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VIA Rail

ssiguy2

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I wouldn't worry too much. He's posturing pre-election. He'll be back to cooperating after the election.

IfF HFRlaunches successfully, there will be plenty of pressure from Southwestern Ontario for a similar service. I just want HFR to get off the ground. It's very existence will change the conversation. We still have two years till the report comes out.
Very true as SWO is getting sick of being ignored by Ottawa despite it's population. It's odd that the Liberals wouldn't put more pressure on VIA for a London and eventually Windsor extension before Quebec City. Quebec City is decidedly Conservative and where there are races it is usually with the Tories and Bloc not the Liberals. Politically they have little to gain from Quebec but SWO is a very different matter. London has always been a Liberal bastion but even it now has an NDP riding. With the NDP tanking the Liberals have a very good shot at getting 7 seats from the NDP in Hamilton/London/Windsor and Brantford and Sarnia would also be within reach. If it's the northern route they could secure Kitchener-Conestoga and Cambridge which are leaning Conservative.
 

Urban Sky

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Very true as SWO is getting sick of being ignored by Ottawa despite it's population. It's odd that the Liberals wouldn't put more pressure on VIA for a London before Quebec and eventually Windsor extension before Quebec City. Quebec City is decidedly Conservative and where there are races it is usually with the Tories and Bloc not the Liberals. Politically they have little to gain from Quebec but SWO is a very different matter. London has always been a Liberal bastion but even it now has an NDP riding. With the NDP tanking the Liberals have a very good shot at getting 7 seats from the NDP in Hamilton/London/Windsor and Brantford and Sarnia would also be within reach. If it's the northern route they could secure Kitchener-Conestoga and Cambridge which are leaning Conservative.
Yes, hero, but how do you build a dedicated corridor which avoids interference with CN’s Toronto-Chicago services? Also, extending HFR to London before Quebec doesn’t help with it being already a rather Ontario-focused project with only 77 out of the 580 km between Montreal and Toronto falling onto Quebec territory, while Quebec-Toronto increases this share to 354 out of 857 km (i.e. from 13% to 41%, which is a close match of its share of both provinces’ population: 38%). As I’ve written before and the example of Montreal-Quebec demonstrates, all you need to add your own adjacent intraprovincial corridors into the HFR planning (funding is a completely different question) is a provincial government which shouts “What about us?” and so far the Ford government seems to be not interested enough...
 
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Bureaucromancer

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Yes, hero, but how do you build a dedicated corridor which avoids interference with CN’s Toronto-Chicago services?
You use the Ontario HSR plans. Build the missing link and use the North Main Line essentially. At HFR speeds it probably doesn't even need the big sections of new corridor between Kitchener and London (although assuming this has to go to Windsor to get Federal interest London to Chatham might need it).
 
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nfitz

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You use the Ontario HSR plans. Build the missing link and use the North Main Line essentially. As HFR speeds it probably doesn't even need the big sections of new corridor between Kitchener and London (although assuming this has to go to Windsor to get Federal interest London to Chatham might need it).
Once you get to London in 195 km, you've hit the bigger population centres, with a half-million each in KW and London, compared to the 100,000 in Chatham, and 350,000 in Windsor.

Though VIA already has their line from Chatham to Windsor, and I wouldn't think the CN segment from Chatham to London is particularly heavily used - a few km of extra track in London wouldn't be particularly expensive.
 

Urban Sky

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You use the Ontario HSR plans. Build the missing link and use the North Main Line essentially. As HFR speeds it probably doesn't even need the big sections of new corridor between Kitchener and London (although assuming this has to go to Windsor to get Federal interest London to Chatham might need it).
Agreed, once someone has spent $8 billion over a construction period of 8 years (which is roughly twice as much as the construction cost and period of the entire Toronto-Quebec HFR project) for the "missing link" (which I support, don't get me wrong), building HFR becomes surprisingly affordable and easy to implement west of Toronto...
 

crs1026

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^My fear is that whenever the deal between GO and CN over GO’s expanded use of the Halton Sub is announced, it will emerge that these two parties have dealt away the corridor in a way that irrevocably shuts any possible VIA expansion out. And it will likely emerge that someone in Ottawa (perhaps not VIA, as its legal authority to sign for things is significantly constrained by its non-legislated status) has quietly agreed to that.
One can raise all sorts of legal arguments why that can’t happen, but once the concrete gets poured through Brampton, there may be logistical and structural things that make the legalities moot. Kind of like that bridge in Ottawa!
That leaves VIA either at the mercy of GO, ie Chargers following meekly behind stopping trains to Kitchener, or doing a deal with CN for more slots on the Brantford line. Or paying for the bypass itself, with Doug and Verster congratulating each other on how they finessed that.
Yes, that’s a pessimistic view of things, but there you have it.

- Paul
 

Bureaucromancer

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I'm not immensely worried about that scenario for essentially two reasons:
First, there really aren't that many choke points that can't be remedied. Brampton is a problem in ANY scenario, and the end result is likely that VIA stops basically all trains there (and DOES have to "meekly follow" GO through THAT area). The thing is that stopping even the long distance service in Brampton isn't a terrible thing, especially with Hurontario LRT in place - even if we have to add an airport stop, Union - Pearson - Brampton - Guelph (optional) - Kitchener - London isn't an unconscionable number of stops for a service in the ~200km/h range.

Second, as much as there are attractive features of the NML, giving it ENTIRELY to GO as fare as London and running HFR on a Union - Burlington/Aldershot - Brantford - London - Windsor/Sarnia pattern (with option Woodstock and Chatham stops) is quite reasonable in it's own right. If we get electrification to Kitchener I can even see arguments that it might be preferable, with some sort of London - St Mary's - Statford - Kitchener DMU filling the gap. It doesn't create a dedicated passenger corridor, but in the areas Metrolinx or VIA don't own track I don't see major impediments to new construction (Burlington Bay may, as ever, be an issue, but in the worst case putting a line in the 403 Media from Aldershot to west of the existing junction isn't unreasonable).
 

ssiguy2

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Contrary to what many in Toronto think, people in SWO are not interested in getting to Kitchener or even Pearson. Londoners and Windsorites want to get to Toronto Union as fast as possible and going via Kitchener won't do it.

When I talk of building a bypass, I am not talking about Brampton but rather Brantford. There is a 20 km non-used rail line that runs north of Brantford that could be easily and relatively cheaply resurrected.. The current section thru Brantford is not only very indirect but also painfully slow and a bypass would save at least 20 minutes. It would also, due to being passenger-only help to negotiate time schedules around freight. The southern route via Burlington would allow for a RER connection and hence the entire line between London and Union could be a very short one-stop one. The route is also far more direct than going via Kitchener much like taking the 403 to Toronto is more so than taking the 401.

Kitchener is already getting half hourly service to Toronto and increasingly many of those will be express much like is current offered on the Lakeshore East line to Oshawa. It's London/Windsor that should be the priority for faster and more reliable rail service to Union and the southern line offers that and creates faster and more express service to Detroit and Chicago.
 

crs1026

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^The Brantford route is not wrong in itself, it’s just a complete reversal to the premise that is HFR’s selling point east of Toronto: separation from freight. And it won’t enable frequency.

The Bayview-Copetown segment is a real choke point, worse than Brampton due to gradient, and thus the time that each westbound freight occupies one track. Westbound trains go up that grade fairly slowly and stalls on the hill do happen. CN will be very protective of its capacity on that route generally but in that zone especially,

I would be happy with a 2-hourly service west of Toronto, but you won’t see that on the Brantford line without triple tracking parts.

- Paul
 

nfitz

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You are not going to get frequent services through (or by-passing) Brantford. The line through Kitchener is only 195 km, compared to the 185 km through London. Service time should be similar for HFR service.
 

MisterF

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People in SW Ontario aren't interested in going to Pearson? Did I just read that right? Oh ssiguy, never change. 😆

People in London might not like hearing it, but the main purpose of the HSR plan was to connect Toronto and Pearson to Kitchener-Waterloo. London was just an add-on. Improving the Brantford route would not only be problematic at best, it would be missing the point entirely.
 

kEiThZ

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You are not going to get frequent services through (or by-passing) Brantford. The line through Kitchener is only 195 km, compared to the 185 km through London. Service time should be similar for HFR service.
Any sources for the distance? I believe you. Just surprised they are that close. If it's a 10km difference, skipping Pearson and Waterloo would truly be monumentally stupid.

People in SW Ontario aren't interested in going to Pearson? Did I just read that right? Oh ssiguy, never change. 😆

People in London might not like hearing it, but the main purpose of the HSR plan was to connect Toronto and Pearson to Kitchener-Waterloo. London was just an add-on. Improving the Brantford route would not only be problematic at best, it would be missing the point entirely.
Exactly. Pearson is planning an $11 billion transit hub. Any rail line going west, skipping that hub would be monumentally stupid (repeated for emphasis).

Not going to happen. If only because every planner will see how much value there is stopping at Pearson, from both the East and the West. Anybody from Peterborough, KWC or London would take HFR to catch a flight. Not to mention tech CEOs will seriously tongue lash any minister who decides to skip KWC and Pearson.

Also, I don't see how ridership from London itself would be higher if Pearson and Waterloo were skipped.
 
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Urban Sky

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I'm not immensely worried about that scenario for essentially two reasons:
First, there really aren't that many choke points that can't be remedied. Brampton is a problem in ANY scenario, and the end result is likely that VIA stops basically all trains there (and DOES have to "meekly follow" GO through THAT area). The thing is that stopping even the long distance service in Brampton isn't a terrible thing, especially with Hurontario LRT in place - even if we have to add an airport stop, Union - Pearson - Brampton - Guelph (optional) - Kitchener - London isn't an unconscionable number of stops for a service in the ~200km/h range.
IIRC, Brampton alone has a population of close to a million, which would earn it a frequent stop on almost any passenger rail service anywhere in the world...

Second, as much as there are attractive features of the NML, giving it ENTIRELY to GO as fare as London and running HFR on a Union - Burlington/Aldershot - Brantford - London - Windsor/Sarnia pattern (with option Woodstock and Chatham stops) is quite reasonable in it's own right. If we get electrification to Kitchener I can even see arguments that it might be preferable, with some sort of London - St Mary's - Statford - Kitchener DMU filling the gap. It doesn't create a dedicated passenger corridor, but in the areas Metrolinx or VIA don't own track I don't see major impediments to new construction (Burlington Bay may, as ever, be an issue, but in the worst case putting a line in the 403 Media from Aldershot to west of the existing junction isn't unreasonable).
You may want to read the Auditor General report from 2016 to learn how well this exact approach (partial triple-tracking along one of CN’s main spines) worked on the Kingston Subdivision. Hint: nobody would consider reviving the Havelock Subdivision if it had yielded any tangible benefits...


Contrary to what many in Toronto think, people in SWO are not interested in getting to Kitchener or even Pearson. Londoners and Windsorites want to get to Toronto Union as fast as possible and going via Kitchener won't do it.
Contrary to what you apparently believe to have diagnosed from the comforts of living 3 time zones away from people who actually live in London or Windsor, people usually want transportation options which are faster, more frequent and more reliable than the current rail service - and that sooner rather than later. Creating a reasonably fast and frequent Toronto-Pearson-Brampton-Guelph-Kitchener-London service within the next 10 years would tick all these boxes, whereas just screaming down anything else than HSR for another 30 years clearly doesn’t.

When I talk of building a bypass, I am not talking about Brampton but rather Brantford. There is a 20 km non-used rail line that runs north of Brantford that could be easily and relatively cheaply resurrected..
It’s like “resurrecting” the Havelock Subdivision, which would be insane if there was a better and readily available ROW, which there fortunately is in this case!

The current section thru Brantford is not only very indirect but also painfully slow and a bypass would save at least 20 minutes.
And this is why I call you a troll: it took me less than 2 minutes to measure the Dundas Subdivision and the Brantford Bypass between Paris and Lynden using the Google Earth App on my phone and the Bypass shortens the route by a mere 6.2 km (from 26.7 to 20.5 km, representing a negligible 3.4% of total distance). I’ve looked up train #70 from this morning and it passed Paris Jct. at 08:33:40 and MP 14 (Lynden Rd.) at 08:57:51, which means that that “painfully slow” segment lasted for exactly 24:11 minutes and that includes a station stop of 2:40 minutes in Brantford, which means that you would need to reach an average speed of more than 300 km/h on your Bypass to achieve the time saving of 20 minutes about which you are hallucinating.

It would also, due to being passenger-only help to negotiate time schedules around freight.
The only thing that your bypass achieves is reducing the distance over which you’ll have to triple-track the Dundas Subdivision by 26.7 km, at the cost of rebuilding a disused rail corridor of 20.5 km length.

The southern route via Burlington would allow for a RER connection and hence the entire line between London and Union could be a very short one-stop one.
Indeed, if you insist on bypassing Kitchener, just to not inconvenience the people living in the 11th-largest (London) and 16th-largest CMA (Windsor) to make a short detour and stop in the 10th-largest CMA (Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge), then indeed, there is nothing worthwhile to stop between the GTHA and London...^^

The route is also far more direct than going via Kitchener much like taking the 403 to Toronto is more so than taking the 401.
Indeed, for the same reason why people prefer to drive from Toronto to Ottawa over the Trans-Canada Highway through Havelock, Madoc and Perth rather than the 401&416 Highways: because it’s so much more direct...^^

Kitchener is already getting half hourly service to Toronto and increasingly many of those will be express much like is current offered on the Lakeshore East line to Oshawa.
And all what is needed is upgrading the remaining 94 km to London and these trains can be extended to London (and beyond)!

It's London/Windsor that should be the priority for faster and more reliable rail service to Union and the southern line offers that and creates faster and more express service to Detroit and Chicago.
You have demonstrated by now that you don’t have the intellectual capacity of understanding this, but the strength of intercity rail corridors is that they can serve multiple cities at a service quality which none of the single nodes could ever justify alone...


^The Brantford route is not wrong in itself, it’s just a complete reversal to the premise that is HFR’s selling point east of Toronto: separation from freight. And it won’t enable frequency.

The Bayview-Copetown segment is a real choke point, worse than Brampton due to gradient, and thus the time that each westbound freight occupies one track. Westbound trains go up that grade fairly slowly and stalls on the hill do happen. CN will be very protective of its capacity on that route generally but in that zone especially,

I would be happy with a 2-hourly service west of Toronto, but you won’t see that on the Brantford line without triple tracking parts.

- Paul
Couldn’t have said it better!


Any sources for the distance? I believe you. Just surprised they are that close. If it's a 10km difference, skipping Pearson and Waterloo would truly be monumentally stupid.
Any VIA timetable from 2008 or earlier will show you the following distances:
QM: 272 km
MO: 187 km
MT: 539 km
OT: 446 km
KT: 254 km
TN: 132 km
TK: 101 km
TBL: 185 km
TKL: 195 km
TKS: 290 km
TBW: 359 km
 
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MisterF

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Any VIA timetable from 2008 or earlier will show you the following distances:
QM: 272 km
MO: 187 km
MT: 539 km
OT: 446 km
KT: 254 km
TN: 132 km
TK: 101 km
TBL: 185 km
TKL: 195 km
TKS: 290 km
TBW: 359 km
And not that this would be part of any conventional speed rail plan, but the straight line from Kitchener to London proposed by the Liberal HSR plan would have taken another 10 km or so off the route, making it the same distance as the route through Brantford.
 
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