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 labaienordique
Though I've ridden on the Canadien to Winnipeg & back, I was asleep while the train arrived in Sioux Lookout on both trips aboard the train. So, I was wondering if anyone could clarify which building in Sioux Lookout is the actual passenger station:



I came across a page that describes renovations to the Sioux Lookout station, but it's unclear whether there will be a passenger train services element to it:
  by jp1822
The first picture is the ole Sioux Lookout train station that has been shut-down and abandoned at least since the 1990s. VIA uses the "trailor" in your second photo as its waiting station and ticketing area. Under the "old schedule" of the Canadian when the westbound Canadian used to stop here at around 8:30 a.m. (typically the first station that most passengers on the Canadian would see after their first overnight trip). Likewise, it was usually the last station Canadian passengers would see in the evening before nightfall. Thus this "lure" I think teased VIA into looking to renovate the Sioux Lookout Station. This would have been great, in my opinion. It was also a servicing stop before the mid-day Winnipeg station stop - under the old schedule. Thus the longer layover here would be pretty advantageous if there was more than just a "VIA Trailor Station" If the older station was restored, I could easily see this being similiar to the "Jasper Station" - offering more than just VIA ticketing services. Granted it, I've never seen a lot of people get on/off at Sioux Lookout, but I've seen plenty head into town to buy beverages and other snacks. Again, this was when Sioux Lookout had more of a passenger friendly schedule, than it does now. West of Sioux Lookout I always enjoyed the landscape of the Canadian Shield (lakes, rocks, trees etc.). Now you see it in darkness. The old schedule also had the Canadian traversing the prairies in the evening, which often seemed more appropriate in seeing the rest of the Canadian's scenery.
  by labaienordique
This project reminds me of a similar one that is taking place in South River (along the Northlander route).

This is according to the municipality of Sioux Lookout project website:

Heritage Train Station

Part of the greater Downtown Revitalization Project aimed at rejuvenating and beautifying Sioux Lookout's downtown core through stereetscaping, attracting new businesses, improving accessibility, safety and lighting, and encouraging pedestrian foot traffic.

53 Front Street (Adjacent to Centennial Park in Downtown Sioux Lookout)

- This two-story Heritage Building will be renovated to provide a mix of public, commercial and office space.
- Exterior renovations will be in accordance with the Ontario Heritage Trust guidelines to preserve the building's historical appearance.

- 4,000,000$
- 1,000,000$ Municipal contribution repayable through revenues
- 3,000,000$ funding from FedNor, NOHFC and OMAFRA

- Design Phase completed
- Repairs to foundation completed 2010
- Contract Awarded for Design
- Contract Awarded for Rehabilitation

  by marquisofmississauga
Until a couple of years ago there was a notice on the sadly dilapidated station saying that the Town of Sioux Lookout was hoping that the building would be developed into a hotel. Presumably the station facilities would be renovated, but I don't recall that being a firm part of the plan.

The current station in the trailer offers no ticketing facilities. There hasn't been a VIA agent at that location in a very long time. Actually, there isn't a VIA ticket office anywhere between Capreol and Winnipeg, almost 1000 miles. Like many unstaffed stations Sioux Lookout has, on all my trips through there, a contract person who unlocks the trailer near train time and provides checked baggage assistance for passengers.
  by labaienordique
There's one between Capréol & Winnipeg.

Longlac has a ticket agency at a clothing store (Moe's Clothing) according to Via Rail's website.

Places like Sioux Lookout & Hornepayne, at the very least, should have a booth to purchase tickets (given that the transcontinental train is scheduled to stop there anyway). There are quite a few similar population communities in eastern Canada that are staffed. I've just noticed that tickets are no longer sold at Sudbury Jct. http://www.viarail.ca/en/stations/ontario/sudbury-jct
  by marquisofmississauga
I should have clarified my comments about the lack of VIA agents between Capreol and Winnipeg by saying I meant VIA employees operating a ticket office in the stations. Unlike most airlines, VIA pays commission to travel agents and in many smaller centres without VIA employees these travel agents are the only source of tickets other than e-tickets. I'm not sure if VIA still operates the tickets-by-mail programme that was popular until a few years ago when they started charging for that service. It definitely would not have been feasible for the past several weeks! A clothing store offering VIA tickets is certainly something new; normally VIA ticket stock was only provided to travel agents.

The Sudbury Jct. situation is a bit strange. The station is listed as "manned" with baggage service available, but no ticket sales. Northern Ontario has not had the service that rural Quebec has. Just about every station on the route of the train formerly known as the Chaleur, now simply called the Gaspe train, has a part-time VIA employee to operate the station on train days.