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VIA Rail

ssiguy2

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These new trains really do seem excellent which is a refreshing change for VIA.

It will be interesting to see how VIA & Ottawa transition these trains over to zero emissions in the next 20 years because catenary is not something Ottawa has any intention of doing. 2050 is just around the corner and there is no way, in hell, that VIA will be given a pass on net-zero. These are Tier 4 trains which is great but in terms of meeting carbon neutrality, that's not going to cut the mustard.

Reaching net-zero is one of the biggest hurdles VIA is going to have to cross over the next 2 decades and as far as I know, it has absolutely no plan on how to do it but do it they must.
 

innsertnamehere

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These new trains really do seem excellent which is a refreshing change for VIA.

It will be interesting to see how VIA & Ottawa transition these trains over to zero emissions in the next 20 years because catenary is not something Ottawa has any intention of doing. 2050 is just around the corner and there is no way, in hell, that VIA will be given a pass on net-zero. These are Tier 4 trains which is great but in terms of meeting carbon neutrality, that's not going to cut the mustard.

Reaching net-zero is one of the biggest hurdles VIA is going to have to cross over the next 2 decades and as far as I know, it has absolutely no plan on how to do it but do it they must.
letmeguess, hydrogen amiright?
 

ssiguy2

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I don't know if it will be hydrogen but I'm all ears on what you think VIA will do.

How do YOU propose VIA gets to net-zero?
 

nfitz

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Has VIA ever considered using or used the dining cars in the corridor (excluding the Canadian)?
They did have a dining car when the Canadian ran the Sudbury-Toronto-Montreal route in the 1980s - (the routing with the Bonaventure that we discussed above). I even got to eat on it once! Sure beat the club car.
 

Allandale25

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Bordercollie

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Has anyone seen any surveying going on? Core drilling? How will we know the soil condition or the cost otherwise? Look at the Ontario line project and how much more it costs now, just don't want the same thing to happen.
 

kEiThZ

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2050 is just around the corner and there is no way, in hell, that VIA will be given a pass on net-zero. These are Tier 4 trains which is great but in terms of meeting carbon neutrality, that's not going to cut the mustard.
You need to stop talking about policies you don't understand.

Net zero is a national commitment. Not some hard and fast rule. It does not in any way mean every hydrocarbon consuming activity has to stop in 2050. It means that whatever is consumed will be offset. On the list of emissions that need to be offset in 2050, VIA Rail is very, very, very far down the list. We can talk about cutting VIA's emissions when auto and air emissions in the Corridor are cut substantially.
I fully expect the answer is bio diesel and offsets…. Which I’ll sure as hell take over, you know, highway and aviation expansion.

By buying into and adopting whatever strategies its host railroads develop to achieve their own net-zero targets, obviously…

Exactly. VIA will never be able to dictate technology use on networks it does not own. And my bet is synthetic biodiesel is easier to adopt for most North American railways.

The only place where electrification is really relevant is the Corridor. And even there not all services need to be electrified. If the bulk of intercity services are on an electrified HFR Corridor, which could easily be London- Quebec City by then, the vast majority of riders will be on electrified services.

The real challenge is cost. If a fuel substitute for conventional diesel is not found, we may end up in a situation where VIA fares are something like 5-10x the variable cost of driving an EV. At that point, electric buses and cars are very likely to kill all passenger rail service that is not electrified and not heavily subsidized. With the declining price trends for EVs and the increasing prices for carbon taxes, we may see this well before 2050. I would think VIA needs to start working on a switch now to complete it by 2035-2040.
 

kEiThZ

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The scope creep is getting ridiculous. Now it's 1000 km? We'll see in 2025, if this survives an election. I doubt it.
 

roger1818

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It will be interesting to see how VIA & Ottawa transition these trains over to zero emissions in the next 20 years because catenary is not something Ottawa has any intention of doing.

Huh? The plan is to electrify HFR, presumably with catenary. Once HFR and HFR West (assuming they both happen) are both complete, as well as GO RER, a significant portion of the corridor will be electrified. By then, technology will have evolved further, and we will have a much better idea how best to fill the holes. Maybe it will be batteries, maybe it will by hydrogen, or maybe the freight railways will decide to electrify the busiest parts of their network.

2050 is just around the corner and there is no way, in hell, that VIA will be given a pass on net-zero. These are Tier 4 trains which is great but in terms of meeting carbon neutrality, that's not going to cut the mustard.

By 2050, the Chargers will be close to the end of their expected life and will need to be replaced.

Reaching net-zero is one of the biggest hurdles VIA is going to have to cross over the next 2 decades and as far as I know, it has absolutely no plan on how to do it but do it they must.

It will be a hurdle, but as society, our priority should be on grabbing low hanging fruit that represent most carbon emissions, not dwelling on the hardest challenges that represent a miniscule portion of our carbon emissions. Doing otherwise is playing into the fossil fuel industry’s objective of preserving their largest markets.
 

Bordercollie

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You need to stop talking about policies you don't understand.

Net zero is a national commitment. Not some hard and fast rule. It does not in any way mean every hydrocarbon consuming activity has to stop in 2050. It means that whatever is consumed will be offset. On the list of emissions that need to be offset in 2050, VIA Rail is very, very, very far down the list. We can talk about cutting VIA's emissions when auto and air emissions in the Corridor are cut substantially.




Exactly. VIA will never be able to dictate technology use on networks it does not own. And my bet is synthetic biodiesel is easier to adopt for most North American railways.

The only place where electrification is really relevant is the Corridor. And even there not all services need to be electrified. If the bulk of intercity services are on an electrified HFR Corridor, which could easily be London- Quebec City by then, the vast majority of riders will be on electrified services.

The real challenge is cost. If a fuel substitute for conventional diesel is not found, we may end up in a situation where VIA fares are something like 5-10x the variable cost of driving an EV. At that point, electric buses and cars are very likely to kill all passenger rail service that is not electrified and not heavily subsidized. With the declining price trends for EVs and the increasing prices for carbon taxes, we may see this well before 2050. I would think VIA needs to start working on a switch now to complete it by 2035-2040.
It's likely that it will start as a blend of some kind. Maybe 50/50 diesel bio diesel. As demand increases, supply will meet the demand.

The problem with growing plants to create fuel is the land and energy required that cuts into our food supply.

One possibility is bio diesel from cooking oil. But recently the cost of used cooking oil has skyrocketed.

Maybe recycling used motor oil and refining it to diesel might be an option.

Or possibly using bio gas and converting them to run on bio gas instead of diesel. This has been done with truck engines in the past.

There is also technology to inject hydrogen into the diesel combustion system which offsets emissions.


This is probably more realistic than complete hydrogen refits.
 

roger1818

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“No one can bankroll HFR,” he said. “There is so much risk, you know, it’s 1,000 kilometres. There’s 40 Indigenous peoples that are impacted by the project. There are over 30 municipalities that are going to be crossed one way or the other.”

If 1,000 km provides too much risk, break it up into smaller pieces and do it one piece at a time.
 

Bordercollie

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If 1,000 km provides too much risk, break it up into smaller pieces and do it one piece at a time.
 

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