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High Speed Rail: London - Kitchener-Waterloo - Pearson Airport - Toronto

ehlow

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#1
Figured I'd start a new thread since this is a newly announced project.

- 10 year timeframe, "built in phases"
- "very high speed rail"
- stops in London, Kitchener, Pearson Airport, Toronto

Check to the audio interview here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitch...d-rail-in-kitchener-within-10-years-1.2610303

Liberals promise high speed rail in Kitchener within 10 years
Rail line would link Toronto, Pearson, Kitchener and London
CBC News Posted: Apr 15, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 15, 2014 9:53 AM ET

Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray says his Liberal government will deliver high speed rail service connecting Toronto, Pearson International Airport, Kitchener and London within 10 years.

“What we would be looking at is a very limited number of stops, because the speed that these trains travel at don’t allow frequent stops. So you’d be looking at central London, central Kitchener,” Murray told host Craig Norris on The Morning Edition Tuesday.

He said there was discussion around putting a stop at Terminal 2 at Pearson Airport with the high speed train ultimately ending up in downtown Toronto.

“The business community, investment community in communities like Kitchener and London want to be able to get to Pearson in half an hour or 40 minutes. They need that to keep their investments,” said Murray.

His comments come after Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a $29-billion plan on Monday to build new transit and transportation infrastructure in the province over the next decade. Many of the details of that plan are due to be spelled out in a budget that is expected to be tabled within a month's time.

“It fits well within the $29 billion the premier announced,” said Murray. “We have enough money in the budget to meet this commitment in the next ten-year cycle.”

Murray said he was going to expand on the cost of high speed rail during a speaking tour in Kitchener and London.

“We looked at difference between the cost of just running a traditional rail service versus what’s called high speed rail, and the value created by that is so much greater for the additional investment, that it just makes that much more sense,” said Murray.

The new commitment comes after the Liberals pledged to implement all-day two-way GO train service between Kitchener and Toronto. It has also committed to doubling train frequencies in the morning and evening between the two cities and shortening the travel time.

Taxes will go up

Wynne said Monday she would divide $29 billion into two dedicated funds: $15 billion to build public transit in the Toronto-Hamilton area and $14 billion for transportation infrastructure – including roads and bridges – in the rest of the province.

Instead of hiking fuel taxes, Wynne said she would detour the provincial portion of the gas tax – about $1.2 billion annually – to the two funds rather than the main government coffers.

Municipalities would still get the two cents per litre – about $320 million – they currently receive for transit projects, she said.

Some of the money will come from re-routing about $1.3 billion a year in gas taxes, Wynne said. The remainder will be raised through debt, including so-called green bonds, and new "revenue tools" that will be kept under wraps until the budget is tabled.

Murray hinted at what those new revenue tools could be in his interview with The Morning Edition.

“We are going to raise taxes, we’ve been quite clear about that,” said Murray.

“There’s going to be no increase in gas tax, or no increase in sales tax, we’re not going to be increasing taxes on.. middle income earners, but you cannot get back to building the kinds of transit and transportation infrastructure we used to build in the 50s and 60s unless there’s some modest new revenue with the addition of some creative and dynamic innovative ideas and financing."

Ontario's portion of the HST that's collected on gas taxes, which amounts to about $130 million a year, would also be re-directed to the funds, according to Wynne.

The fiscal plan could make or break the minority Liberals, who need at least one of the opposition parties to support it if they want to avoid an election.

"We need a partner to put our plan in place," Wynne said in a lunch speech to the Toronto Regional Board of Trade.

"That partner could be the Progressive Conservatives, it could be the NDP or if necessary, the voting public."
 
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#2
As a Bramptonian (full disclosure up front) I understand the need to link London-KW-Toronto (although I question the ridership demand.....certainly question Mr. Murray's statement on Metromorning today that any/all of these new lines they announced yesterday become "revenue tools" and actually generate their own funding).....that said, this particular announcement causes me to ask some questions:

1. Are there many places where two cities with a combined population (2011 census city popluations) 585k get a service like this that passes through another city that itself has 523k people without stopping?

2. What does this do to Brampton's existing and planned rail service? At present we have a minimum of double tracks from Union to Mt. Pleasant (with many places in the corridor more than that) but are told (frequently) that this is not enough to support hourly off peak service given the amount of freight and VIA service on the line......to get to hourly service with the current mix we would need to have at least triple-track and that this is very difficult/expensive given the bottleneck/pinchpoint at DT Brampton. How many tracks would we need, then, to support 15 minute all day service AND this express service (presumably 15 minute local trains and, what, hourly express trains would meet each other far more frequently than hourly GO trains and the current freight/VIA) along with the freight usage?

3. I have long been an advocate that the best way to serve Pearson was to extend/replace the people mover so that it reached the rail corridor. That way all people on that rail corridor (provided the GO service was increased) would have public transit access to the airport. If frequency is to be 15 minutes in each direction, then i believe this even more. This rail corridor intersects with all subway lines and, when finished, the Eglinton Crosstown....it could be a very valuable feeder into the airport. But, it would appear that Pearson is being talked about only in the context of this new hs connection between London/KW/Toronto.....so, again, it strikes me as strange that KW folks will be a 30 minute train ride from Pearson but many more people, living much closer to Pearson, will have no rail access to Pearson.

It seems like a lot changed overnight....and a lot of what changed is a dramatic contradiction of what we have been hearing for the past while.
 
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#4
Here's the Metro Morning interview:
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2014/04/15/transit-funding/

I would think that the 15 minute electric GO service applies to Brampton and the rest of the GTHA, whereas the KW-London train wouldn't run as often.
No...but it would run hourly from the sounds of things.....and it is not clear to me how you fit 15 minute bi-directional GO service and hourly high speed limited stop service into the current corridor.....or even a corridor that has 3 tracks at Brampton......that was to be the minimum for hourly GO service and no mention of this London-KW-Train.....or so we were told.
 

DKsan

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#5
Asked Glen about the whole HSR/RER thing on Twitter:

@DKsan: Hey @Glen4ONT, I appreciate the Ldn-KW-TO HSR, but will it also have one stop in #Brampton?
@Glen4ONT: @DKsan Brampton will be served on all @GOTransit lines by fast RER electric trains running every 15 minutes not HSR.
@DKsan: But does mean someone going from Kitchener to Brampton (like I would :D) would have to go to Toronto (or Pearson) 1st?
@DKsan: Or does that mean there will be a fast RER local line stretching all the way out to KW?
@Glen4ONT: There will be connections at each of 4 stations with other services.

So four stations. London, Kitchener, Pearson, and the Union? All the London-based services would collect at London? Region of Waterloo (and probably Guelph) would collect at Kitchener? Mississauga and Brampton would collect at Pearson?
 

MrsNesbitt

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#6
This would frankly be somewhat overkill; electrification and improvement of GO service on the Kitchener corridor (and extension to London) is by all means welcome, but what use is this link to Pearson when that could be accomplished much more easily with a Link train extension (or even better actually funding Eglinton West to the airport so it can be linked in to the TTC network)? And of course, why choose high speed rail to London when the Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal corridor (which could sorely use it) still will remain the same VIA service?
 

dunkalunk

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#7
I don't think this is a high-speed service in the way we are used to thinking about high-speed service. I have a feeling that this will mean electrification and limited track upgrades, but a lot of the grade crossings on the corridor will continue to exist.

I have a feeling that Ontario would be waiting for federal funding before announcing anything regarding Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal. Last I've seen regarding the line is that it would require large portions of new Right-of-Way to be acquired between Kingston and Smiths Falls and to the east of Ottawa.
 

ehlow

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#8
I'm personally not going to judge this until more details are released but I do think in a way there were political considerations here.

Hearing the interviews and reading the news it's pretty clear that Glen Murray has been listening to the tech community in KW (not a bad thing obviously), and he has visited them pretty often.

Spun in a political light I think this allows them to give SW Ontario something in return for support for funding tools. Not saying that there aren't valid reasons other than that, but I'm pretty sure the political aspect would have been considered to build support for funding tools.

Spun in more positive light, it could be seen as an investment in the future of SW Ontario and the future of KW & the tech community there.
 
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#10
Asked Glen about the whole HSR/RER thing on Twitter:

@DKsan: Hey @Glen4ONT, I appreciate the Ldn-KW-TO HSR, but will it also have one stop in #Brampton?
@Glen4ONT: @DKsan Brampton will be served on all @GOTransit lines by fast RER electric trains running every 15 minutes not HSR.
@DKsan: But does mean someone going from Kitchener to Brampton (like I would :D) would have to go to Toronto (or Pearson) 1st?
@DKsan: Or does that mean there will be a fast RER local line stretching all the way out to KW?
@Glen4ONT: There will be connections at each of 4 stations with other services.

So four stations. London, Kitchener, Pearson, and the Union? All the London-based services would collect at London? Region of Waterloo (and probably Guelph) would collect at Kitchener? Mississauga and Brampton would collect at Pearson?
But I don't think there is a GO station planned for Pearson (at least no mention of it) so Brampton would collect at Union...no?
 
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#12
But I don't think there is a GO station planned for Pearson (at least no mention of it) so Brampton would collect at Union...no?
There is the Go Malton stop. Barring details on where the station would go (the link mentioned a station at T2) we don't know how Brampton transit would handle a link to the proposed HSR stop. I would imagine Brampton transit would adjust routes to serve any new HSR station.
 

MrsNesbitt

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#13
Obviously KW and beyond needs some kind of better rail connection and this is good but I still don't understand the link to Pearson. Won't this make the UPX pretty superfluous?

I also haven't read the report in full yet, but is anything mentioned for upgrading GO Lakeshore, considering that if they're spending this much on Kitchener something should be coming for the busiest line?
 
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#14
There is the Go Malton stop. Barring details on where the station would go (the link mentioned a station at T2) we don't know how Brampton transit would handle a link to the proposed HSR stop. I would imagine Brampton transit would adjust routes to serve any new HSR station.
Oh...I thought what the minister was saying was that someone in Brampton wanting to go to KW or London would train eastward to Pearson or Union and then take a highspeed train back on the same tracks to their destination. Since there is no plan to take the GO train into Pearson that meant Union to me and it sounded bizarre to think someone would do that.

Not that bizarre compared to the notion that someone standing at the Brampton station and wanting to go to London is expected to take a local bus to Bramalea and transfer to a express(ish) bus to Pearson to then take a train back through where they started to get to London.
 
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#15
Obviously KW and beyond needs some kind of better rail connection and this is good but I still don't understand the link to Pearson. Won't this make the UPX pretty superfluous?

I also haven't read the report in full yet, but is anything mentioned for upgrading GO Lakeshore, considering that if they're spending this much on Kitchener something should be coming for the busiest line?
There is no report....just a Premier at a podium and minister of transportation on radio show.

All GO lines are being upgraded to 15 minute bi-directional service according to those sources.