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 downbeat
Via released a statemtn Tuesday regarding the operation of the Bras d'Or this year. Contrary to what's been reported by some railfans elsewhere, the Bras d'Or will run its usual schedule, weekly between June 1 and mid-October. Furthermore, a stop has been added in Orangedale so people can visit the railway museum there. It also appears that the train will run twice a week beginning in 2005. (I'm a little shocked they're thinking that far ahead.)
The original release is here:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/arch ... c4854.html
HALIFAX, May 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Entering its fifth year, VIA Rail Canada's seasonal service to Cape Breton Island attracts passengers from across Canada and around the globe. The Bras d'Or operates one round-trip per week between Halifax and Sydney from June to mid-October, offering tourists a 10-hour land cruise through the heart of Northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. Complete with on-board tour guides, live entertainment and fine local cuisine, the train delivers a unique experience through Canada's historic "highlands".
VIA developed the Bras d'Or service in partnership with the tourism boards of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, launching its first season in the spring of 2000. This season's inaugural run from Halifax is scheduled for June 1, 2004. The last trains of the 2004 season leave Halifax on October 12 and Sydney on October 13, 2004.

Orangedale Railway Station Museum rest stop

"This summer, travelers on board the Bras d'Or will receive a special welcome to Cape Breton at Orangedale, where the train will make a brief rest stop", said Keith Moulton, VIA's regional director for Eastern Canada.
Orangedale's 19th-century railway station houses railway artifacts, stationmaster quarters, model trains and period furniture. Several railway
cars are on site and travelers can browse through the gift shop.

Coming in 2005

Next summer, VIA plans to add an additional round-trip between Halifax and Sydney during the busiest part of the season. "We are very pleased with the success of the Bras d'Or and with VIA's commitment to tourism in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton", said Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism Culture and Heritage for Nova Scotia.


  by Ken V
From what I gathered from earlier reports, the abbreviated 12-week schedule was planned for the 2005 season and not 2004. Hopefully the twice a week round-trips will more than compensate for the shorter season although cutting out the fall colour peak may be a mistake.