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Ontario Northland/Northern Ontario Transportation

lenaitch

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Interested as well. |If you've ever ridden north of Cochrane, it's a 'rockin' and rollin' ride because of the muskeg. Seeing as ONTC uses freight power with APUs for train power, maybe that is an issue. If nothing else, using freight power gives them more flexibility.
 

smallspy

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I've been wondering the same. I wonder if there are long-term benefits to having bi-directional capability. Maybe order one of the new GO cab coaches from Thunder Bay? cc @smallspy
I guess that depends on how the service gets organized. There are certainly advantages to the use of cab cars. But there are disadvantages, too.

I remembering hearing they tried those on the PBX and they were unsuitable for the tracks. I don't know about the rest of the line.
The issues that they had with the GO cars had nothing to do with their use on the tracks, and more do to with figuring out things like ticketing and access.

Dan
 

lenaitch

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I guess that depends on how the service gets organized. There are certainly advantages to the use of cab cars. But there are disadvantages, too.
If nothing else, I imagine train control cabling would have to be run end-to-end.
 

Bordercollie

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I guess that depends on how the service gets organized. There are certainly advantages to the use of cab cars. But there are disadvantages, too.


The issues that they had with the GO cars had nothing to do with their use on the tracks, and more do to with figuring out things like ticketing and access.

Dan
Wouldn't you still need to turn the train? Since the freight cars are at the back of the train. Unless you rearrange the train going southbound to have the cab car infront. But then you would need MU cables on the freight cars. Is that even possible? Or have the locomotives in the middle and tow the freight cars?
 

micheal_can

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Wouldn't you still need to turn the train? Since the freight cars are at the back of the train. Unless you rearrange the train going southbound to have the cab car infront. But then you would need MU cables on the freight cars. Is that even possible? Or have the locomotives in the middle and tow the freight cars?
I guess that depends on how the service gets organized. There are certainly advantages to the use of cab cars. But there are disadvantages, too.


The issues that they had with the GO cars had nothing to do with their use on the tracks, and more do to with figuring out things like ticketing and access.

Dan

Not my photos.

I doubt they would run it in reverse. I don't see how ticketing and access are a problem.
 

lenaitch

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I don't know why they ran bi-levels or a cab unit to Moosonee. Testing? Capacity (bi-levels)? Because it a mixed consist, the train is broken apart in Moosonee; chain/flat cars off to ramp sidings, tank, box, etc. off to wherever then reconstituted for the run south. I don't know if they turn the pax cars. Also, the freight cars on any given train reflect the cargo being carried. They do have a particular set of freight cars assigned to the train but that doesn't preclude another customer's car. Assuming cabling is needed and it's not RF, I don't see a practical way of using a cab car. They typically run two locos back-to-back so can simply run around.
 

micheal_can

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I don't know why they ran bi-levels or a cab unit to Moosonee. Testing? Capacity (bi-levels)? Because it a mixed consist, the train is broken apart in Moosonee; chain/flat cars off to ramp sidings, tank, box, etc. off to wherever then reconstituted for the run south. I don't know if they turn the pax cars. Also, the freight cars on any given train reflect the cargo being carried. They do have a particular set of freight cars assigned to the train but that doesn't preclude another customer's car. Assuming cabling is needed and it's not RF, I don't see a practical way of using a cab car. They typically run two locos back-to-back so can simply run around.
I don't think cab cars were used.
 

lenaitch

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I don't think cab cars were used.
It was mentioned in a conversation involving you in posts 1316-1317.

I realized later that the last few posts have been discussing the proposed Northlander, not operations of the Polar Bear Express. We don't know what they are planning for the Northlander. It could well be more rebuilt former GO unilevels.
 

micheal_can

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I wonder if this election Fideli's job is on the line if the Northlander hasn't returned by the election?

It was mentioned in a conversation involving you in posts 1316-1317.

I realized later that the last few posts have been discussing the proposed Northlander, not operations of the Polar Bear Express. We don't know what they are planning for the Northlander. It could well be more rebuilt former GO unilevels.
No mention of cab cars.
 

lenaitch

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Post 1317 replying to Allendale25:

Quote
I've been wondering the same. I wonder if there are long-term benefits to having bi-directional capability. Maybe order one of the new GO cab coaches from Thunder Bay? cc @smallspy

I remembering hearing they tried those on the PBX and they were unsuitable for the tracks. I don't know about the rest of the line.


End Quote



Regardless; we are all fencing in the dark until ONTC reveals its service proposal and what it plans to deliver it with.
 

Bordercollie

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Post 1317 replying to Allendale25:

Quote


I remembering hearing they tried those on the PBX and they were unsuitable for the tracks. I don't know about the rest of the line.

End Quote



Regardless; we are all fencing in the dark until ONTC reveals its service proposal and what it plans to deliver it with.
But to get new rolling stock it's at least a 3 year process. So we would need to put it out to tender now.

How about taking a GO bi level and changing out the seats to be more comfortable for long distance travel?
 

smallspy

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If nothing else, I imagine train control cabling would have to be run end-to-end.
That is true, but hardly a deal-breaker. VIA's already done that with their HEP2 coaches, and a small subset of the baggage cars - they weren't built with that capability.

Wouldn't you still need to turn the train? Since the freight cars are at the back of the train. Unless you rearrange the train going southbound to have the cab car infront. But then you would need MU cables on the freight cars. Is that even possible? Or have the locomotives in the middle and tow the freight cars?
Again, I guess that depends on how the service is configured. If there are freight cars to be brought along, there seems to me to be no reason why they couldn't just run around them and tack them on to the other end of a bi-directional trainset. No difference than using locos to pull a train, although you're running the whole train around rather than just the locos.

There have certainly been historical precedents to having a small, dedicated fleet of freight cars that have been specially modified to run with passenger trains, so I don't see why that couldn't be the case here. But that raises the question - does this train need to pull "regular" freight with it at all? ONR never did with the Northlander. And the Polar Bear is mostly a small dedicated fleet, with cars from further afield only once in a while. (ONR still runs a bi-weekly-ish freight up to Moosonee, which will handle anything that the Polar Bear can't or won't.)

Not my photos.

I doubt they would run it in reverse. I don't see how ticketing and access are a problem.
I doubt that they would run the Polar Bear in reverse - the cab car question seemed to stem more from its potential use on a recreated Northlander. But, that said, it is absolutely possible to do so if the ONR wanted to standardize on some new fleet.

They apparently had issues with people "hiding" from the staff by moving around the cars while they were in transit. While this could be changed via small operational changes - two staff handling ticketing instead of just one - there are also costs associated with this. Do those higher costs balance out the cost of the new rolling stock? I don't know.

How about taking a GO bi level and changing out the seats to be more comfortable for long distance travel?
Absolutely possible. Hawker-Siddeley and later SNC Lavalin tried quite hard to position the BiLevel design for long-distance and corridor-type service. It doesn't seem that Bombardier continued along this vein, preferring to focus on more specialized designs as the need required.

Dan
 

micheal_can

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Post 1317 replying to Allendale25:

Quote


I remembering hearing they tried those on the PBX and they were unsuitable for the tracks. I don't know about the rest of the line.

End Quote



Regardless; we are all fencing in the dark until ONTC reveals its service proposal and what it plans to deliver it with.

Ah, my mistake. I was referring to bilevels, not the cab cars of the bilevels.

But to get new rolling stock it's at least a 3 year process. So we would need to put it out to tender now.

How about taking a GO bi level and changing out the seats to be more comfortable for long distance travel?

That could be done within a short period in the North Bay shops. I think ti more has to do with the sway of the upper level that is concerning.
 

lenaitch

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That is true, but hardly a deal-breaker. VIA's already done that with their HEP2 coaches, and a small subset of the baggage cars - they weren't built with that capability.


Again, I guess that depends on how the service is configured. If there are freight cars to be brought along, there seems to me to be no reason why they couldn't just run around them and tack them on to the other end of a bi-directional trainset. No difference than using locos to pull a train, although you're running the whole train around rather than just the locos.

There have certainly been historical precedents to having a small, dedicated fleet of freight cars that have been specially modified to run with passenger trains, so I don't see why that couldn't be the case here. But that raises the question - does this train need to pull "regular" freight with it at all? ONR never did with the Northlander. And the Polar Bear is mostly a small dedicated fleet, with cars from further afield only once in a while. (ONR still runs a bi-weekly-ish freight up to Moosonee, which will handle anything that the Polar Bear can't or won't.)


I doubt that they would run the Polar Bear in reverse - the cab car question seemed to stem more from its potential use on a recreated Northlander. But, that said, it is absolutely possible to do so if the ONR wanted to standardize on some new fleet.

They apparently had issues with people "hiding" from the staff by moving around the cars while they were in transit. While this could be changed via small operational changes - two staff handling ticketing instead of just one - there are also costs associated with this. Do those higher costs balance out the cost of the new rolling stock? I don't know.


Absolutely possible. Hawker-Siddeley and later SNC Lavalin tried quite hard to position the BiLevel design for long-distance and corridor-type service. It doesn't seem that Bombardier continued along this vein, preferring to focus on more specialized designs as the need required.

Dan

There is some confusion, including on my part, on what goes on with the Polar Bear Express and what might be with a renewed Northlander. Of course, none of us know what the ONTC/Government has planned for rolling stock, but it could boil down to refurbishing ex-GO bi-levels for long-haul service or refurbishing very ex-GO single levels, which I think ONTC still has a fair stable of. I highly doubt they will be looking for new.

In terms of power, I honestly don't anticipate anything new or particularly innovative; perhaps something off the Used Locomotive Lot, possibly with HEP.
 

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