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VIA Rail

reaperexpress

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Furthermore, telecommuting a few days per week will result in people being more accepting of living further away from their workplace. This could actually increase the amount of long-distance commuting on systems such as GO, VIA and Exo. Commuting from Ste Hyacinthe to Montréal might be a bit far to do every day, but it would become a pretty attractive option for someone who only needs to head to the office a couple days per week.

It's also worth noting that the longer the commute is, the more of an advatange trains have over cars, since the time can be productive rather than lost.
 

crs1026

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^A regional or long distance tunnel is much cheaper than a transit tunnel. My recollection is that the raw tunnelling work for Toronto’s recent Crosstown project was only a couple hundred million dollars.

What costs is the stations. VIA and EXO don’t need those. Just some fire escape shafts. Maybe some ventillation.

I know too little about Mont Royal to know where one might be able to tunnel, but I wouldn’t rule it out. I wouldn’t assume it’s practical, either…but it would be interesting to know more.

- Paul
 

trebello

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Exo being towards commuters who will continue teleworking is just about doomed in all cases. They don't own much tracks either, cost a fortune to operate. I don't see much business cases to be honest. It would be better just to give the service to VIA and the ARTM continue the subsidy.

I think we'll have to see how this unfolds over the coming years. Lower demand for commuter rail is certainly possible, but so is increased demand in the long run. With people being able to work from home a few days a week, many might move further out to find cheaper housing, but will still need to come into the office a few days a week. I bet people will end up needing to come in more days than they're expecting. It's a question if the few days a week people aren't commuting reduces trips enough to make up for the people who are locating futher out for cheap housing (but still need to head downtown sometimes). I can see this being helpful for VIA too as people who moved to small towns suddenly need to start heading downtown for meetings etc.
 

Northern Light

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Furthermore, telecommuting a few days per week will result in people being more accepting of living further away from their workplace. This could actually increase the amount of long-distance commuting on systems such as GO, VIA and Exo. Commuting from Ste Hyacinthe to Montréal might be a bit far to do every day, but it would become a pretty attractive option for someone who only needs to head to the office a couple days per week.

It's also worth noting that the longer the commute is, the more of an advatange trains have over cars, since the time can be productive rather than lost.

I'm still not sold that telecommuting will be that big a factor in the near term; perhaps moreso 2 decades out.

I could be wrong, its not what I'm seeing for the moment in corporate plans.

That said; should people/business adopt this at a critical mass level AND as a result, people spread further out within urban areas; I expect there will be a very real demand to shorten per-km commute times.

That means one or more of:

- increasing the speed at which trains travel
- new service patterns (express trains)
- shortened routes / new ROW tunnel that subtracts several km from winding routes.

That last one can be especially pricey; the middle one low-cost, but might upset some whose stops would see less service; the top one varies as depending on what speed one is trying to achieve.

Even with 2 day per week office stints, I see the tolerance for 2 hour each way commutes as very low.

Dropping a 2 hour commute to 1 hr 15 changes a lot.

Dropping a 90 minute commute to 45 minutes change more.

But depending on the route in question, that may not come at a modest price.
 

robmausser

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I think we'll have to see how this unfolds over the coming years. Lower demand for commuter rail is certainly possible, but so is increased demand in the long run. With people being able to work from home a few days a week, many might move further out to find cheaper housing, but will still need to come into the office a few days a week. I bet people will end up needing to come in more days than they're expecting. It's a question if the few days a week people aren't commuting reduces trips enough to make up for the people who are locating futher out for cheap housing (but still need to head downtown sometimes). I can see this being helpful for VIA too as people who moved to small towns suddenly need to start heading downtown for meetings etc.

Even with telecommuting the need for Exo and similar rail systems is still important, however the schedule will be modified. You will see more bidirectional services instead of a morning in, afternoon out of the core structure. Doesn't necessarily have to even be all day or frequent, depending on ridership.

Even if you dont own the rail lines, such service can be negotiated, and on single track, just as long as your frequencies are not too high. Rather than 8 trains in the morning and 8 at night in each direction you have a train in each direction every hour throughout the day, for example.

Its actually an advantage to the average person, versus the white collar induvidual from before. The only reason it wasnt done already is because the systems capitalized on the demand for people to come into and out of downtown for their 9 to 5 jobs, and there wasnt sufficient space on the track to also offer bi directional service at the same time. You lose some ridership to take advantage of the maximum ridership demand.

With that commuting out of the way, the system reverts to the next best thing, which is bi directional service.
 

kingkam

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I'm still not sold that telecommuting will be that big a factor in the near term; perhaps moreso 2 decades out.

I could be wrong, its not what I'm seeing for the moment in corporate plans.

That said; should people/business adopt this at a critical mass level AND as a result, people spread further out within urban areas; I expect there will be a very real demand to shorten per-km commute times.

That means one or more of:

- increasing the speed at which trains travel
- new service patterns (express trains)
- shortened routes / new ROW tunnel that subtracts several km from winding routes.

That last one can be especially pricey; the middle one low-cost, but might upset some whose stops would see less service; the top one varies as depending on what speed one is trying to achieve.

Even with 2 day per week office stints, I see the tolerance for 2 hour each way commutes as very low.

Dropping a 2 hour commute to 1 hr 15 changes a lot.

Dropping a 90 minute commute to 45 minutes change more.

But depending on the route in question, that may not come at a modest price.

You hit many key points.

Metrolinx specifically needs to travel faster, and offer way more express routes.

I know changes are coming on lines with double tracking and stuff.
We need express trips from end to end. I would love to be able to use the train from Whitby to Hamilton (stopping only at like 3 stations max along the way), Union to Barrie, Union to Kitchener,
We also need to travel at speeds of minimum of 140KM/H (I know it's not possible in some areas) but come on
Need to offer tax incentives for using transit
Drop the fares by 15%-20%
Need to revamp GO Bus routes and also make them way more direct and much better alternative to the car
 

Urban Sky

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As more service is set to resume in a week or so, do crews need to have qualifying runs to re-qualify again?
I'm pretty sure there are rules after what time period a LE's qualification for parts or the entire network expires, but to put things into perspective: The increase from 36 to 42 departures a week (both directions combined) represents an increase by one-sixth on two of VIA's corridor routes, whereas services everywhere else (e.g. QMO and SWO) remain unchanged, which means that VIA didn't have to reactivate dozens of LEs for this modest service increase.

Also to practice running the train on schedule?
In my own observation, VIA's LEs control very few of the factors which determine whether a train respects its schedule...
 

andrewmaps

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Talking about the Electrification of St. Jerome Commuter Line and VIA HFR new tunnel options - This alignment offers significant improvements to St. Jerome, Mascouche, Candiac and Vaudreuil/Hudson Lines by allowing ALL commuter trains direct access to Gare Centrale, while allowing VIA an even better route to Laval/Quebec City, than the Mount Royal Tunnel would have provided....

New VIA HFR Tunnel.jpg
 

Urban Sky

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Talking about the Electrification of St. Jerome Commuter Line and VIA HFR new tunnel options - This alignment offers significant improvements to St. Jerome, Mascouche, Candiac and Vaudreuil/Hudson Lines by allowing ALL commuter trains direct access to Gare Centrale, while allowing VIA an even better route to Laval/Quebec City, than the Mount Royal Tunnel would have provided....

View attachment 329447
You may want to look up Avenue Atwater and Rue du Fort on Google StreetView, as both will be in the way when attempting to dive underground anywhere near where your map indicates the tunnel portal. Similarly, vertical access at Gare Centrale would be a massive problem, as the existing tracks are in the way (i.e. between station concourse and your underground station). And speaking of the underground, have a look at a map of the "Underground City" and the Autoroute Ville-Marie to see all the stuff which has already been dug into the ground:

 

andrewmaps

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Yes - very costly (but quite beneficial!) I was thinking for the tunnel to dive down after Atwater and basically follow the path of the proposed PInk Line - Not sure how much technical work they did on that? The Pink Line presumably had a station under Gare Centrale. But its somewhere to start.
 

Urban Sky

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Yes - very costly (but quite beneficial!) I was thinking for the tunnel to dive down after Atwater and basically follow the path of the proposed PInk Line - Not sure how much technical work they did on that? The Pink Line presumably had a station under Gare Centrale. But its somewhere to start.
I'm afraid you will need to show at least some inclination to consider all three dimensions, if you want me to take your lines on a map serious...
 
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