Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

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

Moderator: Ken V

Post Reply
mdvle
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by mdvle » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:16 pm

They are going to consider other options, included buses and highways.

https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/ont ... l-corridor

NIMBYkiller
Posts: 1448
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:24 pm
Location: Port Washington
Contact:

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by NIMBYkiller » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:55 pm

Is there any possibility of upgrading any of the existing lines to the highest possible speed and widening the ROW where needed rather than trying to ram a new dedicated line through? I see Toronto-Detroit as a major potential HSR line with added frequencies.

mdvle
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by mdvle » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:47 am

Toronto - Detroit I would consider unlikely, the border has just become too much of an issue.

As for the the existing route, too much of it is freight railway that limits the options regarding both electrifying and higher speeds.

My prediction is that the current government will cancel it.

NIMBYkiller
Posts: 1448
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:24 pm
Location: Port Washington
Contact:

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by NIMBYkiller » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:24 pm

Yet Vancouver and Montreal exist as end points for Amtrak service and both have/will have border formalities completed in station, why couldn't VIA do the same at Detroit? Also, doesn't most of the line run through sparsely populated land? The existing route may have plenty of freight traffic, but if there's space to add a track or two why couldn't VIA just do that rather than trying to build an entirely new ROW previously unused lands?

mdvle
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by mdvle » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:50 am

NIMBYkiller wrote:The existing route may have plenty of freight traffic, but if there's space to add a track or two why couldn't VIA just do that rather than trying to build an entirely new ROW previously unused lands?
The first and most obvious reason is that it wasn't a VIA project, it was a Province of Ontario project.

And while it was never spelled out, given that it was going to be Ontario track, stations, and trains it was obvious that it would have meant the end of VIA all/part of southwestern Ontario eventually.

As for the other issues, you again run up to the fact that the freight railways aren't likely to allow electrification on their right of way - it causes lots of additional issues they simply don't want to deal with.

But I suspect the main issue is that it simply wouldn't achieve the goal in terms of London-Toronto time.

My interpretation is that this was an attempt to ease the pressure off of Toronto/GTA by creating an outlet for the growth Toronto is experiencing by connecting London to Toronto with a very short transit time (in the past this would have been viewed as Nation building/Province building, and somewhat similar to what the British government is attempting with HS2 to link LondonUK with some of the other large cities in England).

NIMBYkiller
Posts: 1448
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:24 pm
Location: Port Washington
Contact:

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by NIMBYkiller » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:29 pm

Again, new tracks adjacent to the existing ROW. Precedent is already there, passenger rail has its own tracks, freights have theirs.

mdvle
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by mdvle » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:12 pm

NIMBYkiller wrote:Again, new tracks adjacent to the existing ROW. Precedent is already there, passenger rail has its own tracks, freights have theirs.
Also again, the much of the existing ROW is the property of CN and they are not going to allow catenary for electric trains on their ROW even if it is adjacent lines for the simple reason that it complicates things.

I also assume the existing ROW is not going to be straight enough for the formerly planned 250km/h (155mph) speeds, not to mention the time savings of having a relatively straight line between stations compared to the existing route I would assume. I would also guess at those speeds you likely also want more space between the tracks, thus making it highly unlikely there is enough space on the existing ROW for both freight and HSR.

User avatar
Tadman
Posts: 9271
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by Tadman » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:28 pm

Is electrification really necessary? Top-and-tail diesels have been running 125mph service before. Also cuts down on infrastructure costs.

mdvle
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by mdvle » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:36 pm

Top and tail isn't necessary for the 125mph - VIA's fleet renewal specified up to 125mph on diesel and Siemens appears to be offering a single loco per train to meet that.

I suspect the issue, in addition to the environmental benefit, was the service was based around meeting certain travel times between stations and they only way to achieve that was with the 155mph speed and a better track alignment.

For now at least the page is still on the provincial website and gives the estimated travel times between stations they were aiming for
https://www.ontario.ca/page/high-speed-rail

electricron
Posts: 4484
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by electricron » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:05 am

mdvle wrote:For now at least the page is still on the provincial website and gives the estimated travel times between stations they were aiming for
https://www.ontario.ca/page/high-speed-rail
In Ontario, we define high speed rail as a system as a rail system that operates at or above 250 km/h on dedicated tracks or at 200 km/h on existing tracks. FYI, 250 km'h = 155 mph, 200 km/h = 124 mph.
Therefore, with the max speeds of diesel electric locomotives being 200 km/h, 250 km/h max speeds will require all electric locomotives.

mdvle
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by mdvle » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:11 pm

Ontario's new government delivered their first budget on Thursday and to no surprise all capital funding for High Speed Rail has been eliminated.

https://london.ctvnews.ca/no-high-speed ... -1.4377862

dowlingm
Posts: 1173
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by dowlingm » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:34 pm

The Wynne government opted for a long-ball Province-only approach when they could have committed money to VIA to speed up higher speed rail, as the US PRIIA States have done. Now we get nothing and the highway tarmac contractors will receive handsome sums to pave over even more green space (and of course there is no sign of a Northlander restart).

So mad at this.

User avatar
Ken V
Posts: 910
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Ontario rethinks High Speed Rail

Post by Ken V » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:21 pm

dowlingm wrote:(and of course there is no sign of a Northlander restart)..
The return of the Northlander was brought up a few times during the last election campaign by prominent members of the PC party including party leader Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, the current Finance Minister, and representative for North Bay, ONR's home.
And although the future of passenger rail service in northeastern Ontario didn’t receive any budget funding, Fedeli said the PCs made the commitment to return it in their first term and intend to live up to that commitment.
https://www.nugget.ca/news/local-news/w ... get-fedeli

So there's still hope.
Ken V. Moderator: Most things Canadian.
Any time could be train time!

Post Reply

Return to “Canadian Passenger Operations: AMT, Go Transit, VIA, etc.”