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VIA Rail

kEiThZ

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Does anyone know when the second Siemens set will go into service and when both will be in full service rather than the one day a week the sets doing now ?

Where you traveling?

I think it's worthwhile to just wait a few months till they are more sets in service. I'm not even going to try to ride a Charger till the Summer.
 

kEiThZ

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I fear that if HFR is not build, VIA will just die out as an irrelevant service. It is already that today unfortunately given the price, low frequency and super slow service.

100%

I don't see how VIA survives without a dedicated electrified Quebec-Windsor corridor. Electric coach buses could eventually siphon off a ton of traffic. Especially the cheaper short hauls like students going to Queen's. Right as GO does the same for traffic in the GTA commuter shed, like Kitchener.

The Liberals don't seem to care though. Just not a priority. That said, I'm not sure a federal Conservative government would be any better. But maybe now that big money and the large network operators wants to bid on HFR, the CPC might give it a pass.

The current timeline is just ridiculous. There won't even be major construction start till 2027/2028. And that schedule is entirely because of the Trudeau Liberals wavering.
 

crs1026

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The Liberals don't seem to care though. Just not a priority. That said, I'm not sure a federal Conservative government would be any better. But maybe now that big money and the large network operators wants to bid on HFR, the CPC might give it a pass.

The current timeline is just ridiculous. There won't even be major construction start till 2027/2028. And that schedule is entirely because of the Trudeau Liberals wavering.

I have, quite seriously, reached the conclusion that I am simply not going to ride HFr in my lifetime. It may get built, but I may be beyond travelling age before it’s done. Sure, the aisles will be wide enough for my walker…. but will I be too fragile to ride trains by then? I hope HFr serves my kids and my grandchildren well.

The Liberals especially aren’t interested in doing something unless there is a downtrodden constituency who are vocally arguing that they require equity and their pitch is expressed as a grievance about the situation to date.. And then, they want to simply be able to write cheques and move money around the country. The thought of strategising and building to enable a better future state is beyond them. (And I’m pretty progressive, so this is not a conservative rant….. I’m disgusted by the side of the political spectrum that I’m most partisan towards).

The constituency that ought to most value better trains (airline passengers and longer distance drivers) don’t seem to be griping, so the Liberals don’t hear an injustice needing a saviour. The people who use VIA today do so because it’s good enough in its current form, so they live with it and don’t complain to the degree where it hits the political sensors. If the train doesn’t work for them, they just drive.

It’s odd how people will cram into those tiny A319 seats when they could ride a nicer train and arrive in around the same end to end time frame. Apparently opportunity costs don’t generate political capital.

- Paul
 

kEiThZ

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The Liberals especially aren’t interested in doing something unless there is a downtrodden constituency who are vocally arguing that they require equity and their pitch is expressed as a grievance about the situation to date.. And then, they want to simply be able to write cheques and move money around the country. The thought of strategising and building to enable a better future state is beyond them. (And I’m pretty progressive, so this is not a conservative rant….. I’m disgusted by the side of the political spectrum that I’m most partisan towards).

I absolutely share the same disgust. They got in talking about infrastructure. Then discovered the easy path to staying in power is cutting cheques. Then came Covid and it gave them the ultimate cover to become cheque cutting machines. Now they've run up huge deficits and debts and they have no idea how to abate those other than ramping up immigration massively, with no additional resources to the provinces for social services or infrastructure. I don't think any of this is sustainable or popular. If moderates like us are so turned off, I foresee a Wynne like wipeout in 2025.

The constituency that ought to most value better trains (airline passengers and longer distance drivers) don’t seem to be griping, so the Liberals don’t hear an injustice needing a saviour. The people who use VIA today do so because it’s good enough in its current form, so they live with it and don’t complain to the degree where it hits the political sensors. If the train doesn’t work for them, they just drive.

It’s odd how people will cram into those tiny A319 seats when they could ride a nicer train and arrive in around the same end to end time frame. Apparently opportunity costs don’t generate political capital.

The part that pisses me off is that their strong climate advocacy would have given them the perfect cover for intercity rail expansion. And they could have done it in Calgary-Edmonton too. Instead, they've ended up cutting cheques to airlines and airports because of Covid. Insanity. We have a crisis of productivity in this country. We know major infrastructure improvements would help. Yet they doddle. The despairing part is knowing their opponents aren't better.
 

Towered

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I absolutely share the same disgust. They got in talking about infrastructure. Then discovered the easy path to staying in power is cutting cheques. Then came Covid and it gave them the ultimate cover to become cheque cutting machines. Now they've run up huge deficits and debts and they have no idea how to abate those other than ramping up immigration massively, with no additional resources to the provinces for social services or infrastructure. I don't think any of this is sustainable or popular. If moderates like us are so turned off, I foresee a Wynne like wipeout in 2025.
That could have been the case...until the CPC elected a strident blowhard as their leader.
 

Frank_Lee

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As someone who has been involved at various different times as a donor and volunteer with the Liberal Party, it pains me to have to agree with the consensus here. In particular, while I think there are a number of very talented and hardworking ministers trying to do big things (Jean-Yves Duclos, Anita Anand e.g.) it's clear that a lot of the braintrust in the PMO is terrified of trying to actually build anything. Transmountain didn't work out in the way expected in terms of increasing popularity on the right and harmed them a great deal out here in BC on the left. I don't think they see things being any different with HFR (just with the sides reversed).
 

Bordercollie

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As someone who has been involved at various different times as a donor and volunteer with the Liberal Party, it pains me to have to agree with the consensus here. In particular, while I think there are a number of very talented and hardworking ministers trying to do big things (Jean-Yves Duclos, Anita Anand e.g.) it's clear that a lot of the braintrust in the PMO is terrified of trying to actually build anything. Transmountain didn't work out in the way expected in terms of increasing popularity on the right and harmed them a great deal out here in BC on the left. I don't think they see things being any different with HFR (just with the sides reversed).
But to meet our climate goals what we are doing today won't cut it. So won't building an environmentally friendly way to travel in the busiest corridor in the country make them look bad? Considering what the Biden administration is spending on Amtrak....
 

kEiThZ

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As someone who has been involved at various different times as a donor and volunteer with the Liberal Party, it pains me to have to agree with the consensus here. In particular, while I think there are a number of very talented and hardworking ministers trying to do big things (Jean-Yves Duclos, Anita Anand e.g.) it's clear that a lot of the braintrust in the PMO is terrified of trying to actually build anything. Transmountain didn't work out in the way expected in terms of increasing popularity on the right and harmed them a great deal out here in BC on the left. I don't think they see things being any different with HFR (just with the sides reversed).

If this is true, they deserve to lose power. In essence, you are suggesting that they are afraid to govern.

It also means that a lot of their rhetoric and messaging on climate change, infrastructure investment, economic development, etc is insincere. Good to have confirmation, I guess.....

Also, how daft do you have to be to think a rail corridor for use by most of the middle class, would be seen the same way as an oil pipeline in BC?
 

Bordercollie

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If this is true, they deserve to lose power. In essence, you are suggesting that they are afraid to govern.

It also means that a lot of their rhetoric and messaging on climate change, infrastructure investment, economic development, etc is insincere. Good to have confirmation, I guess.....

Also, how daft do you have to be to think a rail corridor for use by most of the middle class, would be seen the same way as an oil pipeline in BC?
So you would rather have Prime Minister Pierre Poilievre?
 

kEiThZ

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So you would rather have Prime Minister Pierre Poilievre?

Not really. But governments that have decision paralysis will eventually lose because they alienate all but the most partisan. Holding power for the sake of holding power is not a good look. Reminds me of the last term of Harper. No real agenda. Just in office to keep the other team out. That plan always fails.
 

junctionist

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High-speed rail in the corridor would be such a game changer. Via could theoretically run high-speed freight, too, for just-in-time deliveries.

For now, though, it would be nice if Via made the experience better for passengers. There should be cars designated as quiet spaces. You should also be able to consume your own alcohol on the train, which would be a nice perk over driving.
 

lead82

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Exactly. The people who dislike Ford don’t understand why people vote for him or abstain - the others are much worse. Trudeau is nearing the end of his tenure. By 2025 he will have to go. Pierre will win by default as it will be a change election. As much as I despise his politics , he will win because the Liberals are incompetent fools. They spent money on everything but will leave no lasting legacy except for debt. Yes one exception is child tax credits and subsidized daycare but that isn’t fully implemented in most provinces yet.

Infrastructure Bank is a failure of wasted money on nothing except bureaucratic execs.
 

lead82

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On VIA all we will get is some newer trains in the corridor that will run slow and steady to make a 5-6hr journey from Toronto to Montreal. That’s it.
 

ssiguy2

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The only hope Canadians have for good passenger rail is for VIA to completely shut down and then sell it to the highest bidder. VIA has never had a hope and it was doomed to fail from word go and it's about time we acknowledged this reality. VIA is slow, unreliable, expensive, infrequent.....................it's everything you never wanted in a passenger rail service and then some. Let the private sector run the services that can be financially viable and just shut down the rest of the system. The service {a la Brightline} couldn't possibly be any worse than VIA.

VIA has been on life support since its inception and it's about time we put it out of its misery once and for all.
 

crs1026

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The only hope Canadians have for good passenger rail is for VIA to completely shut down and then sell it to the highest bidder. VIA has never had a hope and it was doomed to fail from word go and it's about time we acknowledged this reality. VIA is slow, unreliable, expensive, infrequent.....................it's everything you never wanted in a passenger rail service and then some. Let the private sector run the services that can be financially viable and just shut down the rest of the system. The service {a la Brightline} couldn't possibly be any worse than VIA.

VIA has been on life support since its inception and it's about time we put it out of its misery once and for all.

None of the woes that we are pointing out can be traced back to the VIA organization, its leaders or workforce. As an organization it has done a terriffic job under Cinderella-worthy abuse and bureaucratc/political neglect.

No scandals, no bad press except the underfunded service plan itself, which isn’t VIA’s doing. A remarkable success in keeping outdated equipment running reliably. (I don’t hold the failed triple tracking exercise against VIA, as CN was the agent of that failure)

Don’t forget, it was VIA itself that devised and brought forward the HFR idea. The original HFR was creative, it identified and nailed the precise obstacles that stood in the way of public support. It was not pie in the sky or political rhetoric…. it was a very realistic and pragmatic design under the circumstances. It was not just a pitch to spend money or expand a government department. It was not a railfan’s fantasy railway.

An entire capital full of beancounters, policy wonks, and career paper-pushers took over and created a multi-year meal ticket scrutinising something that they had no credit in producing in the first place and likely didn’t understand or value. Not much value added there.

Dismissing VIA as a failure and wanting to be rid of it is about as wrongheaded as one can get. If all of the Federal institutions worked as well as VIA, we’d be a really well run country.

- Paul
 
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