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General railway discussions

ShonTron

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Do you honestly see a need for commuter rail service between Ingersol and Tillsonburg, or do you want Metrolinx to turn into a freight operator?

That’s the former CN Cayuga Sub, where service was just reintroduced between Courtland and St. Thomas.

The Tillsonburg–Ingersoll track is better used, but even then, there’s a bus that makes the trip, even connecting with VIA at Woodstock.
 

innsertnamehere

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Google Earth seems to indicate the tracks still extend east to Delhi to service an agricultural facility, but I know they don't run through Simcoe any longer and haven't in a while. The Toyotestsu Plant was built on the old alignment and the overpass over Highway 24 was demolished about a decade ago.

It's a shame Simcoe doesn't have any rail lines any longer - I feel like a lot of those mid-sized communities in Ontario have been losing their last rail connections lately. Leamington, Lindsay, Simcoe, Orangeville, Orillia, etc. all no longer have any rail connections.
 

ShonTron

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Google Earth seems to indicate the tracks still extend east to Delhi to service an agricultural facility, but I know they don't run through Simcoe any longer and haven't in a while. The Toyotestsu Plant was built on the old alignment and the overpass over Highway 24 was demolished about a decade ago.

It's a shame Simcoe doesn't have any rail lines any longer - I feel like a lot of those mid-sized communities in Ontario have been losing their last rail connections lately. Leamington, Lindsay, Simcoe, Orangeville, Orillia, etc. all no longer have any rail connections.

The rail still continues to the fertilizer plant east of Delhi, but I believe the track beyond Courtland remains out of service. The Big Creek bridge just west of Main Street Delhi being one of the problems.

You can add Pembroke (2014) and Renfrew (2012) as well to the list of cities and towns without rail in Ontario. Owen Sound (rails removed in 1998 on both CN and CP) and Collingwood (rails partially removed) are up there with Orillia as the largest city without a rail connection.
 

Urban Sky

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I think of it as a way to give car dependent regions an alternative mode to travel.
Just out of interest, when addressing the issue of car dependency in places like Tilsonburg, have you already considered anything else as "alternative modes to travel" than passenger rail?
1655313526535.png

Source: Metrolinx Blog
 
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kamira51

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Just out of interest, when addressing the issue of car dependency in places like Tilsonburg, have you already considered anything else as "alternative modes to travel" than passenger rail?
That's a fair argument, but in order to keep the railways intact I think metrolinx should buy it outright. Let them sit on it while they expand the regional/provincial bus network.

A side note is my biggest fear is in the future, we will reach a point were we'll need to build new railway corridors, but the bureaucracy will just make it impossible and thus were still stuck with railway lines that only go downtown Toronto when not everyone wants to go downtown.

If we're to fight climate change we need to expand the railway network now, giving people options is the best start, even if ridership is low in the beginning, you can expand it and promote it that will increase its ridership.

Thats my personal opinion.
 

Urban Sky

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That's a fair argument, but in order to keep the railways intact I think metrolinx should buy it outright. Let them sit on it while they expand the regional/provincial bus network.

A side note is my biggest fear is in the future, we will reach a point were we'll need to build new railway corridors, but the bureaucracy will just make it impossible and thus were still stuck with railway lines that only go downtown Toronto when not everyone wants to go downtown.

If we're to fight climate change we need to expand the railway network now, giving people options is the best start, even if ridership is low in the beginning, you can expand it and promote it that will increase its ridership.

Thats my personal opinion.
As long as rail corridor ownership incurs property tax payments for every meter tracks located on them, speculatively acquiring rail corridors without any specific plans for their use will remain economically unviable and undesirable. When trying to be wildly optimistic (and only then!), I can imagine a future use for the Orangeville-Brampton Railway, but every Dollar of public funds invested in a 25 km long rail corridor between two towns of some 15,000 people (of which one is 150 km away from Toronto and the other has virtually no hinterland which could generate additional passenger traffic) would be a waste, as a bus will always be the more flexible, economic and environmental choice compared to a train.

There are quite a few corridors across Southern Ontario worth fighting for, but Ingersoll-Tilsonburg certainly ain’t one of them. Nobody in Europe would reactivate a 25 km long passenger rail line to access a measly 15,000 souls when there is a parallel road. Why would anyone in Canada want to become a pioneer of such ultra-low-density reactivations?

Edit to add, just a quick map for those unsure which rail line we are talking about or where on earth Ingersoll and Tilsonburg are located:
5013F242-DBCA-45E0-8B82-2BA418856D4F.jpeg
 
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calimehtar

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Improving intercity passenger rail in Canada ought to be a much bigger political issue than it is. It goes without saying that climate change and political risk means we should be looking for alternatives to air. But also I think we're surprisingly well positioned already - most Canadian cities have downtown train stations already. Rail travel between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa is already competitive with flying even in its current pathetic state. Ontario and BC are investing in urban rail projects and in those provinces there is cross party consensus. In addition we already have tracks running to a few places such as Hudson's Bay and Northwest territories, which are poorly served by roads.

Federal parties should have via expansion and electrification in their platforms. There should be long term plans for multiple high speed lines.
 

roger1818

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Improving intercity passenger rail in Canada ought to be a much bigger political issue than it is. It goes without saying that climate change and political risk means we should be looking for alternatives to air. But also I think we're surprisingly well positioned already - most Canadian cities have downtown train stations already. Rail travel between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa is already competitive with flying even in its current pathetic state. Ontario and BC are investing in urban rail projects and in those provinces there is cross party consensus. In addition we already have tracks running to a few places such as Hudson's Bay and Northwest territories, which are poorly served by roads.

Federal parties should have via expansion and electrification in their platforms. There should be long term plans for multiple high speed lines.

I agree that we should do more to improve intercity passenger rail in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, where they are both economically viable and environmentally sound. The problem is, once you get outside of that corridor, there are few places in Canada (with one or two exceptions) where intercity passenger trains actually make either economic or environmental sense. It gets to the point where, according to this article, taking the train between Toronto and Vancouver actually has higher per passenger emissions than flying. While it is true that half of Canada's population would benefit from improved passenger rail service in the corridor, that means that half of the population won't benefit from it, so supporting upgrades becomes a political hot potato (the half that wouldn't benefit would start asking, "why not me as well?").
 

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