New Prime Minister

Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

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Re: Tunnel ownership and VIA/Amtrak service connections...

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:48 am

Backshophoss wrote: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.


BSH:

The Detroit-Windsor River Tunnel is owned and controlled by CP. This tunnel was enlarged during the 1990s to
accomodate higher car heights and to allow double stack trains to use this route between the US and Canada.
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnSfOuCJdR4 (1994)

BDawe:

The St. Clair River Tunnel between Port Huron and Sarnia was constructed by CN again during the 1990s replacing
the older paralleling tunnel which was sealed and abandoned.

Everyone:

With Justin Trudeau now the new Prime Minister of Canada it is good to note that he supports VIA Rail service
expansions and improvements restoring some previous service cuts and starting new services such as what has
been proposed in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

If Customs and Immigrations problems could be worked out Amtrak and VIA could operate joint services by way
of one or both tunnels between Michigan and Ontario...Another thought is bringing back trains like the Montrealer
to add service between Vermont and Quebec. This would take cooperation by both CN and CP to allow passenger
rail service improvements like these to become reality.

MACTRAXX
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby AgentSkelly » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:13 pm

Easiest idea for new Transborder service? Go grab those Wisconsin Talgo sets, and run them Ann-Arbor-Detroit-Windsor-Toronto with Amtrak.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby electricron » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:26 pm

AgentSkelly wrote:Easiest idea for new Transborder service? Go grab those Wisconsin Talgo sets, and run them Ann-Arbor-Detroit-Windsor-Toronto with Amtrak.

Good idea, except I would suggest potentially using VIA to run the trains. Isn't the Ann Arbor to Detroit tracks now owned by Michgan? So there's no requirement for to have Amtrak run this train, Michigan should be able to contract with anyone. Maybe completion between VIA and Amtrak will result in lower subsidy fees?
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby AgentSkelly » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:29 pm

electricron wrote:
AgentSkelly wrote:Easiest idea for new Transborder service? Go grab those Wisconsin Talgo sets, and run them Ann-Arbor-Detroit-Windsor-Toronto with Amtrak.

Good idea, except I would suggest potentially using VIA to run the trains. Isn't the Ann Arbor to Detroit tracks now owned by Michgan? So there's no requirement for to have Amtrak run this train, Michigan should be able to contract with anyone. Maybe completion between VIA and Amtrak will result in lower subsidy fees?


I was thinking joint service with VIA/Amtrak. Wait until the procedures are in place as the result of the new US/Canada Pre-Clearence agreement that would allow both sides to do inspection on each other's soil prior to entry.
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Re: Tunnel ownership and VIA/Amtrak service connections...

Postby jp1822 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:15 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:
Backshophoss wrote: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.


BSH:

The Detroit-Windsor River Tunnel is owned and controlled by CP. This tunnel was enlarged during the 1990s to
accomodate higher car heights and to allow double stack trains to use this route between the US and Canada.
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnSfOuCJdR4 (1994)

BDawe:

The St. Clair River Tunnel between Port Huron and Sarnia was constructed by CN again during the 1990s replacing
the older paralleling tunnel which was sealed and abandoned.

Everyone:

With Justin Trudeau now the new Prime Minister of Canada it is good to note that he supports VIA Rail service
expansions and improvements restoring some previous service cuts and starting new services such as what has
been proposed in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

If Customs and Immigrations problems could be worked out Amtrak and VIA could operate joint services by way
of one or both tunnels between Michigan and Ontario...Another thought is bringing back trains like the Montrealer
to add service between Vermont and Quebec. This would take cooperation by both CN and CP to allow passenger
rail service improvements like these to become reality.

MACTRAXX


If the new Prime Minister is a supporter of VIA Rail, I would say one of the best ways he can show that is not necessarily through cross-border trains, but rather, restoring the Ocean back to a six day a week train (or daily train); restoring the frequency of the Canadian back to a tri-weekly service; getting the train to Gaspe back on track and running again; etc. In other words, expanding VIA Rail's footprint IN Canada. The best he can do for cross border connectivity is duplicating the customs process that exists in Vancouver to that in Montreal.

I don't think the Vermonter is going to have a tremendous amount of trouble getting into Montreal. It's the facility at Montreal.....
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:19 am

Is the best way really going to be long distance trains (one of which is little more than a bona-fide landcruise) and trains to the wee villages of the Gaspe? Why do we even talk about Gaspe when one still can't take a train from Calgary to Edmonton?
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NeoArashi » Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:04 am

bdawe wrote:Is the best way really going to be long distance trains (one of which is little more than a bona-fide landcruise) and trains to the wee villages of the Gaspe? Why do we even talk about Gaspe when one still can't take a train from Calgary to Edmonton?


This. Just look at the most popular trains, those of the Corridor. The longest ride takes what, 5 hours? (7 is you count the Toronto-Montreal via Ottawa train) with an exception being, perhaps, the Ocean. Also, look at the two proposed new route (both of which are ''fragmented'' portion of the Ocean) both are under 7 hours long.

My point is, before starting about restoring long routes, I think adding new shorter routes is the way to go. If those new routes work, THEN make longer routes. I agree with you, no Calgary-Edmonton trains is, pardon my language, pretty moronic at this point.

Let me correct you on one wee little detail, thought. ''Gaspé'' is the town (and final stop of the old Montreal-Gaspé route), not the region ;) I'm guessing you were referring to the region of the Gaspésie (which is pretty big)
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:08 pm

It's important to remember that the effective 'footprint' of the Canadian population is pretty remote from most of the country's geography - it's in the cities and suburbs, and a 'footprint' that the public can feel is going to be one that connects most of them to places many of them want to go utilizing the advantages that rail possesses over other means of getting places.

In terms of priority for investment, I would say that it should be:
  • Core Corridor - Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal - there's a concrete plan to modernize these routes between the two largest urban areas and the capital which is absolutely the most useful thing they could do.
  • Quebec-Montreal and SW Ontario - the trains and stations are already there with multiple frequencies, they just could be faster and more reliable and more frequent.
  • Vancouver - US Border - the trains are already there and someone else is paying to operate them, they just need the infrastructure to average faster than 35 mph in getting through this hideously slow segment. I'm also biased.
  • Calgary - Edmonton. Both cities have extensive last mile transit systems and Calgary is among the continents most expensive places to park. A reasonably fast corridor service could be of real use between the millions of inhabitants of these cities, one an outsized business hub and the other a political center. This would require extensive work in upgrading the CP route to passenger standards, and finding a way to get trains back into Central Edmonton, but it's a real potential intercity rail corridor that is going unserved
  • Connecting midsized cities to nearby large cities. Trois Riviere and Sherbrooke are the ones that come to mind, since many such places get passed through by the above routes. A reasonably fast and reliable service to big cities is more useful than...
  • Smaller city corridors, where the lack of big city congestion, last mile travel options, and driving costs tends to put them at a rail disadvantage
  • And only then, trains to wee villages.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NS VIA FAN » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm

From another thread:

bdawe wrote:Nope, because while VIA is announcing new branch line service from Podunk NB to Smallsville NS, we in Canada's third largest metropolis still only see a two-day-a-week landcruise that is also among North America's slowest intercity trains.

I realize that there's not many places to go in British Columbia, but if you're going to be opening up new corridors in the Maritimes could you at least chip in for service to Seattle?


Nope.....No branchline service is being proposed for the Maritimes so it will probably be years if ever before Podunk NB or Smallsville NS see trains into Moncton and Halifax. Most of the old DAR is gone now and even the branchline to Sydney beyond Port Hawkesbury is proposed for abandonment.

What VIA may implement is an Intercity service between Halifax (pop 400,000) and Moncton (pop 140,000) along with a service to Campbellton that would be complementary to the existing Ocean’s schedule which already runs on this route. A logical intercity service continuing onto Saint John (pop 130,000) is not even mentioned at this time.

I certainly agree that BC deserves better then a 2 or 3 times a week service but other than Victoria-Nanaimo-Courtenay and an expanded West Coast Express network in the lower mainland (perhaps on CN to Chilliwack) where would an intercity train run? Only Kamloops comes to mind. A train would take at least 8>9 hours. I can drive it in a little over 3 hours on the Coquihalla so it would be pretty hard to get me out of my car. Even a Greyhound on the Coq is twice as fast as the train.

And it would be up to some level of Government to fund the Amtrak service in BC.....not VIA. Unlike the Maple Leaf between Toronto and Niagara Falls where VIA does have an interest in the operation......providing crews and selling local tickets in Ontario.....Amtrak operates “Sealed” between Vancouver and the Border.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NeoArashi » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:46 am

I'm actually amazed that BC has so little Via Rail services there. Isn't BC like the 3rd most populated Canadian province? (and would still be even if all of the 4 atlantic province would merge up) even if they don't make up new routes, wouldn't something like a tri-weekly Vancouver-Edmonton(or Winnipeg), to compliment the already tri-weekly Canadian be a viable idea?
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NS VIA FAN » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:40 am

NeoArashi wrote:I'm actually amazed that BC has so little Via Rail services there. Isn't BC like the 3rd most populated Canadian province? (and would still be even if all of the 4 atlantic province would merge up) even if they don't make up new routes, wouldn't something like a tri-weekly Vancouver-Edmonton(or Winnipeg), to compliment the already tri-weekly Canadian be a viable idea?


It’s population density you have to look at: Nova Scotia is 17.5 persons per square kilometer and New Brunswick: 10.5 persons per sq/km and this would be even denser in the corridor VIA is looking at expanding between Halifax-Moncton & Campbellton.

BC’s Lower Mainland is about 450 persons per sq/km but once beyond the 70 kms out to Mission/Abbotsford this drops to 4.5 per sq/km average for the province.

Another disadvantage in BC to establishing rail corridors with a higher speed is the slow running required through the river canyons without massive investment.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby bdawe » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:00 pm

NeoArashi wrote:I'm actually amazed that BC has so little Via Rail services there. Isn't BC like the 3rd most populated Canadian province? (and would still be even if all of the 4 atlantic province would merge up) even if they don't make up new routes, wouldn't something like a tri-weekly Vancouver-Edmonton(or Winnipeg), to compliment the already tri-weekly Canadian be a viable idea?



It takes 27 hours to get to Edmonton, at an average speed of 45 km/h. Even in the premier streamliner era the Super Continental still took 22 hours. As such, trans-Rocky Mountain rail services should really understood as landcruises in a way that none of the US long haul routes are, and aren't really relevant as meaningful public services in British Columbia.

Really the corridors that are available are the Island and Seattle. If someone would fix up the tracks the Island Corridor is fairly similar population wise to those corridors they're discussing in the Maritimes - a fairly low ridership area that might be able to support a few Budd Cars (Maybe throw in North Vancouver-Squamish-Whistler as another potentially marginal case)

Vancouver-Seattle-Portland is the real corridor of useful transportation, and my gripe is Ottawa's thus far refusal to invest in this route on this side of the Border.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby NeoArashi » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:49 am

Oh I get it. Thanks for the reply =)

Sorry if my ideas are bad. I don't know a lot about ridership outside the Corridor, Ocean and Montreal-Senetrre-Jonquiere routes.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby Tadman » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:46 am

I think your ideas of expanding corridor service are good. it helps business travelers and creates jobs. It's a good way to promote useful train travel rather than vacation-oriented train travel.
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Re: New Prime Minister

Postby electricron » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:00 pm

bdawe wrote:
NeoArashi wrote:I'm actually amazed that BC has so little Via Rail services there. Isn't BC like the 3rd most populated Canadian province? (and would still be even if all of the 4 atlantic province would merge up) even if they don't make up new routes, wouldn't something like a tri-weekly Vancouver-Edmonton(or Winnipeg), to compliment the already tri-weekly Canadian be a viable idea?



It takes 27 hours to get to Edmonton, at an average speed of 45 km/h. Even in the premier streamliner era the Super Continental still took 22 hours. As such, trans-Rocky Mountain rail services should really understood as landcruises in a way that none of the US long haul routes are, and aren't really relevant as meaningful public services in British Columbia.

Really the corridors that are available are the Island and Seattle. If someone would fix up the tracks the Island Corridor is fairly similar population wise to those corridors they're discussing in the Maritimes - a fairly low ridership area that might be able to support a few Budd Cars (Maybe throw in North Vancouver-Squamish-Whistler as another potentially marginal case)

Vancouver-Seattle-Portland is the real corridor of useful transportation, and my gripe is Ottawa's thus far refusal to invest in this route on this side of the Border.


Why place the funding requirement to upgrade the tracks to Seattle upon Ottawa? Why not place it on British Columbia instead? Vancouver has a great metro rail system, and there is the West Coast Express computer rail 43 miles out as fas as Mission City that takes 1.25 hours already. I don't believe commuters would stand for a longer commute every day. West Coast Express trains could run commuter trains along this corridor towards Seattle as well, adding another rail corridor to the Vancouver commuter rail network.

The closest large enough cities to Vancouver within Canada worthy of daily intercity trains are Calgary and Edmonton, which someone else has already reported takes or would take over 24 hours by train. That's much too long for a daily corridor train service.

And Amtrak already provides inter city rail service to Seattle, the only other large city worthy of such a service. ;)
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