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General railway discussions

.. this will also take a while before construction starts: https://northernroadlink.ca/schedule-2/# . All pictures show a dirt road so .. its going to be interesting to follow the progress on it. Also is it going to be private road .. or will get a 5xx / 6xx number.. or even 7xxx.

also La Soo has big doubts the ferrochrome smelter will be built there: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/sudbury-ring-of-fire-1.6727001

The fact there presenting to Sudbury Council makes me wonder if Sudbury is back in the running for it.
 
.. this will also take a while before construction starts: https://northernroadlink.ca/schedule-2/# . All pictures show a dirt road so .. its going to be interesting to follow the progress on it. Also is it going to be private road .. or will get a 5xx / 6xx number.. or even 7xxx.

also La Soo has big doubts the ferrochrome smelter will be built there: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/sudbury-ring-of-fire-1.6727001

The fact there presenting to Sudbury Council makes me wonder if Sudbury is back in the running for it.
It was my understanding that the most recent announcement was made at the annual 'Miner's Conference' in Toronto, but whatever. With the change of ownership, the final location of the smelter likely won't be assured until shovels are in the ground. Each of the ones that were short listed have pros and cons.

Call me suspicious but that 'dirt road' image might be a stock photo. When I was living/working up there, I never saw a road like that. Red clay is typically around Thunder Bay and that low growth along the shoulders is not familiar (one Google image showed a dirt road with mountains in the background!). Most of the terrain up there is the Hudson's Bay Lowlands, which is mostly saturated organic muskeg ('peat'). What isn't muskeg is water. Anything that qualifies as soil is heavy clay. In the prairies they call it 'gumbo clay'. Anything that qualifies as solid ground is narrow, meandering sand/gravel eskers. They may well use that since I recall the original exploration staked a series of north-south eskers north of Nakina.
 

This article is a few days old, but worth a post. I would really hate to see the corridor dismembered, but given the calls for land back, I think that is what will happen. But to be fair, even if it was lifted and replaced with a trail, the cost to revive it would be so substantial, it would likely never happen anyway.

I think the biggest lost potential is freight, but in all honesty, transloading is probably more efficient and cost effective for this traffic anyway.
 

This article is a few days old, but worth a post. I would really hate to see the corridor dismembered, but given the calls for land back, I think that is what will happen. But to be fair, even if it was lifted and replaced with a trail, the cost to revive it would be so substantial, it would likely never happen anyway.

I think the biggest lost potential is freight, but in all honesty, transloading is probably more efficient and cost effective for this traffic anyway.
But freight already voted with its feet, which led to the demise of the line. Bulk freight, such as lumber (and I'm not sure what else there is) has to get off the island either directly by blue water ships or onto the mainland. It's no doubt a lot cheaper to put trucks onto auto ferries than it is to operate a dedicated rail-ferry system.
 
It's no doubt a lot cheaper to put trucks onto auto ferries than it is to operate a dedicated rail-ferry system.
If this is the case, then why does a rail ferry still operate to Nanaimo? Do you anticipate that with the coming abandonment of the rail corridor, this will cease operations too?
 
If this is the case, then why does a rail ferry still operate to Nanaimo? Do you anticipate that with the coming abandonment of the rail corridor, this will cease operations too?

As I understand it, the rail ferry brings what little cargo business remains and it is then hauled a fairly short distance to a customer..

There are commodities that might be better not to tranship, and better not to carry on ferries with other cargoes. So, the ferry is available as an alternative.

Just because there is a car ferry does not guarantee that there will be demand to ship other goods by rail, and certainly not for the full length of the line, and certainly not competitively to trucking, and certainly not in a way that would justify investing in repairing the tracks..

- Paul
 
If this is the case, then why does a rail ferry still operate to Nanaimo? Do you anticipate that with the coming abandonment of the rail corridor, this will cease operations too?
Yes; according to the Internet, there is still some bulk propane and transload traffic located right in Nanaimo. It is the only part of the corridor that is in service (as of 2022).


(Part 3.0 starting at P. 14 and P. 26)

 
Just because there is a car ferry does not guarantee that there will be demand to ship other goods by rail, and certainly not for the full length of the line, and certainly not competitively to trucking, and certainly not in a way that would justify investing in repairing the tracks..
To be clear, I understand this. I am just stating that the rail ferry has a purpose. I don't believe there is any realistic case to revive the rail corridor, even for freight.
 
Today's the day. Given that it has been complete silence from all levels of government, I don't think anyone should be holding their breath. Personally, I could see this all taking place without any sort of announcement or acknowledgement by any level of government.

A few things I am wondering about are whether the Island Corridor Foundation will be dissolved after abandonment today and whether the operations in Nanaimo will be able to continue.
 
Today's the day. Given that it has been complete silence from all levels of government, I don't think anyone should be holding their breath. Personally, I could see this all taking place without any sort of announcement or acknowledgement by any level of government.

A few things I am wondering about are whether the Island Corridor Foundation will be dissolved after abandonment today and whether the operations in Nanaimo will be able to continue.

Here's your 'announcement' :


From the above:

1678815487567.png
 
Here's your 'announcement' :


From the above:

View attachment 461489
Well, surprised they said anything at all, but it is the result everyone expected. Abandonment.


Canada has decided it will not fund the rail restoration of an Island Rail Corridor segment running through a Vancouver Island First Nation – reverting the lands back to the community.
 
My take on the message is .... now that it's not our land any more, there's no reason why we couldn't reach out to First Nations and have a discussion about how they might want to use it in partnership with us......and ask them not to make any hasty decisions about using it in other ways.....

It's a more honest and balanced discussion at least. The question would be, what will it take for First Nations to perceive "mutual benefit".

- Paul
 
My take on the message is .... now that it's not our land any more, there's no reason why we couldn't reach out to First Nations and have a discussion about how they might want to use it in partnership with us......and ask them not to make any hasty decisions about using it in other ways.....

It's a more honest and balanced discussion at least. The question would be, what will it take for First Nations to perceive "mutual benefit".

- Paul
This is effectively abandoning the corridor north of Nanaimo. The Snaw-Naw-As First Nation has been clear that they do not want the railway back so any restoration would have to be diverted. A process which would be prohibitively expensive.
 
The question would be, what will it take for First Nations to perceive "mutual benefit".

Some combination of improved transportation options for their people and increased tourism opportunities. There is also a trend towards having rail lines owned and operated by first nations communities, so that could also be a consideration. I'm not holding my breath that this will happen though.
 
This is effectively abandoning the corridor north of Nanaimo. The Snaw-Naw-As First Nation has been clear that they do not want the railway back so any restoration would have to be diverted. A process which would be prohibitively expensive.
Honestly, it’s about the most useless not-yet-abandoned ROW in this country. Its fate was sealed when Victoria rebuilt the bridge without any provisions for rail…
 

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