Canadian passenger train speeds.

904 views
10 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 1,055 posts
Canadian passenger train speeds.
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:52 PM
While looking at the train tracker site,  https://asm.transitdocs.com/ I have noted that VIA RAIL trains operate at 90 mph and wondered what the Canadian signal requirements are for speeds above 79 mph. The US requires ATC and/or cab signals, etc for speeds above 79 mph. Now the U.S. is adding PTC. Does Canada have any similar requirements?
  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 828 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, November 25, 2017 9:08 PM

No.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 711 posts
Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Saturday, November 25, 2017 9:31 PM

LRC equipment is allowed to operate at 100 mph on certain lines.  All other trains can do 90 or 95 at most.  This of course is only in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, on other lines passenger train speed is somewhere from 5-20 mph greater than freight train speeds. 

In addition, when operating in OCS (Occupancy Control System, Canadianese for dark territory or track warrant control) passenger trains must approach facing point switches at no greater than 50 mph. 

I believe the VIA F40's are geared for 95 mph and the P42's 110, but am not certain.

Outside of the corridor 80 mph seems to be the highest posted passenger speed limit, and that is only on CN's mainline out west.  Elsewhere it is usually less.

The LRC equipment was originally supposed to operate at 125 mph, but the locomotives grew too heavy during the design phase, and as a result were restricted to 100 mph.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,738 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, November 25, 2017 9:41 PM

SD70M-2Dude
In addition, when operating in OCS (Occupancy Control System, Canadianese for dark territory or track warrant control) passenger trains must approach facing point switches at no greater than 50 mph. 

I understand this is about Canada.  However, in the US in Dark Territory, passenger trains can operate at a maximum of 59 MPH, freight at a maximum of 49 MPH.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 711 posts
Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Saturday, November 25, 2017 9:50 PM

BaltACD
SD70M-2Dude
In addition, when operating in OCS (Occupancy Control System, Canadianese for dark territory or track warrant control) passenger trains must approach facing point switches at no greater than 50 mph. 

I understand this is about Canada.  However, in the US in Dark Territory, passenger trains can operate at a maximum of 59 MPH, freight at a maximum of 49 MPH.

I believe our restrictions are only when approaching switches, and freights are restricted to 45 mph in the same situation (if you are carrying dangerous goods it's 40).  Otherwise I don't believe there is a CROR-mandated maximum speed in dark territory. 

But there are very few dark territory subdivisions with speed limits high enough to make those restrictions matter, the only ones I know of are the Canora, SK to Portage-La-Prairie, MB segment of CN's Prairie North Line, over which VIA's now once-weekly Hudson Bay operates.  If memory serves correctly freights are allowed 50, and passenger trains 60 on some segments. 

The subtle differences between American and Canadian rulebooks and regulations certainly are interesting.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 1,055 posts
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, November 26, 2017 4:24 PM

SD70M-2Dude
LRC equipment is allowed to operate at 100 mph on certain lines.  All other trains can do 90 or 95 at most.  This of course is only in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, on other lines passenger train speed is somewhere from 5-20 mph greater than freight train speeds. 

So no train control signaling other than regular block and CTC reqiuired in Canada? No cab signals or automatic train stop for the higher (>80mph) speeds? 

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 711 posts
Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Sunday, November 26, 2017 4:54 PM

Electroliner 1935

So no train control signaling other than regular block and CTC reqiuired in Canada? No cab signals or automatic train stop for the higher (>80mph) speeds? 

That is correct.

I don't believe there are any lines equipped with ATS, cab signals or PTC in Canada.

 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 1,096 posts
Posted by Buslist on Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:14 PM

Not sure of the current situation but some years ago the line Via used into Ottawa was dark and they ran 90 on it.

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 1,055 posts
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, November 26, 2017 11:10 PM

Does Canada have some requirements for track maintenance that are more stringent than U.S.?

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • 48 posts
Posted by ghCBNS on Monday, November 27, 2017 10:26 AM

Buslist

Not sure of the current situation but some years ago the line Via used into Ottawa was dark and they ran 90 on it.

VIA owned the Ottawa-Smiths Falls portion and CP owned from Smiths Falls to Brockville and yes they ran at 90+. There were 3 trains a day each way.

VIA now own the entire line down Brockville (except for track through Smiths Falls) and has extensively rebuilt it with new signals and passing sidings. There's now 20 trains per day.  

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 4,354 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 11:19 AM

The situation in Canada reflects what US-American practice would likely be in the absence of the Esch Act and its sequel ICC order of 1947.  There is nothing magical about "79mph", only that in the USA you're not allowed 80 or over without something giving automatic stop protection, with some special allowance for cab signals (I think if they are continuous and not intermittent).

Canada did not have an Esch Act; indeed went the opposite direction with Federal Control with the forming of CN in the early '20s.  I defer to the Canadians on what their maximum-speed rules are, or what methods other than fuel-cost economics and the like as an 'invisible hand' keeping the throttle modulated would affect practical high speed.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy

Search the Community