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?
This is nothing new; in fact it was thoroughly discussed back when I lived in Ottawa.
For some background, I recommend this thread:
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).
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!
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.
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.
Double-tracking the Trillium line, yes.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.