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VIA Rail

The Corridor can be split off. But....

1) It's still not profitable. HFR was supposed to make only Corridor East financially sustainable. And that's after $4-6B (now $10-12B) in capital investment.

2) Taking away the Corridor could substantially amplify the cumulative losses from other VIA operations. Compelling cuts or fare increases elsewhere. I'm sure this sounds fine to Torontonians. Most of the country's voters aren't in Toronto though.

Put it this way, would you be okay with downtown Toronto residents advocating for the separation of the subway and bus network just to improve subway construction financing? How well would that idea poll across the 416?
 
The Corridor can be split off. But....

1) It's still not profitable. HFR was supposed to make only Corridor East financially sustainable. And that's after $4-6B (now $10-12B) in capital investment.

2) Taking away the Corridor could substantially amplify the cumulative losses from other VIA operations. Compelling cuts or fare increases elsewhere. I'm sure this sounds fine to Torontonians. Most of the country's voters aren't in Toronto though.

Put it this way, would you be okay with downtown Toronto residents advocating for the separation of the subway and bus network just to improve subway construction financing? How well would that idea poll across the 416?

I agree w/the substance of what you're saying; but think its important to add, however, sadly, that VIA rail simply isn't a voting issue to most Canadians.
Service is anemic or absent in most of the country.

The only voters outside the corridor for whom VIA is a voting issue are those using the remote services, and perhaps the odd maritimer; but that's really only a handful of seats.
Therein lies one of the great challenges for VIA, how to be politically relevant, when material service is absent from the majority of the country's geography.
 
Therein lies one of the great challenges for VIA, how to be politically relevant, when material service is absent from the majority of the country's geography.

Improving linkages between core cities where it makes sense to is pretty much the only way - that's where the majority of the population (hence potential support) resides.

AoD
 
Improving linkages between core cities where it makes sense to is pretty much the only way - that's where the majority of the population (hence potential support) resides.

AoD
But there are other cities that need more service and maybe they can build more "corridors" between them.

Like Calgary to Edmonton.
Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise
Toronto to North Bay or Sudbury
North Bay to Winnipeg
Toronto to Niagara Falls
Toronto to Chicago
 
But there are other cities that need more service and maybe they can build more "corridors" between them.

Like Calgary to Edmonton.
Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise
Toronto to North Bay or Sudbury
North Bay to Winnipeg
Toronto to Niagara Falls
Toronto to Chicago
Cities and people require "mobility" (i.e. the ability to get from A to B in a convenient and affordable manner), not "rail transportation" (or any other mode of transportation). The purpose of rail (and any other mode of transportation) is to provide transportation services wherever they can be provided profitably (i.e. after government involvement through regulation, taxation and subsidies). Therefore, there is no market for rail services on routes like Toronto-North Bay/Sudbury, Sudbury-Winnipeg or Edmonton-Calgary, where passenger rail service would inevitably be less convenient (i.e. less frequent, reliable and fast) than the established modes (driving, bus and often also: the airplane)...
 
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Cities and people require "mobility" (i.e. the ability to get from A to B in a convenient and affordable manner), not "rail transportation" (or any other mode of transportation).

Agreed.

The purpose of rail (and any other mode of transportation) is to provide transportation services wherever they can be provided profitably (i.e. after government involvement through regulation, taxation and subsidies).

While I understand your point, I do think its awkwardly worded. Profitable and subsidized aren't typically used to describe the same thing (though, in all truth, they often go tightly together).

But also I question whether purpose from the point of view of society goes w/the word profit. The link to profit is tied to the provider (particularly a private-sector provider).

Therefore, there is no market for rail services on routes like Toronto-North Bay/Sudbury, Sudbury-Winnipeg or Edmonton-Calgary, where passenger rail service would inevitably be less convenient (i.e. less frequent, reliable and fast) than the established modes (driving, bus and often also: the airplane)...

Well.........

There is no profitable market, based on the current subsidy and current infrastructure on offer would seem a more accurate statement.
Its entirely fair to say, that VIA cannot raises its profile or improve its financial position by running the services discussed above, in the absence of greater subsidy and infrastructure investment.

That's 100% true.

Clearly VIA would not make money running Toronto-Sudbury or North Bay - Winnipeg as things stand. Neither of those services could turn a profit currently, and even if much better and faster service were able to be achieved, its rather unlikely the services would break even.

But some of the discussed pairings, Edmonton-Calgary for sure; and Calgary-Banff could be popular, and politically advantageous to operate; particularly the latter, relative to required investment.
Edmonton-Calgary almost certainly requires a substantial investment (HSR/HFR++) to be competitive w/current trip offers, and providing that is a political choice, not one open to VIA.

****

I do think its important to make a delineation here.

There are services which don't make financial sense to operate for VIA in the current circumstances, with the current subsidy available.
But some of those services do make sense with the right investments, and there is a case to be made for those; its just that the choice to get there is made at a level above VIA staff/management.
Some people here would argue though, and I might be one, that its incumbent on VIA management to make that case proactively; and not to let its network atrophy with what might be perceived to be a certain degree of apathy.
 
Ever heard of climate change?

I have some doubts as to how climate friendly running a route with fundamentally low ridership (with little potential for increase, given the size of populations involved and demand) will be, relative to transporting the same number of individuals with electric vehicles. And if you decide to electrify the route (which comes at a huge capital cost, but let's entertain that for a moment), you'd have to take into account the lifecycle GHG emissions of doing that as well.

Different problems requires different solutions - and rail isn't it for everything; it simply can't be competitive in all settings in a highly dispersed country like ours.

AoD
 
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I had to show the other haft VIA Rail Campbellton Station that I first saw in 2014 on our trip in July. Always looking for stations on our trips if we had the time, but not this trip.

The trains will have to be spotted since some platforms are very short in the first place.. These stations will see a weekly train starting on Aug 14

Don't know if there was another station for the town or how the current one is in a strip mall on the main street compare to others I have see.
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Bathurst NB
Assuming the old one was torn down or moved to current location as I could not find it in 2014. The signs show the way and then disappear back in 2014.
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Heritage La Pocatière VIA Rail Station Built 1859 By The Grand Trunk Railway
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That's a pretty area of Quebec. Anybody know what the 'wig-wag' looking signals are (were?) for?

The tower would have held semaphores where "order boards" would have been installed - a dropped board (a semaphore) would have told the crew to stop the train and get fresh orders for the section ahead from the station agent (slow orders, take a siding to allow another train to pass, etc.).

These look like level crossing flashers put up where the old order boards were. The only reason I could see something like that would be a passenger or staff activated signal to indicate that a passenger seeks to board - a flag stop. They wouldn't be red, in this case, they'd have to be white or blue to indicate they are not a regular signal.

That's my best guess.
 
New website for HFR!


Good find!

Not much there yet........

The commitment under their 'what's happening now' section is as follows:

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