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VIA Rail

Can we also figure out what happened to the $491 Million that the Feds budgeted for HFR during the 2021-2026 period? That's a heck of a lot of money to spend on studies. That money really should have gotten shovels in the ground for non-controversial components like upgrading the Via-owned lines around Ottawa.
This: https://www.systra.com/canada/proje...l-on-dorval-intermodal-station-project-22025/
Transport Action has asked VIA Rail (this isn't a VIA-HFR project) for a briefing on project progress.

However, the original mandate of the JPO was:
This funding will be used to establish a Joint Project Office (JPO) between the CIB and VIA Rail to explore the possibility of HFR in Quebec City-Toronto Corridor, focusing on the following de-risking activities throughout 2019 to fall 2020:

  • finalizing legal and regulatory work related to safety and environmental assessments;
  • consulting with all stakeholders, including municipalities and Indigenous communities;
  • examining required land and track acquisition; and
  • completing the technical, financial and commercial analysis required for a final investment decision on HFR.
The JPO will also undertake preliminary design work for multi-modal hub passenger hub in Dorval to facilitate the movement of urban and intercity passengers to the Trudeau Airport.
So what part of that mandate did the JPO accomplish? I suspect rather less than $71M worth.
 
They proposed expanding commuter services to places such as Stratford and Niagara Falls in their 2016-2020 corporate plan.

Marked up by me to indicate which of the targets were achieved.
View attachment 507659
via_plan5-jpg.86891
That corporate plan also proposed the acquisition of the line between Kitchener and London, which hasn't happened.
However, in the presentation given in SW Ontario, we see even more ambition to meet regional demand...
Sarnia_Presentation_FINAL_Page_25.jpg
Sarnia_Presentation_FINAL_Page_26.jpg

Not getting the CN crossings to work with the RDCs put paid to these plans.
 
This: https://www.systra.com/canada/proje...l-on-dorval-intermodal-station-project-22025/
Transport Action has asked VIA Rail (this isn't a VIA-HFR project) for a briefing on project progress.

However, the original mandate of the JPO was:

So what part of that mandate did the JPO accomplish? I suspect rather less than $71M worth.
Thanks for the info!

From the sounds of it, all we're going to get for half a billion dollars is some more studies and consultation.

It boggles the mind when you compare it to projects which were able to design and build new transportation infrastructure for less than $40M, like the York University Busway (6 km BRT line for $37 Million in 2009), or the original O-Train Trillium line (8 km commuter rail line for $21 Million in 2001). Obviously HFR is more complicated than either of these, but you'd think they could at least fit some track and station improvements in that size of a budget.
 
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That corporate plan also proposed the acquisition of the line between Kitchener and London, which hasn't happened.
However, in the presentation given in SW Ontario, we see even more ambition to meet regional demand...
View attachment 507719View attachment 507714
Not getting the CN crossings to work with the RDCs put paid to these plans.
Since 2015 when that plan was written Via seems to have done a full 180 when it comes to regional/commuter trips. Not only have they not expanded them as envisioned, but they cancelled all of the commuter trips which did exist and eliminated the Via commuter passes.

As we know, the London-Brantford-Toronto commuter trip is returning in a month, but there is still no sign of the Kingston-Belleville-Toronto commuter service which existed prior to the pandemic.

It remains to be seen how well the London commuter service will be now that commuter passes are no longer available. On the other hand, demand for long-distance commuting is presumably increasing as people are now more willing to live further from their workplaces when they only need to go in to the office a couple days per week.

As such it seems more relevant nowadays to push for Metrolinx to purchase the Kitchener - London railway, using the $160M that the Ford government promised for the corridor.
Screenshot 2023-09-19 at 17.14.46.png
 
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From the sounds of it, all we're going to get for half a billion dollars is some more studies and consultation.
Calm down, little of the $500m have been spent yet.

Budget 2022 provided $396.8 million over two years (fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24)to TC and INFC for the HFR project. For fiscal year 2023-24, TC transferred $43.67million of this amount to VIA HFR to establish the corporation and advance its objectives. VIA HFR’s initial budget of $43.67 million for fiscal year 2023-24 will be used for a range of start-up activities. Planned expenditures focus on operationalizing VIA HFR; financing the Technical Office to undertake the activities identified in the Corporate Plan; and the appointment and recruitment of directors, officers, and a small corporate team to support the governance and oversight of the corporation’s operations
VIA HFR is budget to spend $44m this fiscal year. $1.74m spent for the first 3 months ending June 30th.
 
Calm down, little of the $500m have been spent yet.


VIA HFR is budget to spend $44m this fiscal year. $1.74m spent for the first 3 months ending June 30th.
VIA Rail will be spending that money on Dorval station and fixing the bottleneck between Turcot and the Victoria Bridge.

VIA-HFR will be spending a bit more itself this fall as field studies get underway, and the RFP bid teams will each get a stipend - that's fairly common with big procurements, and all three sets of ideas then become the property of Canada, so if team A has a feasible solution for Montreal-Laval, but B has a better overall plan, they can take the best of each. Of course, there was already a well costed and buildable project in 2018, and the end result may be 10% "better" but at what cost in dollars and a decade of delay, not to mention the utter foolishness of outsourcing rather than having the revenues go back to VIA to fund other services.
 
^Just curious how he would have determined that from the departure board?
Just like a lowercaps „r“ behind the train number stands for a Renaissance trainset, a „v“ seems to stand for Venture trainsets.

Wikipedia has a 2010 picture of the departure board which shows the „r“ for Renaissance trains:

New_board_Central_Station_Montreal_2010.jpg
 
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