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smallspy

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Anyone know what the Ocean and Canadian usually run? I know summer is longer and winter is shorter.

The Canadian can be anywhere from 7 to 30 cars of 7 different configurations.

The length of the Ocean is a bit less variable due to the design of the Renaissance equipment, but it's usually about 14-ish cars.

I was surprised to see a train with locos on both ends, pass over me as I was walking under the tracks the other day.

Why use 2 locos and 5 coaches, if they can run 1 loco with 6 coaches? Is it for improved acceleration? I assumed it was some break-in thing ...

Is it so they don't have to turn the engine? And if so ... wouldn't some cab cars be a better deal?

The top-and-tail trainsets are used on cycles that are set up to have less turn-around time at various stations. Otherwise they would need to turn the entire train, which depending on the location can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

As for cab cars - of course they would be better. And with what funding would they have purchased them from?

The Nippon Sharyo DMU used by the UPX actually have a maximum speed of 90 mph. For regional (a.k.a. stopping) trains, that might be good enough though, as acceleration is more important than maximum speed.

The 6-speed ZF gearbox used in the Nippon-Sharyo DMUs used on the UPX is capable of operating at 140mph when coupled to the Cummins QSK-19 engine - which is also used on the UPX sets. Operationally, the trains are limited to 90mph, but have been tested at greater than that.

Dan
 

nfitz

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As for cab cars - of course they would be better. And with what funding would they have purchased them from?
We could ask that about just about anything.

Though, during the LRC purchase and Renaissance purchase would have made sense - though clearly the latter wouldn't have happened, given the used nature of the equipment.

Why they haven't looked at a few more RDCs over the years I don't know, for things like the shorter Ontario runs, etc. Do we really need full trainsets doing the commuter run to Kingston?

No question that feds shouldn't have funded more equipment years ago ...
 

roger1818

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We could ask that about just about anything.

Though, during the LRC purchase and Renaissance purchase would have made sense - though clearly the latter wouldn't have happened, given the used nature of the equipment.

As originally built, neither the LRCs nor the Renaissance cars supported bi-directional operation (the former have been since upgraded to support it, but the latter can't). I always thought they should have converted the LRC locomotives into cab cars, but with the new fleet having cab cars the whole point is moot.

Why they haven't looked at a few more RDCs over the years I don't know, for things like the shorter Ontario runs, etc. Do we really need full trainsets doing the commuter run to Kingston?

VIA tried to buy back some of the RDCs they had sold to DART when they went up for sale, but got outbid by AllEarth Rail. ref

No question that feds shouldn't have funded more equipment years ago ...

The Canadian government is not known for investing in replacement equipment when it is needed. They give new meaning to "A day late and a dollar short." LOL
 

nfitz

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The Canadian government is not known for investing in replacement equipment when it is needed. They give new meaning to "A day late and a dollar short." LOL
Indeed. Compare to GO, that have received over 140 cab cars over the last 40 years - recently replacing most of the old ones for ones with improved crash standards.

Would have 20 new cab cars for VIA, decades ago, really been more than a federal budget rounding error? Or a dozen new RDCs?
 

roger1818

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Indeed. Compare to GO, that have received over 140 cab cars over the last 40 years - recently replacing most of the old ones for ones with improved crash standards.

Would have 20 new cab cars for VIA, decades ago, really been more than a federal budget rounding error? Or a dozen new RDCs?

20 years ago VIA preferred to have trains always run in the same direction so that most passengers were sitting in a forward facing direction (favouring comfort over cost), so would have had no need for cab cars. It wasn't until sometime around 2016 (give or take) that VIA started configuring their corridor trains to make bi-directional possible. In the Summary of the 2016-2020 Corporate Plan it says:

4.4 Other Strategies

Corridor trains are being modified to operate in a bi-directional mode, meaning that equipment will be configured to travel in both directions, eliminating the need to wye the train (the process of reversing the direction of a train by performing the railway equivalent of a three-point turn), which is a time consuming and expensive manoeuvre. This will mean progressively changing the interior configuration of LRC cars to a 50/50 seating plan (50% of the seats facing one end of the car, the other 50% facing the opposite end).

The major advantage of bi-directional mode is a quicker turnaround, allowing VIA Rail to:
  • Operate more flexibly (notably in terms of scheduling);
  • React more efficiently to last-minute changes or tight scheduling;
  • Optimize fleet usage, i.e. increase frequency and capacity without adding equipment; and,
  • Alleviate station congestion issues.
50/50 seating is the standard in the passenger rail industry worldwide. SNCF, Eurostar, SLA, Amtrak and Virgin, among others, have adopted it. The first LRC Business class car with the 50/50 seating plan has already been placed into service, together with a newly refurbished LRC Economy class car with 50/50 seating. The full LRC fleet refurbishment will be completed by December 2016.

This is the first reference I can find of VIA switching to bi-directional operation (the Summary of the 2015-2019 Corporate Plan doesn't seem to mention it).

Should they have acquired cab cars in 2016? Maybe, but the new fleet was approved only a couple years later, so they would likely only have used them for about 8 years.
 

nfitz

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Should they have acquired cab cars in 2016? Maybe, but the new fleet was approved only a couple years later, so they would likely only have used them for about 8 years.
When I used to ride more frequently, they were doing bi-directional, and only changing the engine around. They simply rotated the seats between runs - which I've certainly observed them doing on a frequent basis. And then changing them myself to get a 4 - which got ugly looks. And some trains back then were double-ended with fixed seating, similar to now! When they started switching to the newer LRC rolling stock from the older 1950s and Turbo stock, it got stuck. That's the point they should have gone for cab cars.

So it's not that new of a concept.
 

smallspy

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Why they haven't looked at a few more RDCs over the years I don't know, for things like the shorter Ontario runs, etc. Do we really need full trainsets doing the commuter run to Kingston?

What makes you think that they haven't?

They bid on the lot of 12 RDCs from Dallas.

As originally built, neither the LRCs nor the Renaissance cars supported bi-directional operation (the former have been since upgraded to support it, but the latter can't). I always thought they should have converted the LRC locomotives into cab cars, but with the new fleet having cab cars the whole point is moot.

The LRCs were built from day one to support bi-directional operation. That's why they were the first non-commuter equipment in Canada built with pass-through MU lines. That's why they regularly operated with locos at both ends of the consist.

Dan
 

nfitz

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What makes you think that they haven't?

They bid on the lot of 12 RDCs from Dallas.
I meant seriously. As in issue an RFI to purchase new ones.

The LRCs were built from day one to support bi-directional operation. That's why they were the first non-commuter equipment in Canada built with pass-through MU lines. That's why they regularly operated with locos at both ends of the consist.
That's what I thought I remembered ... but Roger above seemed adamant they didn't configure the seating that way until 2016, so I started to question my own memories.
 

cplchanb

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I meant seriously. As in issue an RFI to purchase new ones.

That's what I thought I remembered ... but Roger above seemed adamant they didn't configure the seating that way until 2016, so I started to question my own memories.
On the note of MUs, NA seriously needs to catch up when it comes to this. Is there anything new out there these days that are equivalent to RDCs that we can get?
It seems like were still stuck in the 60s everytime we talk about intercity type multiple units whether itd be diesel or electric. MUs are far superior when it comes to short consists for smaller routes such as the ones to northern ontario as you dont need to waste a loco that can pull 10+ cars for a 2 car operation, plus another loco as a "cab car"
 

nfitz

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On the note of MUs, NA seriously needs to catch up when it comes to this. Is there anything new out there these days that are equivalent to RDCs that we can get?
It seems like were still stuck in the 60s everytime we talk about intercity type multiple units whether itd be diesel or electric. MUs are far superior when it comes to short consists for smaller routes such as the ones to northern ontario as you dont need to waste a loco that can pull 10+ cars for a 2 car operation, plus another loco as a "cab car"
Not sure why a version of the one's that Metrolinx purchased isn't an option.

But if you issue an RFI, you'd find out. Doesn't cost anything.
 

crs1026

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Not sure why a version of the one's that Metrolinx purchased isn't an option.

But if you issue an RFI, you'd find out. Doesn't cost anything.

Well, it costs you the engineering bill for writing the spec. You can't RFI without a spec.

Then, you'd have to see if the one Metrolinx purchased meets your spec. I'm not saying that particular model wouldn't meet VIA's spec, but I'm not assuming that it would.

And then you'd have to find bidders who have a product that they feel can meet the spec, and you'd have to induce them to writing a proposal for the RFI, and for that they'd have to be confident that you could afford their price so it's worth the effort to bid. The last bit never seems to align for VIA, because for that to happen they have to convince Ottawa that a certain number of angels will fit on the head of a pin. (To be less sarcastic, even a very pragmatic business-oriented board would insist on a business case before releasing enough money to back a credible order of DMU's)

- Paul
 
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nfitz

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If VIA hasn't gone enough engineering on staff to write a very basic RFI, in regular working hours, and just see what comes back ... then might as well just just close the entire operation, and let Transport Canada contract to private operators, with little oversight.
 
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lenaitch

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On the note of MUs, NA seriously needs to catch up when it comes to this. Is there anything new out there these days that are equivalent to RDCs that we can get?
It seems like were still stuck in the 60s everytime we talk about intercity type multiple units whether itd be diesel or electric. MUs are far superior when it comes to short consists for smaller routes such as the ones to northern ontario as you dont need to waste a loco that can pull 10+ cars for a 2 car operation, plus another loco as a "cab car"

The Northlander, the only train to northern Ontario not counting the Canadian, typically consisted of three passenger-carrying cars and could be longer if bookings increased. It would be interesting to know if there is a magic line where the costs of operating self-propelled units vs. loco-hauled diverge. I suppose the other argument, at least from a smaller road like ONR, is the locomotive power is simply part of their fleet and can probably be swapped out as needed.
 

Bordercollie

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The Northlander, the only train to northern Ontario not counting the Canadian, typically consisted of three passenger-carrying cars and could be longer if bookings increased. It would be interesting to know if there is a magic line where the costs of operating self-propelled units vs. loco-hauled diverge. I suppose the other argument, at least from a smaller road like ONR, is the locomotive power is simply part of their fleet and can probably be swapped out as needed.
Don't forget that you need to pay per axle for the generator car that doesn't generate any revenue.
Semi low floor trains would be usefull on the route to the north since the platforms are low.
How about lease some GO Bi-levels and attach a cafe car? But you will need a locomotive with a HEP generator or haul around a generator car.

Are there any F59PH's available on the used market? They would have HEP and geared for passenger service. Amtrak has P42's and P40's that will be retiring but the parts will be difficult to get once the majority of the fleet is retired.

What happened to the failed MI-Train locomotives, did they get leased out?
 

micheal_can

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The Northlander, the only train to northern Ontario not counting the Canadian, typically consisted of three passenger-carrying cars and could be longer if bookings increased. It would be interesting to know if there is a magic line where the costs of operating self-propelled units vs. loco-hauled diverge. I suppose the other argument, at least from a smaller road like ONR, is the locomotive power is simply part of their fleet and can probably be swapped out as needed.

Their passenger fleet is used equpiment, some from GO's original fleet. They use a regular engine that will do the job for it, Even the TEE was used equipment.

Don't forget that you need to pay per axle for the generator car that doesn't generate any revenue.
Semi low floor trains would be usefull on the route to the north since the platforms are low.
How about lease some GO Bi-levels and attach a cafe car? But you will need a locomotive with a HEP generator or haul around a generator car.

Are there any F59PH's available on the used market? They would have HEP and geared for passenger service. Amtrak has P42's and P40's that will be retiring but the parts will be difficult to get once the majority of the fleet is retired.

What happened to the failed MI-Train locomotives, did they get leased out?

I have always thought that one or 2 Bilevels would be better than a longer train. They could even turn a lower end into a snack car. As far as HEP, if an engine(s) were selected, there is no reason a HEP generator couldn't be installed.
 

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