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kalis0490

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There is a rumor in a discord server that GO did a 'secret' study pre pandemic on proper London GO service long before the current GO expansion (ie all day). the cost was somewhere in the 100 millions. Not sure how reliable the source is but it suggests that there is something in the works.
 

Bordercollie

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There is a rumor in a discord server that GO did a 'secret' study pre pandemic on proper London GO service long before the current GO expansion (ie all day). the cost was somewhere in the 100 millions. Not sure how reliable the source is but it suggests that there is something in the works.
Does that include the cost of buying the tracks between Kitchener and London? They also need to something about the slow order between Georgetown and Acton. The part from Guelph to Kitchener is a hug improvement.
 

tmlittle

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At all the other main corridors, Metrolinx has been facing the same fierce resistance as VIA, since you can’t buy something if the current owner has no intention of selling (because it is an integral and indispensable part of its main business).
Notwithstanding the obvious barriers to this, I don't believe that (in an extreme case), there's anything that could stop a forced sale of a line through act of parliament. It's just that the "extreme" solutions are not politically viable. This is something we should be careful about with "can't". There just isn't the right political or economic climate to force the rail transport corporations to cooperate for fear of actual consequences, even milder ones like the financial penalties imposed for poor host railway performance.
 

Bordercollie

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Notwithstanding the obvious barriers to this, I don't believe that (in an extreme case), there's anything that could stop a forced sale of a line through act of parliament. It's just that the "extreme" solutions are not politically viable. This is something we should be careful about with "can't". There just isn't the right political or economic climate to force the rail transport corporations to cooperate for fear of actual consequences, even milder ones like the financial penalties imposed for poor host railway performance.
Any decline in their own productivity as a result of giving passenger rail priority would hurt their bottom line which would have an impact on their stock value. Likely not a good thing. But in the US they have made some progress of with this but lack cooperation from CN.
 

Urban Sky

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Any decline in their own productivity as a result of giving passenger rail priority would hurt their bottom line which would have an impact on their stock value. Likely not a good thing. But in the US they have made some progress of with this but lack cooperation from CN.
I doubt that there is another country on this planet where the total market capitalization of its main freight railroads (C$185 billion) reaches anything close to 8% of its GDP…
 

crs1026

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I doubt that there is another country on this planet where the total market capitalization of its main freight railroads (C$185 billion) reaches anything close to 8% of its GDP…

Or a country where so much of its exports and imports travel so many miles by rail to reach their market.

This is not to say we have the balance of public vs railway/shareholder interests exactly right - but it's a very complicated proposition with lots of moving parts.

More simplistically, GO and CN have to manage an ongoing relationship that has many impacts and knock-on consequences. Taking one's partner to court over a single point of disagreement is not something one does without considering the impact on that relationship overall. Continuing to haggle is sometimes the wiser course.

- Paul
 

roger1818

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Notwithstanding the obvious barriers to this, I don't believe that (in an extreme case), there's anything that could stop a forced sale of a line through act of parliament. It's just that the "extreme" solutions are not politically viable. This is something we should be careful about with "can't". There just isn't the right political or economic climate to force the rail transport corporations to cooperate for fear of actual consequences, even milder ones like the financial penalties imposed for poor host railway performance.
The largest barrier to this is the economic impact of adding thousands of trucks a day to the 401 alone (not to mention all of the other impacted highways) as a result of neutering our rail freight transportation system.
 

AHK

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I doubt that there is another country on this planet where the total market capitalization of its main freight railroads (C$185 billion) reaches anything close to 8% of its GDP…

And your point is? I am not sure of how valid it would be, no matter - as the market capitalization of the major freight railways would include the value of their very extensive rail networks within the United States.

It would be similar to comparing the capitalization of the Canadian Banks to the total Canadian GDP, and ignoring the fact that a large portion of the value of the Canadian banks is a reflection of their vast assets outside of Canada
 

Urban Sky

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And your point is? I am not sure of how valid it would be, no matter - as the market capitalization of the major freight railways would include the value of their very extensive rail networks within the United States.
My point was that CN and CP are massive chunks of the Canadian Economy (not just of its transportation industry). CN’s market capitalization at C$99 billion is at par with that of the entire Volkswagen Group (€77 billion, i.e. some C$103 billion) and that is still the second-largest car manufacturer by units sold which is a massive player in German politics (even though Germany’s GDP is more than twice as large as Canada’s).

It would be similar to comparing the capitalization of the Canadian Banks to the total Canadian GDP, and ignoring the fact that a large portion of the value of the Canadian banks is a reflection of their vast assets outside of Canada
With size comes political clout, and for that it’s not too important how much of their operations are actually at home (in fact, the less of it is at home, the more credibly you can threaten to move future investments - or even your HQ - abroad)…
 
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Bordercollie

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My point was that CN and CP are massive chunks of the Canadian Economy (not just of its transportation industry). CN’s market capitalization at C$99 billion is at par with that of the entire Volkswagen Group (€77 billion, i.e. some C$103 billion) and that is still the second-largest car manufacturer by units sold which is a massive player in German politics (even though Germany’s GDP is more than twice as large as Canada’s).


With size comes political clout, and for that it’s not too important how much of their operations are actually at home (in fact, the less of it is at home, the more credibly you can threaten to move future investments - or even your HQ - abroad)…
In terms of something like the Canadian, for a train that runs three days a week CN should be able to accomodate it without much impact on their operations. The question is why should they?

What the Government and VIA could do is work together to find a better solution. It's partially CN's fault for running so many trains too large to fit in their own sidings to make a profit. Not enough investment in their own infrastructure.

When I took the Canadian from Edmonton to Banff it took 5 hours for it to get into the yard and run around to the station. Stupid things like this could be fixed to help the trains on time performance. 5 hours is not much on a 4 day journey but it's just one example.
 

Urban Sky

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In terms of something like the Canadian, for a train that runs three days a week CN should be able to accomodate it without much impact on their operations. The question is why should they?

What the Government and VIA could do is work together to find a better solution. It's partially CN's fault for running so many trains too large to fit in their own sidings to make a profit. Not enough investment in their own infrastructure.

When I took the Canadian from Edmonton to Banff it took 5 hours for it to get into the yard and run around to the station. Stupid things like this could be fixed to help the trains on time performance. 5 hours is not much on a 4 day journey but it's just one example.
I assume you meant Jasper (not: Banff), but, in any case, the federal government currently gets no less than what it pays for: which is lousy service to its own trains in exchange for virtually zero public investment into heavy rail infrastructure. If it wants better service, it ought to sit down with CN and fund the cost increment of the necessary investments associated with running passenger trains more frequently/fast/reliablly…
 
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roger1818

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I assume you meant Jasper (not: Banff), but, in any case, the federal government currently gets no less than what it pays for: which is lousy service to its own trains in exchange for virtually zero public investment into heavy rail infrastructure. If it wants better service, it ought to sit down with CN and fund the cost increment of the necessary investments associated with running passenger trains more frequently/fast/reliablly…
Agreed. One also has to ask, with only 3 trains a week, how much is the government willing to spend to implement those upgrades and would that money be better spent somewhere else?
 

Bordercollie

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Agreed. One also has to ask, with only 3 trains a week, how much is the government willing to spend to implement those upgrades and would that money be better spent somewhere else?
What if that investment could lead to the train running 7x per week in each direction?
 

Urban Sky

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Agreed. One also has to ask, with only 3 trains a week, how much is the government willing to spend to implement those upgrades and would that money be better spent somewhere else?
This question seems especially pertinent on the Ocean, where passenger revenues barely exceed $10 million, even in a good year (like 2018, see table further below)…

What if that investment could lead to the train running 7x per week in each direction?
As it happens (or as railfans keep bringing up the same topics), I’ve compared last week on a different forum the variable costs and revenues of the Ocean and Canadian in 1988 (when both still operated daily) and in 2018 (when both operated only 3 times per week, or in the case of the Canadian during winter even: only twice per week):

KQdtJnA.png

Cross-post from: SkyscraperPage
Compiled from: Office of the Prime Minister (1989, pp. 67+70 in the PDF), VIA Rail's Corporate Plan 2019-2023 (p.21) and VIA Rail's Annual Report 2018 (p.9)

As you can see above, the subsidy need for the Canadian (in 2018 prices) decreased by 77% per train-km and by 53% per passenger. Even though the respective figures for the Ocean were neutral (1.1% decrease) per train-km or a strong increase (+59%) per passenger, it doesn’t exactly support the theory cherished by many rail enthusiasts in this country that daily rather than less-than-daily trains would save rather than cost the taxpayer money…
 
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Bordercollie

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This question seem especially pertinent on the Ocean, where passenger revenues barely exceed $10 million, even in a good year (like 2018, see table further below)…


As it happens (or as railfans keep bringing up the same topics), I’ve compared last week on a different forum the variable costs and revenues of the Ocean and Canadian in 1988 (when both still operated daily) and in 2018 (when both operated only 3 times per week, or in the case of the Canadian during winter even: only twice per week):

KQdtJnA.png

Cross-post from: SkyscraperPage
Compiled from: Office of the Prime Minister (1989, pp. 67+70 in the PDF), VIA Rail's Corporate Plan 2019-2023 (p.21) and VIA Rail's Annual Report 2018 (p.9)
So if i understand this right the train running more often had better revenues and cost recovery? So it would actually make sense for it to run more often, which allows more people to take it. Also taking into consideration that Greyhound is now gone, and air travel is a mess, people may be more option to other options?
 

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