Chalk River Subdivision

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CPF363
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Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:00 pm

Chalk River Subdivision

Post by CPF363 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:02 pm

Did CP and OVR make a mistake with removing the Chalk River Subdivision with all of the CP oil trains bound for eastern refineries now having to run via the longer run through Toronto?

lock4244
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Location: Autocratic, Pathetic Toronto

Re: Chalk River Subdivision

Post by lock4244 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:47 am

I wouldn't think so. The OVR (what I'll use to refer to the CP Ottawa valley line) is/was in awful shape, is slow, and needs a cash infusion to operate something as potentially dangerous as solid trains of crude. The bean counters ran the numbers and it would seem obvious that going via Toronto is the cheaper route. There is likely no benefit to shaving five or ten hours off the transit time of a crude oil train in that the consignee isn't going to offer to pay more for the faster transit time. Railroads lost pretty much all of the time sensitive traffic long ago... all those containers aren't generating revenue based of transit time. The mileage increase is easily offset by the fact that it is cheaper to maintain one route over two, and the route via Toronto is not at capacity, so from an economic standpoint, there is no reason to seek another route. There will be investment in the current route to increase capacity by lengthening passing sidings to accommodate the longer trains CP is running now (awkwardly), something long overdue.

IMO, the OVR was doomed the second CN abandoned their Ottawa-North Bay through route. There was no longer any competitive advantage to the OVR in that while CP may have retained a shorter route than CN, CN gained the advantage of operating more trains over a single route, lowering their costs since they'd be maintaining the Kingston and Bala Subs regardless of the what happened in the valley. With the added traffic from the valley's abandonment, they earned more revenue to cover essentially the same cost of maintenance on the Kingston and Bala Subs that were being operated under capacity. It also gave CN the advantage of using trains more economically, in that a train out of Mtl could carry a western Canada block and a Toronto/Southern Ontario block to Toronto, set off the Toronto traffic and lift more western Canada traffic and continue on their way west. They did just that, and CP is now doing the same.

The OVR is like the CASO... great idea at one time, but outlived its usefulness.

labaienordique
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Location: North Bay (ON)

Re: Chalk River Subdivision

Post by labaienordique » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:07 am

In my opinion, I don't know of any country that allows transportation infrastructure to be ripped up that leads to its nation's capital... I believe though the danger in not having this line available now is in the event of a crisis or an emergency. Should there ever be an incident (God forbid) like the one in Lac Mégantic, an environmental catastrophe or worse that should occur in the 401 corridor that would force a temporary closure, there exists only one line outside that corridor that connects Eastern & Western Canada; albeit a series of lines through the ONR corridor into Kirkland Lake, Rouyn-Noranda QC, and then by the CN lines into l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue & towards inland Québec. But that's one helluva detour if you ask me.

Lines like the former Ottawa-North Bay CN line & the OVR (CP) were developed to transport goods & connect cities across the country; so I find it incredibly short sided that these rail providers would remove infrastructure that could be used at worse, during an emergency. Unlike the 401 corridor, the majority of highways in Northern Ontario are subject to regular closures during the winter months due to deteriorating road conditions, traffic collisions, etc. In quite a few cases, there aren't any real detours (particularly on highway 17 between Mattawa & Petawawa).

I think it would be prudent in the future for governments to take some of these factors into consideration before approving abandonments of railways & other transportation infrastructure.

Fortunately, the OVR (though the name no longer reflects the area it serves), still operates today between Témiscaming QC, Mattawa, North Bay & Sudbury.
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
A new province in Canada: Northern Ontario

labaienordique
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Location: North Bay (ON)

Re: Chalk River Subdivision

Post by labaienordique » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:22 pm

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commenta ... ystem.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
A new province in Canada: Northern Ontario

CPF363
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: Chalk River Subdivision

Post by CPF363 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:29 pm

labaienordique wrote:In my opinion, I don't know of any country that allows transportation infrastructure to be ripped up that leads to its nation's capital... I believe though the danger in not having this line available now is in the event of a crisis or an emergency. Should there ever be an incident (God forbid) like the one in Lac Mégantic, an environmental catastrophe or worse that should occur in the 401 corridor that would force a temporary closure, there exists only one line outside that corridor that connects Eastern & Western Canada; albeit a series of lines through the ONR corridor into Kirkland Lake, Rouyn-Noranda QC, and then by the CN lines into l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue & towards inland Québec. But that's one helluva detour if you ask me.

Lines like the former Ottawa-North Bay CN line & the OVR (CP) were developed to transport goods & connect cities across the country; so I find it incredibly short sided that these rail providers would remove infrastructure that could be used at worse, during an emergency. Unlike the 401 corridor, the majority of highways in Northern Ontario are subject to regular closures during the winter months due to deteriorating road conditions, traffic collisions, etc. In quite a few cases, there aren't any real detours (particularly on highway 17 between Mattawa & Petawawa).

I think it would be prudent in the future for governments to take some of these factors into consideration before approving abandonments of railways & other transportation infrastructure.

Fortunately, the OVR (though the name no longer reflects the area it serves), still operates today between Témiscaming QC, Mattawa, North Bay & Sudbury.
It is very frustrating that they are closing and dismantling the rail structure. Once that is completed, the line is done forever. It does seem logical to leave at least one of these routes in place, or a combination of both CN's and CP's lines to make one decent through line between Sudbury, Smiths Falls and Coteau. If more unit trains become more and more of a reality in coming years, and these big trains cause capacity issues through Toronto, then the short-cut through the Ottawa Valley would have been worth it to retain. Was there effort on the the part of either CN or CP or both send more Montréal-Prairies direct traffic over the the Ottawa Valley Rail Link also. Some tax dollars could have been used to help with track upkeep and maintenance. Was there any kind of on line businesses over the lines in years past such as paper and pulp mills?

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