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VIA Rail

roger1818

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Previous to COVID there where some trains that ended at Pickering and used that platform.

Thanks. I assume that Pickering was the transfer point between express trains and local trains. If so, that is a rather inconvenient transfer having to cross CN's mainline. A much better option would be for GO to have tracks on the opposite sides of the platforms, allowing for an easy cross platform transfer. The 4 tracks would still only need to feed into double tracks as you would have the express train leave first and then the local train could follow it.

Not to say they wouldn't be able to connect the east end of the platform to the mainline.

Agreed.
 

kEiThZ

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Durham Region is over half a million people, and there are many business and professional users who already use VIA for travel to Ottawa and Montreal. A slower, less frequent freight-friendly service on the Lakeshore line isn’t sufficient for this market. Seems inevitable that service will suffer.

Some may see that as an acceptable tradeoff to get better service downtown to downtown. I don’t have an easy answer but I don’t think people should downplay the impacts that the switch will have.
Can't have those half a million holding a metro area of millions hostage, over maybe 30-50 mins more travel time.

Also, Pickering to Union is 45 mins. As long as HFR from Union to Ottawa and Montreal cuts 45 mins from current schedules, it might actually be worthwhile to backtrack and transfer. Especially after Lakeshore East gets the RER treatment. That's assuming they don't implement some kind of transit feeder service to the GTA East station.
 

roger1818

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So long as VIA is serving Oshawa, I don’t see the need to add a stop in Pickering… GO service provides an excellent connection for each of Ajax, Whitby, and Pickering.

The challenge for Durham is that Durham Transit is a relative late bloomer. It’s developing, but it may not be as good as one might want to support VIA, especially once VIA moves to the northern route. As pointed out, a station wher.e HFR meets the 407 could have good last-mile transit connections to several hubs in Durham.

I hope that the Mayor’s conversation was with respect to HFR…. Durham Region is over half a million people, and there are many business and professional users who already use VIA for travel to Ottawa and Montreal. A slower, less frequent freight-friendly service on the Lakeshore line isn’t sufficient for this market. Seems inevitable that service will suffer.

Some may see that as an acceptable tradeoff to get better service downtown to downtown. I don’t have an easy answer but I don’t think people should downplay the impacts that the switch will have.

- Paul

Would it make sense for GO to offer some type of circle bus route (using the 407 most of the way) that inter connects all of the GO routes, allowing you to connect from one to another without having to go downtown? In that case, having an HFR stop at the 407 would certainly make sense.
 

DirectionNorth

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Can't have those half a million holding a metro area of millions hostage, over maybe 30-50 mins more travel time.

Also, Pickering to Union is 45 mins. As long as HFR from Union to Ottawa and Montreal cuts 45 mins from current schedules, it might actually be worthwhile to backtrack and transfer. Especially after Lakeshore East gets the RER treatment. That's assuming they don't implement some kind of transit feeder service to the GTA East station.
Would a Durham stop really take an extra 30-50 minutes?
 

crs1026

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Would it make sense for GO to offer some type of circle bus route (using the 407 most of the way) that inter connects all of the GO routes, allowing you to connect from one to another without having to go downtown? In that case, having an HFR stop at the 407 would certainly make sense.

I think this is the most practical solution, and it might be a model for other locations. And a good place to break down some of the bureaucratic mindset that seems to creep in between various levels.

- Paul
 

crs1026

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Can't have those half a million holding a metro area of millions hostage, over maybe 30-50 mins more travel time.

Also, Pickering to Union is 45 mins. As long as HFR from Union to Ottawa and Montreal cuts 45 mins from current schedules, it might actually be worthwhile to backtrack and transfer. Especially after Lakeshore East gets the RER treatment. That's assuming they don't implement some kind of transit feeder service to the GTA East station.

“Hostage” is a bit dramatic. It’s not smart politically or marketing wise to put a half million people is a situation where they are telling friends and neighbours “we used to have good service, but not any more” (They may in turn say it a lot more dramatically than that).

I can see that reaction being something that places like Cornwall will have to swallow, but Durham is just too big - and has too many federal seats and potential riders at stake - to take that attitude there.

VIA is too fragile an institution for any of its services to accept erosion in service standards. Some trade offs are inevitable with HFR, but making do with less has far too often been the attitude towards VIA for decades and it can’t ever be encouraged or accepted as a workable solution. Slower trains win’t sell tickets, either.

I do hope some sort of last-mile solution is Possible here

- Paul
 

kEiThZ

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Maybe drop Guildwood from Via and move to Pickering??? But then there is no Via station in Eastern Toronto.

VIA needs a station in the East End that is inside TTC coverage. And with the Eglinton East LRT coming along, it needs to connect to that. Even VIA Guildwood should eventually be moved to Eglinton.

I question whether Pickering actually needs a VIA stop. It's 20 mins on Lakeshore East to Oshawa. 15 mins to Guildwood. And RER means a train coming every 15 mins. This means the most that can be saved from a VIA stop in Pickering itself is about 20 mins, the maximum connection time to Oshawa plus the added stops on GO.

Maybe if Guildwood is moved to Eglinton, it'll make sense to add a station in Pickering or Ajax.
 

kEiThZ

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“Hostage” is a bit dramatic. It’s not smart politically or marketing wise to put a half million people is a situation where they are telling friends and neighbours “we used to have good service, but not any more” (They may in turn say it a lot more dramatically than that).

I can see that reaction being something that places like Cornwall will have to swallow, but Durham is just too big - and has too many federal seats and potential riders at stake - to take that attitude there.

Other than Oshawa, Durham has never had any other VIA service, so why would they perceive a huge downgrade?

And if stations get added, a huge chunk of Durham actually sees door-to-door travel times go down. Of course, the folks who live/work near Oshawa would see some degradation.

VIA is too fragile an institution for any of its services to accept erosion in service standards. Some trade offs are inevitable with HFR, but making do with less has far too often been the attitude towards VIA for decades and it can’t ever be encouraged or accepted as a workable solution. Slower trains win’t sell tickets, either.

There's no squaring the circle on this one. For Kingston, Belleville, Cobourg, etc. to get better service, the Lakeshore communities that are in the Toronto shed will have to take a hit.

That said, looking at the rumoured travel times for HFR, it actually might be worthwhile to drive to GTA East (assuming 407 and Donald Cousens) from just about anywhere in Durham, and take HFR. Will still beat travel times from Oshawa today.

Today:
Oshawa-Ottawa - 4 hrs
Oshawa-Montreal 4.5 hrs

HFR:
GTA East-Ottawa - 3 hrs
GTA East-Montreal - 4 hrs
Oshawa-GTA East - 30 mins
 

crs1026

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Other than Oshawa, Durham has never had any other VIA service, so why would they perceive a huge downgrade?

And if stations get added, a huge chunk of Durham actually sees door-to-door travel times go down. Of course, the folks who live/work near Oshawa would see some degradation.

I think we’re agreeing that a single HFR stop somewhere in Durham would work just fine, given decent last-mile opportunities. I would hate to see it become GO Station-like with a huge parking lot, but given it’s suburban I suspect many people would expect to drive to the station. All the same, VIA might be able to extract commitment for better local transit connections as a quid pro quo.

It’s the potential for not having a stop, and suggesting that people backtrack to Toronto, that would be an unacceptable downgrade. As would having the only option to reach the east being a longer timing with dwell in Kingston. Durham needs to be serviced.within the HFR orbit, even if the options are not as close at hand as today’s Oshawa.

- Paul
 

JasonParis

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VIA needs a station in the East End that is inside TTC coverage. And with the Eglinton East LRT coming along, it needs to connect to that. Even VIA Guildwood should eventually be moved to Eglinton.

I question whether Pickering actually needs a VIA stop. It's 20 mins on Lakeshore East to Oshawa. 15 mins to Guildwood. And RER means a train coming every 15 mins. This means the most that can be saved from a VIA stop in Pickering itself is about 20 mins, the maximum connection time to Oshawa plus the added stops on GO.

Maybe if Guildwood is moved to Eglinton, it'll make sense to add a station in Pickering or Ajax.
Moving VIA to Eglinton makes a good deal of sense for connections. Also, Metrolinx REALLY NEEDS to rename Eglinton and they strangely don't seem to be despite all the current work happening. Cedarbrae could work.
 

kEiThZ

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Moving VIA to Eglinton makes a good deal of sense for connections. Also, Metrolinx REALLY NEEDS to rename Eglinton and they strangely don't seem to be despite all the current work happening. Cedarbrae could work.
Whatever they call out, It's such a better station to connect to other transit, than Guildwood.
 
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Bordercollie

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That makes me think Cedarvale. Are many people familiar with Cedar Brae? Perhaps Bellamy would work better.

Eglinton indeed isn't a great name any more. Not much else around there to name it after - other than Swiss Chalet.
Where is GO building a stop in Durham on the Oshawa extension?

There should be bus shuttles to all three stations to make transfers easier.

Good to know that CP isn't so hostile towards passenger trains on their network.
 

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