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CN Milton Logistics Hub

SaugeenJunction

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Thought that this $250 million intermodal logistics hub being proposed by CN deserved a thread, as it is a huge development and could potentially have implications for future GO service, and underscores the need for the "Missing Link"/Freight Bypass.

In short, the development will:
  • develop 400 acres of a 1200 acre lot of land with undisclosed plans for the remaining 800 acres;
  • build a new mainline which will double the existing tracks and add over 20 kms of new rail yard track;
  • result in 1,600 truck trips to and from the facility each day; and
  • will operate 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
  • Build an underpass at Lower Base Line to maintain traffic flow and facilitate east-west passage for emergency vehicles
  • Expected to handle approximately 450,000 containers annually at full operation
Here's an image of the location of the facility:


Here are some useful links:
Also, here is a good explainer video from the Region of Halton discussing the facility, and how CN claims that the project is exempt from Municipal and Provincial review (it is currently undergoing a Federal Environmental Assessment):

Finally, here is a an article that I thought was an interesting perspective on the project:
Trans Mountain tactics come to Greater Toronto, threatening a badly needed rail hub
 

Allandale25

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^ Also interesting that it was written by the CEO of the Brampton Board of Trade. I wonder if CN is raising their frustrations on the Milton project when the Province, through Metrolinx, wants cooperation on building the freight bypass and more off-peak service for the Kitchener Line.
 

SaugeenJunction

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^ Also interesting that it was written by the CEO of the Brampton Board of Trade. I wonder if CN is raising their frustrations on the Milton project when the Province, through Metrolinx, wants cooperation on building the freight bypass and more off-peak service for the Kitchener Line.

CN could be in a position to very much either give a carrot or a stick depending on how this project plays out.
 

44 North

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Hm, why would they want to get involved with this. Seems like allowing it to continue asap would be right up their alley, since it's jobs and adds to the economy. Yet they seem to be going out of their way to put up red tape and help give a municipality a louder voice. On the news today they were effectively arguing the complete opposite on other issues.
 

SaugeenJunction

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Hm, why would they want to get involved with this. Seems like allowing it to continue asap would be right up their alley, since it's jobs and adds to the economy. Yet they seem to be going out of their way to put up red tape and help give a municipality a louder voice. On the news today they were effectively arguing the complete opposite on other issues.

Maybe it is just posturing to appease newly elected PC MPP's constituents? I'd assume that eventually this project will go ahead, and the province is just playing the pandering game. I personally support it, as we need more logistics centres, and it could be used as a bargaining chip to get CN to play ball on the freight bypass.
 

Allandale25

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^ But I wonder if the province getting involved is now slowing down the bypass discussions and impacting Metrolinx's ability to work with CN on this. Maybe that's the reason we saw this language in a recent Metrolinx report (see below) and why there's no update yet on service between Hamilton and Niagara?

"Strategic passenger & freight rail: A Quality Based Selection (QBS) tender was released in June 2018 to study options for journey time and service frequency improvements on the Kitchener Corridor. Some of these options anticipate the construction of a freight bypass to facilitate the separation of passenger and freight rail traffic on the Halton Subdivision."
(emphasis added)
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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^ But I wonder if the province getting involved is now slowing down the bypass discussions and impacting Metrolinx's ability to work with CN on this. Maybe that's the reason we saw this language in a recent Metrolinx report (see below) and why there's no update yet on service between Hamilton and Niagara?

(emphasis added)
I would disagree. If anything, it should accelerate them. I don't think the feds or province should lift a finger until the Corridors on Hamilton, Kitchener, Barrie and Richmond Hill are solved.
 

TOareaFan

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Hm, why would they want to get involved with this.
It was part of Parm Gill's campaign and appeal to voters.

https://www.insidehalton.com/news-s...ndidates-weigh-in-on-proposed-intermodal-hub/

As the only candidate who attended the recent public meeting, I have been vocal about standing with the region and municipality against the CN Intermodal. I have met with local stakeholders, town staff and Mayor Gord Krantz to discuss the project and how best to support the legal action currently before the courts.

This proposed development of 400 acres (growing to over 1,000 acres in the future) would have long-lasting, negative ramifications for Milton and those who live closest to it.

To have seen no action by the Liberals, until days before an election is disappointing. For many, this is the single biggest issue in Milton, and I am unwavering in my stand against the CN Intermodal.
 

Allandale25

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I would disagree. If anything, it should accelerate them. I don't think the feds or province should lift a finger until the Corridors on Hamilton, Kitchener, Barrie and Richmond Hill are solved.

How can the province opposing the Milton Logistics Hub accelerate the Kitchener Line when negotiations with CN are needed given they own the track? Why does the Barrie line need to be solved? GO owns the entire corridor and a grade separation at Davenport Diamond over the CP Rail line is likely to be built, unless the PCs don't want to spend the money and expand the GO service on that line.

Metrolinx has no plans to increase service on the Richmond Hill line at the same level they want to increase the service on the other lines you mentioned.

For Hamilton-Niagara service, again, discussions with CN Rail are needed as @mdrejhon has noted. I'm just going to speculate because I'm not in the room that the Milton situation could be a factor in CN's willingness and speed at getting a Legal Agreement and/or commencing the EA. @crs1026 commented in another thread that it might make sense to do the EA and then do a Legal Agreement. It still requires cooperation of CN.

Unless you're promising the federal government step in and order CN to do something. Not sure I see that as a likelihood.
 

mjl08

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A little off topic, but can anyone direct me to a good website or book about the modern freight train economy?
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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How can the province opposing the Milton Logistics Hub accelerate the Kitchener Line when negotiations with CN are needed given they own the track? Why does the Barrie line need to be solved? GO owns the entire corridor and a grade separation at Davenport Diamond over the CP Rail line is likely to be built, unless the PCs don't want to spend the money and expand the GO service on that line.

Metrolinx has no plans to increase service on the Richmond Hill line at the same level they want to increase the service on the other lines you mentioned.

For Hamilton-Niagara service, again, discussions with CN Rail are needed as @mdrejhon has noted. I'm just going to speculate because I'm not in the room that the Milton situation could be a factor in CN's willingness and speed at getting a Legal Agreement and/or commencing the EA. @crs1026 commented in another thread that it might make sense to do the EA and then do a Legal Agreement. It still requires cooperation of CN.

Unless you're promising the federal government step in and order CN to do something. Not sure I see that as a likelihood.
Sorry about barrie. I did see in the Metrolinx 2041 plan that they do want to expand Richmond Hill. There has to be an incentive for CN to get moving. CN owns the Kitchener and Hamilton corrdidors but they need permission to built the logistics hub. We should meet in the middle here.
 

Allandale25

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^ Completely agree a win-win deal is possible. My question is whether the Ontario government has now slowed down the possibility of this by intervening in this court case.
 

crs1026

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^ Completely agree a win-win deal is possible. My question is whether the Ontario government has now slowed down the possibility of this by intervening in this court case.

Quite the reverse. Ontario has to take this stance to gain legal stature before the court. Having done so, they now are a key player and the court will look to them as an interested party in settlement discussions.

This type of court action is not like an injunction where the parties have locked positions and the court has to quickly reach a final decision because otherwise something is about to happen. There is much more room in this process for mediation and back room wrangling. The court will be encouraging the parties to settle this among themselves rather than allowing the court to impose a solution. Ontario is simply making sure they are recognized as one of the players.

If I had more confidence in the Ford cabal, I would expect the above to play out constructively. Competent politicians would manage negotiations with CN and be able to sell the solution to the local constituents, ie they can start by vehemently opposing but end up agreeing to the terminal - extracting what they want from CN but giving the locals a sense of ‘win’.

It is quite possible however that this is a knee jerk reaction that some local MPP or connected booster has got the PC’s to jump at. It’s all too possible that Ford and the Minister don’t appreciate how much leverage this terminal gives them in negotiating for Go, HSR, etc. Or they may not care. Or, they will lock themselves into a promise to local voters that has no way out.... yeah, that would be a problem.

But the court action so far is predictable and exactly how Ontario would get their seat at the table. It’s good that Ontario has taken an interest in this issue. Let’s stay hopeful.

- Paul
 

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