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 twropr
Understand that CN soid this to VIA - not sure when. Who dispatches it and who maintains it? Is it mostly 100 MPH for LRC and 90 for conventional trains?

CN sold the Alexandria Sub to VIA in June 1998 between Mile 7.5 De Beaujeu and Mile 72.5 Hawthorne......4 miles from the Ottawa Station. The CTC system had been extensively damaged in the Ice Storm of that year and since the line now carried mostly VIA traffic, it just wasn’t cost effective for CN to invest in new infrastructure.

VIA rebuilt the line, adding passing siding and a new signalling system which has allowed an increase in speeds.

An interesting recent move is the through-routing of Montreal <> Ottawa <> Toronto trains......They now continue on through the Ottawa Station after a brief stop with passengers just staying aboard. Wonder if this will eventually lead to the reinstatement of the overnight train via Ottawa.......something VIA had planned to do when they launched the “Enterprise” in 2000. This route would serve more passengers and just about use up the extra time the train just sat and waited in the Kingston Yard before continuing on.
  by NellieBly
A couple of years ago, I decided to ride this line since it had been a very long time (since 1970!) since I'd gone this way (on CN's Super Continental), and I could also ride Ottawa-Toronto on the ex-CP line via Brockville (which I had never done).

I rode a set of stainless steel cars out of Montreal, and was surprised to see all the trackwork and the new signals. I confirmed the line is now owned and dispatched by VIA, and (except for the at-grade crossing with CP shortly after leaving Coteau) is quite fast.

I continued on an LRC train from Toronto, and my notes describe the single track to Brockville as "alarmingly fast", at least 90 MPH, right across grade crossings. The LRC equipment tends to roll quite a bit, and I found that a bit disturbing. The line out of Ottawa is actually ex-CN to Smith's Falls, where VIA has a new connection to the CP main, then the train turns off onto the Brockville line, which is also being re-signaled. I was last over the CN portion on the overnight Ottawa-Toronto train in 1969 (it ran to Nappanee over a now-abandoned CNoR line). It's much faster too. The CP Smiths Falls to Brockville was new to me; the "main line" from Brockville to Toronto was not.

It was an interesting trip. VIA's "corridor" is a long way from the NEC, but not a bad service, and well patronized.
  by MikeCDN
Just a minor correction,

VIA contracts out its rail traffice control to a company called, Rail Term. They dispatch a bunch of short lines in Canada from Montreal. They do the same thing in the US and dispatch these lines from Rutland, Vermont.

Intrestingly enough, Rail America has all of its RTCs in Vermont as of a couple of months ago. They dispatch Canadian lines from the US now. This means train crews ( including VIA ) on the GEXR, which runs from Georgetown, Guelph, K/W, London, Goderich etc, are actually talking to the US when receiving orders.