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General railway discussions

Northern Light

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The distance from 'central Barrie' ('five points') to the Allendale GO station is a whopping 2.2km.

Having lived in North Simcoe for over 20 years, and having worked in Orillia, I'm not convinced there would be sufficient demand for commuter rail to Orillia. I wouldn't call weekday traffic on Hwy 11 between Barrie and Orillia anything close to being "extremely overcrowded". The only data I could find was from 2006 (Intergovernmental Action Plan- Simcoe County, 2006), but it found that over 64% of Orillia residents work in Orillia, with 30% working elsewhere in Simcoe County. Only 3.8% reported commuting to the GTA for employment. No doubt that has changed in the intervening years, but I doubt that significantly.

I heard my ears ringing......apparently someone called for 'The king of research' LOL

1634593565308.png


From: https://www.barrie.ca/City Hall/Pla...ter-Plan/Barrie TMP FINAL Report_20190612.pdf
 

smallspy

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I suppose if Metrolinx had money burning a hole in their pocket they could have purchased the ROW; CN no longer needed it.
Metrolinx didn't exist when the line was up for abandonment. And it wasn't even the Provincial Government of the day that bought the section that ended up being kept - it was the municipalities along the line.

Dan
 

roger1818

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Metrolinx didn't exist when the line was up for abandonment. And it wasn't even the Provincial Government of the day that bought the section that ended up being kept - it was the municipalities along the line.

Dan

Metrolinx didn't exist, but the same year that the rails between Barrie and Longford were removed (1996), CN applied to abandon the section from York Sub to Barrie and the Ontario government purchased it for use by GO Transit (ref). It is possible that the will of the government suddenly changed, but I suspect Barrie didn't want trains running along the lakeshore anymore.
 

Nomad_87

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Metrolinx didn't exist, but the same year that the rails between Barrie and Longford were removed (1996), CN applied to abandon the section from York Sub to Barrie and the Ontario government purchased it for use by GO Transit (ref). It is possible that the will of the government suddenly changed, but I suspect Barrie didn't want trains running along the lakeshore anymore.
On the one hand I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. On the other hand having gone through many city documents both current and older (I am a Barrie resident with way too much time on my hands) I have not seen any evidence whatsoever of that.
 

Urban Sky

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On the one hand I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. On the other hand having gone through many city documents both current and older (I am a Barrie resident with way too much time on my hands) I have not seen any evidence whatsoever of that.
Actions speak louder than words: the cities of Barrie and Orillia could have purchased the ROW and leave it intact (maybe just slightly reroute it) with a generous cycling path as a placeholder so that a single-tracked passenger rail service could be restored at a later point. As a short glance with Google Earth reveals, they didn't...
 

roger1818

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Actions speak louder than words: the cities of Barrie and Orillia could have purchased the ROW and leave it intact (maybe just slightly reroute it) with a generous cycling path as a placeholder so that a single-tracked passenger rail service could be restored at a later point. As a short glance with Google Earth reveals, they didn't...

Exactly! The last stage in the process of discontinuing a rail line is to offer to transfer the line, for any purpose, to the federal, provincial and municipal governments and urban transit authorities for no more than the net salvage value of the line.
Barrie (or the province) could have purchased the line and kept it for future use. Granted the "net salvage value" of waterfront property like that was likely quite high.
 

Nomad_87

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Actions speak louder than words: the cities of Barrie and Orillia could have purchased the ROW and leave it intact (maybe just slightly reroute it) with a generous cycling path as a placeholder so that a single-tracked passenger rail service could be restored at a later point. As a short glance with Google Earth reveals, they didn't...
That was just how things were then. The 80s and 90s was essentially “the great railroad purge” as CN and CP sold off and abandoned so much of their network. Some were warranted (I don’t think there was much of a case for keeping the Meaford-Collingwood section of track on the Meaford subdivision), others not so much. Even still many more that had a decent case for abandonment at the time would be nice to have now. Largely why I am not opposed to rail trails. It leaves the corridor intact for future use.
 

lenaitch

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Exactly! The last stage in the process of discontinuing a rail line is to offer to transfer the line, for any purpose, to the federal, provincial and municipal governments and urban transit authorities for no more than the net salvage value of the line.
Barrie (or the province) could have purchased the line and kept it for future use. Granted the "net salvage value" of waterfront property like that was likely quite high.

Without the Province's involvement, it would have also required Oro-Medonte to get on board, either that or one/both cities taking title to land in the township. Even if done, it would have resulted in a stub line to Orillia. I imagine all of that would have been a tough sell to 1996 taxpayers.
 

crs1026

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Without the Province's involvement, it would have also required Oro-Medonte to get on board, either that or one/both cities taking title to land in the township. Even if done, it would have resulted in a stub line to Orillia. I imagine all of that would have been a tough sell to 1996 taxpayers.

It pretty much predated any real emphasis on anyone other than CN and CP running railway lines. Certainly the Province would not have jumped into the fray back then. Bob Rae had just cut back Guelph GO service, and was only slowly completing extensions of Lakeshore service to Burlington and Oshawa... and then Mike Harris became Premier......

- Paul
 

smallspy

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Metrolinx didn't exist, but the same year that the rails between Barrie and Longford were removed (1996), CN applied to abandon the section from York Sub to Barrie and the Ontario government purchased it for use by GO Transit (ref). It is possible that the will of the government suddenly changed, but I suspect Barrie didn't want trains running along the lakeshore anymore.
GO bought the line from Snider to Bradford in 1997 - at that time, that's where they ran their trains to.

The line north of Bradford was purchased by Barrie and the other municipalities along the line, and officially announced on December 1, 1998. Metrolinx didn't buy it from them until 2006.

As is frequently the case Wikipedia is only mostly right.

Dan
 

roger1818

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GO bought the line from Snider to Bradford in 1997 - at that time, that's where they ran their trains to.

The line north of Bradford was purchased by Barrie and the other municipalities along the line, and officially announced on December 1, 1998. Metrolinx didn't buy it from them until 2006.

As is frequently the case Wikipedia is only mostly right.

Dan

Nice to know. Thanks for the correction.

The reality was Ontario Northland was the more likely railway to purchase the Newmarket Sub as the Northlander was actively using it at the time. According to Wikipedia (if you can trust them) ONR purchased portions of the Pagwa and Kapuskasing Subs (between Calstock and Cochrane) from CN in the early to mid 90's, so its not like province was completely against the idea of buying track. My guess is they figured the alternate route was good enough.
 
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lenaitch

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Nice to know. Thanks for the correction.

The reality was Ontario Northland was the more likely railway to purchase the Newmarket Sub as the Northlander was actively using it at the time. According to Wikipedia (if you can trust them) ONR purchased portions of the Pagwa and Kapuskasing Subs (between Calstock and Cochrane) from CN in the early to mid 90's, so its not like province was completely against the idea of buying track. My guess is they figured the alternate route was good enough.

The ONTC can really only purchase what the government says they can. The difference with the purchase of part CN's former NTC route was there is sufficient rail-dependent revenue traffic to justify it (not to mention the political implications of abandoning those industries). It would seem to make little sense for ONTC to have purchased to 'lower portion' of the Newmarket sub yet leave the northern section in CN's hands - which they seem to have no intent on selling - and having a stranded piece of their network, solely for a thrice weekly passenger service. Now, if CN identified the remainder of the Newmarket for discontinuance, that might change things, but they still have a viable route to Toronto south of Washago.
 

roger1818

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The ONTC can really only purchase what the government says they can. The difference with the purchase of part CN's former NTC route was there is sufficient rail-dependent revenue traffic to justify it (not to mention the political implications of abandoning those industries). It would seem to make little sense for ONTC to have purchased to 'lower portion' of the Newmarket sub yet leave the northern section in CN's hands - which they seem to have no intent on selling - and having a stranded piece of their network, solely for a thrice weekly passenger service. Now, if CN identified the remainder of the Newmarket for discontinuance, that might change things, but they still have a viable route to Toronto south of Washago.

Thanks. That is what I was trying to say but didn't articulate it as well as you.
 

Bordercollie

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It would totally make sense to be able to use these as DPU's. And then if you could actually distribute power to an adjacent locomotive that would be even better. So that you could "bank" power while going downhill and use it going uphill.
 

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