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 steve4031
 
Is there always a park car on the ocean? Is it still possible to ride a classic bud consist on this route? I'm thinking of taking my gf on a Halifax montreal trip. And I want to have her ride in a dome car at the minimum. And hopefully a budd sleeper. Of course I know about the Canadian. Bit is very expensive. So I'm thinking about the ocean.
  by NS VIA FAN
 
There is no “Park Car“ Dome Observation running in the off-season but there is a “Skyline Dome” at mid-train shared by coach and sleeper passengers when a Budd consist is operating. Only one of the three Renaissance consists has been replaced by a Budd for the winter. (VIA is upgrading the Renaissance consists to Barrier Free requirements (this is ADA to Americans) The Ocean returns to all Renaissance equipment in April.

For now: the best way to tell if a Budd consist is operating is to make a sample booking on VIA’s web page. If you have a range of sleeper accommodations such as Upper, Lower and Cabins for 1,2 or 3.......it will be a Budd. But if only "Cabins for 2" and "Cabins for 2 with shower" are available.......it will be Renaissance.

From mid-June to Thanksgiving (early October) a “Park Car“ Dome Observation” is attached to the end of a Renaissance consist in Sleeper Plus (Touring Class) service and in my opinion, the best time to ride the Ocean. You have the best of both worlds.......the Park Car for the view plus the modern Renaissance equipment.

I ride the Ocean often and personally will schedule my trip to avoid riding in a Budd equipped train.....I just find the Renns provide a much smoother and more comfortable ride. The Budds are getting old. They’ve had a recent upgrade of interior finishes but it’s been 20+ years since thay had a major rebuilding....... so lots of shakes and rattles!
  by steve4031
 
Thanks for your assistance. I see that by careful planning, I can take her on the budd equipment. I am sure that the renaissance cars are nice, however, I want my gf to experience the magic of riding in the park car as the train rounds a curve. lol
  by steve4031
 
I checked every day for the first two weeks of October. It appears that the park car operates on weekends with renaissance cars. I never saw availability for upper and lower births indicating budd equipment. So it looks like the best option would be to book in the renaissance cars and ride the dome.

How are the cabins for 2 without shower?

Thanks
  by timberley
 
steve4031 wrote:I checked every day for the first two weeks of October. It appears that the park car operates on weekends with renaissance cars. I never saw availability for upper and lower births indicating budd equipment. So it looks like the best option would be to book in the renaissance cars and ride the dome.

How are the cabins for 2 without shower?

Thanks
In October it will be only Renaissance equipment, indeed. The Budd set, if it returns next year, will only likely be brought back into service in early December. So if a Park car is operating on the Ren sets, that's your only dome option at that time.

As for the cabin for 2 without shower: The only difference between the cabin for 2 and the one with the shower is that, well...one has a shower. This is, however, not as dramatic of a difference as it sounds. The shower is just a showerhead mounted in the bathroom, such that the entire bathroom becomes the shower. Very efficient design. So your room with no shower is the same otherwise (dimensions, amenities, etc.) and still has a private bathroom, just no shower head.

I'm a frequent rider on the Ocean, and will personally choose a Budd set any day it is operating. As a coach passenger, the Budd is the easy choice...you then get a much more comfy seat (trust me, I've slept many nights in both Ren and Budd seats!), and access to the dome and nicer Skyline lounge. In the Ren, you only get the dome if you pay for Sleeper Plus. I have travelled in sleeper accommodations on both types of equipment, and still prefer the Budds. The Renaissance cars are very nice and modern, but I've always found them a little cramped (especially in the hallways!), and the beds don't come even close to comparing to the comfort of those in the Budd sleepers.

If you're going to travel in the Renaissance equipment, it's still a great trip, but I'd say the Sleeper plus upgrade to get Park car access is a must. I've done that particular combination a few times now, and always find myself spending most of the trip in the Park dome or lounge!
  by steve4031
 
I think I'll book the park car. Hopefully I'll get a express deal on the Canadian. Then I can take her across the country for about 1100