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

Moderator: Ken V

  by NeoArashi
Wow... can't beleive the way I worded my topic title took exactly the number of characters allowed to make those... anyways, that's a bit off-topic now, isn't it? {Moderator note: The original topic title was "Quebec City > Montreal > Alexandria > Montreal > Québec City" but has been retitled to reflect the direction the conversation has taken.}

In 2 days (monday Nomvember 7th) I'm making a 2 days trip. I'll bea leaving home at around 4 AM, maybe a bit earlier and I shall go to the Québec City train Station, and hopefully take a small nap before the train leaves at 5:35 AM.

From then I'm going to Montreal. Should the train not be late, I should be in Montreal at 8:32 AM. I'll then go (if I have time) to my hostel and book the bed I reserved. Right after that, I'll probably eat breakfast at a convinience store (big fail, I know) then go straight back to the Montreal train Station.

At 9:55 AM, I'm taking another train, this time to Alexandria, Ontario. Again, if the train is not late, I'll be there at 11:11 AM. I'll spend a good part of the day (well, 4 hours, almost exactly) Visiting the town and it's surroundings. At 3:08 PM, it's time to take the train again!

I'll be going back to Montreal and will arrive at 4:17 PM. In montreal, I'll probably stroll around the city (probably going to make ''express'' visits of several area by travelling trhough the subway, then I'll just sleep at the hostel.

Hopefully, I'll wake up early enough to stroll around the city again and have visit at least 1 museum (proferably 2, but I'll see) Then I'll finally be riding back home from Montreal at 4:10 PM on Tuesday November 8th.

Well, ''going back home'' is not exactly right, since as soon as I get back to the station, I'll be leaving to do something somewhere in the city :)

When I first had the idea of going to montreal, I intended to just go there for a couple of hours (thus the reason I leave so early in the morning) and comming back late in the evening. However, I decided to spend a night there. Then I make a second change: I wanted to stop to Drummondville but after several people (namely my mom, 3 of my friends, my brother,) told me that I would just waste my time there (nothing to do at all apparently) I decided to get a refund for my Montreal > Drummondville > Québec City ticket And instead get a Montreal > Alexandria > Montreal > Québec City Ticket. Even the VIA Rail employee seemed to think I made a good choice NOT going to Drummondville after all, since he agreed with my friends in saying there's not a lot to do there. (And by the way, I already had the Québec City > Montreal ticket, which I bough a while ago when they had that 50% discount thing a few weeks ago I just couldn't afford a return trip yet)

So basicly, my original project costed me a LOT more than I originally anticipated, but I'm sure I'll enjoy this to the max! (I hope so! My train tickets costed me a total of 140$ and my hostel will cost me 30$)

However, when I got my second set of train ticket, something struk me. It seems that VIA Rail waste a LOT of paper when making those ticket. At first I though they only did that when you got an Odd number of trains to take.

Look at the pic I made of my train tickets by clicking here

So, since I made this whole ''mess'' of tickets in 2 transactions, there's going to be 2 receipt and 2 Itinerary. That much, I unerstand. Add up my 4 trains tickets, that should make 8 parts. Now, we have two blank tickets (because the frst transaction only had 1 train ticket on it, while the other one had 3) What's the point of wasting papre by making those? I regulary go to the Québec City train station for fun, and therefore, I see a lot of people buying train tickets to Montreal. However, I bet most of them are single trip, since people seems to tend buying their ticket at the last minute (here) Does that mean that each almost every traveler got one of those blank ticket? I know it's no big deal, but in the ong run, that's a LOT of wasted tickets lol!
  by NeoArashi
I'm back, and I've uploaded all pics I took there! (Well, almost all of them)

I really enjoyed my small 4 hours (6 hours if we include the time spent in the train) trip to Alexandria. It was well worth the 40$ I spent to go there, And even though I couldn't even aoord to go to a single museum, the Visit to Montreal proved to be worth it as well. Next time I go there, I'll bring more money and will visit more stuff. Though I'm unsure if I'll redo the trip by train. Because there aren't a lot to see, except (surprisingly) From Quebec City to Ste-Foy...

Anyways, I uploaded a total of 258 pictures (which means I took around 129 pictures per day; more per day than my trip to Halifax (which was around 115/day))

I put them on my facebook account, but they are public. If you want to look at them, you won't have to add me in your friend list.

Part 1

Part 2
  by timberley
Thanks for posting the pictures! Looks like you had a great time.

I noticed from one of the last pictures in Part 2 of your pictures that you were in one of the rebuilt LRC coaches for part of the trip. Could you comment on the ride? What did you think of the rebuilt cars as opposed to the old LRC cars?
  by NeoArashi
I actually never been on any LRC car before. Only cars I've taken before this trip were Stainless steel (on the Montreal Senneterre train) and Renaissance cars (On the Ocean and my return trip to Montreal from Alexandria) However, to be honnest, both of these were more comfortable than the LRC. You barely have space to move your leg in those (which isn't bad for an hour trip or so, but should I ever take one of those for another Ocean trip, I think I'd jump off the train ASAP)

And yes, I did enjoy the trip! It was well worth it despite the price. (140$ for the whole train trip is pretty expencive concidering a trip from Quebec City to Halifax costed be 198$ last year)
  by timberley
NeoArashi wrote:I actually never been on any LRC car before. Only cars I've taken before this trip were Stainless steel (on the Montreal Senneterre train) and Renaissance cars (On the Ocean and my return trip to Montreal from Alexandria) However, to be honnest, both of these were more comfortable than the LRC. You barely have space to move your leg in those (which isn't bad for an hour trip or so, but should I ever take one of those for another Ocean trip, I think I'd jump off the train ASAP)
I would agree that the stainless steel HEP-1 cars are probably the most comfortable cars VIA has. You can't beat them for leg room, and I'd argue just for overall comfort. I've ridden them on the Ocean and in the corridor, and in both cases they work well. The Renaissance cars can be comfortable, but I'm not that fond of them. The single seating option is nice, but they fall far short of the HEP-1 cars for long distance travel, and in the corridor, I have found them to be very "bouncy".

I've found the LRCs to be overall the smoothest riding cars VIA has, and I think they're quite comfortable (I've ridden them quite a few times now between Toronto and Brockville, and Brockville-Ottawa). Certainly, I would not want them for a long distance trip...but they're not built for that type of service, and aren't used for it. If you ever have a chance to ride in an LRC club, it's another step up (with more legroom for starters). Of course the rebuilt "Business" class cars (previously VIA 1, Club, etc.) are going to have 2+1 seating and what look like they might be the comfiest VIA seats yet (all leather for starters).

I'm looking forward to checking out the rebuilt coaches, to see how they compare.

Nonetheless, this is getting off the topic of your trip :P I'm glad you enjoyed it. The train is a great way to travel around, and I think every opportunity to do so is well worth it!
  by NeoArashi
Well, for the Montreal to Alexandria part of my trip, I was fortunate enough to take one of those quadruple seats (two infront of two others) so I DID have a lot of leg space, until Dorval, where a buisnessman asked me if he could sit in front of my seat, which I agreed.

I Guess LRC COULD be confy enough even for longer trips, but only if you can have adouble (or better yet, quadruple) seat for yourself. Otherwise, no, I'd really hate having them for longer trip. The Quebec to Montreal Part of my trip was rather... unconfortable, since I had to share someone... who was using his Computer which further reduced my ''personnal space'' And judging by the screen and the phone call he made, he was on important work, so I dind't dare bother him so he could move a few sec so I can go pee :P.
  by warwgn3
Though I do find the LRC/HEP-2 seats to be fairly comfortable, I have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time, so I'm usually hoping for a Renaissance train whenever I take a trip in the corridor. The reasoning for my wanting Renaissance? They are the only trains in the corridor with a service/bar car, which invites me to get out of my coach seat and enjoy being in a lounge setting. With the LRC's and HEP-2 trains, the lack of a service car means that other than using the bathroom, you have no reason to get up, and are pretty much stuck in your seat for the entire trip.
  by Ken V
Unless things have changed, the Renaissance lounge on corridor trains is for the exclusive use of business class passengers. I have to admit the only times I've been on one was when it was on display and have not actually travelled on one.

I agree it sucks to be stuck in your seat for the duration of the trip and that's one reason I like taking those VIA trains that use Amtrak equipment (the Maple Leaf and the International when it was running) so that I could get up and walk to the snack counter for a bit of a break. While you are allowed to get up an move around on LRC and HEP equipped trains, it does seem a bit funny with nowhere really to go except the washroom. I don't have any real complaints about the seating in corridor coach seats for trips lasting 4-5 hours although the LRC cars seemed to me to be much more comfortable in years gone by than they are today. Hopefully the refurbished cars will be an improvement.
  by warwgn3
I'm actually riding on an LRC set to Ottawa right now. The ride is really rough compared to the HEP-2 I rode to Toronto the other day (with a double bonus Imperial diner, and Assinaboine Park dead-heading on the tail end). I've had to catch my mobile drink more than once. It's gotta be the track every time we hit a switch, everything goes flying.

If they added skyline cars to HEP-2 corridor trains to use as service/bar cars, it would be a major improvement. I've always thought about how cool it would be have a dome car view on corridor. The Service Manager for my train to Toronto was going to let me go up in the dome of the dead-heading park car,for a few minutes, but she ran out of time. Oh well, no biggie. The trip was fun, nonetheless.
warwgn3 wrote:...................I've always thought about how cool it would be have a dome car view on corridor.............
There were several times you could ride a Dome in the corridor between Montreal and Toronto:

-The Canadian in the early ‘80s.
-The Enterprise until the Renaissance equipment replaced the Budd consist.
-CP ran the Royal York/Chateau Champlain on their route through Smiths Falls for several months in late ‘65/’66.
-And then there were the Turbo Domes with a seat right behind the engineer!

Elsewhere in the corridor, there were Domes running between Montreal and Ottawa and Montreal and Quebec City……..and still today, between Montreal and Charny on the former Chaleur and also on the Ocean when Sleeper Plus Class is offered.

Here's the Canadian at Brockville and the Turbo Dome: