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407 Rail Freight Bypass/The Missing Link

steveintoronto

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Further to the above:

There are a number of examples where rail and electricity share the same corridor, rather than linking those references (I'll link more opportune ones to copy later) this is of great interest, from the US Gov't General Accounting Office on doing the opposite, using existing rail corridors to run (as Quebec does) HVDC lines. Ontario uses the more conventional AC system, for the purposes of our discussion, it makes little difference:
[...]
Congress included a provision in the Implementing
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 requiring us to
assess the siting of HVDC transmission lines along active railroad and
other transportation rights of way[Footnote 4] and report to
appropriate congressional committees. In response to this requirement
and after discussions with the committees, we examined (1) the role of
the federal government in siting HVDC electric transmission lines along
active transportation rights of way, (2) advantages and disadvantages
of adding transmission lines and using HVDC technology, and (3)
benefits and risks associated with the siting of HVDC electric
transmission lines along active transportation rights of way.
[...]
We also identified potential benefits and risks resulting from the
collocation of transmission lines along transportation rights of way.
According to studies we reviewed and stakeholders we interviewed,
potential benefits of collocation may include ease of construction and
maintenance of the transmission lines and the reduction of
environmental and visual impacts. For example, electricity stakeholders
told us that building along rights of way may avoid constructing lines
in undisturbed lands. In addition, stakeholders told us that it may be
less costly to acquire the right to add a new transmission line to an
existing right-of-way from a single owner--such as a pipeline, highway,
or railroad--than it would be to acquire the needed rights from
multiple property owners. Potential risks of collocation may include
the increased likelihood of safety and security incidents due to the
proximity of the transmission lines and the transportation
infrastructure. For example, train derailments or highway crashes
potentially could damage transmission lines and fallen transmission
lines could damage transportation infrastructure. In addition, a
collocated transmission line and natural gas line may be a more
desirable terrorist target than either facility on its own. Federal and
state officials told us they have not conducted studies specifically on
these risks, but they expect the probability of these occurrences to be
low. Several infrastructure owners and other stakeholders that we
interviewed said that steps, such as adhering to required clearance
distances for infrastructure maintenance and conducting risk
assessments, can be taken to mitigate the potential risks associated
with collocation.[...]
http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/95343.html

Here's another, I was reading the report on-line, but it was not possible to copy sections, but the Globe's cover story on it is:
Proposed 7,000-kilometre resource corridor would improve life in Canada's North, researchers say
Eric Atkins
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:23PM EDT
[...]
Pipelines, railways, roads, electricity and transmission lines would share the right of way that extends from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans, the Beaufort Sea to the north, as well as Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence Seaway, connecting to existing rails, roads, pipes and ports in the southern part of Canada.

“We think that it’s got incredible potential merit in lowering trade costs between provinces and lowering trade costs in getting some of these landlocked areas access to tidewater,” said G. Kent Fellows, a research associate at University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and a co-author of the feasibility study. [...]
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repo...rough-canadas-north-proposed/article30178634/

Again, under the Ontario Electricity Act, this use is not only allowed, it's promoted.
 
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crs1026

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Sharing the corridor is standard practice, and still makes sense here.

It's the specific limits of approach and encroachment that we need to respect. We should not weave tracks between pylons.

A good surveyor's transit, and money to move the odd thing around, is all we are talking about.

- Paul
 

steveintoronto

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Sharing the corridor is standard practice, and still makes sense here.

It's the specific limits of approach and encroachment that we need to respect. We should not weave tracks between pylons.

A good surveyor's transit, and money to move the odd thing around, is all we are talking about.

- Paul
The Europeans are taking the opportunity to bury their cables, which is probably what is illustrated in jcam's post above. Ireland looked at burying 400 kV xmssn to share with a rail corridor. Cheap? Hardly, but in the big scheme of things, it would be an opportunity to fold costs into the greater whole rather than just relocate towers, which may yet prove to be the more rational option. It would certainly make for a huge PR coup.

From a cursory search, it's become obvious that Ontario still owns the hydro RoW, and will continue to do so if Hydro One is fully privatized.

Ont Electricity Act:

Duty re use of corridor land

114.7A person or entity who has the statutory right to use corridor land shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that the design and construction of any transmission system on the land maximizes the area available for other uses. 2002, c. 1, Sched. A, s. 23.

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/98e15#BK288

Infrastructure Ontario:
[...]

What is the impact of the Transmission Corridor Transfer contained in the Reliable Energy and Consumer Protection Act?

Bill 58, the Reliable Energy and Consumer Protection Act, amended the Electricity Act resulting in the transfer of lands owned by Hydro One for its transmission system (about 50,000 acres) to the government of Ontario. The legislation recognizes the primacy of the corridor lands for transmission purposes. Hydro One keeps the primary right to use the corridor lands for transmission and distribution purposes in the form of a statutory easement. The Reliable Energy and Consumer Protection Actcan be viewed here.



Were all transmission corridor lands transferred to the government?

No. Only lands owned by Hydro One to operate their transmission system were transferred, representing about 22% of Hydro One’s transmission grid. Privately owned lands where Hydro One has transmission rights through an easement are not affected.



Did the government get all the land that Hydro One owned?

No. The transfer dealt only with Hydro One lands that were used to operate the transmission system. Buildings and structures on those lands, such as transmission towers, remain the property of Hydro One. Lands owned by Hydro One that are used only for distribution of electricity also remain with Hydro One.



What is the Provincial Secondary Land Use Program?

The government has put in place a Provincial Secondary Land Use Program (PSLUP) that allows for the use of transmission corridor lands, while taking into account the primary purpose of the land for electricity transmission and distribution. This includes making sure all secondary land uses are compatible with Hydro One's existing and planned transmission and distribution installations from both a safety and overall operations/technical perspective. The Program then establishes the priority of public uses, especially those relying on contiguous use of corridors. A protocol is followed to allow for other interim uses of the corridor lands if the use meets the Program criteria and does not impede long term opportunities for the linear corridors.



What are the principles of the Provincial Secondary Land Use Program?

The primary use of the corridor land remains the transmission and distribution of electricity. The basis of the PSLUP is that Hydro One's existing and future transmission and distribution requirements, along with all technical, operational and safety requirements must first be met. Providing this is achieved, public uses then have priority consideration for secondary use of the corridor lands.



The hierarchy of secondary uses is as follows:

  • New linear public uses have top priority
  • New provincial/inter-regional linear public uses have priority over local uses
  • New non-linear public infrastructure uses have priority over private uses
  • Non-linear recreational uses have priority over private uses;
  • Multi-use corridors are preferred
Please also note that:

  • Interim uses are permitted
  • Local public uses are considered at market value
  • PSLUP is operated on a cost recovery basis. As such, recreational uses will be charged a nominal fee + maintenance and 50% of the property taxes.
What are public uses?

Public uses on transmission corridor land include transportation (roads and transit), infrastructure (water and sewage mains or pipelines) and recreation uses (parks and trails).

[...]
http://www.infrastructureontario.ca/Templates/Lands.aspx?id=2147484017&langtype=1033

I'll dig more later, but encourage others to continue looking for sections in law, both provincial and federal (the latter may even have powers in an act that renders the Ontario Electricity Act subsidiary) that detail the use of corridors by rail RoWs.

Edit to Add: Poring over some of the clauses, this one is curious and more powerful than it first appears: (Elec Act)

[Relocation of buildings, etc.

114.9 (1) The Chair of Management Board may direct a person or entity who has the statutory right to use corridor land and who owns a building, structure or equipment located on the land to move it, and may impose conditions or restrictions with respect to the direction.]

Management Board:
Management Board Secretariat (Ontario)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet is a joint sub-committee of Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Assistants who manage the fiscal plan of the government including controlling all government spending, approving labour agreements and workforce planning, manage the provincial contingency fund and oversee the procedures and directives that guide the operation of the Ontario Public Service.

In 2005, Premier Dalton McGuinty reorganized the central agencies of government and merged the positions of Minister of Finance and Chair of Management Board. Most of the previous day-to-day responsibilities of the Chair of Management Board were transferred to the new Ministry of Government Services along with those for Human Resources formerly under the Premier and Consumer and Business Services, formerly a stand-alone Ministry from 2001-2005.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Management_Board_Secretariat_(Ontario)

Echoes of the Minister's power at the federal level for the Transportation Act and associated ones. It appears much of this can be agreed behind closed doors without even going before the House or Queen's Park.

Edit to Add:

On "undergrounding" HV xmsssn lines, two excellent references, one by the UK's National Grid:

http://www.landsnet.is/uploads/1068.pdf

https://ucononline.com/2010/06/14/underground-electric-transmission-installations-gaining-traction/
 
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Allandale25

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The next map I want to try to create is one showing a two track bypass trench and a six track bypass trench. I'll probably do different segments where there could be pinch points between the 407 and the hydro pylons (assuming they stay in their current place which I know could change). Again, this is just for fun and on a personal basis. Not a civil engineer and don't know how to use photoshop.
 

steveintoronto

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[...]
Black & Veatch, Overland Park, KS, a global engineering, consulting, construction and construction management company, has played a leading role in constructing power infrastructure containing underground transmission lines.

“The underground cable industry has seen the amount of high-voltage underground transmission lines increase as cable technology has advanced and reliability improved,” says John Rector, Black & Veatch associate vice president and project manager. “In the late 1980s, we were installing 115 kV underground transmission lines. In the early ’90s, Black & Veatch installed the first commercial 230 kV underground transmission project in Orlando, FL. In the years that followed as the number of underground installations grew and the reliability of these systems became evident, more power companies and planners became comfortable with the idea of placing 230 kV transmission lines underground.”

More 230 kV cable was installed, then came a short segment of 345 kV cable.

Additional short 345 kV projects followed and then came the 26-mile Middletown-Norwalk Project in Connecticut, a landmark projects demonstrating the viability of ever advancing high-voltage technology.

“Every time we increase the voltage level of these cable systems, we prove the reliability of this technology,” Rector says. “Europe and Asia for some time have been installing 400 kV and 500 kV systems. The U.S. utilities are a relatively conservative group which, I think, is a good thing. High-voltage cable technology is moving rapidly toward 500 kV in this country. Very soon we will see 500 kV underground transmission lines in the United States, probably in California or on the east coast.”

The need for added capacity in congested areas where overhead lines either are not permitted or are difficult to permit will spur more growth in underground transmission, Rector believes. And a strong indicator that underground transmission will continue to grow, he says, is that a second plant for manufacturing high-voltage dielectric cable opened in the U.S. late last year, making two such facilities to serve North America.
[...]
“Civil construction costs — excavation, duct banks, restoration — often are 50 percent or more of project costs,” says Burks. “And from a contractor’s perspective, most of the risk of a project is on the civil side.”

Burks adds that because underground transmission work is highly specialized, only a few contractors are qualified for the work.

“However,” he adds, “the landscape of contractors is changing. Cable improvements are reducing the degree of specialization required.”

In conclusion, Dorwart believes the public and government will be demanding more underground transmission to create a backbone grid that will be hardened to acts of God and terrorists threats; to provide reliable power delivery to lifeline service nodes; and to improve quality of life by removing unsightly overhead transmission systems, especially for new “green” energy production facilities.

“Based on this public pressure,” he concludes, “I believe that the outlook for underground power transmission construction will be strong in urban areas and in areas of alternative energy production for connection to the grid.”

Brian Dorwart has extensive experience designing trenchless projects that include underground transmission segments, and he currently is designing shore landings for cable runs crossing the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York, and directional drilling river crossings for power transmission installations in Jacksonville, Fla., and Malden, Mass.
[...]
https://ucononline.com/2010/06/14/underground-electric-transmission-installations-gaining-traction/
 

DonValleyRainbow

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The next map I want to try to create is one showing a two track bypass trench and a six track bypass trench. I'll probably do different segments where there could be pinch points between the 407 and the hydro pylons (assuming they stay in their current place which I know could change). Again, this is just for fun and on a personal basis. Not a civil engineer and don't know how to use photoshop.
I haven't gotten that detailed of a look at it, but the issues I can forsee from my idea of a corridor:



  • Navigating the commercial areas of Milton. Some expropriation will likely be necessary, and it may kibosh some elements of the vision for the business park being developed there. Might bump up pretty close to come major owners.
  • 401/407 interchange to Hurontario. This is the tightest section where the tracks will conflict with hydro lines and a pipeline. Relocation/burying will definitely be required for a 6-track corridor.
  • Proximity to residential uses around Mavis and McLaughlin roads.
 

mdrejhon

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I think they'll have to share corridor to Milton, as it seems a lot less expropriation is necessary if we stay on corridor until very close to the 407.

A horribly expensive flyunder (under 407) will be needed to maintain gentle freight grades, but I think that will still cost less than trying to free the corridor all the way to Milton. Milton could just have an extra track in the existing corridor to accomodate allday GO trains (like Aldershot today). Done well, this may still permit electrification all the way to Milton.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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I think they'll have to share corridor to Milton, as it seems a lot less expropriation is necessary if we stay on corridor until very close to the 407.

A horribly expensive flyunder (under 407) will be needed to maintain gentle freight grades, but I think that will still cost less than trying to free the corridor all the way to Milton. Milton could just have an extra track in the existing corridor to accomodate allday GO trains (like Aldershot today). Done well, this may still permit electrification all the way to Milton.
The problem is that this still routes freight through the centre of downtown Milton. I drew my 'fantasy' bypass the way I did to get it out, and through the commercial/industrial fringe.

It should be a goal for any city centre. Especially one that's exploding in size like Milton. Especially one that really needs downtown densification like Milton.
 

Allandale25

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The problem is that this still routes freight through the centre of downtown Milton. I drew my 'fantasy' bypass the way I did to get it out, and through the commercial/industrial fringe.

It should be a goal for any city centre. Especially one that's exploding in size like Milton. Especially one that really needs downtown densification like Milton.
I'm going to do a map (possibly tonight) of the pinch points and why a north of the 401 route could make sense. The maps by DonValleyRainbow were helpful and I'll try to build off of them.
 

TOareaFan

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The problem is that this still routes freight through the centre of downtown Milton. I drew my 'fantasy' bypass the way I did to get it out, and through the commercial/industrial fringe.

It should be a goal for any city centre. Especially one that's exploding in size like Milton. Especially one that really needs downtown densification like Milton.
Downtown Milton is not exploding in size...the overall population of the town has been growing fast (as stated as a percentage...but not really in raw numbers) but it has not been a downtown growth...it is the sort of suburban, subdivision, sprawly growth that other municipalities get criticized over. We shall see what the 2015 census reports but that explosive growth has probably normalized as the denominator has grown (eg...after they solved their water/sewage issue they saw a 71% increase in population in one census period as they added ~22k people over the 5 years....the next 5 year period saw an additional 30k people "slowing" their growth rate to 56%.....i see someone has estimated in Wiki that their 2015 population is ~100k.....so the growth has slowed in, both, real and percentage terms).
 

steveintoronto

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Downtown Milton is not exploding in size...the overall population of the town has been growing fast (as stated as a percentage...but not really in raw numbers) but it has not been a downtown growth..
Yeah, I'm with MD on this. I studied Google Earth for a good twenty minutes to try and see an advantage to trying to bypass Milton, and there really isn't one, for exactly the reasons TO states. It would just put the same challenge in a denser, more residential area. Milton is the same population now as Guelph and Kingston, and there's really not much there save for sprawl, and it's still a 'town'!

If Milton had seen advantage in doing a further by-pass, as one of the participants in the IBI study, they would have made the case for one. I also looked closely at the present electric xmssn corridor. There's a lot of space there, and ironically, before it turns south, and hosts a CP spur down to the 403, the largest and ostensibly highest voltage/capacity line is closer to the CP tracks than it is to the other four xmssn lines.

Since CN claims there to be a conflict of catenary to freight, I see only the need for a common carrier twin track line for freight built now, and later, a *separate* RoW built if needed, electrified for passenger. They do not have to run in the same alignment, and the passenger line, single or twin, can handle much steeper gradients, and be far less direct. Where needed, it can run above the freight RoW to clear pinch points unless a few towers are moved.

I still feel it might be quite possible to host a twin freight RoW trenched without moving any towers, or at the least, just a few. Whether the IBI report has examined that I don't recall, but it's an interesting point.

What is clearly obvious is that if one of the xmssn lines was put underground, more than enough space would be made available to do a multi-track main. If all the lines were 'undergrounded', there would also be room for an addition to the Mississauga Busway, and perhaps more.
 
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mdrejhon

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What is clearly obvious is that if one of the xmssn lines was put underground, more than enough space would be made available to do a multi-track main. If all the lines were 'undergrounded', there would also be room for an addition to the Mississauga Busway, and perhaps more.
I had never thought about burying this Hydro corridor, but that could be in a 50-year masterplan of some kind -- the pylons will need to be replaced some decade in the future, and this could be timed accordingly. Even if we're just beginning with a 2-track or 3-track trench at the very beginning.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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Downtown Milton is not exploding in size...the overall population of the town has been growing fast (as stated as a percentage...but not really in raw numbers) but it has not been a downtown growth...it is the sort of suburban, subdivision, sprawly growth that other municipalities get criticized over.
Especially one that really needs downtown densification like Milton.
This was the aim of the second comment. I know Milton is a sprawl town and it's a friggin tragedy. But why would we forgo the opportunity to densify it downtown when it has already sprawled to its growth boundaries, and is approaching designated Greenbelt lands? After all, this bypass is going to open up the capacity of the Milton line, we should be seizing the opportunity to create denser downtowns in all GTA municipalities.
 

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