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03-04-2016, 07:06 PM
I was looking for a VIA Rail thread and couldn't find one (which tells you something!). In any event, an interesting piece in The Record about testing of refurbished, self-propelled railcars from the 1950s for use on a possible third daily run between Kitchener and Toronto. I seem to recall riding this kind of railcar to get to Toronto years ago.
03-04-2016, 07:59 PM
They're called RDC's or Budd Cars and yeah it's great to see them get some use again! Rapido trains even rescued one, you can follow along with their story on their blog.
03-04-2016, 09:50 PM
Another term is DMU, or Diesel Multiple Unit - self-propelled passenger cars that do not have a separate engine car. Trains like these are also in use in Ontario on the Union-Pearson Express, and on the original O-Train line in Ottawa.
03-05-2016, 11:27 AM
DMU is a new term - these oldies are RDC's
03-05-2016, 02:02 PM
It would be nice to have that third train back. I'm a Londoner originally, and often have friends or family visit me here on Via, or vice versa, and there's a lot less flexibility when the only choices are 7:15 am or 7:15pm. I admit that the service, at least on the weekends, is not usually full- there's no need for five cars.
Always sad to read that Via has to "submit requests" for extra frequency on the busiest passenger rail corridor in the country.
03-05-2016, 02:38 PM
I'm presently in Europe hoping from city to city, with each leg 2-4hrs long. For all of my six train trips so far there were several trains per hour that I could choose from, and usually an express train every hour or so.
03-05-2016, 02:46 PM
(03-05-2016, 02:38 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
Yes, our train service certainly doesn't compare with most of Europe's. Two European metros of half a million people 150 kilometres apart (London and KW) would have more than twenty departures a day and respectable speeds.
But, on the topic of Via rail, for those of us who travel between Kitchener and London, it would be nice to have that third train back.
03-05-2016, 06:16 PM
Wait a second...
Quote:Andrews could not say when the new service will launch or provide a timetable. Via said last year that its new train would depart Kitchener for Toronto in the morning and leave Toronto for Kitchener in late afternoon. That's roughly in line with weekday GO trains that are also expanding this year.
That doesn't expand the range of travel times at all. Particularly since GO is expanding already.
03-05-2016, 07:06 PM
VIA does a brilliant job of representing rail travel in this country, in that it's shit!
03-05-2016, 11:17 PM
But imagine what rail travel in Canada would be like without it. It's not the greatest, but it's better than nothing.
The fact that RDCs could be reintroduced is both sad and impressive. Sad in that we're using railcars first built in the 1950s, but impressive in that the carbodies are still functional sixty years (and I believe two rebuilds) later. I'd love to see something similar to the VLocity railcars that operate out of Melbourne - or an electrified equivalent - but until then I'll take the oldies.
03-06-2016, 12:17 AM
It's barely better than nothing. It's a token service at best. Rail is one of those prime examples of build it and they will come. If the province/country had any real desire to get people using trains, they would make rail a viable option. Fact is, and evidenced by a virtual stagnation of rail, the government does not give a **** about rail. I have been an adult for 30+years and there has not been any marked improvement on rail in that time. I will gladly eat my words when and if the government (provincial or federal) does more than offer promises and actually enhances rail service between the urban centres of southern Ontario. Until then, it's nothing but the same old tired talk and I'm sick of listening.
03-06-2016, 07:12 AM
(03-05-2016, 11:17 PM)DHLawrence Wrote: I'd love to see something similar to the VLocity railcars that operate out of Melbourne - or an electrified equivalent - but until then I'll take the oldies.
Those are pretty sharp! There are all sorts of great options out there. When we were in Denmark, I fell in love with the IC3. I instantly recognized them from my childhood - VIA (and I think Amtrak) actually trailed one of these for a couple of months! It was going under the name Flex-something (Flexliner?) at the time.
I'm not the biggest fan of the styling, but something like the Class 802 trains that the UK operates might be a good "Chevy Volt" for us until we're ready to go for full electrification. They're high-speed passenger sets which can run either by an onboard diesel engine (with a hydrostatic transmission!), or electricity from pantograph, where available.
(03-05-2016, 02:46 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Yes, our train service certainly doesn't compare with most of Europe's. Two European metros of half a million people 150 kilometres apart (London and KW) would have more than twenty departures a day and respectable speeds.
I should point out that in general, when it comes to transit, increased frequency leads to increased demand. Locally we have seen it with the GO buses and the iXpress. Incidentally this also holds for highways.
In Germany in particular the fast ICE trains started with a handful of trips a day and have been increasing both frequency and capacity ever since. In fact train station platforms had to be enlarged to handle double and triple length ICEs.
03-06-2016, 08:39 AM
The TGV has the same problem - starting out with ~12 car trains, then running them as close together as possible (~3 minute headways @ 300+ km/h, insane), then putting two sets together, then designing bilevel sets (Duplex), then coupling TWO Duplexes' together at those 3 minute headways... ahhhhh, it's heaven.
03-06-2016, 04:48 PM
On the other hand, regional service in France is drying up. Canada is fortunate in that the network probably couldn't shrink much more than it has unless the rail lines to Gaspe and on Vancouver Island stay closed and take the Sudbury-White River train with them.
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