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 f40ph-2 6400
hey guys,

does anyone know who got the contract to rebuild the LRCs? When is it scheduled to begin? Where is the first LRC coach that got rebuilt a few years ago? Does it have the renaissance scheme or still the flags?

Mark Charlebois
  by timberley
I'm not so sure about who has the contract. I do recall reading though (I think in Canadian Railway Observations), that the first coach was completed, but put back into service in the same paint, so it was only distinguishable inside. I'm fairly sure it was being rolled out just as F40 6400 was, as a prototype to see how the upgrades would work in service, although it didn't get the outer spiff-up.

I am quite excited to see them when they start to get fully done though...
  by chriskay
Good to hear that the program has begun! Any information anyone else has would be greatly appreciated. Photos? :-D
  by buddah
I took a VIA 1 club car for the first time back in Nov 08 and the interior seemed pretty good to me, the coach seating does need improvement. Anyone know if VIA will bring back some of there dinning/ food service LRC cars with the rebuild.. as in the original LRC's VIA/Amtrak operated there were a few floating around. What ever happened to them anyone know? there's a pic of one on Railpics... http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=158906&nseq=12
  by Ken V
The LRC rebuilds will not include any dining/snack cars. The rebuild program only includes the original VIA LRC fleet which did not include such a car. The only LRC food service cars were built originally for Amtrak and were acquired by VIA later. These cars were incompatible with the rest of VIA's LRCs due to the HEP configuration and were used almost exclusively on the International (Toronto-Chicago trains). Those are former Amtrak LRCs shown in the photo.
  by buddah
Thanks for the info Ken.. I did hear once from a old VIA conductor that there were differences with the VIA lrc cars and AMTK lrc cars. you help to add another one to the group. He stated the notable difference was on the outside when looking at the car you could tell who was who by the placement of the window. Amtk lrc had the window for the passenger access door installed High and VIA had there's at the same height as the regular windows on the car. So what ever happened to the AMTK lrc cars? If you know are they stored somewhere or scrapped?
  by Kaback9
Did the Amtrak LRC cars ever wear the Amtrak scheme or were they always in a VIA scheme?
  by Ken V
These did wear an Amtrak paint scheme at one time and were repainted by VIA. The Amtrak LRCs were all retired around 1994. What's left of the cars are stored at VIA's Montreal Maintenance Centre - all in really sad shape.

Update: I managed to find a small photo of an Amtrak LRC train here: http://www.trains.com/trn/objects/image ... mtrak7.jpg
  by buddah
Thanks for the info. sad to hear the LRC are wasting away... and kaback9 here's another pic for you, is right on Rapido's website. I don't know where Jason got this one but, he's good at old school railroading... http://rapidotrains.com/lrc00.html
  by Kaback9
Thanks guys! Its really sad to hear they are rotting in Montreal :( . I wish Amtrak had kept these cars a based a new corridor car off them, they did have some influence on the Acela coach after all.
Here's photos of the Amtrak & VIA LRCs for comparison: Note the VIA windows are a bit larger as they do not have a centre mullion. Also the window placement in the doors.
Amtrak LRC 1985.JPG
  by buddah
Nice pic NS VIA FAN Ive never seen this angle of a AMTK LRC. There are also a few pics on www.rrpicturearchives.net under amtrak 37 & 38. but nothing as close up or as detailed as NS VIAs pic.

Ken do you know how many are up there in montreal ? are they easily viewable? I might have to take a trip up there this spring, how bad are they? not worth rebuilding I'm guessing?
  by Kaback9
The more I see them the more I keep thinking Amtrak was foolish for getting rid of them. These definitely would have made a fine car for the NEC.
  by Silverliner II
MACTRAXX wrote:Everyone: Does anyone remember the small group of LRC cars that were originally Amtrak's and then used by VIA in "International" service?
I believe there were 10 of them-with features like two-pane windows and Amtrak-compatible HEP wiring.
There were two LRC locomotives also-originally used in NYP-BOS NEC service.
I remember VIA F40s pulling Superliner equipment also in this service.
Because of the differences between Amtrak and VIA HEP equipment there has been very little use of both companies' equipment in train service.
Thoughts from MACTRAXX
I remember when Amtrak originally had those 10 cars. The windows were also smaller than the VIA LRC's and of course, included cafe cars. I never got to ride them, though...
  by goodnightjohnwayne
Kaback9 wrote:The more I see them the more I keep thinking Amtrak was foolish for getting rid of them. These definitely would have made a fine car for the NEC.
Even assuming that they had been entirely satisfactory in service, which they were not, such a small fleet of unique equipment would have been very hard to service. Keep in mind that with many hundred of altogether less problematic Amfleet coaches, which were used even for "Metroliner" service, Amtrak didn't have any need for LRC coaches. The electrification from Boston to New Haven also didn't help the case for the LRCs, but I think you'll find the maintenance and reliability issues were the primary problems.

Moreover, VIA has a had quite a struggle with the LRC coaches over the years and simply had to give up on the LRC locomotives. My guess is that if the LRC equipment hadn't been built in Canada, it would have been disposed of many years ago. Current experience shows that if you spend a couple of decades servicing a mildly problematic design, you can probably make it work, especially if you have taxpayer funding.