News   Dec 06, 2022
 921     2 
News   Dec 06, 2022
 499     1 
News   Dec 06, 2022
 1.8K     2 

VIA Rail

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
8,388
Reaction score
14,830
^They are pitching to local municipalities, which is a good thing but at this point that won’t generate much momentum, or funding. Some ideas are a bit unrealistic - four months to lay the tracks - but if they come forward with some novel financial models, perhaps that could lead to some new interest.

Nothing wrong with keeping the idea on the radar screen. Eventually it could be an election proposal.

- Paul
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
3,436
Location
Montreal
Not much new, but something perhaps of interest to the people following this thread:
What strikes me about this proposal is that they insist that it is "commuter rail" (though I'm willing to forgive any Western Canadians who has forgotten the word "intercity rail" after 30+ years of near-complete deprivation) and that they come up with a surprisingly honest capital cost estimate of $2.2 billion. Given that the service was (to the best of my knowledge) only "indefinitely suspended" (due to the lack of capital funding to fix the countless and accident-prone level crossings along the route), I would still see such a service still falling into VIA's mandate, but that only pays for the operating costs (maybe $10 million per year*), not for the capital costs (except those concerning the fleet), which would clearly fall under provincial responsibility...

*Quick back-of-the-envelop calculation:
Scheduled weekly timetable volume in Q-W Corridor: 166,711 km in 2018 (i.e. 8.7 million km per year)
Direct operating costs in Q-W Corridor: $217 million in 2018 (i.e. $25 per train-km)
Assumed weekly timetable volume: 1.1 million km (300 km distance * 2 trips/round-trip * 5 round-trips/day [same as QBEC-MTRL or TRTO-LNDN] * 365 days/year)
Estimated annual operating costs: $27.4 million (1.1 million km * $25/km)
Assumed cost-recovery rate: 65% (i.e. half of Q-W Corridor)
Estimated annual deficit: $27.4 million * (100%-65%) = $9.6 million
 
Last edited:

Bureaucromancer

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
622
Reaction score
642
Frankly I see a very easy case for funding the full Banff - Edmonton package as the western version of HFR. It’s the right service level, the same operational paradigm and goes a long way to making HFR more acceptable outside Ontario and Quebec.
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
3,436
Location
Montreal
Frankly I see a very easy case for funding the full Banff - Edmonton package as the western version of HFR. It’s the right service level, the same operational paradigm and goes a long way to making HFR more acceptable outside Ontario and Quebec.
Except that the entire premise (minimizing exposure to CN/CP as much as practical) is turned completely on its head (full corridor sharing with CP end-to-end)...

Also, I've become aware in the meanwhile that the travel time promise is 2 hours (i.e. an average speed of 150 km/h), which is unfeasible with HFR and thus highly unrealistic with a budget of only $2.2 billion...
 
Last edited:

roger1818

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
760
Reaction score
1,384
Location
Ottawa
Except that the entire premise (minimizing exposure to CN/CP as much as practical) is turned completely on its head (full corridor sharing with CP end-to-end)...

Also, I've become aware in the meanwhile that the travel time promise is 2 hours (i.e. an average speed of 150 km/h), which is unfeasible with HFR and thus highly unrealistic with a budget of only $2.2 billion...

Is that for the express trains or the ones that stop in every little town and hamlet? An average speed if 150 km/h would unrealistic with a budget of only $2.2 billion for the former and totally impossible for the latter. My guess is both the travel time and budget will gradually creep upwards.
 

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
3,436
Location
Montreal
Is that for the express trains or the ones that stop in every little town and hamlet? An average speed if 150 km/h would unrealistic with a budget of only $2.2 billion for the former and totally impossible for the latter. My guess is both the travel time and budget will gradually creep upwards.
From the article:
Raincock said the project is estimated to cost about $2.2 billion and he has been told it would take about four months to lay the required rail infrastructure between Calgary and Edmonton. They would piggy-back on existing right of ways currently controlled by Canadian Pacific Railway. CP declined comment on this story.

[...]

The two organizers say in comparison, it is a fraction of the cost of a high-speed rail line or expanding the highway, as planned, to three lanes in each direction. Raincock said it will cost on average about $7 million per kilometre — less than half of what it would cost to expand the highway.

[...]

This new proposal would stop at just about every community along the way, including First Nations like Maskwacis. Meanwhile, the express train would take about two hours to get from Calgary to Edmonton.
 

sacred

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
199
Reaction score
488
Asked my MP a few months ago why procurement didn’t start in the Fall as promised. Nothing riveting but I thought I’d post here, for posterity if anything.
[…]
We have spoken to our colleagues at Transport Canada and have received a response from them to your question. As you know, in Budget 2021, there was funding to support the advancement of the HFR project, including complementary enhancements to VIA’s existing services. Specifically, $4.4 million to Transport Canada and VIA Rail to support their work with the HFR Joint Project Office, which would be used to complete the necessary analysis and assessment of options to reduce possible risks associated with a project of this magnitude.

With a considerable amount of progress having been made on the project, the Government of Canada is taking the steps towards launching the procurement process for the HFR project. These steps include: engaging Indigenous groups and communities to obtain early feedback on the project; engaging with the private sector to determine capacity and seek perspectives on the best possible delivery model; and accelerating dialogue with partner railways to negotiate dedicated routes in and out of city centres.

In terms of next steps - Phase 2 of the procurement (requests for expression of interest from the private sector) will launch early this year, as will the formal Impact Assessment process. The Impact Assessment process will be another opportunity for local communities to submit their feedback on the proposed project.
 

Allandale25

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
7,760
Reaction score
11,530
 

DirectionNorth

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
792
Reaction score
1,586
Does anybody know what specific proposals are in that bill? I couldn't find a summary anywhere, and the bill itself isn't available at the Parliament website.
https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-236
 

lenaitch

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
4,235
Reaction score
4,214

Bordercollie

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
1,026

Urban Sky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
3,436
Location
Montreal
Mandatory routes

11 (1) The Corporation must operate a service on all routes set out in the schedule to this Act.

[...]

SCHEDULE 
(Section 11)
Item
Routes
  1. Toronto – Vancouver
  2. Jasper – Prince Rupert
  3. Winnipeg – Churchill
  4. The Pas – Pukatawagan
  5. Toronto – Montréal
  6. Toronto – Ottawa
  7. Toronto – Kingston
  8. Toronto – Windsor
  9. Toronto – Sarnia
  10. Toronto – London
  11. Toronto – Niagara Falls
  12. Ottawa – Montréal
  13. Ottawa – Québec
  14. Montréal – Québec
  15. Ottawa – Kingston
  16. Montréal – Jonquière
  17. Montréal – Senneterre
  18. Montréal – Gaspé
  19. Sudbury – White River
  20. Montréal – Halifax
  21. Victoria – Courtenay
Not sure how VIA is supposed to fulfill its requirement of mandatory routes if two of them will require considerable amounts of capital funding before they can accommodate any passenger trains...

However, I'm currently more concerned about the potential outcome of the leadership race at the Conservative party:

 

Northern Light

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
22,250
Reaction score
55,474
Location
Toronto/EY

chrisvazquez7

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
554
Reaction score
1,460
Not sure how VIA is supposed to fulfill its requirement of mandatory routes if two of them will require considerable amounts of capital funding before they can accommodate any passenger trains...

And what about Edmonton - Calgary. How come that isn't on the list?
 

Top