News   Feb 26, 2024
 537     0 
News   Feb 26, 2024
 2.3K     3 
News   Feb 26, 2024
 696     0 

VIA Rail

Around the world there are a range of options for infrastructure, particularly rail infrastructure, ownership; from outright State ownership and operation to complete free market. When you consider CN, Air Canada and Petro-Can, successive Canadian governments have walked away from most everything that generates profit. Transit and passenger rail are the two exceptions because, well, they are anything but money-makers in most countries.

I get the concept of land banking to preserve right-of-ways, but when public money is involved, there has to be some kind of realistic end-goal. I don't see it for the former CP Ottawa Valley route. GTA/GTHA/GGH or whatever alphabet is applied to the Toronto area, sure. S/W Ontario and the T-O-M corridor, sure, but a several hundred kilometer long passenger only route through an otherwise very low population corridor between disparate population centres? The fact that there is a grand total of one bus per day and zero direct flights between Ottawa and northern Ontario might be telling. Do you sufficient potential growth in this corridor to justify the public funds that would have to be poured into it?
The point isn't any one corridor - it’s the network. Even the return of the Northlander depends on CN goodwill over the Bala.

The more of the network that passes into state ownership, the more the state can do with it. But in France’s case, it is able to ensure that air routes are restricted while also ensuring rail options exist to replace them. For the feds to ban air travel in that way would be a useless joke in Canada because we are decades away from plausible replacements, both in construction but also because the state at either level refuses to take necessary control of necessary infrastructure. Imagine Canada with private toll roads between our regions which not only charge for transit but also pick and choose which trucks or buses can transit. That is what the Parliament of Canada permits on the railways. We could solve that with nationalization, open access, or a mix - if government didn’t live in dread of how the American railways (Canadian in their name or not) would respond to that.
 
I'm not sure I've seen it.

So hybrid locomotives that are electric - but also can run on diesel. Similar to what they were using on AMT's Repentigny line.

I'm curious who else is using such locomotives with speeds up to 200 km/hr?

I'm not sure why they wouldn't take baby steps, and use diesel.

 
My concern with some of these new requests, for 300 kmh cruising speeds, is that the report back to the government is going to be that it will be astronomically expensive to do it, and they will use it as an excuse to can the whole project.

I really don't see 200km/h+ working on the northern HFR route, it's too curvy and there are far too many places where straightening those curves would cost a lot of money.

I also don't see CN or CP letting the government build 300kmh HSR in their southern corridors either.

This is shaping up to be a California rail boondoggle as far as I am concerned.
 
So hybrid locomotives that are electric - but also can run on diesel. Similar to what they were using on AMT's Repentigny line.
Bets on VIA getting the underused AMT ALP45s if HFR gets built? Could be a swap so Exo gets more charges... NJT uses the ALP45s on the northeast corridor.
 
I really don't see 200km/h+ working on the northern HFR route, it's too curvy and there are far too many places where straightening those curves would cost a lot of money.
Curve straightening isn't cheap but its much cheaper than building a new route, especially if the track being straightened isn't in use or passing through urban areas.
 
Fastest diesels ever (other than Turbo) topped out at 258 (Talgo XXI) and a 220 service speed.
I hadn't realized that the Turbo was dual-powered, and could run off electricity as well!

Bets on VIA getting the underused AMT ALP45s if HFR gets built? Could be a swap so Exo gets more charges... NJT uses the ALP45s on the northeast corridor.
They max out at 160 km/hr using diesel. Even in electric mode they max out at 200 km/hr. Which should be enough for HFR, though I replied to the 300 km/hr comment.

Though why they can't co-operate with GO to use a common system, I don't know.
 
I don't think the Canadian Turbo's were... It wasn't a real mainline electric capability so much as an ability to limp into Grand Central on third rail.

As far as AMT engines go, I agree they'd work, but likely not WELL given how long they'd have been sitting by the time HFR is likely to be in service. Honestly, if they are going to be re-used GO or sale to the States makes a lot more sense, but given the state of the locomotive market at the moment I kind of get why the intention seems to be to keep them running in Montreal as pure diesels. Hopefully a swap can be arranged with Metrolinx.
 
I hadn't realized that the Turbo was dual-powered, and could run off electricity as well!

They max out at 160 km/hr using diesel. Even in electric mode they max out at 200 km/hr. Which should be enough for HFR, though I replied to the 300 km/hr comment.

Though why they can't co-operate with GO to use a common system, I don't know.
The TurboTrain was powered by a gas turbine engine and could attain a maximum speed of over 270 km/h, though it normally never exceeded 150 km/h.

The TurboTrain was put into service after just one year of testing, and achieved the Canadian train speed record of over 226 km/h.
 
The point isn't any one corridor - it’s the network. Even the return of the Northlander depends on CN goodwill over the Bala.

The more of the network that passes into state ownership, the more the state can do with it. But in France’s case, it is able to ensure that air routes are restricted while also ensuring rail options exist to replace them. For the feds to ban air travel in that way would be a useless joke in Canada because we are decades away from plausible replacements, both in construction but also because the state at either level refuses to take necessary control of necessary infrastructure. Imagine Canada with private toll roads between our regions which not only charge for transit but also pick and choose which trucks or buses can transit. That is what the Parliament of Canada permits on the railways. We could solve that with nationalization, open access, or a mix - if government didn’t live in dread of how the American railways (Canadian in their name or not) would respond to that.
I suppose if we had the national population density of most European countries it might make more economic sense. The history of rail in Canada is private ownership. I don't think the Canadian taxpayer would be happy with the bill to "take control" of it.
 
The Windsor to Woodstock section would actually be both cheap and very easy to construct IF Ottawa grabs a pair and puts CN & CP in their place.

VIA already owns the entire section from Windsor to Chatham and east of Chatham there are 2 direct lines to London and both run north of the 401. One owned by CN & the other by CP. The ridiculous thing is that they run parallel to each other but are only about 3 km apart. Ottawa should step in, offer them a cool billion and tell them to hand over one of the lines to VIA using ultimate domain and make them share their tracks. The exact same thing occurs east of London where the tracks both converge at Woodstock but are about 10km apart.

I don't think Ottawa will spend untold billions on a line that is not zero emissions so that cancels out high speed diesel. I think they will probably go for catenary/battery technology. Even the Japanese Shinkansen trains have battery power. They can go only a maximum of 40km but have them as a back-up system in case of power outages {usually due to earthquakes} allowing the trains to continue to the next small station. They also have them for usage in longer tunnels where they are very inaccessible by repair vehicles often not even close to a major road. This would be very analogous to the section roughly between Peterborough and Smith Falls where some of the track is basically completely inaccessible. and hence repairs to electrical supply would be very time consuming and could shut down the system for potentially days.

Due to the relatively small length that the trains can run on battery-only, the battery system itself is quite small meaning the trains lose very little de/acceleration and top speeds due to the weight of the batteries.
 
The Windsor to Woodstock section would actually be both cheap and very easy to construct IF Ottawa grabs a pair and puts CN & CP in their place.

VIA already owns the entire section from Windsor to Chatham and east of Chatham there are 2 direct lines to London and both run north of the 401. One owned by CN & the other by CP. The ridiculous thing is that they run parallel to each other but are only about 3 km apart. Ottawa should step in, offer them a cool billion and tell them to hand over one of the lines to VIA using ultimate domain and make them share their tracks. The exact same thing occurs east of London where the tracks both converge at Woodstock but are about 10km apart.

I don't think Ottawa will spend untold billions on a line that is not zero emissions so that cancels out high speed diesel. I think they will probably go for catenary/battery technology. Even the Japanese Shinkansen trains have battery power. They can go only a maximum of 40km but have them as a back-up system in case of power outages {usually due to earthquakes} allowing the trains to continue to the next small station. They also have them for usage in longer tunnels where they are very inaccessible by repair vehicles often not even close to a major road. This would be very analogous to the section roughly between Peterborough and Smith Falls where some of the track is basically completely inaccessible. and hence repairs to electrical supply would be very time consuming and could shut down the system for potentially days.

Due to the relatively small length that the trains can run on battery-only, the battery system itself is quite small meaning the trains lose very little de/acceleration and top speeds due to the weight of the batteries.
For the benefit of those of us who are increasingly tired of reading your wordy Essays built around the eversame talking points: what new impulses are you trying to give this discussion?
 

Back
Top