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Ontario Northland Railway

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It occurred to me, and this is a crackpot long shot....

The liberals need two other MPPs to approve the budget and achieve a majority to stave off an election, right?

At least two of the ridings the ONTC serves are NDP. ( I think?) Perhaps if they eased off on the privatization push, they could get them onside.

Of course, the NDP will probably fall into line anyway, neither party wants to hazard an election and have Hudak win a majority.

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Of course, the NDP will probably fall into line anyway, neither party wants to hazard an election and have Hudak win a majority.

Actually, even the PC's have no interest in an election at this time because they still haven't recovered from the last election.

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It occurred to me, and this is a crackpot long shot....

The liberals need two other MPPs to approve the budget and achieve a majority to stave off an election, right?

At least two of the ridings the ONTC serves are NDP. ( I think?) Perhaps if they eased off on the privatization push, they could get them onside.

Of course, the NDP will probably fall into line anyway, neither party wants to hazard an election and have Hudak win a majority.

After that huge rant about loosing the GO contract i would think that the NDP wouldn't let this train service die without a fight.

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The liberals need two other MPPs to approve the budget and achieve a majority to stave off an election, right?

Not quite. If the NDP abstain, then the Liberals have sufficient votes to pass the budget.

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Hm. It sounds like VIA didn't get hit as bad as I feared in the budget today. Perhaps then the option of them taking over the Northlander might not be that crazy.

Except that they barely have enough money to run their own services as it is. How would they be able to take over - and subsidize - another service on top of that?

Dan

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Except that they barely have enough money to run their own services as it is. How would they be able to take over - and subsidize - another service on top of that?

I said not that crazy. I didn't say it automatically made sense. Also, i was expecting the feds to cut 10% of VIA's subsidy all at once rather than stretch it out over 3 years with it being at most a 10% reduction.

Really, it ultimately boils down to a question of how badly the Ontario government want to get rid of it and how much can VIA reduce the cost of running it. If VIA can, with reducing the layover costs in Toronto being a good first step, then the Liberals might be willing to keep supporting it.

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The rules of funding would need to change to allow provinces to fund VIA rail services directly.

Although it was discussed with the Peterborough Service.

Since the province owns GO transit, could they not get GO Transit to make up two train sets to rotate to do that run?

Two Older locomotives and bi-level coaches. They already have washrooms on them. Just no Cafe car.

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Since the province owns GO transit, could they not get GO Transit to make up two train sets to rotate to do that run?

Two Older locomotives and bi-level coaches. They already have washrooms on them. Just no Cafe car.

As someone who takes the lakeshore east line from Danforth to Oshawa on a regular basis, I can guarantee that no one would want to ride the bi-levels for more than two hours unless they had absolutely no other choice.

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As someone who takes the lakeshore east line from Danforth to Oshawa on a regular basis, I can guarantee that no one would want to ride the bi-levels for more than two hours unless they had absolutely no other choice.

Riding Aldershot to Oshawa and back once a week, I agree. For that to work, comfortably, they would need new, more contoured seats.

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That's not entirely out of the question. Think of the fact that they even take seats out and put bike racks in shows that if there is a will to do something it can be done.

Easily turn one into a cafe car. or put Vending machines in? I donno...

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That's not entirely out of the question. Think of the fact that they even take seats out and put bike racks in shows that if there is a will to do something it can be done.

Easily turn one into a cafe car. or put Vending machines in? I donno...

If GO was serious in taking over the Northlander service, and operating it with BiLevels, I'm sure they would place an order with Bombardier for specialized cars to operate on it... equipped with a cafe bar and seats more designed for long-distance travel.

At the current point, it seems like the Northlander will continue to operate for a number of years before it's discontinued - more than enough time for an order of coaches.

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I wonder if the Feds have already started to count the "saving" of $2.5m that they would presumably no longer have to pay ONR in the absence of a Toronto-North Bay rail service... so that if there was agitation to save the service at least as far as North Bay it might come down to Ontario having to admit they came to an agreement with Ottawa to "disappear" the obligation on both their parts.

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After that huge rant about loosing the GO contract i would think that the NDP wouldn't let this train service die without a fight.

And true to form, keeping the ONTC public is on the list of the NDP's amendments to the budget.

Now we just wait for the response......

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And true to form, keeping the ONTC public is on the list of the NDP's amendments to the budget.

Now we just wait for the response......

So the Liberals want to flog off some and toss the rest on a bonfire, the NDP say no keep everything as is which given the moribundness of ONTC isn't an answer either.

http://ontariondp.com/en/ndp-ontario-northland-transportation-commission-ontc-is-a-lifeline-for-northerners-must-not-be-privatised

I note the NDP are *still* banging on about the GO contract. Stuff like that makes me crazy. If we are truly one country then Quebec firms should bid on Ont stuff and vice versa - how else did ONTC win the AMT contract? And the refurb plant loses money which basically means it's being subsidised by ON taxpayers.

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/mechanical/news/Ontario-Northland-wins-AMT-car-refurbishment-contract--28525

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-having ridden the Northlander frequently from the time of its' inception with the T Trains to the present, I have a few thoughts. Sorry, this board was out of sight (out of mind) for a while. Agree GO Bi-Levels would never do in the present configuration. Quite a few years ago, the UCRS had a trip from Toronto to Gravenhurst for the Muskoka Fall Colours using GO Bi-Level equipment. Via was not interested in leasing equipment at that time, having a problem supplying equipment for it's regular schedule. The Go Bi-levels were amost unbearable for that distance especially if the pairs of facing seats were fully occupied. The single washrooms were insufficient if car was near capacity. (A makeshift snack bar was set up but most of the day trippers used the town's restaurants). As per today's standards, the cars rode roughly on the primarily freight used Bala and Newmarket subs. The cafeteria car ONR uses presently is rare in modern Canadian railroading and as much as I like the idea of getting out of your seat on occasion to prevent leg problems, it could be replaced by a more cost effective snack bar in the coach similar to the set up of the old VIA 3200 series coaches.

Personally I would love to see the train maintained, but the cost of upgrading the CN owned tracks south of North Bay to get the speed up to 80mph, to provide a better average speed to compete with a bus on a parallel highway, would likely be borne by the taxpayer but would really only benefit CN. The train is also continually at the mercy of freight traffic south of Washago on the Bala Sub. Ever since CN removed the track on the Newmarket Sub between Washago and Barrie, any major delay, derailment or problem seems to add insult to injury. (The bypass is gone!) . Basically, other than the cost effectiveness of the cafeteria car, I find little wrong with the equipment ONR uses except for its' poor riding characteristics.

Previously someone mentioned Sudbury to North Bay Service (also Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie). The Sudbury to Soo service was at one time provided by a CP Dayliner that lasted until, I think, the first round of VIA cuts. Sudbury to North Bay was provided by a Dayliner (heading to Ottawa) and also by the Montreal Section of the Canadian. In both cases, it was determined that a bus was more efficient. The Dayliner were dropped while the Mtl section of the Canadian was diverted to Toronto and ran as the rear half of the first morning "City of Everywhere" train out of Toronto.

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4 hours ago, Shaun said:

$290 000? It doesn't say that it's in running condition. 

SD40-2 Locomotive
1104 Day Inspection complete
All brake valves replaced on 26L system
Replaced water pumps and oil pumps
Removed old Batteries and Installed New
All new filters
Startup and load test
Replace fuel preheater
Replace all rockers
Wheels 1-½in to 1-3/4in
Price: $290,000 with one color paint
Location: Southeast

 

You really think they would spend all that money to sell you a hulk?

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