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407 Rail Freight Bypass/The Missing Link

crs1026

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I understand the whole places to grow thing....but if the local folks have shown no interest in executing/implementing the plan.....how much do you spend providing "huge help" to it? It may be a circular argument (IDK) but it is worth thinking about.
Milton is virtually unrecognizable from even five years ago, but people out that way assure me that the development (so far) is within the Places to Grow spec, and in fact has done some good things in terms of density and attracting industry.

The problem with Places to Grow is that none of the communities on the edge of the development zone want to remain rural - all want the revenue base that comes with development. It's a very slippery slope to enforce the greenbelt and to draw that hard line. I don't have much confidence that it won't all unravel. So far, Milton is embracing the bypass and is accepting (reluctantly) the new CN intermodal yard. We shouldn't be criticising Milton for what *might* happen, especially if there is a bandwagon emerging around the whole GTA.

As noted, we are all "in the bleachers" about where the bypass could be placed, but with Milton, Halton and the Province all indicating support, something will get drawn and I'm betting it will divert CP as well as CN. IIRC the official plan doesn't allow development north of the north side of Steeles. Lots of space north of there.

- Paul
 

smallspy

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The route of the bypass at the west end would have a tight curve at the existing overpass at the west end of town, from north on CN directly to east on CP. There is to be no bypass to the north or south of town.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

crs1026

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The route of the bypass at the west end would have a tight curve at the existing overpass at the west end of town, from north on CN directly to east on CP. There is to be no bypass to the north or south of town.
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Wonder what that means for the GO station and layover yard. We won't be doing all this only to have a route conflict that ties up the freight mainline with 2-way 15 minute headway GO service crossing over. There would have to be a flyover somewhere.

- Paul
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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Double track where?
On Brampton, Milton and RH.
I have noticed most freuqent posters in this thread (albeit not all) are for the Missing Link versus trying to cram extra track in Brampton/Milton. It's pretty clear steveintoronto, Allandale25, is generally for it.

Missing Link at $5bn actually compares well with trying to add extra track/electrification to fully kit-out both Brampton/Milton corridors to enable all-day service. And begins to become cheaper when you account for extras like HSR, North Toronto, etc. Some of these things will not happen this generation, but could occur in your grandkids' generation.

As everyone in this thread should realize, this sets Toronto on a long-term path to free up so many rail corridors options for passenger use -- Milton, Brampton/Kitchener, Richmond Hill (extension), North Toronto, High Speed Rail. While simultaneously enhancing overall regional safety (on average). It moves a lot of heavy freight, away from near downtown Toronto, given what happened at Lac Magentic. There is also environment-related incentive in increasing rail passenger transport to reduce car/road dependance and reduce need for further widening freeways all the way out to Windsor, etc. Even just beginning with CN for Brampton/Kitchener and later adding CP for Milton would be worth it alone.
I can agree with this. I just think it will be really tough to negotiate with senior CP officials and they might want their pound of flesh. I think if we do this it should all be done now.
 

steveintoronto

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MD did answer the question as well as could be, and the reason so many of us back it is that it unlocks and unties so many other conundrums, not completely, but makes solving them a dimension easier.
I just think it will be really tough to negotiate with senior CP officials and they might want their pound of flesh.
Not necessarily. It will be tough, because CP, like CN and others will be forced to put assets on the table at a nominal value, exact value of these things is often impossible to calculate.

So the way you approach this is by *bartering* as much as possible. "I own X, you own Y. Neither of us knows exactly how much each is worth, but if we add X+Y, it's worth far more than the total of the two individually. So lets add them together, and be equal shareholders for the whole sum".

This is exactly the "Union" in Union Station...TTR "Toronto Terminals Railways"...a model copied from US examples especially, but precedents long ago set in the UK and elsewhere.

But CP and CN are like oil and vinegar: Sometimes you have to forcefully mix them, add a few other ingredients, and shake the hell out of them to make a very effective dressing. And shake a stick at them just for good measure. Like an Act of Parliament, which we have not one, but *two* and sections of others, to back up the imperative for action.

*Everyone* will come out ahead on this. CP knows that, CN is just playing a smarmy game right now because Wynne is...well...lol...careful Steve...'calling in a favour' (who knows what). All parties know this isn't going to be simple, but once figured out, everyone will wonder why it wasn't done long ago.

Private and/or Gov Capital may be what's needed to massage this, by temporarily funding the concept on paper, buying up (by the power in the Acts if need be) the affected legs, reorganizing it, and selling it back (all or in part) to CN and CP. This way the *risk* becomes mitigated by third parties. (Edit: Which *may* include the taxpayer, at least temporarily) Pension Plans are pros at doing these things, and if anyone is 'left holding the bag'...they're also seeing a return on their investment/risk.

This is not that much different than what Desjardins-Siciliano is trying with VIA, and very much what Central Banks do with money supply, but I'm veering off topic. The money is there (and in huge amounts) the parts are there, the *need* is overwhelming. This just needs a spark in Ottawa to set the fire.

Here's a great example. Was watching the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad few nights back (I had no idea it was the largest, richest company in the world at one point!) and one of the great challenges historically for New York City was getting a railroad across the Hudson and East Rivers into NYC (NYCentral had a line in from the north, but it was problematic for east-west travel).

So at one point, a consortium of many competing railroads was ready to build a *six track bridge* over the Hudson! To carry *all of them*!

In the event, the Penn went to tunnelling (inspired by Paris), but come the crunch, the most bitter of enemies will find a way to collectively work together to keep them all in business.

The "Missing Link" is our bridge.
 
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denfromoakvillemilton

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MD did answer the question as well as could be, and the reason so many of us back it is that it unlocks and unties so many other conundrums, not completely, but makes solving them a dimension easier.

Not necessarily. It will be tough, because CP, like CN and others will be forced to put assets on the table at a nominal value, exact value of these things is often impossible to calculate.

So the way you approach this is by *bartering* as much as possible. "I own X, you own Y. Neither of us knows exactly how much each is worth, but if we add X+Y, it's worth far more than the total of the two individually. So lets add them together, and be equal shareholders for the whole sum".

This is exactly the "Union" in Union Station...TTR "Toronto Terminals Railways"...a model copied from US examples especially, but precedents long ago set in the UK and elsewhere.

But CP and CN are like oil and vinegar: Sometimes you have to forcefully mix them, add a few other ingredients, and shake the hell out of them to make a very effective dressing. And shake a stick at them just for good measure. Like an Act of Parliament, which we have not one, but *two* and sections of others, to back up the imperative for action.

*Everyone* will come out ahead on this. CP knows that, CN is just playing a smarmy game right now because Wynne is...well...lol...careful Steve...'calling in a favour' (who knows what). All parties know this isn't going to be simple, but once figured out, everyone will wonder why it wasn't done long ago.

Private and/or Gov Capital may be what's needed to massage this, by temporarily funding the concept on paper, buying up (by the power in the Acts if need be) the affected legs, reorganizing it, and selling it back (all or in part) to CN and CP. This way the *risk* becomes mitigated by third parties. (Edit: Which *may* include the taxpayer, at least temporarily) Pension Plans are pros at doing these things, and if anyone is 'left holding the bag'...they're also seeing a return on their investment/risk.

This is not that much different than what Desjardins-Siciliano is trying with VIA, and very much what Central Banks do with money supply, but I'm veering off topic. The money is there (and in huge amounts) the parts are there, the *need* is overwhelming. This just needs a spark in Ottawa to set the fire.

Here's a great example. Was watching the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad few nights back (I had no idea it was the largest, richest company in the world at one point!) and one of the great challenges historically for New York City was getting a railroad across the Hudson and East Rivers into NYC (NYCentral had a line in from the north, but it was problematic for east-west travel).

So at one point, a consortium of many competing railroads was ready to build a *six track bridge* over the Hudson! To carry *all of them*!

In the event, the Penn went to tunnelling (inspired by Paris), but come the crunch, the most bitter of enemies will find a way to collectively work together to keep them all in business.

The "Missing Link" is our bridge.
Let's hope so. I would love for Milton and Mississauga to have all day service. Would open up ridership and even some tourism. It would help if CN and CP were actively involved in this.
 

steveintoronto

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I'd missed this in my Google searches, just tripped across it now:
Time to separate freight and passenger rail lines


By Jim Warren, Postmedia Network
First posted: Saturday, August 27, 2016 06:32 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2016 06:42 PM EDT


Two Canadian Pacific freight trains clipped each other causing a derailment in the Dupont St. and Spadina Rd. area on Aug. 21, 2016. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)
Article




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The derailment of a freight train in the middle of Toronto last Sunday is an urgent warning for us to rethink how dangerous goods are shipped through the most populated neighbourhoods in Canada.

We need immediate action by the federal government to improve rail safety – action which would also improve public transit.

Quite simply, we need a viable plan to separate freight and passenger rail traffic in Canada.

A plan to keep dangerous goods out of urban centres which would also increase the capacity to run more public transit on existing rail lines in urban centres.

It’s 2016 and our Canadian cities have expanded and grown. More people live closer to freight train lines than ever before.

This same train that derailed in Toronto travelled through Mississauga, Ontario’s third largest city.

In the 1800s railways were used to connect our provinces and cities and allowed us to create a Canada.

Cities used railway trains as the engines of their economies to connect people and products. Major cities expanded through the use of trains.

But in today’s modern digital economy we need those same railway lines to move people within an urban centre and between cities, while keeping freight and dangerous goods outside of the urban core.

Last year there was a plan announced by some local governments to fix this problem but there has yet to be urgent action to make it a reality.

The plan is called the “Missing Link”.

In 2015, the cities of Brampton, Cambridge, Guelph, Milton, Mississauga, Toronto, Kitchener and Waterloo developed a business case for the Missing Link.

It is a new rail corridor to connect two exiting freight lines.

The result removes freight traffic from the southern CP and Canadian National Rail (CN) lines, and diverts it to a freight-only rail line.

Then the existing CN and CP freight lines would be free for more commuter service by GO Transit and VIA Rail.

It is a simple plan -- the Missing Link diverts dangerous freight from many cities while expanding commuter transit.

All-day, two-way electrified GO Train service on the Milton and Kitchener lines would become possible, as would high-speed rail.

This idea is not a new one or unique to Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. It can be implemented in other urban centres across Canada.

In the 1970s new freight-only rail lines were built north of Toronto.

This was done to increase capacity for passenger lines along the shore of Lake Ontario.

This led to development of the Golden Horseshoe and now the Lakeshore rail line is the busiest passenger rail line in Canada.

Population growth in the biggest cities like Toronto has led to unaffordable housing prices combined with some of the worst traffic in the world.

Government knows this growth will only continue.

Yes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an enormous infrastructure program. New programs for subways, street cars and other critical infrastructure will start to follow. Those plans will help.

But gridlock is a growing and complex problem.

And sometimes, the most complex problems can have the simplest solutions.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told me the Missing Link would allow the Ontario government to achieve its vision for Regional Express Rail.

"Dangerous freight would no longer travel through communities, and most importantly, residents could arrive to their destination more quickly and easily.

“The Missing Link is an ambitious project, but one that will fundamentally change how we live and work in the GTA for a generation to come,” said Crombie.

The federal Liberals need to act now to make the best use of existing rail lines to move more people efficiently, while protecting them from potentially dangerous train derailments in the process.

Warren is a Liberal political strategist and media commentator. He worked for former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman and former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and is currently a principal at grgadvisors.ca and CEO of Riseley Gaming Inc.
http://www.torontosun.com/2016/08/27/time-to-separate-freight-and-passenger-rail-lines

There's a factual error in the story: Guelph is not part of the group, albeit would benefit greatly from increased GO rail service.
 

muller877

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The route of the bypass at the west end would have a tight curve at the existing overpass at the west end of town, from north on CN directly to east on CP. There is to be no bypass to the north or south of town.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
Using a "sophisticated" measuring tool (the bottom of a cup) by sending the CN bypass both north and west of the current tracks the curve is just a bit tighter than the current turn at Georgetown (of course much longer). I assume keeping as large of a radius as possible is critical to CN to save time/fuel. I was surprised at how few residential/commercial properties that would need to be expropriated.


Wonder what that means for the GO station and layover yard. We won't be doing all this only to have a route conflict that ties up the freight mainline with 2-way 15 minute headway GO service crossing over. There would have to be a flyover somewhere.

- Paul
A bridge would be required on the new bypass turn over Bronte Rd / old CN Main Line / creek / CP Main Line since it has to swing both west of the CN main line and north of the CP main line to have as long as a turn as possible. So the CN main line would be north of both the CP and GO tracks. There are a bunch of restrictions which will cause a lot of flyovers from W to E:

- CP and future GO Cambridge coming from the west/CN from the south (north after the turn)
- GO Train station (north)
- GO layover (north)
- CP intermodal yard (south)
- CP/407 Y (Go and CP local going south/CP and CN going north)

So after the bridge over Bronte the bypass can continue to be raised and the CN tracks would slope and be in the center (from nothe to south - GO/CN/CP)
Then after the CP intermodal the new bypass would require GO to flyover the CP/CN tracks to continue towards Lisgar station (N to S - CN/CP/GO...which then veers off south)
in the east CP would have to flyover the CN tracks to get back on their main line
 

smallspy

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Using a "sophisticated" measuring tool (the bottom of a cup) by sending the CN bypass both north and west of the current tracks the curve is just a bit tighter than the current turn at Georgetown (of course much longer). I assume keeping as large of a radius as possible is critical to CN to save time/fuel. I was surprised at how few residential/commercial properties that would need to be expropriated.
One of the required "items" for planning out the route was the need to keep the alignment as straight as possible to allow for a 60/65mph maximum for freight trains. This was to be excepted at interchanges - the preliminary alignment of the curve was going to necessitate a PSO of 25 or 30mph on the curve from the Halton Sub to the Galt Sub, as there are a couple of natural features that need to be avoided where possible in the park.

Also, the ultimate build-out was to be for a combined 4-track corridor for freight. The comments about a 6-track corridor are for any potential future plans to run passenger service along the line - it was felt that 2 tracks would be dedicated for that purpose.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

Allandale25

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One of the required "items" for planning out the route was the need to keep the alignment as straight as possible to allow for a 60/65mph maximum for freight trains. This was to be excepted at interchanges - the preliminary alignment of the curve was going to necessitate a PSO of 25 or 30mph on the curve from the Halton Sub to the Galt Sub, as there are a couple of natural features that need to be avoided where possible in the park.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
Dan, I just want to try to visualize the curve you are referring to. Would it be where the orange arrow is pointing? Also, this option assumes CN and CP would run on the north side of the 401 between Meadowvale and Milton. The yellow line would be the bypass route and please ignore how rough it is as I know the curves couldn't be that sharp.

Side note: the track with blue 'x' on it has been torn up.

 

mdrejhon

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I imagine that the Bypass will still have a couple of sharp curves -- it'll still use less fuel and keep speeds faster than the existing routes (which already has more curves to navigate, and larger amounts of lower-speed track).

The question is where it's cheap to avoid curves, and how much fuel money CP/CN can save. The yellow line, if that interchange direction is required for good traffic, could be designed as a gentle curve for higher speed interchange that prevent wasted fuel.

Is there existing data on traffic and where the "rail interchanges" are needed (like the big GTS Project one). Some directions to some directions would have next to no traffic, so may not be needed. I'm trying to figure out what are the potential higher-traffic switching needed...
 

Allandale25

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Is there existing data on traffic and where the "rail interchanges" are needed (like the big GTS Project one). Some directions to some directions would have next to no traffic, so may not be needed. I'm trying to figure out what are the potential higher-traffic switching needed...
The only thing we have as far as I can tell is the IBI Group report that was done for Mississauga/Milton/Cambridge/Toronto. There was general description of the interchanges needed between CP/CN and the number of additional tracks but that's it. Do you want me to post it again? Happy to do so.

I assume the bypass route from Bramalea to Milton will soon have even more detail when the EA starts.
 

smallspy

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Dan, I just want to try to visualize the curve you are referring to. Would it be where the orange arrow is pointing? Also, this option assumes CN and CP would run on the north side of the 401 between Meadowvale and Milton. The yellow line would be the bypass route and please ignore how rough it is as I know the curves couldn't be that sharp.

Side note: the track with blue 'x' on it has been torn up.
No, they would run on CP from the over-under west of town, so there will be no bypass to the north. The connecting track would approximate the original alignment of the Halton Sub, not far from the track that you've X'd out.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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Dan, I just want to try to visualize the curve you are referring to. Would it be where the orange arrow is pointing? Also, this option assumes CN and CP would run on the north side of the 401 between Meadowvale and Milton. The yellow line would be the bypass route and please ignore how rough it is as I know the curves couldn't be that sharp.

Side note: the track with blue 'x' on it has been torn up.

One huge assumption on this map is that both CN and CP can fit in the existing 401 underpass. I don't think they can. This was why I drew an entirely new overpass in my map, which used the ROW associated with the CN spur north of the south Halton curve.
 

Allandale25

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No, they would run on CP from the over-under west of town, so there will be no bypass to the north. The connecting track would approximate the original alignment of the Halton Sub, not far from the track that you've X'd out.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
Thanks Dan. I've tried to draw what I think you're saying would happen.



One huge assumption on this map is that both CN and CP can fit in the existing 401 underpass. I don't think they can. This was why I drew an entirely new overpass in my map, which used the ROW associated with the CN spur north of the south Halton curve.
Thanks for the reminder. I also really like your version. Lots of fun mapping out different options.
 

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