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  #1201  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2019, 2:39 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
I actually would agree with that. I think the situation is somewhat analogous to the downtown relief line issue in Toronto in that the infrastructure would be physically in the central areas but it would make it more convenient for people coming into town from outer areas.

While it's important to provide good transit service to people in central areas, people in inner nabes already create less car traffic since they walk and bike more which makes sense since it's geographically pretty small. Most of the traffic volume is from commuters coming in from outside, while much of the congestion is from either the choke points coming onto the peninsula or from the confined street layout. Having a way for people to come in and out of town fast bypassing congestion and frequent stops would attract a lot of riders and reduce surface street traffic volumes significantly.
I look at those traffic bottlenecks as both a symptom and a motivation.

The traffic buildup is a symptom that there are a lot of people driving into the downtown, and clearly illustrates the potential for transit to serve a lot of people coming in from the suburbs, but also benefit those people living downtown with less traffic (and thus less pollution and less carbon load), less land needed for parking, etc. Actually a benefit to everybody.

Then, it's also motivation for people to use the service. I love to drive, but if given the choice of sitting on a train watching the scenery go by or sitting in traffic, it's an easy choice. Not to mention the expense of parking downtown, especially if you work there and need to park your car all day, every day.

The side benefit for everybody is that the road networks could be left as is, as extra capacity is no longer needed to compensate for more traffic. This benefits the entire city, as there could potentially be less money required to build new roads or modify existing ones, so there could be more tax dollars to be used in other areas than the roads. No new roads mean no need to increase snow clearing and maintenance/construction budgets, etc etc. Combine this with downtown based transit such as that which you and someone123 proposed, and it's a win for everybody IMHO.

Transit to the suburbs, such as the CN proposal gone sour, seems like low-hanging fruit that should have been easy to put in place and could have created massive benefits to the city. But, we'll never know because nobody is allowed to talk about the details.

I still think the city should get our federal representatives to see if the feds can step in and force CN to allow this to happen with more reasonable (assuming the secretive reasoning was unreasonable) terms.

As a fan of history, I find the current situation particularly sad because similar systems were already in place many years ago. Halifax had an electric rail system that ran throughout the downtown, and later electric buses. Nova Scotia had 'dayliners' - small trains that ran around the rails to allow people to commute not just to downtown, but all over the province. Rail is such an efficient form of transport (i.e. low-friction steel on steel, with minimal stop and go situations), it boggles my mind that governments at all levels could not see the benefit in maintaining those rail systems, and instead remove rails and invest heavily in roads and divert everything to motor vehicle traffic.

Some of the changes were not all that long ago: for example the Lakeside tracks were torn up less than 10 years ago. Think of the possibilities for commuter rail if the government hadn't ripped up all these rail lines for "rails to trails" - a sad waste of a valuable resource, IMHO.
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  #1202  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2019, 5:14 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
The side benefit for everybody is that the road networks could be left as is, as extra capacity is no longer needed to compensate for more traffic. This benefits the entire city, as there could potentially be less money required to build new roads or modify existing ones, so there could be more tax dollars to be used in other areas than the roads. No new roads mean no need to increase snow clearing and maintenance/construction budgets, etc etc. Combine this with downtown based transit such as that which you and someone123 proposed, and it's a win for everybody IMHO.
Unfortunately this is a fallacy as far as HRM is concerned. When was the last significant upgrade to any main entry point to the peninsula? I guess adding the 3rd lane to the Macdonald bridge but since they did not do anything to fix the choke points at either end you still have the same stop-and-crawl traffic, just more of it stopped on the bridge. Nothing has been done to the MacKay since it was built in 1970. Nothing has been done to the 102/Bayers Road entry point. The Armdale Rotary was made into a roundabout but again nothing much was done to fix the choke points beyond it. The much-ballyhooed 3rd lane on Chebucto accomplished very little. If you are not spending money upgrading your main entry roads, there is no money to be saved.


Quote:
Rail is such an efficient form of transport (i.e. low-friction steel on steel, with minimal stop and go situations), it boggles my mind that governments at all levels could not see the benefit in maintaining those rail systems, and instead remove rails and invest heavily in roads and divert everything to motor vehicle traffic.

Some of the changes were not all that long ago: for example the Lakeside tracks were torn up less than 10 years ago. Think of the possibilities for commuter rail if the government hadn't ripped up all these rail lines for "rails to trails" - a sad waste of a valuable resource, IMHO.
As I posted a page or so back, this was a totally myopic move. It was one of the first examples of HRM rolling over for the cycling lobby in cahoots with the trails bunch but it should never have been permitted. I suppose it could still be taken back from that use if we are willing to put up with kicking and screaming from those special interests. The other option would be to reinstate the rail link using the old ROW along the harbor shoreline from Ceres to the Casino. That would be far preferable in my view.
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  #1203  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2019, 7:30 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Unfortunately this is a fallacy as far as HRM is concerned. When was the last significant upgrade to any main entry point to the peninsula? I guess adding the 3rd lane to the Macdonald bridge but since they did not do anything to fix the choke points at either end you still have the same stop-and-crawl traffic, just more of it stopped on the bridge. Nothing has been done to the MacKay since it was built in 1970. Nothing has been done to the 102/Bayers Road entry point. The Armdale Rotary was made into a roundabout but again nothing much was done to fix the choke points beyond it. The much-ballyhooed 3rd lane on Chebucto accomplished very little. If you are not spending money upgrading your main entry roads, there is no money to be saved.
Point taken, but this ever further exemplifies how we should be more concerned that council has quietly dropped the rail transit proposal. It just seems like "oh well, that didn't work so it's not happening... sorry we can't talk about it - nondisclosure agreements and all - haha".

If CN shut them down for some 'unknown' (to us) reason, IMHO they should be looking for other ways of making this work, either through the feds or... ?

Quote:
As I posted a page or so back, this was a totally myopic move. It was one of the first examples of HRM rolling over for the cycling lobby in cahoots with the trails bunch but it should never have been permitted. I suppose it could still be taken back from that use if we are willing to put up with kicking and screaming from those special interests. The other option would be to reinstate the rail link using the old ROW along the harbor shoreline from Ceres to the Casino. That would be far preferable in my view.
IMHO, some of the more useful ROWs should be taken back, but it would be expensive. Politically, they would have to give something in return, and economically the system would have to be totally rebuilt, whereas before they may have been able to get away with local repairs to the 'bad' sections...
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  #1204  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 1:32 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Point taken, but this ever further exemplifies how we should be more concerned that council has quietly dropped the rail transit proposal. It just seems like "oh well, that didn't work so it's not happening... sorry we can't talk about it - nondisclosure agreements and all - haha".

If CN shut them down for some 'unknown' (to us) reason, IMHO they should be looking for other ways of making this work, either through the feds or... ?



IMHO, some of the more useful ROWs should be taken back, but it would be expensive. Politically, they would have to give something in return, and economically the system would have to be totally rebuilt, whereas before they may have been able to get away with local repairs to the 'bad' sections...
The city or the provnce could nationalize the line. However, that might see all rail freight leave Halifax and the Maritimes as a whole.. They may not see it as worth it.
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  #1205  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 10:26 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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The city or the provnce could nationalize the line. However, that might see all rail freight leave Halifax and the Maritimes as a whole.. They may not see it as worth it.
I don't understand how you arrive at that conclusion. Could you explain?

And really all I meant was that if the feds could somehow create a rule whereby public transit could be moved up on the priority scale for scheduling track time, or if funding could be provided to re-install the second set of tracks on the condition that priority for those tracks would be given to public transit. Something along those lines, so to speak.

In a worst-case scenario, the feds could provide a subsidy to CN for public transit so that the business case for giving priority to transit would be better - but that could be a slippery slope that we probably wouldn't want to get into.
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  #1206  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
The city or the provnce could nationalize the line.
Neither of those levels of govt has such powers when it comes to rail lines.

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However, that might see all rail freight leave Halifax and the Maritimes as a whole.. They may not see it as worth it.
Ya think???
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  #1207  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 12:20 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Neither of those levels of govt has such powers when it comes to rail lines.
I would think that now it is in the hands of a private organization, that there would have to be some kind of monetary compensation - which would likely be unaffordable, even it it were possible outside of special circumstances, like war.

But I wasn't talking about that... see my post above.

Quote:
Ya think???
I don't understand why you think that CN would no longer have freight service in the Maritimes. Is the run between the container terminals and Montreal not profitable? Those are some pretty long trains, double-stacked with containers that run daily...

Honestly, if the expense of maintaining the rail system were taken over by the government (in a hypothetical situation), they would likely be able to successfully lobby for lowered track fees (holding Maritime freight service as 'hostage') and thus continue to be profitable (if it weren't already).
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  #1208  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 3:24 PM
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Even though CN has been commercialized, there is still federal legislation that means the whims of a municipality or province cannot be imposed upon them. The idea of HRM or the Province even considering that they could operate the rail system effectively in NS at a profit or otherwise is ludicrous.
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  #1209  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 3:40 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I see, but couldn't that same federal legislation be used to allow the city some priority for rail transit on those tracks?

Of course this would all be easier to discuss if we had actual information from the city's and CN's discussions. I think the non-disclosure nonsense is somewhat disingenuous, but who am I to say?
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  #1210  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 3:42 PM
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I don't understand why you think that CN would no longer have freight service in the Maritimes. Is the run between the container terminals and Montreal not profitable? Those are some pretty long trains, double-stacked with containers that run daily...
I don't think the idea of CN leaving the Maritimes completely (if the line were no longer profitable for whatever reason) is beyond the realm of possibility.

NYC or Baltimore are closer to central Canada than Halifax is. The trackage is already there, and in excellent repair. I'm sure they could easily make the change at a profit.

Of course, there are many variables at play, but if Halifax or NS made life difficult for CNR (for example by restricting the times of day they could run freight trains out of the container ports), this would all factor into the equation.

I'm sure CNR would gleefully threaten the viability of the container ports if pushed too far on the idea of commuter rail. Negotiations would have to be very delicately managed. A threat of expropriation on the other hand would be met with a threat to abandon CNR service to the container ports. This would be a lose-lose scenario (obviously).

I'm afraid CNR holds a lot of the negotiating chips.........
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  #1211  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 4:39 PM
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Of course, there are many variables at play, but if Halifax or NS made life difficult for CNR (for example by restricting the times of day they could run freight trains out of the container ports), this would all factor into the equation.
This type of talk is very speculative.

The details for commuter rail were covered by a non-disclosure agreement so we don't know if it would have required big concessions from CN or if they were simply being hard to deal with.

I think most people understand that it is not worth sacrificing rail service to billion dollar port facilities to run a few commuter rail trains a day. But we have no idea that this was the real trade-off or if alternatives were fully explored. Given how HRM and CN work, I don't have a hard time believing that there was limited ambition relative to the level of bureaucratic stonewalling. HRM staff barely even wanted to consider commuter rail when council asked them to.

Halifax needs a single authority that maintains a clear long-term plan for all forms of transportation in the region (regional council is not sufficient), and the federal government needs to regulate the railways better to at least ensure a bit more transparency and that they make minimal effort to support as many uses as possible on the infrastructure they have inherited from the public.
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  #1212  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 5:38 PM
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We can speculate on whether HRM, the province or even the feds can coerce CN into being more cooperative. But you only have to look to the recent federal announcement committing 71 million dollars to study the feasibility of building a dedicated track from Quebec to Toronto, which in turn would avoid CN's tracks.

It was mentioned that VIAs service in this particular area is constrained because CN reserves priority over the track.

Instead of placing pressure on CN, the federal government seems to be more interested in finding a way to avoid having to use CN's existing tracks.
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  #1213  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 5:51 PM
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Instead of placing pressure on CN, the federal government seems to be more interested in finding a way to avoid having to use CN's existing tracks.
It's undeniable that the mixed traffic would put a ceiling on service levels and reliability for commuter rail. Even if CN accepted the initial schedule and commuter rail had been successful it might have been hard to scale up the service to something comparable to rapid transit in other cities or even just typical Halifax bus frequencies. It might have been a kind of stillborn pilot project forever.

I think the most fundamental problem is that HRM is looking for bargain bin type transportation solutions. The low hanging fruit has disappeared over the decades as the essentially 1970's transportation system has been tweaked over and over.

HRM needs to sometimes start from a perspective like "what would you do if you had $1B to spend on transit?", not just "what can we do with our pocket change to alleviate a bit of the suffering". This isn't to say that the city would spend $1B, but it feels like the more ambitious options aren't even on the table or being studied. There probably is some good transit solution out there that is not being explored because of the limited mindset of tweaking bus schedules and studying ferries and Bedford commuter rail over and over.
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  #1214  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 5:53 PM
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I don't understand how you arrive at that conclusion. Could you explain?

And really all I meant was that if the feds could somehow create a rule whereby public transit could be moved up on the priority scale for scheduling track time, or if funding could be provided to re-install the second set of tracks on the condition that priority for those tracks would be given to public transit. Something along those lines, so to speak.

In a worst-case scenario, the feds could provide a subsidy to CN for public transit so that the business case for giving priority to transit would be better - but that could be a slippery slope that we probably wouldn't want to get into.
When was the double track lifted and from where to where? This is another example of many as to why the government should regulate the removal of track from railway property even if it is not used. There is nothing wrong with charging Via and/or HRM for the sole use by them if CN deems it to be surplus. The problem is that it costs many more of today's dollars to put the track back than to rehabilitate lines that were mothballed years ago. CN wants to reduce costs, hold 3rd party users hostage to use existing track or previous track and will not provide any guarantees that passenger/commuter trains will be dispatched with any priority over freights. This pattern repeats itself time and time again all over the country. For example West Coast Express can't add more trains because CP won't let them, Via can't add more trains between Ottawa and Montreal because CN won't let them, GO Transit had to purchase much of the trackage from CN around Toronto in order to have control over much of its network to name a few. On and on it goes.
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  #1215  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 6:00 PM
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When was the double track lifted and from where to where? This is another example of many as to why the government should regulate the removal of track from railway property even if it is not used. There is nothing wrong with charging Via and/or HRM for the sole use by them if CN deems it to be surplus. The problem is that it costs many more of today's dollars to put the track back than to rehabilitate lines that were mothballed years ago. CN wants to reduce costs, hold 3rd party users hostage to use existing track or previous track and will not provide any guarantees that passenger/commuter trains will be dispatched with any priority over freights. This pattern repeats itself time and time again all over the country. For example West Coast Express can't add more trains because CP won't let them, Via can't add more trains between Ottawa and Montreal because CN won't let them, GO Transit had to purchase much of the trackage from CN around Toronto in order to have control over much of its network to name a few. On and on it goes.
Somebody in one of the Canada section transit threads posted that the Halifax-area track was moved somewhere in the US. I think it was pulled out around a decade ago. I wonder if the government is going to invest in rebuilding some of this track. Will CN then pull it out again in 20 or 30 years if they see a money making opportunity again?

There's a disconnect with companies like CN in that people seem to view them almost as people or members of the community that have property rights like what you or I would have if we build something with our own hands. CN is publicly traded and its biggest investor is Bill Gates. He owns it because of a cost-benefit analysis and does not know or care about rail in Halifax. CN will do whatever it can to make a little bit of money. If they can make $2M extra by imposing a $100M cost on Canadians, and they know there will be no negative repercussions, they will do it. Canada makes the rules that these public companies play by, and we are free to change them. Investors like Bill Gates have priced this into their investment calculations. He will be fantastically rich whether CN makes $X in profits or $1.05 * X in profits. There is nothing wrong with us tweaking the rules of the game a bit to make sure that these companies behave in a somewhat sane way from a public perspective. Given the world of faceless multinational corporations that we live in, unless we do this, we will get screwed over again and again.
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  #1216  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GoTrans View Post
When was the double track lifted and from where to where? This is another example of many as to why the government should regulate the removal of track from railway property even if it is not used. There is nothing wrong with charging Via and/or HRM for the sole use by them if CN deems it to be surplus. The problem is that it costs many more of today's dollars to put the track back than to rehabilitate lines that were mothballed years ago. CN wants to reduce costs, hold 3rd party users hostage to use existing track or previous track and will not provide any guarantees that passenger/commuter trains will be dispatched with any priority over freights. This pattern repeats itself time and time again all over the country. For example West Coast Express can't add more trains because CP won't let them, Via can't add more trains between Ottawa and Montreal because CN won't let them, GO Transit had to purchase much of the trackage from CN around Toronto in order to have control over much of its network to name a few. On and on it goes.
I've been trying to pin down when, precisely, CN removed much of the double-track through the 7-km rail cut, but it was no later than the early 2000s. The Halifax Urban Greenway Study from February 2004 includes photos of the single-tracked line and states that, "The corridor formerly contained two rail tracks in its entirety until recently when one track has been lifted." (Italics added.) I have a print someone gifted me in 2003 or 2004 that likewise shows the second track removed. The greenway report also notes that at the same time double track was removed, CN lowered the rail bed under some of the bridges to allow for double-stack containers to and from Halterm.

It should be said that this was not unique to Halifax or to CN, nor a measure of "declining rail use" as the study suggests. Railways throughout North America reduced and consolidated their trackage in the 90s and 00s due to better signalling and more efficient operating practices that included fewer, longer trains. CN in fact pioneered what's called "precision scheduled railroading", maximizing train sizes and reducing crews. But as traffic has grown, there are many places in North America where railroads have come to regret removing track. In western Canada, CN has announced over $1 billion in investments to install additional double track, sidings and port capacity. As anyone who has travelled (what's left of) Via's service west of Ontario knows, trying to thread passenger trains around these miles-long freight trains has become an exercise in futility. Via and CN this year lengthened the travel time between Toronto and Vancouver by almost a day yet trains are still arriving late.

CN's plans for Halifax are not just pie in the sky apparently. CN's CEO told an investor conference in New York at the end of May that the railway wants to turn Halifax into the "Prince Rupert of the East". Jean-Jacques Ruest said CN will work with Halterm to build capacity in Halifax saying, “One way or another we will try to make this Halifax terminal more successful to the middle of the continent."

While I'm disappointed, as many are, that the proposal for commuter rail appears to have foundered, I can't say I'm at all surprised. Some of the comments attributed to HRM councillors seem to show a surprising level of naiveté. CN was never going to cede priority over its rails to Halifax Transit, any more than it has done for Via, GO, or any other passenger authority. (Nor was it never going to agree to share its right of way with trucks.) In the US, CN is among the least cooperative of railways in its dealings with Amtrak. Unlike Canada, the US has legislation that in principle gives priority to passenger trains but courts have routinely rejected attempts to penalize railways for non-compliance. Transport Canada has shown no interest whatsoever in telling CN to stop prioritizing potash over people and will certainly not be standing up for Halifax commuters.
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Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 11:19 PM
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This is the post I was thinking of. Hunter Harrison was CEO from 2003-2009.

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The main reason was to rip up track that Hunter Harrison could send the rail to other locations, primarily the US, to provide newer rail to renew US trackage. His focus on the Operating Ratio while ignoring the long term capacity problems of booming freight volumes resulted in the meltdown in 2017. The result is that CN has had to catch up for the last 2 years and there will be more to come.
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  #1218  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 12:06 AM
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I think the vast majority of the issue could be corrected by re-building the other track with the addition of a few additional sidings. While we don't know the specifics of due to the NDA, I would speculate that it's the classic issue of scheduling in that CN would expect there to be a limited number of runs and that the passenger service yield to freight service in the same way that current VIA service does. Nearly every time I've taken the train to/from the HRM there are periods where the train slows down to walking speed or comes to a complete stop to let a freight train pass.

The city likely realised that this was simply not feasible for a commuter service since a 10-15 minute delay may seem minor for a trip of multiple hours, but is huge for a short run from say, Bedford or Fall River. If they build another single dedicated track, two way all-day services of every 15 minutes can generally be supported as long as there are a few passing sidings. This is demonstrated in Ottawa with the original O-train, and in Denver with one of their commuter rail routes, etc. With separate track the route could run on battery electric or DMU non-FRA compliant trains and potentially leave the mainline corridor at times if needed. But wanting to spend basically no money would mean none of that is on the table.
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 1:21 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I've been trying to pin down when, precisely, CN removed much of the double-track through the 7-km rail cut, but it was no later than the early 2000s. The Halifax Urban Greenway Study from February 2004 includes photos of the single-tracked line and states that, "The corridor formerly contained two rail tracks in its entirety until recently when one track has been lifted." (Italics added.) I have a print someone gifted me in 2003 or 2004 that likewise shows the second track removed. The greenway report also notes that at the same time double track was removed, CN lowered the rail bed under some of the bridges to allow for double-stack containers to and from Halterm.

It should be said that this was not unique to Halifax or to CN, nor a measure of "declining rail use" as the study suggests. Railways throughout North America reduced and consolidated their trackage in the 90s and 00s due to better signalling and more efficient operating practices that included fewer, longer trains. CN in fact pioneered what's called "precision scheduled railroading", maximizing train sizes and reducing crews. But as traffic has grown, there are many places in North America where railroads have come to regret removing track. In western Canada, CN has announced over $1 billion in investments to install additional double track, sidings and port capacity. As anyone who has travelled (what's left of) Via's service west of Ontario knows, trying to thread passenger trains around these miles-long freight trains has become an exercise in futility. Via and CN this year lengthened the travel time between Toronto and Vancouver by almost a day yet trains are still arriving late.

CN's plans for Halifax are not just pie in the sky apparently. CN's CEO told an investor conference in New York at the end of May that the railway wants to turn Halifax into the "Prince Rupert of the East". Jean-Jacques Ruest said CN will work with Halterm to build capacity in Halifax saying, “One way or another we will try to make this Halifax terminal more successful to the middle of the continent."

While I'm disappointed, as many are, that the proposal for commuter rail appears to have foundered, I can't say I'm at all surprised. Some of the comments attributed to HRM councillors seem to show a surprising level of naiveté. CN was never going to cede priority over its rails to Halifax Transit, any more than it has done for Via, GO, or any other passenger authority. (Nor was it never going to agree to share its right of way with trucks.) In the US, CN is among the least cooperative of railways in its dealings with Amtrak. Unlike Canada, the US has legislation that in principle gives priority to passenger trains but courts have routinely rejected attempts to penalize railways for non-compliance. Transport Canada has shown no interest whatsoever in telling CN to stop prioritizing potash over people and will certainly not be standing up for Halifax commuters.
Interesting post. I am wondering if the viability of the container ports that utilize the St. Lawrence Seaway could be reduced due to the speed restrictions imposed from the recent deaths of the North Atlantic right whales. I actually question the viability of those ports vs Halifax as I imagine (I have no data) that it would be quicker to move freight by train, at a speed of 60+ mph vs approx 27 mph by container ship. So why not just unload at Halifax and move to the rest of Canada at a higher speed? (I'm sure it's not that simple... )

Sounds like there isn't a risk of CN freight being discontinued in the Maritimes, but it also sounds like there little to no chance of it losing any priority to commuter rail.

Maybe we will have to look at other possibilities... like having commuter rail run parallel to major highways, where there is already a right of way established. Perhaps we need to look more seriously at the idea of running rail in the center trench of divided highways, and expropriate land as necessary. It's not going to get any easier or cheaper to do as time goes by, but we are already past the point where we need it...
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 1:26 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Summerville View Post
We can speculate on whether HRM, the province or even the feds can coerce CN into being more cooperative. But you only have to look to the recent federal announcement committing 71 million dollars to study the feasibility of building a dedicated track from Quebec to Toronto, which in turn would avoid CN's tracks.

It was mentioned that VIAs service in this particular area is constrained because CN reserves priority over the track.

Instead of placing pressure on CN, the federal government seems to be more interested in finding a way to avoid having to use CN's existing tracks.
Unfortunately, the time may be drawing to a close when Halifax will have access to generous federal money for transit projects like this. I guess we'll see what happens this fall....
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