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VIA Rail

crs1026

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^One nit to pick.... the Pontiac route is not really a separate "service" but just an extension of the Chicago trains. To me this is indicative that Detroiters don't have much of a habit of coming downtown for a train (...yet...) it's more like VIA customers using the former through trains that offered stops at Oshawa, Union, and Aldershot.

It's possible to theorise a service that uses Ford as the central terminal, but it really isn't as yet.

But that does suggest that a VIA train would need to terminate at Detroit and through passengers would transfer.

- Paul
 

roger1818

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We're veering well into the hypothetical here, but...

Keep in mind that at this time only one of the two bores of the tunnel is being used - the northerly one.

I don't know what the condition of the southern bore is right now (I don't believe that it has been used since the early 1990s), but it seems to me that barring any major structural issues it would make more sense to dedicate it to any hypothetical cross-border VIA service as its clearances have not been raised like they have on the northern bore. And considering the proximity of the tunnel entrance to the station, therefore it would make more sense to me to have a separate platform (or platforms) on the south side of the mainline dedicated to this hypothetical cross-border service. Doing so would allow for more freedom of scheduling with the freights, as they wouldn't be directly interfacing with them as much.

Dan

Interesting. Even if they did build a separate platform on the south side of Michigan Central, the passenger trains would still need to cross over the tracks to get to Windsor's Train Station. Another theoretical option is that CP is hoping to get money from Amtrak to refurbish (and enlarge) the southerly bore to increase capacity so that Amtrak can use the tunnel. Then, even if the northerly bore was reserved exclusively for passenger use during the day (probably not necessary), CP would still see an increase in capacity since they could use both bores at night.

Why would they only use one tunnel? Is there not enough demand for both tunnels to be used?

If as @smallspy suggests. it hasn't been enlarged for double stacks and autoracks, it may not have been worth the cost of enlarging it, but if they can get Amtrak to pay for it...
 

smallspy

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Why would they only use one tunnel? Is there not enough demand for both tunnels to be used?
Two reasons - one, traffic levels aren't high enough to require the use of both tracks. And the second, only the northern bore has been enlarged to handle larger rolling stock, largely due to the first.

Interesting. Even if they did build a separate platform on the south side of Michigan Central, the passenger trains would still need to cross over the tracks to get to Windsor's Train Station. Another theoretical option is that CP is hoping to get money from Amtrak to refurbish (and enlarge) the southerly bore to increase capacity so that Amtrak can use the tunnel. Then, even if the northerly bore was reserved exclusively for passenger use during the day (probably not necessary), CP would still see an increase in capacity since they could use both bores at night.
Well, maybe this is the second part of the hypothetical....

Why remain at Walkerville?

VIA has made mention of using the CP tracks for many years to access Windsor, as they are a little bit closer to downtown than the former CN station was. (I don't know why, it'd never seemed that much further to me.) CP currently crosses the Chatham Sub at Ringold at grade, and at a fairly oblique angle, meaning that a connection track would not be hard to add, and it could even be done as a reasonably high-speed connection.

Dan
 

Bordercollie

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Two reasons - one, traffic levels aren't high enough to require the use of both tracks. And the second, only the northern bore has been enlarged to handle larger rolling stock, largely due to the first.


Well, maybe this is the second part of the hypothetical....

Why remain at Walkerville?

VIA has made mention of using the CP tracks for many years to access Windsor, as they are a little bit closer to downtown than the former CN station was. (I don't know why, it'd never seemed that much further to me.) CP currently crosses the Chatham Sub at Ringold at grade, and at a fairly oblique angle, meaning that a connection track would not be hard to add, and it could even be done as a reasonably high-speed connection.

Dan
Could you not build a track facing the station at the WYE?

1643134098213.png
 

roger1818

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Could you not build a track facing the station at the WYE?

View attachment 376713

The way I see it there are three ways for VIA to get to Detroit:
  1. Build a wye as you proposed.
  2. Not bother with the wye and back in/out of the station when going from/to Detroit.
  3. Bypass the station in Windsor (possibly building a new station) and use CP's Windsor Sub west of the junction with VIA's Chatham Sub, as @smallspy suggested.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
 

Bordercollie

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The way I see it there are three ways for VIA to get to Detroit:
  1. Build a wye as you proposed.
  2. Not bother with the wye and back in/out of the station when going from/to Detroit.
  3. Bypass the station in Windsor (possibly building a new station) and use CP's Windsor Sub west of the junction with VIA's Chatham Sub, as @smallspy suggested.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Not serving Windsor would defeat the purpose.
 

dowlingm

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Well, maybe this is the second part of the hypothetical....

Why remain at Walkerville?

VIA has made mention of using the CP tracks for many years to access Windsor, as they are a little bit closer to downtown than the former CN station was. (I don't know why, it'd never seemed that much further to me.) CP currently crosses the Chatham Sub at Ringold at grade, and at a fairly oblique angle, meaning that a connection track would not be hard to add, and it could even be done as a reasonably high-speed connection.
The City of Windsor and Transport Canada did a "Community Based Strategic Rail Study" in 2008. Several options revolved around relocation of VIA to the CP, removal of the Chatham west of Ringold in favour of using the Windsor Sub, or a dogleg onto the CASO sub (or further, removing CASO sub too!)

Study can be found on this page: https://www.citywindsor.ca/resident.../transportation-studies,-eas-and-reports.aspx
Press write-up: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/windsor-star/20081028/281560876624764
 

DirectionNorth

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The way I see it there are three ways for VIA to get to Detroit:
  1. Build a wye as you proposed.
  2. Not bother with the wye and back in/out of the station when going from/to Detroit.
  3. Bypass the station in Windsor (possibly building a new station) and use CP's Windsor Sub west of the junction with VIA's Chatham Sub, as @smallspy suggested.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
What would be the disadvantages of the wye?
 

crs1026

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What would be the disadvantages of the wye?

Possible land acquisition costs, plus the need to change ends at Windsor, plus more complext signalling.

For the short distance required, and assuming use of double ended VIA Siemens trainsets, backing out would be an acceptable alternative. Moving the depot might be in the same cost ballpark.

- Paul
 

Bordercollie

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Possible land acquisition costs, plus the need to change ends at Windsor, plus more complext signalling.

For the short distance required, and assuming use of double ended VIA Siemens trainsets, backing out would be an acceptable alternative. Moving the depot might be in the same cost ballpark.

- Paul
Moving Windsor station would cost the same as building a WYE?

And who's land are they going to build a station on? There are no buildings where the wye would be so why would that be so expensive?

You could ask CP to build it and they would recoup the costs through track fees.

The bigger issue is will ETR be cooperative to allowing passenger trains on their network and what it would cost to connect it to VIA or Amtrak CTC system.
 

roger1818

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You could ask CP to build it and they would recoup the costs through track fees.

The money VIA pays to the freight railways to use their tracks covers little more than the costs of having the trains on the tracks. Even if they make a bit of money from it, it will hurt their Profit Margin (which is a key performance indicator), as it isn't as profitable as moving freight. That is why the railways will often cut routes that are only slightly profitable and focus on the highly profitable ones.
 

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