Topics
Publishers
Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
Vialogue Fall 2010
Brochures | Transportation 2010-10-05 09:53:34
Page 1 of 2
  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 1

    Progress report: capital projects PAGES 2 AND 3 F A L L VOLUME 32 . NUMBER 3

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 2

    CAPITAL PROJECTS Progress report: capital projects Since 2007, Vialogue has been keeping employees up-to-date on VIA's Capital Investment Program. This $923 million program is the largest capital investment in VIA's history. It will modernize our fleet and upgrade our stations, our information technology, and key rail infrastructure. Here is the latest update on some large-scale projects. RENAISSANCE ROLLING STOCK > Of the 59 Renaissance cars involved in this project, 50 cars will receive accessibility improvements, ensuring that the fleet meets federal requirements to meet the needs of the disabled. Every Renaissance train will have a fully accessible coach, and every Renaissance train operating overnight will be equipped with an accessible sleeper cabin. These modifications in particular, to three sleeper cars and nine coach cars, will make VIA the first railway company in the Americas to meet new federal guidelines related to accessibility for the mobility impaired and people with other disabilities. The company doing the work, Moncton-based Industrial Rail Services Inc., has already completed two coach cars and one baggage car, all of which were delivered to the Montral Maintenance Centre (MMC), in mid-August. "The size of the washrooms and the location of their doors along with the ends of both coach cars were re-engineered, above all to help passengers with reduced mobility move more freely," explains Steve Tselios, senior director, Capital Programs. These washrooms have multiple hand rails, including folding hand grabs, automatic sensor faucets and poweroperated doors. The wheelchair tie-down system has been improved and an adjustable table installed within the new seating area. Some seats are equipped with flip-up armrests and a new lowered seat pair was installed to accommodate service animals. What's more, 2 VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA the baggage car has now been equipped with two larger doors facing each other in order to facilitate baggage handling. "The twelve key accessible cars will be completed by 2012 and the overall project will be completed in early 2013." George Jaray Project manager, Capital Programs VIALOGUE Published by VIA Rail Canada's People group for employees, pensioners and their families. Suggestions for articles are welcome and should be sent to: VIA RAIL CANADA C.P. 8116, POSTE A MONTRAL, QUBEC H3C 3N3 VIALOGUE@VIARAIL.CA 514 871-6309 Visit the Vialogue page in iVIA's News section Editor: MARIE-HLNE BOLDUC Contributors to this issue: MARIE-HLNE BOLDUC JULIE DUROCHER LAURENCE GOUGH MELANIE MARTENS CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Contact 1 800 799 9934 30%

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 3

    F-40 LOCOMOTIVES At their shop in Lachine, Qubec, CAD Railway Industries has completed a thorough rebuild of 18 of VIA's 54 F-40 locomotives. The F-40s make up 70 per cent of VIA's locomotive fleet. "Another five rebuilt F-40s will be delivered to the MMC in the coming months, and 16 are scheduled in 2011. The rest will be completed by the end of 2012," says Daniel Rainville, senior project manager, Capital Programs. The major upgrades made to these locomotives will extend their life cycle by an additional 15 to 20 years, in addition to reducing maintenance costs, improving efficiency and lowering fuel consumption. The modifications include the installation of new on-board computer systems, an electronic brake system and digital cameras to serve as event recorders in the event of an accident. RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE In total, $475 million will be spent on infrastructure projects that will have a positive impact VIA's busiest market, the Qubec City-Windsor corridor. "Changes to the Alexandria Subdivision between Coteau and Ottawa have already been completed. Work between Chatham and Windsor will be completed this fall and work between Smiths Falls and Ottawa, as well as between Smiths Falls and Brockville, should be completed in early 2011." Aaron Branston Senior manager, Infrastructure Developed and carried out in conjunction with our host railways, these projects seek above all to improve safety and to eliminate "dark territory," where there is a lack of signal systems in certain regions. This involves adding and improving level crossing protection and Want to learn more about infrastructure projects? Visit the Vialogue archives, available online through iVIA, and select "Vialogue" under the "News" tab in the left?hand menu. centralized traffic control (CTC), which allows signals and switches to be controlled remotely, provides guiding indications to trains and detects track damage. These improvements will eliminate delays caused by traffic congestion and increase track capacity, allowing higher average speeds for passenger trains, reductions in trip length and a greater frequency of service. Sections of third track are also being built on the Kingston Subdivision between Brockville and Toronto, which in turn requires new or modified stations at Brockville, Belleville, Cobourg and Oshawa. This work will be completed in early 2012. Centralized Traffic Control Systems (CTC): Spring 2008 Detailed work description and sums allocated to certain Corridor subdivisions: Fall 2009 (Note: The schedules may have changed) Belleville, Brockville, Oshawa and Cobourg stations: Summer 2010 VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA 3

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 4

    MARKETING Seat sales make VIA top of mind July 19 was a record-breaking day for VIA's telephone sales offices. > On that day the Moncton and Montral offices sold a combined $297,771 worth of tickets, the most for a Monday since VIA's sales agents began closing credit card sales over the phone in September of last year. The previous record for a Monday was $263,883 on April 19. What did these Mondays have in common? Both were the final day of a 60 per cent off seat sale. VIA has run two aggressive seat sales in 2010 - spring and summer - following on the success of the big sale in the summer of 2009. This year's sales have been more controlled in nature, with limited inventory and booking periods, but the goals are the same: to fill empty seats, and to make VIA top of mind. 4 THE VIA FRIENDS AND FAMILY FARE VIA also offered its first ever Friends and Family Fare this past summer. Though not as attention?grabbing as the summer seat sale, employees were able to offer those near and dear to them 15 per cent off the best available fare, with a longer booking period and more flexibility than a deep?discount seat sale can offer. All in all, this promotion earned VIA another $21,000 in revenues, all thanks to low?cost word?of?mouth (or email) from employees. Did you join VIA's unofficial sales force this past summer? If not, you'll have another chance - another Friends and Family offer will be launched this fall. Stay tuned! VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA TM Trademark owned by VIA Rail Canada Inc. AN UNBELIE VABLE DISCOUNT FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIP. Save 60% when you travel in Canada by October 31, 2010 inclusive. But hurry - this offer ends July 19, 2010. Certain conditions apply. Tickets must be purchased at least 3 days prior to departure. Buy today at viarail.ca 1253, av. McGill College, 3 e tage, Montral (Qubec) H3B 2Y5 Tl. : 514-845-7256 | Tlc. : 514-845-1648 | www.palmhavas.ca Dir. artistique Rdacteur Rviseur Serv. clientle Client 2 No de dossier : Vi22541 (4097-10) | Produit : Ann. Journal | Date : 14/07/2010 | Infographiste : BL Client : VIA Rail | No Annonce : Vi-10-25-A | Titre : Promo 60% | Couleur : "A sale like this creates buzz CMYK in the Format : 10,5 po x 20,857 po | Publication : The Gazette marketplace, and that has a halo effect. Even if people can't take advantage of the current sale, the positive association will entice them to think of VIA as a viable alternative the next time they make travel plans." Michael Acosta Director, Revenue Management and Pricing FAST FACTS ABOUT VIA'S 2010 SUMMER SEAT SALE 60% off controlled inventory 4-day booking period Total reservations: 51,582 Total revenues: $2,108,734!

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 5

    PENSION VIA'S PENSION FUND Recent developments The Corporation conducted an actuarial valuation as of December 31, 2009 to measure the financial position of the Plans, as currently required by law every 3 years. > An actuarial valuation measures the value of the assets against the value of the liabilities (accrued & projected pension benefits). The results confirmed that both plans remain in a sound financial position on a going concern basis, but the unionized plan showed a 3 per cent solvency deficiency (in the event the plan had been liquidated in December 2009), while the non-unionized plan remains in a surplus state. Overall, the financial situation of both plans has deteriorated following the financial crisis of 2008, but a recent estimate conducted by the federal regulator (Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions) confirms that VIA's plans remain amongst the most well funded federally regulated plans. VIA continues to make normal ongoing contributions to the unionized plan, since it pro-actively resumed contributions in the fall of 2008, in response to the financial crisis. Upon receiving the new actuarial valuation results in 2010, VIA also began to make special payments necessary to re-establish the full solvency of the unionized plan over time. In this context, VIA expects to pay $24M in contributions to the unionized plan in 2010, representing close to 5 per cent of the Corporation's budget. In the case of the non-unionized plan, the funding level is currently in a surplus state, at a level under which the regulation imposes a mandatory contribution holiday on the employer for 2010. VIA RAIL CANADA 2010 NATIONAL CHARITABLE CAMPAIGN A little goes a long way! OCTOBER 12 TO NOVEMBER 1 GOALS: $225,000 AND 2,200 DONORS DID YOU KNOW THAT? The pension fund at VIA holds assets valued at $1.5B, ranking as the 82nd largest defined benefit pension fund in Canada. The membership amounts to 7,500 individuals, half of which are retired. The pension fund regroups assets of VIA's two plans: one for unionized employees and one for non?unionized employees. Both plans share the same investment policy and invest jointly their assets to generate greater economies of scale. The expense ratio of VIA's pension fund was 0.3% in 2009 (vs 2.5% to 3.0% for a typical retail Canadian balanced mutual fund). The fund paid more than $100M in pension benefits in 2009. VIA's pension fund posted a 15.6% gain in 2009, a performance that was in line with average performance of Canadian pension funds. Capital markets conditions continue to be challenging so far in 2010, as uncertainty persists concerning the health of the global economic recovery. However VIA continues to monitor the funding status of its plan and will make the necessary contributions to maintain adequate capitalization, in compliance with regulations. VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA 5

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 6

    LEAN A JOURNEY OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT "Lean" is a word that is being used more and more at VIA and in environments as different as maintenance centres, stations, trains and offices. Vialogue recently met with President and CEO Marc Lalibert to learn more about Lean management and what it will mean for VIA and its employees. CAN YOU BRIEFLY EXPLAIN WHAT LEAN MANAGEMENT IS? ML Simply put, Lean management is an approach to increase value for customers through the continuous improvement of our processes. It's based on manufacturing principles used in Japan's car industry over the last 50 years, to deliver quality products while improving efficiency and productivity. It is often viewed as a set of basic principles and tools. But most importantly, Lean management relies on the involvement of employees at all levels of the organization, to identify and work on opportunities for improvement and for eliminating waste, all for the benefit of customers. LEAN MANAGEMENT IS BETTER KNOWN FOR ITS USE IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR. CAN IT BE APPLIED TO OTHER TYPES OF ACTIVITIES AT VIA? ML While it stems from the car industry, Lean management has been applied to many environments, including the service industry and even in hospitals. Everywhere processes exist, there are opportunities to streamline or standardize them, and ultimately make them simpler for those involved. 6 VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA You may even be using some Lean principles at home without knowing it. Think of how you organize your tools in your garage. If you have drawn the outline of your hammer and vice grip on the wall to know where to put them back after you have used them, you are using a Lean tool (a visual aid). There are many examples of Lean principles in every kitchen. Most people will put the utensils they use to cook next to the stove, and a dishwasher is usually placed close to the sink to avoid having to carry wet dishes across the room. I'm sure you can see how these simple notions can be transposed to a shop floor, a train, a station or even an office setting. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LEAN FOR VIA, AND FOR ITS EMPLOYEES? ML There are many benefits for VIA. By simplifying our processes, we can put more energy into focusing on the things that are important for our customers. We will also be in a better position to realize the benefits outlined in our five-year corporate plan. Just think of the additional frequencies we are planning to add over the next few years as our infrastructure projects are completed and our refurbished equipment becomes ready for service. Having more efficient processes will enable us to operate more trains without exponentially growing our workforce and our costs, and while maintaining or even improving the quality of the services we offer. Employees who work in a Lean environment can accomplish more, not because they work harder but rather because they work better through better processes. In the end you have a sense that everything you do really brings value to the organization and to the customers. And, as I said before, Lean management relies on employees to identify opportunities for improvement on an ongoing basis, which in itself can be rewarding. WHAT ARE YOUR SHORT-TERM PRIORITIES IN REGARDS TO LEAN MANAGEMENT? ML Over the last few months, our priority has been to identify the areas of activities that could most benefit from Lean principles, in the Equipment Maintenance function but in other functions as well. Now that we have identified where we want to focus our efforts (see sidebar on page 7), we will put in place a framework to guide us along the way. This will include acquiring the expertise to develop an overall plan for the implementation of Lean initiatives. We want to start with only a few initiatives and expand as we get more comfortable with the principles and the tools. Lean is not something we can do overnight, it is a journey of continuous improvement which will require the involvement of all employees.

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 7

    THE FIVE (5) PRINCIPLES OF LEAN* 1. Gain a good understanding of activities through direct observation of the work, including the connections with other areas of act ivities and work flows. 2. Eliminate waste through streamlining and simplifying activities (see The eight (8) types of wastes). 3. Agree on how best to organize work for added value (standardization). 4. Identify problem areas and the causes in order to address them. 5. Ensure continuous improvement by ensuring lessons learned are shared and integrated in activities. One of the key principles of Lean management is the elimination of waste which is defined as anything that does not add value to a process and ultimately to the product or service we offer. THE EIGHT (8) TYPES OF WASTES* 1. Over?production: Producing more than the immediate customer needs or producing something sooner than it is needed. Also applies to information (emails, reports, etc.) 2. Transportation: Any unnecessary movement of parts, tools, paper, information, or even customers. 3. Inventory: Stockpiled parts, orders, time, or activities beyond what is needed for immediate customer needs. Inventory is money sleeping. 4. Motions: Any movement by people, including walking, bending, and reaching, which does not add value. 5. Waiting: Any downtime of equipment or people, e.g. waiting for materials, parts, information or people. 6. Over?processing: Doing more to a product or process than the customer requires. This includes inefficient work methodology. 7. Errors or defects: Any process, product or service error, whether it reaches the customer or not. 8. Lost creativity: Not using the full potential of individuals to add value to the organization. * Source: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean: Lessons form the Road (J. Flinchbaugh & A. Carlino) FOUR (4) LEAN INITIATIVES AT VIA VIA will begin by applying Lean principles and tools in the following areas: 1. Safety: to gain a better understanding of locomotive engineers' typical work activities from reporting time to arrival at home terminal with an aim to eliminate operational risks and ultimately improve safety. Lead: Marc Beaulieu, Chief of Transportation 2. Boarding/Detraining: to gain a better understanding of the processes related to passengers' station experience prior to and at time of boarding, as well as after detraining, with an aim to ensure the on?time departure of trains. This initiative, which also includes baggage handling, will be implemented first in Toronto, then in Montral, Ottawa and Kingston, before being introduced in other stations. Leads: Susan Williams and Yves Nol, Directors, Customer Experience 3. Equipment Maintenance: a) Servicing: to map out processes related to train servicing (from time customers' detrain to when they board again) in order to identify and eliminate waste (inefficiency) and improve throughput, b) Wheel Shop Operations: to review the overall process with an aim to increase efficiency; c) Inventories: to reduce obsolete inventory and improve on the process creating excess inventories of parts. These initiatives will first be implemented at the Montral Maintenance Centre, and then introduced in other maintenance centres. Leads: Joe Di Liello, Director, Maintenance Operations (Corridor and East) and Joe Cianci, Director, Operations Planning and Inventory Management 4. Purchasing: to streamline purchasing processes in line with the Equipment Maintenance initiatives mentioned above (ex: procurement activities on an Equipment modification program), as well as improve the tendering processes for the entire Corporation in terms of efficiency and quality. Lead: Lucie Guimond, Director, Purchasing VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA 7

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 8

    SOUVENIRS PROGRAM THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES New VIA souvenirs available soon! A new selection of VIA-branded souvenirs will soon be available for sale online, in major stations and on the Eastern and Western transcontinental trains, with a limited selection also available in the Corridor. WHY DOES VIA SELL SOUVENIRS? Most of all, because our customers ask for them. Especially in touring class, but many Corridor passengers also say they would like to take a home a little piece of VIA. Secondly, because the markup is excellent and the sale of these items is a simple way to boost revenues and increase brand visibility. Almost every airline, cruise line, hotel chain and most passenger rail companies have their own branded souvenir program, many with dedicated boutiques. 8 VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA HOW DOES IT WORK? Souvenirs will be available for sale on board almost all VIA trains, and in major stations. Display cases will be installed on board the Canadian and in Panorama lounges in Toronto, Ottawa and Montral to showcase a selection of the new items. On Corridor trains, a small inventory of the top five items (mug, pin, pen, playing cards, and keychain) will be integrated into the snack cart. The full complement of souvenirs can be viewed and ordered online, and a brochure will be available. WHAT'S FOR SALE? Everything from the standard VIA-branded mugs and keychains, to more surprising items like teddy bears, binoculars, rain ponchos, and even quality jewelry designed to appeal to touring class passengers who want to take home a very special souvenir of their train trip of a lifetime. THAT'S GREAT! CAN I BUY ONE? Of course - the website will be launched this fall, and employees will be entitled to a discount. Stay tuned! During the month of October, the Service Design team will meet with on train and station employees to explain the program and show them some of the souvenirs that will be sold. acceSS to from home 1. https://vpn-portal.viarail.ca/: enter your e-Learning user name and password. 2. Click on the iVIA link. By default, it will show restricted corporate content. 3. Employees who have access to iVIA at work: click on Sign in and enter your Windows user name and password, and VIA in the "Domain" field.

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 9

    CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Letters of appreciation from our customers East "My brother and I went by VIA from Montral to Truro. The trip was made very enjoyable by the excellent service of Gary Fenette [learning coordinator] and Joanne Doucet [senior service attendant]. Please convey our thanks to them for making the trip unforgettable. Congratulations to VIA for having great staff - the train was good too!" Peter and Philip K. Corridor-East Roger Bourque, in charge of the Ottawa Station, recently made a number of passengers very happy by offering to park their cars. Without this consideration, there is no doubt the group would have missed its departure for Montral... not to mention its weekend! In a show of appreciation, Roger received a card along with several photos of the group. - Editor "Roger, Thank you so much for going out of your way to help my friends catch the train to Montral. Your kindness really helped to make the weekend great." Allison M. Southwestern Ontario "I would like to recognize the excellent service my daughter and I received from Peter Middleton, [senior counter sales agent] at the Oakville station. We had missed a connecting train but Peter was able to book us through to our original destination with more convenient connections than the original. He then stored our luggage and advised us on local activities we could do while waiting for the next train. His customer service was not only exemplary but also very friendly! Well done!" Bob and Zoe K. West They say the Canadian is the trip of a lifetime... this is one couple who will never forget it. This past summer, Dan Wilcock and Maya Gold travelled from Toronto to Vancouver, and took advantage of the station stop in Jasper to get married! VIA employees from Moncton to Vancouver worked to make this trip a special one. By coincidence, VIA President Marc Lalibert just happened to be on the same train. Below is a letter from a member of the wedding party. - Editor "Dear Cynthia Robinson [telephone sales agent] You asked that I get in touch with you and report on Dan and Maya's wedding. In three words, we are "fans for life"! Dan said these very words as he raised his glass to toast Maya, his bride and to thank VIA staff and VIA's President and CEO, Marc Lalibert, who shared in the post wedding celebrations on the train. How can we be otherwise than delighted? From the moment we stepped up to the departure point and checked in at Toronto until the moment we said goodbye to the train in Vancouver, VIA delivered service, kindness and unwavering good will to the wedding party in equal and extravagant measure. [...] I have to mention the wonderful food, including the special attentions lavished on us by chef Jeff Short and his kitchen team who joined the train as part of the crew that boarded Winnipeg. Meals were excellent and served with flair by dining car crews who were invariably cheerful and attentive. [...] Special thanks are owed to Barry Johnston [senior coordinator] who brought his humour and a gentle pace to the dining car. In our sleeping cars we were coddled and cared for too. [...] Special thanks to Monia Noel and Sarah Doyle [both senior service attendants]. Photo Marc Lalibert I have to mention Louise Bellemare the service manager who joined the train with the crew at Winnipeg. Louise brought her special brand of calm, and competence to the train and to the wedding! She and her staff just kept delivering good will. [...] And our Park car attendants (special thanks to Karim Abdulla, senior service attendant) made sure the wedding cakes and the champagne were set out in style for a memorable post nuptial party. [...] Cindy, please accept my thanks for all your efforts to make this trip special for the bride and groom and others in the wedding party. Hats off to VIA for the voyage and memories!" Denise M. VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA 9

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 10

    OUR PEOPLE CORRIDOR?EAST Joe Di Liello: off to a running start... and still going strong Joe Di Liello's career with VIA got a running start at the end of May as the new director, Maintenance Operations (Corridor and East). > "I had to learn quickly about the company, the Montral Maintenance Centre's (MMC) operations, the people involved in various teams, etc. But I was ready," says Joe, backed by more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, including positions at CN, Alstom and Vapor Rail. The last few months of 2010 will be a busy time at the MMC, with the launch of various initiatives and on-going projects related to the Capital Investment Program. "With two Lean initiatives slated for implementation at the MMC [see pages 6 and 7], I want to be sure the concepts associated with this approach are properly understood by employees," says Joe, who acquired solid experience in Lean production practices while working as factory manager at Vapor Rail. "Part of the advantages of this approach for employees is that it encourages them to take part in finding solutions to problems." An apprentice training program initially aimed at heavy duty mechanics will also be launched to ensure succession in the workforce. EAST Nancy Risser: "You only live once, make the most of it" > "My next project? If the Nordiques come back to Qubec City, I'd like to implement a special train to attend a game," exclaims Nancy Risser. If ever the NHL returns to the Vieille Capitale, there's no doubt that this control clerk at Halifax 10 VIALOGUE FALL 2010 INTRANET.VIARAIL.CA Station will seize her chance. Nancy was a key organizer of several special VIA events and trains that have been the talk of the region in the past few years. It was while helping to organize the 2005 Remembrance Day Train, which transported over 470 people, including 230 veterans, that she experienced a moment to remember. "I still get goose bumps when I think back to the stories these veterans told us. It was one of the best experiences of my life." Sandy Hach-Lawlor, manager, Customer Experience, has nothing but good things to say about Nancy. "She always looks for innovative and more efficient solutions to any issue that comes her way. While she was training new control clerks, Nancy took it upon herself to develop a guide to help them memorize the inherent steps and procedures of the position. This guide continues to be used on a regular "With this program, we hope to give apprentices the opportunity to gain both the theoretical and practical knowledge they will need to properly carry out their trade." The director also wants to meet with every employee a few times a year to help them better understand the company's goals and to discuss a variety of topics. "It's important that we always remember who the 'real customers' are, that is, those who travel onboard our trains. Maintenance centres have a key role to play in meeting the expectations of customers, who are looking for a safe, reliable, comfortable and clean train that arrives on time." basis by new members of the team." A woman of action, she has also been the union representative for her Agreement 1 colleagues for two years. By now you have guessed that her passion is what drives her to continue working at VIA. But you should also know that she is an actual dedicated follower of a cult... Mickey Mouse! "Each time I step into Walt Disney World, I cry." This fall, she will return for the ninth time since she got hooked on her first trip in 1997, along with her husband and two young children. "You only live once, make the most of it," she concludes.

Page 1 of 2

Please wait