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Vaudreuil Express Trains!


thesubmitter

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Hi,

So I live in VAudreuil Dorion which is about 1hr west of Montreal by Commuter Train. The region here is booming, I think the train station parking lot here has the second most spots in the Montreal region.

I have a theoretical idea about how to setup an express train mechanism for the region (approx 4 stations).

I realized that there are 2 VIA RAIL trains that travel from Ottawa to Montreal and at the Dorion station (next station east of Vaudreuil) the tracks become parallel and directly adjacent to the commuter trains. I figure that if I can get those trains to stop at Dorion and create a shuttling system between Vaudreuil and the 2 stations to the east of Dorion so all 4 stations combine at the Dorion station and load on to the VIA RAIL train I can cut overall travel time for all those people by 33% (or at least 20minutes, conservatively).

Via Rail offers a chartering service (you can book a whole train car from Ottawa to Montreal for 3000$) So I figured it was a good starting point. I basically charter trains that I need at a negotiated rate for an annual contract. I think I can fill 3 cars per train.

The other major part is the platform at Dorion would need to be be built. I think I can get municipalities and province to inject that money so there is no investment needed by Via Rail.

Is there something majorly deficient in my idea. I know the devil is in the details but I actually contacted people at Via Rail trying to get them to quote me for the service I am asking for and they are basically refusing even though I will put up the capital investment and they'll have money in their pocket as per a contract.

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What's "majorly deficient" is that ultimately you're dealing with several bureaucracies, and if there's something bureaucracies hate more than change, it's good ideas that originate elsewhere. The chances of this happening are about 0.

What is much more likely (and bound to happen sooner or later, despite AMT's best efforts to mess it up) is the creation of the Train de l'Ouest. An electrified, level-boarding, train service run by lightweight EMUs (one can dream) would shave more than 20 minutes off the schedule without dropping any stops. Even with the current dual-modes it should improve more than what you're proposing.

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Of course, there are serious financial problems with your proposed idea as well. There's no way to get even close to being fiscally self-sustainable, let alone even to a threshold of remote acceptability for subsidy. The costs of getting VIA to run an extra three cars from Ottawa, plus the cost of three more employees on that train (spending most of their time on empty cars), are enormous. No commuter would be willing to pay anywhere close to what would need to be the cost of a one-way fare, even if you managed to fill all three cars on a daily basis. The cost of the platform would be by far the smallest cost involved in the project.

Also, there are basic operational problems as well. There's pretty much no way to guarantee that the VIA trains would show up on a reliable schedule short of massive improvements to signalling plus priority on other companies' trackage, and that's obviously not going to happen. This wouldn't be a massive problem if the trains weren't so infrequent (only 2 means the consequences of one being late are huge), and would be a serious disincentive to potential commuters. To boot, there's no real way to integrate with public transit at either end. There would be no reason to ride it from the point of view of a daily commuter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking at the AMT financial statement it seems that for the vaudreuil amt train line, we actually only pay 1/3 of the cost as users. The rest is subsidized. So if that is the standard I need to meet then that means if users now pay 140/mo for 40 trips (3.5$ each way) the trip can cost me up to 10$ per person. Which actually doesn't seem attainable based on the 3000$ chartering price.

Does 1 employee need to be in each train car for viarail?

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The Vaudreuil area (train and bus) needs more frequent service in general before any talk of express trains.

For a place where the population is booming, it's unacceptable that there's no regular transit service to Montreal with desirable frequencies. Even the CIT standard of hourly service off peak isn't in Vaudreuil yet.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Vaudreuil area (train and bus) needs more frequent service in general before any talk of express trains.

For a place where the population is booming, it's unacceptable that there's no regular transit service to Montreal with desirable frequencies. Even the CIT standard of hourly service off peak isn't in Vaudreuil yet.

The 40 express can be schedule to meet that need, its way cheaper than building new tracks as per the amt2020 plan. In fact they can just have a bus that runs along hwy 20 (ie the train route) during off peak hours because it seems like massive waste to pour in whats required in terms of infrastructure for trains to carry very few people and it doesnt really tackle congestion nor meet the needs of the bulk of commuters. It makes way more sense to tackle the express train issue.

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The 40 express can be schedule to meet that need, its way cheaper than building new tracks as per the amt2020 plan. In fact they can just have a bus that runs along hwy 20 (ie the train route) during off peak hours because it seems like massive waste to pour in whats required in terms of infrastructure for trains to carry very few people and it doesnt really tackle congestion nor meet the needs of the bulk of commuters. It makes way more sense to tackle the express train issue.

The problem is that VIA dosen't to business in local commuter rail, there job it's intercity transport. Remember that you cannot board a train at Saint-Lambert and drop down at Montreal and vice-versa. Same thing between Quebec, Sainte-Foy and Charny, it's considered local service

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