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View Full Version : Should there be a High Speed Rail link from Calgary to Edmonton?



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feepa
Nov 24, 2011, 2:24 AM
Good luck getting any sort of rail rights on the CP line between C&E, VIA or not VIA...

the problem with using the existing line is that its jammed full of freight. We use to have a dayliner service, my father reminds me. It would sit on the side track while higher paying freight went by. Greyhound service was faster.

Building a new line would be needed... and if your going to build a new line for passenger service only, might as well go all the way... A diesel train won't cut it at that point.

Passenger rail service between C&E is in between a rock and a hard place with no real viable solution at this point...

albertantraingeek
Nov 24, 2011, 2:30 AM
Unless you want the passenger rail stuck at freight rail speeds (slower than Highway 2), you have to double track a huge amount of the line, to avoid the then 17 freight trains a day that use the tracks (mind you, both those facts are from the study from the 1980s) - does CPR even run the freight milk run anymore?

You also would need to schedule time on the CPR mainline if you want to get into downtown Calgary no?

It isn't impossible to be sure, but I doubt the cost advantage would exist at all compared to a bus, and the time advantage would be nonexistant.

True, all very good points, I hadn't actually thought of the double-tracking part. I believe the number of Freights on the CEC daily is closer to 25, but they come & go, could be as few as 7 one day, then 20 the next. The milk run is definetly gone, unless you're refering to the switcher that goes to Carseland & Carsdale. That little tank train still runs multiple times a week.

As for scheduling, when CP & Via coexisted in Calgary, the scheduling was managed then. It shouldn't be much harder to schedule passenger service in todays world.

As for that last point, what about something like this here?

http://www.getsthere.com/?p=226

rapid_business
Nov 24, 2011, 3:33 PM
Again... as much as I love trains... and have rode on them all over Europe, Asia and even VIA in Ontario... we have to come back down to earth in terms of our thinking about how passenger service could work in Alberta. The density is just not there to justify any new infrastructural investment outside of the Cal/Edm corridor. Outside of that, automotive ownership is too high, and the density far too low to have a successful regular train service.

Places we romanticize about either have densities significantly higher than 'rural' Alberta;
and/or have passenger train infrastructure that has existed for the past 100 years;
and/or has had passenger train service long enough that travel patterns have been built around them;
and/or historically different levels of automotive ownership compared to Alberta.

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 3:17 AM
It is truly baffling that there is no passenger rail service between these two large and growing cities. I know there used to be and it was shut down at a time when there were less people living in Alberta as well as a not so hot time in history for rail transit.

Not baffling at all, it was the worst performing route in the entire VIA system and the entire daily embankment could fit on a yellow school bus.

Indeed in the early 80's even before the Dayliner was finally put out of its misery the Lougheed government investigated launching a modernized service, which would have been operated with the LRC for which there had already been trials on the route. Unfortunately however the LRC just couldn't be economically operated in small enough trainsets to replace the RDC's. The determination was the demand just wasn't there - and that was the beginning of the Alberta HSR discussion... if only it was faster. This was followed by a half-assed TGV study. Demand could be 100 fold greater than it was in 1986 and it still wouldn't be workable.

But the whole discussion in the present day is completely moot. Edmonton airport boosterism would never allow the project to go forward. It is a small wonder there aren't gangs of hooligans from Connect2Edmonton ransacking cars looking for luggage on the QE2 south of Highway 39.

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 3:20 AM
Via Rail has an extremly unhealthy obsession with running on only CN tracks, no matter how much grief is sent their way it seems. I would like passenger service reinstated ASAP, but here in the west, we kinda get ignored by Parliament.

Sure... if by "unhealthy obsession" you mean the CPR doesn't want anything to do with them.

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 3:34 AM
Rocky Mountaineer is a Tourist Operation, which was originally operated by Via,

The Rocky Mountaineer has been a private operation from its inception,

albertantraingeek
Nov 26, 2011, 3:54 AM
The Rocky Mountaineer has been a private operation from its inception,

Are you thinking that I said that it is owned by Tourists? If so, you are incorrect. It is indeed a private RR, but I'm saying its profit comes from tourism.

albertantraingeek
Nov 26, 2011, 3:56 AM
Sure... if by "unhealthy obsession" you mean the CPR doesn't want anything to do with them.

Nope I mean the government decides where they run, if CP didn't want anything to do with them then they wouldn't have expressed their support in this project. CN has a bad rep. for poorly maintaining their tracks.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 26, 2011, 3:59 AM
Are you thinking that I said that it is owned by Tourists? If so, you are incorrect. It is indeed a private RR, but I'm saying its profit comes from tourism.
No, he is saying it was not originally run by VIA. A transcontinental train that passed through Calgary was run by VIA, and when VIA cut back to one transcontinental route, it soon came under political pressure to run it through Edmonton instead. Fortunately The government of the day was able to find a private operator to run the Mountain route which reduced the political price of the decision, and all parties benefited from the arrangement.

ue
Nov 26, 2011, 4:01 AM
Not baffling at all, it was the worst performing route in the entire VIA system and the entire daily embankment could fit on a yellow school bus.

Indeed in the early 80's even before the Dayliner was finally put out of its misery the Lougheed government investigated launching a modernized service, which would have been operated with the LRC for which there had already been trials on the route. Unfortunately however the LRC just couldn't be economically operated in small enough trainsets to replace the RDC's. The determination was the demand just wasn't there - and that was the beginning of the Alberta HSR discussion... if only it was faster. This was followed by a half-assed TGV study. Demand could be 100 fold greater than it was in 1986 and it still wouldn't be workable.

But the whole discussion in the present day is completely moot. Edmonton airport boosterism would never allow the project to go forward. It is a small wonder there aren't gangs of hooligans from Connect2Edmonton ransacking cars looking for luggage on the QE2 south of Highway 39.

What the fuck? Please don't bring Edmonton airports into the equation when it has nothing to do with HSR (yes, I know, you'll reply with reasons that it does). HSR would be an alternative to air travel in BOTH Calgary and Edmonton. However, the effect would be small on non Calgary-Edmonton and Edmonton-Calgary travel. There may be a few people more who just train down to Calgary for int'l flights, but I think it will just be more of people who would have otherwise drove down anyways and opting to get to YYC quicker and without wasting gas.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 26, 2011, 4:34 AM
What the fuck? Please don't bring Edmonton airports into the equation when it has nothing to do with HSR (yes, I know, you'll reply with reasons that it does). HSR would be an alternative to air travel in BOTH Calgary and Edmonton. However, the effect would be small on non Calgary-Edmonton and Edmonton-Calgary travel. There may be a few people more who just train down to Calgary for int'l flights, but I think it will just be more of people who would have otherwise drove down anyways and opting to get to YYC quicker and without wasting gas.
Tell, that to most of Edmonton City Council. There are plenty of people in high places in Edmonton that want nothing to do with this project due to fear it would be a nail in the coffin for broader ambitions for EIA.

I don't think it would be, but I can see the reason why people would be fearful.

Xelebes
Nov 26, 2011, 5:44 AM
But the whole discussion in the present day is completely moot. Edmonton airport boosterism would never allow the project to go forward. It is a small wonder there aren't gangs of hooligans from Connect2Edmonton ransacking cars looking for luggage on the QE2 south of Highway 39.

Totally uncalled for, PW. Knock it off.

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 5:59 AM
Are you thinking that I said that it is owned by Tourists? If so, you are incorrect. It is indeed a private RR, but I'm saying its profit comes from tourism.

Per usual I am not sure what you are saying. VIA Rail has never had anything to do with the Rocky Mountaineer.

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 6:04 AM
Fortunately The government of the day was able to find a private operator to run the Mountain route which reduced the political price of the decision, and all parties benefited from the arrangement.

Plans for the luxury operation that became the Rocky Mountaineer predated the cutting of The Canadian in the 1989 Federal Budget.

albertantraingeek
Nov 26, 2011, 6:13 AM
No, he is saying it was not originally run by VIA. A transcontinental train that passed through Calgary was run by VIA...

http://www.canadianrailwayobservations.com/PDF/CRO_0210.pdf Skip to page 21 on this PDF.

Although "Rocky Mountaineer" likes to claim all the glory for creating tourist train service in the Canadian Rockies, in fact it was VIA Rail who came up with the concept of a daylight train through
the best scenery with an overnight stay in Kamloops. It operated under unweildy title "Canadian Rockies by Daylight/Montenarde des Rocheuses" for the 1988 and 1989 summer seasons as VIA 101 and 102 with 103/104 operating to Jasper. The concept arrived out of a desire to have daily service to Jasper, which was provided in earlier seasons by operating the "Skeena" equipment Jasper-Vancouver between trips to Prince Rupert. I haven't read Peter Armstrong's biography, but I think he was involved with a travel agency in Vancouver which specialised in rail . I think he did the marketing for the NRHS "Okanagan Explorer" trains operated in the early 1980's to Kelowna and Penticton using Terry Ferguson's 'Victoria Pacific" cars. He may also have been the marketer for the VIA daylight tourist trains. Along came the VIA cuts of 1990, and the tourist trains were on the list of services to be discontinued. Mr.Armstrong used hispolitical savvy/connections to purchase the VIA "Dayniter" cars used in this service . Although the track and crew usage fees negotiated between Armstrong and CP are not public information, I suspect they were much lower than what CP was charging VIA. Here are some images of Via 101,102 and 103 during the operating season in 1988. That's me as engineer on VIA 102, along with Torontonian Brian D'Arcy. (Phil Mason)

albertantraingeek
Nov 26, 2011, 6:16 AM
But the whole discussion in the present day is completely moot. Edmonton airport boosterism would never allow the project to go forward. It is a small wonder there aren't gangs of hooligans from Connect2Edmonton ransacking cars looking for luggage on the QE2 south of Highway 39.
:offtopic: And the ensuing result will be: :dancinglock Like Xelebes said, knock dat off bro

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 6:24 AM
However, the effect would be small on non Calgary-Edmonton and Edmonton-Calgary travel.

I completely agree with you, but that won't come into it. I won't drag on any further - but the eccentricities of the issue where Edmonton is concerned can't be purged from the discussion.

Xelebes
Nov 26, 2011, 6:28 PM
I completely agree with you, but that won't come into it. I won't drag on any further - but the eccentricities of the issue where Edmonton is concerned can't be purged from the discussion.

To flip it around, the eccentricities of the issue where Calgary is concerned can't be purged from the discussion either. To persistently inject themselves into the YXD/YEG issue is nothing more than to rattle the cage in Edmonton. To have us Edmontonians throw fits if the Calgarians decided to close Springbank is nothing short of mischief.

s211
Nov 26, 2011, 8:33 PM
The Rocky Mountaineer has been a private operation from its inception,

A VERY expensive private operation, too boot. This isn't a shleppy operation. It costs a fortune to ride this.

Policy Wonk
Nov 26, 2011, 10:01 PM
To flip it around, the eccentricities of the issue where Calgary is concerned can't be purged from the discussion either. To persistently inject themselves into the YXD/YEG issue is nothing more than to rattle the cage in Edmonton. To have us Edmontonians throw fits if the Calgarians decided to close Springbank is nothing short of mischief.

If Springbank were to be closed there would be a number of people in Edmonton with VERY strong feelings on the matter.

This isn't about rattling cages it is about preventing an irreversible disaster that will not only have consequences for Edmonton but the entire province and beyond. And as you know these opinions are shared by a great number of those in Edmonton. You don't want to hear about it and that is just fine. I won't argue the point any further here.

The issue where HSR is concerned is the same bureaucrats who were ranting and raving about the implausible "back-door hub" supposedly being operated by Quikair and Peace Air that threatened the very survival of YEG are going to fight tooth and nail against this, probably successfully. And if that is what it takes to kill this boondoggle at birth, God Bless them.

Xelebes
Nov 26, 2011, 11:43 PM
Look, if you want to engage in an open mockery of the members here and on C2E, this is not the place for it. Simply that. Choose your battles.

jlousa
Nov 27, 2011, 2:24 AM
As an outsider I find the airport argument interesting. Now based on my European experience most of the train stations are located downtown. This is so to improve comparative travel times from city centres via flying. I think if the plan is the same for Edm-Cal that would alleviate some of the fears of Edm's airport losing traffic to Calgary.
It's not like most people would travel downtown with luggage to catch a train, end up in downtown Calgary with said luggage and have to still get out to the airport. Now if the trains stations where both out by the airport it would be a more valid concern but that won't be the case.

feepa
Nov 27, 2011, 4:52 AM
HSR would definitely be the final nail in the coffin for Edmonton city center airport that PW so passionately likes... anything to funnel traffic through YYC and the downfall of YEG is where you'll find PW posting about. Good grief

Policy Wonk
Nov 27, 2011, 6:21 AM
What?

The only service I actively argued for at YXD was FBO based Part 703 and 704 service which is capped at 19 passengers (Metroliner, Twin Otter, Beech 1900 etc) and was of no detriment to YEG what-so-ever.

I think the people who drive to YYC from Edmonton are insane.

But the same administrative paranoia that threatens YXD will also sink any HSR proposal. Despite strange claims by EIA of a "back-door hub" nobody was climbing off Quikair in Calgary behind the Deerfoot Walmart so they could take a taxi to the passenger terminal, a great distance away and get there in time to board another flight to some far flung destination. Just as nobody would take HSR to downtown Calgary and trek up to YYC - especially given how expensive fares are likely to be. But there mere fact it is possible will be enough to unleash the same paranoid forces against HSR.

Then there is this passage in the report by Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation:

Regarding the Air service, the HSR mode may provide in future access to the airports YYC and YEG. Under the station plan being considered in this study, HSR is not planned to access either international airport. However, a future suburban Calgary HSR station will likely be located in closer proximity to an airport than a suburban station in Edmonton.

If this force can be ushered to kill this white elephant that is just great.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 27, 2011, 8:19 AM
As an outsider I find the airport argument interesting. Now based on my European experience most of the train stations are located downtown. This is so to improve comparative travel times from city centres via flying. I think if the plan is the same for Edm-Cal that would alleviate some of the fears of Edm's airport losing traffic to Calgary.
It's not like most people would travel downtown with luggage to catch a train, end up in downtown Calgary with said luggage and have to still get out to the airport. Now if the trains stations where both out by the airport it would be a more valid concern but that won't be the case.
All of the studies have stops at the Calgary Airport, and most say there will be one at Edmonton's, or by the Henday.

albertantraingeek
Nov 28, 2011, 2:25 AM
If this force can be ushered to kill this white elephant that is just great.

White Elephants are in the eye of the beholder.

hqcan
Dec 25, 2011, 12:58 AM
This is definitely an article of note for this topic. I don't think the Redford government will stoke this fire until after they have secured a new government.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/High+speed+rail+premier+agenda/5906613/story.html

albertantraingeek
Dec 27, 2011, 8:09 AM
This is definitely an article of note for this topic. I don't think the Redford government will stoke this fire until after they have secured a new government.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/High+speed+rail+premier+agenda/5906613/story.html

Good article, but people in the comments... Just... wow. If people keep arguing like they are in the comments then NOTHING is going to get done, be it HSR or LRT.

rapid_business
Dec 27, 2011, 4:37 PM
Comments section on newspapers/media websites are the lowest common denominator of banter and attract the least sane and level headed people out of the woodwork. If there was a way to turn off the comments section for every news-related website I visit, I would in a heartbeat.

snowboarder1019
Feb 16, 2012, 1:47 AM
[QUOTE=Bassic Lab;3277909]Believe me, I wasn't suggesting Lethbridge should be on a HSR route, only that Fort Mac is an even worse idea. There is no where on earth where any one would consider biulding a High Speed train 400 Km to go to a city of 50 000 people. 300 km between two cities of a million plus has happened, but 50 000 is just laughable.QUOTE]

Red arrow / Greyhound busses are always packed. Fort Mcmurray is building an airport terminal to support 1,5 million people per year and is one of the busiest airports in canada for the area it serves of 100k people. HSR would be a good idea especially when Ft. Mcmurray gets some crown land and they build houses the population will jump.

Chadillaccc
Sep 14, 2013, 6:41 AM
Yes.

DizzyEdge
Sep 14, 2013, 6:59 AM
But,

MalcolmTucker
Sep 15, 2013, 4:53 AM
It will come, eventually. Just need a corridor. AAMDC did a good corridor study and came back with it needing less that 500 acres and access to the CPR right of way in the cities. Shouldn't be too insanely expensive, even with paying heads of compensation instead of market value. Around a third of the land is for the corridor, the rest is land where the parcel size is too small to be useful anymore once it is cut off from the main fields.

Calgarian
Sep 15, 2013, 4:25 PM
I thought the plan was to run it in the median of the QEII for the most part?

MalcolmTucker
Sep 15, 2013, 5:14 PM
^ The geometry doesn't work for high speed, plus there would be path dependence issues with restricting future highway capacity. Even the studies from the 80s use either a twinned/tripled CPR with high speed crossovers to allow overtaking or a brand new corridor. As speed is the main determinant of cost recovery, and land isn't very expensive compared to the other capital costs, most studies have favoured a mostly new corridor.

DizzyEdge
Sep 15, 2013, 8:05 PM
What would be the trigger point to prompt widening the QE2 to 3 lanes, how much might that cost, and how soon might we get there? Looking at some of the overpasses, it looks like you could squeeze a 3rd lane in there, although in some cases you'd have a very narrow shoulder just under the overpass. Seems like the time to seriously think about HSR is when congestion on QE2 is at the point where widening is necessary.

MalcolmTucker
Sep 15, 2013, 11:30 PM
That would be the case if the taxpayer had to pay for a majority or even anything but a small minority of HSR capital costs. That hopefully won't turn out to be the case.

As for the highway, it is slowly going up to 3 (most everywhere), 4 (hill climb, shared 2A sections), or 5 (to Leduc and Airdrie) lanes as resources allow. I wouldn't expect a timeline to ever be put on it, as it would make negoatiating contracts harder. I don't think the highway is anywhere close to congested between Airdrie and Leduc, but it is certainly starting to have difficulty performing to Albertans' expectations.

s211
Sep 16, 2013, 12:11 AM
Zombie thread!!!!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Xelebes
Sep 16, 2013, 3:03 AM
Yes.

So Chad, why did you bump this thread?

DizzyEdge
Sep 17, 2013, 10:25 PM
That would be the case if the taxpayer had to pay for a majority or even anything but a small minority of HSR capital costs. That hopefully won't turn out to be the case.



So I guess what you're saying is we'll get HSR when private interests decide there's an economic case for it.

speedog
Sep 22, 2013, 3:21 PM
That would be the case if the taxpayer had to pay for a majority or even anything but a small minority of HSR capital costs. That hopefully won't turn out to be the case.

As for the highway, it is slowly going up to 3 (most everywhere), 4 (hill climb, shared 2A sections), or 5 (to Leduc and Airdrie) lanes as resources allow. I wouldn't expect a timeline to ever be put on it, as it would make negoatiating contracts harder. I don't think the highway is anywhere close to congested between Airdrie and Leduc, but it is certainly starting to have difficulty performing to Albertans' expectations.
5 lanes between Airdrie and Calgary?

I must be driving a different #2 highway than you.

rapid_business
Sep 23, 2013, 4:41 PM
So I guess what you're saying is we'll get HSR when private interests decide there's an economic case for it.

Which I heard there was several interested private parties if the ROW was provided for them, but that the province didn't want to wade into those waters, post-recession and Wild Rose land rights platform, etc.

go_leafs_go02
Nov 13, 2013, 11:57 PM
For starters, you think conventional service (2 trains per direction per day) would work out. Trains still likely can reach speeds of 80 - 120 km/h along the existing CPR line, and some upgrades to fix spots would work out too.

See how successful that would be, and then slowly work towards a high-speed rail corridor.

Edmonton I know would have some issues with getting a connection right downtown, but they could get to Strathcona will little issues which is just a little south of downtown.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 14, 2013, 1:22 AM
The province did a study that was published in '82 I believe. To get to the point where the train doesn't have to stop for freight, you can increase your speed to near 200 kph fora very little investment. More recent economic studies show that a more expensive but faster route will be more viable (there is an inflection point to good idea between 200 kph and TGV and back to bad idea at meglev, at least at projected prices from 2004 and 2009).

Chadillaccc
Nov 14, 2013, 2:09 AM
Maglev would be badass.

rapid_business
Nov 14, 2013, 5:09 AM
…and totally unreasonable too.

Policy Wonk
Nov 14, 2013, 6:41 PM
See how successful that would be, and then slowly work towards a high-speed rail corridor.

Other than the smothering of the City Centre Airport what exactly has changed in the intervening years since the Dayliner was canceled?

RHINO
Nov 19, 2013, 11:12 PM
I was wondering how long it would be before this dream was resurrected.

rapid_business
Nov 20, 2013, 5:48 PM
My guess is we are still a good 5 years out before we start having a serious conversation about it.

Chadillaccc
Nov 20, 2013, 7:22 PM
As long as the Wildrose aren't voted in during that period.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 20, 2013, 7:24 PM
My guess is we are still a good 5 years out before we start having a serious conversation about it.
Watch one of the legislature committees next Monday ;)

s211
Nov 20, 2013, 8:57 PM
Watch one of the legislature committees next Monday ;)

Oh FFS. Although I shouldn't be surprised in this age of zombie awareness.

Mikemike
Nov 20, 2013, 9:03 PM
Phase 1: HSR compatible commuter rail from Calgary to Airdrie and from Edmonton to Leduc/nisku.
Phase 2: don't increase capacity on those sections of QEII, toll instead to reduce congestion and support rail use.
Phase 3: HSR Airdrie-leduc, plus upgraded downtown access in Edmonton and Calgary.

Design-mind
Nov 21, 2013, 3:29 AM
For starters, you think conventional service (2 trains per direction per day) would work out. Trains still likely can reach speeds of 80 - 120 km/h along the existing CPR line, and some upgrades to fix spots would work out too.

See how successful that would be, and then slowly work towards a high-speed rail corridor.

Edmonton I know would have some issues with getting a connection right downtown, but they could get to Strathcona will little issues which is just a little south of downtown.

I agree let us see how many people would stop using their automobiles and get on a train. Running a commuter train on the CPR tracks for a few years could really help get a good indication on usage. I know for one I would use it frequently as I have lots of family in Edmonton but hate the vehicular commute. A high speed rail would up the usage as well.

GlassCity
Nov 21, 2013, 3:30 AM
Almost everybody would take the cheaper option, so price would play a huge role in it. Also, if the train is slower than the car than there's no way it would fly.

Chadillaccc
Nov 21, 2013, 3:41 AM
Yeah that is the biggest issue really. A round trip ticket for a hundred bucks though? I'd do that in a second. Especially if it got me into the downtown core or at least Whyte Ave.

rapid_business
Nov 21, 2013, 4:04 PM
Watch one of the legislature committees next Monday ;)

Do tell....:cheers:

I remember you saying a couple years ago the issue was ROW acquisition, and that private foreign interest would be all over Design/Build/Operate/Maintain if the ROW was there and given to them. Any thoughts on that?

MalcolmTucker
Nov 21, 2013, 4:11 PM
You can listen, but it will be boring. Not much will be going on. http://assemblyonline.assembly.ab.ca/harmony/ContentEntityDetailView.aspx?ContentEntityId=1805

Tropics
Nov 21, 2013, 11:15 PM
A high speed rail system in Alberta would probably actually be more successful if it included a leg to Fort McMurray. There is a tremendous number of shift workers that travel to and from Fort McMurray constantly and air travel to and from that city is extremely expensive. Companies would gladly pay $400 for round trip tickets on a high speed rail system to Fort McMurray instead of paying $750+ for round trip airfare between Fort McMurray and Edmonton or Calgary.

I myself would happily pay $400 for round trips on a high speed rail system that could get me to Edmonton in about 1.5 hours or Calgary in about 3 hours of travel with a half an hour stop in Edmonton for a 3.5 hour total travel time. And I would do so many times a year and likely pay upwards of $4000 personally towards that service. There are tens of thousands of people that would travel to and from Fort McMurray each month on something like that instead of the Red Arrow or Greyhound busses that take forever and have no direct to Calgary routes.

The cost of running it up to Fort McMurray might double the cost of the project but I would guess it would way more then double the amount of people using it.

And keep in mind that Fort McMurray will soon officially be the third most populated city in Alberta, which in truth it already is due to the shadow population and poor census data making the "official" population figures complete BS.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 22, 2013, 2:44 AM
Building rail to high speed standards over muskeg would be exceedingly difficult. It would be more than double the cost, as the length is more than double and the terrain is much more difficult. Also, without a half billion (a decade ago) rail bridge over the river, everyone would be back on buses anyways.

Without contracts for long term use, the risk of a stranded asset would be crazy. The rail companies can't even justify freight rail over the river.

Tropics
Nov 22, 2013, 7:46 PM
It is not one big muskeg swamp between Edmonton and Fort McMurray, there is plenty of flat dry ground through most of the route.

The cost of doing the Edmonton to Fort McMurray leg being about double was assuming that the Calgary to Edmonton route was already being constructed so it would be a continuation of the line and not a completely new project. There are cost savings to having the crew and equipment already in place due to the southern leg and continuing north, big cost savings.

Also what river are you proposing the bridge is needed for? Not the Athabasca in Fort McMurray I hope. No one should think the train needs to go out to site. A high speed train station would likely terminate in Gregoire or Waterways and Diversified would then take over on getting people out to their respective camps. system of getting people who live in Fort McMurray out to site, this is a system of getting people in Southern Alberta to Fort McMurray. There are far more cost effective and practical ways to get people from Fort McMurray to site and there is already infrastructure in place doing so.

go_leafs_go02
Nov 22, 2013, 8:51 PM
I agree let us see how many people would stop using their automobiles and get on a train. Running a commuter train on the CPR tracks for a few years could really help get a good indication on usage. I know for one I would use it frequently as I have lots of family in Edmonton but hate the vehicular commute. A high speed rail would up the usage as well.

For comparison, Via rail prices in the corridor (southern Ontario) for distances akin to Calgary-Edmonton (300 km):

Chatham, ON - Toronto, ON: - 292 km

Economy: $37.00
Business: $75.00

Trip time - 3.5 hours.

There are 4 trains per direction per day.

For $35-40.00 one way and getting that trip time down to about 3-3.5 hours total, I think that would be quite reasonable for a Calgary to Strathcona (Edmonton) trip with direct transit connections into downtown.

Flying right now costs $135 one-way tax in, so for $100 savings per trip that only brings you to Leduc, that is in some ways, quite worth it.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 22, 2013, 11:25 PM
It is not one big muskeg swamp between Edmonton and Fort McMurray, there is plenty of flat dry ground through most of the route.



There is a reason the Fort McMurray freight line is weight and speed limited - it is expensive to keep the track in shape given the ground condition.

GlassCity
Nov 23, 2013, 1:25 AM
Wouldn't it be possble to elevate the track, either with columns or just a thick rock bed?

Tropics
Nov 23, 2013, 5:25 AM
There is a reason the Fort McMurray freight line is weight and speed limited - it is expensive to keep the track in shape given the ground condition.

A freight train is a completely different topic and poses entirely different issues. A HSR line would not have to deal with weight issues anywhere near what a freight line has to.

Policy Wonk
Nov 24, 2013, 8:04 AM
A high speed rail system in Alberta would probably actually be more successful if it included a leg to Fort McMurray. There is a tremendous number of shift workers that travel to and from Fort McMurray constantly and air travel to and from that city is extremely expensive. Companies would gladly pay $400 for round trip tickets on a high speed rail system to Fort McMurray instead of paying $750+ for round trip airfare between Fort McMurray and Edmonton or Calgary.

The "E" Ticket the oil sands operators are after is the ability to fly crews directly to the project site from the US and overfly both cities entirely.

MalcolmTucker
Dec 10, 2013, 4:20 AM
Province to revisit high-speed rail link between Calgary and Edmonton:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Province+revisit+high+speed+rail+link+between+Calgary/9266450/story.html
Some news coverage of our little adventure up at the Legislature.

rapid_business
Dec 10, 2013, 5:12 PM
It's funny to hear the Wild Rose take a slight "anti-private" angle on this being doubtful that Private would/could build this. If my previous assertion is right (that private would build and operate the line if the ROW was provided), then they are positioning themselves on this because of the land rights angle more so than high speed rail, but aren't going out of their way to say that right now because it doesn't sell well.

Can you imagine if it was public (speculating here) that a company would actually build and operate a HSR line from Calgary to Edmonton if the ROW was secured and given to them, and how the Wild Rose would look if they came out against it in the name of 1) Farmer's land rights 2) dollars to buy the ROW? That would not sell well for urban riding Wild Rose popularity, and I can see the PC's leveraging that to the max.

MalcolmTucker
Dec 11, 2013, 2:17 AM
^ I wonder why an all party committee is examining the possibility of assembling land for a private proponent, one of the most controversial uses of government property powers? ;)

rapid_business
Dec 11, 2013, 3:23 PM
...go on...

Design-mind
Dec 13, 2013, 3:13 AM
Two more articles on the High Speed Train in the Calgary Herald.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/city+mayors+would+rather+have+more+commuter+trains+than+high+speed+rail/9270197/story.html

http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial+Bullet+train+luxury+afford/9275485/story.html

s211
Dec 13, 2013, 10:26 PM
It warms the heart to see dissenting posts removed from this thread.

MasterG
Jan 9, 2014, 11:41 PM
For comparison, Via rail prices in the corridor (southern Ontario) for distances akin to Calgary-Edmonton (300 km):

Chatham, ON - Toronto, ON: - 292 km

Economy: $37.00
Business: $75.00

Trip time - 3.5 hours.

There are 4 trains per direction per day.

For $35-40.00 one way and getting that trip time down to about 3-3.5 hours total, I think that would be quite reasonable for a Calgary to Strathcona (Edmonton) trip with direct transit connections into downtown.

Flying right now costs $135 one-way tax in, so for $100 savings per trip that only brings you to Leduc, that is in some ways, quite worth it.

This is a good comment. And trip generation would be as least as substantial between Edmonton - Calgary, with the added benefit of fewer places to stop and less dwell time.

20% of people use Calgary transit to commute and it averages to take longer than driving for a trip.

Using conventional rail, even non-high speed, you could get a competitive trip time of 2.5 - 3 hours. Save the money for overpasses to be completely inthe future to allow for capacity and speed upgrades.

The biggest costs would likely be the addition of tracks to avoid bottlenecks with freight , although I doubt this would entail significant trackage. Even 100 km of conventional rail for this purpose, a bridge here or there, a few stations. You could probably replicate the Ontario VIA service for fairly cheap, 500 million perhaps? That's a far cry from a multi-billion mega project but would still yield significant usage. Once the ridership is sufficiently start the improvements to higher speeds.

go_leafs_go02
Jan 10, 2014, 9:06 PM
http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/media-room/latest-news/68731/10-january-2014-via-rail-most-reliable-means-transport-h

Some interesting numbers based on VIA's holiday service. Easily think Calgary-Edmonton would have similar numbers with service in place.

Montréal, January 10, 2014 – More than 274,000 passengers trusted VIA Rail for travel within Canada over the Holidays, from December 18, 2013 to January 7, 2014.

“The train was the preferred means of travel for many Canadians over the Holidays thanks to its comfort and the reliability of its service despite the winter conditions. This year, even more Canadians trusted VIA Rail to get them to their Holiday destinations. The total number of passengers increased by 9.5% compared to last year,” affirmed Sylvie Bourget, VIA Rail’s Chief Marketing and Sales Officer.

“The Holidays are the busiest time of the year for VIA Rail and its success is the result of our employees’ dedication and professionalism.”

More Holiday Highlights

Over the Holidays, hundreds of employees were working on board our trains, in our train stations, at our maintenance centers and at VIA Rail’s headquarters in order to ensure the reliability of our operations.

The Montréal-Toronto line was the most popular route on the network this season, serving 61,163 passengers. The line between Toronto and Windsor saw a ridership increase of 24%, which represents the largest increase on any route when comparing ridership to last year’s Holiday season.

In the Québec City-Windsor corridor, Friday, December 23rd was the busiest day with 15,700 passengers travelling on board our trains, generating over $1 million of ticket sale revenues.

On the long-hauls, the Ocean service, which travels between Montréal and Halifax, welcomed more than 7,500 passengers over the Holiday season. Meanwhile, the Canadian, which connects Toronto to Vancouver, saw close to 6,700 passengers on board.

The uncommonly harsh winter weather seen across the country over the Holidays caused several delays. Nevertheless, all passengers who booked travel through VIA Rail reached their destinations safely.

MalcolmTucker
Jan 19, 2014, 8:35 PM
The Alberta Legislature Committee hearings into high speed rail are coming up on the following dates:

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 09:00 AM, 7 Hours
Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014 09:00 AM, 7 Hours
Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014 09:00 AM, 7 Hours

and can be listened to here (http://assemblyonline.assembly.ab.ca/harmony/).

DizzyEdge
Jan 19, 2014, 8:44 PM
I'd be really curious about times and costs. Being that currently we have:

Driving - ~3 hrs, unsure about gas cost ($50-75 return?)
Red Arrow = 30 min travel to depot + 10 mins early + 3:20 travel = 4 hours, $150 return
Flying = 30 min travel to airport + 90 mins early + 1 hr travel + 30 mins luggage + 30 min cab = 4 hours, $325-375 + $30+ cab?

I'm using 30 min travel to airport/depot as averages as it would of course vary.

Xelebes
Jan 19, 2014, 10:03 PM
I'd be really curious about times and costs. Being that currently we have:

Driving - ~3 hrs, unsure about gas cost ($50-75 return?)
Red Arrow = 30 min travel to depot + 10 mins early + 3:20 travel = 4 hours, $150 return
Flying = 30 min travel to airport + 90 mins early + 1 hr travel + 30 mins luggage + 30 min cab = 4 hours, $325-375 + $30+ cab?

I'm using 30 min travel to airport/depot as averages as it would of course vary.

A) Driving is about $75 with a Ford F-150 (66 L or 165 kg of CO2)
B) 8-15 kg of CO2 per ticket
C) 100-200 kg of CO2 per ticket

MalcolmTucker
Jan 19, 2014, 11:35 PM
A) Driving is about $75 with a Ford F-150 (66 L or 165 kg of CO2)
B) 8-15 kg of CO2 per ticket
C) 100-200 kg of CO2 per ticket

Carbon on the open exchange is 5.30 euros a tonne. An entirely incidental cost.

Xelebes
Jan 19, 2014, 11:54 PM
Carbon on the open exchange is 5.30 euros a tonne. An entirely incidental cost.

I know. Just giving some numbers out there.

Last closing price I saw was $5.04/ton of emission rights

A) 83 cents of European emission rights per trip
B) 4-8 cents of European emission rights per trip
C) 50-108 cents of EER per trip

To give:

A) (66 L * $1.099/L) + 0.83 = $73.36
B) $140.96 + 0.08 = 141.04 (two weeks ahead booking)
C) $379.31 + 1.08 = 380.39 (two weeks ahead booking)

MalcolmTucker
Jan 22, 2014, 5:28 PM
The Redford government is asking Albertans to think big and help the province create a versatile, long-term Transportation Strategy.

The strategy - which focuses on multiple travel options, connections and ways to move people and products - will provide a vision for Alberta’s transportation system over the next 50 years. It will also provide an overarching direction to help guide government decisions on transportation investments, policies and programs.

http://alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=357204CC2123C-C113-F4EE-5F5615DCC9B4DF16

Allan83
Jan 29, 2014, 8:29 AM
I’d settle for a 300 km/h HSR, but if we had faith in that maglev technology, and the company, then I think that would be the way to go. It’s not that much more expensive than HSR either. Ideally I’d like to see an elevated maglev all way between Edmonton and Calgary (from my poking around it looks like that would cost between 10 and 15 billion), and that would create a high speed central artery in the province. For argument’s sake let’s say that Transrapid built, owned and operated it. If that were the case I’d like to see them then also buy or form an alliance with Red Arrow, and use those busses as a feeders system for the central artery. That way you could buy one ticket from Lethbridge to Whitecourt, for example, but you’d transfer in Calgary and Edmonton. That may sound like a hassle, but if you’re cutting the travel time between Calgary and Edmonton from 3 hours to 1 hour the time savings would likely be worth it. This setup might even allow people to do some shopping in the city and then catch a later bus.

Allan83
Jan 31, 2014, 3:34 AM
^ This wasn’t a great example on my part, btw, because a large majority of the trips using the central artery would either begin or end in Edmonton or Calgary, or both. 2/3 of the population of the province lives in Edmonton and Calgary, after all, and the people who don't often take trips to the big cities. So most trips would have one transfer at most, and given that there would be lots of trains going back and forth layovers would not have to be very long, and it would be fairly easy to coordinate the bus schedules so that they would arrive shortly before a train leaves.

Allan83
Jan 31, 2014, 3:40 AM
Either this is an uninformed and useless analysis (from an article that’s basically useless too) or I’m missing something big.

Professor Shoots Down Alberta Bullet Train
http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Professor+shoots+down+Alberta+bullet+train+says+population+large+enough/9445569/story.html


Here’s the 2009 report which projects the net present value of the revenue streams up to 2051 (see p. 130):
"Exhibit 10.10: Range of Net Present Value of Revenues (in billions of 2006 $)
-------------125 mph 150 mph 200 mph 300 mph
Worst Case -1.444 --- 2.812 --- 5.645 --- 13.499
Base Case -- 2,100 --- 4,306 --- 9,205 --- 17,039
Best Case --- 3,496 --- 6,410 --- 14,288 --- 24,310"
http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/publications/production/AIT_Market_Assessment_Full_Rpt_02-2008_FINAL_rev.pdf

These are based on conservative population growth, ridership, and ticket price estimates, and as far as I can see they haven’t included any revenue for freight. It looks to me like the 200mph and 300 mph options would easily generate enough revenue, and that the 300 mph option would be the most profitable.

Estimates I’ve seen from a 2008 proposal for a Transrapid maglev project in Australia put the cost per km between 30 and 40 million depending on whether the track is elevated or not. These numbers are a few years old, and they’re in Australian dollars, so our costs would be higher, but there have also been some improvements to Transrapid’s system since then including a new lower cost girder. With or without the improvements, however, the projected costs would clearly come in well below base case revenue projections, and possibly even below the worst case.
http://www.monorailsaustralia.com.au/Maglev.pdf

I can easily understand why private companies have been making offers to build, own, and operate this line if the government puts together the land, and I can’t understand what that Toronto prof. is talking about. It looks to me like he’s basing his comments strictly on the populations of the two cities without considering the actual AADT numbers between the two cites. I hope they didn’t pay much for that analysis.

SkydivePilot
Feb 6, 2014, 7:21 PM
Short, but sweet here:

Yes for a high-speed train Between Edmonton and Calgary.

(. . . and it would be a LOT less fuss than flying.)

Allan83
Feb 7, 2014, 8:13 PM
High-speed train would create an Edmonton-Calgary powerhouse, proponents say
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/High+speed+train+would+create+Edmonton+Calgary+powerhouse/9468816/story.html

Updated Cost & Ridership/Revenue For Calgary Edmonton High Speed Rail December 2013
http://vanhorne.info/files/vanhorne/HighSpeedRailUpdateReport.pdf

Everything looks good. I think we need to make a decision on which technology we want to go with and then give this project a go. I hear Iveson’s concern about having a good LRT system in place first, but there’s no reason why would couldn’t do both at the same time. The HSR will be largely privately funded, and if the government puts some money into public transit in Edmonton and Calgary then both projects can go ahead together. Other things can be done in Edmonton too to accommodate the HSR passengers who will be arriving in downtown Edmonton. Car2Go is one option, or perhaps a modified Car2Go set up. If I was the HSR operator I might go to Car2Go and make a proposal. I would offer to transport vehicles and employees back and forth for free if Car2Go would set up a modified service operating out of the HSR station in Edmonton. The difference would be that rental periods would be limited to half-day, full-day, and perhaps weekend rates, and the cars would have to be returned to the station. You couldn’t just drop them off anywhere. (I assume the rates would be reduced, given the longer fixed time periods and requirement to bring the car back to the station.) This would allow Car2Go to provide quick and easy transportation for HSR customers in Edmonton without having to set up a whole new office in Edmonton.

Allan83
Feb 9, 2014, 5:08 AM
Simons: Making tracks: LRT network first stop on the line to high-speed rail
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Simons+Making+tracks+network+first+stop+line+high+speed+rail/9473737/story.html

Here are the good, the bad, the ugly, and the opportunities that this article intentionally or unintentionally raises, imo.

The Good
“Anybody who’s ever spent time stuck in a traffic jam outside of Airdrie, or stuck in a snow squall outside Lacombe, or stuck in an airport security line that takes longer than the flight, can understand why the idea of a high-speed train linking Edmonton and Calgary is so attractive.”
-Yes. This is a big reason why people will use it, and why we should build it.

“High-speed rail in Europe and Japan has worked best in cases where there’s density in the cities and the cities themselves have very well-developed public transport networks, so that people can feed into the high-speed rail line without necessarily using cars.”
-Yes. There is a well developed public transit network in Calgary – especially if you include the Green Line – but Edmonton’s could probably use more work. Of course there’s no reason why that can’t be done at the same time as the HSR is being built.

The Bad
Matti Siemiatycki, a consultant who seems to be completely uninformed on the issues.
“Even then, said the professor, international experience shows lines need between eight and 10 million riders a year to be economically viable. Ridership between Edmonton and Calgary is forecast to be in the 1.3 to 1.4 million range. Even by 2051, Siemiatycki argued, ridership projections for the Edmonton-Calgary corridor would still be below the threshold for economic viability.”
-this is simply factually untrue, and not even close. The current ridership forecasts for a 320 km/h line are for about 6 million by 2031 and about 10 million by 2051*. And the revenue forecasts show that this line should easily make money. The fact that both Calgary and Edmonton are in the same province and that there are strong business and government ties between the two makes our situation somewhat unique. There would likely be a significantly higher percentage of first class riders on this line, for example.

The folly continues:
“Siemiatycki also questioned the environmental benefits of major investment in high speed rail. “High-speed rail is considerably less environmentally efficient than conventional rail,” he said. “It produces fewer emissions than planes, but many studies are now showing that it’s on par with cars and buses.” That’s particularly problematic in Alberta, he notes, where we generate most electricity by burning coal.”
-Does this mean that everything in Alberta is powered by coal? Well, no. In fact Calgary Transit’s CTrain has been run exclusively on wind power for many years. And just because Alberta uses a lot of coal today doesn’t mean that this will be the case throughout the life cycle of this project. The coming solar revolution suggests that it won’t be, but Mr. Siemiatycki seems to be completely oblivious to all of this.

And it continues further:
“Instead of rushing into high-speed rail, he recommended the province concentrate first on urban transit and transportation networks. “Investing heavily in those could really provide you a much stronger benefit,” Siemiatycki testified.”
-Rushing into high speed rail? This has been studied since the 1980s, including 3 detailed studies in the last 10 years. Secondly, building better urban transit and transportation networks and an HSR link are not mutually exclusive projects. There’s no reason why they couldn’t both be done at the same time, especially given that the HSR would be mostly privately funded.

The Ugly
Paula Simons, the journalist who wrote the piece, appears to be uninformed enough herself that she wasn’t able to recognize how completely uninformed Mr. Siemiatycki was.

The Opportunity
The ridership numbers are there, and in fact they’ve been there for years now. Interest rates are low. Yes, we need more investment in public transit in both cities, but that was true even without considering the HSR issue. In fact the HSR can be a driver to help get that done. The time is now to green light the public transit projects, and to finalize the decision on which HSR/Maglev technology we want to go with, and to promptly go forward with this project as well.

*http://vanhorne.info/files/vanhorne/HighSpeedRailUpdateReport.pdf

DizzyEdge
Feb 9, 2014, 6:56 AM
I would really like to see a situation where you can take the LRT to the HSR. I would hate to see a situation where you take the LRT in the winter, suitcase in tow, and then have to go outside for 4 blocks to get to the HSR. I think Calgary really needs to take a look at a 3 lines of LRT + HSR central station.

Allan83
Feb 9, 2014, 8:59 PM
I would really like to see a situation where you can take the LRT to the HSR. I would hate to see a situation where you take the LRT in the winter, suitcase in tow, and then have to go outside for 4 blocks to get to the HSR. I think Calgary really needs to take a look at a 3 lines of LRT + HSR central station.

I think the current plan is to have the HSR come in next to the CP tracks where Railtown will be. That would be great for the Green Line but still a couple of blocks away from the other two. People aiming for one of those two might have to take the Green Line to 7th and then transfer there. There might be other ways to do it too.

DizzyEdge
Feb 9, 2014, 9:25 PM
At least in that scenario the green line would probably be close enough to have some sort of people mover from one station to the other.

Too bad they couldn't put a station 2nd st sw and 10th ave, which is also around where the green line would jog north, and is about 1-2 blocks from both the 7th ave and 8th ave LRT routes.

MalcolmTucker
Feb 10, 2014, 1:57 AM
At least in that scenario the green line would probably be close enough to have some sort of people mover from one station to the other.

Too bad they couldn't put a station 2nd st sw and 10th ave, which is also around where the green line would jog north, and is about 1-2 blocks from both the 7th ave and 8th ave LRT routes.
How high is the cleareance through the Palliser Parkade? It might be possible, but every additional length of viaduct is $$$ and a ground level station might work at the existing site.

MasterG
Feb 12, 2014, 11:39 PM
How high is the cleareance through the Palliser Parkade? It might be possible, but every additional length of viaduct is $$$ and a ground level station might work at the existing site.

Well they could just blow up the parkade... It is mighty ugly as it is and the land doesn't get much more prime than that. When we are talking about a mega-project, why not add a few hundred million and redevelop that area with a station, LRT connection to 2nd street and pedestrian access through the building over the tracks? Throw on an office tower or condo for a little density and you got a nice hub.

MasterG
Feb 12, 2014, 11:44 PM
I think the current plan is to have the HSR come in next to the CP tracks where Railtown will be. That would be great for the Green Line but still a couple of blocks away from the other two. People aiming for one of those two might have to take the Green Line to 7th and then transfer there. There might be other ways to do it too.

I wouldn't mind a slow train as well i.e. not 300km/h high-speed. A commuter rail on conventional tracks doing the Olds - Airdrie - Calgary route. That eventuality should be prepared for. Olds at 50,000 people, Airdrie at 100,000 people is not that far off the way Alberta grows.

YYCguys
Feb 18, 2014, 12:18 AM
I wouldn't mind a slow train as well i.e. not 300km/h high-speed. A commuter rail on conventional tracks doing the Olds - Airdrie - Calgary route. That eventuality should be prepared for. Olds at 50,000 people, Airdrie at 100,000 people is not that far off the way Alberta grows.

Olds is currently somewhere around 8500 so it has a long way to go to reach 50,000! Airdrie at 100,000 is more realistic, I think!

YYCguys
Feb 18, 2014, 3:27 PM
Where is the proposed intermodal (HSR, LRT, transit bus) station in DT Calgary? Would there be room to have the Greyhound station located there as well?

DizzyEdge
Feb 18, 2014, 9:54 PM
I believe it's here:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=51.044004,-114.050823&num=1&t=h&z=17

MalcolmTucker
Feb 18, 2014, 10:01 PM
I believe it's here:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=51.044004,-114.050823&num=1&t=h&z=17
From the Herald:

The province has entered an agreement to purchase 3.6 hectares of land adjacent to Canadian Pacific Railway land downtown. The land is north of Stampede Park, south of the railway tracks and just west of the Elbow River.
So the old sidings south of the mainline and east of 4th St SE?

Here are the parcels according to the city:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7337/12621228895_3ab8a5b5b7_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74624139@N02/12621228895/)
Capture (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74624139@N02/12621228895/) by Odarwin1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/74624139@N02/), on Flickr

technomad
Feb 20, 2014, 4:47 AM
Really not a fan of this location, screams 'corner cut' much like the NE roundabout entry point into Edmonton.

There's really no point in building this if it isn't done well.

It's the difference between this being revolutionary, or being the Simpson's monorail...



Here are the parcels according to the city:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7337/12621228895_3ab8a5b5b7_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74624139@N02/12621228895/)
Capture (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74624139@N02/12621228895/) by Odarwin1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/74624139@N02/), on Flickr

technomad
Feb 20, 2014, 5:06 AM
Where is the proposed intermodal (HSR, LRT, transit bus) station in DT Calgary? Would there be room to have the Greyhound station located there as well?

I'd love to see Calgary's central station at the Tower.

Spanning from Centre to 2nd St SW, close if not directly tied into all three LRT lines, with commuter rail at grade, and HSR elevated above, I'm even sure a Greyhound link could be tied in on 9/10 av.

But most importantly, the Tower is an iconic location, central to the core. Other cities have had their Union stations to work with, but lacking one here, the Tower is an ideal replacement, and with much more historic relevance here than some Union stations have to their cities.

Just keep the balls away ok?? Let's not ruin this opportunity...

technomad
Feb 20, 2014, 5:25 AM
There is a reason the Fort McMurray freight line is weight and speed limited - it is expensive to keep the track in shape given the ground condition.

Would making HSR-lite to Fort McMurray using twinned freight lines and 240 KPH rail be more feasable?

Better for industry, adds a passenger dimension, and costs much less than a dedicated passenger rail link would.

Could even lower maintenance with freight trains spread over two set of tracks

technomad
Feb 20, 2014, 5:29 AM
Maglev definitely gets get the trip time down to an hour or less, but I htink elevated may be the key to keeping service levels consistent year round.

Seems like elevated track wouldn't have the same snow buildup issues a grade level track would?

I seem to recall stories of the Chinese HSR lines having to throttle their speeds in the north due to winter issues, best to learn from what they did...

I’d settle for a 300 km/h HSR, but if we had faith in that maglev technology, and the company, then I think that would be the way to go. It’s not that much more expensive than HSR either. Ideally I’d like to see an elevated maglev all way between Edmonton and Calgary (from my poking around it looks like that would cost between 10 and 15 billion), and that would create a high speed central artery in the province. For argument’s sake let’s say that Transrapid built, owned and operated it. If that were the case I’d like to see them then also buy or form an alliance with Red Arrow, and use those busses as a feeders system for the central artery. That way you could buy one ticket from Lethbridge to Whitecourt, for example, but you’d transfer in Calgary and Edmonton. That may sound like a hassle, but if you’re cutting the travel time between Calgary and Edmonton from 3 hours to 1 hour the time savings would likely be worth it. This setup might even allow people to do some shopping in the city and then catch a later bus.