When we were back in Ontario, heard a blurb on CTV that Rupert would be suspending service but I unfortunately didn’t hear all of the report. Has anyone heard if this is a possibility? Have checked online but can’t seem to find anything. I am hoping that I just heard the “blurb” wrong!
I have heard that they may bring service down to four days from six but no word on cutting service completely.
VIA Rail is a Federal Crown Corporation, right?
I think I read somewhere that the Conservatives are thinking about selling it off, or just cutting back to the Windsor-Quebec routes.
Edit: This is all I could find: “Canada May Sell Part of VIA Rail, Cut Routes as Costs Rise, Documents Show”
Those damn Conservatives!
How about this - a Via Engineer is newly retired and the posting for his recently vacated position doesn’t list a change in terms of service. His service run includes Rupert so it seems the route is safe - at least for now.
Service is already 3 days has been for years…
Rupert - George Sun, Wed, Fri
George - Rupert Sat, Thurs, Mon
think the story is that the cross canada route will be cut since it doesn’t make money and Harper and company is cutting via’s funds
I’ve always felt that VIA’s main problem is that someone else owns the lines and passengers are considered third-class freight. I went up to Terrace for New Year’s. The train back was a horror story. It was supposed to leave Terrace at 6:30, arrived into Terrace at 8:30. We set off, and about half way, we hit some extremely heavy, wet, sticky snow and got stuck. So they sent an engine in to yank us out…which got stuck. So they sent an engine in the other way, rail employees with shovels working their tails off to shovel that heavy hard morass of snow to make sure they didn’t get stuck, and they got us, pulling us out backwards. They then pulled us back to Terrace by two, and then we sat on a siding for an hour while the important freight all went through ahead of us, since they got the rescue engine out. We set off again at four, and end up stopped near the port because there’s a freight train resting on the tracks. Fifteen minutes later, the port let us go through their siding to get through, hat tip to them, and we got in to Rupert at 7:30 am. By the time we had all got into taxis and I got to my front door, it was 8:30.
VIA’s corporate response: a credit for the worth of my ticket ($20) to ride them again.
Why would I want to?
Compare this with the Japanese trains I encountered when I was over there. If they were 30 SECONDS behind schedule, they were apologizing to you for making you late. Two minutes, they offered notes to your work explaining that the train had been late to anyone who asked. Other than an eight hour wait after a 5.9 earthquake, I don’t remember ever being even the two minutes late. You could set your watch on the trains.
I don’t blame the folks on the train; or the poor guys out there at 1 am shovelling. But if someone from VIA or CN corporate had been on that train, I suspect we would have had a slightly different experience.
I have never had a bad experience travelling with Via, its a very enjoyable way to get to Terrace or all the way to PG. As for what happened to wmcduff…shit happens. You can’t predict what the weather will be like especially in the winter, plus being New Year’s Eve. Travel Greyhound in the winter and you can pretty much expect the bus to be delayed. Speaking of Greyhound I don’t know how they can afford to run as many buses up here. I traveled to Terrace on Saturday morning and there was only 3 passengers going.
jamesbrown - three days each way adds up to six and thus two days each way will add up to four…
I ride Via every six weeks PG - PR and back. Since February 2011 the train has gotten in to either station on time maybe 1/2 dozen times. I haven’t been stuck on an all nighter like wmcduff experienced (my hubby was one of the guys trying to shovel you out that night and yes it totally sucked for all involved!) but even with the delayed arrivals it is a great way to travel and very economical. During the winter I would much rather travel on the train than drive any part of the road especially with my kids. I will be very disappointed if service ever ends up being cut altogether.
I should note that I love travelling by train…I just wish that the pressures on VIA could be lifted so it sucked less, and there was the money behind it to make it the efficient, useful, environmentally friendly and generally awesome form of transport it could be. Oh well. We should eventually see high-speed in the St. Lawrence valley and probably Calgary-Edmonton-(Fort MacMoney?), and maybe Vancouver-Seattle-Portland. Here’s hoping at any rate.
Oh, and I was heading to Edmonton this winter and checked the train first. I’d have to overnight in Prince George, and wait 22 hours in Jasper. Both ways. C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding me…