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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Rail-based Transit Discussion

Here's a thread so we can move the light rail talk out of the ferry thread.

Is it feasible? If so, what kind of system should be developed?
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 11:41 PM
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I think it could be feasible. It would also benefit Halifax in the Long term as the population grows and spreads outwards.

Just start it out small at first. Maybe like a trial run, on a short distance, to see how many actually use it. Then expand it from there, adding stops etc. I'm not sure about how much the fares would cost the riders, but I'm sure it wouldn't be a large amount.

So it would be good, to have a system that could reach out to a greater area and faster service. Buses are for the inner-city commute etc. But this light rail could stretch out further. Plus I'm sure in today's world with the concern of pollution etc. This would fit in just fine.

I'd like to see this project take off. But I'm sure it will not be for awhile.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 1:54 PM
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I know in the other thread someone mentioned tracks running down Hollis or Brunswick streets. I'm just having some trouble imagining that. I mean those streets are already quite narrow and traffic is heavy at times, let alone with a train taking up half the street. Driving downtown would be even more of a nightmare.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of an LRT system. But maybe I'm not understanding it correctly?
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Old Posted Nov 12, 2007, 4:18 AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but Brunswick is pretty close to 4 lanes wide, if it isn't already, and no light rail train is going to take up 2 lanes of traffic, it would only take up 1 lane of traffic. And even then, as long as it's moving it's not holding up the traffic behind it, just like a bus.

Hollis is 2 lanes, could possibly squeeze a third if they got rid of parking on that street.
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 2:54 AM
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My LRT route vision:

http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msa=0&...3&ie=UTF8&z=12

I expect service frequencies similar to the #1 bus.
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 2:00 PM
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My only question to rail is why aren't we looking into putting it underground? Not in the subway sort of way, but we've got plenty of old military tunnels under ground, why not map all of them, and see if there isn't any running N-S, and improve upon that for underground rail links? If there is a such a tunnel (I don't know if there is or not) we could run a rail link connecting DT. Just something that I thought about on the way home from work.
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 2:13 PM
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Nice route, makes a lot of sense too using the rail corridors already in place. If I could take a train to work instead of driving, I definitely would.
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2008, 9:42 PM
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nice use of existing rail corridor. another routing would take advantage of Robie, covering off the major hospitals and the universities as well. it would have a lot more dense use I should think than perhaps all of the route proposed.

Regarding military tunnels, not sure what you mean by that reddog794. if you mean the tunnels downtown from citadel hill, those were designed only for one person walking, and are not that long (likely to be used in the event of a seige of the fort for a person or persons to get out of the fort to get news of what was happening and to get some help.) So, they would not be of any assistance re the downtown. a subway system given our geology would not be feasible.
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2008, 2:52 AM
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My choice of routes was primarily focused on making the line the best possible combination of speed and affordability. I'm not sure how a line making use of surface streets would be very fast. If there was traffic signaling, it could be faster than the current bus routes, but I doubt it would ever be able to go over the in-town speed limit of 50 km/h unless there was a way to totally seperate it from traffic somehow. In the rail cut, anything goes... especially if the stations are well spaced.
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2008, 3:03 AM
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An at-grade LRT system wouldn't work well in intersections but a hybrid system with some elevated sections in key areas would be significantly faster.

Vancouver's Canada Line is pegged at $1.9B and is 19 km long. Most is elevated but some parts are underground (downtown) and it crosses water multiple times. A ballpark estimate for elevated track in Halifax might therefore be something like $70-80M per kilometre.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2008, 4:03 AM
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Does anyone know the mean Bedrock depth in downtown Hfx? Would it be possible to create shallow cut-and-cover tunnels in some places such as Barrington? There are a few underground walkways downtown, so it might not be out of the realm of possibility.

And I definitely wouldn't be against taking a cautious look at an elevated line. Most of the peninsula is composed of houses that are fairly close to the street but has a fair amount of land behind them, which could be a good passage way for an LRT. Although I admit, this might stir the NIMBYs into quite the frenzy.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2008, 7:29 AM
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I was simply pondering outside options, I've never seen inside one of the tunnels, little less than even know where to look for them.

You know nouvellecosse, we could take the big dig approach, only on land down Barrington, with that kind of thinking. Dig down 3-4 stories, update the power, and utls. and drop down pre-formed tunnel pieces, and story and half seperating it from the road surface.

If I ever win the lottery Halifax is going to be my simcity...
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2008, 2:43 PM
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Underground walkways downtown? I can think of the Scotia Square tunnel... but that's all. Are there others?

As for rail... what about the Barrington St. corridor? It's long since been abandoned but I know it used to go all the way to North Street at least (North Street Station was destroyed on Dec 6, 1917). And judging from the ancient stone walls along the back of the massive navy parking lot (Provo Wallis Drive), it looks like it (or a marshall yard) used to go almost all the way to where the new sewage treatment plant is.

Then again... following the cut could allow you to have Quinpool and Robie St. stations... which makes sense. But you would have to get the trains deeper into downtown than the VIA station. If they could go all the way to where the courts / ferry terminal are now (as you've proposed)... that would be amazing.
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2008, 7:56 PM
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Yah, the rail lines went right up to a station that was right where the sewage treatment plant is now. there was a really big rail yard down there.
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2008, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonovision View Post
Yah, the rail lines went right up to a station that was right where the sewage treatment plant is now. there was a really big rail yard down there.
Ahh... I knew it! Thanks 'Jono'. I've been doing some googling but all I could find out about was the North Street Station... but I walk along Provo Wallis a lot (on my way to work) and always suspected that those walls were once part of a railway "cut"... and it's not hard to imagine that parking lot as a big marshall yard.

Regardless though... I think the current railway cut makes more sense since you could have stops on Quinpool and Robie. Just not sure how you'd get the trains deeper into downtown without tunneling.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2008, 5:18 PM
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I think the Barrington rail route actually makes more sense from a commuter rail point of view. The fact that it doesn't go through residential parts of the peninsula is probably good since it allows for higher speeds. The extra stops would be nice but then again would also slow down the trip.

The downsides of the Northern route are that it would need more work before Fairview Cove and all the CN-related issues still apply.
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2008, 3:39 AM
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On the same coin, you could take the line starting at the via station, ans feed them under starting where behind the Superstore at foundry lane, and run down Barrington, to the beginning of North Marginal Road.

Use it as an added bonus to removing the inter-change, the approaches from Barrington are going to needed to be addressed, so why not the whole surface, and sub-surface? They want to make Barrington our Champs Elysée... all of which is discussed on another thread, I know.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2008, 6:13 PM
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If you are looking at rail options for the HRM, I think you need to start smaller than LRT, and begin with a streetcar-like set up. It doesn't require any special right of ways and can integrate with most major roads thru town. Most importantly, it could be accessed at grade so it would require minimal station development.
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonGoldenFlames View Post
If you are looking at rail options for the HRM, I think you need to start smaller than LRT, and begin with a streetcar-like set up. It doesn't require any special right of ways and can integrate with most major roads thru town
Not in Halifax. Many major streets on the peninsula are narrow, only 1 lane each way with buildings virtually right to the curb. Putting a streetcar on them would bring traffic to a halt.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Not in Halifax. Many major streets on the peninsula are narrow, only 1 lane each way with buildings virtually right to the curb. Putting a streetcar on them would bring traffic to a halt.
I 'assumed' that a lot of the streets have on street parking, which should be removed to create the extra width to run a streetcar. After all, increased transit use should lead to less demand for parking.

I only lived in Halifax for a year, and visited frequently, but not too much time was spent downtown. Looking at Google Earth, I thought a 'U' shaped street car line could be run down Quinpool to Cogswell to Rainnie to Duke until Barrington. From Barrington it would turn back up Spring Garden Rd to Robie or even Dalhousie. What do you think?
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