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VIA Rail
(12-02-2017, 02:13 PM)KevinL Wrote: London is the common point for both train routes through the area- there are two branches west (Windsor and Sarnia) and two branches east (both to Toronto, but via Kitchener or Brantford).

I believe the Brantford train is an express, so it goes Toronto-London in the same time as it takes a train to go Toronto-Kitchener.
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(12-02-2017, 09:26 PM)plam Wrote:
(12-02-2017, 02:13 PM)KevinL Wrote: London is the common point for both train routes through the area- there are two branches west (Windsor and Sarnia) and two branches east (both to Toronto, but via Kitchener or Brantford).

I believe the Brantford train is an express, so it goes Toronto-London in the same time as it takes a train to go Toronto-Kitchener.

It's not so much express (it still has several stops) so much as it is traveling on much higher quality tracks.  While the KW-London portion (especially Stratford->London) trundles along at about 60 km/h for most of the trip, and portions of Guelph are around 10 km/h, the London-Toronto line Via Brantford rarely drops under 100 km/h.
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James Bow has an intriguing proposal: have GO take over Toronto-Kitchener-Sarnia service from VIA. https://www.kitchenerpost.ca/opinion-sto...-together/
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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This line got my attention: "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was cut by Stephen Harper in 2012."

That's wrong. Via Rail is a Crown Corporation. It is not directed by politicians in the way the writer is suggesting. It receives a subsidy from Transport Canada, so I suppose if that's cut you can blame that on the government of the day. But the suggestion in that line is almost that a politician made the decision to cut a specific service, which is not correct.

I guess all the proposed change would require at the provincial level would be an expansion of Go's service area. That's possible. If it goes to Lambton County, though, some people would argue that it should go to London or maybe even Windsor while we're at it.
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(12-19-2017, 11:19 AM)MidTowner Wrote: I guess all the proposed change would require at the provincial level would be an expansion of Go's service area. That's possible. If it goes to Lambton County, though, some people would argue that it should go to London or maybe even Windsor while we're at it.

If it's going to Sarnia, it will go via London. And James is advocating for better Windsor VIA service as part of this re-structure.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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Whoops- you're right, of course. I don't see how the planner's proposal solves the issue of competition (if that is the issue). Via and Go will have service overlap somewhere regardless.

Is that why the planner from Oxford is proposing this? Because he thinks Via should stop spending money on the Toronto-Sarnia line, let Go do that, and spend more on the Toronto-Windsor line (which serves Woodstock and Ingersoll) instead?
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(12-19-2017, 11:19 AM)MidTowner Wrote: This line got my attention: "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was cut by Stephen Harper in 2012."

That's wrong. Via Rail is a Crown Corporation. It is not directed by politicians in the way the writer is suggesting. It receives a subsidy from Transport Canada, so I suppose if that's cut you can blame that on the government of the day. But the suggestion in that line is almost that a politician made the decision to cut a specific service, which is not correct.

It's correct enough. The government cut funding. Of course it was going to impact service. There is direct causation, even if the government didn't choose the exact cuts.
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(12-19-2017, 03:32 PM)Markster Wrote:
(12-19-2017, 11:19 AM)MidTowner Wrote: This line got my attention: "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was cut by Stephen Harper in 2012."

That's wrong. Via Rail is a Crown Corporation. It is not directed by politicians in the way the writer is suggesting. It receives a subsidy from Transport Canada, so I suppose if that's cut you can blame that on the government of the day. But the suggestion in that line is almost that a politician made the decision to cut a specific service, which is not correct.

It's correct enough.  The government cut funding.  Of course it was going to impact service.  There is direct causation, even if the government didn't choose the exact cuts.

Right. A better way to phrase it might have been: "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was eliminated after Stephen Harper cut the VIA funding in 2012."
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(12-19-2017, 04:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-19-2017, 03:32 PM)Markster Wrote: It's correct enough.  The government cut funding.  Of course it was going to impact service.  There is direct causation, even if the government didn't choose the exact cuts.

Right. A better way to phrase it might have been: "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was eliminated after Stephen Harper cut the VIA funding in 2012."

Just to split more hairs:  "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was eliminated as a result of Stephen Harper cutting the VIA funding in 2012."
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(12-19-2017, 08:14 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(12-19-2017, 04:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Right. A better way to phrase it might have been: "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was eliminated after Stephen Harper cut the VIA funding in 2012."

Just to split more hairs:  "More trains could be added to Stratford, St. Mary's, London and Sarnia, including the evening return train from Toronto that was eliminated as a result of Stephen Harper cutting the VIA funding in 2012."

Yeah, probably as a result of. But I didn't assume causality even if it's the most likely scenario.
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Are there any tricks to trying to get reasonable fares for travel 1+ month in advance on VIA's website?

I'm trying to plan a late-February getaway to Montreal (I need a Metro/AZUR and Chicken Poutine fix) figuring a Friday-Monday kinda thing.  I can get fares from Toronto-Montreal return for $44 per direction per person... but if I try to do Kitchener-Montreal, it jumps to $120+, which makes no sense to me.  If I plan it all manually, I could just take a $20 GO ticket from Kitchener to Toronto, then catch the late morning train from Toronto to Montreal, and kinda do the same thing in reverse on the way back.

If I use their tools, for the two of us to go from Kitchener to Montreal and back it comes out to almost $500, which is kind of insane. I feel like I'm missing something really obvious...
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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That or book the VIA segments in two different transactions.
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(01-12-2018, 11:07 PM)DHLawrence Wrote: That or book the VIA segments in two different transactions.

Yeah. I wouldn't book Kitchener-Montreal as one ticket. In general, booking as separate tickets means that they don't have a responsibility to accommodate you if there is a delay (also true for airlines). However, I've been stuck in a VIA-connecting-to-VIA delay on separate tickets and they have rebooked me on a later train at no cost. I would also book VIA Kitchener-Toronto at least if you are concerned about missing the connection, possibly on two tickets. Missing the GO connection Toronto-Kitchener is not as big a deal.

I am planning to book an Amqui-Toronto ticket (and connect to Kitchener) for April. I think I will book that as one ticket because missing the connection would be a big pain, especially if I bring a bicycle, which requires a specific Montreal-Toronto train. But it's still more expensive to do it as one ticket vs two tickets.
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Last time I missed my connection was a trip back from Ottawa. They shoved me and other Kitchener/Guelph passengers onto a cramped minibus with the heat turned full blast. The driver seemed to find our relief at the cold air coming in at Guelph amusing. Ever since I've preferred Aldershot.
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Thank you for all the suggestions!

It’s been a few years since I’ve taken VIA, but I had the same cramped minibus experience. I was traveling Kitchener to Brockville. It was incredibly cold, and the train was delayed coming from London, I believe, by more than 4 hours. By the time the train finally got me to Toronto, all other trains were completely full, so we were on the minibus the whole way. It was kind of them to do this for us and I respect that, but I went the train option to ride a train... Sad

With regard to booking the two legs separately; I’m totally fine with taking GO there and back, too. Or maybe just back - as you point out.

Can you tell me more about the bike options on specific trains, Plam? Now we’re looking at that Montreal-Jonquiere train to go up sometime to check out the Veloroute de Bleuets!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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