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 buddah
Hello VIA fans...
To start off back in the summer of 09 I happen to see VIA renaissance equipment being hauled by a P42 in Mississauga, east of the browns line ( Long branch GO station) at the time I was aboard train #73. it seemed rather odd but I thought nothing of it maybe just VIA backing it up out of Mimico due to yard congestion, etc. However now I see a picture of 53 on railpictures.net of the equipment in Oakville and I have to wonder..Why? 53 runs Toronto to Montreal so whats it doing in Oakville? and the location is accurate as I know the spot well.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 68&nseq=46

Are the 10 car renaissance consist so long VIA is backing the train all the way down to the Y in Burlington?
Can the Y in Burlington accommodate the 10 car ren consist?
what does the current track work in Burlington look like?
If its not Y-ing there is it Y-ing somewhere else? (the distance from TMC to the Y in Burlington is roughly 40 KM's)
http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s ... 8&t=h&z=18 (Burlington Y)

Would it not be a greater asset to use the Y in Mississauga just east of the Clarkson GO station? ( roughly 18 km's from TMC)
http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s ... 8&t=h&z=18 ( Clarkson Y)

Why has VIA not opted to built a Y closer to TMC I can actually think of only one spot where it can be done, ( might be a little difficult but still doable) in Toronto.
If so and Y-ing trains in Burlington (or further west) IS the current procedure, why not break the train into 2- 5 car sections and use a spare locomotive to Y it in Mimico? or is TMC not capable of doing so ?
Just my opinion but it seems to be a reasonable idea to break out the LRC locomotive "if its operational" fixing it with a European ( renaissance) coupler and use it as a yard switcher for TMC. ( fat chance of VIA doing that however).
I can say I've never seen VIA's procedures for Y-ing trains longer than 6 cars as that's the max the Y in Toronto @ the Mimico yard can handle. From Notes Amtrak will not send more than 6 car on the Maple Leaf so the train can be Y-ed at TMC. it strikes me VIA would go that far to Y there own equipment.
Last edited by buddah on Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by buddah
electricron wrote:Why not use cab cars on VIA trains and avoid turning trains in the first place?
With the renaissance cars I believe the seats can't be reversed so passengers would be traveling backwards in one direction. the LRC and Budd equipment Im not sure, but I do believe they are reversible. so your argument would be valid for that rolling stock. Amtraks amfleet & horizon fleet low density cars, and superliner coaches are reversible but they Y trains just as much.
  by viahogger
The equipment your seeing is #53 from Montreal. When the consist exceeds 7 cars and a unit it is sent to Bayview to be wyed. Bayview is a few miles West of Burlington. During the busy Christmas season
it has been a regular occurrence to see the Renaissance equipment on the Oakville sub heading to Bayview to be wyed. The seats cannot be turned and even if they could be the baggage car would then be on the wrong end requiring the equipment to be re-marshaled which with Ren equipment takes a lot longer. An engine or cab car could not be placed on the other end either as there is no yellow MU cables only blue communication cables running the length of the train. Thus were stuck having to wye at Bayview....if only the wye at the TMC was a little longer!
  by buddah
wow , when I said further west Bayview junction was exactly what I was thinking but couldn't bring myself to imagine VIA would go that far to Y a train. I guess I was wrong from your statement they surely do. Whats going on with the lack of communication or has the brass not been informed they pass 2 Ys just to get to Bayview junction, or is this just hesitation on VIA's end to ask for use of them, heck in Halifax they use the loop track through a container/shipping dock when available. Also yes I agree it is to bad the plant at new Toronto St. happens to be there, I don't think they would be very accepting of a few 100 ft of track work through there parking lot and into the plant. ( even though at one time in the past tracks were there). "excuse my short hand Y instead of wye."
  by viahogger
The wye at Mimico as you state is too short, the Clarkson wye is often busy with freight movements or blocked with cars and I don't think the wye at Burlington West is even in service any more. So the only viable option is to send the train to Bayview. I've said for years a better solution has to be possible either by building a loop at the TMC or changing the location of the wye, I've seen no indication that they have any intention of making that happen though.
  by buddah
Hogger I definitely agree some other option has to be explored by VIA. In today's economy it's too costly not too. Running 50 kms to Bayview junction then 50 kms back is nuts. the Burlington Y is still a bit far 40 kms and as you say may not be usable but Clarkson Y should be explored and some arrangement made so freight cars are left on the yard tracks and not on the Y. If no other option is available then building something closer to TMC is the way to go. Id agree a loop track would be best, but there's limited space given all the business that have moved into the area around the existing Y off Drummond st. However there is one place I can think of that a Y can be put in place and all switches to the existing branch/Siding track over to TMC are in place. Not to mention is only a few 1000 feet from TMC. Also the length of track for a consist to occupy on the Y is twice that of what is currently at TMC after the switch ( in theory VIA could use it to Y 14-15 car trains).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4229899441/
Blue - existing branch/siding track
Green - existing factory spur track
Orange - new track needed to be built to Y trains
Grey dots- 2 new switches ( and a diamond ).
Black Area - newly built parking lot in 2009 track space still exists beside lot .

This would be my suggestion as this branch is hardly ever used by the factory on the line anymore so there would be virtually no freight interference. Id however love to see a Loop track and VIA use Drummond st. to complete it circling and connecting to the current Y ( ya street running VIA trains!) would be a great place for Foamers and railfans, however it would never happen just too costly from any railroad standpoint. All jokes aside how much would VIA save in fuel, labor cost, and time if they built there own Y closer to TMC. Im sure it would pay for itself in less than 2-3 years. Unfortunately as you say there nothing being considered currently which is a shame.
  by viahogger
I'm sure Via has explored the possibility of changing the location of the wye, however this would involve several things that are beyond Via's control. Finding enough land to build a wye
in such a built up area, using existing tracks, arranging trackage rights etc etc. The location you mention would be close enough but would CN allow Via to wye it's trains there? Would it
interfere with CN or CP's operations in the area? (I believe CP sends a switcher to that area to switch also) An even closer location for a wye would be just a 100feet west of the current location.
The property between Campbell's and Daily Bread could hold at least 12 cars, there's nothing built on the narrow strip of land along side a driveway leading to a warehouse behind Daily Bread.
However the land would have to be acquired and there may not be enough width (bylaw wise) to lay a track. A loop is out of the question as there is just not enough room, I checked out the loop
at the MMC in Montreal and it is 780 feet wide way to big a radius for anywhere around Mimico.
  by briann
...or, VIA could run some more (all?) trains from Montreal or Ottawa in revenue service through to Aldershot, then wye them at Bayview.
  by buddah
I agree VIAhogger a loop just wouldn't be suitable with the small amount of land space available in the area next to TMC. The area next to Campbell soup would have been ideal if the daily food bank and the factory behind it didn't build up the area without leaving enough space for a spur track. With Toronto's land politics I don't see VIA being able to acquire that small grassy space that's next to the new driveway in the daily food banks lot now that they have laid fresh grass, a roadway and gated it off. VIA's best bet IMHO... to acquire one of CNs branches or spurs in the area or quickly work out an agreement ( Toronto or Mississauga) where they still have the railways ROW in tact. There's a lot less red tape to go through that way when it comes to land acquisition as the ROW grandfathers in the Railways rights even if not in use currently. but once the tracks are removed and land space reclassified its almost impossible to get tracks back there again. its just to costly form a political standpoint. There are 3 points of Interest VIA could look into for a Y-ing between Mimico and Mississauga 2 Ive mentioned and one more located here.
http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s ... 7&t=h&z=17
this location could also host a loop further down Hydro road if there willing to build it through the grassy and graveled area in the empty portion of the hydro plant area. Its roughly 1000 ft. across large enough for a loop to be built, and the land space is currently not in use, leveled, empty, and still classified commercial property.
The Y I mentioned does see the occasional CP switch move as you have noted, but its very very rare. Every option is worth a look into if you ask me seeing as VIA will inconvenience a lot more rail traffic CN,CP, VIA, and GO transit running a train 50 km to Bayview junction, then holding up the Y for one empty passenger train. Not to mention the cost in manpower and fuel for VIA rail. at the current practice id almost agree with Briann might as well start running trains form Aldershot... lol