News   May 27, 2024
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VIA Rail

And this is why via is floundering as a crown Corp. Their funding and projects are at the whim of current govt. I really think that if the corridor can sustain themselves and can be propped up for the first few years they should privatize and get off this hostage train

There's no case for privatization. All you Asia railfans need to understand the difference between Canada and Asia. Starting with the fact that those "rail companies" are also major developers and property owners. Something which a privatized VIA would not have when cut loose. A privatized VIA would see services cut substantially and immediately. Projects like HFR would be toast. And they would be back to relying on freight co tracks.
 
There's no case for privatization. All you Asia railfans need to understand the difference between Canada and Asia. Starting with the fact that those "rail companies" are also major developers and property owners. Something which a privatized VIA would not have when cut loose. A privatized VIA would see services cut substantially and immediately. Projects like HFR would be toast. And they would be back to relying on freight co tracks.

I'd go further - any government wanting to privatize VIA basically wanted to kill it.

AoD
 
I'd go further - any government wanting to privatize VIA basically wanted to kill it.

AoD
Well in England, private companies bid to provide services to certain corridors.

And there are mandates as to minimum service requirements for certain routes.

But in that case the corridor is owned by the government.
 
Well in England, private companies bid to provide services to certain corridors.

And there are mandates as to minimum service requirements for certain routes.

But in that case the corridor is owned by the government.

The most important bit. A private VIA wouldn't have that in Canada.

I'm sick of this bullshit about, "But Japan....", "But Hong Kong...", "But UK....", "But France....", "But German..." which all absolutely ignore the context in which VIA exists and operates.
 
The most important bit. A private VIA wouldn't have that in Canada.

I'm sick of this bullshit about, "But Japan....", "But Hong Kong...", "But UK....", "But France....", "But German..." which all absolutely ignore the context in which VIA exists and operates.
I can certainly get behind a suggestion to change VIA’s lack of a legislated mandate, but I agree - people who suggest magic silver bullets are ignoring the reality of the current context.

- Paul
 
I can certainly get behind a suggestion to change VIA’s lack of a legislated mandate, but I agree - people who suggest magic silver bullets are ignoring the reality of the current context.

- Paul

Legislation would help. But it's also a bit of a silver bullet to far too many railfans. There's no real substitute for investment. And since we have to learn to walk before we run, people have to expect that our first large projects will be expensive, less value for money than elsewhere and probably less service. We need to get through HFR because that is the only way. Success builds on success.
 
I'd go further - any government wanting to privatize VIA basically wanted to kill it.

AoD
well i dont know what the better poison is... have successive govts flip flop what ever plan, or bit the bullet, endure a few years and hopefully be self sustaining.. besides,,, will it actually be a start from scratch situation where the next day via owns nothing? i would think the govt would have a deal to prop up via or the corridor for a number of years like they do for bbr until theyre on their feet. Also whats stopping Via from entering the development busniness themselves? Do they not have enough cash to start? Just because they havnt done it before doesnt mean they cant start somewhere. this status quo sit on our hands is
not really helping things, especially if they have grand plans that rely on a highly unstable govt.
 
well i dont know what the better poison is... have successive govts flip flop what ever plan, or bit the bullet, endure a few years and hopefully be self sustaining.. besides,,, will it actually be a start from scratch situation where the next day via owns nothing? i would think the govt would have a deal to prop up via or the corridor for a number of years like they do for bbr until theyre on their feet. Also whats stopping Via from entering the development busniness themselves? Do they not have enough cash to start? Just because they havnt done it before doesnt mean they cant start somewhere. this status quo sit on our hands is
not really helping things, especially if they have grand plans that rely on a highly unstable govt.
In addition to questionable orthography and grammar, you don't seem to grasp that no private railroad is going to accept the obligation to run intercity passenger rail services over infrastructure without any guaranteed dispatching quality (and without financial compensation for dispatching non-performance). Similarly, all of VIA's funding comes from the federal government and you can see with the drama around HFR how tedious it is to extract money from it to invest even into projects with excellent value-for-money...
 
In addition to questionable orthography and grammar, you don't seem to grasp that no private railroad is going to accept the obligation to run intercity passenger rail services over infrastructure without any guaranteed dispatching quality (and without financial compensation for dispatching non-performance). Similarly, all of VIA's funding comes from the federal government and you can see with the drama around HFR how tedious it is to extract money from it to invest even into projects with excellent value-for-money...
Doesnt mean that new legislation that addresses your above concerns cant be tabled and passed. Unfortunately CP and CN just has them by the balls and the feds have no spine to break free of them.
 
Legislation would help. But it's also a bit of a silver bullet to far too many railfans. There's no real substitute for investment. And since we have to learn to walk before we run, people have to expect that our first large projects will be expensive, less value for money than elsewhere and probably less service. We need to get through HFR because that is the only way. Success builds on success.

I have no illusions, but giving VIA the legal right to sign contracts and borrow money (against its own assets, rather than as federal government debt) might open some doors. As would being able to set its own service plans without a trip to the Minister's office.

Of course, that might be offset by a less generous subdsidy - and that would be lethal in many respects.

Just so long as we don't paint the status quo as a reasonable and sensible strategy, I can live with it over other alternatives. The devil you know, I guess....

- Paul
 
Doesnt mean that new legislation that addresses your above concerns cant be tabled and passed. Unfortunately CP and CN just has them by the balls and the feds have no spine to break free of them.

Has it occured to you that meaningful new legislation often has a price tag attached (and conversely, meaningless legislations designed for posturing often doesn't)? Laws aren't the panacea if you aren't doing anything with it.

See @crs1026 - he said it best.

Fundamentally at this point in time passenger rail in Canada is a money-losing business - there is no business case for a national private operator unless and until there is a critical mass of ridership. Also, keep in mind why VIA started in the first place - basically as the chunks that private (and soon to be private) rail operators didn't want to deal with.

AoD
 
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Has it occured to you that meaningful new legislation often has a price tag attached (and conversely, meaningless legislations designed for posturing often doesn't)? Laws aren't the panacea if you aren't doing anything with it.

See @crs1026 - he said it best.

Fundamentally at this point in time passenger rail in Canada is a money-losing business - there is no business case for a national private operator unless and until there is a critical mass of ridership. Also, keep in mind why VIA started in the first place - basically as the chunks that private (and soon to be private) rail operators didn't want to deal with.

AoD
Why does it have to be national? Can it not be separated on regional lines? Why cant the corridor service be sold/privatized off and the other regsions stillr remain under via control until they have the means?
There was an earlier comment on "walk before run" but when via is essentially shackled in the play pen by the feds and only let out to play a few hours a day, with no walking or running possible. That is the most frustrating part.
 
Why does it have to be national? Can it not be separated on regional lines? Why cant the corridor service be sold/privatized off and the other regsions stillr remain under via control until they have the means?
There was an earlier comment on "walk before run" but when via is essentially shackled in the play pen by the feds and only let out to play a few hours a day, with no walking or running possible. That is the most frustrating part.

Because why would any sane business want these parts that requires even more subsidies? They are non-viable without government funding. Like @kEiThZ said, don't salivate at other countries without understanding their contexts.

AoD
 
I have no illusions, but giving VIA the legal right to sign contracts and borrow money (against its own assets, rather than as federal government debt) might open some doors. As would being able to set its own service plans without a trip to the Minister's office.

Of course, that might be offset by a less generous subdsidy - and that would be lethal in many respects.

Just so long as we don't paint the status quo as a reasonable and sensible strategy, I can live with it over other alternatives. The devil you know, I guess....

- Paul
I'm not convinced they would have enough assets to give them access to much capital. And you are right - why would the government continue with subsidies at the current level or formula if it was able to raise its own money.
 
Why does it have to be national? Can it not be separated on regional lines? Why cant the corridor service be sold/privatized off and the other regsions stillr remain under via control until they have the means?
There was an earlier comment on "walk before run" but when via is essentially shackled in the play pen by the feds and only let out to play a few hours a day, with no walking or running possible. That is the most frustrating part.
The revenue from corridor service offsets the costs of the regional and remote services. I can't think of one that would ever get to the point of 'having the means' without raising fares to non-viable levels. So long as we have the population density and distribution that we have, passenger rail will always be a money loser. Heck, even urban commuter transit requires public funds.
 

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