Questions about Via's Canadian

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 4:14 PM

GN Fan: Those times were for an arbitrary date I picked but it could change.  And it did show 14:35 and I know what time that is. Arrival and connecting in Strauss were in the same terminal, so no reason to go through security. Alternatively,  you could take the train to Trieste.  Beautiful scenery. 

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Posted by GN_Fan on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 4:27 AM

Charlie -- Ya, things change, usually without notice, so the dep time could change by an hour depending on whatever.  We've made the SFO-MUC-TRS trip probably 4-5 times, once going via Frankfurt, and it's always been miles between gates.  We'd arrive at the international terminal and have to go thru passport control (not security), then depart from a place somewhere between heaven and earth.  I used to be a fast walker and could make 4 MPH on a mountainous Montana game trail when working as a forester, so I can somehat judge distances.  Given that my speed is now 25% of what it once was, it still would be a 45-60 minute stroll to the next gate.  I know, I tried once years ago and I worked up a pretty good sweat.  So now we use the "cripple wagon" which works out just fine.  As far as the train goes, that would be super.  However, this trip will be around 35-38 days from start to finish, and I'm sure the old broad would squawk adding another day, even if we took a night train, which would defeat the scenery part.  Then connections will ALWAYS be bad, and it'll be a hotel in Munich...that won't fly with either of us.  We'll already need a hotel in Montreal due to the early dep time of #1, and a hotel in either Vancouver, Victoria, or both, and we'll want to spend a night in North Beach in Frisco, drinking Harvey Walbangers at the Visuvio Bar (an old hippie joint from the 70's) and eating garlic prime rib at the Stinking Rose.  So we'll be sick of hotels by that time...and dog tired, wanting to go home.  We'll be spending 10 days in Maine visiting relatives and another 10-14 days in the Bay area visiting our son, so it's more than a month living out of a suitcase....not much fun.  Ya, and I never have mentioned the price of this fiasco.  It's like I'll need Ft. Knox to pay for it, and we have little more than social security do do it on.  Good luck to me...the financial wizard of the bankrupcy crowd.

Right now, my sister in-law in Maine is freaking out over the VIA cancellations, which is no biggie for me.  But the scary part (sort on) is the virus.  Everyone in town is going apeshit over it...the grocery stores are empty and some stores are closed here.  Carnivale is cancelled in Venice, only 60 miles away.  That's the Mardi Gras of Italy...a really big event.  Well, hopefully both issues will be resolved by the time we leave, which will be in mid-ish April, scheduled for VIA #1 in early May.  The mortality rate is low...arouund 3.5%, but we're both in the critical age range to croak because of it.  Death won't be fun. So ya, it's a worry, but a distant one.  We're not losing any sleep over it.  Yet!

 

Alea Iacta Est -- The Die Is Cast
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Posted by endoftrack on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 12:58 PM

GN-Fan

I loved your response to Runnerdude48--it definitely shut him down and I was getting pissed at reading his reply. You and your wife have definitely done more traveling than most, especially myself included.

I have always liked riding trains until the last few years. I have only ridden the Canadian once and it was the most enjoyable ride of my life. The scenery, food and the service in the dining car, 50's era rail equipment--I am a product of the fifties/early sixties train riders--and of course the Park car. I spent all of my waking time in the Park car dome, solarium and the bar when it was open. The rest of my time was spent in the diner or sleeping in my bedroom. The crew were spot on with their service and devotion to customer satisfaction--I can not say the same for Amtrak personnel unfortunately, there just isn't any comparison between Amtrak and VIA rail. One other aspect of riding the Canadian that caught me completely off guard and was a very pleasant surprise were the fellow travellers that I met on the train. Everyone that I talked with was educated, well mannered, clean and appropriately dressed.

I'm afraid that I do not have the experience to address your concerns about traveling with your wife and friends but like one responder said on this forum--call VIA directly and I'm sure they will answer every question that you may have about their train system. When I made my first reservation with VIA about 4 years ago I called directly instead of using their website and that was a pure joy in and of itself. The lady I talked with was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable about my trip and accomodations, as a matter of fact, after my reservation business was concluded, we conversed about 20 minutes or so about Canada, VIA rail, the train itself--it was like talking to an old friend that one hasn't heard from in years. I never once felt that she was trying to rush me along or was irritated that I had so many questions. Unfortunately, again, that is not the case with talking to an Amtrak agent.

I have a reservation this coming April 13th for another trip on the Canadian lv. Vancouver @ 1500 hrs and arr. Toronto on the 17th @ 14:20 hrs. This will probably be my last trip on any LDT as I am coming to the end of my love for train travel, mostly ruined by Amrak itself and by the American traveling public.

I am going to call VIA rail and inquire about the Canadian train since it is at this time cancelled until March 1st due to 1st Nation concerns about environmental issues. So that would be something to monitor for the near future as I have other Amtrak reservations made in connection with this trip on the Canadian. I hope that we both get to travel on the Canadian as planned it is well worth the the time and money.

Thanks for reading.

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Posted by Sunnyland on Thursday, February 27, 2020 4:17 PM

RunnerDude, I am like you, rode the CP Canadian and CN Super Continental in 1974 with friends, Flew to Winnepeg and trains from there.  We did take a sleeper on CP, upper berths for them and lower for me, cost a little more but easier than climbing a ladder on moving train.  We had a layover at Banff, and took Gray Line tour to Lake Louise  where we had lunch at the Chateau. We did go one night to dinner at Banff Springs hotel too.  Then on to Vancouver and took the ferry to Victoria, I don't remember riding a bus on the ferry, but I think there was a bus that ran from hotels to take you to docking area.  We took Gray Line tours there too, and dinner one night at Empress. Returned to Vancouver to board CN train, we had the Daynighter coach similar to Amtrak Business Class, reclining seats with nice legrest.  Steward took our dinner reservation at Vancouver station, but when we went to eat, he said we were late. I said no one came thru and called diner was open. Found out we were in Daynighter and said diner was only for first class, and he apologized.  We had a snack cafe to eat in like Amtrak.  I did write CN a letter about that when I came home, US trains always seated coach & Pullman together in diner, they might get seated first, but open to all. I rode many trains with parents on Dad's free train pass from Frisco RR.  We also did a stopover at Jasper and were able to get a cabin at Jasper Park Lodge.  They had free shuttles to the train station as CN owned the Lodge too.  Glad I did it, because VIA uses the CN route which is not quite as scenic.  Good luck GN Fan, and hope you can do it.  I do not fly any longer, last time was 2003 coming back from San Fran with a friend, I had taken Empire Builder and Coast Starlight  out there while she flew.  From what I hear they are smaller seats, less leg room and bad things can happen like doggie dying in overhead and child sitting in vomit on seat that had not been cleaned up and her mom told by flight attendant "not my job". But it was someone's job to tell the cleaning crew they missed doing it.  

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Posted by n012944 on Thursday, February 27, 2020 5:51 PM

Sunnyland

From what I hear they are smaller seats,

 

A 737 is still a 737, and A320 is still an A320.  They are still 6 abreast in coach, same width as they were in 2003, same width that they were in 1992.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, February 27, 2020 8:45 PM

n012944
same width as they were in 2003, same width that they were in 1992.

   Hmmm.   I wonder why some people think the seats have been getting narrower.

_____________

   "A stranger is just a friend you ain't met yet."  ___ Dave Gardner

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, February 27, 2020 9:25 PM

n012944

 

 
Sunnyland

From what I hear they are smaller seats,

 

 

A 737 is still a 737, and A320 is still an A320.  They are still 6 abreast in coach, same width as they were in 2003, same width that they were in 1992.

 

Maybe the pitch is reduced?  Less legroom?   It seems like it to me and I weigh less than 30 years ago and have shrunk 3/4 inch in height. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 28, 2020 7:10 AM

Paul of Covington
 
n012944
same width as they were in 2003, same width that they were in 1992. 

   Hmmm.   I wonder why some people think the seats have been getting narrower.

In today's world most people are getting wider.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 28, 2020 9:18 AM

Paul of Covington
I wonder why some people think the seats have been getting narrower.

Weren't there discussions about narrowing some components of the seats or frames on some a/c types because there were ADA access concerns about the narrowness of the aisles? 

Bet Backshop's brother would remember this if so...

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Posted by n012944 on Friday, February 28, 2020 2:57 PM

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