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Peterborough Commuter Rail

MisterF

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At the open house on Friday I swear I saw perhaps 5% male students. On the one hand, I think my daughter is safe, on the other, speaking as one who found his future wife at university, I thought as a young man, this is the place to be. Yes, I’m conflicted, lol.
Damn, I should have gone to Trent!

Having grown up in Peterborough I'm as pro rail to Peterborough as anyone, but I can't see it happening before Via HFR. Hopefully with pressure from the pro-environment NDP and Greens, the federal government will make projects like this happen.
 

Neutrino

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At the open house on Friday I swear I saw perhaps 5% male students. On the one hand, I think my daughter is safe, on the other, speaking as one who found his future wife at university, I thought as a young man, this is the place to be. Yes, I’m conflicted, lol.
A valid concern, but still unreasonably uncharitable. Most young men are perfectly decent. In fact, I would say even cowed by the toxic campus culture with respect to sex, gender etc. I can relate to your sentiment because my liberal arts program was mostly women, but their political views made them quite undatable! As for Peterborough, it would likely get only one direction rush hour service to start and that might not useful for your daughter unless her schedule lines up exactly with the 9-5 work day. And even that level of service is highly questionable in the short term as others have pointed out above...
 

Admiral Beez

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A valid concern, but still unreasonably uncharitable. Most young men are perfectly decent. In fact, I would say even cowed by the toxic campus culture with respect to sex, gender etc. I can relate to your sentiment because my liberal arts program was mostly women, but their political views made them quite undatable!
Ha, you reminded me of my uni days. I did a four year degree at Ottawa in the early 1990s and the girls were definitely in that category. Plus sweat pants, pony tails and freshman 15 can slow any man's interest. Afterward I did a year business Post Diploma at GBC and it was night and day from uni, since the cosmetology program was in the same wing. Many a beauty.

Now, enough caveman nostalgia.... when I was touring Peterborough I saw the train station and thought it looks active. I suppose it's been repurposed. Hopefully it can be put back into service when VIA comes through, https://kawarthanow.com/2019/06/25/...tep-closer-to-getting-passenger-rail-service/
 

crs1026

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.... when I was touring Peterborough I saw the train station and thought it looks active. I suppose it's been repurposed. Hopefully it can be put back into service when VIA comes through,
Here’s where development oriented station building gets it wrong.
First question is, where does the heritage era depot sit in terms of the area’s transportation needs? It may be badly placed in relation to Highway 7/115, making it more difficult to built a transportation network beyond city boundaries.The folks I know in Peterboro might want it located elsewhere in light of main thoroughfares and bus routes in the city.
Second question is, what has Peterboro done in its urban plan to place a future rail station?
The current station is presently in a fairly scuzzy part of town.... not that any part of Peterboro is particularly unsafe or toxic - but the depot is where the town drifters hang out. How much parking would be possible? Will ML end up building a parking garage ? How much room for bus bays? Who owns the adjacent property, how is it zoned, what is the role of the old station in the city center plan? While Peterboro has long begged for a train service, I bet tbey have done little to actually consider how to integrate it.
And then along comes a developer with some land further out from downtown, willing to build a station there and offer parking, because they intend to build say a shopping mall anyways - is that best in terms of the city and region’s transportation needs? Developer profit should not be the deciding driver for placing the station in town.
All questions, and I don’t have a firm position on any of the answers - I’m just arguing against the presumption that the old depot ( a very nice structure) will play any part in HFR or GO service if either actually happened. And against a development oriented approach to the decision.
- Paul
 

Admiral Beez

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Here’s where development oriented station building gets it wrong.
First question is, where does the heritage era depot sit in terms of the area’s transportation needs? It may be badly placed in relation to Highway 7/115, making it more difficult to built a transportation network beyond city boundaries.The folks I know in Peterboro might want it located elsewhere in light of main thoroughfares and bus routes in the city.
Second question is, what has Peterboro done in its urban plan to place a future rail station?
The current station is presently in a fairly scuzzy part of town.... not that any part of Peterboro is particularly unsafe or toxic - but the depot is where the town drifters hang out. How much parking would be possible? Will ML end up building a parking garage ? How much room for bus bays? Who owns the adjacent property, how is it zoned, what is the role of the old station in the city center plan? While Peterboro has long begged for a train service, I bet tbey have done little to actually consider how to integrate it.
And then along comes a developer with some land further out from downtown, willing to build a station there and offer parking, because they intend to build say a shopping mall anyways - is that best in terms of the city and region’s transportation needs? Developer profit should not be the deciding driver for placing the station in town.
All questions, and I don’t have a firm position on any of the answers - I’m just arguing against the presumption that the old depot ( a very nice structure) will play any part in HFR or GO service if either actually happened. And against a development oriented approach to the decision.
- Paul
The station could always be picked up and moved to the better location.
 

MisterF

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Here’s where development oriented station building gets it wrong.
First question is, where does the heritage era depot sit in terms of the area’s transportation needs? It may be badly placed in relation to Highway 7/115, making it more difficult to built a transportation network beyond city boundaries.The folks I know in Peterboro might want it located elsewhere in light of main thoroughfares and bus routes in the city.
Second question is, what has Peterboro done in its urban plan to place a future rail station?
The current station is presently in a fairly scuzzy part of town.... not that any part of Peterboro is particularly unsafe or toxic - but the depot is where the town drifters hang out. How much parking would be possible? Will ML end up building a parking garage ? How much room for bus bays? Who owns the adjacent property, how is it zoned, what is the role of the old station in the city center plan? While Peterboro has long begged for a train service, I bet tbey have done little to actually consider how to integrate it.
And then along comes a developer with some land further out from downtown, willing to build a station there and offer parking, because they intend to build say a shopping mall anyways - is that best in terms of the city and region’s transportation needs? Developer profit should not be the deciding driver for placing the station in town.
All questions, and I don’t have a firm position on any of the answers - I’m just arguing against the presumption that the old depot ( a very nice structure) will play any part in HFR or GO service if either actually happened. And against a development oriented approach to the decision.
- Paul
I wouldn't call the area where the historic station is located scuzzy. It's downtown on George Street, one of the main transit routes (all the buses still radiate out from downtown AFAIK). It currently houses the Chamber of Commerce.

The city has a spot near the 115/Parkway interchange designated for a commuter focused train station, on Harper Road I believe. There's been talk of a new station being developed on George Street downtown as well, but I don't know if that has any official status.

The planned station near the 115 would serve the commuter market but it wouldn't be very useful to Trent students. Trent is on the far opposite end of town and it would take two bus rides to get there. A downtown station would serve them much better. Since the tracks already run through downtown, the idea of two stations isn't unheard of (Barrie). Much like a lot of downtown Via stations in small cities, it would rely on transit, drop-offs, taxis/Uber, etc. and wouldn't need a huge parking lot.
 

Steve X

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The question of whether there should be commuter rail going to Peterborough can be viewed in the same view of Niagara Falls and Kitchener/Waterloo. This extension does make sense.
The only way it is feasible is to have it be an extension of Lakeshore East like Niagara is part of Lakeshore West and Kitchener is an extension of a line mainly serving up to Brampton. Not only they reduce operating cost, it adds more destination in between. The current sub into Peterbrough runs north of the developed Durham region and isn't even part of any GO lines. The amount of money to make it even considerable is better spent on an extension into Northumberland or maybe even Kingston instead.

I really wonder how much subsidies they are providing on the Kitchener Line. I estimate those trains are only running around 10-20% capacity beyond Mt Pleasant Station especially in the middle of the week when students aren't commuting back and forth. The travel time is also another reason that keeps people in cars. They really need faster train service for these kind of long trips. These 2 hour trips must be really tiring to do repeatably. Hopefully RER can cut them down to less than 1.5 hours.
 

micheal_can

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The only way it is feasible is to have it be an extension of Lakeshore East like Niagara is part of Lakeshore West and Kitchener is an extension of a line mainly serving up to Brampton. Not only they reduce operating cost, it adds more destination in between. The current sub into Peterbrough runs north of the developed Durham region and isn't even part of any GO lines. The amount of money to make it even considerable is better spent on an extension into Northumberland or maybe even Kingston instead.

I really wonder how much subsidies they are providing on the Kitchener Line. I estimate those trains are only running around 10-20% capacity beyond Mt Pleasant Station especially in the middle of the week when students aren't commuting back and forth. The travel time is also another reason that keeps people in cars. They really need faster train service for these kind of long trips. These 2 hour trips must be really tiring to do repeatably. Hopefully RER can cut them down to less than 1.5 hours.
The 2 lines are not connected, so connecting it to Lakeshore East would be more of a challenge than it would be worth. Maybe they run shorter trains on it. Maybe there are more stops in Toronto for it. Although, it does look liek ti lines up well for the Mid City corridor everyone talks about. Maybe this line becomes the first line, along with the Milton line to use it.
 

crs1026

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The question to be asked of a Peterborough commuter proposal is..... where do these commuters live? What communities will be served?

At present, the line runs through undeveloped green space all the way to Peterborough. There are a few small communities, who may be able to absorb some growth but wholesale development of this region is absolutely the wrong thing for Ontario or the GTA. That development would make a ton of money for developers but it would be hugely destructive to Southern Ontario's shrinking greenbelts and farmland.

This route has no prospect to serve the top of Durham Region, unless the Region doubles in size. Even then, if one assumes that development may be attracted along the 407 route, this rail line is too far north to be a competitor to the auto on the 407. And there is no congestion on that route, nor will there be for decades.

A *regional* line to Peterborough makes eminent sense, as P'boro is a fairly large town with good reasons to have connectivity to the GTA. However, the economics of reinstating express Toronto-Peterboro service aren't there. One could offer free bus service from Peterboro to GO in Oshawa and come out ahead compared to rebuilding the line just to serve Peterboro. If it proceeds, VIA HFR will accomplish that regional service with much better economics, as incremental addition to T-O-M rail service.

But please - no commuter service on this line.

- Paul

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micheal_can

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The question to be asked of a Peterborough commuter proposal is..... where do these commuters live? What communities will be served?

At present, the line runs through undeveloped green space all the way to Peterborough. There are a few small communities, who may be able to absorb some growth but wholesale development of this region is absolutely the wrong thing for Ontario or the GTA. That development would make a ton of money for developers but it would be hugely destructive to Southern Ontario's shrinking greenbelts and farmland.

This route has no prospect to serve the top of Durham Region, unless the Region doubles in size. Even then, if one assumes that development may be attracted along the 407 route, this rail line is too far north to be a competitor to the auto on the 407. And there is no congestion on that route, nor will there be for decades.

A *regional* line to Peterborough makes eminent sense, as P'boro is a fairly large town with good reasons to have connectivity to the GTA. However, the economics of reinstating express Toronto-Peterboro service aren't there. One could offer free bus service from Peterboro to GO in Oshawa and come out ahead compared to rebuilding the line just to serve Peterboro. If it proceeds, VIA HFR will accomplish that regional service with much better economics, as incremental addition to T-O-M rail service.

But please - no commuter service on this line.

- Paul

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Run a few shorter trains each day, kinda like Niagara falls. Add stops


So, how could this work?

Right now there are 10 trains each way a day with 12 cars.
Take half of the trains and have them go Milton-Peterborough. The other half go between Milton and Union.
 

crs1026

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Run a few shorter trains each day, kinda like Niagara falls. Add stops
Stops - where? Claremont? Myrtle? Tapley? The entire population of a couple of those towns would fit in a single GO train.

Right now there are 10 trains each way a day with 12 cars.
Take half of the trains and have them go Milton-Peterborough. The other half go between Milton and Union.
How is a Milton GO train going to start its day in Peterborough and still make its run from Milton? And how does it cease to be 12 cars long? Any peak commuter service would need its own trainset(s) as an overnight layover in Peterborough will be needed. Off peak would need a shorter train.

VIA might not want to commit the necessary capacity at peak, as a Toronto Ottawa train might have to run semi empty from Ottawa or Montreal just to load at Peterborough. So perhaps a peak train might be desirable, once HFR begins.

- Paul
 

micheal_can

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Stops - where? Claremont? Myrtle? Tapley? The entire population of a couple of those towns would fit in a single GO train.
Think of it this way - someone from Port Perry could drive down or hop on the existing GO bus to Myrtle. There are people who live in London that drive to Kitchener to ride the GO train. Why wouldn't someone do the same?

How is a Milton GO train going to start its day in Peterborough and still make its run from Milton? And how does it cease to be 12 cars long? Any peak commuter service would need its own trainset(s) as an overnight layover in Peterborough will be needed. Off peak would need a shorter train.

VIA might not want to commit the necessary capacity at peak, as a Toronto Ottawa train might have to run semi empty from Ottawa or Montreal just to load at Peterborough. So perhaps a peak train might be desirable, once HFR begins.

- Paul
The overall logistics would need some work. Didn't other lines have the same issue in the beginning?
 

Isotack

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Stops - where? Claremont? Myrtle? Tapley? The entire population of a couple of those towns would fit in a single GO train.



How is a Milton GO train going to start its day in Peterborough and still make its run from Milton? And how does it cease to be 12 cars long? Any peak commuter service would need its own trainset(s) as an overnight layover in Peterborough will be needed. Off peak would need a shorter train.

VIA might not want to commit the necessary capacity at peak, as a Toronto Ottawa train might have to run semi empty from Ottawa or Montreal just to load at Peterborough. So perhaps a peak train might be desirable, once HFR begins.

- Paul
In Whitby, Brooklin would be closer to Myrtle than the current GO along the LS. Anyone north of Taunton would be better off driving or going by bus to Myrtle. The bulk of Oshawa or Whitby populations are not near the LS line stations anyway.
 

lenaitch

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As in all things related to transportation planning, understanding current and future commuting and employment patterns would be helpful. Port Perry is under 10K in population and right in the middle of the greenbelt, so not likely to grow much under current policy. When I lived near there, I got the sense that most people than commuted did so to southern Durham region, although that is a while back. I don't know whether stops along the Peterborough route would serve the growth in northern Pickering/Oshawa/Whitby.
 

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