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Rail: Ontario-Quebec High Speed Rail Study

If you could get mail across it by train within a day and a half, I think that trainmail is a preferable to plane.

But what about a mail run between Ottawa and Toronto. If its cheaper than air, I could see Canada Post using this instead of air mail.....especially if more intermediate stops are added.
 
Precisely, hence it was never privatized. Therefore saying that CP cut passenger rail after it was privatized as a demonstration of the effects of private enterprise is just complete bull.

You think not using false examples is pedantic? What's next ... are you going to tell me that not stealing essays in University is pedantic?
I find focusing on the CP half of CN/CP is pedantic when the focus of the arguement was that VIA Rail was formed because passenger rail is not profitable.

If you recall, in the 1960s and 1970s, CP was private, and CN was public. CP cut their passenger services much more radically than CN did. By the time VIA took over, there wasn't much CP service left, compared to CN service. This is the complete opposite as what you would expect were your point correct.
Actually, that's pretty well my whole point. CN ran passenger trains because the government said to. CP ran less passenger trains because there isn't money in it. Shouldn't it have been obvious that CN would cut service when allowed to follow the same market conditions as CP?

Your premise is faulty.
Your objections are pedantic. Either passenger rail is a beneficial service that deserves proper public funding or it is a value-added service that the public will pay to use.

From historical experience, passenger rail in Canada does not pay for itself. Therefore, some outside source of funding is necessary. IMO that funding best comes from a for-profit crown corporation rather than a general tax slush fund, but it doesn't really matter where it comes from, so long as it's persistant and increases incrementally.
 
Actually, that's pretty well my whole point. CN ran passenger trains because the government said to. CP ran less passenger trains because there isn't money in it. Shouldn't it have been obvious that CN would cut service when allowed to follow the same market conditions as CP?
Perfectly obvious, your 100% right on this.

However, your original statement, to which I objected was "Before we privatized CN/CP railroads were profitable. After we privatized CN/CP, they went to cut passenger service because it's not profitable." If what you meant here was what you just said above, then the problem is that what you wrote was not what you were trying to communicate.

Your objections are pedantic.
Only because your communication was poor.


From historical experience, passenger rail in Canada does not pay for itself.
Historically, it was very profitable, until it got competition from cars and buses. I suppose we could always ban the internal combustion engine ... which would lead to profitability for VIA, and for our streetcar and subway services. At least for a few years until someone perfects an electric car ... :)
 
Perfectly obvious, your 100% right on this.

However, your original statement, to which I objected was "Before we privatized CN/CP railroads were profitable. After we privatized CN/CP, they went to cut passenger service because it's not profitable." If what you meant here was what you just said above, then the problem is that what you wrote was not what you were trying to communicate.

Only because your communication was poor.

Historically, it was very profitable, until it got competition from cars and buses. I suppose we could always ban the internal combustion engine ... which would lead to profitability for VIA, and for our streetcar and subway services. At least for a few years until someone perfects an electric car ... :)
I was lazy, but I assumed people knew enough of the difference to understand what I meant. If you'd looked at the thought beyond rejecting it because CP was never public, then I wouldn't have said you were being padantic. If you prefer:

"Before we privatized CN railroads were profitable. After we privatized CN, CN/CP went to cut passenger service because it's not profitable." Does that meet your acceptable level of clear communication? Can we move on now?

Cars and buses don't have to pay to maintain the road, thus they appear cheaper than trains, which own and maintain private RoWs. If you had to pay a "road user fee" of $1000 a year, do you think nearly as many people would drive? Do you think the combined governments of Canada spends less than $33 billion a year on road maintenance and construction?
 
"Before we privatized CN railroads were profitable. After we privatized CN, CN/CP went to cut passenger service because it's not profitable." Does that meet your acceptable level of clear communication? Can we move on now?
Well, that gets into the second part that wasn't clear. CN became less profitable after it was privatized? Surely the reverse is true. CN was privatized in 1995, long after VIA was created.
 
Railroads being the collective passenger and freight services operated by the Feds. CN used to make a profit for the people of Canada, which more than offset the cost of providing passenger service. The net affect of privatising CN on the Canadian economy is more taxes per person or less services per person. Until CN was privatised, the tandem of CN/VIA being "railroads" had a net positive effect on the budget balance. Without CN, VIA is a negative effect on the budget balance.

I don't really care about CN's profitability after privatization because it's private profits.

We used to own a cow that give milk and could feed our starving calf. Then we sold our cow and now have to buy milk from the market.

Don't you know, you're supposed to understand what I mean, not what I say.
 
Cars and buses don't have to pay to maintain the road, thus they appear cheaper than trains, which own and maintain private RoWs. If you had to pay a "road user fee" of $1000 a year, do you think nearly as many people would drive? Do you think the combined governments of Canada spends less than $33 billion a year on road maintenance and construction?
I think a very good compromise between the two would be to raise prices on roads and highways however we can (try to implement large toll schemes in big cities and I guess just raise gas tax otherwise?) And then nationalize our rails as they've done in Europe. This would make it a lot easier to pick rail transport back up, as the capital costs for new companies and services goes way down, while the government is able to dictate how the country's rail network gets upgraded rather than largely being at the mercy of CN and CP.
 
There was an idea floating around the forums, I can't remember who penned it, but basically, the government would purchase and maintain trackage in high-priority passenger corridors and charge CN or CP usage fees for those tracks. CN and CP have the benefit of not having to pay for track maintenance, while governments and transit agencies have the benefits of improving passenger rail through track improvements and scheduling. Renting out track for freight would also be a source of revenue for the government. GO is already beginning to do this to an extent by buying up railway segments within the GTA.

CN and CP would still be private companies, and still maintain their US operations, and Trackage rights outside of major passenger corridors as opposed to fully nationalizing the rail network. Both freight operations are profitable for both companies, so why completely eliminate them entirely through full nationalization?
 
We should set aside dreams of charging for roads outside urban areas. It's just not going to happen.

But even without charging for the roads, rail still has cost advantages. Consider just one person driving a mid-size car from Toronto to Ottawa. That's usually at least $40 in gas. Usually that mileage would be about $10 worth in maintenance and $45 in depreciation. And if you buy your ticket in advance from VIA, rail is actually cheaper.

But the are a few reasons that I see that people find rail more expensive. VIA gets really expensive if you don't book well in advance. It's over $100 one way if you book last minute. Then there's the issue of needing a car to get around when you get to your destination. These are issues that can be addressed over time. VIA needs more trains in the corridor to cater to demand so that they can reduce prices. And the transit issue will be addressed as both Toronto and Ottawa implementing Presto and as both of them create better ways to access transit information and schedules (smartphone apps for example).

So HSR isn't necessary for rail to compete with the car. As has been said here before, HSR is more likely to compete with air then the car.
 
There was an idea floating around the forums, I can't remember who penned it, but basically, the government would purchase and maintain trackage in high-priority passenger corridors and charge CN or CP usage fees for those tracks. CN and CP have the benefit of not having to pay for track maintenance, while governments and transit agencies have the benefits of improving passenger rail through track improvements and scheduling. Renting out track for freight would also be a source of revenue for the government. GO is already beginning to do this to an extent by buying up railway segments within the GTA.

CN and CP would still be private companies, and still maintain their US operations, and Trackage rights outside of major passenger corridors as opposed to fully nationalizing the rail network. Both freight operations are profitable for both companies, so why completely eliminate them entirely through full nationalization?
I like the VIAFast proposal, where both CN and CP would use one corridor and passenger trains would use the other. Apparently both freight companies were okay with the idea, as it would likely increase capacity for both and reduce reduncancy. It wouldn't give us real HSR, but would increase speeds considerably.
 
We should set aside dreams of charging for roads outside urban areas. It's just not going to happen.

Actually, if we go towards not using fossil fuels for powering cars - it has to happen. Road tolls based on gas taxes are only logical when most people power their cars using gas, if not then another way has to be found to fund them. Usage based charging (i.e. tolls) are the most fair.
 
Actually, if we go towards not using fossil fuels for powering cars - it has to happen. Road tolls based on gas taxes are only logical when most people power their cars using gas, if not then another way has to be found to fund them. Usage based charging (i.e. tolls) are the most fair.

Or when we use electricity, we could just jack up electricity rates to cover that.
 
I'm not sure people are going to want to pay a tax explicitly for roads on their air conditioning bill. A tax at the pumps works to show a tax is being collected by the users of roads and to show road users are paying their way, an electricity tax wouldn't. Right now a Hummer driver pays a huge amount of tax, whereas an electric Hummer driver would pay much less because a 35% tax on electricity is never going to happen.
 

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