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407 Rail Freight Bypass/The Missing Link

mdrejhon

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In case it has been overlooked, CN and CP have co-operated a number of times before:
From the IBI Report:
[...]
A double track railway provides much greater capacity than the
sum of two single lines and offers faster transit times.
Yes, the Missing Link would be essentially provide better-than-coproduction-league benefits, and they could tolerate sharing direction-optimized trackage. Three tracks would be all that is needed for the combined service for years to come -- not four. The extra track would be for traffic surges/passing/operational flexibility.

It is a no-brainer for CP even if Missing Link benefits is smaller for CP than CN, there is still big benefits for CP too.
 
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steveintoronto

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Three tracks would be all that is needed for the combined service for years to come -- not four. The extra track would be for traffic surges/passing/operational flexibility.
Indeed, with modern signalling techniques, PTC and careful design of the approaches to the corridor, it can be mostly double track with a third track as a lay-by in areas with enough space. Much of the present North Toronto Bypass is single track, and west of Guelph Junction and north and east of Toronto, CP is single track, so a well controlled double track corridor should handle the need. The spurs for both CN and CP could be reached by the third track where needed, so as to minimize the fouling of the two track main by switching out at more strategic points and leading to the spurs.

I've tried to find the "Aecom" comments that Dan mentions, no luck so far. It would be interesting to see what engineers have already established and proposed.

It is a no-brainer for CP even if Missing Link benefits is smaller for CP than CN, there is still big benefits for CP too.
Even by releasing trackage within the GTA for barter or sale alone, both CN and CP would come out far ahead. They get to keep land beside the RoWs for development, sell the RoWs proper, and have the Feds and Ontario underwrite much of the risk and financing of the Link itself.

It must be remembered that under two of the most powerful acts in the nation (I think the only one more powerful was the Navigable Waters Protection Act, now somewhat neutered by Harper to the Navigation Protection Act), the Min of Transport can dictate terms of how this comes about. Hopefully it won't have to come to that, but where it might get sticky is CN and CP insisting that the Feds finance the project, and lease back w/ option to buy it. (Private Capital might also be willing to in whole or part) How can they lose? They get to choose the most productive option while the Feds hold the liability. CN and CP are then asset rich at a time when they need it to invest in lines elsewhere in the nation. The Feds, on the other hand, can justify holding the risk if they get a fair return on the investment, which is a given if done right, and Metrolinx and VIA get massive spin-off benefits too.
 
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smallspy

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I've tried to find the "Aecom" comments that Dan mentions, no luck so far. It would be interesting to see what engineers have already established and proposed.
At this point, they're entirely internal/non-public - Aecom has been doing the preliminary design work for Metrolinx. A friend of mine works for a competing engineering firm, and received the documents as part of the tendering package for the project.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

Allandale25

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At this point, they're entirely internal/non-public - Aecom has been doing the preliminary design work for Metrolinx. A friend of mine works for a competing engineering firm, and received the documents as part of the tendering package for the project.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
Thanks for the update Dan. Helpful insights. Are you able to provide a sense of the scope of the tendering request? Was it for the Milton to Bramalea portion or the entire Milton to Pickering/Scarborough?
 

steveintoronto

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Aecom has been doing the preliminary design work for Metrolinx
Interesting that Metrolinx would be involved this early in the game, even if it's secondary to an announced project. That bodes well for QP pushing ahead on this. IBI's Report must have been worthwhile.

From the IBI report:
[...]
2. The
final
report
, along with a cover letter
, will be sent to the Federal Minister
of
Transportation, Steven Del Duca, the Premier
of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne and
Bruce McCuaig of Metrolinx
, infor
ming them of our study and requesting a
meeting to discuss further
[...]
As the study team sees it, the next steps in the process are:

Engage Metrolinx in discussion of the feasibility and desirability of this project.

Develop a process that
will include Metrolinx, CN, CP and the concerned
municipalities to develop the optimum solution.[...]
https://www.milton.ca/MeetingDocume.../ENG-020-15 The Missing Link Final Report.pdf

We now know that, in the vacuum of any public announcements post that report, it is progressing.
 
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Allandale25

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Interesting that Metrolinx would be involved this early in the game, even if it's secondary to an announced project. That bodes well for QP pushing ahead on this. IBI's Report must have been worthwhile.
For clarity, I wouldn't be surprised that Metrolinx is involved in the Milton-Bramalea portion because there has already been a provincial announcement and as we saw in the September Metrolinx Board meeting slides, the bypass was included. As I've argued here before, if they want the bypass to open and better service for the Kitchener Corridor to start by 2024-25 for west of Bramalea, they would have to get some tenders out this year for design work. It appears that could be happening.

What would be more interesting is if these tenders also include the Bramalea to Scarborough-Pickering portion.
 
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robmausser

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Kind of similar things going on in Moscow:

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/...n-attends-opening-of-moscow-central-ring.html

RUSSIA: President Vladimir Putin, Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Russian Railways President Oleg Belozerov rode a ceremonial train between Luzhniki to Ploshchad Gagarina to mark the opening of the Moscow Central Ring railway on September 10. The main opening ceremony took place at Luzhniki, but a total of 28 trains departed simultaneously from 14 stations at 14.00.

Modernisation and electrification of the 54 km former freight line encircling Moscow city centre started in 2011. Several freight yards were dismantled and some connections to radial lines were removed. Freight services on the Central Ring are now restricted to night-time hours.
 

mdrejhon

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We now know that, in the vacuum of any public announcements post that report, it is progressing.
Fantastic -- the generational-masterplan holy grail is in progress.

There needs to be an announcement this year. Completion might end up many years late (Gut feeling says 2030, and that's CN-side-only at first), but we can begin due diligence on this immediately, with study funding. It appears CN (publicly) and CP (behind the scenes) are both already willing parties from all the hints we're getting.
 

Allandale25

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At this point, they're entirely internal/non-public - Aecom has been doing the preliminary design work for Metrolinx. A friend of mine works for a competing engineering firm, and received the documents as part of the tendering package for the project.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
Sorry Dan one more question. Would the tender/RFP be posted on MERX or IO's website? I searched and wasn't able to find it. I know the documents themselves can't be released unless you're a bidder but I'd be interested in seeing the outline of the tender/RFP and the deadline to respond.
 

mdrejhon

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Sorry Dan one more question. Would the tender/RFP be posted on MERX or IO's website? I searched and wasn't able to find it. I know the documents themselves can't be released unless you're a bidder but I'd be interested in seeing the outline of the tender/RFP and the deadline to respond.
I registered myself onto MERX found you can get these documents for a $40 download fee.

For free, you can see all the filenames of the PDF files as a registered MERX user.

If you decide to download, you pay $40. You gain the right to submit a bid (if you're able to send credentials, obviously -- ha!) but you simply don't bid.

Essentially a $40 FOIA, in a way -- but verify the Terms/Agreement on the case by case basis -- some vendors may require you to agree to an NDA. But I saw no NDA for certain tenders.
 
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steveintoronto

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Here's the link to the report from the September 2016 Metrolinx Board meeting and here's the page that displays the complete agenda.
Thanks for that, but I refuse to take a "CN only" proposal as serious. At best, it's PR, at worst, it's pure propaganda...
New Freight Corridor

The Province of Ontario and Metrolinx have secured
an agreement
-in-
principle with CN to build a new, 30
km freight corridor between Brampton and Milton

Most of the CN freight traffic would be shifted from the
existing CN corridor to the new corridor, allowing
Metrolinx to extend future RER services through
Brampton and deliver two
-way all
-day rail service to
Kitchener GO station

Concept includes:

Two mainline tracks,
initially, and up to a total of six
tracks
in the longer term

Protection for stations and electrification
for possible future
passenger
rail
service in the longer term

Potential
route alignments, technical feasibility,
community impacts, cost, environmental impacts,
regulatory requirements, etc.
are being identified and
evaluated
http://www.metrolinx.com/en/docs/pd..._BoardMtg_Regional_Express_Rail_Update_EN.pdf

That's not The Missing Link. I'm surprised it's being echoed from the initial unbelievable announcement.

Either this is both CN and CP fully in, or it's not going to happen.

Edit to Add: "or it's not going to happen" and *shouldn't!*. CN is playing a game on this, and Wynne is right there to suck whatever juice she can out of it.
 
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smallspy

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Sorry Dan one more question. Would the tender/RFP be posted on MERX or IO's website? I searched and wasn't able to find it. I know the documents themselves can't be released unless you're a bidder but I'd be interested in seeing the outline of the tender/RFP and the deadline to respond.
As far as I know, the tender is only for engineering services to bring the design up to a higher state from the near-0% that it is now. I think that they were released a couple of months ago and thus the tender may be closed.

From what my friend says, it's for the entire length of the project, from Milton to Pickering.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

mdrejhon

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Thanks for that, but I refuse to take a "CN only" proposal as serious. At best, it's PR, at worst, it's pure propaganda...

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/docs/pd..._BoardMtg_Regional_Express_Rail_Update_EN.pdf

That's not The Missing Link. I'm surprised it's being echoed from the initial unbelievable announcement.
It is a partial version of the Missing Link.

The Missing Link can be built incrementally, and a subset of it supports CN before project completion.

Simply, I'm viewing they're announcing Phase 1 (CN) but still working Phase 2 (CN+CP) details out. Ontario never said anything about Phase 2 as I think it's too early to announce CP involvement.

The Missing Link might be built by a crown corporation or a government-funded consortium, whereupon Phase 1 licenses CN to begin operating on it before Phase 2 is completed to let CP begin operating on it. It's simply Staging 101 and Economics 101. They aren't going to let the railroad lie idle when it becomes CN-ready but not yet CP-ready; they have to get financial revenue quickly.

They may have contracts with both CN and CP before the first shovel goes in the ground (to ensure guarantees both will use the bypass in eventuality).

But CN is almost certainly going to start rolling trains first, just simply because that phase is completable sooner. They get the privilege of first public announcement.

From what my friend says, it's for the entire length of the project, from Milton to Pickering.
Excellent to hear that this is a study for the full CN+CP capable bypass.
 
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