Discussion:
Ocean nearly two hours late into Halifax - but why?
(too old to reply)
Alex Roberts
2005-11-20 03:26:58 UTC
Permalink
I returned to Halifax from Montreal this evening (Saturday) on the
Ocean. It was one hour and 46 minutes late. According to one VIA
employee we were delayed due to a broken rail; according to another it
was due to an "air (brake?) hose problem," and a third wrote it off to
going "in the hole" for several freights. Alas, I have often found VIA
train personnel to be woefully lacking in terms of "knowing what's
going on" aboard their own trains.

Whatever the reason, in typical VIA style there was absolutely no
communication or announcement of any sort to the passengers via the
intercom as to why were delayed or indeed how long we were running
behind schedule.

There was a very light passenger load and I sat in one of the sterile
and uncomfortable REN service cars from Moncton without having to
share it with a single fellow passenger.

Indeed, without a dome car to at least provide a panoramic view and
perhaps some company, this trip would have to go down as perhaps the
most boring and uneventful of my 100+ plus Ocean excursions.

Oh, and the heater in my room (sleeper) wasn't working so I damn near
froze.

PS When does the late penalty kick in? (i.e a reduction in your next
VIA ticket price due to a late train)





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Terry
2005-11-20 04:19:38 UTC
Permalink
Alex I know of someone who works for the CN, & I can get the official word
on why your Train was delayed. Give me a day to get back to you on it.
Post by Alex Roberts
I have often found VIA
train personnel to be woefully lacking in terms of "knowing what's
going on" aboard their own trains.
Whatever the reason, in typical VIA style there was absolutely no
communication or announcement of any sort to the passengers via the
intercom as to why were delayed or indeed how long we were running
behind schedule.
Maybe you had a Train Crew who doesn't really keep their Passengers up to
date on things? I've had the opposite experience compared to what you have
had. I've had Train Crews keep the Passengers up to date on Delays, & why
the Train has been sitting for a great deal of time.
Post by Alex Roberts
Indeed, without a dome car to at least provide a panoramic view and
perhaps some company, this trip would have to go down as perhaps the
most boring and uneventful of my 100+ plus Ocean excursions.
Well I know the feeling of riding a Train w/ no dome on it. Makes it pretty
boring when your sitting there, & no where to really look out to see what's
ahead of you. When I went to Toronto on #2 back in Oct, & prior to arriving
into Toronto we hit & killed a Pedestrain at a level crossing. Once the
Service Manager informed us that we hit a Pedestrian, a lot of ppl. headed
for the Park Car, & were looking out the back window, & also the out of the
Dome Windows of the Incident. I also find that in the Park Car in the Lower
Level ppl. tent to socialize w/ each others. As far as the Ren. Equipment
goes it is not on my good list. I did the overnight Train (Tor-Mtrl) 2 years
ago. & had a sleeper. I was not impressed w/ the Equipment at all!
Post by Alex Roberts
PS When does the late penalty kick in?
Here is the info taken from VIA's Website on Late Trains, & what type of
Credit you will receive:
Travel credit eligibility for delayed trains
This travel credit chart is provided for your information. Eligibility for
the following travel credits also varies according to the length of your
journey. If you make a transfer during your trip, the final destination
determines the amount and terms of your credit (e.g.: for a trip from
Halifax to Toronto, Corridor terms will apply.).

Train Delay Credit Grace period
Québec City-Windsor corridor
Credit valid for 6 months 1 hour 50% 5 minutes
4 hours or more 100% 10 minutes
Chaleur (Montréal-Gaspé), Ocean (Montréal-Halifax), Bras d'Or
(Halifax-Sydney)
Credit valid for 6 months 2 hours or more 50% * 10 minutes
12 hours or more 100% * 10 minutes
Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver)
Credit valid for 12 months 4 hours or more 50% * 10 minutes
12 hours or more 100% * 10 minutes
Skeena, Hudson Bay, Abitibi, Saguenay (Northern trains)
Credit valid for 6 months 2 hours or more 50% * 10 minutes
12 hours or more 100% * 10 minutes
* Credits calculated on the basis of Comfort class (Economy).





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Tom Box
2005-11-20 04:33:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
I returned to Halifax from Montreal this evening (Saturday)
on the Ocean. It was one hour and 46 minutes late.
[...]
There was a very light passenger load and I sat in one of the
sterile and uncomfortable REN service cars from Moncton without
having to share it with a single fellow passenger.
Did you eat in the dining car? How was it?
Post by Alex Roberts
PS When does the late penalty kick in? (i.e a reduction in
your next VIA ticket price due to a late train)
Two hours for the Ocean. See
<URL:http://www.viarail.ca/planner/en_plan_aide_reta_pop.html>
and <URL:http://www.viarail.ca/planner/en_plan_aide_reta.html>.

The above page mentions a "grace period" of 10 minutes. What
does that mean? Does it mean the train has to be 2 h 10 min
late before you get a credit? If so, why doesn't VIA just
say so?

Tom Box <tbox-***@public.gmane.org> or <cz610-KuiJ5kEpwI52agKppZcdFSwD8/***@public.gmane.org>
Toronto, ON, Canada


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28pfds
2005-11-20 15:23:17 UTC
Permalink
Actually, it's the other way around. You get the credit if the train is 1
hour 50 minutes late or more. The grace period is for the customer's
benefit.
Two hours for the Ocean. See
<URL:http://www.viarail.ca/planner/en_plan_aide_reta_pop.html>
and <URL:http://www.viarail.ca/planner/en_plan_aide_reta.html>.
The above page mentions a "grace period" of 10 minutes. What
does that mean? Does it mean the train has to be 2 h 10 min
late before you get a credit? If so, why doesn't VIA just
say so?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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Tom Box
2005-11-20 15:36:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by 28pfds
Two hours for the Ocean. See
<URL:http://www.viarail.ca/planner/en_plan_aide_reta_pop.html>
and <URL:http://www.viarail.ca/planner/en_plan_aide_reta.html>.
The above page mentions a "grace period" of 10 minutes. What
does that mean? Does it mean the train has to be 2 h 10 min
late before you get a credit? If so, why doesn't VIA just
say so?
Actually, it's the other way around. You get the credit if
the train is 1 hour 50 minutes late or more. The grace period
is for the customer's benefit.
Excellent, and thanks for the clarification. I'll repeat
my question: "Why doesn't VIA just say so?" Why not say
there's a travel credit if the train is 1 h 50 min late,
instead of 2 h with a 10 min grace period? As you see,
I misunderstood the meaning of "grace period", and I'm sure
at least some other people would, too.

Tom Box <tbox-***@public.gmane.org> or <cz610-KuiJ5kEpwI52agKppZcdFSwD8/***@public.gmane.org>
Toronto, ON, Canada


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David Jeanes
2005-11-20 19:58:23 UTC
Permalink
Why not say there's a travel credit if the train is 1 h 50 min late, instead
of 2 h with a 10 min grace period? As you see, I misunderstood the meaning
of "grace period", and I'm sure at least some other people would, too.
Since it is up to the customer to request the VIA credit for future travel,
it seems to me that this is a directive to VIA staff not to argue with the
customer if the delay was marginally shorter than two hours.

So the customer really doesn¹t need to know about the grace period.

A number of car parking authorities offer a grace period of 5 minutes, so
that they don¹t get into protracted arguments with motorists who say that
they were just under the limit. Yet you never see the advertised parking
rate based on 25 or 55 minutes.

David Jeanes


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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Lyman Holmes
2005-11-20 20:31:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Jeanes
Why not say there's a travel credit if the train is 1 h 50 min late, instead
of 2 h with a 10 min grace period? As you see, I misunderstood the meaning
of "grace period", and I'm sure at least some other people would, too.
Since it is up to the customer to request the VIA credit for future travel,
it seems to me that this is a directive to VIA staff not to argue with the
customer if the delay was marginally shorter than two hours.
I would think that many people reading about a credit for a two hour
delay would be inclined not to request a credit at all if the train
was one hour fifty-one minutes late.

I don't travel all that frequently but I have never been on a late
Via train where the availability of the credit was announced by Via
on-board personnel or by Via station personnel at the departing or
arriving station. What has been the experience of others on this
list? I was on the Ocean back in 2003 when it was five hours late.
I discussed the lateness of the train several times with Via
personnel at the station that I was departing from and with the
service manager several times after I was on board. At no time was
there any mention of a credit so I didn't claim one (part of this
post is sour grapes of course).

Knowledge is power or equals a credit anyway.

Lyman Holmes





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Tom Box
2005-11-20 22:02:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lyman Holmes
Post by David Jeanes
Why not say there's a travel credit if the train is
1 h 50 min late, instead of 2 h with a 10 min grace
period? As you see, I misunderstood the meaning of
"grace period", and I'm sure at least some other people
would, too.
Since it is up to the customer to request the VIA credit
for future travel, it seems to me that this is a directive
to VIA staff not to argue with the customer if the delay
was marginally shorter than two hours.
I would think that many people reading about a credit for a
two hour delay would be inclined not to request a credit at
all if the train was one hour fifty-one minutes late.
That's my feeling too. I don't want to feel that I'm being
pushy or argumentative or demanding something I'm not entitled
to, so if the rules said "two hours", that's what I'd go by.
On the other hand, I'd be quite annoyed if I learned that
VIA was giving out travel credits to the pushy people who
claimed the train was two hours late when it was really a
few minutes short of that, and not to me because I didn't
know that was the policy, and so didn't ask for a credit.

In reality, VIA does let passengers know there's a grace
period, as discussed previously in this thread. They just
don't explain clearly on the web site what this grace period
means. Now we know what it means, thanks to Alan, but not
every reader of the VIA web site does.
Post by Lyman Holmes
I don't travel all that frequently but I have never been
on a late Via train where the availability of the credit was
announced by Via on-board personnel or by Via station personnel
at the departing or arriving station. What has been the
experience of others on this list?
I've heard announcements about the late travel credit made
on board the train by the service manager on several
occasions. I'd say it is announced more often than not,
but, unfortunately, there are times when it isn't announced.

The same it true when it comes to informing passengers about
the reasons for delays and how long they can be expected to
last. Some service managers do an excellent job of this,
others don't.

In those cases when passengers weren't fully informed, there
may be extenuating circumstances. Maybe the SM was busy
dealing with some sort of crisis, or maybe he/she was as much
in the dark as we were.

Tom Box <tbox-***@public.gmane.org> or <cz610-KuiJ5kEpwI52agKppZcdFSwD8/***@public.gmane.org>
Toronto, ON, Canada


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ghadfield-H/o5m1bt5BgsA/
2005-11-20 23:18:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Box
I've heard announcements about the late travel credit made
on board the train by the service manager on several
occasions. I'd say it is announced more often than not,
but, unfortunately, there are times when it isn't announced.
The same it true when it comes to informing passengers about
the reasons for delays and how long they can be expected to
last. Some service managers do an excellent job of this,
others don't.
That's been my experience too.

On a trip from Truro to Edmonton in 1998, the Ocean was five hours late into
Montreal due to problems with a freight on the NBEC. It had broken a coupler,
and we were kept well informed until it got too late in the evening for
announcements.

The Late Train Credit was announced prior to arrival into Montreal but when I
went to claim it a couple of months later it was at first denied as the
Canadian had actually arrived in Edmonton, my final destination, a half hour
early.

In 1998 the connection in Montreal was #15 to #57. Then overnight in Toronto
connecting to #1 the following morning. With the Ocean being five hours late,
everyone was put on #65.

I had booked a stopover in Montreal to have lunch with some friends and was
taking #65 to Toronto anyway. When I explained this to the agent and noted I
had actually paid extra to stopover on a discount ticket, I was given the Late
Train Credit.

Gary



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Tom Box
2005-11-20 23:54:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by ghadfield-H/o5m1bt5BgsA/
The Late Train Credit was announced prior to arrival into
Montreal but when I went to claim it a couple of months
later it was at first denied [...] When I explained this
to the agent and noted I had actually paid extra to stopover
on a discount ticket, I was given the Late Train Credit.
As far as I can tell, the credit has to be calculated by hand.
You give your ticket stub to the agent, and tell him (her) the
train was late. He checks the computer to verify that it
really was late, then pulls out a pen and a scrap of paper
and calculates the credit.

For a simple one-way coach trip, this is completely
straightforward, but for trips involving connections or
sleeper accommodations or special discounts, the rules
get complicated, and sometimes the agents get the wrong
answer when they figure out the credit. I'm sure there's
no intention to cheat the passenger -- it's just hard for
the agents to know all the rules for all of the cases that
can arise on rare occasions. If the credit is for a large
amount, it might be worth your while to contact VIA and
get an expert from head office to do the calculation.
Ask for an explanation if the result doesn't make sense
to you. My experience is that VIA very much wants to treat
passengers fairly, but they can't know you have a problem
unless you ask them about it.

Tom Box <tbox-***@public.gmane.org> or <cz610-KuiJ5kEpwI52agKppZcdFSwD8/***@public.gmane.org>
Toronto, ON, Canada


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Ken V
2005-11-21 05:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Box
In those cases when passengers weren't fully informed, there
may be extenuating circumstances. Maybe the SM was busy
dealing with some sort of crisis, or maybe he/she was as much
in the dark as we were.
That could be the case. In my limited experience, in terms of train
delays, the SM usually only knows what the Engineers pass along.

Ken Voelker, Toronto





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Brian Gilhuly
2005-11-20 22:11:25 UTC
Permalink
On the handful of corridor trains I've been on that were late enough to
qualify, the availability of the credit has always been announced. When I've
been on late Chaleurs, they have been turned at New Carlisle and passengers
bussed to Gaspé.

Brian
Mile 41
Chalk River Sub
Ottawa Valley Railway

-----Original Message-----
From: Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org
[mailto:Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Lyman Holmes
Sent: November 20, 2005 15:31
To: Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org
Subject: Re: [CanPassRail] Grace periods for late credits


I don't travel all that frequently but I have never been on a late
Via train where the availability of the credit was announced by Via
on-board personnel or by Via station personnel at the departing or
arriving station. What has been the experience of others on this
list? I was on the Ocean back in 2003 when it was five hours late.
I discussed the lateness of the train several times with Via
personnel at the station that I was departing from and with the
service manager several times after I was on board. At no time was
there any mention of a credit so I didn't claim one (part of this
post is sour grapes of course).

Knowledge is power or equals a credit anyway.

Lyman Holmes




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davidmississauga
2005-11-20 15:10:16 UTC
Permalink
--- In Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org, "Alex Roberts"
<***@h...> wrote:
...
. Alas, I have often found VIA
Post by Alex Roberts
train personnel to be woefully lacking in terms of "knowing what's
going on" aboard their own trains.
Whatever the reason, in typical VIA style there was absolutely no
communication or announcement of any sort to the passengers via the
intercom as to why were delayed or indeed how long we were running
behind schedule.
*** That has not been my overall experience. Some service managers
are better than others for communicating with the passengers, but I
find that more often than not there is at least some reasonable
information.
Post by Alex Roberts
There was a very light passenger load and I sat in one of the
sterile
Post by Alex Roberts
and uncomfortable REN service cars from Moncton without having to
share it with a single fellow passenger.
*** I had a one-way trip on the Ocean just a few days after the Park
car was removed for the season. While it was certainly missed, I
found the "re-seated" service car's lounge to be comfortable. It no
longer feels that I am going to slide on to the floor as it did with
the originally seating.

In the 1970s I travelled a few times on CN's Ocean and Scotian
which, naturally, didn't carry a Park car. The mid-train lounges
(such as "Bon Voyage" and "Harmonie") were not very pleasant. They
were full-length lounges, of course, but half of the car was walled
off to form a bar-lounge. My wife and I spent little time in them.
Although the seats were comfortable enough, the predominant colour
of the upholstery was bright purple, the artwork was coloured
splotches (CN went wild in the 1970s with this style of art, putting
it in dining cars and first class club cars as well as the lounges,)
and horribly bright fluorescent lighting poured through the false
ceiling. The Renaissance lounges, with their faux wood panelling,
mirrors and subdued lighting, are more restful. Of course, they
should be bigger, but perhaps one day VIA will install some seating
in the wasted standing room.

...
Post by Alex Roberts
Oh, and the heater in my room (sleeper) wasn't working so I damn near
froze.
*** I have always found the sleeper rooms (13 trips in total between
the Enterprise and the Ocean) to be a little cool, but being too
warm can induce "sea sickness" in a lot of people. From my
experience, the coldest winter nights I have spent on a train have
been in a roomette. The reason is obvious: the heat comes from a
radiator near the floor under the window and as the bed fills 90% of
the room, the heat is trapped there. A couple of times on the
Canadian I have had to add my winter coat to the duvet for comfort.

I found the off-season Renaissance menus to be only slightly simpler
than those offered this past summer season. Although the hot
breakfast was so-so, I enjoyed the seafood and pasta dinner and the
chicken mandarin salad for lunch.

David Brain,
Mississauga, Ont.







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Mark W. Walton
2005-11-20 15:59:19 UTC
Permalink
On most if not all Corridor trains I have been on, the Service Manager
is the only crew member who has a radio, so he/she is the only one who
knows what's happening. Is that also the case on the Ocean or the
Canadian?

Mark Walton
mark.walton-***@public.gmane.org

---- Original Message ----
From: davidmississauga
To: Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org
Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2005 10:10 AM
Subject: [CanPassRail] Re: Ocean nearly two hours late into Halifax -
but why?
Post by davidmississauga
*** That has not been my overall experience. Some service managers
are better than others for communicating with the passengers, but I
find that more often than not there is at least some reasonable
information.
David Brain,
Mississauga, Ont.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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Terry
2005-11-21 04:15:27 UTC
Permalink
When I was out East in Oct I noticed a few Crew Members had Radios on them
b/c they were manning Vestibule Doors.
As for the Long Haul Trains (#1/2, #14/15, #16/17) majority of the Crew
Members have Radios, except for the Dining Car Staff, & some Sleeping Car
Attendants, as they have Monitors instead. All the Crew Radios use the same
Channel to Communicate to the Head End. But actual Communication between the
Head End & the rest of the Train is through the Onboard Service Manager. At
Night when the Service Manager is off Duty, the person in charge at night is
next in command.
Post by Mark W. Walton
On most if not all Corridor trains I have been on, the Service Manager
is the only crew member who has a radio, so he/she is the only one who
knows what's happening. Is that also the case on the Ocean or the
Canadian?
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I.W.P.
2005-11-21 04:22:17 UTC
Permalink
I always carry my scanner when I travel VIA. Therefore the crew are not the
only ones to know what is going on. BTW I always use an earpiece in order
not to disturb anyone else.

Ian
Dorval, QC


When I was out East in Oct I noticed a few Crew Members had Radios on them
b/c they were manning Vestibule Doors.
As for the Long Haul Trains (#1/2, #14/15, #16/17) majority of the Crew
Members have Radios, except for the Dining Car Staff, & some Sleeping Car
Attendants, as they have Monitors instead. All the Crew Radios use the same
Channel to Communicate to the Head End. But actual Communication between the
Head End & the rest of the Train is through the Onboard Service Manager. At
Night when the Service Manager is off Duty, the person in charge at night is
next in command.
Post by Mark W. Walton
On most if not all Corridor trains I have been on, the Service Manager
is the only crew member who has a radio, so he/she is the only one who
knows what's happening. Is that also the case on the Ocean or the
Canadian?
For help, send an email to Canadian-Passenger-Rail-help-***@public.gmane.org
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Keith
2005-11-21 22:55:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by I.W.P.
I always carry my scanner when I travel VIA. Therefore the crew are not the
only ones to know what is going on. BTW I always use an earpiece in order
not to disturb anyone else.
Ian
Dorval, QC
What frequency/ies do they use? I'm presently on business in Toronto
and don't have access to my Trackside Guide.

Regards,
Keith - OTTAWA, Canada
va3qf-bJEeYj9oJeDQT0dZR+***@public.gmane.org






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wpfefferle
2005-11-21 23:10:25 UTC
Permalink
These are the ones I use for VIA

VIA. 459.2250 and 160.2000

Walter Pfefferle
Ingersoll Ontario
http://geocities.com/railpast

----- Original Message -----
From: Keith
To: Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 5:55 PM
Subject: Re: [CanPassRail] Crew Radios
What frequency/ies do they use? I'm presently on business in Toronto
and don't have access to my Trackside Guide.

Regards,
Keith - OTTAWA, Canada
va3qf-bJEeYj9oJeDQT0dZR+***@public.gmane.org





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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Hugh
2005-11-20 16:30:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
There was a very light passenger load and I sat in one of the
sterile
Post by Alex Roberts
and uncomfortable REN service cars from Moncton without having to
share it with a single fellow passenger.
Indeed, without a dome car to at least provide a panoramic view and
perhaps some company, this trip would have to go down as perhaps the
most boring and uneventful of my 100+ plus Ocean excursions.
Oh, and the heater in my room (sleeper) wasn't working so I damn near
froze.
You don't seem to have much luck travelling on the Ocean. Did you
not have a similar experience on a previous trip? Did you ask for
someone to correct the problem? If the passenger load was as light
as you indicate they should have easily been able to move you to
another room. Why suffer unnecessarily? These sorts of problems
seem to be the exception rather than the norm. They don't show up on
the list that often.





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I.W.P.
2005-11-20 16:39:27 UTC
Permalink
I would think that the majority of passengers who use The Ocean or any other
Passenger train in Canada are NOT members nor contributors to this list.

Therefore I would not expect to see every incident reported here.

Ian
Dorval, QC


These sorts of problems
seem to be the exception rather than the norm. They don't show up on
the list that often.






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Hugh
2005-11-20 17:57:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by I.W.P.
I would think that the majority of passengers who use The Ocean or any other
Passenger train in Canada are NOT members nor contributors to this list.
Therefore I would not expect to see every incident reported here.
Ian
Dorval, QC
True enough, but a number of list members seem to travel on the Ocean
on a frequent basis and I don't recall any of them having reported
the sorts of trouble mentioned in the original post. My point was
that these sorts of problems are not a common occurrence. They may
happen more often than is reported on the list but they still remain
uncommon. I also don't think that posting that one had a bad
experience without also posting the failed steps, if any, taken to
change the situation, really is that informative. I would be more
concerned if a complaint about a cold room had been treated with
contempt by the OBS than that the room was cold in the first place.
Mechanical things don't always work. In the current competitive
travel world I would be very surprised if the OBS made no effort to
resolve such a serious problem but if they didn't know there was a
problem in the first place then they can't be expected to fix it.

Cheers,

Hugh
Woody Point, NL





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Gary Hadfield
2005-11-20 17:51:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
There was a very light passenger load and I sat in one of the sterile
and uncomfortable REN service cars from Moncton without having to
share it with a single fellow passenger.
Indeed, without a dome car to at least provide a panoramic view and
perhaps some company, this trip would have to go down as perhaps the
most boring and uneventful of my 100+ plus Ocean excursions.
A co-worker's girlfriend has traveled several times recently between
Truro and Campbellton and loved the "new" trains. Especially being able
to have an individual seat to herself and the large tray table for a
laptop. She spent some time in the "service car" and has had several
meals in the diner. No complaints at all.

Last trip home was on a Budd set and she wasn't nearly as impressed and
much preferred the "Renaissance" equipment. Having the use of a dome car
on Budd set meant nothing to her.

Gary






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Lyman Holmes
2005-11-20 18:39:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
Indeed, without a dome car to at least provide a panoramic view and
perhaps some company, this trip would have to go down as perhaps the
most boring and uneventful of my 100+ plus Ocean excursions.
I have travelled on the Ocean in pre-dome CN days but I was much more
impressed by being able to view the topography of the countryside in
the sections that I travelled between Halifax and Campbellton. I
also contrast my trips on the CP Canadian with a dome with those on
the CN Super Continental without a dome (except Jasper-Vancouver in
1971). You just get to appreciate the landscape so much better from
a dome (or even an Amtrak sightseer lounge car although I prefer a
standard dome).

I am going to miss the Ocean skyline cars and since I don't often
travel by easterly class, the summer Park car probably won't do much
for me. All things being equal, give me a dome wherever trains roam
and the skies are not cloudy all day.

So while I don't wish difficulty on Via, I am hoping that somehow Via
has to rearrange it priorities and is forced to postpone the
introduction of the third and final Ocean Ren set for years.

We have not seen many posts which contrast the Ocean patronage on the
two Ren sets in use vs. the single Budd set. Is there any
difference? Is the public aware that they have a choice? Or is the
patronage virtually the same? I assume employees on the Ocean have
some opinion on this.

Lyman Holmes






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davidmississauga
2005-11-20 19:09:48 UTC
Permalink
--- In Canadian-Passenger-Rail-***@public.gmane.org, "Lyman Holmes"
<***@y...> wrote:
...
Post by Lyman Holmes
So while I don't wish difficulty on Via, I am hoping that somehow Via
has to rearrange it priorities and is forced to postpone the
introduction of the third and final Ocean Ren set for years.
*** From information received from various VIA personnel on my Halifax
trip earlier this month, there is a target date of May next year for
the introduction of the third Ren. set. The people who told me this
have not forgotten that the introduction of the first two consists was
delayed, so they acknowledge the same could happen with the third.
Reservia, by the way, is showing the Budd consist for the forseeable
future, i. e. Oct. 12th 2006.
Post by Lyman Holmes
We have not seen many posts which contrast the Ocean patronage on the
two Ren sets in use vs. the single Budd set. Is there any
difference? Is the public aware that they have a choice? Or is the
patronage virtually the same? I assume employees on the Ocean have
some opinion on this.
*** That is an interesting question, Lyman. I have not asked any on
board crew about this, but they did tell me what I already knew: that
November is a very slow month for most VIA routes, not just the
Ocean. For passengers with maximum flexibility, I would say that the
Budd consists might be more popular for those who prefer economical
sections to a double bedroom or don't want to pay the modest
supplement for single occupancy of same. Then there are those of us
who like drawing rooms, which are an affordable extravagance in the
east. (Actually, a drawing room if booked for its capacity of three
costs less than a double room plus a roomette or three roomettes.)

As an aside, my sleeping car attendant told me that when the Ren.
equipment was first introduced she hated it so much she considered
resigning. She told me she now prefers it to the Budd equipment,
especially after some modifications had been made.

David Brain,
Mississauga, Ont.






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Tom Box
2005-11-20 22:23:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by davidmississauga
For passengers with maximum flexibility, I would say that the
Budd consists might be more popular for those who prefer
economical sections to a double bedroom or don't want to pay
the modest supplement for single occupancy of same.
That's the case for me. I'm planning a trip on the Ocean
early next year. Though I've been critical of the Ren
equipment in the past, I don't believe I'm insanely prejudiced
against it, and I would like to try out a Ren sleeper some
time. (I've made six trips in Ren coaches, but none yet
in a sleeper.)

All I want from sleeping car accommodation is a place to lie
down flat for the night, since I can't sleep at all well
sitting up. On the Budd Ocean, the cheapest sleeper
accommodation for one is an upper berth, at $328 plus taxes
for a Montreal - Halifax round trip. On the Ren Ocean,
the cheapest accommodation is a double bedroom at $492 plus
taxes. That's a difference of $164, or 50% more for the Ren.
I'm not so eager to try out a Ren sleeper that I want to pay
that much more.

Add in the absence of a dome on the wintertime Ren Ocean
and the choice of Budd over Ren becomes easy for me. I
can understand the view of Gary's friend who doesn't care
about the dome, but I don't share it. Like Lyman, I enjoy
dome cars very much.

If I were doing the trip in summer when the Ren trains have
a Park car, and if I were doing it on VIA Preference points
so that no cash outlay was involved, then I'd probably choose
a Ren consist, just to try it out. Not for my upcoming trip,
though.

Tom Box <tbox-***@public.gmane.org> or <cz610-KuiJ5kEpwI52agKppZcdFSwD8/***@public.gmane.org>
Toronto, ON, Canada


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rick_foo
2005-11-20 20:41:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
I returned to Halifax from Montreal this evening (Saturday) on the
Ocean. It was one hour and 46 minutes late. According to one VIA
employee we were delayed due to a broken rail; according to another
it was due to an "air (brake?) hose problem," and a third wrote it
off to going "in the hole" for several freights. Alas, I have often
found VIA train personnel to be woefully lacking in terms of
"knowing what's going on" aboard their own trains.
Here is the Delay Report on why you were late into Halifax Sat.
P 01421 18 DOUVIL JOFFRE 0021 TR MEET 149 OSC AT ST-APOLLINAIRE
P 01421 18 DOUVIL JOFFRE 0020 VQ BARING BREAKER JUMPED AT
DAVELUYVILLE
INSPECT TRAIN
P 01421 18 JOFFRE RIVLOU 0054 EB BROKEN RAIL MILE 86.86 MONTMAGNY
SUB
P 01421 18 RIVLOU MONCTO 0109 OF DELAY ON MVR PORTION
P 01421 18 MONCTO 0003 VP PSGRS AND LUGGAGE
So it seems all the various reasons you heard for your delay were all
true.

Ricky Leong
Calgary






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Alex Roberts
2005-11-21 14:06:53 UTC
Permalink
Right said, but perhaps a consistent more generally understood mode of
communication might have been a better way to go, rather than
word-of-mouth.

By the way, none of the VIA train folks volunteered the answers as to
why we were so late. I had to ask. And at no time was any information
offered to the overall passenger consist over the working PA system.

I can't think of too many modes of transport whereby passengers were
nearly two hours late and neither an explanation nor an apology was
offered via the PA system.

Strange business but sadly this is not an isolated incident. Indeed,
it is my opinion that VIA generally communicates quite poorly with its
passengers except perhaps to remind them about lunch or dinner sittings.

Another area of communication that should be re-thought is the
non-smoking rule. On the Ocean, (which I have traveled on more than
100 times since 1975) the non-smoking rule is usually noted just once
at the departure from Halifax and or Montréal, and perhaps again at
Moncton on the Montreal-bound run. The rule is not usually mentioned
again, despite the fact that it is in fact often ignored.

On my most recent trip, the acrid, sickening but unmistakable smell of
second-hand tobacco smoke wafted through the ventilation system in my
roomette on several occasions. However, the crew chose to ignore these
"minor" transgressions and no additional announcements were ever made.
(I note sadly, that many of the crew themselves were out on the
platforms to participate in the requisite smoking stops.)
Post by rick_foo
Post by Alex Roberts
I returned to Halifax from Montreal this evening (Saturday) on the
Ocean. It was one hour and 46 minutes late. According to one VIA
employee we were delayed due to a broken rail; according to another
it was due to an "air (brake?) hose problem," and a third wrote it
off to going "in the hole" for several freights. Alas, I have often
found VIA train personnel to be woefully lacking in terms of
"knowing what's going on" aboard their own trains.
Here is the Delay Report on why you were late into Halifax Sat.
P 01421 18 DOUVIL JOFFRE 0021 TR MEET 149 OSC AT ST-APOLLINAIRE
P 01421 18 DOUVIL JOFFRE 0020 VQ BARING BREAKER JUMPED AT
DAVELUYVILLE
INSPECT TRAIN
P 01421 18 JOFFRE RIVLOU 0054 EB BROKEN RAIL MILE 86.86 MONTMAGNY
SUB
P 01421 18 RIVLOU MONCTO 0109 OF DELAY ON MVR PORTION
P 01421 18 MONCTO 0003 VP PSGRS AND LUGGAGE
So it seems all the various reasons you heard for your delay were all
true.
Ricky Leong
Calgary
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Lyman Holmes
2005-11-21 15:41:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
Right said, but perhaps a consistent more generally understood mode of
communication might have been a better way to go, rather than
word-of-mouth.
By the way, none of the VIA train folks volunteered the answers as to
why we were so late. I had to ask. And at no time was any information
offered to the overall passenger consist over the working PA system.
In my experience in 2003, I boarded the eastbound Ocean at Campbellton
which was running 5 hours late due to a CN derailment and having to run
the Ocean on the north shore. Certainly not Via's fault.

I was well aware of the cause of the delay but in hindsight I was
surprised that the otherwise excellant and helpful station personnel at
Campbellton did not mention that I would be entitled to a credit during
the several times I went to the station for an update on the Ocean's
progress. Nor did the service manager mention this when my ticket was
taken after boarding.

Perhaps of course the credit had been carefully explained to each and
every passenger boarding at Montreal and each and every station between
Montreal and Campbellton and the service manager (who was otherwise a
very helpful person) due to fatigue forgot to mention it further.

I am sorry that I didn't get my credit (and perhaps several hundred
passengers didn't get theirs either) but at least I am wiser now, I
think. I had an enjoyable trip anyway but I felt sorry for some of the
passengers such as one lady who was enroute to Moncton for her cancer
treatment and missed it due to the late train. I hope she got her
credit.

This of course is one example of how many people in the Maritimes still
seem to use the Ocean for basic, non-Easterly class, transportation. I
can't imagine many people take the Canadian to and from medical
appointments.

Lyman Holmes







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Tom Box
2005-11-21 21:22:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Roberts
I can't think of too many modes of transport whereby passengers
were nearly two hours late and neither an explanation nor an
apology was offered via the PA system.
Public address announcements offering apologies for late arrivals
are commonplace on trains in southern Quebec and Ontario, even
when the delay is half an hour or so -- not long enough to
qualify for a travel credit. I'm pretty sure the phrasing
for these announcements is given in the service manager's
manual.
Post by Alex Roberts
Strange business but sadly this is not an isolated incident.
Indeed, it is my opinion that VIA generally communicates quite
poorly with its passengers except perhaps to remind them about
lunch or dinner sittings.
Now that you mention it, I agree that there is very little use
of the PA on the Ocean, except for an announcement at the start
of the trip mentioning the emergency exits (probably required
by Transport Canada), and first and last calls for meals.

One can go too far in the opposite direction -- I wouldn't
want a constant stream of announcements -- but information
on delays would certainly be welcome.

Tom Box <tbox-***@public.gmane.org> or <cz610-KuiJ5kEpwI52agKppZcdFSwD8/***@public.gmane.org>
Toronto, ON, Canada


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Keith
2005-11-22 00:27:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by wpfefferle
These are the ones I use for VIA
VIA. 459.2250 and 160.2000
Walter Pfefferle
Ingersoll Ontario
http://geocities.com/railpast
Thanks, Walter!

Regards,
Keith
va3qf-bJEeYj9oJeDQT0dZR+***@public.gmane.org





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