UrbanToronto News - the latest headlines
Photo of the Day: South Core Towers
ALSO


Moose Rail (National Capital Region)

crs1026

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
4,571
Likes
4,225
#2
I will admit my ignorance here. Is the Greater Ottawa Area grwing fast enough to require this extended a commuter area? Is development already escalating this widely?

My knee jerk reaction to this whole concept was, "Great......so great, in fact, there has to be a catch"

One catch I'm wondering about is land use. The proponents (who, it seems, may have developers among them) appear to be contemplating construction of a sprawling urban area. They offer to build bedroom communities at greater profit, in exchange for building the rail network.

I can see all the local mayors and councils buying in - it puts their smaller communities "on the map". But is it consistent with the overall urban plan? Will it erode greenbelts or agricultural lands? Or, is it solving a road congestion problem that is happening anyways?

- Paul
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
1,391
Likes
1,664
Location
Halifax (from Oakville)
#3
I will admit my ignorance here. Is the Greater Ottawa Area grwing fast enough to require this extended a commuter area? Is development already escalating this widely?

My knee jerk reaction to this whole concept was, "Great......so great, in fact, there has to be a catch"

One catch I'm wondering about is land use. The proponents (who, it seems, may have developers among them) appear to be contemplating construction of a sprawling urban area. They offer to build bedroom communities at greater profit, in exchange for building the rail network.

I can see all the local mayors and councils buying in - it puts their smaller communities "on the map". But is it consistent with the overall urban plan? Will it erode greenbelts or agricultural lands? Or, is it solving a road congestion problem that is happening anyways?

- Paul
I'm not too familiar with the region either - I'd Imagine that crossing provincial boarders has many complexities, both for rail development, and for growth and planning.

It does seem however that this consortium is decently serious - This web page has a plethora of detailed planning documents, for everything from the Prince of Whales rehabilitation to network design: https://www.letsgomoose.ca/letter-of-application-cta-2016-06-29/

Also, the build-out budget seems to be around $900 million, and is aiming to start some services in time for the Ottawa LRT opening (2018) according to this document: https://www.letsgomoose.ca/wp-content/uploads/AnnexB_Moose-Project125-Summary_V7_2016-06-20_PDF.pdf

There is tons of information to digest so I look forward to seeing other UT forum user's take on this too.
 

mdrejhon

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
3,591
Likes
2,060
Location
Hamilton
#5
Ottawa is my hometown and my longtime former city of residence.

Ok, it appears clearly commuter-optimized.
This is the proposed MOOSE commuter rail network for Ottawa, at www.letsgomoose.ca

View attachment 80338

Basically, Ottawa's equivalent of the existing Toronto GO train system.
(And apparently, they do already have a spiffy logo.)

In the past, this would be dismissed and laughed at. But with the large number of rail initiatives going on...

I noticed Wakefield is on the map. There used to be a tourist train running this route until a few years ago. Even resurrecting any now-discontinued Wakefield steam train (which stopped running just a few years ago) as a hybrid commuter & excision line -- would have hugely popular support by residents there. They would probably be quick to rally for concessions from multiple levels of government to help it indirectly off the ground (e.g. $5M corridor repair before trains are able to run again).

And, it does appear they want to add cycle paths and pedestrian paths to the Ottawa-Gatineau rail bridge renovation. This would probably have popular support by Ottawa residents, by taxpayers, and even by the NCC (a crown corporation that administers green space). MOOSE or otherwise, many would be happy to see any level of government fix up this currently-disused rail bridge and put it into useful infrastructure service (trains, pedestrians, cyclists).

Apparently, October 2015, the MOOSE consortium officially launched, and becoming the first rail company (not already operating) in Canada in 125 years to apply for a "certificate of fitness".

Some technical issues. It looks like the MOOSE commuter train wants to share track (or corridor) with the north-south Ottawa LRT, and make commuter-train stops at Bayview, Carleton, and Greensboro. Transport Canada may have something to say about this for now.... but a Bayview-to-Wakefield starter train could easily start up (after track/bridge fixes), to begin with, with no/little interference from freight, and possibly be economically viable.

There were lots of talk about this, even as early as 2012, but it appears they have gone quite a bit further along and momentum is picking up beginning late 2015.
 

Ottawan

Active Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
601
Likes
1,126
Location
Bloor & Jane
#7
This is nothing new; in fact it was thoroughly discussed back when I lived in Ottawa.

For some background, I recommend this thread:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=140086

You will see the conclusion of some of the posters in the SSP Ottawa forum is the same as InsertName's, being "I'll believe it when I see it", which similarly is my conclusion.

But in terms of Ottawa's development pattern and commuter-base, this would be a welcome development. There is a very significant exurban commuter base on both sides of the river, and they presently have next to no option but to drive. Ottawa is small compared to the GTA, but the greater Ottawa area is approximately 1.4 million, large by any other Canadian standard and the fourth largest metro region in Canada after Vancouver and ahead of Calgary (at least, as of the 2011 census).
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
1,391
Likes
1,664
Location
Halifax (from Oakville)
#9
This is nothing new; in fact it was thoroughly discussed back when I lived in Ottawa.

For some background, I recommend this thread:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=140086

You will see the conclusion of some of the posters in the SSP Ottawa forum is the same as InsertName's, being "I'll believe it when I see it", which similarly is my conclusion.

But in terms of Ottawa's development pattern and commuter-base, this would be a welcome development. There is a very significant exurban commuter base on both sides of the river, and they presently have next to no option but to drive. Ottawa is small compared to the GTA, but the greater Ottawa area is approximately 1.4 million, large by any other Canadian standard and the fourth largest metro region in Canada after Vancouver and ahead of Calgary (at least, as of the 2011 census).
The recent "letter of application for a comprehensive certificate of fitness" to the Canadian Transport Agency does represent a step forward to be fair. Moose seems to expect to hear back by September 2016. I do agree however that "I'll believe it when I see it".

Letter: https://www.letsgomoose.ca/wp-conte...ation_CertificateOfFitness_2016-06-29_PDF.pdf
 

ottbike

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
359
Likes
335
Location
Ward 18
#10
I know this was mentioned over in the VIA thread, but I love the rendering of the Moose logo on the locomotive going over the Prince of Whales Bridge - GO could have a private-sector sister service!
Last I heard was that the POW bridge would require an extensive rehab if it were to have regular train service - aside from the fact the O-train corridor is already maxed out in terms of capacity (to name one of several issues). That being said, Moose service would be pretty neat to see for perhaps the existing rail corridors out to Kanata North or Arnprior.
 
Last edited:

CapitalSeven

Active Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
746
Likes
180
#11
The only way I can imagine this working is to double track the whole corridor, grade separate the VIA crossing, and integrate it with the Trillium line.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
1,391
Likes
1,664
Location
Halifax (from Oakville)
#12
The only way I can imagine this working is to double track the whole corridor, grade separate the VIA crossing, and integrate it with the Trillium line.
Yeah it would require TONS of upgrades. Moose has outlined some of the upgrades as well as their estimated costs in the below image and document:

Document with costs broken down for each rail corridor (heads up link activates an Excel file download): https://www.letsgomoose.ca/wp-conte...RailCorridorsDocumentation_2016-06-20_XLS.xls

Last I heard was that the POW bridge would require an extensive rehab if it were to have regular train service - aside from the fact the O-train corridor is already maxed out in terms of capacity (to name one of several issues). That being said, Moose service would be pretty neat to see for perhaps the existing rail corridors out to Kanata North or Arnprior.
Yup extensive is an understatement. Moose puts the POW bridge rehab at $41 million in this document. In the Excel file I attached above they budget $60 million for rehab, installation of walkways and bike lanes, and re-connecting it to the O-Train line.
 

Kitsune

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
1,203
Likes
239
#13
Due to the complexities of this running inter-provincial rail... does it further show the need to split off the Ottawa - Gatineau region from Ontario / Quebec and create a Capital District ?
 

gweed123

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
7,425
Likes
894
Location
Burlington
#14
Very interesting proposal. A few observations/comments:

1) This is the first time I've seen a commuter rail proposal using Bayview instead of the the Tremblay Station as the main hub. Closer to downtown to be sure, but would still require a transfer to the Confederation Line for most people.

2) It's highly unlikely that OC Transpo would be willing to give up the Trillium Line for a private commuter rail service, especially with the extension and expansion upcoming. The upgrades required to run parallel services would be pretty expensive.

3) As mentioned above, many of the rail corridors mentioned are in pretty poor condition, and would require substantial refurbishment.

4) The biggest rail line that's missing, and unfortunately doesn't exist, is one out to Orleans and points east (like Rockland). One on the Quebec side going east is nice, but most of the population growth in that area is on the Ontario side.

5) There is some interesting potential for connections to the Confederation Line. Two stations would connect in Phase 1, no new ones in Phase 2, but a 2 stop western extension would connect to it in Kanata, and a 1 stop extension with an additional commuter rail station would connect to it south of Baseline. In fact, the station land is already vacant (NW corner of Woodroffe & Knoxdale). There has also been talk of building a future LRT yard in the vacant land between Woodroffe and Merivale, just north of the rail corridor.
 

mdrejhon

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
3,591
Likes
2,060
Location
Hamilton
#15
The only way I can imagine this working is to double track the whole corridor, grade separate the VIA crossing, and integrate it with the Trillium line.
Double-tracking the Trillium line, yes.

But for the outer single-service spurs -- and for just hourly service, you don't need to necessarily double-track the whole corridor. Passing sidings work for that too, if freight is not using that track (or rarely).

Even short sections of single-track like the Prince William bridge, can become operable with roughly half-hourly service (hourly on two lines that share a common section) through short sections of bottleneck like that bridge -- with a proper signalling system. Two trains follow each other 5 minutes apart, then a 20 minute guard period, then two trains in the opposite direction 5 minutes apart. Something like that.

If they choose to use CBTC in a future expansion phase, they can do far more with single track sections.

However, Transport Canada would have a bigger problem mixing light/heavy rail at short headways. So you might need a parallel track.
 
Last edited: