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VIA Rail
#16
(03-05-2016, 02:38 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(03-05-2016, 02:02 PM)MidTowner Wrote: It would be nice to have that third train back.

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.

Yup. One thing I noticed is that European trains run with a lot less customer service staff than Via Rail. In Switzerland, all I've noticed is the occasional ticket checker, plus sometimes a food cart (which they are phasing out) and any staff in the restaurant car. On the other hand, Via Rail has at least one attendant per car, I believe.

About GO vs Via: Jeff Outhit's article (which was actually not unreasonable) did point out the fact that the Via train is noticeably faster than the GO train. It could help a bit with schedule coverage and it is nice in terms of speed.
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#17
One think I would like to see GO implement, as they get us more trains, is more of an express service. Many of their trains terminate in Georgetown; I would think letting trains from Kitchener skip most stations in Brampton, as well as low-use stations in Toronto like Malton and Etobicoke North, would save a lot of time.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#18
(03-07-2016, 03:57 AM)plam Wrote:
(03-05-2016, 02:38 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: 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.

Yup. One thing I noticed is that European trains run with a lot less customer service staff than Via Rail. In Switzerland, all I've noticed is the occasional ticket checker, plus sometimes a food cart (which they are phasing out) and any staff in the restaurant car. On the other hand, Via Rail has at least one attendant per car, I believe.

About GO vs Via: Jeff Outhit's article (which was actually not unreasonable) did point out the fact that the Via train is noticeably faster than the GO train. It could help a bit with schedule coverage and it is nice in terms of speed.

It would also be nice if a third VIA train could tighten up connection times for trains to Ottawa and/or Montreal.
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#19
(03-07-2016, 10:50 AM)KevinL Wrote: One think I would like to see GO implement, as they get us more trains, is more of an express service. Many of their trains terminate in Georgetown; I would think letting trains from Kitchener skip most stations in Brampton, as well as low-use stations in Toronto like Malton and Etobicoke North, would save a lot of time.

The run that starts from Georgetown right after the first Kitchener run is express from Bramalea; it cuts about fifteen minutes off the travel time. I don’t know why the Kitchener run isn’t made express instead, to give some relief to further-out commuters, but presumably there must be a reason.

The morning trains don’t really start filling up until after Brampton, but as more and more riders come express services will make more sense. On the Lakeshore line, some runs skip all stops from as far out as Oakville. If there could one day be enough riders to justify an express train from as far as Mount Pleasant, that would probably be some real time savings. Who knows how long it will take for ridership to justify that, though.
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#20
True enough. More time savings will surely come from double-tracking, once that can be done.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#21
(03-07-2016, 11:02 AM)panamaniac Wrote: It would also be nice if a third VIA train could tighten up connection times for trains to Ottawa and/or Montreal.

VIA will need more reliable service before they can tighten up connection times.
I was on a train from Montreal that had a 50 minute connection to the Kitchener train. (which turned out to be the exact same train, actually)
We arrived in Toronto 30 minutes late. Meaning only 20 minutes for VIA to clean and restock the train. But not just that... we ended up holding for another 25 minutes while we waited for an Ottawa train to arrive (which was about 40 minute late) and for the passengers to board.

VIA has to leave an hour between connections, or else the schedules will be blown even further out of water.

I couldn't help but compare the experience of a 50 minute layover to Japan

In Japan, a 50 minute connection means:
1) First train arrives on time
2) Walk around transfer station for 40 minutes, have lunch, get some minor shopping done in the station.
3) Arrive 5 minute early to the platform for second train
4) Leave promptly on time

In Canada, a 50 minute connection means:
1) First train arrives 30 minute late
2) Be instructed not to leave the train/waiting area, as the next train is scheduled in 20 minutes
3) Second train arrives 30 minutes late
4) Leave 40 minutes late, 90 minutes after your scheduled arrival time, having accomplished nothing.
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#22
(03-07-2016, 02:35 PM)Markster Wrote: In Canada, a 50 minute connection means:
1) First train arrives 30 minute late
2) Be instructed not to leave the train/waiting area, as the next train is scheduled in 20 minutes
3) Second train arrives 30 minutes late
4) Leave 40 minutes late, 90 minutes after your scheduled arrival time, having accomplished nothing.

That was hilarious!

You’re dead right, though, Via has no choice but to pad connection times. Too bad.

Between Kitchener and London, about four out of five trains I take or pick people up at are off schedule. The last time I went to the station with someone to buy a ticket, we were criticized for leaving it so late because it was about to arrive- but it was running early…

I just checked, and I might not even be exaggerating when I say four out of five. The On-time performance for Train 84 is 58.4% over the last twelve months- but ‘On-time’ for that train is defined as arriving at the final destination “within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time.” If it’s ten minutes early or late, it’s actually on-time, no matter what the passengers might think. And it only achieves that three out of five times. Not so good.
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#23
(03-07-2016, 02:35 PM)Markster Wrote: I couldn't help but compare the experience of a 50 minute layover to Japan

In Japan, a 50 minute connection means:
1) First train arrives on time
2) Walk around transfer station for 40 minutes, have lunch, get some minor shopping done in the station.
3) Arrive 5 minute early to the platform for second train
4) Leave promptly on time

Yes ... most train travel planning applications will have connection times as short as a few minutes (depending on the distance between platforms) -- and as a rule you will make those connections every time.

We can only dream! Sad
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#24
(03-07-2016, 02:57 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I just checked, and I might not even be exaggerating when I say four out of five. The On-time performance for Train 84 is 58.4% over the last twelve months- but ‘On-time’ for that train is defined as arriving at the final destination “within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time.” If it’s ten minutes early or late, it’s actually on-time, no matter what the passengers might think. And it only achieves that three out of five times. Not so good.

In Switzerland a train is considered late if it arrives 40 seconds or more after the scheduled time. This happens a handful of times out of hundreds of trips.
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#25
(03-07-2016, 03:27 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: In Switzerland a train is considered late if it arrives 40 seconds or more after the scheduled time. This happens a handful of times out of hundreds of trips.

That's certainly a much more civilized definition. In Canada, the definition is ten, or fifteen, or even thirty or sixty minutes on longer routes, and Via can not hit that target reliably.
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#26
The Swiss are scandalized by trains that run three minutes behind schedule
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#27
(03-07-2016, 03:27 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(03-07-2016, 02:57 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I just checked, and I might not even be exaggerating when I say four out of five. The On-time performance for Train 84 is 58.4% over the last twelve months- but ‘On-time’ for that train is defined as arriving at the final destination “within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time.” If it’s ten minutes early or late, it’s actually on-time, no matter what the passengers might think. And it only achieves that three out of five times. Not so good.

In Switzerland a train is considered late if it arrives 40 seconds or more after the scheduled time. This happens a handful of times out of hundreds of trips.

More than a handful; I have been on a number of late Swiss trains, including one that was 15 minutes late on Friday and one that was 4 minutes late on Sunday. The linked article said 15% of trains were more than 3 minutes late. But it's actually not a disaster for a train to be late, since at worst you wait for the next train an hour later.

VIA Rail is quite aware that its on-time performance is abysmal and getting worse. They claim it is due to not having priority on the lines (and we've seen how CN is a problem). They are hoping to raise money (not from the government) for building their own lines.
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#28
Switzerland's standards may begin to fall; they're removing the second hands.
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#29
(03-07-2016, 05:59 PM)plam Wrote: More than a handful; I have been on a number of late Swiss trains, including one that was 15 minutes late on Friday and one that was 4 minutes late on Sunday. The linked article said 15% of trains were more than 3 minutes late. But it's actually not a disaster for a train to be late, since at worst you wait for the next train an hour later.

I've seen the data for 2008 or so from friends who work at SBB. It was really a handful, though when there is a problem, such as construction, there tends to be a cascading effect with a run of late trains (each instance is still counted individually). From the article posted here by tomh009 it seems that things have gotten much worse as of late, and people are upset since they are not used to it.
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#30
You would think the 21 million from the Apple lawsuit would go a long way to keep those second hand motors in good repair. Big Grin
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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