Saturday, May 18, 2024

VIA Ventures in Service, Part 2


As of January, 2024 and with the delivery of the twelfth Siemens Venture set, I split my original Siemens Venture post first published on September 21, 2021. That now seems like an awfully long time ago! VIA's Siemens implementation has so far spawned six Trackside Treasure posts in total! They are:
In May, 2024 a major revision to Venture service was made, with a ninth Venture set entering service in the Corridor and 16 of 32 sets already delivered. Even this split-in-two post was getting a little long. So the post you're reading is now entitled VIA Ventures in Service, Part 2 with updates from May, 2024 onward, perhaps until the last of 32 sets are in service? Time will tell.

For your ticket-booking benefit - Venture car seating diagrams: Business, Economy, and cab car. The direction of travel changes during booking, so disregard it here. Someone's selected seats are in yellow. Purple means premium, X for groups of three or four, green available. 
Seats reported with no/poor window views (all rows shown include seats A,B,C,D):
  • Car 3: Rows 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15. Good views: 3, 5.
  • Car 4&5: Rows 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16.
Set 4 remains the lone Venture set at TMC as of May 19.

MAY 2024 UPDATES:
  • The now-together Set 10 (2200-2309) made an in-service run as VIA Nos 61-46 on May 1, after a test run west two days earlier. On May 2, four Venture-equipped trains went east through Kingston: Set 8 (was 61)/66, Set 3 643/646, Set 9 63/54, and Set 7 43/668.
  • Set 14 entered service on May 4 as VIA No 24, already on the Kingston Sub by May 19.
  • During Saturday, May 4's York Sub detours, Set 9 (No 66) and Set 5 (No 46) were planned to J-train east from Union until separated to continue separately down the Kingston Sub.
  • Set 13, so long sitting at TMC, operated as "No 668" Ottawa-Brockville-Toronto with seats still covered in plastic on May 7.
  • Put this under you hat: mystery car at Siemens plant as posted by SJVRailfan instagram (below) though not visible in an April aerial video posted on May 10.
    That 'big white door' at the left looks like a letter 'A' from 'VIA' but the two yellow stripes??
    Two more photos - Set 17 completed with final preparations before delivery:
  • Watch for this change: Effective May 27, there will be nine Venture consists in daily service. A guard Venture set will then be maintained at the TMC, with another at the MMC. The last Ren set is expected to be out of Corridor service. Quite a change from 2009 when there were 5 Ren, 17 LRC and 6 HEP sets. The latter two numbers have remained constant, with Ventures replacing Rens.
  • May 19 - VIA No 61 fatally hit a car at 0745 at a private crossing near Coteau, with Set 10's cab car 2309 sustaining damage to headlights, nose dent, scrapes to side and arriving in Toronto 4 hours late, with No 63 following 2 hours 40 minutes late. Returning as No 668, it had power problems near Cornwall. The set remains in service, contrary to railfan rumours.
  • May 27's rotation quickly went right out the Venture window as reinstituted VIA No 641was not the planned HEP consist, but instead Set 7, arriving in Toronto 42 minutes late. This substitution may have been made for en route publicity photos with the mayor and local MP Philip Lawrence at Cobourg:
    Unlike plans, 643-54 are not planned to be Ventures. VIA No 40 was a Venture; VIA No 63 was Set 4; VIA No 45 was Set 14; VIA No 46 was Set 10; No 55 was a Venture set. The Rens have had their life in the Corridor extended by one week.
  • Tues. May 28: VIA No 50 was a Venture set, not running J-trained as usual with No 60, suggesting non-interoperability of Siemens and other consist types. Other trains planned as Ventures continue (i.e. No 40 Set 12, No 47 Set 14, No 55 Set 9), except No 53 showing HEP.
  • Wed. May 29 Ventures planned: No 45 was Set 7, 40, No 55 was Set 2. Plus No 46 (Set 14).
  • Thu. May 30 Ventures planned: 643 (Set 14), 668, 40 was Set 4 and confirmed 44. VIA No 35 delayed at Drummondville arriving Montreal four hours late, low oil. Set 8 sent from MMC to couple on and tow to MMC.
  • For three of the first four days of the ninth set implementation, VIA's own rotation differed by one Venture set each day, with one Venture train replaced by LRC or HEP, except for:
A second version of the May 27 rotation thanks to Doug Bardeau (below) and the train numbers through Kingston match the list of new trains posted on VIA Rail's webpage.
VIA is reportedly producing a new rotation as of May 28! It has not been widely circulated at VIA yet, so I'll keep the above rotation diagram on until I have something concrete to publish instead. Or, I'll just sleep for a week and let VIA get this all sorted out and save myself a few grey hairs!

JUNE 2024 UPDATES:
Let's do another week of ninth set implementation, comparing reality to the rotation diagram above! Ventures "planning" is based on same-day information from traincar.info as taken from VIA's reservation, though this can and does change on the date in question. I then correlate those train numbers with VIA's webpage showing the trains Ventures are in service on. Confirmed (Sets) are from OS reports/photos.
  • Sat. June 1 Ventures planned: 42, 643, 46 (Set 6 - ours), 47 was Set 14, 59 was Set 12. Plus No 54 (Set 2).
  • Sun. June 2 Ventures planned: 40, 643, 46, not 646 nor 55.
  • Mon. June 3 Ventures planned: 40, 45 was Set 7, 48, 54, 55 not 643 (was LRC).
  • Tue. June 4 Ventures planned: 40 (Set 12), 45 (Set 7), 48, 53 (Set 14), 55 (Set 15). Eleven sets in service, three not in service, one recently-arrived (posted by Luc Lanthier - below). Notice three duplicate locations/sets!
  • Wed. June 5 Ventures planned: 40, 45, 55 not 46.
  • Thu. June 6 Ventures planned: 40, 643, 44, 55, 668.
  • Fri. June 7 Ventures planned: 40, 47, 48, 54, 55, 63.
  • Sat. June 8 Ventures planned: 42, 643, 46, 47 (Set 14), 59.
  • Sun. June 9 Ventures planned: 40 (Set 12), 643 (Set 15), 46, 55, not 646.
  • Set 15's first documented trip through Kingston this week, meanwhile Set 16 is testing Montreal-Ottawa
  • Mon. June 10 Ventures planned: 40, 643 (Set 15), 45 (possibly Set 8), 48, 54, 55 (Set 12). 
  • Tue. June 11 Ventures planned: 40, 45, 48, 53, 55.
  • Wed. June 12 Ventures planned: 40, 45, 46, 55.
At this point, actual Ventures versus planned Ventures is about 85%.

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