Tadman wrote:Has there been any ridership feedback since the train dropped sleepers in favor of an overnight pause at Prince George? I'm curious if ridership has seen any losses.
I remember some literature coming out after VIA made the conversion, advertising that it was a more "successful" train as two daylight runs than leave Jasper at 4 pm and be in the Prince George area post-midnight) and then Prince Rupert by 12 noon the next day. Even as an overnight train in the 1990s, it was one coach, diner, and Chateau sleeper. Train still carries at least one coach and Park Car year-round, but expands in summer to take on a new crowd - the tourists. So it likely gained a new audience and became more passenger friendly timing for Prince George. Those heading "all the way" to Prince Rupert though have a longer trip. I think that got offset by the fact that VIA can market the train for its daylight scenery......and then also the Panorama Car.
I've often wondered - should it be a a two day daylight train say May through October (expanding the peak season a bit perhaps), but then since daylight is at a premium October through April on this route for the most part, does it make sense to revert to the old overnight schedule? Not sure. But even in the 1990s, VIA was just carrying one ex-CP Budd Chateau sleeper on this train.......
Overall, love taking this train in early peak season with Panorama Car! It needs to be extended to Edmonton now though to try and get more traffic.