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VIA Rail
Last time I took the trip I took the GO train to Toronto and transferred to Via there. Saved me a lot of money.
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(01-13-2018, 10:25 AM)bgb_ca Wrote: Last time I took the trip I took the GO train to Toronto and transferred to Via there. Saved me a lot of money.

This is a couple of years back now but I booked a trip Kitchener-Ottawa on Via’s website and it put me on GO between Kitchener and Toronto. I mean it gave me that option and I took it. On the way back the Via was a bit late so I ended up with about 5 minutes to navigate to the proper platform with 2 kids and board the GO. We made it but I did wonder what would have happened if we missed it — there were no specific announcements about what connecting passengers should do.
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You can't transport a bicycle from here to Toronto on a VIA train, but you can on a GO train. (I've done it once when I got lucky and the VIA train happened to have a baggage car, but they don't promise that.) For my April trip I'm thinking of biking to YYZ and then taking the plane out, and the train back.

The rules are here:

http://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/bag...dard-items

Toronto-Montreal with a bicycle on Fridays has to be the 11:30 train (VIA 64). I don't think you have to box your bike. I've seen people just get their bike delivered off the train, ready to ride. The rules seem to say that the bicycle can be on a different train than you.

(I am going to Jonquiere in February, but I'll take the plane; the train seems to take 2x as long. I'm curious about the route. It probably does not go near a highway.)

It seems like you'd be looking at an overnight in Montreal to take the train to Jonquiere.

I'm curious about the rule where it says "if there is a transfer, you have to box the bicycle". That doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

@ijmorlan: I guess that VIA would re-issue a ticket if you missed a transfer to GO, but by default they issue a fixed-time ticket for GO (which is not a very good deal, since paying with PRESTO is much more flexible and the same price). The GO connections seem to be kind of second-class for VIA personnel. They do tell you what to do for VIA-VIA connections.
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(01-13-2018, 04:16 PM)plam Wrote: You can't transport a bicycle from here to Toronto on a VIA train, but you can on a GO train. (I've done it once when I got lucky and the VIA train happened to have a baggage car, but they don't promise that.) For my April trip I'm thinking of biking to YYZ and then taking the plane out, and the train back.

The rules are here:

http://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/bag...dard-items

Toronto-Montreal with a bicycle on Fridays has to be the 11:30 train (VIA 64). I don't think you have to box your bike. I've seen people just get their bike delivered off the train, ready to ride. The rules seem to say that the bicycle can be on a different train than you.

(I am going to Jonquiere in February, but I'll take the plane; the train seems to take 2x as long. I'm curious about the route. It probably does not go near a highway.)

It seems like you'd be looking at an overnight in Montreal to take the train to Jonquiere.

I'm curious about the rule where it says "if there is a transfer, you have to box the bicycle". That doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

@ijmorlan: I guess that VIA would re-issue a ticket if you missed a transfer to GO, but by default they issue a fixed-time ticket for GO (which is not a very good deal, since paying with PRESTO is much more flexible and the same price). The GO connections seem to be kind of second-class for VIA personnel. They do tell you what to do for VIA-VIA connections.

I believe Via has a train or two with a bike rack, so you don't need to box your bike.  I don't know about transfers, I'm not even sure there is a transfer which has bike options on both legs.  

Out of curiosity, how did you take your bike on GO, I thought all our trains qualified as rush hour trains, and thus bikes were prohibited.  I've taken my bike on the GO bus once, the experience was acceptable, although it was a little nerve wracking having a bike on the front of a bus on the highway.

I have wanted to take my bike to Montreal, but have never been able to figure out an option which didn't seem like more trouble than just renting bikes there (where was pretty easy).  If you find a way, please let me know.  

As for missed connections, I know if you book book all your legs in one trip, even if some are on GO, Via should guarantee your transfers.  I didn't do that (because Via only books GO Train, not GO Bus), and as a result of very slow busses I missed my connection (I was pretty steamed that 3.5 hours was insufficient time to get to Union station).  I called Via as it became apparent that I would miss the connection, and when I got to union (at one minute past departure time) the Via attendant there was able to book me on the next train (which was the next day sadly).  They told me calling ahead was a good idea.
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(01-13-2018, 04:48 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: I believe Via has a train or two with a bike rack, so you don't need to box your bike.  I don't know about transfers, I'm not even sure there is a transfer which has bike options on both legs.  

Out of curiosity, how did you take your bike on GO, I thought all our trains qualified as rush hour trains, and thus bikes were prohibited.  I've taken my bike on the GO bus once, the experience was acceptable, although it was a little nerve wracking having a bike on the front of a bus on the highway.

I have wanted to take my bike to Montreal, but have never been able to figure out an option which didn't seem like more trouble than just renting bikes there (where was pretty easy).  If you find a way, please let me know.  

As for missed connections, I know if you book book all your legs in one trip, even if some are on GO, Via should guarantee your transfers.  I didn't do that (because Via only books GO Train, not GO Bus), and as a result of very slow busses I missed my connection (I was pretty steamed that 3.5 hours was insufficient time to get to Union station).  I called Via as it became apparent that I would miss the connection, and when I got to union (at one minute past departure time) the Via attendant there was able to book me on the next train (which was the next day sadly).  They told me calling ahead was a good idea.

Via says most of their trains with baggage trains also have bike racks, but maybe you might get unlucky and get one without a bike rack. You can transfer from the Corridor (Toronto-Montreal) to the Ocean (Montreal-Halifax) and both of those trains have baggage cars (sometimes); that is the itinerary I'm planning for in April. The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver) also has baggage cars.

I can't remember when I took my bike on GO or which bike I took. I have a suspicion it was my folding bike, which is always allowed. I have access to bikes at my parents' place in Montreal as well, so I don't usually rent bikes there. I can't remember if I took my bike on a GO bus and whether I put it in the hold. I have taken skis on GO buses. But it looks like the last train of the day to Kitchener leaves at 6:50pm, which is outside rush hour.

I missed a Via-Via connection once when the train from Kitchener got delayed by a demolition in Toronto which didn't go as planned and impinged on the tracks, so we had to backtrack and take an alternate route. That's when they rebooked me, despite separate itineraries.
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Another Via tip this far out might be to check their Discount Tuesday promotions. You may get lucky and have one of your segments show up as discounted.
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Sad Sad Sad

LRC’s are officially getting the axe.

http://m.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/fleet-renewal

HOWEVER

Quote:
  • 9,100 passenger seats, provided by 32 bi-directional trainsets to replace the cars and locomotives in service along the Québec City-Windsor corridor.

This basically means we’re getting the new Brightline sets that Siemens just built.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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I had heard a couple of weeks ago that this was a go, but I didn't see it in the budget announcements, so glad to know it's confirmed.

Since this needs to go through a tender process, what alternatives might there be to Siemens sets?
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How many seats and trainsets are currently on the corridor?
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They have 98 LRC coaches in service:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Vi..._stock#LRC
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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Doing the math from Canard's link that's 6040 seats, so seems like this is going to be a capacity upgrade. I just hope it doesn't result in being squished in like GO, as a tall person I've always appreciated the additional space on VIA.
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Didn't they just refurbish the LRC trains? Many have all new seating and interiors. I was under the impression they would last decades longer after this?
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Will the new ones be more accessible?

Will the new ones have the same floor height? (Didn't VIA just raise a few platforms like Ottawa for level boarding?)
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(02-28-2018, 11:04 PM)taylortbb Wrote: Doing the math from Canard's link that's 6040 seats, so seems like this is going to be a capacity upgrade. I just hope it doesn't result in being squished in like GO, as a tall person I've always appreciated the additional space on VIA.
Not necessarily. VIA intends to replace the HEP 2 and Renaissance cars used in the Corridor as well.
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(03-01-2018, 12:12 AM)D40LF Wrote:
(02-28-2018, 11:04 PM)taylortbb Wrote: Doing the math from Canard's link that's 6040 seats, so seems like this is going to be a capacity upgrade. I just hope it doesn't result in being squished in like GO, as a tall person I've always appreciated the additional space on VIA.
Not necessarily. VIA intends to replace the HEP 2 and Renaissance cars used in the Corridor as well.

Ahh right.  That is sad, the stainless steel was kind of iconic.  

Where are the renaissance cars used?  I've hard of them but never seen one.
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