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

Moderator: Ken V

  by goodnightjohnwayne
labaienordique wrote:The 23 cent plan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 1YVO_VQeDM#!
It sounds as if this is some sort of organized labor plot to combine the Ontario Northland with Go Transit. It doesn't seem very coherent or realistic. The real reason why the Ontario Northland isn't viable is because it is a high labor cost, overstaffed operation - 966 employees to service a terminal destination of 1,725 residents. It costs a lot to maintain hundreds of miles of old-fashioned jointed rail to passenger standards, and the Ontario Northland does things the old-fashioned way, right down to the old-fashioned track gangs and car shops. You can't pay union scale Class 1 railroad wages when you have 1950s levels of staffing and productivity on what amounts to a backwoods shortline to nowhere.
  by Tadman
That's the problem right there. I'm not a railroad operations whiz, but that 966 employee number sounds out of whack compared to the size of the railroad. I'd like to see ONR's ton-miles and passenger-miles related to their employees and especially compared to a similar-sized shortline. Also, jointed rail in this day and age is nonsense. If this railroad is going to be a powerplay for natural resource transport, jointed rail is an archaic maintenance-intensive albatross.

As a comparison, the Indiana Rail Road has 255 miles of track and 500 total miles, and they employ 200 people.

What's wrong with selling the railroad to CN or CP (or G&W, or Rail America) and having someone such as Via, CN, Keolis, et al... operate the Northlander and Polar Bear? If it saves Ontario money, that's a good thing.
  by briann
The last couple of posts confuse ONR (the Ontario Northland Railway) with ONTC (the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission). The former is a subset of the latter, which includes Ontera (the telecom company for northeastern Ontario), Ontario Northland buses, the Station Inn hotel in Cochrane, the Moosonee to Moose Factory ferry, as well as the railway and refurbishment division. The 966 employees cover ALL the divisions, not just the railway, and the provincial government plans to divest itself of all the operations (though continuing to subsidize Cochrane to Moosonee services).
  by labaienordique
Back from a vacation...

NDP tries to leverage deal with Liberals to halt sale of ONTC
Support motion or face election, McGuinty government told
http://www.thedailypress.ca/ArticleDisp ... ?e=3534229
  by dowlingm
ONTC is a Ministry of Northern Development enterprise. Metrolinx is Ministry of Transportation. I think it's shocking that ONTC's transport operations are essentially being cut loose with no explanation of what other avenues were explored short of the Province's desperate need to raise cash. There were clearly inefficiencies in ONTC operations - rail ticketing not integrated with VIA on either website, bus services running parallel with Metrolinx between Barrie and Toronto, no interconnection between Sudbury and North Bay etc. etc. but instead of exploring alternative options the MNR is being given the green light to chop and dispose in a manoeuver which stinks of panic. On the other hand the union/local reaction - change nothing, everything is fine, we deserve MORE subsidy - doesn't seem credible either.
  by labaienordique
Queen's Park rally
NDP keeping eye on ONTC

CAPT vehemently opposes sell-off of the ONTC

I agree dowlingm that there should be some sort of cooperation between the ONR & Via when it comes to reserving tickets online, being able to effective transfer between trains, etc. Same with the Algoma Central Railway, etc. There is a partnership with the Keewatin Railway & Via Rail for ticketing/schedules if I'm not mistaken for the line between Le Pas & Pukatawagan in Manitoba.
  by briann
Isn't it ironic that yesterday and today, when the Liberal government and NDP opposition are discussing the passing of the provincial budget, including a discussion of the future of ONTC, we find that Highway 11, between North Bay and Cochrane, has been closed twice for several hours, in two separate locations? Nothing moving on the highway, but the trains keep rollin' along!
  by labaienordique
Fight far from over
Ontario Northland General Chairpersons Association News Release

I find that very ironic too briann. I remain hopeful that the ONTC freight & passenger rail services, along with the interurban bus & telecommunication divisions will remain public assets. It would appear the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (as per the ONTC facebook group) wants to get involved to help ensure passenger rail services are expanded to include Sault Sainte Marie, Sudbury, North Bay (as a correspondence point), Pembroke & Ottawa.
  by Ken V
With the shambles that have become of IRSI in Moncton NB it would be nice if the remaining work for VIA could be done in North Bay. Unfortunately that does not seem too likely at this point. Perhaps, since the Ontario government is not interested, someone like Bombardier might look at taking over the ONR shops and take on this and maybe some other contracts. Ultimately I sense the ONR shops will meet the same fate as Pt-St-Charles in Montreal where Alsthom could not make a go of it after CN sold it.
  by labaienordique
Mayors say Bartolucci should be ashamed of standing in the ONTC’s way

Mayor McDonald Speaks on Behalf of Working Group
http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/ckat ... ing-group/
  by labaienordique
  by labaienordique
Northern Mayors tell McGuinty they have had enough
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... QR8#at=312

There is a double standard in this province at Queen's Park if Northern mayors have to resort to this sort of campaign.
  by labaienordique
Group seeks New Deal for ON

Miller, Fedeli to hold ONTC consultation in North

Ontario Northland Ads Coming Soon
http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/ckat ... ming-soon/
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