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Winnipeg - Churchill
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   Author  Topic: Winnipeg - Churchill  (Read 96 times)
Les_Shepherd
Historian
Posts: 425
Winnipeg - Churchill
 
« on: Jan 14th, 2012, 5:19am »
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I am in the process of completing plans for a visit to Canada during early summer. (June). I am ashamed to admit that my last visit was 1979 where the highlight was travelling on the Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto.
 
This time a main objective is a return trip to Churchill. I have picked up bits and pieces to the effect that these trains can lose considerable time in either direction. Can somebody advise the truth about the running of this service
 
It is of note that ViaRail go out of their way to avoid providing any connections to the service. The westbound to Vancouver leaves Portage-le-Prairie 3 hours before the scheduled arrival from Churchill. They insist on overnight stopovers in Winnipeg in any direction.
 
I would be grateful of some knowledeable advice
 
As I will be spending time in Toronto, Winnipeg & Vancouver any general advice of a railfanning nature would also be appreciated.


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blackdog1
Chaser
Posts: 90
Re: Winnipeg - Churchill
 
« Reply #1 on: Jan 16th, 2012, 10:57am »
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There's a good spot for train watching at the west end of Toronto Union. Go in the main doors and turn right into the Skywalk. Its a covered walkway that takes you up and over the tracks. When you come out the doors at the far end (3-4min walk) immediately on the right there's a short iron railing section that makes almost a 'balcony' overlooking the station throat.
A bit further on is roundhouse park where several diesels and a CNR steam loco are displayed around the turntable. Other exhibits to see in the park, too.
CHRIS LEIGH


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Ken V
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Posts: 623
Re: Winnipeg - Churchill
 
« Reply #2 on: Jan 16th, 2012, 10:07pm »
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The truth about the Churchill train is that the owners of the line between The Pas and Churchill, the Hudson Bay Railway, does as little as necessary to maintain the tracks and hence the speeds permitted for the train can be unpredictable. CN, who owns the line south of The Pas doesn't do that much better in terms of ROW maintenance either. As a  result, on any given day the train may run close to on time, be hours (or a day) behind schedule, or, in rare cases. be cancelled altogether.
 
Once upon a time the schedules were coordinated such that a same day connection could be made in Winnipeg with the Toronto - Vancouver trains but with the unreliability these days it is no longer practical to do so.


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They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
-- Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian Railroad Trilogy)
Les_Shepherd
Historian
Posts: 425
Re: Winnipeg - Churchill
 
« Reply #3 on: Jan 18th, 2012, 1:46am »
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Thank you both Chris & Ken.
 
I suspected that the Churchill line might be as described. Pioneer standard lines; minimal maintenance and inadequate maintenace are familiar scenes.
 
I am most grateful Chris for your advice of trainwatching around Toronto Union.
 
I am in final planning stage now and hope to make ViaRail bookings within the next couple of weeks.


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Les_Shepherd
Historian
Posts: 425
Re: Winnipeg - Churchill
  500_1148.jpg - 60380 Bytes
« Reply #4 on: Jun 30th, 2012, 7:47am »
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My visit to Canada was indeed successful. Thanks for your advice.
 
In Toronto I found the balcony overlooking Union Station and also found the Bathurst St Bridge to be an excellent spot.
 
The photo is of the empty cars from train #55 Montreal to Toronto being moved out.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/Via/500_1148.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Jun 30th, 2012, 7:48am by Les_Shepherd » Logged

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