VIA Train from Melville to Winnipeg

VIA is advertising a $15 child fare. That’s for kids under 12 years of age.

Still, it’s $516.60 to go to Winnipeg for four days with the family of four, from Melville, SK (the closest train station to Regina). We’d have to rent or borrow a car to get there. They promise nothing regarding the departure time (or the arrival time).

I’d have to leave on days the train goes through, not days desired by work schedules.

Renting a car to go from Regina to Winnipeg can cost as little as $17/day, plus gas. Obviously the hour long drive to Melville would be better directed to Winnipeg which is only 5 hours away, and people skip the train option altogether.

It’s remained disappointing that the Liberal government has done nothing to make train travel less of a joke in our country. Now, we can’t even take a bus to Winnipeg.

WestJet flights for the same days as the VIA trip outlined above are $2,348.84. That includes: Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC) $57.00 & an Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) of $180.00. Selecting a seat sale in September, that can be as low as $1,122.44.


2 responses to “VIA Train from Melville to Winnipeg

  1. I don’t think this is even on the government’s radar, John. Revitalizing the rail network would not only be a terrific infrastructure/stimulus investment but could also be a sea change in how we move people and freight across Canada. Long-haul trucking has to go. Freight should be moved between hubs by rail and then distributed locally by truck.

    There’s a new locomotive technology being fielded in the States. Instead of one, huge diesel engine, the locomotive has three smaller diesels. For starting up or on inclines all three engines may be used. On the flats or downhill stretches, one or two of the diesels can be shut down.

    “According to the manufacturer’s website, the three-engine, 2100 horsepower locomotive, has a 700HP continuous engine that averages a fuel savings of 40-65 percent (dependent on application) and can reduce emissions of nitrous oxide compounds and particulate matter by 80 percent when compared to older locomotives.”

    On a per tonnage basis these new trains’ cost per mile works out to about a third of truck costs due to fuel savings. Fuel saved is fuel not burned.

    Twin the tracks with more for high-density routes. Keep passenger fares moderate so users have a significant price incentive over airfare.

    • All good ideas. I’m certain it’s not on the feds radar too. There was a mailout by a rail company looking to build a freight line from Fort Mac to Anchorage AK though, just the other day.

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