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VIA Rail

jje1000

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Ugh, so what's the earliest time that Ottawa can advance HFR?

I presume after the election by the next budget?
 

smallspy

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I wonder if a Capreol-Winnipeg service might cover the ground a bit quicker than the existing - are there sidings along that part of the route which Canadian currently has to hold short of because it is too long to use them?
There are no sidings anywhere between Toronto and Winnipeg that can not hold a maximum-length Canadian.

As for equipment, isn't part of the reason RDCs are used at the moment due to ease of turning at White River - not as much of an issue to use locohaul stock on the CN run I would think.
There is a wye at the south end of the White River yard directly opposite the station building. VIA has used it from time-to-time when they've needed to turn the RDCs.

Dan
 

dowlingm

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There is a wye at the south end of the White River yard directly opposite the station building. VIA has used it from time-to-time when they've needed to turn the RDCs.
I remember the wye coming up when there was some discussion about White River switching to locohaul and there was some concern that it might be too short to turn a locohaul trainset (thus "ease of turning" above). Thanks for the info on the sidings - I guess 27 hours (or thereabouts) is as good as it gets without upgrades or more sidings to cut down dwell time.
 

kEiThZ

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Ugh, so what's the earliest time that Ottawa can advance HFR?

I presume after the election by the next budget?
Nope. They need to finish that super long study they have going on which runs till 2022.

And then we hope they actually proceed with the project instead of yet another study. There's also all the political machinations to consider. If the Conservatives get elected, they want to scrap the Infrastructure Bank which is helping undertake this study. If the Liberals are in a minority, would they even bother with any projects on VIA, when they might funds more immediately to buy votes? I'm not even sure a Liberal-NDP coalition would prioritize HFR to the point of firming up funding and launching procurement.
 

robmausser

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Nope. They need to finish that super long study they have going on which runs till 2022.

And then we hope they actually proceed with the project instead of yet another study. There's also all the political machinations to consider. If the Conservatives get elected, they want to scrap the Infrastructure Bank which is helping undertake this study. If the Liberals are in a minority, would they even bother with any projects on VIA, when they might funds more immediately to buy votes? I'm not even sure a Liberal-NDP coalition would prioritize HFR to the point of firming up funding and launching procurement.
 

ssiguy2

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Nope. They need to finish that super long study they have going on which runs till 2022.

If the Liberals are in a minority, would they even bother with any projects on VIA, when they might funds more immediately to buy votes? I'm not even sure a Liberal-NDP coalition would prioritize HFR to the point of firming up funding and launching procurement.
Don't agree as I actually think the opposite maybe the case. The NDP have their base in Central/South Western Ontario and they will want to show their constituents that voting NDP and working with the Liberals was beneficial. If HSF goes thru the NDP will demand that it is not just a Tor/Ott/Mon route but the entire Corridor and if there is any segment delays it will be from Mon to QC as QC rebuffed both the Liberals and NDP.

Much will also depend on VIA rail itself. So far, VIA has done an incredibly poor job of explaining to the public what exactly HFR is and how will benefit them. For the vast majority of people, HFR, means only that, more trains and to most that doesn't mean much. To the average person that means that there will simply be more unreliable slow boats to China than there are now...............hardly enough to get people excited about or willing to see their tax dollars going there and of course the less excited the people, the less likely Ottawa will support it.

If VIA wants the money, they have to tell the people that not only will the train service will be more frequent but how much more dependable it will be and most relevantly for the average person, how much time will they save going from A to B. Until they clearly state the above, public support will be very limited and hence so will Ottawa's attention.
 

crs1026

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^Rail may be a vote getter in southern Ontario, but it’s a we-they proposition to the nation as a whole.
As much as I support HFR, I suspect all federal parties except maybe the Greens have taken the project off the table.
A green initiative that creates jobs and spends money in Ontario would play particularly badly in Alberta right now.
Oh, and SNC Lavalin would almost certainly be bidding on the capital work.

- Paul
 

lenaitch

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You would have to run a regional service from Capreol all the way to Winnipeg, which in the current schedule takes 27 hours. RDCs don't have any sleeping accommodations (even for on-train staff), which means you would either have to layover (like the Skeena does in Prince George) or replace the on-train staff half-way. However, given the length of the journey (7 hours more net travel time than on the Skeena!) and the possible scale of delays, you would have to layover for 8-12 hours or switch on-train staff twice, which can realistically only happen in Hornepayne and Sioux Lookout, but let me know if you could find any accommodation in Hornepayne which can be reached without someone picking up and driving you to the station because I didn't. Also, such a service would be completely useless, as someone traveling from, say, Gogoma to Winnipeg would now have to pay two nights of hotel stays on top of the train ticket.

Therefore, I will refer you to the full exchange we already had here back in January:
Agree that it would pose a challenge and certainly RDCs would be unsuitable. I don't know if onboard crew change points are the same as operating crews. I would think the mandate to maintain a regional/remote service is to serve the enroute communities, particularly those without road access, rather than provide an inter-city service.
 

ssiguy2

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^Rail may be a vote getter in southern Ontario, but it’s a we-they proposition to the nation as a whole.
As much as I support HFR, I suspect all federal parties except maybe the Greens have taken the project off the table.
A green initiative that creates jobs and spends money in Ontario would play particularly badly in Alberta right now.
Oh, and SNC Lavalin would almost certainly be bidding on the capital work.

- Paul
Actually, Alberta would support investment in our rails with Higher speed and frequency rail but only if they get their share of the pie. The good news, is that outside the Corridor, HFR is only financially viable in the Edm/RD/Cal corridor. The fact that you can get to Prince Rupert from Edmonton but not to Calgary speaks volumes about how political the routes are. better a faster rail connections are one of the few areas where Quebecers, Ontarians, and Albertans are all on the same side.
 

smallspy

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I remember the wye coming up when there was some discussion about White River switching to locohaul and there was some concern that it might be too short to turn a locohaul trainset (thus "ease of turning" above).
I can't find it's length right now, but there are some constraints to the wye as it abuts right against the river. It may be only about 250 feet long, which may cause some operational headaches if they do switch to loco-hauled equipment on the line, although it certainly wouldn't be show-stopping by any means.

Thanks for the info on the sidings - I guess 27 hours (or thereabouts) is as good as it gets without upgrades or more sidings to cut down dwell time.
The problem with that stretch has more to do with how many freights there are than anything. (Although in fairness, the traffic and delays on this part of the line pale compared to the delays that the Canadian faces on the section west of Winnipeg.) The directional running north of Perry Sound does help immensely, and with GO seemingly extending CN's double track south of Lake Simcoe for them, this too is helping the traffic flow more smoothly.

All things being equal, several miles of double track around Armstrong would help the fluidity of the line across the top of the province, and apparently this is something that is on CN's radar as they have been lengthening sidings up there. But this is also some of the most rugged terrain that they operate in east of the Rockies, and so it isn't something that is likely to be completed in short order.

Dan
 

robmausser

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This is a bit of an aside but are the new Seimens trains gonna be used on the Corridor or on the HFR route? Because I was looking up and researching the Talgo rains on the cascades line for Amtrak and they use trucks between each car and tilting technology to increase the speed around curves.



Because one of the downsides of the HFR route is that there are many curves and I'm hoping by using this style of train set the trip time can be decreased. On the cascades line by using this type of train set they decreased the trip time by 30 minutes from Portland to Vancouver.

I don't mean it has to be this exact train set but I would hope that some kind of tilting technology and using articulated trucks between each carriage in order to decrease travel time along the HFR line would have been investigated
 

littlewill1166

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This is a bit of an aside but are the new Seimens trains gonna be used on the Corridor or on the HFR route? Because I was looking up and researching the Talgo rains on the cascades line for Amtrak and they use trucks between each car and tilting technology to increase the speed around curves.



Because one of the downsides of the HFR route is that there are many curves and I'm hoping by using this style of train set the trip time can be decreased. On the cascades line by using this type of train set they decreased the trip time by 30 minutes from Portland to Vancouver.

I don't mean it has to be this exact train set but I would hope that some kind of tilting technology and using articulated trucks between each carriage in order to decrease travel time along the HFR line would have been investigated
I think that the current order is for the corridor, and that the cars for HFR are a seperate option (assuming HFR even happens).
 

dowlingm

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I don't mean it has to be this exact train set but I would hope that some kind of tilting technology and using articulated trucks between each carriage in order to decrease travel time along the HFR line would have been investigated
Amtrak’s Avelia order for the NEC could form the basis for a HSR trainset. Not holding my breath on that though.
 

robmausser

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Amtrak’s Avelia order for the NEC could form the basis for a HSR trainset. Not holding my breath on that though.
Perhaps we could get the same coach car technology as the Avelia but with diesels for the HFR plan. I doubt we are getting electrification even at 177kmh at first.

Apparently those new trainsets for the Acela are shaving more time off the twisty northeast corridor. Those turns are not being taken at HSR speeds, so I assume it would benefit non high speed train systems as well.

Its a concern for the HFR plan too, as parts are very twisty up to Peterborough.

Regardless we need to chose tech that will squeeze every last minute out of the HFR route; trains that can go faster around curves and can accelerate and decelerate quickly for each straightaway, since only so much time can be "made up" on the straightaways with a 177kmh speed limit.
 

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