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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by J81 View Post
We’ve spent billions on infrastructure so people can pass through the province without spending a cent!
That is so not true. Whenever I pass through NB, I have to stop by and get gas either at Edmunston, Federickton or Moncton. There's no way for me to traverse that 536 km in one go.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
That is so not true. Whenever I pass through NB, I have to stop by and get gas either at Edmunston, Federickton or Moncton. There's no way for me to traverse that 536 km in one go.
It is true. Just because you cant do it in your car doesnt mean it cant be done. My wifes SUV gets about 600km to a tank and so does my truck.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 10:45 PM
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hopefully we see a push for more prairie intercity rail service with the loss of greyhound. more connections to small centres, but also 200 km/h+ limited stop service between Winnipeg Saskatoon Edmonton and Winnipeg Regina Calgary, as well as connections between the two AB and SK cities.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2019, 11:53 PM
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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%.
We let them build the Alaska Highway. It's really the same thing.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 2:03 AM
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Originally Posted by GoTrans View Post
I know, its a dream, but it doesn't hurt to dream and I believe the dream has merit. Comments are appreciated.
The dream does have merit, and I too would wish for something somewhat like what you described. However, I think starting with the sorts of things you mentioned would be the less successful way to go, as I suspect the ridership will not be large enough to justify the expense without the rest of a network. I fully support the idea that another poster also mentioned of VIA running buses instead of trains to serve the lower demand routes and fill the gap of Greyhound, as I bet (for example) 3 buses a day from Calgary to Regina would have a much better business case than 1 train a day.

Apologies for quoting myself but there's no point re-writing it, I think starting with this would be the better investment:
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
In Alberta, we need to identify a manageable size line is that has the most bang for buck and greatest chance of success and build that first. IMO, it's likely a Calgary - Lake Louise line and/or a Calgary - Airdrie line, possibly with a link to the airport. Once something like that is built, as long as it's not a complete financial disaster, then building extensions and additional branches becomes a much more attractive proposition, as you are able to leverage network effects. An Edmonton - Red Deer - Calgary line has a much better business case if there's also a line to the mountains at the other end.
In an alternate universe, where Canada actually did stuff like this, you could have an integrated ticketing system, and someone in Regina could buy a ticket from Regina to Banff, with a VIA bus to Calgary Central Rail Station, and then a train from there to Banff on whoever operates that line. But now it's me that's dreaming.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 2:12 AM
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I think it would be better if the Feds reconceived VIA as a transportation provider, rather than a train operator. I like trains as much as the next person, but our rail network is so far gone in some places that it doesn't make much sense to invest immense sums of money to get the rail line to actually handle frequent passenger trains. It would be better to just run or subsidize private operators to operate a network of coach buses at decent frequencies.

Bus connections should already be part of the business plan for VIA in the Corridor; it's silly that trains should stop in places like London, ON without offering a connecting bus service to relatively big towns that aren't served by public transit at all like St. Thomas.

There are some places where trains could make a difference outside of "Central Canada". These are routes that already have decent track conditions for freight operators. You'd have to negotiate with the likes of CP - which is like pulling teeth - but you could probably get at least 3 trains between Calgary and Banff in the summer (somebody already mentioned this). A semi-frequent train (like 4X a day/direction) from Moncton to Halifax is also low-hanging fruit.
This is what I agree with. There are likely many places that have a marginal business case for one massive train a day, but could justify a few buses, and even more places that don't have a railway but do have a road. VIA is ideally placed to fill the gap of Greyhound and could easily provide a better service with through service from its rail lines.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 2:25 AM
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Originally Posted by J81 View Post
It is true. Just because you cant do it in your car doesnt mean it cant be done. My wifes SUV gets about 600km to a tank and so does my truck.
Just this summer I drove my sedan (Cruze) from Sault Ste. Marie to eastern Ottawa non-stop. Distance was about 850 km and it took about 9 hours.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 2:31 AM
gunnar777 gunnar777 is online now
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Originally Posted by J81 View Post
It is true. Just because you cant do it in your car doesnt mean it cant be done. My wifes SUV gets about 600km to a tank and so does my truck.
No one cares about your wife's SUV and no one cares about your car, which you refer to as a truck, even though it's actually just a pick-up truck, which is a car with no trunk.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 3:22 AM
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Wut? My 2004 station wagon used to do 600km to a tank no problem. And my current car without a trunk will do over 1000km - why they don't put bigger fuel tanks in cars with trunks is a mystery to me.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 4:39 AM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
This is what I agree with. There are likely many places that have a marginal business case for one massive train a day, but could justify a few buses, and even more places that don't have a railway but do have a road. VIA is ideally placed to fill the gap of Greyhound and could easily provide a better service with through service from its rail lines.
The business case for a bus transportation network is now gone in Western Canada. And there’s no business case for passenger rail in Canada, it hasn’t made money for decades which is why we have a Via Rail. Who other than government would invest in a money losing operation? Who other than government would would even consider financing VIA’s multi billion dollar expansion fantasy? Canadians LOVE their cars and trucks and planes, not buses and trains. Even on VIA’s best route, Toronto-Montreal, it only carries 5% of the passenger traffic. People need to face reality, Canada will not support inter-city trains like Japan or Europe and bus has largely lost out to air and private transportation.

https://m.viarail.ca/sites/all/files..._2017_2021.pdf

Canada is in fact ranked 5th, averaging around 560 cars per 1,000 residents, and is even ahead of Germany in the list. Also surprising is the fact that only one other G8 country is ranked higher than Canada, with Italy coming in 4th.

Read more at https://www.auto123.com/en/news/cana...ClOyQWQATFi.99
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 4:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jawagord View Post
Canada is in fact ranked 5th, averaging around 560 cars per 1,000 residents, and is even ahead of Germany in the list. Also surprising is the fact that only one other G8 country is ranked higher than Canada, with Italy coming in 4th.

Read more at https://www.auto123.com/en/news/cana...ClOyQWQATFi.99
I find that a bit odd compared with the ranking of vehicles registered per 1000 residents. The number of vehicles registered will always be higher since it includes more than private passenger vehicles, but the difference between vehicle ownership and vehicle registration in Canada compared to the US seems off. The wiki link shows in the US there are 910 registered vehicles per 1000 residents compared to the economist stat in yours stating the ownership rate of only 470 vehicles per 1000 residents. For Canada it's 560 vs 662. So in the US only 52% of registered vehicles are privately owned while 85% are privately owned in Canada? Unlikely.

Considering that Canada generally has higher transit mode share and the US has so many more low density auto-dependant areas, I don't believe it.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 5:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jawagord View Post
Who other than government would invest in a money losing operation?
Because what is good for a transportation company isn't necessarily what is good for a province, or a country? The private sector isn't the be all and end all, there are bigger objectives than just individual profit - which is where the government fills the gaps.

Yes Canada loves its cars, because our rail network is either awful (if you are in Quebec or Ontario) or practically non existent if you are in Calgary, Halifax, Saskatoon, Vancouver or anywhere else. There are many people who would take trains if there was the option to do so, but we can't, because they don't exist.

Do you honestly think that anyone in the world looks at Canada and thinks 'ah yes that's the best model of how to build infrastructure, just build one shitty half assed freeway and no railways - let the private sector figure it out?'. Of course not. Normal countries do normal fucking things like investing in their infrastructure.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 5:43 AM
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I reckon that if we subsidized rail (like in Europe/Asia) to the extent that we subsidized the road network (off the fucking charts), we would have a world-class rail system with perhaps a hundred-fold increase in passenger volume.

Disingenuous Jawagord (who works in the oil industry) strikes again. You've got to be more sly about your unshakeable bias.

Or maybe we should completely abandon public transit, rail, etc. and just completely become a car-culture wasteland? Every interesting big city is one that has great transit, as that permits the densities that make interesting possible. Who the hell goes to Houston except for business? The car-dominated cities, and the parts of cities dominated by cars are automatically the least interesting places.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 1:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
I reckon that if we subsidized rail (like in Europe/Asia) to the extent that we subsidized the road network (off the fucking charts), we would have a world-class rail system with perhaps a hundred-fold increase in passenger volume.

Disingenuous Jawagord (who works in the oil industry) strikes again. You've got to be more sly about your unshakeable bias.

Or maybe we should completely abandon public transit, rail, etc. and just completely become a car-culture wasteland? Every interesting big city is one that has great transit, as that permits the densities that make interesting possible. Who the hell goes to Houston except for business? The car-dominated cities, and the parts of cities dominated by cars are automatically the least interesting places.
if Jawagord, if he does works in the oil industry may not want to accept that the dominance of oil is going to decline, and decline quickly due to climate change. Will we abolish cars, but there will probably be fewer gasoline powered vehciles. Rail is not the panacea for all transport needs but it can even replace or compete with air travel over short distances (of which we don't have many in Canada). We can have train service if it connects reasonably sized cities and towns with end points at major cities. At some point in time and probably sooner rather than later the major rail lines will be electrified or run on battery power or hydrogen. There is no reason why we should not take steps now to prepare for the future.

We have to get away from the idea that money spent on roads is an investment and on anything else is a subsidy. The cost of running cars and providing infrastructure for them to operate on needs to be made evident to the car driving public. And yes, I do drive, I do fly and yes I do take the train and I too worked in the oil patch for a short period of time.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 9:41 PM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
Because what is good for a transportation company isn't necessarily what is good for a province, or a country? The private sector isn't the be all and end all, there are bigger objectives than just individual profit - which is where the government fills the gaps.

Yes Canada loves its cars, because our rail network is either awful (if you are in Quebec or Ontario) or practically non existent if you are in Calgary, Halifax, Saskatoon, Vancouver or anywhere else. There are many people who would take trains if there was the option to do so, but we can't, because they don't exist.

Do you honestly think that anyone in the world looks at Canada and thinks 'ah yes that's the best model of how to build infrastructure, just build one shitty half assed freeway and no railways - let the private sector figure it out?'. Of course not. Normal countries do normal fucking things like investing in their infrastructure.
The only people that want to ride Canada’s antiquated inter city rail system are tourists. They want to experience the way travel was a 100 years ago, except the service isn’t as good and the steam engines have been replaced with diesels, whomp whomp. Our population goes up and ridership goes down, VIA is a rail system for those few who have no transportation options. As VIA points out in their study a dedicated track high speed rail system is needed to increase ridership. But we’ve done the high speed rail debate already, you don’t do it until intracity rail systems are in place. You get way more bang for your buck building city LRT and metropolitan commuter rail, more ridership, more cars off the road, better for the environment. Who would spend $20 billion building HSR between Calgary and Edmonton, when the green line and the blue line aren’t finished? Ditto for LRT and commuter rail projects in Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal. Maybe 40 years from now we’ll be ready for HSR, that’s if self driving car technology hasn’t made it redundant .
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  #56  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 10:50 PM
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The only people that want to ride Canada’s antiquated inter city rail system are tourists. They want to experience the way travel was a 100 years ago, except the service isn’t as good and the steam engines have been replaced with diesels, whomp whomp.
I don't know what part of the country you live in, but if it is in the Windsor-Quebec corridor you are completely out of touch. If you live anywhere in western Canada you are correct, with the following proviso:

1. The urban population has grown but there is no attempt to improve rail service, only more cut backs.
2 Nobody is going to ride a train that is only going to operate 2 or 3 times a week or in many cases not operate at all. Few people will ride a train if it is not daily or if there is not multiple frequencies. The Toronto-Ottawa service has expanded over the years from 4 trains per day to 10 trains per day. Passenger volumes and revenue have increased higher than costs in spite of CN not running trains on time for Via Rail.
3. Very few of the passengers in the corridor are foreign tourists, most being students to business people to regular people in spite of your claim. If you are talking about western Canada or the Maritimes you are more correct. Most people want to take a train to a nearby large city and come back the same day or the next day which is impossible especially in the west.
4. Nobody is can ride a train that doesn't service the larger population centres between the metropolitan cities.[/QUOTE]

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Originally Posted by jawagord View Post
Our population goes up and ridership goes down, VIA is a rail system for those few who have no transportation options. As VIA points out in their study a dedicated track high speed rail system is needed to increase ridership. But we’ve done the high speed rail debate already, you don’t do it until intracity rail systems are in place. You get way more bang for your buck building city LRT and metropolitan commuter rail, more ridership, more cars off the road, better for the environment. Who would spend $20 billion building HSR between Calgary and Edmonton, when the green line and the blue line aren’t finished? Ditto for LRT and commuter rail projects in Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal. Maybe 40 years from now we’ll be ready for HSR, that’s if self driving car technology hasn’t made it redundant .
If you do not have a ridership base you will never have better service. You have to start small but think big. For example, the Toronto-Ottawa service used to comprise of 4 trains a day and now it has grown to 10 trains a day. Passenger volumes have grown with every additional train offering. The rate of increase in train offerings has not matched the population growth but there is a limit to how volume Via Rail can garner given the on time performance and speed constraints.

We should not be waiting for 40 years to go by with out doing anything. We may never get to true HSR but at least HFR is a start and in the east and west at least additional services would be a start. Maybe the federal government should be taking care of it own responsibilities rather than paying for urban transit which is a function of the provinces and the cities or at least direct some money to capital improvements to Via Rail.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2019, 11:07 PM
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I found his comment quite odd as well. His location is listed as Calgary so that would explain it. VIA is quite well used by the general population in "The Corridor".

Hell Cobourg has, roughly, 5-9 trains daily to each Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 12:03 AM
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Via, or some equivalent, needs a lot of work in Canada. We have a lot of potential, but due to the rails being torn up or prioritized for freight, we are hobbled. And losing one of the main regional money makers to another company certainly doesn't help (GO Transit).

A combined Train/bus service company would probably be the way to go and grow. We certainly need to focus on the regions, but also provide regular usuable links between those regions too.

Maybe instead of 1 National transport company, Via should become a brand with regional companies that focus locally? (and can apply for federal and provincial funding appropriately?)

The Maritimes for example should have rail service between the core cities with rails already (SJ/Moncton/Halifax), and bus service to the other cities (Freddy, Edmundston, Charlottetown, Sydney). Moncton to Riviere de Loup should be the main link between the Maritimes to the Gaspe/Eastern Quebec region. (Which in turn would link RdL to Quebec City and the Corridor)

Others more familiar with the other regions would be better to describe, but Alberta should basically be its own region, as should BC, Sask/Manitoba and Northern Ontario might be too big to link together, but might be best to work as a big region.

Anyways, just spitballing some ideas to try and figure out what might work. Certainly each region has issues and different needs. Via Rail might just be covering too big of a region to properly service all of Canada with the way it is set up now.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 1:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jawagord View Post
The only people that want to ride Canada’s antiquated inter city rail system are tourists. They want to experience the way travel was a 100 years ago, except the service isn’t as good and the steam engines have been replaced with diesels, whomp whomp. Our population goes up and ridership goes down, VIA is a rail system for those few who have no transportation options. As VIA points out in their study a dedicated track high speed rail system is needed to increase ridership. But we’ve done the high speed rail debate already, you don’t do it until intracity rail systems are in place. You get way more bang for your buck building city LRT and metropolitan commuter rail, more ridership, more cars off the road, better for the environment. Who would spend $20 billion building HSR between Calgary and Edmonton, when the green line and the blue line aren’t finished? Ditto for LRT and commuter rail projects in Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal. Maybe 40 years from now we’ll be ready for HSR, that’s if self driving car technology hasn’t made it redundant .
Yeah you are very out of touch with the country outside your prairie bubble. VIA is very popular in the corridor, almost as many people take the train from Toronto to Ottawa as fly. Plenty of business travel occurs by VIA. The service is doing well as ridership on the Toronto-Kingston-Ottawa line has increased by 40% in the last 5 years and the subsidy per passenger has fallen significantly.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 1:23 AM
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We let them build the Alaska Highway. It's really the same thing.
It was easier to get infrastructure built back then (plus there was a war going on). Imagine the number of heads that would explode if they tried to build the Alaska Highway today?
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