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Author Topic: rail in north america  (Read 2245 times)

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Offline sdog

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rail in north america
« on: October 14, 2010, 07:49:18 PM »
i'm moving my off-topic from the pak128.USA thread  here. as i don't want to bloat it too much.

here's my ot posting:
Quote
ot: those engines fascinated me quite a lot since i arrived here. very primitive, but apparently still economically enough. I live 1km away from the tracks in downtown toronto and i can hear the engines, that's the actual motors!

I only had the luck to see one of the trains rolling once so far. in fact 3 trains where running partially parallel. one extremely long, from the second i saw only the end, but the third one -- behind the second -- i saw entirely. I lost count, but the length was between 40 and 50 cars, with double stacked containers. Obviously no tunnels or catenary in eastern canada! The first train could have been even longer, i couldn't see beginning or end.

Quite fascinating was also to watch, and more importantly listen, to it stopping and starting again at a signal. I was surprised how much the space between wagons changes.

[...]

ps.: i went on a trip to montreal, in summer. just 600 km, but definitely too far to use a car. it took me 7h with the bus. a pitty there's no usable passenger rail network available.

Lmallet's reply:
Quote
I lost count, but the length was between 40 and 50 cars, with double stacked containers. Obviously no tunnels or catenary in eastern canada!
There are a few tunnels in eastern Canada, and I know at least one in northern New Brunswick which was modified 20 years ago to allow for double stacks.  The 2nd St. Clair tunnel between the US and Canada (Sarnia, Ontario) was built with double-stacks in mind.  http://www.tunnels.mottmac.com/projects/?id=3352&mode=type.  There is catenary in Montreal, but no freight trains use that line.

Quote from: sdog on Today at 02:26:00
ps.: i went on a trip to montreal, in summer. just 600 km, but definitely too far to use a car. it took me 7h with the bus. a pitty there's no usable passenger rail network available.
VIA Rail is actually not that bad on the Quebec-Windsor corridor, Toronto-Montreal is usually a 5h trip, and there are plenty of trains.  I find it more confortable than the bus, and often less of a hassle than flying.  Toronto-Vancouver is another story, I don't think I could stay on a train for 5 days.

my reply
oh, by useable i actually meant the cost, the cheapest VIA return trip did cost more than i paid for the whole week in montreal. Or 9 times the bus fare. 1.5 to 2 times the price would have been acceptable to me for the better comfort and speed.

i think VIA seems to market mostly to seniors who don't care for money but like comfort or nostalgia.

5 h should easily beat flying: check-in, security, boarding, being there really early (and toronto's airport being quite difficult to reach) i wonder why they don't try to appeal to business passengers. (train has more comfort, more space for working, and you just have to get to the train station a few minutes before departure.

i've just googled images on google with the option to show only images with faces:
Code: [Select]
site:www.bahn.deand
Code: [Select]
site:www.viarail.ca
roughly half of the bahn faces should show helpfull employes. the rest mostly customers. divided in roughly 1/3 children, 1/3 casual/recreational travelers and about 1/3 with business clothing.

on VIA's site google found only about 20 face pictures, one has a suit, and is VIA's president.
boarding
without the face filter, bahn shows mostly maps,
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 07:58:35 PM by sdog »

Offline ӔO

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Re: rail in north america
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 09:38:36 PM »
some of the interesting yards around toronto.
Junction stockyards, Keele/St. Claire, stretching across to Jane/Dundas always has triple level auto racks, Automax/AVC type, along with the older model bi-level steel racks.
Islington GO train stockyards.

There is also yard at Regional rd 7/ regional rd 6 (slightly above 407 and jane), but it's pretty desolate and not that safe to be there, although it's quite a view with binoculars. There are yards at at kipling/North queen and DVP/Gardiner hwy, but they're not visible from the street.

freight trains move in and out at night, presumably to keep GO train running on schedule without getting stuck behind slow freight trains.

Offline Lmallet

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Re: rail in north america
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 10:09:05 PM »
oh, by useable i actually meant the cost, the cheapest VIA return trip did cost more than i paid for the whole week in montreal. Or 9 times the bus fare. 1.5 to 2 times the price would have been acceptable to me for the better comfort and speed.
I totally agree.  VIA is extremely expensive.  I only use them when they have their 60% off sales.   When they have the 60% sales all their trains are booked solid.  You would think they would learn something from this.

i think VIA seems to market mostly to seniors who don't care for money but like comfort or nostalgia.

5 h should easily beat flying: check-in, security, boarding, being there really early (and toronto's airport being quite difficult to reach) i wonder why they don't try to appeal to business passengers. (train has more comfort, more space for working, and you just have to get to the train station a few minutes before departure.
I can understand catering to the older crowd for their long distance trains, such as the Canadian, the Ocean and the Chaleur.  However, the corridor trains are essentially buses on rails (well, at least the LRC and the old Budd VIA1 stock, the renaissance cars are a step up).  They make most of their money on the corridor lines, yet they seem to understand them the least.


some of the interesting yards around toronto.
There is also CP's Toronto Yard on Markham Rd., north of Sheppard.  You can get a good view from the overpass on Markham Rd., which crosses 4 tracks I beleive.

Offline sdog

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Re: rail in north america
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 12:05:02 AM »
This is the streetview from that markham road overpass i think.


Offline ӔO

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Re: rail in north america
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 05:12:46 AM »
that's a lot of autoracks at the Markham yard

I guess that yard is connected to the factories at Oshawa.

Offline sdog

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Re: rail in north america
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 03:33:26 PM »
i see, autoracks are closed in canada. i was looking for something like this:

Offline Lmallet

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Re: rail in north america
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 10:25:21 PM »
i see, autoracks are closed in canada. i was looking for something like this:


Yep, apparently CN Rail was the first to cover their autoracks.  From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autorack:

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The only problem left was that the new autorack cars did not provide any protection from flying debris or from the weather. In the manner CN had developed in the 1950s, in the 1970s other North American railroads began refining their autorack cars. They began installing side sheathing to protect the vehicles from impact and debris. Roofs were added to most autoracks in the 1980s, as railroads modified their bridge and tunnel clearances to accept them. End doors were added in the latter portion of the decade, both to prevent damage and to deter people from boarding the cars and riding the vehicles loaded in them.