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VIA Rail

crs1026

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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.

It's both fantastic and scary how bureaucrats pile on when the tides turn. Only a few years ago, passenger rail was a non-starter. Now we have 50 people working on this. They will make a meal of it - two years to RFP and then the whole procurement exercse. Plus consultations etc. Why hurry when there is so much job security in slow paced projects?

The original Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City exercise was 800 kms. To get to a thousand, one only has to add Toronto-London (which personally I'm happy to see). One suspects that parts of the old CP line thru Havelock may be bypassed with new construction. That, as opposed to linear distance, is indeed a pile of scope creep, not to mention added time to design and construct.

I am really not expecting to ride this line in my lifetime, even if it survives the next election. But maybe I will get to ride some decent train service to Kitchener and London, thanks to GO......which will be something.

- Paul
 

roger1818

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Interesting. Makes a lot of sense. For example, there is no point having a train run at top speed to a siding where it will have to wait for an oncoming train to pass. By slowing down the train to get to the siding only just before the oncoming trian gets there, a significant amount of fuel can be saved without affecting the schedule. It also helps improve customer satisfaction, as waiting at a siding can create frustration, but traveling slightly slower than normal won't be all that noticable. Maybe they can also use the software to reccomend moving sidings to optomize the schedule.
 

Bordercollie

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Interesting. Makes a lot of sense. For example, there is no point having a train run at top speed to a siding where it will have to wait for an oncoming train to pass. By slowing down the train to get to the siding only just before the oncoming trian gets there, a significant amount of fuel can be saved without affecting the schedule. It also helps improve customer satisfaction, as waiting at a siding can create frustration, but traveling slightly slower than normal won't be all that noticable. Maybe they can also use the software to reccomend moving sidings to optomize the schedule.
15% may not seem like a lot however in the grand scheme of things it's huge.
 

Urban Sky

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I read on this forum that Wabtec offered to rebuild the P42's?

They should buy them, rebuild them and lease them out to different operators. I would think that those agencies using F40's would see the P42's as a good replacement. Like what they did with the F59PH'S from GO transit after they were retired.

If anyone sees any value in having VIA‘s P42s, he can buy and rebuild them! However, for VIA’s purposes, they are useless, as they will soon have more than enough F40s…
 
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cplchanb

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If anyone sees any value in having VIA‘s P42s, he can buy and rebuild them! However, for VIA’s purposes, they are useless, as they will soon have more than enough F40s…
Not to mention the p42s are arguably one of the ugliest utilitarian looking passenger locos around. It's comprised of only square shapes and 90 degrees turns. No aesthetic considerations at all vs the F40
 

kEiThZ

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

The goal with a lot of biofuels these days is to create create a supply chain that uses agricultural waste products. Think of cellulosic ethanol made from leftover corn husks and stalks which nobody eats. Or to use plants that are more sustainable and restorative to the soil, like switchgrass. Ethanol derived from corn, will be going away in the years to come.
 

ssiguy2

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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.
It is YOU that doesn't understand the goals. Yes, net-zero is a national goal but will be impossible to reach unless our transportation systems {which is a huge GHG emitter} meets that goal.

As for "talking about cutting VIA's emissions when auto and air emissions in the Corridor are cut sustainably", then VIA is in worse shape than even I think. Air Canada is committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 in ALL of it's flights both international and domestic. CN & CP have plans to do the same. You honestly think that Ottawa will demand net-zero by corporations causing them to spend billions in improving their infrastructure and operations while they give VIA a pass strictly because that would require the federal government to put its money where its industrial sized mouth is? Also, VIA isn't just a Corridor system but is a national one so will have to get to net-zero on it's entire system.

You must really want to see VIA go under. Today we are told that VIA is the green alternative which certainly adds to its appeal for many. By 2050 when demands for zero emissions is even stronger as our planet is in full scale devastation, people will somehow want to support the brown alternative?

I can see the headlines now, Go VIA.................and do your part to help kill the planet once and for all.
 
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Urban Sky

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As for "talking about cutting VIA's emissions when auto and air emissions in the Corridor are cut sustainably", then VIA is in worse shape than even I think. Air Canada is committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 in ALL of it's flights both international and domestic. Nearly every major corporation has plans to do the same.
The technology needed to make VIA‘s entire operations carbon-neutral has already existed for more than a hundred years and it‘s getting refined and supplemented as we speak, in order to make the cost of doing so much more manageable. Conversely, the technology to make Air Canada‘s operations carbon-neutral doesn’t exist yet.

Who has the more realistic and credible path to reach net-zero?
 

Bordercollie

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It is YOU that doesn't understand the goals. Yes, net-zero is a national goal but will be impossible to reach unless our transportation systems {which is a huge GHG emitter} meets that goal.

As for "talking about cutting VIA's emissions when auto and air emissions in the Corridor are cut sustainably", then VIA is in worse shape than even I think. Air Canada is committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 in ALL of it's flights both international and domestic. CN & CP have plans to do the same. You honestly think that Ottawa will demand net-zero by corporations causing them to spend billions in improving their infrastructure and operations while they give VIA a pass strictly because that would require the federal government to put its money where its mouth is? Also, VIA isn't just a Corridor system but is a national one so will have to get to net-zero on it's entire system.

You must really want to see VIA go under. Today we are told that VIA is the green alternative which certainly adds to its appeal for many. By 2050 when demands for zero emissions is even stronger as our planet is in full scale devastation, people will somehow want to support the brown alternative?

I can see the headlines now, Go VIA.................and do your part to help kill the planet once and for all.
I think you are taking this to an extreme. Yes action is required, but to hastily implement a non proven technology to replace fossil fuels today is not the answer. Imagine we spend a billion dollars on hydrogen locomotives and it turns out they don't work and cannot actually meet duty cycles this affecting service. Which will not deter anyone from their car.

Think about it, even a new diesel locomotive with a new design tool three years to tweak and tinker before they were able to get it running right and we have been building diesel electric locomotives for 60 years.

Like I said the beginning will be a retrofit or conversation with an existing technology. After two years of service (successful) testing it might be ready to be installed across the board.
 

roger1818

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The goal with a lot of biofuels these days is to create create a supply chain that uses agricultural waste products. Think of cellulosic ethanol made from leftover corn husks and stalks which nobody eats. Or to use plants that are more sustainable and restorative to the soil, like switchgrass. Ethanol derived from corn, will be going away in the years to come.

The question is how much energy is required to make ethanol from organic waste (which is typically low energy)? While it might (I'm not convinced) be a good option for areas where it is difficult to electrify, the petroleum industry will want to use it use it to keep their market share and have people use it instead electrification. While it might be "carbon neutral" in terms of CO2 in vs CO2 out (assuming all energy used in processing and transportation are carbon free or neutral), there are other pollutants created when burning fuels.
 

Bordercollie

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The question is how much energy is required to make ethanol from organic waste (which is typically low energy)? While it might (I'm not convinced) be a good option for areas where it is difficult to electrify, the petroleum industry will want to use it use it to keep their market share and have people use it instead electrification. While it might be "carbon neutral" in terms of CO2 in vs CO2 out (assuming all energy used in processing and transportation are carbon free or neutral), there are other pollutants created when burning fuels.
Yes but the goal is to reduce or offset that pullution by using alternative fuels.

Think of a 20% efficiency gain in every single internal combustion engine we have today. That's a huge impact especially if the fuel used is less harmful.

Baby steps. Better than doing nothing.
 

kEiThZ

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It is YOU that doesn't understand the goals. Yes, net-zero is a national goal but will be impossible to reach unless our transportation systems {which is a huge GHG emitter} meets that goal.

1) You don't seem to understand the difference between goals and policy. They are not the same thing. There is zero mandate on VIA to eliminate all emissions by 2050. If you think I'm wrong, find the policy and post it here.

2) VIA is a negligible portion of Canadian transportation emissions. And that proportion could go lower still if there's an electrified HFR Corridor. Indeed, there would be a net reduction in emissions even moving current air and auto travelers to rail, even with diesel trains.

Like I said, you need to stop discussing things you don't understand and at least take the time to educate yourself.
 

kEiThZ

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Air Canada is committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 in ALL of it's flights both international and domestic. CN & CP have plans to do the same.

Amazing. You read those commitments and don't get what they mean. The don't mean these companies will stop burning hydrocarbons. It's "NET ZERO". The operative word there is "net". They will burn what they need and buy offsets. No reason, VIA can't do the same. If only you actually understood what "net zero" means instead of going through this same nonsensical (and wrong) discussion every 3 months. Heck, you could at least Google or YouTube net zero and would understand that this is not the same thing as zero emissions.

 

kEiThZ

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The question is how much energy is required to make ethanol from organic waste (which is typically low energy)? While it might (I'm not convinced) be a good option for areas where it is difficult to electrify, the petroleum industry will want to use it use it to keep their market share and have people use it instead electrification. While it might be "carbon neutral" in terms of CO2 in vs CO2 out (assuming all energy used in processing and transportation are carbon free or neutral), there are other pollutants created when burning fuels.

I'm not in any way suggesting that biofuels are the best solution. Only that in the case of North American railways, it's the likely solution because the economics of biofuels outweighs the alternatives right now. Our major rail operators don't seem to be at interested in electrification through OCS. Hydrogen and battery cars can't yet deliver the ranges they need. That leaves only one obvious solution. Could that change in the future as technologies evolve? Certainly. For now though, the obvious bet for the freight rail cos that operate most of the networks VIA runs on, looks like biofuels.

At least Corridor passenger rail could be substantially electrified with HFR (even if it's not under VIA). Given that the Corridor is over 90% of VIA's ridership, even half of that ridership moving to an electrified corridor would be a massive improvement. And if the other half is on biofuels, VIA's net emissions could be an order of magnitude lower than today.
 

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