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via rail nightmare march2.07
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   Author  Topic: via rail nightmare march2.07  (Read 504 times)
VIA_windsor
Chaser
Posts: 94
via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« on: Mar 2nd, 2007, 11:58pm »
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If VIA ever hit rock bottom. It was today on Train 75 from Toronto to Windsor.
Not only was the train 1.5 hours late on arrival, VIA commited seriouse federal and provicial health and saftey violations.
The train consist was shrunk to 3 Coaches, 1 VIA1, and a FP40. The baggage car was missing, and so were the 2 usual coaches that go along with it.
Wait a second... that was about the same number of passenger standing, sitting in the hallways, vestibules, and washrooms on the train. Seem someone felt it was better to move a train at high speeds over crowded, over capcity, and in unsanitary situations. To help visualize, imagine that all the seats are filled in a hep 2, and passengers sitting and standing from vestibule to vestibule in all 3 coaches.
I stood from Toronto to London. When I arrived in Windsor, after I was seated, I was reminded by the head service attendant "for your safety, please remain seated until the train stops" hmmmm, he didn't seem to care when he had to collect tickets on the platform because he couldn't walk through train.
What a disgraceful day for VIA. they kept blamming the derailment in oshawa east of Toronto. which sure can attribute to a late train. But disregarding safety laws, over selling a train by 50%, and not considering motor coaches is rediculouse. What happened to VIA's leadership. Why didn't they call me and suggest I take the next train 79. I still can't belive what I witness and experienced today.
Train number 75 should have never accepted new passengers when it was already over capacity.


« Last Edit: Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:01am by VIA_windsor » Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #1 on: Mar 3rd, 2007, 1:08am »
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I have trouble understanding your rant on this issue.  Mid winter I would far rather be standing in a train than sitting on a bus.  It may be passé but it used to be quite common on both busses and trains to have people standing at peak periods.  This situation still prevails in many parts of the world.  
 
Many years ago, new year's 1965 to be exact, I had the privilege of ridding a Memphis to Knoxville overnight Tennessean with about 60 people in each 44 seat coach.  Inconvenient and somewhat uncomfortable?  Yes.  Worthy of condemnation?  No.  
 
Consider your experience a unique travel adventure and relax.
 
George


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VIA_windsor
Chaser
Posts: 94
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #2 on: Mar 3rd, 2007, 7:29pm »
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yes, you are right... it USED to be a way of travel, and its a way FOREIGN countries less fortunate then Canada travel. We also used to use coal, mixed trains, and asbetos. I guess I should ride a train similar to that too.
There is a reason why we don't overcrowd buses, train and airplanes anymore. It was deemed illegal because it's unsafe.
If VIA had any leadership at all, it would have:  
a) begged GO transit for extra consists (which it used to do)
b) invested in some extra consists... wait it already has it sitting in the mimico yards (budd and superliners sitting in the yard)
c) cancel my train in advance informing my seat has been sold to another customer, and transfer me to next train (like airlines do)
d) charter a coach bus
e) hire a taxi  
Instead the leadership followed the poor advice of:
f) DO NOTHING.
If there was ever a case for privitization, this is it. Old, overpaid men, appointment by the government will bring down VIA rail with its inexperience, disconnect with customers, and apathy.  
Please note... Its not VIA rails policy to over book, or have passengers stand at all. Its a full credit refund if so. However, this was the second time its happened to me in 6 months (Sept. and Feb). And both time were NOT peak periods. Even if it was peak period, what does that say about the companies ability to handle the demand of passengers?
Nor am I talking about 1 or 2 passengers standing. There was close to 100 passengers standing on the train from Toronto to London. About the same amount that could have been sitting in seats if VIA execs. did not  cancel the earlier train AND take about 2 Hep 2 cars from 75's consist and move it to 83's.
As for the delay and complications due to the derailment, there was 48 hours to make arrangments. VIA rail again, did nothing but issue a statement.


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George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #3 on: Mar 5th, 2007, 10:56pm »
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I am not going to repeat myself except to say I still consider what you are saying a completely off the scale over-reaction to what I see as no more than a series of relatively minor inconveniences caused primarily by external circumstances.  Standing in a train is not unsafe.
 
I will strongly suggest that if the situation you describe experiencing is what you regard as completely unacceptable that you avoid foreign travel particularly to points in Asia.  You would find completely unacceptable the crowing in many public venues that we that live here have come to accept as normal.  And the apparent willingness to complain loud and long about it will not go down well with the local population which those of us that live in these parts of the world rub shoulders with (frequently quite literally in public transportation) on a daily basis.
 
George


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downbeat
Railfan
Posts: 189
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #4 on: Mar 6th, 2007, 12:58am »
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Not to belabour the point ... but wasn't Friday an awful travel day on the roads because of bad weather? Had you considered the possibility that no motor coaches or taxis were available for hire?
I take it this was also the same day as the Pickering derailment. Probably the reason wrong (and insufficient) equipment was used on your train. I bet whatever equipment you were in was put together in haste from available, safe cars at Mimico.
(In case you didn't know, the equipment form #75 is the same as #57; they operate as a through train. It is very likely #57 got stuck in Oshawa and the equipment was stranded, unable to make it to Union Station.)
I also doubt your train was over sold; it is not usually their policy to do that. What likely happened was that there were not enough cars available to properly seat the number of people who had already bought tickets.
You are right, thought, that Via should have offered to put you on the next train, assuming it wasn't hamstrung with the same problems your train had.
As for GO providing equipment, they are no longer in the habit of doing this. I can only remember one instance of this on the last few years ... it was last year, when a highway overpass collapsed in Laval and GO loaned a trainset to AMT so they could operate extra commuter train service to the area.
Anyway, as long as what you described is not an everyday occurrence, I wouldn't get too worried.


« Last Edit: Mar 6th, 2007, 1:13am by downbeat » Logged

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joncalon
Historian
Posts: 267
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #5 on: Mar 6th, 2007, 12:58am »
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on Mar 3rd, 2007, 7:29pm, VIA_windsor wrote:       (Click here for original message)
If there was ever a case for privitization, this is it. Old, overpaid men, appointment by the government will bring down VIA rail with its inexperience, disconnect with customers, and apathy.  

 
Hey, at least you HAVE A TRAIN TO RIDE!  We out here in oil-rich Alberta get VIA service through Edmonton three times a week in each direction, at hugely expensive prices, but down here in Calgary, a city of over a million people and we have no service whatsoever!
 
And those cuts were by a conservative government, and if there's more "demand" per se from the public to privatize VIA, then we may as well kiss the Canadian good bye and probably half the frequencies of the Corridor...  Do not wish for Privatization because of a relatively minor inconvenience...You may lose your capability to complain about the train service because you won't have it to complain about in the future.
 
Jon


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NS_VIA_FAN
TRAINing
Posts: 20
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #6 on: Mar 6th, 2007, 7:20am »
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on Mar 3rd, 2007, 7:29pm, VIA_windsor wrote:       (Click here for original message)
b) invested in some extra consists... wait it already has it sitting in the mimico yards (budd and superliners sitting in the yard)

Whow! VIA has “Superliners” sitting in Mimico that they should have used? Guess the trains would have really been overcrowded then with all the railfans out for a ride on this new equipment!
 
But seriously, I think VIA did a great job handling a situation beyond their control. Shortage of cars due to inbound equipment not being able to get passed a CN derailment. And then the weather!  
 
Really where would you rather have been? Standing on a train? or on a bus in poor road conditions? Maybe sleeping on a bench at Pearson as it was well into the weekend before the backlog of flights was cleared up.


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Les_Shepherd
Historian
Posts: 425
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #7 on: Mar 12th, 2007, 7:26am »
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I have to agree with George on this one.
 
My own travels have seen my stand on International Expresses in Malaysia/Thailand; imprisoned in a couchette while the corridors were crammed with commuters in southern europe, and seen jam packed trains in Britain whisking there loads along at 125mph.
 
When you have travelled in the crowed trains of Pakistan and India you think twice before complaining at home.
 
On our own system in New South  Wales on long distance trains it is 'booked seats only' so no overcrowding. No seats, no travel.


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George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: via rail nightmare march2.07
 
« Reply #8 on: Mar 19th, 2007, 5:56am »
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on Mar 12th, 2007, 7:26am, Les_Shepherd wrote:       (Click here for original message)
When you have travelled in the crowed trains of Pakistan and India you think twice before complaining at home.

Les,
 
I have never had that experience, at least yet, but could happen.  I guess I get bugged by some people's sense of entitlement - "you shall not inconvenience me!"  We have had some come here (Taiwan) to work and they and everybody around them is miserable from the day the get off the plane until the day they get back on it to leave for the last time.  Why?  Because they want things to be exactly like where ever they came from.   So far as I am concerned this is a fine civilized modern place where I could happily live for the rest of my life.  Of course it is different from the US but I regard a lot of the differences as positive and the ones that are negative as a reasonable trade for the negatives that are in the US but not here.  Unlike India, I have never seen people hanging on the outside of trains, but but the everybody go home for Chinese New Year travel scene has to be seen.  It can not be explained.
 
George


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