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Ontario Northland/Northern Ontario Transportation

micheal_can

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I support the return of the train, but your EDR argument loses me. Neither Hwy 11 or 69/400 are prone to weather closures - certainly can happen but it is not typical. North of Sudbury/NB there is 144 and through Quebec (admittedly bit of a scenic route). Between the two there are several cross routes. If you're in the middle of a closure, well, you're in it. To the n/w, Hwys 17 and 11 are prone to weather closures.
There was a storm that caused accidents that had 17 north of SSM, 144 north o Sudbury and 11 North of North Bay all closed - at the same time! Reroute around that!
 

Bordercollie

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By diverting funds that could have otherwise gone to bus service.
You make it seem like there is no money.

The Fed's just announced 1.8B in public transit funding.

They have the infrastructure bank.

What's lacking is WILL power. They don't want to do it. It's not a priority.

The Feds could do it but it's not in their mandate.

It would be easier if the municipalities got together and ran the train using local property tax and the money allocated by the Fed's for public transit.
 

lenaitch

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There was a storm that caused accidents that had 17 north of SSM, 144 north o Sudbury and 11 North of North Bay all closed - at the same time! Reroute around that!

You can't, but that is highly unusual (actually, there is 129 but it's not for the faint of heart in the winter). I don't know which event you are referring to but a recent weather system closed 17 north of the Soo for roughly 3 days, which is atypical - normally it is closed for a number of hours. Besides, if using them as an argument for pax rail, the biggest impact is on commercial trucking. Most folks up there simply stay home, they're not 'commuting' anywhere. If they had to miss a critical medical appointment, yes, that is unfortunate. My wife had to cancel a medical appointment last week because of a blizzard. Life happens.
 

micheal_can

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You can't, but that is highly unusual (actually, there is 129 but it's not for the faint of heart in the winter). I don't know which event you are referring to but a recent weather system closed 17 north of the Soo for roughly 3 days, which is atypical - normally it is closed for a number of hours. Besides, if using them as an argument for pax rail, the biggest impact is on commercial trucking. Most folks up there simply stay home, they're not 'commuting' anywhere. If they had to miss a critical medical appointment, yes, that is unfortunate. My wife had to cancel a medical appointment last week because of a blizzard. Life happens.

When was the last time the 401 was closed for 3 days?
When was the last time Toronto had all highways to it closed for 12 hours?

My point is that bringing back the Northlander, and potentially other routes is vital to ensure people can still travel in the area.
I feel they should fund it at the same rate as GO does based on the per mile, per passenger. Then set the prices accordingly.
 

dowlingm

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My view of Northlander’s cost and profitability issues as an ONTC service is that:

  • it was operated 6 weekly but made no attempt to capture cottage country or weekly commuter traffic.
  • its marketing largely ignored its largest possible market (Toronto/Richmond Hill)
  • it had no synergy with VIA or GO (such as presence on reservia, or having a stop at the terminal of the Richmond Hill line to allow passengers to reach a stop prior to Union)
  • it was clunky to book online when most travel bookings were moving online
  • it had smaller economies of scale for crew and equipment compared to VIA or GO
  • the route extending to Cochrane ruling out even the possibility of a single trainset day train rotation
having VIA operate a rebooted North Bay-Toronto service with one or more stops in York Region and running on Saturdays addresses many of these points. ideally with a modern trainset and track maintenance it could do the run in less than five hours to make it reasonably competitive with driving - the 2006 schedule had it at 5hr10
 

micheal_can

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My view of Northlander’s cost and profitability issues as an ONTC service is that:

  • it was operated 6 weekly but made no attempt to capture cottage country or weekly commuter traffic.
  • its marketing largely ignored its largest possible market (Toronto/Richmond Hill)
  • it had no synergy with VIA or GO (such as presence on reservia, or having a stop at the terminal of the Richmond Hill line to allow passengers to reach a stop prior to Union)
  • it was clunky to book online when most travel bookings were moving online
  • it had smaller economies of scale for crew and equipment compared to VIA or GO
  • the route extending to Cochrane ruling out even the possibility of a single trainset day train rotation
having VIA operate a rebooted North Bay-Toronto service with one or more stops in York Region and running on Saturdays addresses many of these points. ideally with a modern trainset and track maintenance it could do the run in less than five hours to make it reasonably competitive with driving - the 2006 schedule had it at 5hr10

To add to your thinking, it never made sense why they didn't run on Sunday. Even a short Toronto-North Bay run on friday evening would eb a good idea.

The fact that it operates on the RH line but makes not stops between Union and Washago makes no sense. I hughly suggest they at least make a stop at Langstaff GO/RH centre.

I thought it was one train that kept going back and forth. I guess I was wrong.
 

Bordercollie

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To add to your thinking, it never made sense why they didn't run on Sunday. Even a short Toronto-North Bay run on friday evening would eb a good idea.

The fact that it operates on the RH line but makes not stops between Union and Washago makes no sense. I hughly suggest they at least make a stop at Langstaff GO/RH centre.

I thought it was one train that kept going back and forth. I guess I was wrong.
It should also stop at Gormley or Bloomington, and Oreo to connect with the Sheppard subway.
 

lenaitch

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Towards the end of its life, Northlander did attempt to service Muskoka better (additional stops in Bbdg and possibly Htsvl) and I think had some success but the timing wasn't great. An evening n/b Friday and s/b Sunday (what about stat Mondays?) would be beneficial, but there might be crew and scheduling issues because the train has to somehow carry on to/from Cochrane. There also might be issues with available slots at Union during rushhour.
 

micheal_can

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Towards the end of its life, Northlander did attempt to service Muskoka better (additional stops in Bbdg and possibly Htsvl) and I think had some success but the timing wasn't great. An evening n/b Friday and s/b Sunday (what about stat Mondays?) would be beneficial, but there might be crew and scheduling issues because the train has to somehow carry on to/from Cochrane. There also might be issues with available slots at Union during rushhour.

Bracebridge and Huntsville was served for some time. I know, it used to stop there 20 years ago. There has been a station since the 1880s/90s.
If I had unlimited money and unilateral control, I would have the regular Northlander running everyday.From May Long till Thanksgiving, a separate train would run between Toronto and North Bay for the weekends. I would time it so that you could get to Toronto on the last day of the weekend/long weekend at are reasonable time.

As far as slots in Union, I would wiggle them in between the via trains.
 

Bordercollie

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Bracebridge and Huntsville was served for some time. I know, it used to stop there 20 years ago. There has been a station since the 1880s/90s.
If I had unlimited money and unilateral control, I would have the regular Northlander running everyday.From May Long till Thanksgiving, a separate train would run between Toronto and North Bay for the weekends. I would time it so that you could get to Toronto on the last day of the weekend/long weekend at are reasonable time.

As far as slots in Union, I would wiggle them in between the via trains.
If the trains are going in the same direction could VIA share a platform with the Northlander? That way they wouldn't need their own time slot.
 

lenaitch

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Bracebridge and Huntsville was served for some time. I know, it used to stop there 20 years ago. There has been a station since the 1880s/90s.
If I had unlimited money and unilateral control, I would have the regular Northlander running everyday.From May Long till Thanksgiving, a separate train would run between Toronto and North Bay for the weekends. I would time it so that you could get to Toronto on the last day of the weekend/long weekend at are reasonable time.

As far as slots in Union, I would wiggle them in between the via trains.
And you may be correct - certainly about Huntsville (the station is still there). As for Bracebridge, perhaps it did. I couldn't find a definitive date, but the historic station, built in the 1880s was knocked down after "CN" service was cancelled. There was some indication it was in the 1970s, although I have no recollection of it from when I lived up there in the same era (apparently it came down in "one day" - before it fell down). The only reference I could find for location was Taylor Rd., which would put it roughly where the current 'station' is. The current unused structure is a kiosk. I don't have any recollection of it back then either but it's a pretty unremarkable structure.

I tried to find old timetables - but the only one I came across was from 1976 which is apparently the year the Northlander started and it showed no stations south of North Bay. I don't know if it even ran south of North Bay at that time.

The photo in the link appears to be Huntsville.
 

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