News   Nov 30, 2022
 281     0 
News   Nov 30, 2022
 971     0 
News   Nov 29, 2022
 2.1K     1 

VIA Rail

Bordercollie

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
1,020
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 may be true but they may be able to utilize the same seat with multiple customers on one
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.
I think part of the reason for the change is that the trains that catered towards the morning commuter market were cancelled, due to covid and still have not returned due to equipment issues.

Why offer passes when those trains are not running?

Eventually when things do come back, it would be nice if they could have schedules for people to get to Ottawa for their morning meetings (not from Toronto but maybe Kingston).
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,462
Reaction score
3,428
Location
Montreal
That may be true but they may be able to utilize the same seat with multiple customers on one
What do you estimate is the ratio of passengers willing to travel the 5pm train on a commuter pass from Toronto to Cobourg/Belleville/Kingston vs. the number of passengers boarding at these stations towards Montreal?
 

Bordercollie

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
1,020
What do you estimate is the ratio of passengers willing to travel the 5pm train on a commuter pass from Toronto to Cobourg/Belleville/Kingston vs. the number of passengers boarding at these stations towards Montreal?
The train can continue to Montreal. I was just suggesting that the timing match commuting times from Kingston to Toronto or Brockville to Ottawa for 9am.

Currently the last train leaves for Montreal around 5:30 which makes it a bit tight if you are working until 5pm. Unfortunately there are no options for an evening train, maybe 7pm?
 

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
8,371
Reaction score
14,760
It is tempting to dismiss the outcry - if people can’t absorb the reality that VIA’s fleet has shrunk and can no longer protect all its pre-covid runs, more explanation won’t help.

The question is, how long will it be until new deliveries outpace LRC retirements. Until there are enough new trainsets in service to make up that deficit, the return of 651 is just not going to happen. Even VIA may not know how many LRC’s can last that long.

However -The pressure being exerted by advocacy is absolutely critical, otherwise I am sure that the Ottawa bureaucracy and maybe the Cabinet also will gladly let this service fade away as a “temporary” suspension that becomes permanent. Possibly VIA has enough other opportunities to run its new fleet more profitably on other runs that (given a fixed order size) this run doesn’t figure in its plans either.

With so little transparency and so much anti-pax sentiment in Ottawa, there is no room to trust here. So I believe that the advocates should simply ignore the logistical realities and keep pushing….. I’m cynical enough to think that even after there is equipment. The odds of getting this train back may be less than 50-50

A much clearer commitment that the service will be retained is needed

- Paul
 
Last edited:

Bordercollie

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
1,020
It is tempting to dismiss the outcry - if people can’t absorb the reality that VIA’s fleet has shrunk and can no longer protect all ots pre-covid runs, more explanation won’t help.

The question is, how long will it be until new deliveries outpace LRC retirements. Even VIA may not know how many LRC’s can last that long. Until there are enough new trainsets in service to make up that deficit, the return of 651 is just not going to happen.

However -The pressure being exerted by advocacy is absolutely critical, otherwise I am sure that the Ottawa bureaucracy and maybe the Cabinet also will gladly let this service fade away as a “temporary” suspension that becomes permanent. Possibly VIA has enough other opportunities to run its new fleet more profitably on other runs that (given a fixed order size) this run doesn’t figure in its plans either.

With so little transparency and so much anti-pax sentiment in Ottawa, there is no room to trust here. So I believe that the advocates should simply ignore the logistical realities and keep pushing….. I’m cynical enough to think that even after there is equipment. The odds of getting this train back may be less than 50-50

A much clearer commitment that the service will be retained is needed

- Paul
When the LRC's had axle issues they leased GO trains to fill the gap.

We are already running GO trains from London to Toronto. It's just a matter of political will power.

Why dont those mayor's and MP's ask Metronlinx to operate the train. Use Presto E-tickets as they do with London.
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,462
Reaction score
3,428
Location
Montreal
The train can continue to Montreal. I was just suggesting that the timing match commuting times from Kingston to Toronto or Brockville to Ottawa for 9am.
I'm not sure what argument you are trying to make, but a train bringing you to Toronto and Ottawa in time for 9am will always be way too early for anyone working on a similar schedule and commuting into places like Kingston or Brockville. In fact, that's why #651 only started in Kingston (at a ungodly 5:32 am).

The same hold in the opposite direction: anyone finishing work in Belleville or Kingston around 5pm will try to catch train #66 rather than #68:

1664564949125.png


Currently the last train leaves for Montreal around 5:30 which makes it a bit tight if you are working until 5pm. Unfortunately there are no options for an evening train, maybe 7pm?

The last train (#668) departs at 18:02 (see schedule above) and anything later would make the train less attractive for people who wish to be home before midnight. For those passengers living along the line to Ottawa, there is a train leaving half an hour later (#48@18:32), which stops at every single station inbetween...
 

CapitalSeven

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
978
Reaction score
670
VIA is arguing that under HFR, service along the lakeshore would be reoriented to be convenient for passengers living between Kingston and the three larger cities. But at this point that's the very service they are not willing or able to provide. Hmmm 🤔
 

Bordercollie

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
1,020
VIA is arguing that under HFR, service along the lakeshore would be reoriented to be convenient for passengers living between Kingston and the three larger cities. But at this point that's the very service they are not willing or able to provide. Hmmm 🤔
There is a proposal to make Kingston a hub, which would have more trains travel from Kingston as a starting point.

I hope they are going to build more bus services there because currently it's really inconvenient to access it by transit.
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,462
Reaction score
3,428
Location
Montreal
VIA is arguing that under HFR, service along the lakeshore would be reoriented to be convenient for passengers living between Kingston and the three larger cities. But at this point that's the very service they are not willing or able to provide. Hmmm 🤔
Which is why I‘ve already argued before that not running #651 is rather self-defeating, as it is very important to exactly those Lakeshore communities which on paper stand to lose with HFR, unless the government allows VIA to keep sufficient frequencies to develop a schedule focused on the needs of these intermediary stops and their markets…
 

dowlingm

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
3,898
Reaction score
1,753

I know that these are being retired because they don't meet crash standards, but they must be safer and more modern than what VIA has now?

Plus they could be used until the Siemens trains are in service.

Would this be a realistic option?
The “commuter“ Talgo VIIIs that Wisconsin Republicans refused to put in service ended up in Nigeria. I suspect it’s the most likely destination for these, otherwise some other overseas destination or the scrapper. Certainly not a North American Railroad given the reasons they are available for sale in the first place.
 

felix123

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
486
Reaction score
835
I just got the marketing email from VIA this morning, but it didn't specify a date for the new trainsets.
Does anyone happen to know the start date and/or train numbers? I am hoping to surprise my partner with business class tickets TOR-MTL aboard the new whip!
 

drum118

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
18,318
Reaction score
17,042
Location
Mississauga, where cars rule city growth
This is from VIA today

Crew training is the next step before going into service either late this year or early 2023

 

Top