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VIA Rail

MisterF

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Let me give you a real example.

Yesterday I drove to Kingston for business, and I usually take the 8:30 am train out of union and return on the 4:40 train out of kingston. The train takes about 2.5 hours one way. Plus the 30 minute subway ride to Union.

But due to the ticket cost and it was last minute so i decided to drive. I left at 7:30 (like i would if i caught the train). I got to Kingston around 10:30. I had to stop once to get gas and another time to send an urgent email. I could only get to a maximum speed of 105kmph due to the weather (Snow Squalls).

In retrospect it would have been more productive to take the train rather than drive since I would have been able to send emails without stopping and wasting time. If it wasn't for the high last minute ticket cost I would have taken the train. The train ticket would have been $190.00 but my gas was only $80.00.

So there are trade offs with both situations. If there had been an accident on the 401, it could have easily taken me another hour to get there making the train a better option. It comes down to ticket price.
Keep in mind that the cost of driving is more than just the price of gas. Every kilometre driven has a bigger cost for maintenance and depreciation than people tend to think.
 

roger1818

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Keep in mind that the cost of driving is more than just the price of gas. Every kilometre driven has a bigger cost for maintenance and depreciation than people tend to think.

Agreed! There is also the value of your time. Time spent driving is largely wasted, but time in the train can be productive.
 

littlewill1166

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Let me give you a real example.

Yesterday I drove to Kingston for business, and I usually take the 8:30 am train out of union and return on the 4:40 train out of kingston. The train takes about 2.5 hours one way. Plus the 30 minute subway ride to Union.

But due to the ticket cost and it was last minute so i decided to drive. I left at 7:30 (like i would if i caught the train). I got to Kingston around 10:30. I had to stop once to get gas and another time to send an urgent email. I could only get to a maximum speed of 105kmph due to the weather (Snow Squalls).

In retrospect it would have been more productive to take the train rather than drive since I would have been able to send emails without stopping and wasting time. If it wasn't for the high last minute ticket cost I would have taken the train. The train ticket would have been $190.00 but my gas was only $80.00.

So there are trade offs with both situations. If there had been an accident on the 401, it could have easily taken me another hour to get there making the train a better option. It comes down to ticket price.
Megabus
 

nfitz

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I like the idea of restoring the Northlander south of North Bay (i.e. as a daily rail service out of Toronto), but I second @crs1026's subtle nod that this would (and should) not be a VIA service ...
Though do we really need a third agency running trains? Why not have the provincial governments pay VIA to operate some services - like what Ontario Northland runs - leaving them to operate buses.

Could also be a model for various other service in Quebec and Ontario. Or elsewhere.
 

Urban Sky

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Though do we really need a third agency running trains? Why not have the provincial governments pay VIA to operate some services - like what Ontario Northland runs - leaving them to operate buses.

Could also be a model for various other service in Quebec and Ontario. Or elsewhere.
Because if you want fare integration and a guarantee that buses will be waiting for delayed trains, you'd realistically need both to be operated by the same operator. Also, I can't think of any reason why the federal taxpayer should fund rural (but non-remote) intercity (i.e. at-least daily) rail service in Northern Ontario (i.e. outside this country's most densely populated corridors). Improving the interconnectivity between the sprawling population centers and the more remote (though still connected) parts of the same province is not really a federal responsibility - even less on a route which has not historically been served by CN or CP trains (i.e. federally regulated railroads)...

PS: Ontario Northland still operates a passenger train service (the Polar Bear Express), even after the cancellation of the Northlander in 2012. Besides that, operation could be contracted out to GO Transit or even VIA, but the latter must not assume any operating deficits or financial risks...
 

sacred

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I find that the people who take the bus and train are different. And even though the ticket prices can be similar when purchased in advanced, I find that the train is more comfortable.
Speaking from experience as a former student who did Montreal-Toronto a lot, Megabus was my choice when VIA was too expensive last minute (even a few weeks in advance) or the schedule wasn’t convenient at all. Megabus is very, very uncomfortable compared to VIA (and I’m not way over 6 feet).
What do you mean by “different”?
 

Urban Sky

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Speaking from experience as a former student who did Montreal-Toronto a lot, Megabus was my choice when VIA was too expensive last minute (even a few weeks in advance) or the schedule wasn’t convenient at all. Megabus is very, very uncomfortable compared to VIA (and I’m not way over 6 feet).
What do you mean by “different”?
I assume he refers to the respective clienteles' willingness to pay a premium to avoid the very hardships of intercity bus travel you describe: bus riders tend to value price over comfort, train riders tend to value comfort over price...
 

micheal_can

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Though do we really need a third agency running trains? Why not have the provincial governments pay VIA to operate some services - like what Ontario Northland runs - leaving them to operate buses.

Could also be a model for various other service in Quebec and Ontario. Or elsewhere.

Why make a bigger mess? ONR owns the line north of North Bay. CN owns the line south of North Bay. That means that Via still needs to negotiate the line, where as ONR only needs to negotiate with CN.
 

kEiThZ

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Let me give you a real example.

Yesterday I drove to Kingston for business, and I usually take the 8:30 am train out of union and return on the 4:40 train out of kingston. The train takes about 2.5 hours one way. Plus the 30 minute subway ride to Union.

But due to the ticket cost and it was last minute so i decided to drive. I left at 7:30 (like i would if i caught the train). I got to Kingston around 10:30. I had to stop once to get gas and another time to send an urgent email. I could only get to a maximum speed of 105kmph due to the weather (Snow Squalls).

In retrospect it would have been more productive to take the train rather than drive since I would have been able to send emails without stopping and wasting time. If it wasn't for the high last minute ticket cost I would have taken the train. The train ticket would have been $190.00 but my gas was only $80.00.

So there are trade offs with both situations. If there had been an accident on the 401, it could have easily taken me another hour to get there making the train a better option. It comes down to ticket price.

Your example also shows how valuable basic rail service would be. Shows how ignorant the HSR or bust crowd actually is.
 

Urban Sky

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Why make a bigger mess? ONR owns the line north of North Bay. CN owns the line south of North Bay. That means that Via still needs to negotiate the line, where as ONR only needs to negotiate with CN.
Agreed, but then why does this commenter insist on discussing this proposal in the “VIA Rail” thread rather than the “Ontario Northland and the end of the Northlander” thread...?^^
 
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MisterF

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Agreed, but then why does this commenter insist on discussing this proposal in the “VIA Rail” thread rather than the “Ontario Northland and the end of the Northlander” thread...?^^
Because when we have multiple threads about intercity rail there will inevitably be spillover between them. I don't see the big deal.
 

crs1026

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Agreed, but why does this commenter insist on discussing this proposal in the “VIA Rail” thread rather than the “Ontario Northland and the end of the Northlander” thread...?^^

In this case, I would take the digression as a compliment. Some of the discussion in that thread is so off the wall, I find myself heading here for a more level headed, fact-based discussion and readership, even if it's technically off topic . :)

At the risk of heading off into yet another thread..... and approaching this as a generic case study, rather than a discussion of service the Nippissing area.... if a provincial or regional agency announced that it was willing to underwrite a passenger service to a large center such as Toronto, why would VIA not want to be the provider of choice? Especially if (as you suggested above) the service left said big center in the morning, and returned by night? Likely a far better business case to operate using a generic VIA trainset, operating out of VIA's maintenance and OBS infrastructure, than having the purchaser of the service attempt to procure, maintain and stock its own trains from a base at the outer end of the run, duplicating VIA's infrastructure?

I sense a reluctance to seize that as a business opportunity?

- Paul
 

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