NeoArashi wrote:Meh... When I take the train, it's not to go to my destination as fastly as I can. I take the train to look at the scenery. Slower trains fits me more =D Although I did like how he made his video.
I agree substantially. But we have to remember that VIA exists not just for railfans or sightseers, but to take people places with the exception of the Canadian. An extra night on the Canadian may sound like an opportunity to better appreciate the scenery, but this is not the case east of Winnipeg. There are two pockets of gorgeous scenery on the Toronto-Winnipeg portion: Muskoka and the area just west of Sioux Lookout. Now that the transcontinental service is back on a four-night schedule (for the third time since VIA took it over) these areas are traversed during the night. That tremendous view of the harbour at Parry Sound from the CPR bridge is now lost. If you're awake at 0240 you could see some lights and during the height of summer you might see a bit of Muskoka on the eastbound run. Fortunately most of the best scenery west of Winnipeg can be viewed during daylight because the extra night was added to the eastern portion. Although I don't have the figures, everyone I know at VIA in WInnipeg and aboard the train admits that ridership on the Canadian has plunged over the past few years. Part of that has been caused by the recession, of course, but VIA staff will tell you that the extra night has not helped.
warwgn3 said: "If you want to get somewhere fast, fly! If you want to relax, make new friends and not worry about traffic, take the train. The journey is more important than the destination."
Again, I agree with that but most people will not. It seems that every year the speed of corridor trains gets slower. I'm sure most of us remember that VIA once had a semi-express train at 1700 hours that travelled between Toronto and Montreal in 3 hours 59 minutes. I took that train a few times and it was usually on time or just a few minutes late. Currently it takes 4 hours 51 minutes w/b and 4 hours 48 minutes e/b. As with the Canadian, it is not VIA's fault that these trains are getting slower. CN just can't handle trains at the speeds that they did in the 1990s - or even the 1940s on the transcontinental route!
For the sake of the environment VIA should be able to persuade people to get off the planes and out of their cars. Running trains slower is not going to do it. We are going in the opposite direction to the rest of the world. VIA runs just six trains each way between Toronto and Montreal on Mondays through Fridays. I had no idea how many flights there were between those cities until I looked it up: 64 each way, 33 of which use the Toronto Island Airport. On a recent visit to Britain I found out that a modest increase in speed on the London-Edinburgh route resulted in a substantial increase in passengers, mostly in first class, and a significant reduction in the number of air passengers on that route. I fear for the long-term future of VIA, which could fade into irrelevancy if they cannot keep a reasonable market-share. The infrastructure improvements in the corridor will help, but I hope its not a case of "too little too late."