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VIA Rail

roger1818

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Think about this. Right now it takes about 5 Minutes to fill your car plus another 5 to pay inside.
During the summer there are lineups for this.

When you go to electric that becomes 40-50 minutes. How long do you think you will need to wait to charge your car?

That's not a concern for you?

We are getting way off topic, but have you actually owned an EV? You verbiage sounds more like the uneducated FUD spread by the fossil fuel lobby groups, than by someone who actually knows anything about driving an EV. In the real world, you graze feed your EV whenever you are stopped rather than making a special trip to binge feed it

Even if you consider a pitiful mileage of 4 km/kWh (most can do over 6), charging for 25 minutes at even just 150 kW will give you 250 km of extra range. Using a 350kW charger (which EVs are starting to support), things will go even faster.The key is putting charging stations where you are wanting to stop anyway in sufficient numbers to meet demand.

I agree we need to get more people out of their cars and into trains, but the hours you save in your daily life not having to go out of your way to go to a gas station to fill up every week more than makes up for any small amount of time you might waste on a road trip charging.
 

kEiThZ

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Think about this. Right now it takes about 5 Minutes to fill your car plus another 5 to pay inside.
During the summer there are lineups for this.

When you go to electric that becomes 40-50 minutes. How long do you think you will need to wait to charge your car?

That's not a concern for you?

This is getting off topic for this thread. But I want to correct some of your assumptions here (which mostly seem to be based on decade old information). The biggest one is that past == future.

1) 800V architecture in newer electric cars substantially speeds up charging. 150 kW charging is normal now. That means 15-20 mins of charging for the average driver at an OnRoute stop, for the average trip. There's vehicles that are capable of 350 kW charging too. That would mean 5-10 mins to get the charge they need to get to their destination.

2) Charging networks are building to accomodate higher rates. Most charging networks are building stalls capable of 150 kW or higher for their fast chargers. The higher the speeds, the more cars they can charge. They balance that against the number of chargers they install. And of course, governments are giving generous subsidies to expand charging networks quickly. There's not much risk of waiting for a charger, today, unless it's some kind of holiday weekend. And even that problem will be solved in due course.

3) EV drivers don't drive like gas car drivers. Charging is concurrent. You plug in while doing something else. In this case, while getting a snack and using the facilities. Charge speeds only have to be high enough to get you to your next stop. Given that a 15-20 min stop on a 150 kW charger will get most cars at least 150 km of range, and given that most EVs these days have > 400 km of range, this means going from Toronto to Montreal only needs 1-2 stops of 15-20 mins along the way today. Chances are you'd make those stops anyway. Especially if you have kids in the car.....

4) Technology is improving rapidly. The 2011 Nissan Leaf had 120 km of range. The 2021 Nissan Leaf has over 350 km of range. Range and charging speeds keep going up, while costs keep going down. By the end of the decade, the average EV (not high end Teslas) will have 500-600 km of range, 800V architectures for fast charging, and cost the same as a gas equivalent. The high end cars (like Teslas) will have 1000 km of range and be capable of charging at > 350 kW. They won't need to stop between Toronto and Quebec City, at all. That's where this tech is going. Heck, there's already EVs with over 800 km of range.


Now. All of the above said, EVs don't solve all the other externalities associated with cars, beyond tailpipe emissions. They don't solve low density suburban sprawl. They don't solve obesity from sitting in your car for 2 hrs per day. And most relevant to this thread, they don't solve traffic. The GTA will have 8 million by the end of the decade. Ottawa-Gatineau will be at 1.5M. Montreal will be closer to 5M. And a lot of the growth in all these metros will happen along the corridors that facilitate travel between these metros. The 401, 416, 417 and the 20 are going to be congested going between these cities. This is why HFR will be needed. Electric or gas, sitting in your car for 6-7 hrs sucks.
 
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cplchanb

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From the description in the previously video @SaugeenJunction posted, here is another video of it being tested at high speed.

OT but why do they need to blow the horn even in gated crossings? Seems redundant and obsolete.

also the lighted engine area is tacky imo... who wants to see a bling bling motor at night?
 

Bordercollie

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From the description in the previously video @SaugeenJunction posted, here is another video of it being tested at high speed.


OT but why do they need to blow the horn even in gated crossings? Seems redundant and obsolete.

also the lighted engine area is tacky imo... who wants to see a bling bling motor at night?
Think of the number of crossing incidents involving people going around gates and even with the horn blaring?

It's probably not enough to stop stupid people.
 

roger1818

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also the lighted engine area is tacky imo... who wants to see a bling bling motor at night?

Only the later clips have the engine area lit. Makes me wonder if someone was either in the engine area at the time or they forgot to turn the light off when they left.
 
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Urban Sky

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OT but why do they need to blow the horn even in gated crossings? Seems redundant and obsolete.
You can read all about Quiet Zones here:
Most people don’t think about the crossing and the train whistle unless they happen to live next to a crossing. Then, particularly at night, the train horn can disrupt sleep and create a general livability issue.

The Federal Rail Administration (FRA) started allowing the creation of “quiet zones”. These are crossings where improvements have been made to allow the train to proceed without using the horn, except in emergencies. Many cities have been able to reduce the train horns in their communities through this process.

To be considered for a quiet zone, the crossing must meet these minimum requirements:

[…]

Upgrading one or more crossings to quiet zone status is expensive – typically more than $250,000. Improvements on the road, such as adding a channelizing device, further increase the cost.
 
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cplchanb

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You can read all about Quiet Zones here:

hmmm interesting.
IIRC markham recently made all their crossings no horn, so I guess they were all classified as quiet zones
 

Urban Sky

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You can read all about Quiet Zones here:

I’ve been made aware in the meanwhile that Transport Canada has its own guidelines and application process in place:
 

Urban Sky

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Based on everything I know, 5-hour Montreal-Toronto travel times, even with frequent service, won't boost ridership much without significantly higher fare subsidies than today. Thus making me wonder if the sudden appearance of the by-pass is because of institutional concerns. Though if it only saves half-an-hour or less, as we discussed above, I still doubt it's enough.
Every analysis can only be as relevant as the data from which it is derived is: You seem to base your entire line of argument on the financial figures which are provided in VIA's Annual Reports and these indeed show for its Corridor services a per-passenger subsidy of $30 per passenger pre-pandemic:
1639252684939.png

Source: VIA Rail Annual Report 2019 (p.9)

So, clearly, if VIA already loses $30 per passenger, then it stands to bleed even more taxpayer money when increasing its services, unless the utility it provides to its passengers increases on a scale which can only be achieved by cutting at least one, if not: almost two hours from the journey time between Montreal and Toronto, right? It's notoriously difficult to predict the future, even more so if you don't have access to VIA's internal data, but let's use the little data that is readily available. Therefore, given that VIA expanded its Corridor services steadily in the 5 years leading to the pandemic, we should expect that its operating costs have increased considerably.

Well, let's have a look at what happened between 2014 and 2019. As train-mileage increased in the Corridor by 16.5%, passenger-miles increased by 22.4%, passenger counts by 34.1% and revenues by even 49% (or still 37.4%, after adjusting for inflation). At the same time, costs increased by 15.3% 20.4%, which shrinks to only 6.2% 11.0% once you adjust it for inflation:
1639631503066.png


The above table shows that for every percentage point increase of train mileage in the Corridor, ridership increased by 2.1% and revenues (adjusted for inflation) by 2.3%, while costs only rose by 0.4% 0.7% and the deficit decreased by 2% 1.4%. At the same time, it shows that two factors were certainly not responsible for this surge in ridership: travel times (which increased by 2.9% for average travel times and 5.6% for minimum travel times) and on-time performance (which slipped by 8 percentage-points).


The reason why the figures you are apparently using fail to explain VIA's performance between 2014 and 2019 is that you seemingly struggle to understand the differences between Management Accounting reporting and Financial Accounting reporting, which is summarized below:

Management accounting is a field of accounting that analyzes and provides cost information to the internal management for the purposes of planning, controlling and decision making.

[...]

Managerial accounting is concerned with providing information to managers i.e. people inside an organization who direct and control its operations. In contrast, financial accounting is concerned with providing information to stockholders, creditors, and others who are outside an organization. Managerial accounting provides the essential data with which organizations are actually run. Financial accounting provides the scorecard by which a company’s past performance is judged.

In short, Financial Accounting reports (like the tables from VIA's Annual Report) concern the past performance and provide answers for questions like "How much did VIA cost the taxpayer last year?". Conversely, Management Accounting reports inform decisions by answering questions like: "If we expanded our Montreal-Ottawa service next year, would our operating deficit increase or decrease?". Unfortunately, Managerial Accounting reports are notoriously difficult to obtain as they are generally considered commercially sensitive (ask the poor guy who has tried to obtain VIA's HFR studies through an Access-to-Information request!).

Nevertheless, given that one of the most central differences between both philosophies is the treatment of overhead and other fixed costs (Financial Accounting seeks to somehow allocate them across the various activities in the least arbitrary way possible, whereas Management Accounting ignores them as "sunk costs" which remain unchanged by whichever change in the output of the activities is studied), we can use the one report in which VIA actually separates the direct costs and revenues from its indirect costs and revenues. These figures, published in its Corporate Plans rather than its Annual Reports, show us that VIA's Corridor services actually recover 135.5% of their direct operating costs, which allowed it to contribute $77 million towards VIA's massive overhead costs, thus reducing its burden to the taxpayer by that same amount. Therefore, VIA's Corridor services generate a positive cashflow of $17 per passenger [$77.0 million / 4,782,493 passengers in 2018], rather than making it lose $30 or whatever figure you were looking at:

1585527242974-png.238779

Compiled from: VIA Rail's Summary of the Corporate Plan and Annual Plans 2017 and 2018
Note: Re-post from post #6,707


***


With all of that said, what's the implication here? The only thing which holds VIA's Corridor services in the red is the massive amount of overheads and other non-direct costs it absorbs. The growth path shown between 2014 and 2019 demonstrates that there clearly is a way for VIA to outgrow its non-direct costs by increasing its services further - without the need for massively reducing its travel times at a great expense. All it needs is the infrastructure access and fleet to do so - and these are exactly the gaps which HFR would fill...


Have a good night!

Update (2021-12-16): I've corrected a mistake in my table, which understated VIA's costs (and thus also: deficit) in 2019 by $20 million, which led to a few minor corrections in the text, as shown above....
 
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Bordercollie

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One thing I can't understand is why does VIA stop at Aldershot and not Burlington? Is it because bus connections depart from Aldershot?
So then why did GO decide to have Niagara buses leave from Burlington? And Burlington has a bigger station than Aldershot. There has to be better planning to consolidate these services.
 

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