The good news–the bad news

A couple of things happened this week in the world of North American Passenger railroading, one really good, one truly disappointing. Amtrak’s November rare-mileage trip up the Susquehanna from Philly looks like it’s going to be a big hit. After selling out one entire train, this week they added a second section. To my knowledge, Amtrak has never had to run a second section of anything in it’s entire history–additional runs of trains using extra equipment at times of peak demand went out with the Jet Age about 50 years ago. More info:

Now the bad news–RIP the VIA Rail Canada “Chaleur”: the train between Montreal and Gaspe is now history. Operating for most of the last 20 years as a section of the train to Halifax (the two trains operated out of Montreal as one, and were uncoupled in Matapedia in the middle of the night). In August, due to deteriorating rail conditions, VIA substituted buses between Matapedia and Gaspe. As of Tuesday, this train no longer exists. Link:

4 comments to The good news–the bad news

  • Andrea

    The fall foliage trip sounds like just what I was looking for – now I just need to find one that is half the price, and shorter in time (I think my 3 guys wouldn’t go for a Sunday of sitting still all day). Know of any trips that are just a few hours?

  • Tom

    For a cheap thrills fall foliage trip on a commuter line, nothing beats the Metro North Port Jervis line (runs from Hoboken, NJ, but you can transfer to it in Secaucus from an Northeast Corridor train.

  • Mutuma Thilange

    Oh well, it seems that sometimes good happenings must be accompanied by bad occurences! But it is my hope that train enthusiats like you and others are not highly disappointed…I mean the good happening outweighs the bad outcome. In addition, I may think that these changes are not catastrophic to the transportation industry because such changes are common to all sectors of economy.

    • Tom

      Interesting update to this story– David Gunn, a passenger transportation executive with a long career that included leadership roles at SEPTA and Amtrak, has offered to come out of retirement and offer his services to VIA Rail’s board. I’m wondering if they’ll take him up on it.

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