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Old Posted Oct 10, 2018, 8:23 PM
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Rail Transit (Passenger and Freight) in Ontario

We've got Go Trains in GTHA, and Ontario Northland, Huron Central, Agawa and Upper Ottawa Valley Rail in Northeastern Ontario, and CN, CP and Via rail throughout the province. (These are the well-known ones, I assume.) Since I don't see it fit to discuss Northland Rail in the Via thread, nor Via rail in the Go train thread (not that there's one), I've decided to start a dedicated thread.

Now, let the discussion begin.
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=233936 #8

Also a question of mine: Is it possible for the province to purchase the Upper Ottawa Valley Rail ROW from Renfrew County (which is currently a recreational trail) and extend Northland Rail to Ottawa? (I would say that's pretty cool: one line to Toronto and the other to Ottawa. Also we're essentially looking at an NCR version of Go train: northwest to North Bay with the services split at Pembroke or Petawawa, and southwest to Perth...?)

Ps: If the mods find this thread redundant, feel free to merge it.
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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 12:47 AM
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Although there have been promises to restore ONR passenger service between Cochrane and Toronto, I don't think that it will happen. I could see maybe GO service between Toronto and Huntsville some day but that's about it.

There is just too much distance and not enough population for passenger rail in Northern Ontario. Plus, many of the larger centres like where I live in Timmins don't have the rails anymore. I don't see the Ontario government wanting to subsidize rail service here.

We want highway improvements before anything else.
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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 1:24 AM
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What about restoring tracks for freight traffic then? Would that relief places like Temagami?

Also what’s stopping the province from acquiring Huron Central??

Ps: It’ll be sad to hear that trucking’s the most efficient way of transporting goods nowadays, even if rail lines are reinstated.
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2018, 4:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
What about restoring tracks for freight traffic then? Would that relief places like Temagami?

Also what’s stopping the province from acquiring Huron Central??

Ps: It’ll be sad to hear that trucking’s the most efficient way of transporting goods nowadays, even if rail lines are reinstated.
If there was still a good business case for freight, CN or CP would be all over it.

Any rail service will have to be government-run or government subsidized. The "social case" will have to prevail.
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2018, 4:52 AM
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If there was still a good business case for freight, CN or CP would be all over it.

Any rail service will have to be government-run or government subsidized. The "social case" will have to prevail.
So that means freight transport in Canada requires government subsidy in general?!
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2018, 5:11 AM
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So that means freight transport in Canada requires government subsidy in general?!
No. It means where rail freight doesn't make "business sense" the government would have to support it.
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2018, 5:18 AM
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A comment in the Ottawa subforum (possibly under Sandy Hill Tunnel) said that long-distance haul (if not general trucking) is also subsidized. Is that true???
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2018, 5:30 AM
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A comment in the Ottawa subforum (possibly under Sandy Hill Tunnel) said that long-distance haul (if not general trucking) is also subsidized. Is that true???
Long distance haul by truck?

The modes bicker over who is subsidized more or who has more regulation that impedes their competitiveness (e.g., there's an argument that roads and highways being paid by the public gives trucking companies an advantage... the trucking companies would argue they're taxed and regulated appropriately to compensate).

The reality is the freight system has largely been rationalized around what makes economic sense for each type of cargo. Some goods are best shipped by truck, some by rail, some by air, some by marine, and some by pipeline. And many by a combination, depending on where they come from and where they're going. There are margins that can be debated, but they're small in the grand scheme of things.

That's a very simple view of things, I admit. But overall, it's a result of government divesting itself of pieces of the transport sector over the past decades.
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 4:22 AM
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Food for Thought

Siberia is sparsely populated, and yet the Trans-Siberian Railway is twinned and both electricified, for a distance of 9280 km. Shouldn't we do the same?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSExmUiN5e0
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 4:29 AM
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Siberia is sparsely populated, and yet the Trans-Siberian Railway is twinned and both electricified, for a distance of 9280 km. Shouldn't we do the same?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSExmUiN5e0
Most of this was a socialist make-work project.
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 12:30 PM
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(Oh right prisoner’s labour was <and may still be> a thing in Russia.)
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 5:37 PM
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If we had elected Tim Hudak, it would be a thing in Ontario. And it's a thing in the US, China, etc.

But I wasn't even referring to prisoners, I mean in the USSR, the government would undertake projects just to give people things to do whether they were needed or not. Similar to how we built a lot of federal buildings in the depression, but on a much larger and longer time scale.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 6:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
A comment in the Ottawa subforum (possibly under Sandy Hill Tunnel) said that long-distance haul (if not general trucking) is also subsidized. Is that true???
It was me who said that, and I was alluding to the fact that, as ScreamingViking says below, trucks get to use publicly funded highways, but the railways need to maintain their own right of ways.

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The modes bicker over who is subsidized more or who has more regulation that impedes their competitiveness (e.g., there's an argument that roads and highways being paid by the public gives trucking companies an advantage... the trucking companies would argue they're taxed and regulated appropriately to compensate).
I don't buy that argument. It isn't as if the railways don't have any regulations either and I can't imagine any difference in regulations making up for the fact that trucks get basically free access to the public highways.

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The reality is the freight system has largely been rationalized around what makes economic sense for each type of cargo. Some goods are best shipped by truck, some by rail, some by air, some by marine, and some by pipeline. And many by a combination, depending on where they come from and where they're going. There are margins that can be debated, but they're small in the grand scheme of things.
But the economic balance that we are currently at is based on current realities of the cost of doing business. The only reason the railways can compete with long distance trucking is that trucks are incredibly labour and fuel inefficient. If we were to charge the trucking companies more to use the roads, that balance would shift more towards the railways. Now if that happened, the truckers would revolt because they would be loosing jobs.

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That's a very simple view of things, I admit. But overall, it's a result of government divesting itself of pieces of the transport sector over the past decades.
Agreed. The government has taken an economic view of things and has let everything just happen based on the realities that were in place at the time without any consideration of what is best for the country. The problem is they can't go all in and divest themselves of the highways (they tried with the 407 and look what has happened there). If the government did privatize all highways, we would start to see railways become much more popular.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 7:29 PM
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So are the interstate freeways through cities like Chicago tolled just to encourage rail ridership??
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 7:43 PM
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Also, should we then toll trucks for using provincial 4-lane divided freeways and, before we implement that, train current truckers to drive (train) locomotives?

“Did you use to be a truck driver? Ontario Northland Rail is hiring! We will train (no pun intended) you for the first year and after that you will start driving cargo/passenger trains! We cover as far south as Montréal (expansion), as far east as Val-d’or (again, expansion), as far north as the Ring-of-Fires (again, expansion), and as far west as Winnipeg Centreport (again, expansion)!”

One can see how imaginative I am.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 8:30 PM
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So are the interstate freeways through cities like Chicago tolled just to encourage rail ridership??
No. I never said that. One of the main reasons to add tolls is to recoup some of the building and maintenance costs.

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Also, should we then toll trucks for using provincial 4-lane divided freeways and, before we implement that, train current truckers to drive (train) locomotives?

“Did you use to be a truck driver? Ontario Northland Rail is hiring! We will train (no pun intended) you for the first year and after that you will start driving cargo/passenger trains! We cover as far south as Montréal (expansion), as far east as Val-d’or (again, expansion), as far north as the Ring-of-Fires (again, expansion), and as far west as Winnipeg Centreport (again, expansion)!”

One can see how imaginative I am.
And to make sure they all have jobs, we will have one locomotive per rail car and prohibit the remote control of additional locomotives. That way trains can become as inefficient as trucks.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 9:07 PM
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No. I never said that. One of the main reasons to add tolls is to recoup some of the building and maintenance costs.



And to make sure they all have jobs, we will have one locomotive per rail car and prohibit the remote control of additional locomotives. That way trains can become as inefficient as trucks.
What's the efficient way to transport goods according to you then?

For me, I've always thought that twinning TCH throughout Ontario was the way to go, both to make roads safer (0 head-on collision) and to make travel faster (for commuters and for truckers alike).

Then I thought that maybe we should revive rail transit.

Now I'd think that the best way to transport things quickly is to not have to do that at all. Take grocery for example. We should just go to the local farms off the suburbs to buy them. (Obviously, this eats so much into corporate interests of those chain grocery stores that it will end up being controversial.)

Any thought?
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 9:51 PM
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http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...164316&page=87 #1729
So a train between Montreal and Sudbury via Upper Ottawa Valley, one between Toronto and SSM via Parry Sound and Sudbury, in addition to that between TO and Cochrane? xD
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2018, 12:09 AM
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Also, should we then toll trucks for using provincial 4-lane divided freeways and, before we implement that, train current truckers to drive (train) locomotives?

“Did you use to be a truck driver? Ontario Northland Rail is hiring! We will train (no pun intended) you for the first year and after that you will start driving cargo/passenger trains! We cover as far south as Montréal (expansion), as far east as Val-d’or (again, expansion), as far north as the Ring-of-Fires (again, expansion), and as far west as Winnipeg Centreport (again, expansion)!”

One can see how imaginative I am.
ONR does go to Rouyn-Noranda. It has since pretty much its beginning. It's surprising that an Ontario government corporation owns infrastructure in Quebec!
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2018, 12:13 AM
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http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...164316&page=87 #1729
So a train between Montreal and Sudbury via Upper Ottawa Valley, one between Toronto and SSM via Parry Sound and Sudbury, in addition to that between TO and Cochrane? xD
I do know that at one time, VIA (or maybe it was CN) had service between Cochrane, ON and Montreal.
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