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 warwgn3
 
Anyone ever come up with crazy ideas to have on trains that you know will never happen, but is fun just to think about it anyways?

Here's a couple that I thought of:
Convert the snack bar of at least one Skyline car of the Canadian into a Tim Horton's outlet.
Front and rear corner windows of the skyline and park domes should have windshield wipers.

Lets hear your ideas....
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
warwgn3 wrote:Anyone ever come up with crazy ideas to have on trains that you know will never happen, but is fun just to think about it anyways?

Here's a couple that I thought of:
Convert the snack bar of at least one Skyline car of the Canadian into a Tim Horton's outlet.
Front and rear corner windows of the skyline and park domes should have windshield wipers.

Lets hear your ideas....
1. There are major labor issues involved when you try to substitute franchised concessions for union labor. Amtrak tried to sell Subway sandwiches aboard Albany to New York trains. The union food service workers didn't have the support of the operating crews, but the picket lines did scare away the Subway sandwich workers. Besides, who wants to deep fry donuts on some of the rough track that VIA rail goes over. Not to mention the fact that some Canadians might be happy to get away from the omnipresent Tim Hortons.

2. Windshield wipers for dome cars? VIA Rail apparently can't even afford sand for the locomotives. It still boggles the mind that VIA rail doesn't use sanders, which is probably the worst cost cutting move in railroad history.
  by warwgn3
 
That's why I said "wishful thinking". It would be a nice idea, but you know it will never happen.
  by trainviews
 
Well, I'm thinking of the IT-express - the party train that ran from Bruxelles to Amsterdam back in the '90's. Named after one of Europes largest gay clubs in Amsterdam, it ran on Saturday night. For the operation they completely stripped a number of cars every week and put in bars, sound system, dj, and general club decor. I would leave Bruxelles early in the evening and return in the wee hours after a night of clubbing in Amsterdam.

I never rode it myself, and after a few years it was discontinued, AFAIK not due to lack of ridership, but because the railways thought it was too much of a hassle.

Would that work any place in Canada? I think the ride at conventional speed was something like three hours, so that might pose a problem. But it sure sounds like fun...
  by NeoArashi
 
Crazy Ideas, huh? I guess I have a fair few ones.

1-Free Wifi for everyone (not only for the Buisness class)
2-Animated activities for longer trips (Longer than the Montreal-Halifax trip)... though I'm fairly sure there are some on certain trips...
3-Slightly lower prices for snacks (I'm not asking for a 1$ discount on everything... but maybe something like 10-15% cheaper would be really nice!
4-Epic and fitting ''background'' music, sort of like in shopping centers.Something like this video would be awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfx5hf_x ... 46&index=1
5-Better Bilingual service. Though I can almost perfectly understand both French and English, some people have trouble speaking either one... Last time I took a train (the Montreal-Senneterre Train) the only person speaking English perfectly was (by looking at his uniform) one of the drivers. Must have been hard for the english speaking fellow on my train. Though I never had this problem on the Montreal-Halifax train so far...

All of them will probably never happen... except maybe the 5th one :)
  by timberley
 
NeoArashi wrote:Crazy Ideas, huh? I guess I have a fair few ones.

1-Free Wifi for everyone (not only for the Buisness class)
2-Animated activities for longer trips (Longer than the Montreal-Halifax trip)... though I'm fairly sure there are some on certain trips...
3-Slightly lower prices for snacks (I'm not asking for a 1$ discount on everything... but maybe something like 10-15% cheaper would be really nice!
4-Epic and fitting ''background'' music, sort of like in shopping centers.Something like this video would be awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfx5hf_x ... 46&index=1
5-Better Bilingual service. Though I can almost perfectly understand both French and English, some people have trouble speaking either one... Last time I took a train (the Montreal-Senneterre Train) the only person speaking English perfectly was (by looking at his uniform) one of the drivers. Must have been hard for the english speaking fellow on my train. Though I never had this problem on the Montreal-Halifax train so far...

All of them will probably never happen... except maybe the 5th one :)
Actually, one of them has already happened, and another to a slight extent.

Your first "crazy" idea is already a reality. VIA has been providing free WiFi service on all Corridor trains for some time now. They have also upgraded the system dramatically. When I was travelling in the Corridor this summer (in economy every time), the WiFi service was great, and thoroughly free. It worked a lot better than it did back a few years ago when I paid for it...

As for your second, The Ocean does have a little bit of this, in the form of movies shown in the evening in the service cars, and the "learning coordinator" gives talks in the Park car for Touring Class (now "Sleeper Plus") passengers. I'm not sure what options are currently on the Canadian, although, the new "Deluxe Sleeper" accomodations will have in suite TVs with various entertainment options. You have to pay a hefty enough price, but still...