News   Apr 19, 2024
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Rail: Ontario-Quebec High Speed Rail Study

Actually I have to correct myself - the cooperation between AF and Thalys had terminated, and the service is now run with TGV (how could I have forgotten, I just took this a few months ago!). AF has already cut all flights between Paris and Brussels in favour of its air-rail partnership.

And KLM and Air France have merged, so this airline group is really into the HSR business.
 
And KLM and Air France have merged, so this airline group is really into the HSR business.

Hadn't clued into that fact somehow. I tend to forget that those two airlines merged. Since they were both operating and/or exploring HSR service as part of their business before they merged I am curious to go back and see if that happened to be one of the reasons why they did.

On another note anyone who wants to explore a super interesting case study in HSR service and networks should read up about HSL-Zuid and NS HiSpeed and the experience of the Netherlands. It is interesting to start with because the project has a lot of unique aspects due to the urban character and soil challenges of the country. In addition, its closer to a HS GO network in terms of its coverage and the cities it serves then to other HSR networks. Not only that, it has been delayed years and design of it has meant its utility is somewhat limited. A lot of lessons to be learned, yet still some really good ideas amongst it all.
 
Your very naive to think it would bankrupt Air Canada and Porter. Sure it would put flights for people going directly to Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City at risk. But Bankrupt?

I'm pretty sure Porter would get bankrupted. They're main flights are between Toronto and Montreal (20/day)/Ottawa (19/day). If you could take HSR to Ottawa/Montreal in the same time as a plane, but go from downtown to downtwon, then I don't see how Porter would be able to continue operating.
 
Porter would have several years to transition into serving other regional destinations (New York, Boston, Chicago, etc.) outside the reach of HSR. In any case, if Porter does go bankrupt, it would only be because VIA provides a better service. What's wrong with that?
 
If Porter's business model relies on a wasteful and polluting form of transportation and blocking faster and more reliable alternatives, then its days are numbered regardless. Ocean liners went out of business when jets started making long distance flights. Great Lakes steamers went out of business when rail lines and highways were built. HSR is just another step in that evolution.
 
If you could take HSR to Ottawa/Montreal in the same time as a plane, but go from downtown to downtwon, then I don't see how Porter would be able to continue operating.

If you could take HSR in the same time and for equal/less money, this would be true. For example, it generally takes me about 2.5 to 3 hours to go from my apartment in North Toronto to downtown Ottawa on Porter. If HSR can do the same thing (door to door in under 3 hours) for cheaper, then I would certainly consider it.

The key factor for me is whether I can make an 8:30am meeting in Ottawa without having to go the night before. IF there were a 6am train that arrived in Ottawa at 8am, I might consider it as an option (currently, I usually take the 6:40am Porter flight -- allowing me to leave home around 6am).

Ocean liners went out of business when jets started making long distance flights.

There is a big speed difference between jets and ocean liners, even back when jets had to stop along the way on long journeys. I haven't seen anything to suggest that high speed rail will have any appreciable speed advantage over airplanes (or that they would even equal the speed, except perhaps on Toronto-Kingston distances). EDIT: With Dorval quite far out of downtown, there may be a speed advantage for HSR on the Ottawa-Montreal and/or Montreal-Quebec routes.

EDIT: I think a two-hour trip from Toronto-Ottawa for $150 after tax (or 2.5 hours to Montreal for $175) would offer serious competition to Porter.
 
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Holy Mackerel, people in western New York are more upbeat of us having a high speed service than we are..lol :D:confused:

The future of high-speed railroad service in Niagara Falls and throughout New York state will be discussed at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall, 8803 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls. Hosting the meeting will be the group Organizing for America and Mayor Paul A. Dyster.

Niagara Falls received $16.5 million in federal funding last October for the proposed railroad passenger station and transportation hub on Whirlpool Street in the North End. The U.S. High Speed Rail Association envisions a Buffalo to Albany and New York City connection by 2025 and
high-speed rail linking Toronto, Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Rochester as early as 2020.

http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article341957.ece
 
Holy Mackerel, people in western New York are more upbeat of us having a high speed service than we are..lol :D:confused:

Last time I checked the Quebec City to Windsor corridor is already "high-speed" per their standard. This is about fixing the St. Catharines to Buffalo leg.
 
Last time I checked the Quebec City to Windsor corridor is already "high-speed" per their standard. This is about fixing the St. Catharines to Buffalo leg.

Their standard conforms to the standard of high speed rail in 1960's Germany. And we still use the antiquated rolling stock to prove it.
 
Pretty surprised that Quebec would look to the French (ie. Alstom) given homegrown Bombardier interests.

I'm not; Alstom has a longer history of high-speed rail design than Bombardier does. The TGV has been an Alstom playground since day one; Bombardier has designs in their catalogue but their only real experience is with Acela--which they built with Alstom. It wouldn't surprise me if they were involved somewhere regardless of whether Alstom gets the contract.
 
Just look at Europe and see what HSR has done to travel. Short haul flights find their passenger load cut in half when new HSR routes open up. The reason is that for those distances HSR is the most efficient, comfortable, and usually fastest choice. Its because people genuinely find HSR a better way to travel that is has become so popular. Given enough support, and leading by the provinces. the Feds will quickly hope on to support it.

In Canada. HSR would be a vast improvement in travel over current options....in speed, comfort and cost. As for the airlines, Air Canada would live on for sure, and if Porter used the 8 - 10 year lead time to develop a business model focusing on serving destinations like St. Johns, Halifax, NYC, etc, it could reasonably continue on. And if you offered airlines a chance to own a small portion of the new HSR service, helping to compensate for loses with a new, potentially stronger source of revenue, the whole airline thing could be a non-issue.


I am not saying it wouldnt be an improvement (as I noted I would preferthat option), its just that the government may be reticent as an outcome of such a government priority would make existing businesses less profitable. Who knows if it would put Porter or Air Canada out of business. The Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle is a big part of the Canadian pie. Further, I think historically the whole industry has been a profitable one as evidenced by all the global carriers who have gone in and out of various bankruptcy states over the years.
 

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