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407 Rail Freight Bypass/The Missing Link

steveintoronto

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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.
They may have contracts with both CN and CP before the first shovel goes in the ground (to guarantee that they will be using 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.
I beg to differ. This is a recipe for failure. No investor (of size) is going to go for a piecemeal approach, and that includes the Feds. Do you start building the roads of a subdivision before you know what's to be erected?

You miss one of the most crucial aspects, make that two, on this: The dictatorial fiat of two Acts, where the Feds can step in and make this happen the way they see best fit for the nation, and *financing*. Why would a large org involved in financing back a half-baked scheme? They'd much rather put twice the money into the full scheme than half into each of two competing entities.

To do this the way you project is riven with complexities and inefficiences, if not complete conundrums.

How's this for an idea? Two competing street-car systems along the same streets. Different tracks.

Think it through. CN's marshmallow attempt isn't even called a "Link" for good reason. I used the term "link" to search the document to find the apt chapter. Guess what? Zilch hits.

This *IS NOT* in part or even in gist, "The Missing Link". CP is holding their marbles for a good reason, as to exactly what that reason is is hard to know at this time, inevitably, they're being intransient on some aspects, thus the smarmy "look at what great citizens we are" PR of CN.

This will not happen until Trudeau gets serious about this. Garneau, like all Ministers of Cabinet for the last few decades, with very few exceptions (Paul Martin being one, and perhaps Flaherty another being some) gets his marching orders from the boys in short pants in the PMO's office. Trudeau *will not* put money behind a lop-sided scheme, neither should he. He has the power to knock heads together to makes this the real thing. Or nothing! No in-between.

This isn't rocker science (sic) fer gawdsakes. This is a large investment for the sake of the nation, not just the GTA. And on that basis, the financing will happen. Nothing less...
 

steveintoronto

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Just a reminder! Here's Del Duca's (and others') own words:
By Tess KalinowskiTransportation reporter
Mon., Nov. 16, 2015
The province wants Canada’s new federal Liberal government to join it in pushing private railways to make room for more passenger trains on the Milton and Kitchener GO lines.

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said it’s time to formalize discussions on rationalizing the Kitchener and Milton tracks, which are still owned in sections by CN and CP.

It shouldn’t take more than two hours to travel by rail between Toronto and Waterloo, he told a transit conference organized by the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Monday.

Without an agreement with the railways, the province won’t realize the potential of its plan to build high speed rail to connect the tech hub in Waterloo or provide the commuter benefits of its $13.5 billion GO electrified regional express rail program.

The municipalities along those corridors have already suggested ways of rerouting freight to free up the tracks for commuters.

One solution is called, the “Missing Link,” a new freight connection between the Milton line west of Trafalgar Rd. and the CN line at Bramalea, to travel along a track adjacent to Highway 407. It would leave the Milton tracks free for commuters and keep dangerous cargo away from more populated areas.

“I think there’s an opportunity there for us to really unlock those two corridors and perhaps do some other interesting things but I can’t force it. The province does not have jurisdiction over the rail companies so we need to work together to make it happen,” said Del Duca, who added that he would “like to believe” that a new federal Liberal government would be onside.

He said he’s spoken to new Liberal Transport Minister Marc Garneau and hopes they will meet soon.

“We need to be present nationally at these conversations. The jurisdictional challenges aren’t solved unless you’ve got a co-ordinated response at the federal level,” said Toronto MP Adam Vaughan.

“You can’t move transit more effectively through many cities without talking to the rail companies,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a question of issuing edicts. I don’t think there isn’t common ground here. We’ve had governments who always look for the battleground and find a way to get stuff done . . . it’s about finding the common ground,” he said.

The province’s $15.5 million investment in Toronto area transit, including GO electrification, is the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history, said Jan De Silva, CEO of the board of trade.

“We want to make sure this money is spent wisely and expediently,” she said.

Mayor John Tory told the business group that it’s time Toronto looks at public-private partnerships to build transit such as that being used by the province to build the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

It needs to consider off-the-shelf solutions instead of the expensive, customized projects it typically delivers late and overbudget.

“Look no further than the (Spadina) subway extension,” he told the business group.

What should be “a source of great excitement” is wildly overbudget by hundreds of millions of dollars, and years over deadline.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/tr...ransit-construction-mayor-john-tory-says.html

"The province’s $15.5 million investment in Toronto area transit," obvious typo. Should be Billion.
 
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mdrejhon

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I beg to differ.
I think you misunderstood me. While we did disagree on semantics, we are just describing many things similarly.

I agree with portions of your post but we are actually agreeing more than disagreeing!

It could be new federal crown agency/corporation/construct/whatever, something similar to Metrolinx (a crown agency) but a different crown agency specifically created for this Bypass. This has nothing to do with private corporations! (please re-read my post) I stayed vague here because we don't know how they will ultimately operate the Bypass. What we both probably agree is that neither CP nor CN will operate the Bypass. It will be some other government-owned (definition of "crown") entity of some kind.

I beg, please re-read my post.

I beg to differ. This is a recipe for failure. No investor (of size)
I didn't say any investors. It's government funded.

(unless you're trying to say the government is the investor.)

...is going to go for a piecemeal approach, and that includes the Feds. Do you start building the roads of a subdivision before you know what's to be erected?
You just proved exactly my point.

When it is definitively confirmed what's going to be erected (contract with developer) the subdivision roads are often built before the houses.

What I said in my earlier points (rephrased) is that the Bypass will likely need both CN/CP commitments(contracts) to share the corridor, before it gets built. The Feds can force that, as you exactly said.

You miss one of the most crucial aspects, make that two, on this: The dictatorial fiat of two Acts, where the Feds can step in and make this happen the way they see best fit for the nation, and *financing*.
Yes, agreed, but I never said anything to dispute this.

Precedent. Look at Highway 407. Ontario opened the extension (to Highway 412) before it 407 fully connects to the twinned 115 to Peterborough. Ontario is going to earn money (once the free time ends) on this 407 extension without holding off opening until the 407 extension all the way to 115.

The CN bypass is a subset of the CP bypass; almost perfectly.

Naturally you fund the whole project, get ironclad agreements from CN, CP. Then you build the whole shebang. That's what you said.

But how do you arrange the order of construction? There's a lot less CN work than CP work. You begin work on the shortest possible shared 3-track corridor that gets you to earning government revenue sooner. Naturally, the length chosen means CN may end up going first (by possibly a few years).

Whether CP lets CN goes first, is something we don't know. They may say it's unfair -- and maybe everything stalls. Then we build the whole thing first (metaphorically like building the 407 all the way to Peterborough before opening highway 412). But, who knows, some agreement mechanism might occur (e.g. compensation mechanism to CP that's cheaper than losing the revenue by keeping the Bypass closed longer).

But my point is it is possible to have CN benefit first before CP. The shared CN+CP section that benefits CN is much shorter than the shared CN+CP section that benefits CP. So build the shortest possible shared corridor (no track is CN or CP specific) to get revenue flowing sooner.

This may not be the scenario that happens, but it is one possible one. If you look at how other government entities operate, this is precisely what already happens.

Why would a large org involved in financing back a half-baked scheme?
I've never said that. I am just simply saying in my earlier post (which you need to re-read) that *something* needs to operate the Bypass, and it ain't going to be a CN-operated one and ain't going to be a CP-operated one. That was one of my points of my earlier post. It would not be fair.

So a neutral entity is needed (whether crown corp or crown consortium or whatever) Government chooses (Existing) or creates (New) entity, mechanism, consortium, whatever -- *something* needs to operate the Bypass.

Defacto, you already agree the Bypass can't operate itself unattended. That's my point.

I never said anything about that *something* being the same entity financing AND operating the Bypass. Read my post.

They'd much rather put twice the money into the full scheme than half into each of two competing entities.
No disagreement. Never said anything against this. So?

To do this the way you project is riven with complexities and inefficiences, if not complete conundrums.
Please explain.

Are you suggesting the Bypass operates itself unattended, or be given to CN/CP instead of an independent entity of some kind? (whether be crown corporation or consortium or otherwise, or whatever). If not, then I forgive you if you misinterpreted my post.

How's this for an idea? Two competing street-car systems along the same streets. Different tracks.
That was never my suggestion. That's exactly what my post is advocating against -- we don't want to give the bypass to CN or CP.

It would create the situation you describe (and no guarantee of them going into conproduction by themselves).

So the bypass will probably likely be operated some (new or existing) government entity. In alternate scenarios, maybe a percentage will be given to CN/CP (so both benefit from dividends regardless of what train goes over the shared track) but they may not agree to that.

Whatever pigs-flying scenario happens (of your/my description), ultimately, it is still going to some kind of a government-created entity (what I earlier referred to a crown corporation or consortium -- "crown" means government -- in case you misunderstood).

If you are confused, unrelated examples are like:
St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation -- an entity originally created by government to operate the canal -- any ship is compatible with the canal, is allowed to use the canal (and for bypass, any freight company is allowed on it).

Some entities do get privatized either in full or part (e.g. Hydro One, uggggghhh....), but it's still originally a government created entity. I never said anything about CN/CP later being equal shareholders in the entity that operates the corridor. (Much like how arch-enemies Bell and Rogers bought MLSE and are both shareholders in the same entity)

But whatever entity (choose your favourite or preferred entity scenario), it's going to be a government created entity -- the ownership isn't going straight to CN nor it is going to CP. The feds have to force it, and it falls onto their hands, when they are serious.

Think it through. CN's marshmallow attempt isn't even called a "Link" for good reason. I used the term "link" to search the document to find the apt chapter. Guess what? Zilch hits.
While I think it is indeed the Missing Link
.....No disagreement on this hedge. They are hedging. Exactly as you said.

But they definitely left the door open that this *IS* the Missing Link. And I choose to view it that way. There is enough room to interpret that way -- they just don't want to definitively say Missing Link is what's happening. Yet.

But we are getting sidetracked, when I was trying to explain that some kind of entity is needed to operate the bypass (The bypass cannot operate itself unattended. And I never said it is the same entity that funds it) and that second point is the bypass may receive one of the two freight companies first (ie. CN), simply because of completion sequence (Like like the subdivision example you mentioned, roads gets built before houses once the building contract is nailed. And like the 407 example, where extensions are opened before fully extended). That is the two chief points of my earlier post, but you pounced on my semantics/terminology rather than my main points.

You could be right, but you can concede that it's not a 0% possibility that it is. (eventually -- once Trudeau gets serious)
 
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mdrejhon

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Either way, your main disagreement with me is this phrase: "It is a partial version of the Missing Link."

We can disagree on that (but I understand why: Metrolinx kept it ambigious and the door is kept open for alternate interpretations, inclusive of Missing Link).
 

steveintoronto

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the bypass may receive one of the two freight companies first (ie. CN), simply because of completion sequence (Like like the subdivision example you mentioned, roads gets built before houses once the building contract is nailed. And like the 407 example, where extensions are opened before fully extended). That is the two chief points of my earlier post, but you pounced on my semantics/terminology rather than my main points.
Except you're missing the analogy. Do you build one set of roads first, and then another beside it after? That's not how this is going to work. You've assumed (as have some other posters) that CN is going to run parallel tracks to CP along CP's RoW from Milton to the "Missing Link" proper.

Why? It's absurd, in so many ways. CP has to be brought into this from the get-go, and CP's lines *fully integrated* along that stretch, as well as CP and CN along the rest of the corridor across the top of Toronto.

Here's the map:
upload_2016-9-15_20-49-51.png


Your presumption is that CN can build its own RoW adjacent to CP's. That would take invoking the Transportation Act or the Relocation Act. If you're going to do that, then the obvious move is to do it completely in one fell swoop, not as the blue or red lines indicate on this map. Try a single purple, with green beside it for a Metrolinx track(s) to be extended to Cambridge. The purple line would indicate a *totally integrated single entity freight bypass* that handles both CN and CP freight. Two tracks highly signalled and PTC. Dispatched from the same source, overseen as a Federally Incorporated Corporation, and shares of the Corp, ideally at some point, held by CP and CN. CN and CP don't have the capital at this point to do it themselves, but by doing this, and being underwritten *at this time* by the Feds (as detailed in the Relocation Act), the railways will find themselves temporarily flush with cash as their legacy lines are sold off...*even as they keep adjacent properties!*. Both of them would be idiotic to not pursue this, but it all depends on the Feds saying "yeah". And for the whole shebang, not sections that have to be sewn in and rebuilt later to fit.

And for Trudeau to grow some balls like his Old Man.
[...]
As it announces money for “shovel-ready” projects, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is finalizing details of the next step of its election pledge to spend $120 billion on infrastructure over 10 years.

Details of the rules for funding for new “transformational” projects will be announced in the coming months, Sohi said. [...]
https://www.thestar.com/news/city_h...-ontario-to-keep-port-lands-cash-flowing.html

$5B is a tiny fraction of that! Where's the leadership? As ornery as the Old Man was ("Just watch me") he had the stuff to build a nation and repatriate the Constitution, for all his foibles. Fuddle Duddle...

Time for Justin to get off the potty.
 

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mdrejhon

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Your presumption is that CN can build its own RoW adjacent to CP's.
I never said that today.

Perhaps before today, but not today.

If you're referring to a post before today, temporarily forget that one, and re-read my post under context of a "non-CP/non-CN specific tracks". I stay within the context of the proposal in the PDF. Shared corridor meaning generic 3 tracks that can be used generically by either CN or CP.

I apologize if I didn't clarify the context of my today's post when describing the possible scenario of a government entity operating the corridor, and when describing the possibility of the generic shared corridor opening to CN before CP (simply because cost, construction staging, and geometry might mean completion occured for CN before CP).

Your scenario is clearly one that may be what happens. But it isn't the only one.

Let's wait for the study to occur. Maybe the study will say the bypass entity is operable to CN many years earlier than being operable to CP, because of expropriation, construction staging, and relocations.

If that happens, my points becomes relevant. We create a financial-pressure situation for CN to begin benefitting from the Bypass sooner.

CN may be so eager that CN may financially incentivize CP to the point where CP decides the best scenario (of all possible scenarios is) to transfer their corridor (by sale or other manner, and/or in exchange for government funding for Bypass) into the government-created entity, and become a shareholder in the entity (along with CP).

CP begin earning money whenever CN uses the Bypass (even while the rest of the corridors is still being expanded to accomodate CP trains all the way). CN happy they start using Bypass sooner (they save lots of money, lots of fuel, faster trips). CP happy they're earning money (by dividends from this entity that operates the corridor). Everyone wins.

This may not happen, but this is one of the many possible scenarios.

Whatever trains runs on whatever partial section of Bypass, both CN+CP benefits from the dividends earned from fees paid by whatever train is running on that corridor (even if it is just CN at first).

The government funds the Bypass only when CN and CP agrees (the word "contract" I said).

Obviously the Feds have to force a situation where it's preferable for CN and CP to turn the Bypass into a shared corridor (CN corridor being transferred to entity ownership as an example) because it's cheaper and/or more profitable to both of them simultaneously even if CN transfers their corridor to the entity in exchange for the government funding to occur & the right to begin operating on the Bypass first.

Complex negotiations will have to occur, obviously.

If you can build it quickly enough that it's operable to both CN and CP at the same time (or within 1-2 years), then you are right. Big whoop. Just build the whole shebang. Just like you said. Sure. It's fairer and simpler.

But I see potential scenarios where opening to CN+CP simultaneously could delay the project by half a decade or more. The study may reveal them.

In this case, the time imbalance (the 407 situation I described -- you don't want to have the figurative "gates" closed for CN until it's all operable to CP too. Like keeping 412 onramps closed until Peterborough 407 extension.

If it costs nothing extra to construction budget to get one of the two operating first by a long margin -- then it all creates a financial incentive to both of them to negotiate to their mutual benefit. As long as the total cost of the project doesn't increase, of course -- and as long as enabling CP operability isn't delayed by getting it CN operable first.

It would be in the scenario where the study says, essentially, "CN+CP both have to wait till 2032" or "CN can begin 2027, CP can join 2032". If this happens, perhaps the entity is structured in a way where CP can still earn dividends from CN using the bypass 2027-2032 before construction completions of CP-side elements and the widening of the entity's shared (formerly owned by CN) corridor necessary for CN+CP service.

It's all quid pro quo -- to get government funding for Bypass, CN has to somehow transfer their CN corridor into the entity that needs to turn it into a shared corridor (whatever terms agreed by feds, provincial, CN, CP, it would have to benefit everybody).

Construction staging is going to indeed be a big question. Build missing sections versus widen CN corridor.

You might be right it may be inefficient, but it might not be, under the above arrangement if study shows a huge time imbalance CN-vs-CP for "Earliest Possible In Service" dates. There may be a situation where everyone wants benefits sooner simultaneously (bypass partially operable sooner, CP earning dividends from CN being able to benefit from bypass sooner, Kitchener corridor plans begins sooner, etc).

Precedents seem to exist elsewhere. Not around here. But elsewhere.
 
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steveintoronto

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I quote the relevant section from the Transportation Act again (I was just re-reading the IBI Report again, Appendix 1, section 6.1 "Interest of the Federal Gov't" but the PDF reader I have doesn't support reformatting to full HTML, let alone over-ride sentence wrap, so I'll quote the Act directly) :
[...]
Running Rights and Joint Track Usage
Marginal note:Application by railway company
  • 138 (1) A railway company may apply to the Agency for the right to
    • (a) take possession of, use or occupy any land belonging to any other railway company;

    • (b) use the whole or any portion of the right-of-way, tracks, terminals, stations or station grounds of any other railway company; and

    • (c) run and operate its trains over and on any portion of the railway of any other railway company.
  • Marginal note:Application may be granted
    (2) The Agency may grant the right and may make any order and impose any conditions on either railway company respecting the exercise or restriction of the rights as appear just or desirable to the Agency, having regard to the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Compensation
    (3) The railway company shall pay compensation to the other railway company for the right granted and, if they do not agree on the compensation, the Agency may, by order, fix the amount to be paid.
Marginal note:Request for joint or common use of right-of-way
  • 139 (1) The Governor in Council may
    • (a) on the application of a railway company, a municipal government or any other interested person, or on the Governor in Council’s own initiative, and

    • (b) after any investigation that the Governor in Council considers necessary,
    request two or more railway companies to consider the joint or common use of a right-of-way if the Governor in Council is of the opinion that its joint or common use may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of rail transport and would not unduly impair the commercial interests of the companies.

  • Marginal note:Order in Council for joint or common use of right-of-way
    (2) If the Governor in Council is satisfied that significant efficiencies and cost savings would result from joint or common use of the right-of-way by two or more railway companies and would not unduly impair the commercial interests of the companies, the Governor in Council may make any order for the joint or common use of the right-of-way that the Governor in Council considers necessary.

  • Marginal note:Compensation
    (3) The Governor in Council may also, by order, fix the amount of compensation to be paid in respect of the joint or common use of the right-of-way and any related work if the companies do not agree on the amount of that compensation. [...]

  • http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-10.4/page-20.html#docCont

  • CP can either do this the easy way (which they will)(edit: and CN will do same on their section across the top of Toronto) or the harder way. Perhaps CN realizes the likely outcome, and that's why they're 'playing nice' on this? CP must be involved right from the beginning in doing this, by hook or by crook. Their present tracks must be the backbone for getting CN's freight across to the Missing Link proper. If traffic volume warrants, then a third track could be added, even on a temporary basis until signalling and control allow just two tracks such that the third can then be cascaded to Metrolinx for all-day to Cambridge.
  • And speaking of formatting, this forum software is clever, but damn annoying in other respects. I've seen Morse Code from a drunken linesman make more sense than these stuck dots...
Edit to Add: If any "increment" is to be the start of the "Freight Bypass", it's CP's present tracks to the 407 from CN Milton, or more correctly, their tracks described as being inclusive of the Link. One without the other is meaningless. The IBI report alludes to Metrolinx being the overseeing agency of the Link. Big sigh....if Metrolinx showed more accountability and ability to make good decisions, I'd agree. In the event, I think this has to be a freshly incorporated company, with Metrolinx sitting on the board, along with the Feds, Queen's Park and others, of course. And any private investors of size.

Precedent:
[Toronto Terminals Railway

On July 13, 1906, the Toronto Terminals Railway (TTR) was incorporated by the Government of Canada to "construct, provide, maintain and operate at the City of Toronto a union passenger station". The TTR was jointly owned by the GTR and the CPR who each held 50% of the TTR shares. ][...]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_(Toronto)#Toronto_Terminals_Railway
 
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mdrejhon

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Hmmm. Need to study this more.

(If using computer, backspace on the dots, then try Shift+Enter to add dotless blank lines.)
 

muller877

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steveintoronto

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They will promise billions. Of course it'll be deferred and deferred until the liberals get defeated and then they will blame the PC's for not executing on their projects which they never planned to fund
Indeed, and nothing shows that as much as electrification, or lack of.

The Ontario Libs have one saving grace for their blatant and chronic "honest, this time it really will happen" promises:

The Missing Link.

And whether it is morally right or wrong for Trudeau to 'save his cousins' asses' or not, for $5B give or take a few, he can with the Missing Link. And half that funding is guaranteed from general coffers under the Relocation Act, so really it's only about $2.5B from the promised $100B or so of "new spending on infrastructure". An absolute pittance. And I can think of nothing that would make such a profound difference to the largest conurbation by far in Canada, now choking on transportation grid-lock.

The Missing Link is such an incredible 'no brainer'...but alas, there must be some brains to begin with. One wonders...
 

steveintoronto

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(Photos at link at bottom, had to edit them out to get this within the character limit)

RRCA Gives Council Power to Order Move of West Harbour CN Yard
By Joey Coleman | May 11, 2015

As cities across Canada engage in urban redevelopment and moving disruptive railways, a dormant piece of powerful legislation is returning to the spotlight – legislation which gives Hamilton City Council the power to finally move the Stuart Street marshalling yard along Hamilton’s West Harbour waterfront.

The federal Railway Relocation and Crossing Act (CanLii version) enables municipalities to apply to the Canadian Transportation Agency for an order to move railways and yards – provided the municipality pays and relocation does not harm the viability and finances of the railway.

RRCA and West Harbour

City of Hamilton Neighbourhood Map shows land mass of CN rail yard which separates two neighbourhoods from the West Harbour waterfront

Relocating the Stuart Street CN marshalling yard was identified as a priority economic development project by the first Council of the new City of Hamilton in 2002.

Each successive Council have renewed this priority. Most recently as a key priority in the West Harbour Barton-Tiffany Urban Design Study.

Yet, after over a decade, what little talks have occurred have made no change to the situation.

With US Steel lands for sale as a location to relocate the marshalling yard, City Council is provided an opportunity to act this term to ends ongoing conflicts caused by West Harbour residential and recreation uses abutting the CN yard.

Using the RRCA is not a sledgehammer to a fly situation. It does not preclude reaching a mutual agreement – it sets a clear timeline for the outcome the City is expecting.

The RRCA guarantees Hamilton City Council can fulfill its vision for the West Harbour.

(Credit to Dan Lett of the Winnipeg Free Press whose column introduced me to the RRCA. I strongly encourage you to read the column as it inspired this post.)

The RRCA’s requirements for the City are not onerous and most of the time-consuming work to meet them is already complete. Modifications to the West Harbour Secondary Plan and the Barton-Tiffany Urban Design Study can produce the urban development and transportation plans required.

In 2012, a group of citizens gathered – independent of the City – to create their own plans for redevelopment of the CN rail yard which showed a wide variety of people-friendly uses including residential, entertainment, and parks.

A consultant can write a financial plan for relocating CN to the Stelco lands.

With all the documents in place, Council can submit a full application to the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2015.

The RRCA requirements to issue an order are:

  • A urban development plan
  • A transportation plan (which can be part of the urban development plan)
  • A financial plan that does not “impose on any railway company affected thereby any costs and losses greater than the benefits and payments receivable by the railway company under the plan, or confer on any railway company affected thereby any benefits and payments greater than the costs and losses incurred by the railway company under the plan”
The RRCA enables the federal government to fund cost of rail relocation up to 50%.

U.S. Steel Lands Provide Opportunity
The US Steel lands are an ideal location to relocate the rail marshalling yards – it is land located along the CN rail line that does not have any conflicting abutting land uses.

This new location will enable CN to continue their operations without being negatively impacted.

In fact, with better connections to major highways and the ability to build a more modern facility, the new yard could better serve CN’s needs and become a leading inter-modal hub that will improve CN’s bottom line.

White Rock BC – First Use of RRCA Since 1987
The RRCA was used by the City of Regina in 1987 to relocate CN and CP rail yards, and is presently being used by White Rock in British Columbia to force the relocation of a coastal rail line that is dangerous and frustrating public access to their waterfront.

(The City’s “Rail in White Rock” page outlines how disruptive the line has become to the city. This Global News report shows video of the interaction between pedestrians and the railway)

The City hired Mary-Jane Bennett of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy as a consultant to prepare their application. Bennett’s 23-page report to the Council outlines the requirements of the Act, costs of relocation in White Rock, and the timelines expected of the process.

White Rock is being closely watched and, if successful, could spur other communities to use the RRCA to force relocation of urban rail lines – especially as the transportation of hazardous goods is a more prevalent concern after the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster that killed 47 people.

(A search of the CTA and CanLii databases finds no other cases. Bennett’s report states this fact as well.)

The Winnipeg RRCA Debate
Winnipeg is the intersection of Canada’s railway networks and the lines divide the City. (See above map created by the Winnipeg Free Press)

It costs the City of Winnipeg hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure to build bridges and underpasses to ensure traffic flows in the City.

With the recent boom in railway traffic, Winnipeg is looking at a $175-million underpass as its top infrastructure priority.

With grade separation taking priority over other infrastructure needs, Winnipeggers are having a serious discussion of spending $1-billion (yes, billion) to use the RRCA to move cross-Canada rail traffic out of the urban area.

The idea is getting traction because it will save Winnipeg hundreds of millions in planned grade separate road work and create urban renewal opportunities across the City as rail lands are converted to other uses.

The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg wrote an extensive report on moving the railways in 2014, but didn’t get as much traction as the current discussion.

The current relocation discussion appears to have originated with Winnipeg businessman Art DeFehr who penned an open statement entitled Rail Location in Winnipeg – Think Bold and Big outlining the opportunities which rail relocation provides for Winnipeg. DeFehr’s proposal received a positive editorial from the WFP editorial board.

The cost of relocating the Stuart Street CN yard is not insignificant, the timelines is likely to be nearly a decade between the RRCA hearing and relocation, and funding will require focused leadership at the local level.

Some of the costs will be recouped from eventual development of the West Harbour CN lands, and improved land values in the new Tiffany-Barton development area.

Hamilton City Council will need to secure a tripartite funding agreement with the provincial and federal government, will have to prioritize municipal funding within the City budget for many years, and have the patience to create a structure to lead the project over multiple Council terms.

Is there the willpower on Council to act on relocating the Stuart Street CN yard? Or will there only be more declarations that this is a priority this this term of Council?
https://www.thepublicrecord.ca/2015...-power-to-order-move-of-west-harbour-cn-yard/
 

steveintoronto

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Just did a search for a follow-up on the above Stuart Yard status. Absolutely nothing shows. Anything you could find out about it most welcomed, MD.
 

mdrejhon

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Just did a search for a follow-up on the above Stuart Yard status. Absolutely nothing shows. Anything you could find out about it most welcomed, MD.
So far, Hamilton hasn't been biting. The yard looks like it will stay (for now).

Might be new movement in future, like after the Pier 7/8 gets built out, then the railyard becomes valuable enough to do the relocation.
 

Allandale25

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The map in the display boards for tonight's HuLRT (see the thread posting here) shows the "Missing Link". Interestingly, it puts it in the same context as the other transit lines even though the talk has been that this would be a freight-only line. It's the first time, outside of a board presentation, the Missing Link/bypass has shown up on a publicly available map by Metrolinx.

 

steveintoronto

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The map in the display boards for tonight's HuLRT (see the thread posting here) shows the "Missing Link". Interestingly, it puts it in the same context as the other transit lines even though the talk has been that this would be a freight-only line. It's the first time, outside of a board presentation, the Missing Link/bypass has shown up on a publicly available map by Metrolinx.
I had to do some double takes to makes sure I was reading that right, as if the term "Missing Link" has become a given in Metrolinx lingo...but the other two partners of the presentation are Mississauga and Brampton, the two most vociferous proponents of Missing Link.

But you're absolutely right on being presented as a given, not even qualified as a "freight bypass".

Hmmm...is there reason to be more positive about this than we're being let-on to believe?
 

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