New Prime Minister

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New Prime Minister

Postby MikeCDN » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:12 pm

I'm hoping that the new prime minister is more transit friendly.

VIA Rail could easily become a better public service with more trains for commuting, better routes ( using CP in Northern Ontario ) and returning service to communities that once had VIA but lost it in the early 1990s.

What specific routes do people on the forum feel should restored or added?

Furthermore, what are they doing with RDCs from the E&N route? Could they not be put in use on the system?

M.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby SemperFidelis » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:15 pm

While I don't know specifics, the Liberal Party's website states that they want to invest large sums into upgrading infrastructure (which can mean a lot of things) but also, more specifically, that they want to heavily increase spending on public transit.

I'd like to see some international cooperation to see a more competetive Montreal to NYC service along the old D&H and NYC.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby MikeCDN » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:43 pm

I agree with more International cooperation.

It'd be very useful to be able to have Detroit and Chicago as destinations within the corridor. Why fly when you can get there as fast on a train?

What about Calgary as a destination? Where was the VIA station in that city when it existed?

How viable would a route on CP's line through Northern Ontario be?

M.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NeoArashi » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:43 am

Trudeau should, at the very least try to make VIA rerun trains to Gaspé, and restore the original 6-days-a-week frequency of the Ocean.

And I think the Montreal-Senneterre and Montreal-Jonquiere would need a higher frequency during peak season (summer ans holidays). Not sure about the Montreal-Jonquiere, but the Montreal Senneterre, especially between Shawinigan and Parent, is almost always packed with people. (Never been to Parent myself, but everytime I get on from Montreal or Shawinigan, over half the people who board the train get off at either La Tuque (in which case many people also get ON the train) , Weymont/Sanmaur or Parent.)
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby MikeCDN » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:33 pm

NeoArashi wrote:Trudeau should, at the very least try to make VIA rerun trains to Gaspé, and restore the original 6-days-a-week frequency of the Ocean.

And I think the Montreal-Senneterre and Montreal-Jonquiere would need a higher frequency during peak season (summer ans holidays). Not sure about the Montreal-Jonquiere, but the Montreal Senneterre, especially between Shawinigan and Parent, is almost always packed with people. (Never been to Parent myself, but everytime I get on from Montreal or Shawinigan, over half the people who board the train get off at either La Tuque (in which case many people also get ON the train) , Weymont/Sanmaur or Parent.)


Thank you for your input!

Where else in Quebec could benefit? What about the former northern route that hit Trois Riviers etc?

Now, what about on the East Coast? Ontario? and all points in between?

M.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby trainsinmaine » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:45 pm

Bring back the late, lamented Atlantic Limited!! Fredericton --- no passenger train service since 1994. Sherbrooke --- ditto. Saint John --- ditto (the largest city in eastern Canada with no passenger train service, much to the dismay of many in that area). And I should add (selfishly) all of us in Maine who loved that train and found it a delightful and convenient way to get to points both east and west.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NS VIA FAN » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:06 am

trainsinmaine wrote:Bring back the late, lamented Atlantic Limited!! Fredericton ---


Ain’t going to happen!

Even in the last days of the Atlantic (21 years ago now) the Ocean was faster between Moncton and Montreal on its longer route through Campbellton than the Atlantic was on a shorter route through Maine.

This is slow shortline trackage now and could you imagine the hassles of two border crossings each way when you see the time consumed at the border by the Adirondack or Maple Leaf with
just one crossing
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:02 am

The most productive thing to do would be to resurrect VIAFast that was killed by Paul Martin, improving corridor service levels and reducing subsidy needs.

That being said, I found nothing on VIA specifically in the platform, and it's not something that the Liberals have said anything about
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby MikeCDN » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:06 pm

Good point about restoring VIA FAST.

Now what about the International? Did anyone here ride that route? I did on the Canadian side and know towards the end the border crossing was a nightmare.

What would need to happen to ease things at the border?
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:25 pm

I wonder if the improvements to the Michigan Central Line could make an International by-way-of Detroit a reasonable train, rather than the traditional route through Port Huron and Sarnia.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:35 pm

Believe the Detroit-Windsor Rail Tunnel is not allowing Passenger trains,for safety reasons,
Tunnel is controlled by CN after CR sold their shares in the tunnel co.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:24 am

What about the St. Clair Tunnel?
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby dowlingm » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:19 am

VIA has some ideas about what the new ministry could do for them: 4 billion dollars worth.
http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/10 ... tment.html

I suppose we should recognise first off that VIA's prospects haven't perfectly aligned with party expectations. Paul Martin did very little for VIA, and fingers were pointed at his family involvement with Voyageur Bus. Collennette couldn't shut up about high speed rail but neglected the kind of boring but achievable improvements we've seen in Michigan and Illinois. By contrast, despite talking tough in opposition VIA doesn't look all that much smaller post-Tories, and stuff like Kingston Sub 3rd track got done, as did P42, LRC, F40, RDC and Canadian car refurbs too. Some improvement on Montreal-Ottawa happened too.

Before the crazy crayon drawing begins, we need to recognise that we need a fleet replacement plan ASAP, since the LRC and HEP corridor fleets have only so much longer to go and it will take a while to get a procurement process started. In Siemens Viaggio there is the possibility of a more or less ready to go modern ADA/FRA corridor car which All Aboard Florida will find the non-snow related bugs in. For expansion, some P42s might be available in the market once Chargers roll out on US services - there's no prospect for >100mph trackage any time soon so why lash out for F125s or Chargers until there is?

Canada actually formalising what it wants and being willing to contribute from international services would be good, since Amtrak and the border States do most of the heavy lifting. Getting Montreal customs finished to chop time out of Adirondack would be a start, as would some cash to figure out a better/faster way to get trains from Rouses Point to Montreal. That helps push Vermonter-to-Montreal along. I don't know if there are any incremental projects in a drawer that would help Cascades between the border and Vancouver. Whether Maple Leaf continues as a stopping service or converts to a Cascades style closed train with customs in Toronto with GO picking up the intermediates should be discussed. I can't see Windsor or Sarnia-US routes happening - too capital intensive for too little return, especially since Windsor station was moved to a location which I believe is not terribly convenient for the tunnel.

As far as reopening routes/new services I think the Americans have shown the way here - the Provinces can't simply line up with their hand out but should commit to covering operating losses, either fully or as an alternative where losses are above the average loss per passenger mile on the legacy network. There is not a ready to go federal provincial partnership structure for VIA as Amtrak has with the States so that should be an early priority. Unfortunately an opportunity was missed to start this with a transfer of Northlander from Ontario (back) to VIA and its economies of scale but with Ontario providing funding. Routes like Sherbrooke-Montreal as business/commuter routes might be worth looking at earlier than creating 2-3 weekly services in thinly populated areas.

BC will probably make another play for Vancouver Island service to resume but to my mind they don't have a plan for a viable service. To my mind they should be outbasing the train 60-90mins distance, running it into Esquimalt/Victoria (as close as you can get to the city centre with the rail bridge gone) as a commuter service, doing a leisure run during the day as far north as time allows and being back in Victoria to run the commuters home.

In theory there hasn't been a better time in years for new rail service in Alberta, such as Calgary-Edmonton, with an NDP government but they are staring at massive deficits so I doubt they are in a position to even glance at it.

To me, the best approach is incremental improvement which is basically what VIA has been doing for the last few years - increasing frequency, squeezing existing trackage to remove speed restrictions/bolted track/dark territory - but at an increased tempo. Shooting for north of 100mph service means issues like cab signalling/PTC suddenly start ringing money alarm bells which will suck the political oxygen out of all VIA spending discussion. It should also be borne in mind that any significant spend will be in the teeth of bleating from the Taxpayer Taliban and from competitor coach lines, possibly even some airlines.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby MikeCDN » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:07 pm

Wonderfully put dowlingm. Thank you for that insightful piece.

Paul Martin has vested interests in the bus lines and his armada of ships.

One key thing we, as Canadians, have to think about is what do we get the most for our money. Millions spent on track maintenance or billions spent on road repair.

Just my thoughts,

M.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:32 pm

Interesting that the 4th Billion in that upgrade plan is electrification, while the other billions are for new rolling stock and 110 mph trackage
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