HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2019, 4:35 PM
GoTrans GoTrans is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 424
RE-instatement of the Northlander train

It looks like there is still a possibility that the provincial government will re-instate the Northlander as per the North Bay Nugget article.

Plan to bring back Northlander train off track – MPP
ONTC, Metrolinx working on a plan – official


Jordan HorrobinJordan Horrobin
More from Jordan Horrobin
Published on: North Bay Nugget, June 24, 2019 | Last Updated: June 24, 2019 8:34 AM EDT


While on the campaign trail last May, Premier Doug Ford promised to bring back the Northlander, a passenger train that provided service from Cochrane to Toronto. More than a year later, that promise is nowhere near being fulfilled.
“I’ve said on many occasions, that’s the only thing that I agree with Doug Ford on,” said MPP John Vanthof (NDP — Timiskaming-Cochrane). “And we need to bring that train back.”
The Northlander was, well, derailed in 2012 by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) under the direction of then-premier Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal provincial government.
When Ford’s first budget passed in April, the only acknowledgement of the train service was that the government was still looking into bringing it back. That’s certainly not as solid as the initial promise to do so.
“We have been working with Ontario Northland for the past nine months, trying to determine how to get (the Northlander) back,” MPP Vic Fedeli (PC — Nipissing) told Postmedia in April. “That is a commitment we made during the campaign and that is why we did talk about it in our first budget.”
Fedeli was the minister of finance at the time, but was reassigned to minister of economic development.
After consulting with the ONTC, Vanthof estimated it would cost $40 million to bring back the Northlander. Meanwhile, the province will be spending billions more than initially anticipated on subways in Toronto.

“So we’re saying, if you’re willing to spend $20 billion in Toronto, then we don’t see why you aren’t willing to invest the money it’s going to cost to bring back the passenger rail to Northern Ontario,” Vanthof said.
The ONTC still operates in the North, but only with freight trains. Since the infrastructure is already in place, Vanthof believes this project could be completed in a year or two.
“In the world of projects, this isn’t a mega project,” he said. “This is doable.”
For people living in the North, the benefits of a passenger train are obvious. The service would provide an additional mode of transportation that is typically less expensive than flying and safer than driving.
“Right now, the only access we have to the major centres of Ontario is Highway 11,” Vanthof said. “Highway 11 is often closed due to weather conditions. A lot of people — quite frankly, we deal with this all the time — are afraid to drive on Highway 11. So a passenger rail would give us an alternative.”
MP Charlie Angus (NDP — Timmins-James Bay) believes, in addition to safety concerns, a non-existent passenger train service discourages newcomers from travelling north in search of work. He added that having access to a good bus service and train service is required “in order to be part of a modern economy.”
Angus added that his party will push for a credible public transportation plan for the North in the upcoming federal election.

“We support the idea of good urban infrastructure and transportation — why shouldn’t we have half-decent, at least, marginally good public transportation in the north?” he said. “So you will hear definitely in the federal election, the issue of the train and the bus will be a big issue in the North.”

Ontario Northland is “fully committed” to the return of passenger rail service to northeastern Ontario, ONTC president and CEO Corina Moore stated earlier this month.

Moore said the Crown agency and its partner, Metrolinx, another Crown agency, are “well into the development of a passenger rail plan” to revive the service which last ran in 2012.

Working with Metrolinx, which operates Go Transit, UP Express and Presto in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, Moore said, will allow the integration of passenger services across the province.

“We are creating a detailed, cohesive plan” which will cover all phases of passenger rail service, from options for equipment and service delivery.

One of the benefits of working with Metrolinx, she said, is that the Crown agency “has a strong relationship with CN. They understand the intricacies of running a network from Toronto to North Bay.

“We will ensure we have a strong service before we implement” the plan, she said.

Moore said the focus will not only include commuting, but an emphasis on services to support the tourism industry, students and those who have to travel for medical reasons.

Fedeli reiterated that the province is “working on our promise to return passenger services. We are very proud of the work Ontario Northland is doing with us to reach that goal.”

He said one of the biggest problems is that the passenger rail service, the former Northlander train, was “completely dismantled by the previous Liberal government,” and that was “only allowed to happen because the NDP supported the budget” that called for the dismantling of the entire ONTC.

“They really dismantled the service,” he said, noting the Crown agencies and the province “are starting from the ground up.

“But the good news on that is that means we can design a system that allows Ontario Northland to be a modern solution to the current needs.

“I am looking forward to what Ontario Northland presents to us.”
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2019, 4:47 PM
Dengler Avenue's Avatar
Dengler Avenue Dengler Avenue is offline
Highway Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3,535
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=236180&page=3

I actually started a thread about rail transit a while back, but thanks for sharing.
__________________
On s'casse, on s'cache.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2019, 6:09 PM
sonysnob sonysnob is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,224
How many passengers per day were using the Northlander train before it’s demise in 2012? It doesn’t seem by accident that the above article didn’t mention anything about ridership and the likely dozens of people who had to find alternative transportation throughout the northeast.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2019, 6:13 PM
Dengler Avenue's Avatar
Dengler Avenue Dengler Avenue is offline
Highway Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
How many passengers per day were using the Northlander train before it’s demise in 2012? It doesn’t seem by accident that the above article didn’t mention anything about ridership and the likely dozens of people who had to find alternative transportation throughout the northeast.
That’s why I think that, with that kind of ridership, it suffices to attach just one passenger train to the freight and send them down together.
__________________
On s'casse, on s'cache.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2019, 8:14 PM
GoTrans GoTrans is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
That’s why I think that, with that kind of ridership, it suffices to attach just one passenger train to the freight and send them down together.
Ridership became lower as CN neglected maintenance between North Bay and Washago, more interference from freights between Washago and Toronto via Beaverton and the diversion of the passenger train once CN abandoned the route through Orillia and Barrie.

During the same time period the train was running highway 11 became 4 lanes from Huntsville to North Bay. WE seem to have money for that but not rail service.

Adding a passenger train on to a freight would add several more hours to the travel time making the train even more uncompetitive.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2019, 8:45 PM
wave46 wave46 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
How many passengers per day were using the Northlander train before it’s demise in 2012? It doesn’t seem by accident that the above article didn’t mention anything about ridership and the likely dozens of people who had to find alternative transportation throughout the northeast.
"However, a Freedom of Information request by All Aboard Northern Ontario subsequently discovered a government consultant deemed the train's average annual ridership numbers of approximately 35,000 were acceptable for the market size."

Ontario Northlander Numbers

"The per-passenger subsidy also appears to have been lower than the $400 figure they claimed. If you believe the numbers Lysyk used and divide the $11 million that Ontario put in by the average annual ridership of 36,237, you get $303."

Does the North need the Northlander?

So, less than 100 per day (~36,000/365 days).

Ontario Northland has pretty markedly increased bus service too since 2012, adding many routes:

Old map:




Today:





If they cull expanded bus service to pay for the Northlander, that's silly IMO. Especially since the rail service competes with the existing bus service for passengers. I can't see that being popular with the Sault and those who want to go to Ottawa.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2019, 12:55 PM
GoTrans GoTrans is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 424
I am hoping that the involvement of Metrolinx in restarting the Northlander will lead to the train being routed via the Newmarket sub through Orillia and Barrie. This would provide freight free interference from Washago to Union Station. When ONTC ran 2 trains a day each way south of North Bay every other train would travel via the Newmarket sub so that the train would not have to be turned in Toronto and supposedly to provide more protection in rock cuts in case of a derailment. With Metrolinx double tracking a significant portion of this route travel times should be cut even with more GO trains stopping at various stations along the way. This goes a long way in providing service where people live and not where it is convenient for the railways.

The only problem with this plan what to do in Barrie from the northern part of downtown to the Barrie GO Train station.

Via could also run the Canadian again via this route although Via's pathetic adherence to a schedule could pose to be a hinderance. The feds might also contribute some money then.

Write you MPP and MP to promote this as the most viable alternative.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2019, 2:39 PM
sonysnob sonysnob is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,224
It seems like a pretty big fantasy to imagine the CN tracks restored between Barrie and Washago. Barrie has totally redeveopped it's waterfront now that the rail line has been removed, and Casino Rama has been built overtop of the former CN alignment. I doubt the First Nation would cede a new right of way to the railway company without a significant fight. So, I think trains are going to keep running east of Lake Simcoe for long into the future.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2019, 10:32 PM
GoTrans GoTrans is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 424
You might call it a fantasy but i call it a possibility. If the service is going to maximize ridership and on-time performance it has to go via the Newmarket subdivision. This is the only way to avoid freight train interference in addition to garnering higher ridership. CN will not be able to provide on time performance as long as they have single track on the Bala subdivision. Double tracking the Bala sub is very down, probably at the bottom of the list of CN's priorities for double tracking.
Reply With Quote
     
     
End
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 4:35 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.