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VIA Rail

White Pine

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So I guess we continue with rebuilding 50 year old equipment.

Well I mean the siemens cars are already in delivery. If VIA had been in procurement or had just awarded the contract it could have been an idea (not taking any technical specifications into account) but at this point it would be a waste of, well, everything.
 

Bordercollie

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Well I mean the siemens cars are already in delivery. If VIA had been in procurement or had just awarded the contract it could have been an idea (not taking any technical specifications into account) but at this point it would be a waste of, well, everything.
Don't forget the entire order is likely going to take two more years.

The LRC's are failing fast. The only other option is to reduce the service until the new fleet arrives.
 

nfitz

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Don't forget the entire order is likely going to take two more years.

The LRC's are failing fast. The only other option is to reduce the service until the new fleet arrives.
If VIA bought someone else's used equipment, it could easily be 2 years before it saw service. How long, for example, would it take to make them wheelchair accessible?

They can start retiring the worst LRC cars immently. If it's only 2 years until all the new cars are here, they should be able to keep up with the impending failures.

Worst come to worse, they can borrow some cars from GO or Ontario Northland for a couple of train sets, for some of the shorter runs.
 

Bordercollie

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If VIA bought someone else's used equipment, it could easily be 2 years before it saw service. How long, for example, would it take to make them wheelchair accessible?

They can start retiring the worst LRC cars immently. If it's only 2 years until all the new cars are here, they should be able to keep up with the impending failures.

Worst come to worse, they can borrow some cars from GO or Ontario Northland for a couple of train sets, for some of the shorter runs.
The Talgo's are ADA compliant. And have their own HEP generator. Just need a transport Canada waver and a maintenance agreement with Talgo. You would also need to train mechanics and crews and modify the maintenance center to be compatible.

If they can lease GO transit equipment that would be easier but why have they not done that to bring the morning Kingston train back?
 

littlewill1166

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They got sold to St Jacobs.

Need more than a few RDC's to fill the gap.
They've been raising prices...

Discount Tuesday is now a shell of its former self, and don't get me started on the Rail Pass replacement.


The gap can be filled in many ways (increasing supply/decreasing demand).
 

smallspy

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agreed for bus class. via cheaped out and just put a spacer between 2 economy seats and called it their business product. truthfully i wont care about the space between seats if the seats were
wider and more comfortable. Are the floors carpetted for bus class btw?
The last equipment that offered a different seat between classes was the blue-and-yellow equipment, and that was retired in the early 1990s.

The LRCs and HEP2 cars have always used the same seats for both classes, just spaced or configured differently.

Dan
 

Urban Sky

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The LRC's are failing fast. The only other option is to reduce the service until the new fleet arrives.
They can start retiring the worst LRC cars immently. If it's only 2 years until all the new cars are here, they should be able to keep up with the impending failures.
LRC cars are already retiring as we speak, which is exactly why certain services won't get restored until the delivery of new fleet has offset these losses.

The Talgo's are ADA compliant. And have their own HEP generator. Just need a transport Canada waver and a maintenance agreement with Talgo. You would also need to train mechanics and crews and modify the maintenance center to be compatible.

If they can lease GO transit equipment that would be easier but why have they not done that to bring the morning Kingston train back?
1) Given the current delivery schedule of the Siemens trainsets and the set-up time for making the Talgos operational in the Corridor, for how long do you think the Talgos would actually useful to VIA?
2) How could the acquisition of the Talgos possibly represent value-for-money for the Canadian taxpayer?
3) Why don't you take the Toronto-to-London GO train and report to us how comfortable these trains are for 2+ hour trips...?

They've been raising prices...

Discount Tuesday is now a shell of its former self, and don't get me started on the Rail Pass replacement.


The gap can be filled in many ways (increasing supply/decreasing demand).
As much as I disagree with the low priority commuters apparently enjoy with VIA throughout the pandemic, the decision to basically abandon the customer segment with the lowest yields (revenue per pax-km) appears to me like an economically rational decision when faced with a severe capacity shortage. Why offer commuter passes if you can fill the same (finite) seat with a passenger paying 2-3 times as much? The question, however, is whether they will still come back once VIA declares itself open for their business again...
 
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Bordercollie

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LRC cars are already retiring as we speak, which is exactly why certain services won't get restored until the delivery of new fleet has offset these losses.


1) Given the current delivery schedule of the Siemens trainsets and the set-up time for making the Talgos operational in the Corridor, for how long do you think the Talgos would actually useful to VIA?
2) How could the acquisition of the Talgos possibly represent value-for-money for the Canadian taxpayer?
3) Why don't you take the Toronto-to-London GO train and report to us how comfortable these trains are for 2+ hour trips...?


As much as I disagree with the low priority commuters apparently enjoy with VIA throughout the pandemic, the decision to basically abandon the customer segment with the lowest yields (revenue per pax-km) appears to me like an economically rational decision when faced with a severe capacity shortage. Why offer commuter passes if you can fill the same (finite) seat with a passenger paying 2-3 times as much? The question, however, is whether they will still come back once VIA declares itself open for their business again...
Travelling more than 2 hours on a GO train is not ideal however it is better than nothing.

For Kingston to Toronto it's not the best but it's tolerable and would be more comfortable than taking Megabus (which has gotten worse post pandemic).
 

littlewill1166

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As much as I disagree with the low priority commuters apparently enjoy with VIA throughout the pandemic, the decision to basically abandon the customer segment with the lowest yields (revenue per pax-km) appears to me like an economically rational decision when faced with a severe capacity shortage. Why offer commuter passes if you can fill the same (finite) seat with a passenger paying 2-3 times as much? The question, however, is whether they will still come back once VIA declares itself open for their business again...
I agree that it's the pragmatic thing to do. But, VIA hasn't done a great job at communicating what it plans to do in the future, leading to uncertainty. It's really difficult to be a long-term frequent rider, as a pass holder, if the conditions of your pass keep on changing every year. Even before the pandemic, the student pass was changed multiple times.
  • 2016/2017 - There was only one unlimited student pass without blackout dates.
  • 2018 - A flex pass and a non-flex pass were introduced with the non-flex pass having 4 blackout dates.
  • Early 2019 - There were 8 blackout dates on the non-flex pass.
  • Fall 2019 - The student pass was reduced to 50 segments/semester, "free" tickets are bookable in escape class only with discounts for economy/economy plus.
  • Fall 2020 - Student pass cancelled.
I mean, just imagine if the TTC, STM, or OC Transpo did the following to their monthly pass:
  • 2017 - Unlimited rides, no blackout dates.
  • 2018 - One pass for all-day use, another for off-peak only.
  • 2019 - Unlimited passes eliminated, because of capacity constraints. Monthly pass riders have to pay extra if the bus is over 50% capacity, and are limited to 50 rides per month.
  • 2020 - Monthly pass cancelled, single trip fares are variable based on demand.
At this point, there's a question of if VIA will even offer comparable pass products in the future. I really hope that If VIA decides to relaunch their pass products, they don't change the conditions of use for those products every year and rather just increase the prices. If a municipal transit agency did what VIA did, I doubt that it would be seen as acceptable.
 

Urban Sky

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I agree that it's the pragmatic thing to do. But, VIA hasn't done a great job at communicating what it plans to do in the future, leading to uncertainty. It's really difficult to be a long-term frequent rider, as a pass holder, if the conditions of your pass keep on changing every year. Even before the pandemic, the student pass was changed multiple times.
  • 2016/2017 - There was only one unlimited student pass without blackout dates.
  • 2018 - A flex pass and a non-flex pass were introduced with the non-flex pass having 4 blackout dates.
  • Early 2019 - There were 8 blackout dates on the non-flex pass.
  • Fall 2019 - The student pass was reduced to 50 segments/semester, "free" tickets are bookable in escape class only with discounts for economy/economy plus.
  • Fall 2020 - Student pass cancelled.
I mean, just imagine if the TTC, STM, or OC Transpo did the following to their monthly pass:
  • 2017 - Unlimited rides, no blackout dates.
  • 2018 - One pass for all-day use, another for off-peak only.
  • 2019 - Unlimited passes eliminated, because of capacity constraints. Monthly pass riders have to pay extra if the bus is over 50% capacity, and are limited to 50 rides per month.
  • 2020 - Monthly pass cancelled, single trip fares are variable based on demand.
At this point, there's a question of if VIA will even offer comparable pass products in the future. I really hope that If VIA decides to relaunch their pass products, they don't change the conditions of use for those products every year and rather just increase the prices. If a municipal transit agency did what VIA did, I doubt that it would be seen as acceptable.
Unlike a transit agency (and most intercity railroads in Europe), VIA can only sell the same seat once. Given the current shortages on the supply side, why would VIA sell passes which allow passengers paying, say, $20 per trip to reserve a seat if you might have to turn a passenger willing to pay $100 for that same seat away?

I'm pretty sure you've seen the concept of "opportunity cost" at some point in your studies...
 

littlewill1166

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Unlike a transit agency (and most intercity railroads in Europe), VIA can only sell the same seat once. Given the current shortages on the supply side, why would VIA sell passes which allow passengers paying, say, $20 per trip to reserve a seat if you might have to turn a passenger willing to pay $100 for that same seat away?

I'm pretty sure you've seen the concept of "opportunity cost" at some point in your studies...
That wasn't really my point. My point was that VIA shouldn't keep on changing the conditions of use for their passes every year since it introduces uncertainty. Rather, they should just change the price of the pass (like municipal transit agencies do). There isn't anything stopping VIA from charging $100/segment (the old BizPak pass did this).

All I ask for is predictability and certainly relating to the conditions of use. I still remember the rug pull feeling back in 2019 when VIA cut thier unlimited pass down to 50 segments booked in escape right before my semester was supposed to start. It makes it harder for someone to commit to taking VIA long term if VIA only offers short term products that change frequently on short notice.

I acknowledge the constraints VIA is under, but the lack of advance notice to the frequent changes to those products isn't very conducive to retaining long term frequent riders. For example the new midweeker pass has a last possible travel date of February 2, 2023. Someone who buys this pass and plans on using VIA long term has no idea if they'll be able to continue using this pass in the future or budget their travel costs beyond this date with any reasonable certainty.
 

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