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General railway discussions

Northern Light

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How about building animal crossings like the ones used on the highway?
It certainly could be done, but it adds to the cost, especially since it is an active ROW that needs to be kept open. Also, for them to be effective, you need to fence off the ROW to redirect the animals to the crossings. Each crossing requires significant design effort to ensure that animals feel safe using them.

From the story, I gather, the idea of animal crossings (underpasses in all liklihood) has been mooted by the proponent, but it appears the initial proposal lacked any material discussion on this; it also appears as though there hasn't been consideration given (yet) to the fact that any crossing would also have to cross the CP tracks, not merely the new track.

Frankly, I find that a bit hard to believe, but that's what the story seems to suggest and I'm inclined to wonder if just a lack of engagement/transparency is at issue here; or whether the project idea is truly half-baked.

The proponent, it seems, is also open to studying using warning/track intrusion systems that would use noise/light to warn animals to get off the track. Its unclear to me whether the effectiveness of this idea has been proven in the real world; and I'd be interested to hear from our industry experts on that.
 

Bordercollie

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From the story, I gather, the idea of animal crossings (underpasses in all liklihood) has been mooted by the proponent, but it appears the initial proposal lacked any material discussion on this; it also appears as though there hasn't been consideration given (yet) to the fact that any crossing would also have to cross the CP tracks, not merely the new track.

Frankly, I find that a bit hard to believe, but that's what the story seems to suggest and I'm inclined to wonder if just a lack of engagement/transparency is at issue here; or whether the project idea is truly half-baked.

The proponent, it seems, is also open to studying using warning/track intrusion systems that would use noise/light to warn animals to get off the track. Its unclear to me whether the effectiveness of this idea has been proven in the real world; and I'd be interested to hear from our industry experts on that.
Pre-contructed over passes could be installed using a crane or underpasses can be dug with minimal impact to the rail traffic above. We do this in our urban construction all of the time. What is the issue?

Sounds like a case of finding excuses not to build it is more of the case here.
 

smallspy

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The proponent, it seems, is also open to studying using warning/track intrusion systems that would use noise/light to warn animals to get off the track. Its unclear to me whether the effectiveness of this idea has been proven in the real world; and I'd be interested to hear from our industry experts on that.
Trackway intrusion systems absolutely exist, and while they are generally effective in the two different installations that I am aware of they certainly aren't completely foolproof, either.

The ones that exist currently tie back into central offices somewhere, but I see no reason why they couldn't be connected to some sort of system to warn wildlife off of the tracks in advance of a train coming. How effective those systems would be is a completely different discussion, however.

Dan
 

crs1026

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I’m no expert in animal vs train technology, but it sounds like this whole proposal could nose-dive into the ground while the various interest groups descend into a rabbit hole to sort this out.
Personally I’m the sort of environmentalist who considers myself as such, but who would have no guilt about, say, lopping off a frw tall trees at Morant’s Curve or Stoney Creek.
It strikes me that while the natural beauty and the ecological sensitivity of the Canmore- Banff area is unarguable, the area is home to an ever growing volume of traffic on the TCH, and ever-nearing development and densification from the ski trade and the greater Calgary commuter/tourist market.
So on the one hand a pitched battle to keep the area prisine strikes me as futile and rather naive.
If I were an investor, I would see the likelihood of this getting approved without a decade long EA process as very low. The efforts to license a nuclear waste facility in Ontario’s Bruce County strikes me as a comparable cautionary tale.
Having said that, on the other hand, one could probably run an electric bus service connecting various Calgary points with Banff on 15 minute headways 18 hours a day for decades for the cost of this new line. That’s a lot more seats filled for less money.

- Paul
 

kalis0490

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I’m no expert in animal vs train technology, but it sounds like this whole proposal could nose-dive into the ground while the various interest groups descend into a rabbit hole to sort this out.
Personally I’m the sort of environmentalist who considers myself as such, but who would have no guilt about, say, lopping off a frw tall trees at Morant’s Curve or Stoney Creek.
It strikes me that while the natural beauty and the ecological sensitivity of the Canmore- Banff area is unarguable, the area is home to an ever growing volume of traffic on the TCH, and ever-nearing development and densification from the ski trade and the greater Calgary commuter/tourist market.
So on the one hand a pitched battle to keep the area prisine strikes me as futile and rather naive.
If I were an investor, I would see the likelihood of this getting approved without a decade long EA process as very low. The efforts to license a nuclear waste facility in Ontario’s Bruce County strikes me as a comparable cautionary tale.
Having said that, on the other hand, one could probably run an electric bus service connecting various Calgary points with Banff on 15 minute headways 18 hours a day for decades for the cost of this new line. That’s a lot more seats filled for less money.

- Paul
the point of this proposal is to create a Calgary airport- downtown train and commuter train (not really a banff train) .It is hard to be time competitive with a bus on these routes
 

Urban Sky

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the point of this proposal is to create a Calgary airport- downtown train and commuter train (not really a banff train) .It is hard to be time competitive with a bus on these routes
I agree that Calgary airport-downtown is the most viable part of this proposal, but if it was centered on non-tourist markets, it would terminate in Cochrane…
 

crs1026

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the point of this proposal is to create a Calgary airport- downtown train and commuter train (not really a banff train) .It is hard to be time competitive with a bus on these routes

That makes practical sense, but then why stir up the hornet’s nest by adding the Banff leg, and invite all the environmental/naturalist controversy ?

- Paul
 

roger1818

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That makes practical sense, but then why stir up the hornet’s nest by adding the Banff leg, and invite all the environmental/naturalist controversy ?

- Paul
They can charge tourists a lot more than commuters, so there is probably a lot of money to be made by extending the train to Banff.
 

Kitsune

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I’m no expert in animal vs train technology, but it sounds like this whole proposal could nose-dive into the ground while the various interest groups descend into a rabbit hole to sort this out.
Personally I’m the sort of environmentalist who considers myself as such, but who would have no guilt about, say, lopping off a frw tall trees at Morant’s Curve or Stoney Creek.
It strikes me that while the natural beauty and the ecological sensitivity of the Canmore- Banff area is unarguable, the area is home to an ever growing volume of traffic on the TCH, and ever-nearing development and densification from the ski trade and the greater Calgary commuter/tourist market.
So on the one hand a pitched battle to keep the area prisine strikes me as futile and rather naive.
If I were an investor, I would see the likelihood of this getting approved without a decade long EA process as very low. The efforts to license a nuclear waste facility in Ontario’s Bruce County strikes me as a comparable cautionary tale.
Having said that, on the other hand, one could probably run an electric bus service connecting various Calgary points with Banff on 15 minute headways 18 hours a day for decades for the cost of this new line. That’s a lot more seats filled for less money.

- Paul

Important to note though the TCH has award winning wildlife diversion along its length in Banff National Park. Numerous wildlife overpasses, underpasses .. and interchanges are cattle gated' to further prevent wildlife from accidently wandering on... although it has had some interesting impacts (such as a study showing a wolf pack splitting in two and then cornering there prey on the wildlife overpass/underpass) and is not a perfect system The railway though is completely unprotected and has had many many studies showing its detrimental impact on the park. Likely the only way this is going to get federal signoff is by finding some kind of way to protect the corridor from wildlife .. which is a not starter with CP. Might be one of the reasons why the Alberta gov is not providing funds.
 

drum118

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roger1818

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Interesting, though there is no mention of how they will be producing the Hydrogen gas. Hopefully it won’t be by steam reforming Natural Gas, as not only is it carbon intensive, but Germany will be short on Natural Gas for the forceable future. Electrolysis can be greener, but it’s very inefficient, requiring far more electricity to produce the hydrogen gas than the fuel cell will produce, and Europe will need all the electricity it can get this winter as an alternative to natural gas for heating. Not that diesel is all that great an option either, but in the short term it might be the easiest to import (we are still trying to figure out the best way to transport hydrogen gas in bulk)
 

Bordercollie

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Interesting, though there is no mention of how they will be producing the Hydrogen gas. Hopefully it won’t be by steam reforming Natural Gas, as not only is it carbon intensive, but Germany will be short on Natural Gas for the forceable future. Electrolysis can be greener, but it’s very inefficient, requiring far more electricity to produce the hydrogen gas than the fuel cell will produce, and Europe will need all the electricity it can get this winter as an alternative to natural gas for heating. Not that diesel is all that great an option either, but in the short term it might be the easiest to import (we are still trying to figure out the best way to transport hydrogen gas in bulk)
Canada signed an agreement with Germany on hydrogen. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6560538
 

roger1818

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Canada signed an agreement with Germany on hydrogen. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6560538
While the agreement was signed with great fanfare, as the article you linked to says, it is unlikely to come to fruition. Even if it does, it will be years before the first canister of hydrogen is exported, yet the 14 trains are scheduled to be running exclusively on the line by the end of the year.
 

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