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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 1:24 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 .
If you read my posts in this thread you'll see I'm not advocating for building intercity rail (high speed or not) in the west, at least not yet. I even said pretty much exactly what you said - build what gives you the most bang for buck first, which until now has indeed been LRTs. But looking forward, I would like to see the province or a regional partnership or someone look at passenger rail outside of city limits. We can't get to a point of people riding rail without building something first.

I mentioned running intercity buses precisely because running trains to many places would currently be a waste of money, but I don't think it is right that the only way to get around is a car or plane. Just because Greyhound decided it wasn't profitable does not mean it isn't a good thing for the country to have the government invest in public transit - if we only funded roads based on a purely profit rationale, then every single road is a net loss and should not have been built.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 4:32 AM
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VIA is a political mess. I say ditch every single line outside the Corridor as none of them make any economic sense save the Atlantic which perhaps could run in the summer months. If VIA was to cancel all non-Corridor route tomorrow no one in Western Canada would even notice and fewer even care.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 7:54 AM
GoTrans GoTrans is offline
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
VIA is a political mess. I say ditch every single line outside the Corridor as none of them make any economic sense save the Atlantic which perhaps could run in the summer months. If VIA was to cancel all non-Corridor route tomorrow no one in Western Canada would even notice and fewer even care.
i don't know where you live but I don't know if those of us who live in Central Canada can speak for those of us who live in ROC.Why should ROC subsidise corridor service and yet not get anything in return? We are not talking about frequencies in the west or the maritimes in the same order of magnitude as in the corridor.

Last edited by GoTrans; Jan 28, 2019 at 2:21 PM.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 9:09 AM
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A good way to eliminate a public service is to slash funding until it is near-worthless and resented, and then propose cancellation.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 3:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GoTrans View Post
i don't know where you live but I don't know if those of us who live in Central Canada can speak for those of us who live in ROC.Why should ROC subsidise corridor service and yet not get anything in return? We are not talking about frequencies in the west or the maritimes in the same order of magnitude as in the corridor.
In terms of the bolded part, that's almost never a useful/relevant question. I mean, you can nit pick endless forms of spending that benefit one area/region disproportionately more than others and get mired in worrying about how it all equals out. People in cities complain that their tax dollars fund things in rural areas, people in rural areas mad they fund things in cities, people in poorer provinces mad the feds fund things in affluent areas, people in wealthier provinces mad about the level of equalization payments, etc. Everyone thinks someone else is a mooch. But at the end of the day, we're all one interconnected country and if a project makes sense in terms of an overall balance of factors including quality of life, connectivity, efficiency, economy, sustainability, etc. then it's a good investment regardless of where it is, and if it doesn't it's a bad investment regardless of where it is. If there comes a time when overall spending levels show clear preferences for one region over others then that could warrant a closer look. But it's a toxic element to add to discussions of individual projects.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 4:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
VIA is a political mess. I say ditch every single line outside the Corridor as none of them make any economic sense save the Atlantic which perhaps could run in the summer months. If VIA was to cancel all non-Corridor route tomorrow no one in Western Canada would even notice and fewer even care.
Well, then you don't care about tourism. That is the market for rail service in the west at the present time.

I am making a trip to Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg specifically to take in the rail experience. If we abandoned rail as you are suggesting, I would be spending my tourist dollars elsewhere. I am not going to those cities specifically as a destination, at least, not on this trip. My ultimate destination is Chicago. Without rail, my trip would have only been to Chicago.

Furthermore, we are reaching the point where access to our National Parks is getting too congested by automobiles.

We have already eliminated Greyhound, now you want eliminate VIA. I think this is not very forward thinking when the only way to contain congestion into our National Parks is by improving rail and buses.

It would be a big mistake to cancel rail altogether. It would be even more difficult to bring it back if studies suggest that rail might be a solution at some point in the future.

But don't forget about tourists, the tens of thousands who come every year to Canada for the rail experience. How much money are these tourists injecting into the Canadian economy? These tourists are spending more and staying longer than your average tourist.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 4:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
VIA is a political mess. I say ditch every single line outside the Corridor as none of them make any economic sense save the Atlantic which perhaps could run in the summer months. If VIA was to cancel all non-Corridor route tomorrow no one in Western Canada would even notice and fewer even care.
If you look at the financials, you can see that the Toronto-Vancouver route has about the same farebox recovery rate as the Corridor services and due to less overall service, a substantially cheaper cost in absolute terms. Even the mandatory services, while having atrocious farebox recovery rates, cost significantly less than the Corridor services in absolute dollar terms simply because of volume.

It's also notable the Toronto-Vancouver route has significantly improved its farebox recovery: from 45.9% in 2014 to 64.8% in 2017.





Looking at those charts it makes you wonder why VIA even bothers charging fares for some of those mandatory services. They might as well make them free to improve transportation for residents of remote areas.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2019, 5:47 AM
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At the bare minimum BC should have at least a couple mid speed rail corridors.

Victoria to Campbell River is the most obvious IMO, after that is Vancouver (or Surrey) to Chilliwack (maybe Hope) and then Vancouver / North Vancouver to Whistler (maybe Pemberton).

In a perfect world there would also be a line from Osyoos to Kamloops, and then a beefed up link between Kamloops and Van.

These would serve as semi local and regional connections (similar to the trains that service my area of Japan, station spacing averages around 5 km or so (maybe 2 km in the most urban settings and up to 10km or more in the very rural areas). Local trains travel at max speeds around 120km and the regional express trains are around 180km.

The population density along my line is far less than the Fraser Valley, is near identical to eastern Vancouver Island, and not too much more than the Okanagan.

These would have to be largely federal though, but seeing how we are a car dependent culture compared to Japan, and both eastern Vancouver Island and the Okanagan don't even have a real freeway as a spine (yet the similar corridor where I live in Japan does have a complete freeway network as well) I don't think we will be seeing any of that this century. Would be nice if the "green" parties (NDP, federal Liberals) actually had balls and embarked on some major revolutionary rail projects.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2019, 6:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CityTech View Post
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.
I just checked the recent Via annual reports and you're right. The annual subsidy has indeed been dropping across the entire network. From $83 per passenger on average in 2014 to $60 in 2017. That's a pretty substantial improvement in a relatively short amount of time. I wonder with GO substantially increasing their service to Niagara whether Via will cut the route or not.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2019, 6:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
At the bare minimum BC should have at least a couple mid speed rail corridors.

Victoria to Campbell River is the most obvious IMO, after that is Vancouver (or Surrey) to Chilliwack (maybe Hope) and then Vancouver / North Vancouver to Whistler (maybe Pemberton).

In a perfect world there would also be a line from Osyoos to Kamloops, and then a beefed up link between Kamloops and Van.

These would serve as semi local and regional connections (similar to the trains that service my area of Japan, station spacing averages around 5 km or so (maybe 2 km in the most urban settings and up to 10km or more in the very rural areas). Local trains travel at max speeds around 120km and the regional express trains are around 180km.

The population density along my line is far less than the Fraser Valley, is near identical to eastern Vancouver Island, and not too much more than the Okanagan.

These would have to be largely federal though, but seeing how we are a car dependent culture compared to Japan, and both eastern Vancouver Island and the Okanagan don't even have a real freeway as a spine (yet the similar corridor where I live in Japan does have a complete freeway network as well) I don't think we will be seeing any of that this century. Would be nice if the "green" parties (NDP, federal Liberals) actually had balls and embarked on some major revolutionary rail projects.
I keep checking on when they're going to reopen the Vancouver Island line, which was supposed to have happened a while ago, but still nothing. Hoping they don't let the line rot away to nothing in the meantime...
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 3:28 PM
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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.
Lol this is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh! Mindless trolling always gives me a chuckle.
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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 5:40 PM
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Yeah. Maybe a 150km/h service from Victoria to Nanaimo would work. ANd a route from Vancouver to Calgary at 200km/h. As far as the Corridor goes, people in Calgary should not pay justto subsidize the Toronto to Montreal area.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 5:55 PM
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BC might be too mountainous for anything past 120 kph, but yes a line between Victoria and Nanaimo especially with stops at Mill Bay and at Duncan would be nice. TCH through Malahat is an absolute gong show. A 2-3 lane arterial road with an AADT of 22K is virtually unthinkable in Central - Eastern Canada.*

* Oops I forgot about Owen Sound...
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 6:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Ottawaresident View Post
Yeah. Maybe a 150km/h service from Victoria to Nanaimo would work. ANd a route from Vancouver to Calgary at 200km/h. As far as the Corridor goes, people in Calgary should not pay justto subsidize the Toronto to Montreal area.
You'd need to build a new railway through Rogers Pass and Kicking Horse pass to reach Calgary, which is in the 'never going to happen in a million years' category. Unless more stuff like this morning's news keeps happening.

https://calgaryherald.com/news/local...near-field-b-c
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 6:40 PM
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In that case, it's probably more worthwhile to just twin TCH throughout BC.

Edit: Condolence to the affected families.

Now that I think about it, if that stretch isn't safe for cars, it won't be much safer (if not more dangerous) for trains. Vehicles rolling down the slope into the river are one of my worst nightmares.
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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 8:42 PM
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Just build a tunnel. Relatively straight tracks shouldn't be dangerous.
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  #77  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 8:46 PM
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Tunnels are commonplace in Europe but not so much in North America for some funny reasons. In this case, I don't know if Rocky Mountain ranges are stable enough for that*, not to mention that installing emergency exits alone is a hard task.

* For the record, I've heard that the rocks there can crumble easily (hence the frequent rock slides). Contrast that with granites on Canadian Shield.
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  #78  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 9:08 PM
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Just build a tunnel. Relatively straight tracks shouldn't be dangerous.
Who's paying?
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  #79  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 9:46 PM
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Who's paying?
Mexico.
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  #80  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2019, 9:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ottawaresident View Post
Just build a tunnel. Relatively straight tracks shouldn't be dangerous.
Tunnels are expensive, especially if you are going to run diesel locomotives through them rather than electric. In Europe since most of the railways were nationalized after WWII, governments paid for most of the tunnels.
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