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 mkellerm
This moved over the wires this evening:
VIA Rail expected to announce new funding

OTTAWA – The federal government is expected to announce several hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding for Via Rail on Thursday, the first significant injection of new money to the cash-strapped Crown passenger rail corporation in years.

The announcement will be made at Union Station in downtown Toronto by Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, with Via chairman Donald Wright in attendance.

Spokesmen for both ministers refused to give details of the announcement, but observers close to the rail operator expect it will involve money for capital acquisitions, refurbishing locomotives and passenger cars, increased rail capacity and additional funds for day-to-day operations.
Full story
Last edited by mkellerm on Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by Ken V
What a surprise! I was so preoccupied by the Ontario provincial election tonight I missed this one completely. I can hardly wait to see the details. That, and whether F40PH-2 6400 is leading #68 on Thursday night :-D .

  by Ken V
Just for the record: What I expect to see in this announcement and what I don't.

First of all, this should be good news.

Expect: one-time capital funding; infrastructure improvements; locomotive and rolling stock rebuilds

Don't expect: route cutbacks; new routes/expansions; new equipment; more frequencies; high(er)-speed trains

  by mkellerm
Here are the key paragraphs from the press release:
Of the total funding package, $516 million in capital funds will be allocated over five years for infrastructure improvements and equipment refurbishments, beginning in 2007. This investment will be targeted towards:
  • fleet renewal, through refurbishment of the F40 locomotives and Light, Rapid and Comfortable (LRC) passenger cars;
  • strategic infrastructure improvements to eliminate bottlenecks in the Quebec City —Windsor corridor; and
  • station refurbishments.
The equipment refurbishment will also help improve the company's environmental performance through increased fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions per passenger.

The remainder of the funding, a total of $175.9 million over five years, will be directed towards VIA Rail's operating costs. This additional funding is needed to sustain VIA's national network until the capital program is completed. VIA expects to reduce its maintenance costs after the equipment is rebuilt and to attract more passengers as it moves to provide faster, more frequent service on its trains in the Quebec City — Windsor Corridor.
Your prediction was pretty much spot-on, although the press release does seem to imply that there will be at least a few additional trips in the Corridor.


  by jp1822
Doesn't appear that VIA will be launching any new service - even seasonal at best - outside the "Eastern Corridor" - to such places as in the Maritimes or out West. But a state of good repair is certainly well supported.

  by Dieter
Here's another link.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/s ... /20071011/

This money isn't going to make service in the east expand with a swing through Edmundston to Moncton via Fredericton, it's just to keep things afloat.

  by jp1822
Yes - that's certainly what I got out of further reading today. We'll see if VIA does any experimental routes on its own so to speak - such as the seasonal Edmonton - Jasper Ski Train.

Let's also remember VIA's Chaleur route supposedly got some money to ensure its viability. As much as I often think VIA would like to kill this route, it is certainly popular with more of the locals rather than the tourists - except when tourists are part of a tour group and aboard. Often this warrants more sleepers to be added to the "regular train consist."

  by George L.
Speaking of the Snow Train... it's back... and with a new web page.
  by jp1822
Glad they brought it back! Now if we can just get the Bras'd'Or train back in the Maritimes - at least seasonally with a weekday and weekend round trip. Even if it ran to Port Harksbury(spelling?) where major services seem to be located at the beginning of Cape Breton.

  by Ken V
Now it's official. Yesterday VIA announced a contract with CAD to rebuild another 59 of their F40PH-2 locomotives over the next five years for $100 Million.

Further details can be read in the VIA press release.

  by Ken V
Today (Feb 11) VIA made another set of announcements regarding how they'll be spending all that money. This time it's about rebuilding the entire LRC car fleet and other station and track improvements. There are not a lot of details yet, but you can read all about it in: After the locomotives, now it's time for passenger cars.
  by Ken V
In today's budget announcement, the Finance Minister indicated that another $407 million would be allocated to VIA Rail this year. While details are very sketchy at this time, the bulk of the spending will be on improving tracks in the Quebec-Windsor corridor to improve train speed and on time performance. Some of the funds will be directed towards more station improvements and additional rolling stock refurbishments.
  by buddah
hey Ken where there any notations on if VIA was choosing where to do track upgrades or it it going to be left in the hands of CN/CP to decide. I would love to see that stretch of track just outside Windsor upgraded to welded rail instead of the rough jointed track that currently occupies that area. Any notation on if the new station and location for Windsor is still on the drawing table? keep us informed...