore 200-series trailers (or MARC 1, same thing). That place is a ghost town after the Amtrak fiasco.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:59 pm

Canada's collision standards are almost as tight. But the real buzzkill there is CN & CP, who are de facto FRA enforcers by virtue of being bi-national. Self-owned Corridor or not, VIA's not going to buy something that can't be run anywhere on a Class I -hosted part of its route map in a pinch. Even the Renaissances draw Ocean assignments off the Corridor. They're not going to invite the limitation of being bottled-up to only one route if they can avoid it. The next procurement after this one for HEP1 LD fleet replacement comes 10 years after. Ideally they're going to want a car template they can re-order in LD livery a la Amtrak replacing the LD Amfleet 2's along with the corridor Amfleet 1's. That makes it most hassle-free and scalable for them to stick at or very very near U.S. FRA compliance in the RFP specs.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:45 pm

Nippon Sharyo could produce an unpowered version of their DMU currently operating the UPX service, which has already met Canadian standards. That car appears to be the same platform as the MARC IIB and the NICTD 100 series.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby marquisofmississauga » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:13 pm

NH2060 wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:Believe about 1/2 of the LRC car fleet got overhauled,that contractor went "belly up" like the contractor for the RDC overhauls.

Twas in fact the very same contractor for both projects.

As much as I would love to see the HEP-2s stick around awhile longer my gut tells me they'll be taken out of service first given their age.


VIA's then acting CEO, Steve Del Bosco, was on a train to Ottawa on which I was travelling a few years ago. He came by to talk to some of us about the first refurbished LRC Business Class car that was on this train. I asked him if the HEP-2 VIA-1 cars would get the same spacious "2 + 1" seating. He said no because he felt it was an embarrassment that those almost 70-year-old cars were in service and VIA wanted to get rid of them.

With no funding for new equipment on the horizon, VIA has changed its tune about them. They will be refurbished with the new LRC seating in both Economy and Business. In the employee/pensioners magazine "Vialogue" there is an article saying that 99 stainless steel cars are going to be refurbished. The article that was shown to me did not specify what cars other than the HEP-2s would be refurbished. A few years ago the Manor sleepers were given a major overhaul. The non-Prestige Château sleepers were not and they certainly need it. The interior of the HEP-1 coaches are badly in need of new seat covers and carpeting at the very least. If the Skyline cars, dining cars and non-Prestige Park cars were added to that it could make up the 99.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby Tadman » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:44 pm

marquisofmississauga wrote:He said no because he felt it was an embarrassment that those almost 70-year-old cars were in service and VIA wanted to get rid of them.


Odd. I'm not sure the average passenger has any idea how old the cars are. When I'm in business traveler mode rather than buff mode, I want a new-ish seat, functional tray table, reliable hvac and a good ride. I certainly have no idea how old the vehicle is when I fly, as Delta has mastered the art of making an 80's Super-80 look new inside, while AMR can make the same plane feel like the 1970's never left.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby marquisofmississauga » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:22 am

Tadman wrote:
marquisofmississauga wrote:He said no because he felt it was an embarrassment that those almost 70-year-old cars were in service and VIA wanted to get rid of them.


Odd. I'm not sure the average passenger has any idea how old the cars are. When I'm in business traveler mode rather than buff mode, I want a new-ish seat, functional tray table, reliable hvac and a good ride. I certainly have no idea how old the vehicle is when I fly, as Delta has mastered the art of making an 80's Super-80 look new inside, while AMR can make the same plane feel like the 1970's never left.


Indeed, most people wouldn't know the age of these cars. The interiors certainly don't look 70 years old, but they are well past their "best before date" and need a major overhaul. They were rebuilt in the early 1990s. I saw a long line of them in Halifax - completely hollow. Some of the interiors have been refurbished since that rebuild, but not all. I was told that the trucks/bogies were replaced with those from scrapped "E" series sleepers built in 1954. The HEP-2 cars generally ride terribly and there is much banging, squeaking, groaning experienced inside. On some trips I thought the ceiling was going to collapse on us. Track conditions play a part in that, of course, but the LRCs and particularly the Renaissance equipment ride much better.

The "2 + 2" seating in VIA 1 (now Business Class) was normal for many years, but the conversion of the LRCs to wide "2 + 1" seating has spoiled us. When the LRCs had the "2 + 2" seating, at least they were bucket seats with a wide padded arm-rest between them. The HEP-2 cars have a narrow hard arm-rest. I avoid these cars when possible as I always have. Many complaints can be read from passengers who are expecting the new LRC seats. Although VIA can tell you what equipment is expected on what train, last-minute substitutions can occur. It happens to me about four times a year. Seat assignments don't match and those who have booked a four-seater with their friends or a single seat are particularly annoyed. The on-board crew do what they can to make people comfortable. Given the fares charged for Business Class, the refurbishment of those cars will be top priority. The economy seating needs replacement next. On VIA's Facebook and Twitter pages, angry passengers have posted photos of the shabby and stained seats.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby electricron » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:17 pm

Tadman wrote: Odd. I'm not sure the average passenger has any idea how old the cars are. When I'm in business traveler mode rather than buff mode, I want a new-ish seat, functional tray table, reliable hvac and a good ride. I certainly have no idea how old the vehicle is when I fly, as Delta has mastered the art of making an 80's Super-80 look new inside, while AMR can make the same plane feel like the 1970's never left.

The age of the various VIA trains are:

Stainless steel HEP1 and HEP2 were built 1947-1955.
I was born in 1953 and will be celebrating my 65 birthday soon.
They have 188 cars in service.

LRC were built 1981-1984.
Some have been in service over 36 years.
They have 98 cars in service.

Budd RDCs were built 1955-1958.
They are also almost as old as I.
They have 7 RDCs in their roster, I’m not sure how many are in service.

Renaissance Cars were built in the mid 1990s, but didn’t enter service with VIA until 2002.
They have 110 cars in service with another 29 in storage that may have been scrapped.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:45 pm

Is there any substantial (50+) fleet of available stainless cars that VIA could feasibly lease/purchase and operate, with or without rebuild? I’m not talking the AX-1 cars, which we rehashed ad nauseum.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby Tadman » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:36 am

Ron makes a good point. Nothing on the roster is less than 30 years old (other than the Rennys) which is the usual design life for capital equipment. Obviously a sold gut rehab will extend the life significantly, if not forever in a good stainless body with a large fleet.

Back to what the rest of us have been saying - who really knows the car age if the interior is nice, the heat works, and the stuff rolls reliably. People are used to a new car every few years would probably freak out if they knew the trains were 50+ years old.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 am

electricron wrote:Renaissance Cars were built in the mid 1990s, but didn’t enter service with VIA until 2002.
They have 110 cars in service with another 29 in storage that may have been scrapped.
The shells were built by Metro-Cammell in Birmingham in 1995/96 but final assembly and delivery was not until 2001-2002. The unused cars are still incomplete shells.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:It's been exactly 20 years since anyone's produced an aluminum "classic" Comet. That's an awfully long-in-tooth starting point for a modern design update. Since the last unit from either BBD or a clone maker rolled off the assembly line in '98 (MNRR Shoreliner IV's, Batch #2 of 10 cars in CDOT paint) the nearly-as-generic BLV has been design-refreshed by Bombardier 3 separate times to keep up with evolution.
MNCR and ConnDOT had new deliveries of center door Shoreliners in 1999 and 2001, with final two ConnDOT cabs in 2002 (9/5/02). SEPTA also had ten coaches in 1999. One version of the story is that the final ConnDOT cars were actually built as shells in 1998, but were not assembled and delivered for about three years.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: VIA might get funding for new equipment

Postby dowlingm » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:22 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Is there any substantial (50+) fleet of available stainless cars that VIA could feasibly lease/purchase and operate, with or without rebuild? I’m not talking the AX-1 cars, which we rehashed ad nauseum.

VIA are partly in the situation they are in by depending on the LRC and RDC refits. Instead IRSI went bankrupt, most of the RDCs in Moncton were scrapped (though not all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7CKEFZMAlg)

I don't want lipstick on the HEP2 which VIA themselves said are structurally done. I WANT MIDWEST SINGLE LEVEL SIEMENS COACHES AND I WANT THEM NOW GODDAMMIT.
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