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Moose Rail (National Capital Region)

jayme2016

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Have you lived in Ottawa because a lot of this seems pretty ignorant to history and reality.

To start with the Trillium Line literally uses DMUs to serve suburban areas and is being further extended to serve more suburban areas. Exactly as you are whining about. The only difference is that they ended the extension inside Ottawa's city limits.

Next, a regional rail system would be useless since the existing rail infrastructure doesn't reach the downtown core. Making it useless for most commuters. Heck, there's entire suburbs with no rail lines running through them.

Lastly on cost, Ottawa basically built a metro network cheaply by mostly converting existing BRT corridors (the Transitway). Building any of this from scratch would be extraordinarily expensive. The entire Ottawa O-Train network (both Stage 1 and Stage 2) only cost 15-20% more than the Eglinton Crosstown and unlike the ECLRT is fully grade separated and segregated, has larger stations and longer platforms, and most importantly 3x the length of the ECLRT (64 km vs. 19 km). Post Stage 2, Ottawa will have 77% of ALL residents (urban, suburban and rural) within 5 km of a rail station. This is better than anything the GTA will have for at least a decade, if not more.



Actually you seem so enamoured with the shitburbs that is Mississauga and Oshawa the you think turning Perth and Almonte into them is a good idea.



More responsible. But not entirely responsible. GO has played a massive role by making it easy to live far away and commute. Only in GTA logic, does it make sense to commute from Barrie, Kitchener and Hamilton to a job in downtown Toronto.



Until the highways fill up. Traffic completely changes the calculus of where people live. And you bring Mississauga and Oakville, but don't want to talk about Oshawa, Milton, Kitchener, Barrie and Stouffville. What transit oriented development is going on there?



Who said anything about living downtown?

If GO didn't exist, Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton would still exist. But the traffic would be bad enough that they would have to actually consider densifying and developing local transit. The 416 would have been forced to densify substantially a lot sooner too. In short, the entire region would have developed substantial differently. More akin to Montreal.

The GTA is increasingly a lost cause. Ottawa is only at a million. They don't need to make the same mistakes as they grow. They've adopted a 15 minute neighborhood development policy.

To be clear Ottawa is over a million now then you add in Gatineau your talking close to 1.5 million.
 

kEiThZ

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Oh, so being concerned about preserving infrastructure and not wanting to see it wasted for footpaths means I'm whining?

Yes.

It's illogical in the extreme to insist that a piece of infrastructure lie unused for decades for the mere possibility of a specific use decades hence. And notably a use case where the governments on both ends of the bridge don't see happening.

I'm not just talking about Ottawa's suburbs, it would be nice to see whole region be well connected.

What region? You seem to think that Ottawa is like or will be like the GTA in decades to come. It's a city of a million, in a metro of 1.3 million, over 95% of whom live within a 30 km radius of Parliament Hill. The towns that MOOSE is suggesting be served with regional rail have populations like this:

Perth: 5930
Smiths Falls: 8780
Navan: 1905
Almonte: 5039
Arnprior: 8795
Chelsea: 6909
Richmond: 4055

Etc

You could literally double the population of most of these towns (which won't happen this century) and still find it hard to build a ridership/business case for regional rail. Even GO never built their network to places with populations this low. Let alone running bilevels as MOOSE was suggesting in their literature. What should be priority is using the Trillium Corridor to ensure the tens of thousands of residents from South Keys and Riverside South can get around then use precious track capacity to ensure the one to two dozen riders from Richmond get downtown a bit quicker.

I recognize that I am being fairly idealistic here, but at the end of the day, we are talking about a rail bridge being converted to a footpath. Is that really productive when a footbridge could be built cheaply near the existing bridge without infringing on the rail RoW?

Any actual transit integration, would have actually required a new rail bridge to be built across. And the bridge being fairly west of downtown would be less than useful for downtown bound commuters from Gatineau, which is exactly why Gatineau is pushing to use the Portage or Alexandra bridge for their proposal. Getting riders where they wanting to go is more important than railfan fantasies.

With that in mind, it seems that Ottawa is actively going out of its way to prevent future rail use.

Hardly. There's absolutely nothing preventing the bridge from being used for rail service other than it's marginal utility. The very fact that it hasn't been used for nearly two decades says it all. Before the tracks were disconnected, it went 4 years without any rail traffic at all. The bridge has become a pathway exactly because people have been using it as such for over a decade now.

Then you will see humour in the fact that those "shitburbs" have better population density and connections to neighbouring municipalities than Ottawa.

Nonsense. You must be using Wikipedia stats that include the massive boundaries of the City of Ottawa. Ottawa inside the Greenbelt is more dense than any 905 municipality. The only shitburb parts of Ottawa are the same pre-amalgamation suburb that are now insisting they get commuter service (Kanata, Barrhaven, Orleans). The O-Train is going to facilitate a bit of transit induced sprawl among these. Doesn't compare to what would happen if there were regional trains going to places like Richmond or Limoges.

That's a fine thought until you realize that if GO didn't exist, they would just being widening and building more highways to accomodate growth. Governments love to throw money at highways and not providing transit alternatives to further destinations just gives them more of an excuse to do so.

Except that the GTA hasn't had much freeway development over the last few decades. The one major highway built to span the region was (thankfully) tolled. Instead what has grown has been GO's reach. Who would have imagined in the 90s that people would be commuting from Barrie, over 100 km from downtown Toronto?

You claim me to be ignorant, but this is where your ignorance shines through. Let's use Kitchener as an example.

Nice cherry pick. Now want to talk about the other cities mentioned? Again. What exactly is GO doing for TOD in Oshawa, Barrie, Stouffville, Newmarket, Milton, etc.? All I see are plenty of subdivisions filled with detached SFHs, with at least one resident who takes GO to get to work.

Not many people do that with the exception of Hamilton because it isn't actually all that far, relatively speaking.

Only in GTA logic is 67 km from Hamilton to Union, not "all that far, relatively speaking". In a decade, you'll be here telling people that a commute from Niagara Falls is totally normal. Why this lunacy should be facilitated in Ottawa is beyond me.

For what GO is becoming, it isn't expected for people to do that. GO can be used for all manner of travel. I mostly travel over GO for pleasure rather than business. Also not, everyone on GO travels the whole length to Toronto. For example, it could be used by someone in Guelph commuting to Brampton or St. Catharines to Hamilton. Bi-directional peak service could also allow someone living in Bradford to commute to Barrie.

GO is becoming a true suburban network. But the majority of usage is still peak commuting into either downtown Toronto or other parts of the 416. Or are you seriously going to argue that GO train lots are all packed on a Saturday night?

Again, in the era of urban freeways, this is wishful thinking.

Hardly. London is a great example. No freeway through it. Plenty of sprawl. Now imagine what regular GO service will do to London, if commuting from there becomes cheaper/easier.
 
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kEiThZ

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Also, the fact that they are so hellbent on removing rails over the structure is so illogical. They are going out of their way to prevent rail use and it makes no sense. Rails WITH trails is a thing, and any added cost in doing so would surely be worth it, especially for a city with the resources of Ottawa.


What is illogical is leaving a bridge there for two decades without rail traffic. The last train across it was in 2001. The tracks were disconnected in 2005. It's de facto used as a bikepath, dog walk and jogging path today. We're at the point where to "preserve" this as rail infrastructure, the city would have to actively fight residents who have been using it for over a decade now.

They had a case when they suggested that it could be used for transit. But now that municipal authorities on both sides aren't interested, they are out of excuses.
 

jayme2016

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What is illogical is leaving a bridge there for two decades without rail traffic. The last train across it was in 2001. The tracks were disconnected in 2005. It's de facto used as a bikepath, dog walk and jogging path today. We're at the point where to "preserve" this as rail infrastructure, the city would have to actively fight residents who have been using it for over a decade now.

They had a case when they suggested that it could be used for transit. But now that municipal authorities on both sides aren't interested, they are out of excuses.

They city is being sued by the fmaily of a young man who jumped off the bridge and died that could be part of the reason they want to act now.
 

kEiThZ

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They city is being sued by the fmaily of a young man who jumped off the bridge and died that could be part of the reason they want to act now.

The whole situation is absure. Nobody wants to use the bridge for rail service (except for the kooks at MOOSE who don't have any actual money). But everyone keeps pretending the bridge might be used for rail service, because of the same kind of lunatic logic on display here. So the city is refusing to actually develop the bridge into a proper and safe path.

And if the bridge had to actually be used for transit? They'd probably have to replace the entire span at minimum, so they could properly accommodate the Trillium Line getting across. The single track is wholly inadequate for the frequencies the Trillium Line runs at.
 

kEiThZ

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Stats Canada actually. They include the Ottawa-Gatineau area with a population of 1.2 million residents.

https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-...bleau.cfm?LANG=Eng&T=205&SR=1&S=10&O=D&RPP=50
Suprise, suprise. In terms of density, Kitchener and Barrie, your much maligned suburbs beat Ottawa-Gatineau for density.

So I was right. Using a definition which includes a whole lot of farmland and woods. You have any idea of how far Ottawa's city limits reach and what is included in Ottawa-Gatineau's CMA definition (Hint: StatsCan says Ottawa has the second largest land area of any CMA in the country)? You'd have to be seriously ignorant to actually believe that real life densities in Ottawa are lower than Barrie or Guelph.

So you concede that you were wrong about Kitchener then? It wasn't a cherry pick. Did you want me to go through each and every example you listed off because I am not going to do that just for you, but since you asked so nicely, let's talk about Barrie.

Barrie is upgrading its bus network with a new hub and bus connections at the GO station. They are also building lots of high-rise, dense, mixed use developments in the downtown. Is that transit-oriented enough for you?

Ah yes. Putting in bus routes and a handful of condos makes up for the massive subdivisions they've built elsewhere.

And yes, I do want you to go through the rest. But I'll happily concede that I forgot about ION in KWC for a second. The rare exception to a whole lot of bland Mattamy shitboxes.

Even more illogical to convert a piece of rail infrastructure to a trail when it is easy to build footpath bridges,

You're embarrassing yourself at this point. A simple look at the map would tell you how difficult it would be to build a bridge at the location present. Why waste money when there's an unused bridge available?

It's pretty easy for someone from the GTA where Metrolinx pays for it all to argue that Ottawa (where 40% of a $7B transit plan was paid for with property tax increases) should pay railfan bridge preservation fantasies. You can always call up Mr. Potvin and add your dollars to that $50M pot if you feel so strongly about it.

Until then, it is LRT in my opinion.

Your opinion doesn't make something an LRT.

Nobody is going to argue that a 2 hour commute from Niagara Falls is reasonable.

But ~2 hr commutes from Kitchener and Hamilton today are totally reasonable right?

but the answer to that question is often a legitimate yes.

I call BS. I've never seen a GO parking lot full in the GTA on a Saturday night.

My ideas are just railfan fantasies.

Finally something we agree on. Now if you can also agree that you don't give a shit about Ottawa taxpayers or residents and think that they should needlessly shoulder the financial consequences of your fandom, we can end the discussion there.
 
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kEiThZ

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If the city calls it LRT, it is LRT. How about that?

I've said before that their definition is equally moronic. They call everything an LRT. But they've finally started moving on from calling it LRT to calling it the "O-Train". They don't use LRT in any of their customer interactions (documents, ads, posters, etc.) anymore.

If Ottawa wants a trail, let them walk. Who cares?

Apparently you do. Enough to argue for pages and pages that you know better than the folks who live there what they need and how their tax dollars should be spent, while you live in a jurisdiction that gets the majority of its higher order transit development paid for with provincial tax dollars.

To be honest, it will be fun to see Potvin fight just to watch the chaos and I hope he wins

He has a nice record of losing. This will add to it. And the feds will intervene as necessary to make sure he loses. But we'll finally get to see the emperor has no clothes when he has to actually put a $50M offer to buy that bridge (which as a retired public servant, I'm fairly sure he doesn't have).

The city should have to go through the proper discontinuance process.

Nobody (including the city) has ever suggested otherwise.
 

OCCheetos

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A couple of things I want to point out:

They had a case when they suggested that it could be used for transit. But now that municipal authorities on both sides aren't interested, they are out of excuses.
1. The immediate focus is on the Gatineau LRT (via Portage) and Stage 3 to Kanata/Barrhaven -- whether that's stupid is best saved for another discussion. The Prince of Wales bridge is still officially viewed by both cities as a future secondary rail link, but progress on that can't happen until at least the Gatineau LRT is complete.

2. I haven't seen it mentioned in the three pages of discussion this new development stirred up, but... the direction council gave to staff was to complete the study for an interim plan to use the bridge for pedestrian bridge, which isn't mentioned in the linked article whatsoever. On top of that, I don't think there's anything in the rule book that states that a rail bridge can't be used for non-rail purposes while still remaining an "active" railway, so long as it could still function as a railway should the need arise. (see: the Prince of Wales bridge, or the Pont Noir in Gatineau). It's almost trivial for the city to develop a plan that sees the bridge temporarily converted for pedestrian use on the cheap, and then restored for rail use a decade down the line without even disrupting pedestrian use (in theory, and this is what I hope staff does).
Either way, Potvin's assertion that the city will have no choice but to formally discontinue the rail line is a fallacy, and while the CTA may agree with him, I expect the cabinet order on the matter will still stand.
 

kEiThZ

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And don't ask why we have nice provincial transit funding, ask yourself why you don't.

Because the GTA is literally the only region in the province that got 100% of their transit plans paid for by Metrolinx (TTC subway extensions excepted). KWC had to pay for their LRT. London has to pay for their BRT plan. And Ottawa had to pay substantially for its transit plan.

We all know the answer for why that is, even if you seem to struggle with it.
 

kEiThZ

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1. The immediate focus is on the Gatineau LRT (via Portage) and Stage 3 to Kanata/Barrhaven -- whether that's stupid is best saved for another discussion. The Prince of Wales bridge is still officially viewed by both cities as a future secondary rail link, but progress on that can't happen until at least the Gatineau LRT is complete.

Disagree....slightly. The Rapibus starts from Alexandre Tache. So there could be some (albeit limited) value in having the Trillium Line cross to that point. There's utility in the idea. Whether it's worth the massive cost of probably replacing the whole span with a better structure, to serve the few dozen riders who specifically need to go between UQO and Ottawa, is a different discussion.

I haven't seen it mentioned in the three pages of discussion this new development stirred up, but... the direction council gave to staff was to complete the study for an interim plan to use the bridge for pedestrian bridge, which isn't mentioned in the linked article whatsoever. On top of that, I don't think there's anything in the rule book that states that a rail bridge can't be used for non-rail purposes while still remaining an "active" railway, so long as it could still function as a railway should the need arise. (see: the Prince of Wales bridge, or the Pont Noir in Gatineau).

I mentioned Pont Noir a few pages back (couldn't recall the name though).

It's almost trivial for the city to develop a plan that sees the bridge temporarily converted for pedestrian use on the cheap, and then restored for rail use a decade down the line without even disrupting pedestrian use


Agreed. But certain posters seem to think anything but keeping it boarded up from the public (which the City tried for a decade) is the only acceptable solution.

Either way, Potvin's assertion that the city will have no choice but to formally discontinue the rail line is a fallacy, and while the CTA may agree with him, I expect the cabinet order on the matter will still stand.

Agreed. His entire trolling was based on this bridge and a quirk of federal law. Had this bridge been crossing any other river in Ontario, it wouldn't be a discussion. And all because he thought it was an obligation for Ottawa taxpayers to enable a rail service to get him from Chelsea to Wakefield (when you read past stories he talks about the demise of the Wakefield train). Dude lives in a village and thinks a city of a million in another province has an obligation to get him to his favourite pub in an even smaller hamlet by train.

I'm still trying to figure out if he's just a well-intentioned (but stubborn) railfanning neckbeard, or a troll trying to hit up the City of Ottawa for $$$. Because he's not said much or done as much to go after the communities near where he actually lives. He may have been involved in a suit against Wakefield, which got dismissed, but I haven't seen much else.
 
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micheal_can

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Anybody who thinks this is simple must not have lived in Canada in the last half century. What makes you think either province is interested in giving up a chunk of net revenue paying territory? You think the other provinces are interested with yet another Premier at the table?

There's an even easier solution though. Creating a federal transit/transportation commission for the NCR. But, again, this will never happen because most federal MPs (who aren't from Ottawa) aren't particularly interested in having the Feds become financial responsible for Ottawa and spending more there.

Ultimately though, the bridge really isn't that critical to regional transportation. And both Ottawa and Gatineau are aiming to have riders deposited directly downtown rather than at an interchange station 2km from downtown.

Simple, as in obvious as a solution. To have it happen, it will not be a simple thing. However, once it was done, these kinds of problems would become a non issue. Alas, we are going to just ignore it and complain that it won't get fixed.

It doesn't make sense to build a pathway off the side in the future if it can be done now. Converting the bridge into a pathway without explicit accommodations for future rail is a very short-sighted move. The city bought the bridge in 2005 for transit, and it should be held to that. It is very easy to build pedestrian crossings or modify existing structures to accommodate pedestrians. It is much more of an ordeal to try to build a new rail structure.

But that really sums up my opinion on the matter.

Realistically, I doubt that this bridge will be used for rail for at least 10-20 years. Why not remove the old rotten ties and rotten metal and make it safe to use for a pedestrian walkway? Then, in 10-20 years, build the necessary things to make it a combination pedestrian/RT bridge? Seems almost a no brainer. The bridge stays and is used. And, once it is needed again for rail, the bridge can be converted.
 

lrt's friend

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It amazes me how upset we get over an old rail bridge that has not been used for rail for 20 years and is presently such a low priority as a transit link. Let's fix it up so we get some use out of it and to beautify our city at the same time. I would love to walk or bike across there with those stunning views of Parliament Hill. It is not becoming to Ottawa to have a fenced off bridge relic near downtown that is also a known risk to public safety. .
 

micheal_can

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It amazes me how upset we get over an old rail bridge that has not been used for rail for 20 years and is presently such a low priority as a transit link. Let's fix it up so we get some use out of it and to beautify our city at the same time. I would love to walk or bike across there with those stunning views of Parliament Hill. It is not becoming to Ottawa to have a fenced off bridge relic near downtown that is also a known risk to public safety. .

People fear once the rails are gone, they will never return.
 

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