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VIA Rail

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Did anyone else notice that it says initially it was "between Toronto and Ottawa, and between Montréal and Québec City" but no mention of the segment between Ottawa and Montreal?

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The tower would have held semaphores where "order boards" would have been installed - a dropped board (a semaphore) would have told the crew to stop the train and get fresh orders for the section ahead from the station agent (slow orders, take a siding to allow another train to pass, etc.).

These look like level crossing flashers put up where the old order boards were. The only reason I could see something like that would be a passenger or staff activated signal to indicate that a passenger seeks to board - a flag stop. They wouldn't be red, in this case, they'd have to be white or blue to indicate they are not a regular signal.

That's my best guess.
Thanks. Yes, I assumed the mast was from the old signaling system, and than would be my guess as well. I'd just never seen it before. Actually not a horrible idea for a flag stop. If we're right, there must be a station agent - I can't imagine it being passenger-activated (kids, ya know).
 
Thanks. Yes, I assumed the mast was from the old signaling system, and than would be my guess as well. I'd just never seen it before. Actually not a horrible idea for a flag stop. If we're right, there must be a station agent - I can't imagine it being passenger-activated (kids, ya know).

I once took a trip on the Norristown High Speed Line in suburban Philadelphia - I was determined on that trip to ride every mode of transit, which I did (even trackless trolley). I got off at a quiet stop and remember having to press a button on the platform to request the stop of the next oncoming rail car indicated by a white trackside signal.

OC Transpo had at least one of these eastbound on Highway 17 at Montreal Road - the bus would come off the highway to load if requested by pushing a beg button.

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Is it just me or post pandemic VIA pricing in the corridor is about double the Price? I get that there are additional costs and makeup for lost revenue but I think it's a bit excessive.

Also to point out that sometimes taking the train on an expensive day was on par with flying but that's not the case. One way from Ottawa to Toronto is in the $400 range.
 
Thanks. Yes, I assumed the mast was from the old signaling system, and than would be my guess as well. I'd just never seen it before. Actually not a horrible idea for a flag stop. If we're right, there must be a station agent - I can't imagine it being passenger-activated (kids, ya know).
A few stations had that style of "flag" signalling - the old CN Burlington was one. Blue lenses.

The traditional "flag" for a flag stop was green and white, was placed by passengers in a bracket. Carefully rolled up by the conductor (or passengers) before the train proceeded.

- Paul
 
A few stations had that style of "flag" signalling - the old CN Burlington was one. Blue lenses.

The traditional "flag" for a flag stop was green and white, was placed by passengers in a bracket. Carefully rolled up by the conductor (or passengers) before the train proceeded.

- Paul
Now they should be able to tell from their tablet that tells them if they have any boardings or people getting off.
 
British National Rail still operates their request stops on making your intent clear to the approaching train, which is just wave.

And it's rather unusual if you want to get off from the train.
The driver will stop at request stops unless the conductor sends a signal to skip, which only happens if someone hasn't requested to stop.
 
Is it just me or post pandemic VIA pricing in the corridor is about double the Price? I get that there are additional costs and makeup for lost revenue but I think it's a bit excessive.

Also to point out that sometimes taking the train on an expensive day was on par with flying but that's not the case. One way from Ottawa to Toronto is in the $400 range.
I have no idea what gave you this impression, but I checked for tomorrow (Sunday, August 15) and every single train between Ottawa and Toronto (and v.v.) seems to still be available for either $115 or $134, which appears to me as rather low compared to what you would have to expect on such a peak travel day pre-Covid:
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I have no idea what gave you this impression, but I checked for tomorrow (Sunday, August 15) and every single train between Ottawa and Toronto (and v.v.) seems to still be available for either $115 or $134, which appears to me as rather low compared to what you would have to expect on such a peak travel day pre-Covid:
View attachment 341394
View attachment 341395
Everything between now and September is over $100 to travel from Toronto to Ottawa even in economy class. There use to be tickets available starting at $64 on weekdays.
 
Everything between now and September is over $100 to travel from Toronto to Ottawa even in economy class. There use to be tickets available starting at $64 on weekdays.
I was replying to your absurd claim that prices were now in the $400-range:
Is it just me or post pandemic VIA pricing in the corridor is about double the Price? I get that there are additional costs and makeup for lost revenue but I think it's a bit excessive.

Also to point out that sometimes taking the train on an expensive day was on par with flying but that's not the case. One way from Ottawa to Toronto is in the $400 range.
 
From the article linked above; a table that I think might spark some discussion:

View attachment 341917

Population in Canada, 2019: 37.4 million
VIA Ridership in 2019: 5,007,753 (i.e. 133.9 annual trips per 1000 Canadians)

Population in the United States, 2019: 329.1 million
Amtrak ridership in FY 2019: 32,519,241 (i.e. 98.8 annual trips per 1000 Americans)

As long as Amtrak's per-capita ridership is one-quarter lower than that of VIA (despite a much more favorable operating environment like enforceable rights towards its host railroads and the NEC being entirely in public ownership), I'm really puzzled as to why rail fans keep looking enviously to our Southern Neighbor (of all passenger railway networks available in the world!) to get inspiration for their turnaround strategies...
 

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