News   Feb 06, 2023
 1K     1 
News   Feb 06, 2023
 1.9K     5 
News   Feb 06, 2023
 522     0 

Moose Rail (National Capital Region)

micheal_can

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
2,973
Reaction score
1,883
No. Because that would defeat the point of bypassing downtown. It would also add a transfer from bus to LRT. The beauty of the BRT is a one seat ride from your neighborhood to the other side of the city. And this is something Ottawa did exceptionally well with the old Transitways and was highly popular, to the point of substantial resistance to LRT. Losing those services actually cost ridership.

Let's not forget that Ottawa only built the Confederation Line because of the volume of ridership exceeding the capacity of BRT. This is highly unlikely to happen for decades on Baseline/Heron/Walkley/Innes without massive development, which is also unlikely.

Name me a city as large as Ottawa or larger that still has the service you talk of. It was a rarity, and going back to it will also be a rarity.
 

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
11,667
Reaction score
7,131
Name me a city as large as Ottawa or larger that still has the service you talk of. It was a rarity, and going back to it will also be a rarity.

Ottawa itself with a set of bus routes designed to bypass downtown, specifically targeted at crosstown commuters (particularly military and public servants living in Orleans and commuting to Carling). The old 103 for example:

Ottawa-Carleton_Regional_Transit_Commission_route_103_map_%2812-2017%29-a.gif



They cancelled these routes when the Confederation Line was launched. What exactly was gained by forcing these riders to transfer twice (at Blair and Tunney's Pasture)?

Also, building according to what other cities do, instead of your own city's actual needs, is moronic. Cities aren't grade schoolers who need to follow the popular kid.
 
Last edited:

gweed123

Moderator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
7,835
Reaction score
1,580
Location
Burlington
Quite the interesting conversation! My two cents:

1) The concept of reactivating Union Station isn't necessarily a bad one, I just don't think it's a priority. I think the closest comparison to the situation in Ottawa is in San Francisco, where you have the 4th & King terminal that's close to downtown, but not close enough. With the T Line opening this year, that gap will be somewhat bridged, but it's still not as convenient as the planned connection to the Transbay Terminal.

2) I don't know if the rail service that would go into Union would necessarily need to be commuter rail. I suspect that Line 2 dumping everyone onto Line 1 at Bayview will become a Bloor-Yonge-like capacity crunch much sooner than people realize. Ottawa will need to look to bring Line 2 into downtown directly sooner rather than later.

One option may be to re-route Line 2 along the SE Transitway corridor, and then bridge the Rideau River before reaching Hurdman. It could then run in a cut-and-cover tunnel under Colonel By (with a station at U Ottawa, connected indirectly to the Line 1 station nearby), before terminating at Union. Line 4 could also be extended along this same route, giving the airport a direct link to downtown. A new Line 5 could also be created, running a U shape between Bayview/Carleton/Billings/Union, so that no existing Line 2 stations would be without service.

The conversion of the SE Transitway, the Rideau River bridge, the Colonel By tunnel, and the platforms at Union would likely still be less expensive than a Bank St tunnel directly into downtown, though a through cost-benefit analysis would need to be conducted to compare those two options. This option could be used for VIA as well.
 

micheal_can

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
2,973
Reaction score
1,883
Quite the interesting conversation! My two cents:

1) The concept of reactivating Union Station isn't necessarily a bad one, I just don't think it's a priority. I think the closest comparison to the situation in Ottawa is in San Francisco, where you have the 4th & King terminal that's close to downtown, but not close enough. With the T Line opening this year, that gap will be somewhat bridged, but it's still not as convenient as the planned connection to the Transbay Terminal.

I know it is not a priority. I doubt it is on any official planner's radar whatsoever.

2) I don't know if the rail service that would go into Union would necessarily need to be commuter rail. I suspect that Line 2 dumping everyone onto Line 1 at Bayview will become a Bloor-Yonge-like capacity crunch much sooner than people realize. Ottawa will need to look to bring Line 2 into downtown directly sooner rather than later.

That is where Union would work well as it could be connected to Line 2.

One option may be to re-route Line 2 along the SE Transitway corridor, and then bridge the Rideau River before reaching Hurdman. It could then run in a cut-and-cover tunnel under Colonel By (with a station at U Ottawa, connected indirectly to the Line 1 station nearby), before terminating at Union. Line 4 could also be extended along this same route, giving the airport a direct link to downtown. A new Line 5 could also be created, running a U shape between Bayview/Carleton/Billings/Union, so that no existing Line 2 stations would be without service.

Exactly the routing I was thinking.

The conversion of the SE Transitway, the Rideau River bridge, the Colonel By tunnel, and the platforms at Union would likely still be less expensive than a Bank St tunnel directly into downtown, though a through cost-benefit analysis would need to be conducted to compare those two options. This option could be used for VIA as well.

Not sure whether I would go with cut and cover, but the route is how I was thinking.
 

OCCheetos

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
265
Reaction score
253
One option may be to re-route Line 2 along the SE Transitway corridor, and then bridge the Rideau River before reaching Hurdman. It could then run in a cut-and-cover tunnel under Colonel By (with a station at U Ottawa, connected indirectly to the Line 1 station nearby), before terminating at Union. Line 4 could also be extended along this same route, giving the airport a direct link to downtown. A new Line 5 could also be created, running a U shape between Bayview/Carleton/Billings/Union, so that no existing Line 2 stations would be without service.

The conversion of the SE Transitway, the Rideau River bridge, the Colonel By tunnel, and the platforms at Union would likely still be less expensive than a Bank St tunnel directly into downtown, though a through cost-benefit analysis would need to be conducted to compare those two options. This option could be used for VIA as well.
Please leave the SE Transitway alone. It is more useful as a BRT than it ever will be as LRT, and it is unlikely that its capacity will ever reach a point where it needs to be upgraded beyond BRT.

If Bayview really becomes an issue in the future, that's when we start talking about Bank Street. No need to start cannibalizing other corridors with half-measures.
VIA can get in on the action too with a Billings Bridge station.
 

ARG1

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
5,331
Location
Ottawa
2) I don't know if the rail service that would go into Union would necessarily need to be commuter rail. I suspect that Line 2 dumping everyone onto Line 1 at Bayview will become a Bloor-Yonge-like capacity crunch much sooner than people realize. Ottawa will need to look to bring Line 2 into downtown directly sooner rather than later.

One option may be to re-route Line 2 along the SE Transitway corridor, and then bridge the Rideau River before reaching Hurdman. It could then run in a cut-and-cover tunnel under Colonel By (with a station at U Ottawa, connected indirectly to the Line 1 station nearby), before terminating at Union. Line 4 could also be extended along this same route, giving the airport a direct link to downtown. A new Line 5 could also be created, running a U shape between Bayview/Carleton/Billings/Union, so that no existing Line 2 stations would be without service.
The problem with this is that the primary destination of Line 2 is Carleton University, and this redirection of Line 2 would completely avoid it. This is why the conversation was redirected towards the reactivation of the Beechburg sub, and whilst I did use the term "Commuter Rail", It'd be more like another DMU service similar to the Trillium Line, except this one would run from Northern Kanata to Tremblay (or possibly the Union Station). Additionally, there is some logic to maybe extend Line 4, and have that go up to Union Station, instead of terminating and forcing a transfer at South Keys. The issue of course with all of these options is at what point is there enough ridership to justify reactivating Union? Ideally, you'd probably want more than just the Beechburg Sub line, and the airport line. Maybe a local line travelling to Smith's Falls, or maybe a line that serves some potential future developments out east along the VIA Rail corridor. Only once you have a substantial network of lines that could radiate from the city center, would building the Union spur actually make sense.
 

micheal_can

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
2,973
Reaction score
1,883
Please leave the SE Transitway alone. It is more useful as a BRT than it ever will be as LRT, and it is unlikely that its capacity will ever reach a point where it needs to be upgraded beyond BRT.

If Bayview really becomes an issue in the future, that's when we start talking about Bank Street. No need to start cannibalizing other corridors with half-measures.
VIA can get in on the action too with a Billings Bridge station.

With stage 2 and eventually stage 3 being built, won't it just be an orphaned thing of the past?
 

DirectionNorth

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
815
Reaction score
1,667
Quite the interesting conversation! My two cents:

I don't know if the rail service that would go into Union would necessarily need to be commuter rail. I suspect that Line 2 dumping everyone onto Line 1 at Bayview will become a Bloor-Yonge-like capacity crunch much sooner than people realize. Ottawa will need to look to bring Line 2 into downtown directly sooner rather than later.
The Trillium Line's capacity is not that high. If we were to do an "Ottawa Relief Line", a Bank St subway would be a better choice. A conversion + tunnel + new station wouldn't be cheap. Why spend so much money on half-measures?
With stage 2 and eventually stage 3 being built, won't it just be an orphaned thing of the past?
The SE Transitway serves Alta Vista and Herongate, and possibly a future Baseline BRT. Either way, there's simply no point converting that to LRT - it doesn't serve much, and it would be orphaned as an LRT line too.
 

ARG1

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
5,331
Location
Ottawa
The Trillium Line's capacity is not that high. If we were to do an "Ottawa Relief Line", a Bank St subway would be a better choice. A conversion + tunnel + new station wouldn't be cheap. Why spend so much money on half-measures?
Tbf, most of it's capacity is limited by the lack of double tracking thus lower frequencies. Theoretically, all of the track south of the junction can be easily double tracked, and with more advanced signalling you can increase the capacity by... a lot (by Ottawa standards at least). Plus again, due to it running on the VIA main line, there are a lot of lines that can funnel into it, so you can have stadtbahn of sorts (although without the street running).
 

DirectionNorth

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
815
Reaction score
1,667
What about as a heavy rail line?
There aren't many trip generators, apart from the Riverside Hospital. It wouldn't be cheap, and then we run into the cost-benefit problem, which dictates that there is probably a better use for money somewhere else.
Tbf, most of it's capacity is limited by the lack of double tracking thus lower frequencies. Theoretically, all of the track south of the junction can be easily double tracked, and with more advanced signalling you can increase the capacity by... a lot (by Ottawa standards at least). Plus again, due to it running on the VIA main line, there are a lot of lines that can funnel into it, so you can have stadtbahn of sorts (although without the street running).
There are two things limiting it.
  1. Demand. How many people are going to take the Trillium Line, then transfer at Bayview towards downtown? The largest trip generator, as you mentioned, is Carleton University.
  2. Supply (of money). It's not inconceivable that money will come for a double-tracking. But what projects would this cannibalize from?
 

gweed123

Moderator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
7,835
Reaction score
1,580
Location
Burlington
Not sure whether I would go with cut and cover, but the route is how I was thinking.
Given the soil conditions in "Sandy Hill", cut and cover would be the safest option to avoid another sinkhole. Remember, U Ottawa station was initially proposed to be underground, and they shifted the portal back to just south of Laurier due primarily to soil conditions.

Please leave the SE Transitway alone. It is more useful as a BRT than it ever will be as LRT, and it is unlikely that its capacity will ever reach a point where it needs to be upgraded beyond BRT.

If Bayview really becomes an issue in the future, that's when we start talking about Bank Street. No need to start cannibalizing other corridors with half-measures.
VIA can get in on the action too with a Billings Bridge station.
Once the Trillium Line starts carrying the bulk of the South Keys area ridership, the SE Transitway will be a bit of an orphan. Yes, it will still have utility as the defacto extension of the Baseline BRT, but there are other options for that corridor for sure.

For what it's worth, I still think redirecting and electrifying the Trillium Line under Bank St is a better option than routing to Union, but the Union option should at least be given a preliminary look before being discarded. And FWIW, the alignment I prefer is current alignment to Carleton, then under Colonel By to Bank, then up Bank. That way you still maintain access to Carleton.

The problem with this is that the primary destination of Line 2 is Carleton University, and this redirection of Line 2 would completely avoid it. This is why the conversation was redirected towards the reactivation of the Beechburg sub, and whilst I did use the term "Commuter Rail", It'd be more like another DMU service similar to the Trillium Line, except this one would run from Northern Kanata to Tremblay (or possibly the Union Station). Additionally, there is some logic to maybe extend Line 4, and have that go up to Union Station, instead of terminating and forcing a transfer at South Keys. The issue of course with all of these options is at what point is there enough ridership to justify reactivating Union? Ideally, you'd probably want more than just the Beechburg Sub line, and the airport line. Maybe a local line travelling to Smith's Falls, or maybe a line that serves some potential future developments out east along the VIA Rail corridor. Only once you have a substantial network of lines that could radiate from the city center, would building the Union spur actually make sense.
That's why I proposed Line 5, which would use the Line 2 corridor north of Ellwood Diamond. Line 2 customers would be able to transfer to Line 5 at Billings. This routing would also have the secondary benefit of connecting Carleton directly to Billings.


This is why the conversation was redirected towards the reactivation of the Beechburg sub, and whilst I did use the term "Commuter Rail", It'd be more like another DMU service similar to the Trillium Line, except this one would run from Northern Kanata to Tremblay (or possibly the Union Station).

Yes, I see the Beachburg sub as being quite valuable as an original Trillium Line-like corridor, a true hybrid between LRT and regional rail.


Additionally, there is some logic to maybe extend Line 4, and have that go up to Union Station, instead of terminating and forcing a transfer at South Keys. The issue of course with all of these options is at what point is there enough ridership to justify reactivating Union? Ideally, you'd probably want more than just the Beechburg Sub line, and the airport line. Maybe a local line travelling to Smith's Falls, or maybe a line that serves some potential future developments out east along the VIA Rail corridor. Only once you have a substantial network of lines that could radiate from the city center, would building the Union spur actually make sense.

My preferred overall phasing would be this:

1) Complete Phase 3 of the existing plan.

2) Convert the SE Transitway to rail (flexible enough configuration to be used by DMUs, VIA, or whatever else). Add Line 5 (the U line) and extend Line 4 to terminate at Hurdman. This would at least avoid having to make 2 transfers to get from the Airport to downtown. This configuration would mean that you would have Lines 2 and 5 terminating at Bayview, and Lines 4 and 5 terminating at Hurdman. Line 5 would also provide a downtown bypass option.

3) Add Line 6, which would be a Beachburg Sub line that would run from Hurdman, via the SE Transitway corridor to Ellwood Diamond, then hop on the Beachburg Sub through Nepean (transfer to Line 1 at Knoxdale Station) and up to the north end of Kanata or to Carp.

4) Examine options for a Bank St Subway, or extending all services that would end at Hurdman into Union station instead. If the Bank St Subway option is chosen, use the alignment I proposed above (Carleton/Colonel By/Bank) and have the future Carling LRT join that corridor around Dow's Lake.

The Trillium Line's capacity is not that high. If we were to do an "Ottawa Relief Line", a Bank St subway would be a better choice. A conversion + tunnel + new station wouldn't be cheap. Why spend so much money on half-measures?
As others have mentioned, its capacity is limited by single track sections, particularly the Rideau River bridge and the Dow's Lake tunnel. Upgrade those two infrastructure items and you could have the line running subway-level frequencies.

And with a Union option, I don't know if you'd need to convert the whole line to electric. You could go with some sort of battery hybrid option that would work for the relatively short tunnel stretch.

And neither option would be cheap, I'm just saying study the alternatives instead of assuming that Bank St Subway is the best way to go.
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
3,567
Location
Montreal
1) The concept of reactivating Union Station isn't necessarily a bad one, I just don't think it's a priority. I think the closest comparison to the situation in Ottawa is in San Francisco, where you have the 4th & King terminal that's close to downtown, but not close enough. With the T Line opening this year, that gap will be somewhat bridged, but it's still not as convenient as the planned connection to the Transbay Terminal.
It absolutely isn't a priority (or even: desirable), at least not from a VIA perspective: all studies for high-quality intercity passenger rail services in the Corridor are rightly assuming that Toronto-Ottawa, Toronto-Montreal and Ottawa-Montreal are served by a single Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal route. Serving a dead-end station like the former Union Station will add 10-15 minutes to the Toronto-Montreal travel time and we all know how obsessed people are about that one figure...
 

ARG1

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
5,331
Location
Ottawa
It absolutely isn't a priority (or even: desirable), at least not from a VIA perspective: all studies for high-quality intercity passenger rail services in the Corridor are rightly assuming that Toronto-Ottawa, Toronto-Montreal and Ottawa-Montreal are served by a single Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal route. Serving a dead-end station like the former Union Station will add 10-15 minutes to the Toronto-Montreal travel time and we all know how obsessed people are about that one figure...
Which is why nobody is looking at this from a VIA perspective.
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
3,567
Location
Montreal
Which is why nobody is looking at this from a VIA perspective.
This is what you replied less than a week ago when a certain commenter suggested that VIA should serve a more downtown station (in addition to its existing station at Tremblay):
Uh, no, that would be beyond silly.
I of course don’t disagree with your assessment, but it clearly isn‘t true that "nobody" makes such suggestions. Also, the integration with intercity rail will become a crucial question whenever you attempt to build a Commuter Rail network around Ottawa...
 
Last edited:

Top