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Author Topic: VIA Canadian
yukon11
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I haven't taken the "Canadian" in quite a while. I have always considered the VIA trains, especially the Canadian, a cut above Amtrak. Quality attendants, good food, and, or course, great scenery along the way.

However, here is a report with a lot of disparaging comments concerning the Canadian:

https://is.gd/t8bKLQ

I hope they won't "kill the Canadian".

Also, there seems to be an increase in crime, aboard the train, that some think is due to the cancellation of Greyhound bus service in Western Canada:

https://is.gd/68vpEm

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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Richard, I'm sorry, but if "The Canadian" is gone, there will be no sobbing from me.

I rode during '65 when the Vancouver to Winnipeg, on the far more scenic CP, in a Roomette was about CD$75. My only gripe was in the Dining Car, their "Faresaver" prepaid meals, had only a "Table d'hote" menu, which could not be surcharged to have their specialties like Lamb Chops, steaks and Prime Rib. Today, I would have just scrapped them and ordered what I wanted. Back then, I needed to be "a bit more thrifty".

But I think the columnist is likely correct; since the Eskimos and Indians started airing their grievances against the CN, nobody's missed it. According to the VIA site, it has now been returned to scheduled service.

Much of its support has come from travel industry interests. Tourism represents a far greater piece of the GNP up there than here, and surely those interests have "pressed" to have it remain.

But with its timekeeping so erratic, a tour operator must think twice about using it to connect with anything such as a cruise or airplane flight. That can only hurt when high end outfits such as Tauck and Abercrombie & Kent say "bye-bye".

Time for the Adios drumhead; for those compelled to "ride it someday", that someday is now. Mine was 55 years ago.

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Gilbert B Norman
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I just learned something "interesting" at the VIA website. If you want to know the status of a train, you now must fill in a queey page, and "they will get back to you". In short, no more "railfan browsing"- and who knows what you will be bombarded with.
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yukon11
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I'm glad the VIA Canadian has returned to its normal schedule. I read, in an issue of "Passenger Train Journal", that the Canadian may go to a 3X/week schedule this summer. I haven't read confirming information, elsewhere, so I don't think it will happen.

I tried to find "train status" for VIA trains, but the only thing I could find was projected arrival times for various VIA stations. The VIA website, in my opinion, has always been difficult to navigate.

My last VIA Canadian trip was about 7 years ago, a trip from Vancouver to Jasper. I thought is was a nice experience, the train was on time and on board services were quite good. Thus, I am surprised by the "Kill the Canadian" article.

If the "Canadian" bites the dust, what will be left? No Western Canada Greyhound buses. Are there still some "Red Arrow" buses connecting major cities?

Could we eventually see an "economy class" for the Rocky Mountaineer train?

Richard

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ghCBNS
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:

But I think the columnist is likely correct; since the Eskimos and Indians...

As I corrected you elsewhere.....really in this day and age? Eskimos and Indians??.....what Time Capsule did you just emerge from?

https://www.canada.ca/en/crown-indigenous-relations-northern-affairs.html

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Gilbert B Norman
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Then how, Mr. Hadfield, should these people be addressed? Apparently, this 79yo needs to be "educated".
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ghCBNS
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Indigenous: First Nation, Inuit and Métis
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yukon11
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Or, on this side of the border, "Native American". A term I find to be ill-defined and unexplicit. I figure I'm a "Native American" as I was born in California although, these days, something I find a little embarrassing to admit.

I worked on 3 different Indian (Native American) reservations, at one time. In each case, the term "Indian" was used by the people, themselves, and was never considered a derogatory remark. Once, while on the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming, I referred to the Shoshone as "Indians" in front of one of our social workers. He quickly corrected me and replied that they're PEOPLE, not Indians. I always thought of them as people (?).

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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An awful lot of sports teams and mascots are going to need be renamed.

Cleveland Native Americans?

Of course, you don't walk into an official University of Illinois retail outlet and walk out with apparel depicting "Chief".

But what on earth was so "incorrect" about this?

https://youtu.be/LSoR8PLorTw

GBN, BS Accountancy
Univ of Illinois/UC '70

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Ocala Mike
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Gil, it ain't easy being our age, I know:

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/05/23/obama-signs-measure-to-get-rid-of-the-word-eskimo-in-federal-laws/

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George Harris
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However, if you are a Southern white male, you are a free target for any sort of name calling, then such things as "Trailer Trash" still seem to be acceptable.
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David
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
Richard, I'm sorry, but if "The Canadian" is gone, there will be no sobbing from me.

I rode during '65 when the Vancouver to Winnipeg, ...

Now, now, Mr Norman - just because you had a trip with which you were not impressed 55 years ago doesn't mean you would have the same experience in this century. In many ways the Canadian is a better train than it was then even if the CN route is less appealing to most people than the CPR route.

Also, regarding your other post, it is easy to track a VIA train - what few are operating these days - on either of these sites:

https://tsimobile.viarail.ca/

https://asm.transitdocs.com/map

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Gilbert B Norman
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David, I can only reiterate that tourism comprises a greater portion of your GNP than it does ours. If tourism intereets here walked into a lawmaker's office and said how great it would be if Amtrak were to operate a fleet of experiential trains, they would get about same reception as does the advocacy community on their "lobby day" set aside for small special interest groups.

I would think "they walk in, and Ottawa listens".

But the problem it has or will have is that when the high end tour operators realize that The Canadian cannot get over the road with any predictability, it becomes a "hazard" for connecting with anything else these operators have on the itinerary, such as a cruise or a flight home.

The Canadian National is a private enterprise nowadays. For better or worse, they have come under the spell of Yager's "Precision Railroading", or PSR. Any train operating against the flow of such traffic, which certainly means an ostensibly scheduled passenger train, is simply at the mercy of this traffic flow.

I'll take your word that the level of on-board services surpasses anything Amtrak has ever attained, and some might find it more acceptable than was the "English stuffy" CP service from "my day". And, if the Canadian's Prime Rib was as good as I was served aboard the "Princess Margaret" during '74, all I can say is "wow".

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yukon11
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More on VIA train delays:

https://is.gd/tfxoED

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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If the Canadian tourism industry, aided and abbetted by whatever advocacy group there is up there, manage to keep The Canadian going, how about this novel idea?

Scrap the timetable and just say there will be eight departures in each direction monthly. The departures would simply be identified as, say, the fourth Westward departure during April, as #1(4)IV. Passengers would then book whichever was closest to their intentional departure date. This noted departure would leave Toronto during the range of April 12. Passengers would be notified by text, email, or robocall, as the train progressed Westward perfecting its station arrival time as it went.

Crazy I know, but at least there would never be a late train again!

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