News   Jun 23, 2021
 1.2K     3 
News   Jun 23, 2021
 329     0 
News   Jun 23, 2021
 718     1 

Ontario Northland/Northern Ontario Transportation

2transpo

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
95
Reaction score
36
I feel like the talk about restoring the Northlander and Soo-Hearst train is just plain silly at this point. We will always have our fantasies as to what we want to see, but they will always just be fantasies.

To quote Greg Gormick again:
However, they have consistently propped up politicians and public agencies spinning cockeyed schemes and false promises. A prime example is the Northlander. The Ford government’s Nipissing sales rep promised to restore it during the 2018 election campaign. He’s failed to deliver even a timeline for its restoration. But the misnamed advocates have endorsed him and the ONR in their every move under the false belief this will get that iron horse, back on the rails.

While these vanity plays have been performed in the public arena, any well-researched advocacy of logical rail improvement projects has been shunned. That’s because they want to turn the clock back to an age long gone, which can’t be statistically, economically or commercially justified. Their hearts would swell with joy if the extensive CN and CP passenger services of the 1950s were miraculously recreated post haste – at public expense.

Ain’t gonna happen.
 

Allandale25

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
6,138
Reaction score
7,286
^ Cool, that's Greg's opinion. I find that he can be overtly negative and unnecessarily biting. Wasn't he also involved earlier with some of the groups advocating for the return of the Northlander, and then left when the groups couldn't pay his fee or something? (There were media articles and I'm sure it was discussed in this thread before you joined UT in January 2021. Going by memory here for now.

I don't think Greg's view of this is going to stop or dissuade the groups advocating for the return of passenger rail service. Can anyone really blame them when they see five projects the Province wants the Feds to fund in southern Ontario for $28.5 B + the Hamilton LRT cost sharing.
 

2transpo

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
95
Reaction score
36
Can anyone really blame them when they see five projects the Province wants the Feds to fund in southern Ontario for $28.5 B + the Hamilton LRT cost sharing.
I think it is worth considering what projects are worth the money spent. It is possible that a renewed Northlander and Algoma Central would have a negative benefit-cost ratio which would explain the lack of investment.

It is also worth considering the report released not long ago that says busses are more worthy of the investment.
 

rbt

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
6,817
Reaction score
2,561
I think it is worth considering what projects are worth the money spent. It is possible that a renewed Northlander and Algoma Central would have a negative benefit-cost ratio which would explain the lack of investment.

Frankly, it can't be any worse than Eglinton West extension which optimistically has a 0.1 Benefit/Cost ratio.
 

smallspy

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
4,405
Reaction score
4,339
I dont think Doug has the authority to mandate VIA to cancel services from Sarnia and use them in the North.
He absolutely does not.

Can they not use the ONR Legacy fleet to run those services?
ONR still owns enough of a passenger car fleet that they could provide equipment for 2 Northlander trainsets, yes.

Dan
 

Bordercollie

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
266
Reaction score
186
He absolutely does not.


ONR still owns enough of a passenger car fleet that they could provide equipment for 2 Northlander trainsets, yes.

Dan
So then the issue is about Track rights, stations, and funding? Frankly it's a drop in the bucket compared to the new highway he wants to build. Plus the feds have all this new money for public transit. It kinda shows that it's not about money, it's just not a priority.
 

tmlittle

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
183
Reaction score
257
So then the issue is about Track rights, stations, and funding? Frankly it's a drop in the bucket compared to the new highway he wants to build. Plus the feds have all this new money for public transit. It kinda shows that it's not about money, it's just not a priority.
Very clear whenever you look at the promotional materials for the new "Transportation Plan". Highway rest stops (for the trucking industry), highway widening (for the trucking industry), vague comments about more buses (second-class transit for second-class people in the north), and a promise to maybe consider passenger rail (which they'll furiously try to weasel out of). More highway expansion won't do anything other than undermine the case for rail, and the ONR as a whole, and the people behind the "plan" absolutely know that -- they support the trucking industry for ideological reasons.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
23,997
Reaction score
4,221
Location
Toronto
I feel like the talk about restoring the Northlander and Soo-Hearst train is just plain silly at this point.
It was silly when it was promised. But silliness doesn't seem to be a factor that's let much more expensive projects advance.

It's not like it's going to cost the $4 billion extra which the government has had no problem throwing at each of two transit projects where $8 billion could have been saved with cheaper options.

So hard to let them off the hook on this one - even if it won't be as convenient for many people as the replacement bus service. Can you imagine how many GO train lines there would be, if they were built on the same cost-benefit ratio!
 

dowlingm

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
3,742
Reaction score
1,575
if the goal for others is labour and cost intensive operation of heritage stock to provide work for North Bay ONR Shops, then by all means send whatever HEP stock hasn’t fallen entirely to bits north as they become surplus, to either extend Polar Bear south or operate a shuttle service from North Bay to Cochrane.

But people travelling from North Bay to Toronto should have 7 day two way service on modern trainsets as people from London or Kingston will, and a capital grant to VIA for (two?) trainsets from the Siemens options from Queens Park, along with reinstatement of the prior fed operating grant could be the way to facilitating that. Again, ONR boosters can be somewhat appeased by a dollop of tie replacement and other track refurbishment $ to provide a decent operating speed between North Bay and Washago. Add a stop at Beaverton and one somewhere in Richmond Hill. Realities of Union Station/Davenport* Diamond/other bottlenecks would probably preclude the most lucrative timeslots but I guess one can’t have everything.

* edit - this is a typo and was intended to refer to Doncaster Diamond.
 
Last edited:

Bordercollie

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
266
Reaction score
186
^ Just wondering how the Davenport Diamond relates to what you're saying? Can you elaborate?
if the goal for others is labour and cost intensive operation of heritage stock to provide work for North Bay ONR Shops, then by all means send whatever HEP stock hasn’t fallen entirely to bits north as they become surplus, to either extend Polar Bear south or operate a shuttle service from North Bay to Cochrane.

But people travelling from North Bay to Toronto should have 7 day two way service on modern trainsets as people from London or Kingston will, and a capital grant to VIA for (two?) trainsets from the Siemens options from Queens Park, along with reinstatement of the prior fed operating grant could be the way to facilitating that. Again, ONR boosters can be somewhat appeased by a dollop of tie replacement and other track refurbishment $ to provide a decent operating speed between North Bay and Washago. Add a stop at Beaverton and one somewhere in Richmond Hill. Realities of Union Station/Davenport Diamond/other bottlenecks would probably preclude the most lucrative timeslots but I guess one can’t have everything.
They could run the train with existing equipment while a replacement is being sourced. They could tack onto the VIA order with some modifications if required. Or the worst case would be to lease GO Bi-levels (which they did before) and add a cafe car for food.
 

gweed123

Moderator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
7,741
Reaction score
1,342
Location
Burlington
Personally, I think that services like the Northlander, Toronto-Sarnia, and in the future Toronto-Kingston & Ottawa-Kingston (once the HFR corridor is finished) should be run by Metrolinx under a separate, Province-wide rail banner (i.e. not GO, maybe called ONrail or something). That would let VIA concentrate on the QC-Windsor corridor, and those communities wouldn't be beholden to the Feds to provide rail service.

It would also make things easier to be operating multiple lines under the same configuration, since you get consistency in terms of vehicles, maintenance, employees, etc.
 

TRONto

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
336
Reaction score
365
If the $400+ subsidy per passenger for the train that the liberal government mentioned is true (with inflation might be $600 today). Wouldn't it be better to provide hourly bus trips every day instead of trains for now?

I assume this must have been discussed in this thread but nothing came up when I did a search.
 

Top