Comment 65009

By observer (anonymous) | Posted June 21, 2011 at 16:35:50 in reply to Comment 65001

What you've written rings true about the commitment of CN/VIA's staff engineers. It was an engineer on board the train who told me that east of Belleville we were running at 100 mph.
You write, "The government of the day felt that if if the Turbo service was "too good" it would cut into Air Canada's business on that route." Maybe ironically, I took the Turbo to Montreal on the day I did because there was an Air Canada strike at the time, as I recall [summer 1976]. Of course I'm glad I had that fast train experience. I don't know whether the conspiracy hypothesis holds or not. There were gripes about winter icing in the turbines, but maybe your friend was right. And much was made about a collision on the Turbo's test run with "press" aboard--as if that was the train's fault. Everything else you write about your friend's train maintenance feelings makes sense.
The rail bed had been greatly improved to handle the at least 100 mph speeds. And, oh, the original and hopeful scheduled time was 3 hrs, 59 minutes [not 4 hours as I said], just as the older Rapido's time [mid-1960s] was shown as 4 hrs, 59 minutes. The Turbo's scheduled time was re-adjusted and then shown as 4hrs 30 min [or 29 min?], as I think I recall. And that was the time that I experienced. At one point we crossed paths with the west-bound Turbo; sitting in the front observation car behind the engine, that made for a very quick swoosh--relative observed speed thus of 200 mph of the two trains moving away from each other.

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