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 Station Aficionado
A recent trip to Quebec City brought some questions to mind? The Quebec City stop for the Ocean (14/15) is Sainte-Foy. But Sainte-Foy is on the north side of the St. Lawrence. So, the train has to cross the "Bridge at Quebec" (to use the title of Middleton's book) to access the station. How does it then get turned to get back across the river? Why not stop at Charny on the south bank instead? Although that would require a short backup move, at least you wouldn't have to cross the bridge. And if you're going to cross the river, why not go on to Gare du Palais? Given the total journey time for the Ocean, the extra 25-30 minutes in each direction wouldn't see to be that important.
The Ocean did use Charny until 2014 when the station there closed then was rerouted across the bridge to Ste Foy. Here's a post with some details: Note the westbound Ocean arriving from Halifax now runs forward on the wye track from Joffre Yard, through Charny and onto the Bridge to Ste Foy. .......then backs up through the Why into Joffre Yard before continuing west.

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Really no need to go into Gare du Palais as Ste Foy is a convenient suburban station. It would add an additional 25 min each way plus station dwell time and It would also have to be wyed there. Gare du Palais has enclosed high level platforms with insufficient length to handle a train as long as the Ocean.
  by Station Aficionado
Thanks. When I did a search under "Sainte-Foy," I didn't find anything, but didn't think to search "Ste-Foy." So, I take it that the stop was changed when Charny was destaffed? Your explanation re Gare du Palais and the platforms there makes sense.

A reminder that the abandonment of the line through Levis was really too bad (although now 20 years or so distant).

On the subject of Levis, I took the ferry over from Quebec. There is a new ferry terminal since my last trip there (10-12 years ago). While the old station is no longer the ferry terminal, it still has the stump of a bridge attached to it. Also, the former platform had scaffolding around it and the whole building appeared to be fenced off. Anyone know what the plans for the building are?
  by marquisofmississauga
We were recently in Quebec to board Cunard's Queen Mary 2. As we were in port more than 24 hours after boarding the ship I was hoping to take the ferry to Levis to have a look at the station which I was led to believe was being used as the ferry terminal. We had so much else we wanted to do we didn't get that chance and I appreciate these observations as it appears we didn't miss much.
  by Morning Zephyr
How is timekeeping on the Ocean this time of year? I am considering an westbound trip in March and wonder if I am likely to arrive in Montreal in ample time to catch a 15:30 flight out of YUL. I know #1 and #2 can run exceedingly late and wondered if that is true of the Ocean as well. Thanks for any advice.
  by marquisofmississauga
I have been monitoring the arrivals in both Halifax and Montreal for friends who are considering a winter trip. It has been arriving in Montreal on time or just a few minutes late on most days. Occasionally it has been 10 minutes early. So the odds are you should make that flight, but if it was me I would still have travel insurance that would cover a missed connection.
  by NeoArashi
As far as I'm concerned, I have taken the Ocean 8 times:
-Round Trip between Charny and Moncton in may 2009 (Train was 45 minutes late when I arrived in Moncton, but was on time when I got back to Charny)
-Round Trip between Charny and Halifax in October 2010 (Train was 30 minutes late in Halifax, and got back to Charny on time)
-Round Trip between Ste-Foy and Halifax in August 2014 (Train was on time on both directions)
-One way trip between Montreal and Halifax in Janurary 2016 (BOTH my train and my GF's Montreal to Quebec train got stuck for over 2 hours in Drummonville due to ANOTHER Via train, thus both my and my GF trains were over 3 hours late at our respective destinations)
-One way trip between Amherst and Ste-Foy, also in Janurary of last year (Train was on time both in Amherst and Ste-Foy)

So personnal experience, except that one Drummonville fiasco, the Ocean has a much better on time track record (especially westbound) than the Canadian, and even the shorter Montreal-Senneterre and the Montreal-Jonquiere routes (which are pretty notorious for being 2+ hours late everytime)
  by marquisofmississauga
Although the westbound "Ocean" has been doing very well lately, today it is expected about 4 1/2 hours late into Montreal. I don't know what happened, but the delays started between Moncton and Rogersville.
  by marquisofmississauga
marquisofmississauga wrote:Although the westbound "Ocean" has been doing very well lately, today it is expected about 4 1/2 hours late into Montreal. I don't know what happened, but the delays started between Moncton and Rogersville.
The train lost even more time and arrived in Montreal five hours and nine minutes late. This is unusual.
  by gaspeamtrak
New Brunswick had a BAD ice storm... :( :( :(
  by marquisofmississauga
Thanks for the explanation. VIA is to be complimented for running the train through to its destination even if it is late. The "Canadian" currently en route from Vancouver to Toronto started out on time but as of this morning it is nine hours late in Northern Ontario. It may make up time before Toronto, as it often does, or it could get even later. For several years VIA decided to terminate very late trains and treat the passengers to a long bus ride - even on snow-covered roads. But they have gotten over that nonsense and now only terminate trains if absolutely necessary.