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General railway discussions

lenaitch

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Since the railway construction boom of the 19th century, have any new rail corridors been built since then?

Without doing a ton of research, I can think of several:

CN York & Halton subs; 1950s-60s
Central BC (Pacific Great Eastern then BC rail then CN); all since 1912,much since WWII
ONR; northern sections since early 1900s into the 1920s
Algoma Central; northern sections early 1900s
CP Mactier & Parry Sound subs; early 1900s

I imagine there are more.
 

ShonTron

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In terms of major rail corridor rail construction projects, not much since the 1920s.

The CN St. Lawrence Seaway bypass did allow the railway to run on a completely new, straight alignment, and the 1960s-era freight bypasses built by CN and CP around several major cities in Canada reflected the shift away from urban industrial areas and low-volume rail shipments and towards specializations in commodity (grains, fuels and chemicals) and container shipping. The CN York Sub and the Big Mack yard, and then the Bramport Intermodal Terminal were huge investments (that also helped GO to start up).

There is the Terrebone-Repentigny line, opened in 2014, the first all-new mainline railway built in decades (as opposed to a rerouting of an existing line or a rebuild), but that was for transit (commuter rail) only.
 

Northern Light

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So it goes..........KCS's board has formally scrapped the CN Deal and recommended the CP offer to its shareholders.


This bit caught my attention....

1631733765682.png


On the name; really?

I get some desire to carry a bit of the legacy name........but when CN bought Illinois Central it didn't become CNIC.

CPKC does not roll off the tongue.
 

Northern Light

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Funny that we're discussing the idea of major new rail corridors.................

And Quebec is moving to formally consider a new that would shift a whole lot of freight off of the Windsor-Montreal corridor........

 

roger1818

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Funny that we're discussing the idea of major new rail corridors.................

And Quebec is moving to formally consider a new that would shift a whole lot of freight off of the Windsor-Montreal corridor........


I don't understand how a new corridor from Dolbeau-Mistassini to Baie-Comeau this will shift freight off of the Windsor-Montreal corridor. The trains still need to get to Dolbeau-Mistassini somehow.
 

Northern Light

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I don't understand how a new corridor from Dolbeau-Mistassini to Baie-Comeau this will shift freight off of the Windsor-Montreal corridor. The trains still need to get to Dolbeau-Mistassini somehow.

I didn't examine the story further than a cursory glance.

So I have nothing useful to offer on that just at the moment; perhaps others could chime in.......

Or I will try to read up on it later.
 

nfitz

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If a picture is worth a 1000 words:
1631811547077.png


I'd assume what they are talking about, is bringing freight into the port at Baie-Comeau (instead of Halifax and to a lesser extent Montreal), and then using a northern route. But that route would bring it on CN, almost as far south as Shawinigan, then north to Rouyn-Noranda, up onto the Nipissing Central Railway to Swastika, then up to Hearst on the ONR, and then down the Algoma Centralne towards Sault Ste. Marie, and then onto the main CN transcon line at Oba. Though there isn't curves in place for some of those movements.

I'd think if they really were doing this, they might consider reactivating the old CN (Grand Trunk) segments from Nakina to Hearst abandoned in 1986, and from Cochrane to La Sarre abandoned in 1997. Sounds a bit unrealistic, but I'd assume costs to reactivate these segments would be a lot less than a new alignment to Baie-Comeau.
 

lenaitch

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If a picture is worth a 1000 words:
View attachment 349360

I'd assume what they are talking about, is bringing freight into the port at Baie-Comeau (instead of Halifax and to a lesser extent Montreal), and then using a northern route. But that route would bring it on CN, almost as far south as Shawinigan, then north to Rouyn-Noranda, up onto the Nipissing Central Railway to Swastika, then up to Hearst on the ONR, and then down the Algoma Centralne towards Sault Ste. Marie, and then onto the main CN transcon line at Oba. Though there isn't curves in place for some of those movements.

I'd think if they really were doing this, they might consider reactivating the old CN (Grand Trunk) segments from Nakina to Hearst abandoned in 1986, and from Cochrane to La Sarre abandoned in 1997. Sounds a bit unrealistic, but I'd assume costs to reactivate these segments would be a lot less than a new alignment to Baie-Comeau.
Quite a circuitous route on a lot of less-than-mainline track. I can envision CN saying 'thanks for the extra traffic but we'll run it through Montreal and Toronto so we can tap the US market'. Or they're just looking for an option to the rail-ferry to Matane.
 

roger1818

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If a picture is worth a 1000 words:
View attachment 349360

I saw that map, but it doesn't tell you anything, as it doesn't show any of the existing rail lines.

I'd assume what they are talking about, is bringing freight into the port at Baie-Comeau (instead of Halifax and to a lesser extent Montreal), and then using a northern route. But that route would bring it on CN, almost as far south as Shawinigan, then north to Rouyn-Noranda, up onto the Nipissing Central Railway to Swastika, then up to Hearst on the ONR, and then down the Algoma Centralne towards Sault Ste. Marie, and then onto the main CN transcon line at Oba. Though there isn't curves in place for some of those movements.

I had considered that routing, but is hardly a direct routing why would CN interline with 2 different railways when they have track of their own that is arguably much better. It also doesn't explain how it would "bypass the heavily trafficked Windsor rail corridor
and all its major cities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal," as claimed by SNC in the article.

Temp Map.png


I'd think if they really were doing this, they might consider reactivating the old CN (Grand Trunk) segments from Nakina to Hearst abandoned in 1986, and from Cochrane to La Sarre abandoned in 1997. Sounds a bit unrealistic, but I'd assume costs to reactivate these segments would be a lot less than a new alignment to Baie-Comeau.

My guess is the "Windsor rail corridor" part is a misunderstanding or a misquote and the objective is just to provide direct rail access to port in Baie-Comeau (without needing to use a ferry) and the hope is to reduce truck traffic (not rail traffic).
 

Northern Light

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Additional info on the Baie Comeau rail corridor idea from here: (2019)


It refers to 800 wagons per day as the initial projected demand.

***

This article, from Radio Canada (in French) (from October 2020) suggests a cost of 1.6B


Confusingly...........

It does indeed refer to shipping commodities from Western Canada including grain, and possibly oil...........

This is a translation of that paragraph:

"The idea, to say the least ambitious, gives rise to both hope and concern. The 370-kilometer route, estimated at $ 1.6 billion, would connect the port of Baie-Comeau to the North American rail network and serve Western Canada. If the goal is to move bulk commodities - grain, for example - for export, oil could well flow there as well; a possibility that concerns the environmental group Greenpeace ."

They identify these potential clients:

"Canadian agricultural giant Cargill, aluminum producer Alcoa and Resolute Forest Products, all already based in Baie-Comeau, are supporting the project"

They also indicate a desire to take traffic that would use the Seaway, but cannot during its winter closure.
 

crs1026

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Western Producer: CN's abrupt end to freight forwarding surprises shippers.

Why didn't they sell it off or allow another company to manage it? What kind of customer service is this?

Far be it from me to defend CN, but….

This is the result of a national rail policy that is allowing and rewarding the wrong behaviours.

CN probably never had a serious shot at buying KCS. Its counter offer strategy may or may not have been prudent, but without doubt CN’s board would have been lambasted had they sat passively while CP swooped in to make the purchase. So they had to make a play, to demonstrate they had their hands firmly on the wheel.

And now, having ”lost” to CP, its board is regretably vulnerable to snipers.

The people trying to acquire control of CN are no different than the people (Harrison and Ackman, principally) who gained control of CP a decade ago. While they made money, and wrung out inefficiencies, they destroyed CP’s relationship with employees and customers. And shrank the business.

As a CN shareholder, I have never ever been even slightly dissatisfied with CN’s financial or operational performance. Imposing a further austerity regime is not making CN better…. it’s simply trying to stay ahead of a hostile adversary who is leveraging CN’s optical, but not economic, weakness.

The takeover people need to articulate how their aspirations will serve Canadian customers better - and how they will increase, not restrict, access to rail service. Canada’s transportation policy should place the onus to serve higher on the scale and place rampant capitalism lower.

Unfortunately, I only hold a small number of shares, but I’m not wooed. CN should not rush into a strategy of harming its core functions.

- Paul
 

Bordercollie

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Far be it from me to defend CN, but….

This is the result of a national rail policy that is allowing and rewarding the wrong behaviours.

CN probably never had a serious shot at buying KCS. Its counter offer strategy may or may not have been prudent, but without doubt CN’s board would have been lambasted had they sat passively while CP swooped in to make the purchase. So they had to make a play, to demonstrate they had their hands firmly on the wheel.

And now, having ”lost” to CP, its board is regretably vulnerable to snipers.

The people trying to acquire control of CN are no different than the people (Harrison and Ackman, principally) who gained control of CP a decade ago. While they made money, and wrung out inefficiencies, they destroyed CP’s relationship with employees and customers. And shrank the business.

As a CN shareholder, I have never ever been even slightly dissatisfied with CN’s financial or operational performance. Imposing a further austerity regime is not making CN better…. it’s simply trying to stay ahead of a hostile adversary who is leveraging CN’s optical, but not economic, weakness.

The takeover people need to articulate how their aspirations will serve Canadian customers better - and how they will increase, not restrict, access to rail service. Canada’s transportation policy should place the onus to serve higher on the scale and place rampant capitalism lower.

Unfortunately, I only hold a small number of shares, but I’m not wooed. CN should not rush into a strategy of harming its core functions.

- Paul
So one solution may be more government oversight?
 

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