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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 9:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
My solution would be to reroute the "Ocean" via the CNR mainline from Moncton to Grand Falls and Edmundston, rather than up the east coast of NB, Baie des Chaleur and Matapedia Valley. The mainline is better maintained allowing for higher speed and is more direct.
The more frequencies you run, the less maintenance cost per train. If the frequency of the Ocean was increased there would be more money available to fix the tracks resulting in higher speeds and better on time performance and hence more ridership which reduces the deficit. There are more communities on the eastern route than there is through Plaster Rock to Moncton.

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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
I would supplement this mainline service however by creating daily local service (maybe 2x daily) between Halifax, Moncton and Saint John, and also provide a daily service along the current VIA route from Moncton serving Miramichi, Bathurst and Campbellton. Both of these services could feed the Ocean at the VIA station in Moncton.
This makes a lot of sense. For starters I would start one train in Moncton at 7:00 am and another in St John at 7:00 am. The morning train from Moncton should leave Halifax so it arrives in Moncton between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm and continue on to St. John. The morning train from St. John would leave Halifax at between 5:00pm and 6:00pm so it arrives in Moncton in the evening.

This would provide 1 train between St John and Moncton in each direction and 2 trains between Moncton and Halifax in each direction ( exdcluding the Ocean). If ridership grows then maybe a additional Moncton -St John daily round trip might be viable.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 4:35 AM
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Somehow there is Via service to Senneterre, Quebec, but Calgary is not on the map?

I mean, wholly shit, what's the deal?

via

Yeah, yeah, I heard the political stories, including why Edmonton got Via but Calgary lost it...but it still makes no goddamn sense. Kind of like keeping a CBC station in Rankin Inlet while closing down the Toronto affiliate.

It is a good thing that both Sudbury and Sudbury Jct. have service. Otherwise the people would be out with their pitchforks.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 4:46 AM
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time for a complete overhaul and fresh investment.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 5:49 AM
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If that map is supposed to be NA passenger trains, how come it includes US commuter rail but none in Canada?
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 2:51 PM
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I don't know; probably drawn up by an American.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 3:26 PM
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The area comprised between Saguenay and Senneterre is incredibly remote and the only way to get around by car is via forest roads. There is however a good number of communities within that corridor, I suspect most of which being First Nations. I guess a certain number of residents use the train to go to Saguenay and occasionally to Montreal by train. But yes, to think that this remote region has Via Rail service while Calgary doesn’t is unreal.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 5:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Somehow there is Via service to Senneterre, Quebec, but Calgary is not on the map?

I mean, wholly shit, what's the deal?

via
That Am-track connection (The Cascades service) from Vancouver should actually say Eugene Oregon, not Seattle as the terminus. I've used it 3 times now, shitty train, shitty business class, great views. It's also really funny looking.

[IMG]Train by Bejan, on Flickr[/IMG]
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 6:23 PM
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Originally Posted by le calmar View Post
The area comprised between Saguenay and Senneterre is incredibly remote and the only way to get around by car is via forest roads. There is however a good number of communities within that corridor, I suspect most of which being First Nations. I guess a certain number of residents use the train to go to Saguenay and occasionally to Montreal by train. But yes, to think that this remote region has Via Rail service while Calgary doesn’t is unreal.

Yes, and this is very important to acknowledge (likewise for that route to Churchill, Man).

But yeah, the optics of a line to Senneterre while somehow missing "one of the big four" (not to mention, Okotoks) is really glaring.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 6:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TorontoDrew View Post
That Am-track connection (The Cascades service) from Vancouver should actually say Eugene Oregon, not Seattle as the terminus. I've used it 3 times now, shitty train, shitty business class, great views. It's also really funny looking.

[IMG]Train by Bejan, on Flickr[/IMG]
Humpback train
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GoTrans View Post
The more frequencies you run, the less maintenance cost per train. If the frequency of the Ocean was increased there would be more money available to fix the tracks resulting in higher speeds and better on time performance and hence more ridership which reduces the deficit. There are more communities on the eastern route than there is through Plaster Rock to Moncton.

.
As I've mentioned before, there are also more human "affinities" (family, educational, business, etc.) all the way along the eastern route than there are along the western route.

On the western route, it's only when you reach Grand Falls that you start to have a decent share of the population that's likely to have "life relationships" that involve Quebec City and Montreal.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 8:45 PM
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wish the rail line was still running up past puk to lynn lake
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 11:05 PM
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wish the rail line was still running up past puk to lynn lake
Lots of people want to take the train. We just don't ask enough of politicians to make sure that adequate train service is funded. Ask your mayor, township reeve, regional government, tribal council, provincial politicians and federal politicians and Via Rail that they fund Via Rail and mandate it to provide reasonable service across the country. Demand that when railways abandon trackage that the government look at alternatives including ownership by Via Rail or joint ownership by both CN & CP or some other alternative.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 1:27 AM
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The Maritimes should offer to subsidize better highway routes through Maine.
Tell me this is a joke! Please! Pretty Please!
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 2:32 AM
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Originally Posted by J81 View Post
Tell me this is a joke! Please! Pretty Please!
It's not a joke at all. The highway is important to Atlantic Canada but most people in Maine don't care about it or are slightly against it because they imagine it going through pristine wilderness.

It was estimated as a ~$2B project in 2012. Atlantic Canada's GDP is about $120B a year and this highway would be the main link to the rest of Canada. It's been contemplated since the 1940's, and there aren't a lot of comparable situations in the developed world where you have to take a 300 km detour because a medium sized infrastructure project to efficiently connect over 2 million people has never been built.

If Canada offered to pay for the thing it would probably already be built and there would have been a net positive economic impact to Canada. Canada would be able to negotiate paying less than 100%.

A lot of people say that the highway would not be used because of the international border but that's just not true. I-5 up to BC is very busy, and you can get a Nexus card and cross the border in about 5 minutes. In a better world it would also be possible to arrange for some kind of sterile transit (i.e. you don't need a passport as long as you go from NB to QC and stay along the highway), but even without that the project is worth it just for the commercial traffic, the kind of traffic that crosses the US-Canada border every day in huge volumes.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 2:50 AM
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Fortress USA is not really interested in making cross-border travel and commerce better. They are in protectionist mode now and will be for years to come. That's why the Canadian government is paying for the Gordie Howe Bridge.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 2:18 PM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
It's not a joke at all. The highway is important to Atlantic Canada but most people in Maine don't care about it or are slightly against it because they imagine it going through pristine wilderness.

It was estimated as a ~$2B project in 2012. Atlantic Canada's GDP is about $120B a year and this highway would be the main link to the rest of Canada. It's been contemplated since the 1940's, and there aren't a lot of comparable situations in the developed world where you have to take a 300 km detour because a medium sized infrastructure project to efficiently connect over 2 million people has never been built.

If Canada offered to pay for the thing it would probably already be built and there would have been a net positive economic impact to Canada. Canada would be able to negotiate paying less than 100%.

A lot of people say that the highway would not be used because of the international border but that's just not true. I-5 up to BC is very busy, and you can get a Nexus card and cross the border in about 5 minutes. In a better world it would also be possible to arrange for some kind of sterile transit (i.e. you don't need a passport as long as you go from NB to QC and stay along the highway), but even without that the project is worth it just for the commercial traffic, the kind of traffic that crosses the US-Canada border every day in huge volumes.

NB just spent a billion dollars over the last 20 years to twin the TCH through the entire province. As if we want to pay for a highway through Maine. Give your head a shake. It’s preposterous. Just to save 1.5-2hrs on a trip to mtl? The maritimes are broke. There are much more important ways to spend the little money we have then building highways in another country much wealthier then ours.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 7:02 PM
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Originally Posted by J81 View Post
Just to save 1.5-2hrs on a trip to mtl?
In my opinion this kind of attitude is the wrongheaded one. People often shrug off increased travel times that are very significant. It's not just 2 hours, it's 2 hours on thousands of trips per year and millions of trips over the lifetime of the highway. Saint John could be 10 hours from Toronto but it's 13 hours because of indirect highway connections. This matters for commerce and industry, and for people deciding where to visit or live or study.

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The maritimes are broke. There are much more important ways to spend the little money we have then building highways in another country much wealthier then ours.
Better projects like...? The Maritimes have spent a lot more money on corporate welfare and other dubious economic development schemes in dying rural and industrial areas. Sydney Steel alone soaked up the equivalent of about $5B in subsidies in today's dollars. The region should instead focus on keeping taxes low and building great infrastructure.

NB has bad provincial finances right now but NS and PEI don't. The population in the Maritimes grew by 15,000 last year. The region isn't broke or going through a demographic apocalypse. It needs to invest in better infrastructure to improve its economy though.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 7:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Somehow there is Via service to Senneterre, Quebec, but Calgary is not on the map?
This is because the government feels obligated to provide services to remote regions such as northern Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Northern Ontario is a little different since it is on transcontinental routes and Churchill MB can be made into a viable port. But question arises as too why there is no service to Fort McMurray or Grand Prairie if we are providing service to Senneterre.

Calgary is not on the map because government sold off the Via Mountaineer service to private interests ( Rocky Mountaineer) which do not want government subsidized services competing with their offerings. As a result the transcontinental service is routed through Edmonton and Jasper rather than Calgary and Banff.

Since the government feels obligated to continue to provide services to remote places in northern Ontario without either any public transport services or road links in many cases the Canadian is routed on CN tracks through Hornepayne and Sioux Lookout rather than on the more populated CP line servicing the north shore of Lake Superior and Thunder Bay.

Because of perceived limitations in the BC and Ontario the Canadian is also routed via Saskatoon across the prairies. Not only is Calgary left off the map but so are all the cities and towns on the CPR route from Sudbury all the way to Vancouver including places like Regina, Thunder Bay and Sudbury to name a few.

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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Yeah, yeah, I heard the political stories, including why Edmonton got Via but Calgary lost it...but it still makes no goddamn sense. Kind of like keeping a CBC station in Rankin Inlet while closing down the Toronto affiliate.

It is a good thing that both Sudbury and Sudbury Jct. have service. Otherwise the people would be out with their pitchforks.
Yes, there are trains that stop in Sudbury and Sudbury Jct. but don't think for a moment that Sudbury has any real train service. The only train that services Sudbury is the RDC to White River which is once again a remote service due to lack of roads and transport options. There is no service between the actual city of Sudbury and Toronto or points west. The Canadian only operates 2 times a week to Sudbury Jct , a stop in the bush east of Sudbury scheduled to arrive westbound at 5:12 am and eastbound at 4:20 am with no transit connections. This train takes a pathetic 10 hours to travel the Toronto-Sudbury distance and is basically never on time in either direction. The Canadian in addition bypassing Sudbury for all intensive purposes also bypasses Barrie in favour of transiting the east side of Lake Simcoe where there are no major centres.

The federal government/Via Rail draws a line on a map and sends 1 or 2 trains a week rattling down the tracks and that is called service.

In my opinion, what needs to be done is to cancel the transcontinental service totally and replace it with regional trains that have shorter routes and allow for better scheduling and on time performance.

All services east and west should should end in Winnipeg. The current Canadian should be put back on its CP route in Ontario and end in Winnipeg. People should be required to spend the night in Winnipeg just as they do in Prince George on the Jasper to Prince Rupert train unless connections can be made in Winnipeg.

The current Canadian route via CN could be converted to run Winnipeg to Sudbury, not Sudbury Jct on its current frequency as a day time service stopping overnight in Longlac. The use of DMU's should be considered for this service.


All trains from Vancouver should end in either Calgary or Edmonton and operate overnight year around as required. Since the Rocky Mountaineer operates primarily in the summer and their prices are so high they cannot in any way be counted as public transportation. Via should offer service from Vancouver to Calgary and Edmonton. Just as passengers would have to change trains in Winnipeg the same may be required in Edmonton and Calgary for passengers transferring from regional trains on the prairies. Via Rail will be doing this in 2019 with 1 train per week without any connection east of Edmonton.

Here is my wish list:

The following services should be implemented in order to provide a cohesive system connecting points across Alberta. Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

1. A daily train from Calgary to Winnipeg via Regina and Brandon. The train should depart Regina to Winnipeg after the train from Edmonton to Regina arrives to provide a connection for Edmonton to Winnipeg passengers. (see note 2)
2. A daily train from Edmonton to Regina that replaces service on the CN mainline by using the north main via Fort Saskatchewan, Lloydminster and North Battleford.
3. A daily train from Saskatoon to Winnipeg via Regina replacing the current service on the CN mainline.
This would provide 2 trains a day providing morning and afternoon service in each direction between Saskatoon and Regina. It would also provide 2 trains per day between Regina, Brandon and Winnipeg.

4. Obviously service needs to be re-instated between Edmonton and Calgary. The service to begin with should be at least 3 trains per day as an absolute minimum. The access to downtown Red Deer should be reconstructed and a new alignment should be built that would service Leduc/YEG providing accss to YEG for air passengers. This new construction would provide passing tracks for freights on the existing CPR alignment and provide more convenient locations for passengers. The investment in these two infrastructure improvements would not be thrown away as they could be incorporated into any HSR route if it ever comes to fruition.

The issue of insufficient infrastructure still needs to be addressed. The federal government should force CN to re-install the 64 km of double track that was previously ripped out between Edmonton and the Yellowhead Pass by Hunter Harrison. Since the roadbed already exists, this is low hanging fruit.

With respect to the Edmonton – Calgary service, the frequent accidents at level crossings was one of the main factors in the demise of the service. Level crossings need to be upgraded, closed or grade separations need to be built. Some sidings would have to be extended or shorter ones for passenger trains would need to be built. Since the distance between Edmonton and Calgary is relatively short the cost of siding extensions new short sidings would not necessarily be a huge investment. The important thing is to keep trains moving by minimizing time spent waiting on a siding whether they are freight or passenger trains. Clearly CP would like priority for freights and Via would like priority for freight.

The trains should stop at the CPR Edmonton South station to begin with. Ultimately they should be extended to Grandin LRT station on the north side of the High Level bridge in downtown Edmonton.

Passenger trains in Saskatoon should utilize the CPR station downtown rather than the inhospitable CN station which is now in the midst of an intermodal rail yard on the outskirts of the city.

The north main between Saskatoon and Edmonton via Lloydminster may require Centralized Train Control installed. It would be great if someone who knows the frequency of CN freights on this line could advise the forum. I know quite a few grain and oil trains travel this route but don’t know the average daily number.

I know, its a dream, but it doesn't hurt to dream and I believe the dream has merit. Comments are appreciated.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 7:56 PM
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I hope your dream, or parts of it, are eventually realized.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
In my opinion this kind of attitude is the wrongheaded one. People often shrug off increased travel times that are very significant. It's not just 2 hours, it's 2 hours on thousands of trips per year and millions of trips over the lifetime of the highway. Saint John could be 10 hours from Toronto but it's 13 hours because of indirect highway connections. This matters for commerce and industry, and for people deciding where to visit or live or study.



Better projects like...? The Maritimes have spent a lot more money on corporate welfare and other dubious economic development schemes in dying rural and industrial areas. Sydney Steel alone soaked up the equivalent of about $5B in subsidies in today's dollars. The region should instead focus on keeping taxes low and building great infrastructure.

NB has bad provincial finances right now but NS and PEI don't. The population in the Maritimes grew by 15,000 last year. The region isn't broke or going through a demographic apocalypse. It needs to invest in better infrastructure to improve its economy though.

Where do you live? Ive lived in NB for 37 years. Its broke. Has been for a long while. We’ve spent billions on infrastructure so people can pass through the province without spending a cent! And who footed the bill for that?? Myself and every other tax paying resident of the province. And how is the NB economy doing right now?? Come on sir. It is that liberal spending what we dont have attitude that has got the province in the situation it is in currently and handing out a few billion more to Maine isnt going to be popular at all. In my opinion your way of thinking is the wrong headed one lol. But its ok to respectfully disagree
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