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 XC Tower
Do pardon the ignorance on my part, please, but how did the formation of VIA Rail differ than that of Amtrak? Over the years, it seems that VIA Rail has steadily shed trains and routes, while Amtrak seems to have gotten good at surviving in the often "stormy seas" of political funding for passenger rail (even though it has shed routes also). Is that due to a difference in the formation of the two? Is there some sort of charter or written agreement passed into Canadian law?
Thank you for any insight on the matter.

VIA started out with just about every train and route that had previously been operated by CN and CP. They’ve just been slashing ever since!

On the other hand…..Amtrak started out with a network that had already been purged and greatly reduced just the day before......prior to its startup.

On the Eve of Amtrak (Apr 30/71) the route network operated by the private Railroads was about 44,000 mile. The next day on the inauguration of Amtrak, hundreds of trains were discontinued leaving a network of only 19,000 miles.

Some good maps here:

http://www.narprail.org/cms/images/uploads/map70.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.narprail.org/cms/images/uploads/map71.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.narprail.org/resources/fact- ... storicmaps" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the history of VIA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_Rail" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;