Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by Tadman
I notice the two trains to northern Quebec run as a J-train for the first half, IE loco/bag/coach/loco/bag/coach. Is one of the locomotives offline or does that train start like a jackrabbit?
  by Ken V
Interesting question. I've never ridden these trains myself but expect both locos are online without the jackrabbit starts.
Perhaps you will get your answer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6RC7EzVD5s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
  by Mark0f0
The locos are not MU'ed together. So the unit that is in tow just idles with no electricity applied to the traction motors. Don't know for sure if the "start-stop" logic is employed or not in the winter while its in tow though, or if it is just kept running all the time. Couldn't tell you if the HEP genset runs either. They may very well just leave it all running to expedite the process at Hervey-Jonction. But the feeling "onboard" should be no different than any other train towed by a single running loco.
  by timberley
These trains normally use HEP1 coaches, which do not have MU pass-through lines. So in order to have the second loco running and MU'd to the leader, they'd have to run cables through the cars (which doesn't make a lot of sense). They could keep the HEP generator running to power that part of the train, which would mean fewer things to disconnect/re-connect at Hervey, or they could just run HEP through from the front end - not sure in practice what they actually do.
  by Tadman
Interesting, thanks. Looks like the trail unit definitely idles.

How about the corridor J trains, do LRC have MU pass through cables? Are those idling as well or pulling?
  by Ken V
It's a good point that the HEP1 coaches don't have MU capability so, yes, the second loco can only idle and possibly provide electricity (HEP) to the coach(es) in its consist. Both the LRC and HEP2 cars do have MU pass through cables (indicated by the yellow stripe). Normally all locomotives provide motive power to the J trains operating in the corridor.
  by Backshophoss
Have there been "forced retirements" of the HEP II cars due to structure or Mech failures??
  by timberley
Backshophoss wrote:Have there been "forced retirements" of the HEP II cars due to structure or Mech failures??
None that I'm aware of. The whole 33 car fleet is currently being cycled through the MMC for refurbishment work - the cars are getting new interiors that match the latest LRC interiors, with 2+1 seating in Business class and the new style seats in a fixed 50/50 forward/backward arrangement. I don't know how extensive the other work is but they are getting at least some mechanical and electrical work done as well, comparable to what the LRC refurbs received. The most obvious external thing is that they're moving to a new paint scheme, with the window band painted Renaissance green and a solid yellow stripe in the letterboard - not yet clear if there will be a different scheme for the Business class cars.

According to VIA's latest reports/statements, it's the LRCs that are in worse shape. They're anticipating that some of those will have to be withdrawn from service before the new fleet arrives (first starting later this year or next), along with the remaining Corridor Renaissance sets. They seem to count on the HEP2s being around longer, and being used elsewhere in the country when the new Corridor fleet is all delivered.