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The Geographer
Oct 10, 2007, 1:22 PM
Thing to remember is you're comparing 2 completely different modes of transportation. Amtrack is 100% not a high speed rail network. 140km/h on a network thats shared with freight trains isn't fast enough to justify a serious move from car and air traffic. What Alberta's proposed bullet train offers is upwards of 300km/h and potentially on an entirely different track, totally a different scenario.

This is very close to what I was trying to say about using a Jet train on conventional track shared with freight to make a judgment about the viability of TGV-style rail.

zilfondel
Oct 11, 2007, 4:15 AM
[sorry for the aside]

You want to talk about White Elephants? The US fed govt was going to build a billion-dollar (US) bridge to a community of less than 1,000 in Alaska.

The proposal barely got cut due to outrage of pork-barreled projects.

CMD UW
Oct 11, 2007, 5:10 AM
Re: 90 Minutes travel time bet'n Edm-Cgy - I am wondering if the 90 minutes includes the time it will take to check-in, pass through security, travel within the built-up areas through Edmonton and Calgary, and the additional time spent at each stop along the way. I am willing to bet that it doesn't.

Boris2k7
Oct 11, 2007, 5:40 AM
Re: 90 Minutes travel time bet'n Edm-Cgy - I am wondering if the 90 minutes includes the time it will take to check-in, pass through security, travel within the built-up areas through Edmonton and Calgary, and the additional time spent at each stop along the way. I am willing to bet that it doesn't.

When I used VIA, there was only a need to get to the station 20 minutes or so in advance (recommended, the line was quick itself) and no security check. The travel time inside the cities is questionable at best, if there is no delay it wouldn't take any longer than the time to drive the same distance. And if there is only two or three stops, that's only a few minutes at each station at most.

newfangled
Oct 11, 2007, 5:44 AM
Re: 90 Minutes travel time bet'n Edm-Cgy - I am wondering if the 90 minutes includes the time it will take to check-in, pass through security, travel within the built-up areas through Edmonton and Calgary, and the additional time spent at each stop along the way. I am willing to bet that it doesn't.

Add in the need for transit or cabs once you get there (particularly in our less centralized Edmonton) and you might as well have driven.

Of course I just flew back from Calgary on a lousy Dash 8, which actually makes a magic train sound like a good idea.

h0twired
Oct 11, 2007, 1:50 PM
[sorry for the aside]

You want to talk about White Elephants? The US fed govt was going to build a billion-dollar (US) bridge to a community of less than 1,000 in Alaska.

The proposal barely got cut due to outrage of pork-barreled projects.

Not trying to split hairs... but it was a $200M bridge from the touristy cruise stop of Ketchikan Alaska (pop 14,500) to their airport on Gravina Island.

http://www.pacificviews.org/weblog/archives/000054.html

CMD UW
Oct 13, 2007, 6:26 PM
When I used VIA, there was only a need to get to the station 20 minutes or so in advance (recommended, the line was quick itself) and no security check. The travel time inside the cities is questionable at best, if there is no delay it wouldn't take any longer than the time to drive the same distance. And if there is only two or three stops, that's only a few minutes at each station at most.
I'm willing to bet that security will be much tighter than VIA given that this would be a major high speed train and that the government and partners would want to ensure their billion dollar+ investment is somewhat secure.

Once again, the 90-minute travel time is very misleading and has not been verified by the proponents imo.

Edmonchuck
Oct 14, 2007, 5:38 AM
I'll guarantee you the security would be a lot more than people think. OK, I KNOW the security is larger...

CMDUW is right, 90 minutes is highly overrated.

rapid_business
Oct 14, 2007, 1:50 PM
I'm not picking a side at all here. But lets say the 90 min is stretching it.
Consider total travel time from Stantec in Edmonton to let's say Petro Can. in Calgary on a Monday morning.

If you want to compare travel times, it would be 3hrs. & 15 min. door to door driving. If you want to fly, (muni or intl.) consider the travel time to the airport, parking, checking in, security, boarding, travel time, baggage (if you have any), taxi to DT, etc.) Where are train would be walk to station with tickets, board, travel, get off, walk to location.

I'm not saying one is better then the other, but you'd really have to look at all the factors when doing the time/price comparison.

Claeren
Oct 14, 2007, 4:47 PM
I'll guarantee you the security would be a lot more than people think. OK, I KNOW the security is larger...

CMDUW is right, 90 minutes is highly overrated.


Really?

I have been on trains around the world and security is pretty light usually. Of course there is more passive security now than ever before but it is always far from airport style. You can't really hijack a train and there are no needed travel documents (passport, etc) so the only real threat is explosives. With the right passive system that threat could be largely mitigated with no delay to the passengers IMHO.

(Still on the "LRT build-out first" bandwagon though).



Claeren.

240glt
Oct 14, 2007, 5:53 PM
Jason Fekete
Calgary Herald; CanWest News Service

Sunday, October 14, 2007

RED DEER - Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling is waiting for his train to come in.

Standing atop a ridge on the edge of his city, he gazes off into the distance. Below lies the site of a potential Red Deer stop along a proposed multibillion-dollar, high-speed passenger rail line between Calgary and Edmonton.

With little effort, he can envisage the train on the horizon, accelerating from concept to reality.

All that his city of 86,000 people needs is for the Alberta government to hop aboard.

"Go for it," Flewwelling says, encouraging Premier Ed Stelmach to proceed.

"It's a huge public expenditure, however it performs a huge public service." As the government awaits a new report, due later this month, on whether a provincial bullet train is viable, there is no doubt that a high-speed train would be a risky venture for the province -- producing a series of winners and losers, and reshaping Alberta's landscape for decades to come.

If built, proponents say, it would revolutionize transportation options, overhaul the car-first culture and affect communities along the Queen Elizabeth II Highway corridor between Calgary and Edmonton.

But it also could devastate some Alberta-based businesses -- including airlines and bus companies -- and gobble up public cash that otherwise would be saved or spent on new schools, hospitals and roads.

Or Alberta's economy could be the big winner.

It's estimated high-speed rail would generate up to $6 billion in economic spinoffs, including jobs, employment income and additional taxes for governments, according to the Van Horne Institute at the University of Calgary.

Also, high-speed rail projects in Europe have produced new and higher-density developments around train stations, which generally boost property values.

More people living in the area attracts more commercial, retail and residential construction.

Flewwelling contends Red Deer would be one of the largest beneficiaries from the spinoffs, transforming his city into a relative suburb of the two major centres, reachable in as little as 40 minutes.

High-speed rail would open new housing options for people in Calgary and Edmonton who either can't afford a home or are seeking a more relaxed lifestyle in a smaller community, he adds.

There are downsides, though.

Flewwelling believes train travellers could become detached from their home community, less willing to volunteer because they spend many days in another centre.

The fallout from a bullet train would spread to other transportation-based businesses. Bus lines and air carriers would have trouble competing timewise with a train journey under two hours.

Also working in the train's favour is that it could potentially transport hundreds more people per trip than air carriers.

Despite such skepticism, Red Deer's mayor is confident the bullet train is on track to land in Alberta in the near future.

All that's required now is for the government and the public to buy into high-speed rail and hop aboard the bullet train.

"Let's get on with it," Flewwelling says. "They just haven't got their heads wrapped around it."

© The Edmonton Journal 2007

rapid_business
Oct 14, 2007, 7:57 PM
The bus/airplane argument is weak. Because a possibility exists, it doesn't mean it should be withheld to save a dated industry. Buses still run all over England. They just are adaptive. (cost, timing, etc.)

Bigtime
Oct 15, 2007, 4:30 PM
Of course I just flew back from Calgary on a lousy Dash 8, which actually makes a magic train sound like a good idea.

Hey why you gotta knock a great plane like the Dash 8? Hell I once booked flights back through Edmonton to hop onto one since it had been so long since I flew in the dash. Damn fine plane. :tup:

Oh yeah high speed rail, LRT lines first please. That's all I got to say about that.

Edmonchuck
Oct 16, 2007, 7:23 PM
Really?

I have been on trains around the world and security is pretty light usually. Of course there is more passive security now than ever before but it is always far from airport style. You can't really hijack a train and there are no needed travel documents (passport, etc) so the only real threat is explosives. With the right passive system that threat could be largely mitigated with no delay to the passengers IMHO.

(Still on the "LRT build-out first" bandwagon though).



Claeren.

Train, track, etc are all vulnerable. Just do one threat, one. See the security expand.

Again, this is the biggest rip off of the Alberta taxpayer I know of. No wonder banks are salivating when they know they have the guarantor of the Alberta government paying (P3 or otherwise) for 100% of the non-liquid assets aka the BULK of the costs. They don't care if one person steps foot on the train, they will get their money back and then some. Add some very selfish and narrow-minded Calgary interests (connected through the Ralph years) are up for large commissions if this gets approved, and I can't think of any other way we need to spell rip off.

This is not about vision. This is not about the environment. This is about a no-brainer easy investment for people to utilize a toy to handcuff the Alberta taxpayer into an investment fund that will have a small group benefit with a huge ROI in interest payments alone. This business plan is not for you and me. This is an investment strategy using platitudes and sexy toys and cool gadgets to blind us from the real business plan. If I had a spare couple million lying around and I had no conscience about ripping off the taxpayers, I'd throw it at this too. After all, the collateral in resources is huge - a no lose investment. You can have the line go belly up, sell the trains, have “urban renewal” projects for the stations, and still have money pouring in from the track this business proposal wants so desperately. The lenders/investors just can’t lose here.

Why do you think they will "fund" the liquid assets only? This is a no-risk strategy for the banks (and a few people I can’t mention) at its core. All they have to do is sell Alberta on the idea, so you get the platitudes and the whisking and the low travel times and the minimal security and the, well, you get the picture. Press them on why they won’t fund the whole thing privately! Dare you to ask prospective lenders like the Deutsche Bank Group why they like this so much, or better yet, if they are STILL INTERESTED if provincial money is NOT on the table. Dare ya. It’s not that they are evil, it is just that the ROI is virtually guaranteed, so in the interest of profit and shareholder value, if we are dumb enough to do this, why not at least make some cash out of it? If they don’t step up, someone else will.

freeweed
Oct 16, 2007, 8:07 PM
The ultimate in urban sprawl - Red Deer as a suburb of both Calgary and Edmonton.

I know I'd be considering it, with a house in either city costing a cool half-million these days. Heck, a 40 minute train ride into downtown Calgary is nearly what I see on the C-Train some days.

newfangled
Oct 16, 2007, 8:28 PM
The ultimate in urban sprawl - Red Deer as a suburb of both Calgary and Edmonton.

I know I'd be considering it, with a house in either city costing a cool half-million these days. Heck, a 40 minute train ride into downtown Calgary is nearly what I see on the C-Train some days.

I still have to ask, how much is a train ride supposed to cost?

If the current alternatives for Edm-Cal roundtrip are $50ish by car, $100 by greyhound, $125 by Red Arrow, and $200+ by plane, where is HSR going to come in?

The daily commute from Red Deer sounds like a nice idea - until you're having to spend $50/day or $1000/month for the trip. Even with monthly passes or frequent rider points HSR would never be essentially "free" like the C-Train is. And Calgary parking may be expensive, but at least you're not living in Red Deer. :)

Corndogger
Oct 16, 2007, 8:28 PM
The ultimate in urban sprawl - Red Deer as a suburb of both Calgary and Edmonton.

I know I'd be considering it, with a house in either city costing a cool half-million these days. Heck, a 40 minute train ride into downtown Calgary is nearly what I see on the C-Train some days.

This is exactly why the mayor of Red Deer is so in favor of this proposal. Your property taxes and a lot of your day-to-day purchases would be going straight into their economy. At the same time you would still be using Calgary infrastructure and services but not contributing as much. Unless we implement a payroll tax where say 1% of your gross income goes to the city in which you work, I don't see why Bronco is a fan of this white elephant.

Corndogger
Oct 16, 2007, 8:35 PM
I still have to ask, how much is a train ride supposed to cost?

If the current alternatives for Edm-Cal roundtrip are $50ish by car, $100 by greyhound, $125 by Red Arrow, and $200+ by plane, where is HSR going to come in?

The daily commute from Red Deer sounds like a nice idea - until you're having to spend $50/day or $1000/month for the trip. Even with monthly passes or frequent rider points HSR would never be essentially "free" like the C-Train is. And Calgary parking may be expensive, but at least you're not living in Red Deer. :)

The head of the company that wants us to build this system says they are looking at $65 one way to Edmonton. Of course we all know this is a low ball estimate to suck people in. I doubt they would cut the price in half because you are only going to Red Deer.

He also claimed that the entire trip would take 84 minutes but everything I've read has said that the service would not be high speed through the cities so I'm not sure how he is arriving at the 84 minute figure.

newfangled
Oct 16, 2007, 8:53 PM
The head of the company that wants us to build this system says they are looking at $65 one way to Edmonton. Of course we all know this is a low ball estimate to suck people in. I doubt they would cut the price in half because you are only going to Red Deer.

He also claimed that the entire trip would take 84 minutes but everything I've read has said that the service would not be high speed through the cities so I'm not sure how he is arriving at the 84 minute figure.

Oh, it's obviously all spin.

But beyond that it's not even good spin - $130 for a roundtrip? That price makes perfect sense given the other options, but I didn't realize they were actually admitting it publicly.

The whole HSR pitch has been based around these cute stories of families hopping on the train to go to the zoo/WEM/Stampede/grand prix/hockey games...and the myth of the HSR commuter.

For that to work HSR would need to be free, or at least almost free like transit is. That breaks down if you're at $100+ a trip or $400ish for a family.

HSR folks, if you're going to lie to me at least do a good job of it.

Boris2k7
Oct 16, 2007, 9:40 PM
Oh, it's obviously all spin.

But beyond that it's not even good spin - $130 for a roundtrip? That price makes perfect sense given the other options, but I didn't realize they were actually admitting it publicly.

The whole HSR pitch has been based around these cute stories of families hopping on the train to go to the zoo/WEM/Stampede/grand prix/hockey games...and the myth of the HSR commuter.

For that to work HSR would need to be free, or at least almost free like transit is. That breaks down if you're at $100+ a trip or $400ish for a family.

HSR folks, if you're going to lie to me at least do a good job of it.

I would note here that that isn't much more than the bus costs.

Transit isn't free. It's costing me about $75/month, and that's after subsidization. Roads appear free, but then the government pays a buttload for them through various taxes. I can't see how HSR would be any different in this sense, other than the scale of subsidization. And even then, the numbers are still up in the air, for better or worse.

adriancanada
Oct 16, 2007, 10:41 PM
Instead of a constant "all or nothing" scenario, why not slowly ease into high-speed rail? Establishing corridor-like service (say 5 trains a day in each direction) with decent speeds (about the same as car) and reasonable prices should be the first step. Then, if the passenger volumes justify it, the high-speed rail link should be built. But in the meantime, Alberta and Via Rail should just work on providing service with conventional equipment. Although I'm aware service used to be provided between Edmonton and Calgary in the 80's, the comparison is not justified as the travel times were something ridiculous like 5 hours...

newfangled
Oct 16, 2007, 10:42 PM
I would note here that that isn't much more than the bus costs.

Transit isn't free. It's costing me about $75/month, and that's after subsidization. Roads appear free, but then the government pays a buttload for them through various taxes. I can't see how HSR would be any different in this sense, other than the scale of subsidization. And even then, the numbers are still up in the air, for better or worse.

I don't want to get into the hidden societal costs or subsidies of various forms of transport because that's a whole different issue. I'm just talking about the price of HSR to the consumer, and the potential market at that price.

HSR will be in the range of $130 for a roundtrip - whether that's $100, or $150 or $200 isn't all that important. What's important is that HSR will be competetive with bussing or flying and not with transit. Thinking that the potential market for HSR will be substantially different from the market for bussing and flying doesn't make any sense.

To the consumer this isn't a revolutionary new service - it's a slightly faster and possibly slightly cheaper version of an existing service.

Slightly faster and possibly slighly cheaper! Whoo! :banana:

But still too expensive for everday use! Whoo?

feepa
Oct 17, 2007, 1:12 AM
Instead of a constant "all or nothing" scenario, why not slowly ease into high-speed rail? Establishing corridor-like service (say 5 trains a day in each direction) with decent speeds (about the same as car) and reasonable prices should be the first step. Then, if the passenger volumes justify it, the high-speed rail link should be built. But in the meantime, Alberta and Via Rail should just work on providing service with conventional equipment. Although I'm aware service used to be provided between Edmonton and Calgary in the 80's, the comparison is not justified as the travel times were something ridiculous like 5 hours...
because the current owners of the lines does not want passengar rail service on it.Secondly, it would be slower then greyhound, and no one would ride it. You would need to build another line. Might as well do it all in one shot.

Nutterbug
Oct 17, 2007, 1:48 AM
because the current owners of the lines does not want passengar rail service on it.Secondly, it would be slower then greyhound, and no one would ride it. You would need to build another line. Might as well do it all in one shot.

They should just make it competitive in speed and cost with the Greyhound, but with the added comfort and amenities of a train.

feepa
Oct 17, 2007, 1:50 AM
They should just make it competitive in speed and cost with the Greyhound, but with the added comfort and amenities of a train.
hi, re-read my post. Who ever owns those lines DOES NOT want passenger service on it.
How much do you think it would cost to put down a regular new conventional line versus an HSR line?

newfangled
Oct 17, 2007, 2:04 AM
They should just make it competitive in speed and cost with the Greyhound, but with the added comfort and amenities of a train.

It's called Red Arrow. It does 7 round-trips per day, for a grand total of maybe 200 people.

Between that, and seven Westjet 737s and seventeen little AC flights that's the potential HSR market right there.

Nutterbug
Oct 17, 2007, 2:06 AM
hi, re-read my post. Who ever owns those lines DOES NOT want passenger service on it.
How much do you think it would cost to put down a regular new conventional line versus an HSR line?

How about another parallel conventional line to be cost and use shared with the existing railway and freight traffic? It's not like there will be enough passenger traffic for dedicated tracks, will there?

Corndogger
Oct 17, 2007, 2:41 AM
It's called Red Arrow. It does 7 round-trips per day, for a grand total of maybe 200 people.

Between that, and seven Westjet 737s and seventeen little AC flights that's the potential HSR market right there.

California had an economic analysis done for their proposed system and it found that only about 7% of the people would abandon use of their vehicles. Most of the draw for their high speed system would come from existing airline and bus users--mostly airline. If Stelmach is seriously considering blowing billions on this then one has to wonder if he has any understanding of economics at all. I'd also like to see how he is going to explain the masses why all these years we could never afford to build enough schools, hospitals, etc. but all of a sudden we can afford $5 billion+.

para transit fellow
Oct 17, 2007, 4:13 AM
How about another parallel conventional line to be cost and use shared with the existing railway and freight traffic? It's not like there will be enough passenger traffic for dedicated tracks, will there?


Once upon a time, I met a "railway siding consultant" (didn't really know such a job existed...). His comment was that we could build a LRT track within the CPR right of way dimensions that could elevate over the various private crossings, muncipal crossings, etc and let a LRT type train run to Edmonton for far less bucks... however the drawback is that the fastest LRT designs could only do about have the speed.

(he also suggest a LRT cargo car carrying containers of courier packages throughout the day)

Koolfire
Oct 17, 2007, 4:47 AM
Once upon a time, I met a "railway siding consultant" (didn't really know such a job existed...). His comment was that we could build a LRT track within the CPR right of way dimensions that could elevate over the various private crossings, muncipal crossings, etc and let a LRT type train run to Edmonton for far less bucks... however the drawback is that the fastest LRT designs could only do about have the speed.

(he also suggest a LRT cargo car carrying containers of courier packages throughout the day)

The old LRV had a top speed of 80KM/H the new ones(SD160) have top speed of 105KM/H. Now, why in the world would you put up all the electrical wires over head so that you can go slower then what VIA train can do. :banana:

Thunderball
Oct 17, 2007, 5:26 AM
Unless the HSR can cost the same or less as downtown parking would per month, lets say that's $400/mth, it has no commuting use. If its even $130 roundtrip like they say, that works out to $33,800/yr. This would negate any savings in moving to Red Deer. In other words, I have no idea why Red Deer would be excited.

The advantage is in occasional travel to Edmonton/Calgary for business. Pleasure travellers would find it far too cost prohibitive, since a round-trip car ride costs about $50-60, split between the passengers, it could be as little as $6-8 a person. For a family of 4, the extra hour or so between driving and train/flying is worth the savings of at least $350.

It would be fun, but its a gigantic white elephant unless they can get costs low enough to compete with driving and make it worth it to commute from Red Deer.

BlueRain
Oct 17, 2007, 5:27 AM
If this were to get built, what kind of implications would it have for the growth/future of YEG? Would people leaving Edmonton likely abandon it in favor of taking a train to YYC (as Calgary's mayor suggested)?

lightrail
Oct 21, 2007, 5:28 AM
It seems logical to me to build a high-speed line based on the French TGV technology or German ICE3 technology between downtown Edmonton and downtown Calgary with a stop in Red Deer. It also seems logical to run the line mainly along the centre of the QEII - completely fenced and grade separated (no flat crossings), with stations under the Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Edmonton International Airport (YEG). I think the Edmonton segment would have to be in a deep level bored tunnel, with a new river crossing adjacent to the LRT bridge.

With trains running at 320km/h (top service speed for TGV), a journey of 1hour 20 min between Edmonton and Calgary is possible (allowing for stops and acceleration/decelaration).

With the quick travel time to YYC from both Edmonton and Calgary, YEG could see itself losing out to YYC. In Europe this happened to Brussels. With the introduction of the Thalys high-speed train (running on TGV high-speed lines) direct from Brussels Midi Station to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport then on to Paris Gare du Nord Station, travel time from Brussels Midi to Charles de Gaulle Airport is just over 1 hour. When people book flights out of Brussels, their airline ticket includes the Thalys Train to Charles de Gaulle - and baggage is checked in at Brussels Midi to the destination. In other words, the train is treated like a flight.

Same holds true for Koln in Germany. The opening of a 400km/h high-speed line (though trains top out at about 350km/h and cruise at 320km/h) between Koln and Frankfurt airport allows people from Koln to get to Frankfurt airport in about 45 minutes. At Frankfurt, the departure boards showing all flights include trains.

Thalys High-speed Train arriving ar Paris Gare du Nord
http://www.trainweb.org/tgvpages/images/thalys/thalysparis.jpg

ICE 3 at Brussels Midi
http://www.eriksrailnews.com/archive/stuff/ice3.brussels.jpg

Watching the view at 320km/h - floor to ceiling glass allows a forward passenger view in the ICE 3 trains
http://mayhem-chaos.net/photoblog/images/ice3_cockpit.jpg

mersar
Oct 21, 2007, 5:45 AM
It seems logical to me to build a high-speed line based on the French TGV technology or German ICE3 technology between downtown Edmonton and downtown Calgary with a stop in Red Deer. It also seems logical to run the line mainly along the centre of the QEII - completely fenced and grade separated (no flat crossings), with stations under the Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Edmonton International Airport (YEG). I think the Edmonton segment would have to be in a deep level bored tunnel, with a new river crossing adjacent to the LRT bridge.

The costs associated with what you propose would be astronomical. Following the QEII would be a huge cost, you'd have to relocate nearly 300km of highway in one direction just to make the median wide enough, as in most places its under 25m (generally any high speed is given a 100m median at least). Not to mention redesign and rebuild a good dozen+ interchanges. As well that routing would have so many curves that the train would never reach top speed. A bored tunnel through Edmonton also would add literally billions to the total.

If it does go ahead, and is cheap and fast enough I do see some negative impact on YEG without a doubt.

lightrail
Oct 21, 2007, 6:15 AM
The costs associated with what you propose would be astronomical. Following the QEII would be a huge cost, you'd have to relocate nearly 300km of highway in one direction just to make the median wide enough, as in most places its under 25m (generally any high speed is given a 100m median at least). Not to mention redesign and rebuild a good dozen+ interchanges. As well that routing would have so many curves that the train would never reach top speed. A bored tunnel through Edmonton also would add literally billions to the total.

If it does go ahead, and is cheap and fast enough I do see some negative impact on YEG without a doubt.

100 metres for twin tracks? No. High Speed One in the UK (the new high speed line designed for 320km/h running is 15 metres wide from fence to fence (wider at a station of course). What do you need the other 85 metres for - landscaping?

South of Red Deer, there's what, two bends in the QEII? The track bends will be engineered for high speed, but super-elevation and the use of tilting trains (such as the German ICE 3) will help.

Edmonton could use the existing track and High Level, but then you lose the high speed advantage. Can you imagine your expensive electric high speed trainet limping through Old Scona, clanging a cow bell, at 30km/h? If the station is downtown, then a tunnel is the only way, or a lot of expropriations. An alternative is to build a terminus in Old Scona at the old railhead.

High-speed electric trains can handle 6% grades easy, so the QEII route is not a problem. The Koln to Frankfurt line feels like a rollercoaster at times as the train climbs and drops 6% grades at 320km/h.

leendert
Oct 21, 2007, 6:03 PM
Edmonton could use the existing track and High Level, but then you lose the high speed advantage. Can you imagine your expensive electric high speed trainet limping through Old Scona, clanging a cow bell, at 30km/h?

This is the case for the European examples you mentioned. On the Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam route of the Thalys the track near/inside the cities is not high speed and you are chugging along at low speeds for 10 or 15 minutes around each station.

The Netherlands has added a dedicated high-speed rail line, HSL-Zuid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSL-Zuid) between Amsterdam and the Belgian border. For roughly 125 km the cost of the track is €7 billion (~$9.7 billion CAD), although presumably the infrastructure cost is higher due to sloppy soils, bridges and 15 km in tunnels. The partially completed LGV Est (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGV_Est) in eastern France is designed for speeds of 350km/h and a bit more affordable at about €4 billion (~$5.5 billion CAD) for 400 km.

I don't see a good reason to run it in the median of Highway 2 though, I think it makes construction more complicated due to vehicle traffic. If implemented I would say go for the cheapest route, fence it off, and close the little gravel side roads that it intersects with just the occasional grade separated crossing for east-west traffic.

lightrail
Oct 21, 2007, 9:28 PM
This is the case for the European examples you mentioned. On the Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam route of the Thalys the track near/inside the cities is not high speed and you are chugging along at low speeds for 10 or 15 minutes around each station.

The Netherlands has added a dedicated high-speed rail line, HSL-Zuid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSL-Zuid) between Amsterdam and the Belgian border. For roughly 125 km the cost of the track is €7 billion (~$9.7 billion CAD), although presumably the infrastructure cost is higher due to sloppy soils, bridges and 15 km in tunnels. The partially completed LGV Est (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGV_Est) in eastern France is designed for speeds of 350km/h and a bit more affordable at about €4 billion (~$5.5 billion CAD) for 400 km.

I don't see a good reason to run it in the median of Highway 2 though, I think it makes construction more complicated due to vehicle traffic. If implemented I would say go for the cheapest route, fence it off, and close the little gravel side roads that it intersects with just the occasional grade separated crossing for east-west traffic.

None of the route from Bruxelles to Amsterdam is currently high-speed, the Thalys run on the classic tracks. A new high-speed line is under construction and should be opened next year, cutting times considerably. My point is that if you build a high-speed line, don't compromise it in the cities. London used Waterloo for Eurostar and the trains ran on 700v DC third rail in England until Phase 1 High-speed one was built and is only now completing Phase 2, a 19km tunnel under London to bring high-speed trains to St. Pancreas, cutting a good 40 min of the original timings.

With regard to Hwy 2 - it comes down to land purchase cost verses construction cost s- I don't care either so long as it is grade separated or fenced.

You Need A Thneed
Oct 22, 2007, 4:28 AM
the advantage of the HSR travelling in the median of QE2, Free advertising! Drivers would see one of the trains flying by them, and be jealous.

I think building it in the median could work, I mean, it would require a lot of work to fix the highway in some places (e.g. Olds overpass - but that one might be replaced soon anyway), but there would also be places where I imagine it would be the cheapest and/or easiest. It would certainly make obtaining the rights of way a lot easier, and they could use existing grade separations instead of building dozens of new ones from scratch.

In theory that is. Whether it's possible to do in reality is something that would be left to the experts.

Jeffsey500
Oct 22, 2007, 4:38 AM
Its by all means possible. They are looking to upgrade the QE2 anyways. There will need to be some new overpasses, and this is the perfect excuse!

Edmonchuck
Oct 22, 2007, 7:45 PM
Technically anything is possible. However, if you want to throw tax dollars at a useless project that Deutsche Bank is looking to rip us off in interest and surcharges, fill your boots. Rod Love will happily thank you for his huge commission for getting this sold, and snicker all the way to the bank....and we get stuck paying off a white elephant. From an investor's standpoint, with the Alberta Government as a guarantor, this is a no risk proposal for investors as they make millions. They could care less if one person rides this thing. The Van Horne "study" is just pabulum to try to sell this crap to us, because we are all stupid sheep to the slaughterhouse - monorail, monorail....MONORAIIIIIIIIL.....monorail. MONO...D'OH!

newfangled
Oct 22, 2007, 8:05 PM
the advantage of the HSR travelling in the median of QE2, Free advertising! Drivers would see one of the trains flying by them, and be jealous.

Yes...that will certainly go a long way to paying off the billions of $'s in capital costs and the who-knows-how-much in annual operating costs.

Or, just because you can make some revenue off of something doesn't mean you have a business plan.

More simpson's quotes:

Homer:"And you didn't think I would make any money! I found a dollar while I was waiting for the bus!!"
Marge: "Well, while you were "EARNING" that dollar, you lost $40 by not going to work! The plant called and said that if you don't come in Friday don't bother coming in on Monday."
Homer:" "Woohoo!!! 4 day weekend!!"

S_B_Russell
Oct 22, 2007, 8:37 PM
The population of Germany: 82,400,996

The population of Alberta: 3,473,984

Do math and then let me know if HSR makes any sense.

brento79
Oct 22, 2007, 9:04 PM
HSR is not the answer for Alberta. However proper transit systems in the metro areas are.

Money needs to be spent making sure transportation in the cities are seemless before focusing on another project that will drain funds.

Creating better transport in the cities makes them better hubs. Edmonton and Calgary are both stops on the way to/from the Pacific.

I will not support HSR until other transportation initiatives are on the drawing board.

Mikemike
Oct 22, 2007, 9:26 PM
If this were to get built, what kind of implications would it have for the growth/future of YEG? Would people leaving Edmonton likely abandon it in favor of taking a train to YYC (as Calgary's mayor suggested)?

HSR would replace 80% of all Calgary-Edmonton flights, and that's all.

Edmontonians are rapidly getting used to flying direct, and that will increase as time passes and the city and it's airport grows. 5 years ago I would consider a domestic flight through calgary. Not any more. Driving to calgary to catch a Winter vacation charter used to be common, but no longer.

Especially since HSR will take 4-5 years to build from approval, that's a couple years after the next airport expansion here is finished, and we will be used used to that many more direct flights. Especially at the prices that we've heard ($130 round trip) it won't be attractive as an airport connection.

Boris2k7
Oct 22, 2007, 9:48 PM
HSR is not the answer for Alberta. However proper transit systems in the metro areas are.

Money needs to be spent making sure transportation in the cities are seemless before focusing on another project that will drain funds.

Creating better transport in the cities makes them better hubs. Edmonton and Calgary are both stops on the way to/from the Pacific.

I will not support HSR until other transportation initiatives are on the drawing board.

LRT won't get you from Calgary to Edmonton.

Which of these would be most effected by higher fuel prices:
A) Bus
B) Car
C) Plane
D) Electric Train

It should be pretty obvious as to where we are heading in the future...

Edmonchuk's trolling increasingly gets more chronic with each passing page. Really, have you nothing better to do?

newfangled
Oct 22, 2007, 10:08 PM
LRT won't get you from Calgary to Edmonton.

Which of these would be most effected by higher fuel prices:
A) Bus
B) Car
C) Plane
D) Electric Train

It should be pretty obvious as to where we are heading in the future...

e) Horse and Buggy

Basing huge investment on the percieved benefits of a potential future fuel price increase isn't sound. If you straightline extrapolated oil prices from the 70's to today (which people were doing in the 70's) then you would end up a lot higher than a measly $90/barrel. If fuel prices increase then people are just as likely to switch to hybrid or electric busses, cars, unicorns etc. And then poof, the benefits of HSR vanish.

A 300km high-speed train will never have the economies of scale of the worldwide airline or motor vehicle industry. You're essentially saying that a niche product will beat the mass-market on price, which won't happen. And the market will also not let a mass form of tranportation like motor vehicles become cost prohibitive to operate.

Boris2k7
Oct 23, 2007, 12:18 AM
e) Horse and Buggy

Basing huge investment on the percieved benefits of a potential future fuel price increase isn't sound. If you straightline extrapolated oil prices from the 70's to today (which people were doing in the 70's) then you would end up a lot higher than a measly $90/barrel. If fuel prices increase then people are just as likely to switch to hybrid or electric busses, cars, unicorns etc. And then poof, the benefits of HSR vanish.

A 300km high-speed train will never have the economies of scale of the worldwide airline or motor vehicle industry. You're essentially saying that a niche product will beat the mass-market on price, which won't happen. And the market will also not let a mass form of tranportation like motor vehicles become cost prohibitive to operate.

The market argument is essentially flawed, as it has benefited from massive subsidies. There is nothing level about it. And the market cannot escape from resource scarcity. It'll get more expensive whether the market like it or not. Even if you switched entirely to an alternative fuel, such as ethanol, the price will skyrocket as that resource becomes more scarce. There is only so much arable land in the world after all, and destruction of even more swaths natural environment for the purpose of human consumption can't be allowed.

I swear, the fucking "market" is going to drive human civilization right into the ground.

But what am I saying, this must be heresy. My corporate and political masters are telling me that I need a house, and a car, and to bring several new laboure.... er... taxpaye.... er... children into the world. OH, and that I MUST follow what the MARKET says, and screw any sense of rationality.

brento79
Oct 23, 2007, 12:39 AM
I don't know how I am trolling. All I am saying is I would rather spend tax money on transportation that will pay off. I don't see the benefit economic of HSR between Edmonton and Calgary to be more than the money sunk into this project.

How is this going to benefit our tax dollars for than building upon exisiting transportation priorities? This is merely a luxury for transporting people between Edmonton and Calgary. You can place a green sticker on it, but realistically I bet if you look at the total cost of maintianing and building you could sponsor much stronger green initiatives between Edmonton and Calgary.

I do not understand how logical thinking is considered trolling. Usual it is people from Calgary that realize waste of tax money.

newfangled
Oct 23, 2007, 1:28 AM
The market argument is essentially flawed, as it has benefited from massive subsidies. There is nothing level about it. And the market cannot escape from resource scarcity. It'll get more expensive whether the market like it or not. Even if you switched entirely to an alternative fuel, such as ethanol, the price will skyrocket as that resource becomes more scarce. There is only so much arable land in the world after all, and destruction of even more swaths natural environment for the purpose of human consumption can't be allowed.

Oil prices could skyrocket. And ethanol prices could skyrocket. And lithium prices could skyrocket.

Electricity prices could skyrocket too - especially considering our prices our 1/3-1/2 of what they are in the some parts of the states. Poof! There goes the argument about the perceived benefits of HSR.

Hardhatdan
Oct 23, 2007, 1:36 AM
LRT won't get you from Calgary to Edmonton.

Which of these would be most effected by higher fuel prices:
A) Bus
B) Car
C) Plane
D) Electric Train

It should be pretty obvious as to where we are heading in the future...

Edmonchuk's trolling increasingly gets more chronic with each passing page. Really, have you nothing better to do?

Answer: All of the above.
Maybe when you grow up and pay your own electricity bill you can see how much its increased.

tkoe
Oct 23, 2007, 4:12 AM
I lived in Brussels for three years and the Thalys definitely did not kill off the airport. While it is true that the train ride between Paris and Brussels is considered a connecting 'flight' on an international journey, it is most often to places that Brussels would never have a flight to anyways, like Sao Paulo.

As it stands, Brussels has a beautifully modern and well used airport that has links to all over Europe and Francafrique. My feeling is the only thing that suffered from the opening of the Thalys was ineffcient and slow flights to cities that were very close together.

MichaelS
Oct 23, 2007, 2:18 PM
The market argument is essentially flawed, as it has benefited from massive subsidies. There is nothing level about it.

So it is wrong for some forms of transportation to receive massive subsidies (highways) but it is perfectly acceptable for others (HSR)?

freeweed
Oct 23, 2007, 2:28 PM
So it is wrong for some forms of transportation to receive massive subsidies (highways) but it is perfectly acceptable for others (HSR)?

Yes.

Edit: that was sarcasm. ;) But I figured I'd get the answer in before everyone else did.

shreddog
Oct 23, 2007, 2:29 PM
I'll repost what I said in the same thread found in under Transportation ...

Was going to stay out of this debate, but just can’t help myself.

The real issue here is not whether a HSR option would be used in the Ed-Cal corridor, but really is this the best use of the LIMITED money available?

I believe that there are 50000 car trips a day between Ed-Cal. Let’s assume that there is on average 2 people in each of those cars. Let’s also assume that the HSR is wildly successful and is able to capture 50% of that market. That would mean a full train every 15 minutes from 7AM to 7PM and a train every 30 minutes from 5 to 7 AM and from 7PM to 1AM (we’ll reserve 1AM to 5AM for mtce).

In this wildy successful example (and somewhat fanciful) this would mean in 50000 people a day would be riding the rails – all at a cost of at least 6 Billion dollars – and very likely more.

In Calgary, the West-LRT is expected to cost 600-800 Million dollars and WILL deliver at least 60000 riders a day. I’m don’t know what the planned ridership numbers are for the SE and NC lines, nor any proposed lines in Edmonton, but I think it is clear what will make the biggest impact.

If money was unlimited, yes it would be F’ng great to have HSR between these 2 cities. I have spent well over a hundred hours riding HSR in Europe over the years and would kill to do so over here BUT since money is not unlimited, it MUST go where the value equation shows it having the biggest impact.

Spending 2.5 Billion each on LRT in Calgary and Edmonton AND if you want to improve PT between the two, spend another Billion on BRT features along the QEII for the Red Arrow et al would be a more efficient use of this limited resource.

Perhaps in a perfect world with unlimited money, HSR now would be acceptable. Since this world ain't perfect and money IS limited, spend that coin on LRT and see some real benefits. And no, you can't have both. It is that simple.

That said, IF Eddie believes in HSR, commit to it by deciding on the route and setting aside 5-10 million a year to acquire the land as it becomes available. Then in 30 years once the PT systems in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer are close to built out, HSR will make sense.

newfangled
Oct 23, 2007, 2:33 PM
So it is wrong for some forms of transportation to receive massive subsidies (highways) but it is perfectly acceptable for others (HSR)?

If I'm allowed to use the HSR line whenever I want, as often as I want, and in whatever vehicle I want then it would still be a bad idea to build it, but at least it would be a fair comparison to highways.

murman
Oct 23, 2007, 3:10 PM
So it is wrong for some forms of transportation to receive massive subsidies (highways) but it is perfectly acceptable for others (HSR)?

YES

Beltliner
Oct 23, 2007, 7:41 PM
Perhaps in a perfect world with unlimited money, HSR now would be acceptable. Since this world ain't perfect and money IS limited, spend that coin on LRT and see some real benefits. And no, you can't have both. It is that simple.

That said, IF Eddie believes in HSR, commit to it by deciding on the route and setting aside 5-10 million a year to acquire the land as it becomes available. Then in 30 years once the PT systems in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer are close to built out, HSR will make sense.

FWIW, any greenfield right of way for TGV between Calgary and Edmonton should be acquired parallel to Highway 21, if only to cram a week-old sweatsock into the cakeholes of those who are clamouring for commuter and dayliner service between the two burgs. A few of these lovely little DMUs (http://www.coloradorailcar.com/double-deck-dmu-home.htm)would cover commuter rail needs from Calgary to Okotoks/High River, Cochrane/Canmore/Banff, Airdrie/Crossfield/Red Deer, and perhaps even Chestermere/Strathmore.

Edmonchuck
Oct 24, 2007, 3:38 AM
Edmonchuk's trolling increasingly gets more chronic with each passing page. Really, have you nothing better to do?

Awh, do you hear that folks, I'M A TROLL!!!!:tup: :banana:

Woo Hoo!

I am evil Homer! I am evil Homer!

Sorry Boris, too bad that the good old facts, data, and logic bus hit you between the eyes.

Sorry Boris if I've actually had a glimpse at the financing arrangements. I really don't want Rod Love to make any more money on behalf of my tax dollars, he's helped bleed us quite enough thank you.

Hey murman, I've got an honour you don't have yet!

murman
Oct 24, 2007, 3:38 PM
Hey murman, I've got an honour you don't have yet!

Taking your comment as a challenge, I've gone and updated my sig, you big bad troll, you.

Policy Wonk
Oct 26, 2007, 12:39 AM
But what am I saying, this must be heresy. My corporate and political masters are telling me that I need a house, and a car, and to bring several new laboure.... er... taxpaye.... er... children into the world. OH, and that I MUST follow what the MARKET says, and screw any sense of rationality.

Because as everyone knows these are 100% external desires, nobody desired a house, personal transportation or to procreate until the capitalists told them they wanted to.

zooropa
Nov 3, 2007, 8:43 PM
Rod Love pushing bullet train proposal
Susan Ruttan, Edmonton Journal
Published: Friday, November 02, 2007

Rod Love, the longtime aide to former premier Ralph Klein, is now working to promote a bullet train between Calgary and Edmonton.

Love, a Calgary consultant and lobbyist, confirmed Thursday that he's working on behalf of an unnamed client to promote the high-speed train idea to the Stelmach government.

"Everybody's standing around waiting for the government to do something," said Love.

Once the Stelmach administration makes its move -- a request for proposals, a discussion paper or whatever -- a lot of companies will come forward, he said.

The government has commissioned a $1-million feasibility study into building a high-speed train between Edmonton and Calgary, with a stop in Red Deer. The report is expected at any time.

Stelmach has said that such a high-speed line is "part of the long-term future of the province of Alberta."

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel opposes the bullet train idea, saying its high cost won't be justified by the amount of use it gets. Some Edmontonians see the train as a threat to Edmonton International Airport, if people start taking such a train down to Calgary to catch a flight.

Love said the train would work for both big cities.

"There would be a hell of a lot more Calgary businessmen willing to get on a high-speed train to come up there and do business with the government than now," he said.

There is currently one Calgary-based consortium, Alberta High Speed Rail, pushing for the bullet train. It proposes a line directly west of the QE II Highway, ending in downtown Calgary and Edmonton.

Love said that once the Stelmach government announces the train will be built, more such consortiums will form.

Love served as Klein's chief of staff for most of Klein's political career, leaving in 2005 to be a consultant.

sync
Nov 3, 2007, 10:50 PM
wow.

another million dollar feasibililty study.

http://www.turboconnection.com/images/picard.jpg

Wooster
Nov 4, 2007, 8:16 AM
The longer I am in Japan the more I like the idea of this HSR. I just hope it is viable. I also think it should eventually push to Banff as well. It is by far our province's most important tourist destination. It would make it convenient for travellers to visit both Edmonton and Calgary as well as Banff park.

rapid_business
Nov 4, 2007, 1:33 PM
But people wouldn't want HSR to Banff. It defeats the whole purpose of the mountains. Slower travel to appreciate them. Sure it would be convenient from the airport, but think of the ridiculous cost of to carve the mountains to lay a somewhat linear track to allow the high-speed.

m0nkyman
Nov 4, 2007, 2:06 PM
It is by far our province's most important tourist destination.
Depressing to say, but it's second after the West Edmonton Mall. :shrug:

itom 987
Nov 4, 2007, 4:43 PM
Having HSR go to Banff is a ridiculous idea.

The Geographer
Nov 4, 2007, 5:10 PM
But people wouldn't want HSR to Banff. It defeats the whole purpose of the mountains. Slower travel to appreciate them. Sure it would be convenient from the airport, but think of the ridiculous cost of to carve the mountains to lay a somewhat linear track to allow the high-speed.

No kidding. It makes far more sense to offer more services to Banff on a conventional CPR line. Tourists would probably use that.

Mister F
Nov 4, 2007, 5:12 PM
The population of Germany: 82,400,996

The population of Alberta: 3,473,984

Do math and then let me know if HSR makes any sense.
Sweden has plans to link Stockholm, population 1.9 million, with Copenhagen, population 1.1 million. It's a 700 km corridor - well over double the distance of Edmonton-Calgary with only a third more people, and more challenging terrain. If it can make sense there, it can make sense in oil-rich Alberta.

evolv
Nov 4, 2007, 5:47 PM
But people wouldn't want HSR to Banff. It defeats the whole purpose of the mountains. Slower travel to appreciate them. Sure it would be convenient from the airport, but think of the ridiculous cost of to carve the mountains to lay a somewhat linear track to allow the high-speed.


it would be pretty easy to follow the valley and not carve/tunnel through any mountains. if they took it all the way to Lake Louise and made it convient for skiiers it would be very cool. Not having to drive home after skiing would be a dream come true. Sit back have a few beers

feepa
Nov 4, 2007, 5:51 PM
^^HSR to Banff/Lake Louise? Come on folks - seriously. You really can't do much in Banff with out a tour bus or car, and if supposedly Edmonton <--> Calgary is not viable, how on earth would this ever been viable?

rapid_business
Nov 4, 2007, 6:27 PM
maybe a commuter rail to Banff someday... but no HSR for 50+ years... it doesn't even begin to make sense.

Jeffsey500
Nov 4, 2007, 7:05 PM
But people wouldn't want HSR to Banff. It defeats the whole purpose of the mountains. Slower travel to appreciate them. Sure it would be convenient from the airport, but think of the ridiculous cost of to carve the mountains to lay a somewhat linear track to allow the high-speed.

Travel slowly to appreciate the mountains on the way to Banff? When was the last time you drove there? 160km/h on the Trans Canada does not exactly constitute drivingly slowly to enjoy the scenery.

240glt
Nov 4, 2007, 7:22 PM
Only the @$$holes drive that fast

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2007, 7:56 PM
^^HSR to Banff/Lake Louise? Come on folks - seriously. You really can't do much in Banff with out a tour bus or car, and if supposedly Edmonton <--> Calgary is not viable, how on earth would this ever been viable?

So the big question becomes, if we want to put in regional commuter rail (ala go) and maybe a tourist service to banff, what needs to be built as a Station?

Is there any chance for restoring the "Station" at the Calgary Tower?

I know the provincial government has bought land in 'rail town' for a HSR station, but if we want a multipurpose station where would it go, and what would it serve?

mersar
Nov 4, 2007, 8:24 PM
The existing station downtown that Mountaineer and company use would probably be sufficient (albeit may need expanded a bit) for a downtown station if the HSR doesn't happen, something more integrated would be best though if it does.

If we wanted a more commuter style system going out to all the surrounding communities we'd need more stations then that IMO, I'd push for another station that is integrated with the CTrain at one of the south stops (Somerset or Anderson would be my choice), plus possibly one in the NW somewhere, likely along Bearspaw Dam Road by Stoney. Connecting out to Strathmore would require new rail construction (the rail between Calgary and there was removed in the past, the right of way is mostly there and can be seen on aerial photos, but has some structures built on it. It also is awkward, it connects to Calgary at 84th street and 114th ave SE). Airdrie wouldn't be hard as the CP line runs through there, and if there really needed to be a station in the north somewhere around the airport would be best.

murman
Nov 5, 2007, 3:34 AM
Rod Love pushing bullet train proposal
Susan Ruttan, Edmonton Journal
Published: Friday, November 02, 2007

Rod Love, the longtime aide to former premier Ralph Klein, is now working to promote a bullet train between Calgary and Edmonton.

Love, a Calgary consultant and lobbyist, confirmed Thursday that he's working on behalf of an unnamed client to promote the high-speed train idea to the Stelmach government.

"Everybody's standing around waiting for the government to do something," said Love.

Once the Stelmach administration makes its move -- a request for proposals, a discussion paper or whatever -- a lot of companies will come forward, he said.


Is the press playing slow-pitch with Rod?

Kevin_foster
Nov 5, 2007, 3:38 AM
This is the TGV in Paris France... it hit 575km/h :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw4zn-qw1oM

m0nkyman
Nov 5, 2007, 3:59 AM
Only the @$$holes drive that fast

Why would you call me an asshole? :P

korzym
Nov 5, 2007, 4:03 AM
This is the TGV in Paris France... it hit 575km/h :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw4zn-qw1oM

unbelievable

but lol....you know the way people are they would complain about the noise it makes.


btw people, if you consider the long term energy situation, directly referring to oil prices and reserves, a high speed line may become compulsory under those circumstances IMO

Edmonchuck
Nov 5, 2007, 7:53 AM
Rod Love pushing bullet train proposal
Susan Ruttan, Edmonton Journal
Published: Friday, November 02, 2007

Rod Love, the longtime aide to former premier Ralph Klein, is now working to promote a bullet train between Calgary and Edmonton.

Love, a Calgary consultant and lobbyist, confirmed Thursday that he's working on behalf of an unnamed client to promote the high-speed train idea to the Stelmach government.

"Everybody's standing around waiting for the government to do something," said Love.

Once the Stelmach administration makes its move -- a request for proposals, a discussion paper or whatever -- a lot of companies will come forward, he said.

(...)
Love said the train would work for both big cities.

"There would be a hell of a lot more Calgary businessmen willing to get on a high-speed train to come up there and do business with the government than now," he said.

There is currently one Calgary-based consortium, Alberta High Speed Rail, pushing for the bullet train. It proposes a line directly west of the QE II Highway, ending in downtown Calgary and Edmonton.

(...)

Nice that Rod has finally come forward, but tell us Rod, just how much in commission are you making???

There is more to this story boys and girls...

zooropa
Nov 7, 2007, 3:22 PM
Just heard a promo about a discussion on HSR to take place on CBC Radio between 1pm and 2pm. I believe it's a province wide call in show.

Kevin_foster
Nov 7, 2007, 8:43 PM
^ Yep - its on right now.

Im amazed how many people are FOR this thing

Edmonchuck
Nov 7, 2007, 10:05 PM
You shouldn't be...

2 things.

1) you can load up call in shows with a plethora of people supporting you. They only have an hour, which translates into ~20 calls at best. Now, if you cannot wrangle up 30 supporters to be at the ready to dial in, you have no hope in hell.

2) HSR is initally very very sexy and alluring. The whole Simpson's MONORAIL skit is so perfect here because it aligns to this discussion PERFECTLY!! A nonsensical project sold by smooth talking people (add here smooth talkers with political clout) that is sexy and cool and full of platitudes where you never ever know true costs can be an easy sell. It is fun. It is neat. It is unique in Canada...Rod et al are trying the whole "Nah, this is more a SHELBYVILLE idea" to get our hackles up. We could be "better than TORONTO, or on par with EUROPE!!!"

So, the support is not surprising . However, as the payment terms and facts start to come out, expect opposition to get much much more vocal. Right now, there are a lot of people thinking this is cool but thinking that this is not goign to happen anytime soon. So, you'll get the Tories giving it lip service, but unless there is a better business plan...

youngregina
Nov 28, 2007, 5:32 AM
Toronto doesnt need high speed rail at the moment because it has via, which is very highly used. Alberta does need it because it has two very large economical districts located very far apart from one another. Wheras toronto already has a rail service connecting the inland coast cities. And alberta doesnt even have via rail between edmonton and calgary. So, yes, calgary and edmonton and red deer need high speed rail. Also think how much it will cost in the future. Do you want a hundred dollars of you taxex to go towards it now or do you want 300 dollars of you taxes to go towards it later on. Think ahead Plan for the future.

jeremy_haak
Nov 28, 2007, 5:47 AM
This is the TGV in Paris France... it hit 575km/h :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw4zn-qw1oM

Wow, that's fast. :omg:

korzym
Nov 28, 2007, 7:41 AM
Toronto doesnt need high speed rail at the moment because it has via, which is very highly used. Alberta does need it because it has two very large economical districts located very far apart from one another. Wheras toronto already has a rail service connecting the inland coast cities. And alberta doesnt even have via rail between edmonton and calgary. So, yes, calgary and edmonton and red deer need high speed rail. Also think how much it will cost in the future. Do you want a hundred dollars of you taxex to go towards it now or do you want 300 dollars of you taxes to go towards it later on. Think ahead Plan for the future.

depends how long out your talking about...don't be fooled by future higher costs, take inflation into account..

SHOFEAR
Nov 28, 2007, 2:08 PM
Toronto doesnt need high speed rail at the moment because it has via, which is very highly used. Alberta does need it because it has two very large economical districts located very far apart from one another. Wheras toronto already has a rail service connecting the inland coast cities. And alberta doesnt even have via rail between edmonton and calgary. So, yes, calgary and edmonton and red deer need high speed rail. Also think how much it will cost in the future. Do you want a hundred dollars of you taxex to go towards it now or do you want 300 dollars of you taxes to go towards it later on. Think ahead Plan for the future.


One could easily argue that current construction prices are grossly inflated and will hopefully drop once we return to a normal employment rate.

Bassic Lab
Nov 28, 2007, 2:26 PM
One could easily argue that current construction prices are grossly inflated and will hopefully drop once we return to a normal employment rate.

I agree but aquiring the ROW is a different matter. Whether or not we ever biuld such a system it would be very prudent to secure the best possible ROW today, as twenty years down the line we might find ourselves with a sub par routing due to development. This could easily inflate prices at a later date and hamper efficiency.

wild wild west
Nov 28, 2007, 2:44 PM
I can't see how a corridor with a population of 3 million can justify the expenditure of HSR. I'd settle for basic passenger rail service between Calgary and Edmonton. Augment that with commuter rail service between the two large cities and their respective satellite communities and I think we would have a better, if not as glitzy, investment that would likely use far less taxpayer dollars while providing a service that would be of much greater utility for people in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor.

feepa
Nov 28, 2007, 3:23 PM
I can't see how a corridor with a population of 3 million can justify the expenditure of HSR. I'd settle for basic passenger rail service between Calgary and Edmonton. Augment that with commuter rail service between the two large cities and their respective satellite communities and I think we would have a better, if not as glitzy, investment that would likely use far less taxpayer dollars while providing a service that would be of much greater utility for people in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor.

So you'd spend 3/4's the cost of HSR just for basic passenger service? Why not just go the full out?
Read the report again - to have basic passenger service would require just about 3/4 of the cost. You can't use existing freight rail - CP would never allow it on there very busy line.

jeremy_haak
Nov 28, 2007, 3:42 PM
So you'd spend 3/4's the cost of HSR just for basic passenger service? Why not just go the full out?
Read the report again - to have basic passenger service would require just about 3/4 of the cost. You can't use existing freight rail - CP would never allow it on there very busy line.

Does CN not operate between Edmonton and Calgary? As I understand it, VIA already has agreements to operate on CN tracks elsewhere.

noodlenoodle
Nov 28, 2007, 3:51 PM
The CN freight lines between Edmonton & Calgary are too busy to support the addition of regularly scheduled passenger service. You'd need to throw down another stretch of track. The cost to implement regular low-speed passenger rail has been pegged at approximately 3/4 the price of HSR for the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, making it another white elephant.

wild wild west
Nov 28, 2007, 5:08 PM
So you'd spend 3/4's the cost of HSR just for basic passenger service? Why not just go the full out?
Read the report again - to have basic passenger service would require just about 3/4 of the cost. You can't use existing freight rail - CP would never allow it on there very busy line.

Fair enough, however keep in mind that "3/4 the cost" on a project of this magnitude can still creep into the billions. Anyways, I'd love to have a rail connection in the corridor, HSR or otherwise, but I still think LRT extensions and commuter rail systems for Calgary and Edmonton would be a much better investment.

SHOFEAR
Nov 28, 2007, 6:00 PM
I agree but aquiring the ROW is a different matter. Whether or not we ever biuld such a system it would be very prudent to secure the best possible ROW today, as twenty years down the line we might find ourselves with a sub par routing due to development. This could easily inflate prices at a later date and hamper efficiency.


And I don't think any of the people, such as myself, who are against HSR at this time, disagree with securing a ROW right now.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 28, 2007, 7:15 PM
And I don't think any of the people, such as myself, who are against HSR at this time, disagree with securing a ROW right now.

Securing the ROW isn't really a cost either, you could have the Heritage Trust fund buy it as an investment and the government or a crown corp can pay the Fund back when they need it.

Mmm innovative accounting to cover true costs, a politicians dream!

Policy Wonk
Nov 29, 2007, 2:46 AM
Does CN not operate between Edmonton and Calgary? As I understand it, VIA already has agreements to operate on CN tracks elsewhere.

The Three Hills and Camrose sublines are significantly to the east and are borderline derelict.

shogged
Nov 29, 2007, 5:01 AM
This is very interesting. I would love to hear about this ROW, any chances of getting some insider info?

Sorry for taking so long getting back to you! Here is what i've found out!

The route the government has purchased is very similar to what we know as the "greenfield route" that HSR Alberta proposed. So a few things we can pull from this is a) this is not going to be a half assed shared cp rail track high speed train that averages 100km/h when its not sitting on the side of the tracks waiting for grain to pass. and b) the government is doing a hell of alot more than 1 million dollar feasibility studies that we keep hearing about in the news. (I wonder where these reporters find their sources because clearly they are talking to the wrong people)

I had the route explained to me, and she went into pretty specific highlights that i'm happy to share with you now!

The route initially is going to serve calgary, edmonton and red deer, however the idea is that adding spur lines, additional stops with less frequent service and environmental management is going to be a priority from the start. Basically when it comes time to expand this system, the tories want it to be as painless as possible. One giant investment to start, smaller and easier to swallow investments to follow

So starting from calgary international, the line moves out towards Highway 782N towards Airdrie, passing about 2km from the Airdrie city limits. From this point forward there isn't a whole lot to mention as it continues almost dead north from this point. A few notables would be that the train goes dead parallel to highway 2A between carstairs and olds. I would assume a bridge for the train would move the stock over the highway when 2A meets up with the QE2 near innisfail.

At this point the train is reaching Red Deer, however it looks like the land they bought for the station here is a good 8-10 km from highway 2. Just a stones throw away from Sylvan lake however, what a fun day trip that could be!

After Red deer, the tracks head along the east side of gull lake to meet up and parallel Highway 795 towards Edmonton international airport.

So this is all land that is already 100% owned by the government as of this summer. Some of this is also "Air rights" although which spots she wouldn't specify. I'm not sure how that is going to work so debate away with regards to that. We also know the land inside the Calgary and Edmonton MA's has been acquired and was separate from the latest government purchases.

So, sucks that shes not a whole lot more involved with the specifics, so I can't tell you what kind of stock they want to buy, or where its going to come from, or a time line on the project.

This should also be on the Alberta transportation website early in the new year as well! Maybe an announcement then?

Hope this feeds your curiosities!

rapid_business
Nov 29, 2007, 5:10 AM
/\ I had no idea they were purchasing a ROW already.... did I miss something?

ScottFromCalgary
Nov 29, 2007, 5:13 AM
/\ I had no idea they were purchasing a ROW already.... did I miss something?

Silly you...the government doesn't need a mandate to move forward on controversial multi-billion dollar projects. What are you thinking?

evolv
Nov 29, 2007, 5:40 AM
Some of this is also "Air rights" although which spots she wouldn't specify.

what is meant by air rights?