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Ontario Northland Railway


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  • 2 weeks later...

So since there has been a new government elected that had a pledge of renewing the Northlander Rail service in Ontario, any guesses that we shall see a return of passenger rail services? There has been a pretty large rumor mill around the Muskoka area the the train would be returning for Canada Day 2018 or in time for School starting in the fall (Any option that brings rail back id be happy with).

 

Also, there has been a lot of chatter recently regarding Huron Central requesting government assistance to keep operations going. There is at least one news article about it that states there is at least a public desire for Ontario Northland to take over the line, as well as start passenger service along the same corridor (Which logistically I see as proving very, VERY difficult).

https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/should-ontario-northland-take-over-huron-central-railway-942170

 

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The new government doesn't take office until the 29th, and won't table a budget until the fall, so it's nigh on impossible for a train to start running this calendar year. Anyone claiming that the train will start running on Canada Day or by Labour Day of this year has no grasp on reality. There simply won't be funding for it to happen.

 

While I can see ONR taking over for the Huron Central (and possibly buying the line), there are a very significant number of hurdles that would have to be overcome. Would ONR operate the two parts independently of each other, or would they try and purchase the line from OVR between North Bay and Sudbury? (Or would they try and negotiate for running rights?) Could they do a better job of drumming up business than G&W did? (I don't think that is likely.) Would they get the additional funding required to run the operation, or would they have to try and find savings internally? (Considering how well that's done for them up to this point, I wouldn't hold my breath on it.)

 

And frankly, running a passenger service on that line is far, far less likely. The line between Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury is far less remote than the CN and CP lines to the north so it is relatively easier for people to access the highway to get to where they want to. They would be far better served by improving the existing bus service.

 

Dan

 

 

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The biggest gripe ive heard (and experienced personally) is that the bus's just aren't adequate, nor have a reliable timing system for locals to get much use out of them. Winter is worse as their reliability and timing becomes laughable at best. In part, this is a massive reasoning behind the push for passenger rail renewal.

As far as freight service goes along the HC route, I believe there isn't much more really that could be "new" to that line, save for maybe (and im throwing darts here) an autorack service for campers heading up from Toronto with drop off points in Northbay, Cochrane, Sudbury and the Sault. But that verges on fantasy land stuff since other than the Polar Bear Express, I don't see much demand for that kind of service.

And I haven't got much info on the OVR railway myself. It surprised me when I first was up along the Highway 17 Corridor that it was something other than ONR or CN. What traffic do they get anyways??

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3 hours ago, Bravo Actual said:

The biggest gripe ive heard (and experienced personally) is that the bus's just aren't adequate, nor have a reliable timing system for locals to get much use out of them. Winter is worse as their reliability and timing becomes laughable at best. In part, this is a massive reasoning behind the push for passenger rail renewal.

As far as freight service goes along the HC route, I believe there isn't much more really that could be "new" to that line, save for maybe (and im throwing darts here) an autorack service for campers heading up from Toronto with drop off points in Northbay, Cochrane, Sudbury and the Sault. But that verges on fantasy land stuff since other than the Polar Bear Express, I don't see much demand for that kind of service.

And I haven't got much info on the OVR railway myself. It surprised me when I first was up along the Highway 17 Corridor that it was something other than ONR or CN. What traffic do they get anyways??

East of North Bay, the OVR line runs to Mattawa, where it once continued to Smiths Falls. From Mattawa, the line runs into Quebec and up to Timiskaming, where it serves the mill. I believe it is all track leased from CP. There are also two industrial customers between North Bay and Mattawa, though I don't know how much work they generate. I am less certain of what there is west of North Bay.

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17 hours ago, Flalex72 said:

East of North Bay, the OVR line runs to Mattawa, where it once continued to Smiths Falls. From Mattawa, the line runs into Quebec and up to Timiskaming, where it serves the mill. I believe it is all track leased from CP. There are also two industrial customers between North Bay and Mattawa, though I don't know how much work they generate. I am less certain of what there is west of North Bay.

Only thing I know of would be some mining related stuff near Conniston or Sudbury. Anytime ive seen the train go by paralleling the highway tho, its usually just boxcars with a few grain cars. No stops that i'm aware of along that route.

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  • 3 months later...

Plan for Northern Passenger Rail due out soon:

 

 https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/passenger-rail-revival-plan-rolling-out-this-fall-1079947

https://www.northernnews.ca/news/local-news/northeastern-ontario-passenger-rail-plan-soon-to-roll-out-2

 

Interesting information here. Although I cant see any GO Transit rolling stock being used along that corridor to be honest. Their BiLevels are too big for the demand. 

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Let’s see if this plan has more to it than Greg G’s familiarity with the needs of local papers for free optimistic content by way of a well crafted press release.

Anyone familiar enough with the Bala sub to know where and how long these two sidings are so we can estimate how many track-miles are required to connect them?

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13 hours ago, dowlingm said:

Let’s see if this plan has more to it than Greg G’s familiarity with the needs of local papers for free optimistic content by way of a well crafted press release.

Anyone familiar enough with the Bala sub to know where and how long these two sidings are so we can estimate how many track-miles are required to connect them?

Best guess is from Washago to Brechin. Based on satellite views and past trips through the area. Probably close to 30km? 

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  • 5 months later...
2 hours ago, WMATAC40LF said:

So I heard on another forum that ONR will be taking delivery of two ex Amtrak F40s that have been converted to cab/generator cars. Does anyone have more information about what these are intended for? 

Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1215490158605468&set=gm.3080774945281371&type=3&theater&ifg=1

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12 hours ago, Allandale25 said:

Is this from a closed group? 

image.thumb.png.40ec8858f62658a96f9a40469c2d3c82.png

My recollection is that most of the remaining F40s in Amtrak ownership were NPCUs, and only 406 was fitted with a generator for the heritage train. Clearly doable though, and would certainly be an interesting alternative to pulling an APU around. Even better if Polar Bear stock is push pull so the APCU could lead.

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23 hours ago, dowlingm said:

My recollection is that most of the remaining F40s in Amtrak ownership were NPCUs, and only 406 was fitted with a generator for the heritage train. Clearly doable though, and would certainly be an interesting alternative to pulling an APU around. Even better if Polar Bear stock is push pull so the APCU could lead.

The units are supposedly ex-Amtrak - no one has gotten close enough to get a serial or frame number yet - but they weren't purchased from Amtrak. NRE has scores of ex-Amtrak F40s still stored at their various facilities, and these two were plucked from them.

 

Dan

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14 minutes ago, smallspy said:

The units are supposedly ex-Amtrak - no one has gotten close enough to get a serial or frame number yet - but they weren't purchased from Amtrak. NRE has scores of ex-Amtrak F40s still stored at their various facilities, and these two were plucked from them.

 

Dan

Sources indicate they are ex-AMTK 317 & 394 (which is which is yet to be determined, both previously rotting away at NRE), with the work done by NRE Mount Vernon shops.

Most of the ex-GO F59 units that RBRX was leasing out seem to have found second homes by now (with the few remaining as leasers on Metrolink sold to LTEX a few years back for continued leasing), so obtaining some of those now would probably be a no-go. They'd likely cost much more than a pair of F40 hulks anyway.

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2 hours ago, Shaun said:

So they could mount a small HEP generator in the body like they did with the VIA F40's?  But still leave space for baggage?

Here's the interior of 406 - I guess some packages could be left in there but clearance around the generator would probably limit its usefulness?

 

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3 hours ago, D. DeLarge said:

Sources indicate they are ex-AMTK 317 & 394 (which is which is yet to be determined, both previously rotting away at NRE), with the work done by NRE Mount Vernon shops.

The most common source for that info is one that it notoriously unreliable. I would wait to see if someone can get close enough to get either the serials - should they still exist - or the frame numbers.

 

3 hours ago, D. DeLarge said:

Most of the ex-GO F59 units that RBRX was leasing out seem to have found second homes by now (with the few remaining as leasers on Metrolink sold to LTEX a few years back for continued leasing), so obtaining some of those now would probably be a no-go. They'd likely cost much more than a pair of F40 hulks anyway.

Indeed, the number of ex-GO units still available is well less than a half-dozen. Between the number of units sold and being reused by outfits such as Metrolink, Metra, RTM/exo and NCDoT, and the scrapping of several dozen more to use their engines for gensets, there isn't many left and the cost of those left may well be more than ONR is willing to pay.


Dan

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3 hours ago, smallspy said:

The most common source for that info is one that it notoriously unreliable. I would wait to see if someone can get close enough to get either the serials - should they still exist - or the frame numbers.

 

Indeed, the number of ex-GO units still available is well less than a half-dozen. Between the number of units sold and being reused by outfits such as Metrolink, Metra, RTM/exo and NCDoT, and the scrapping of several dozen more to use their engines for gensets, there isn't many left and the cost of those left may well be more than ONR is willing to pay.


Dan

The source you're thinking of may not be the same source where the information came from. :)

But, I'm sure someone will give them a look-see in time to figure out which is which...

I'm not aware of any of the ex-GO units being scrapped en-masse except for the 3(?) that CAD Rail scrapped. Unless you mean the five that NC Dot had turned into cab control cars.

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15 hours ago, D. DeLarge said:

I'm not aware of any of the ex-GO units being scrapped en-masse except for the 3(?) that CAD Rail scrapped. Unless you mean the five that NC Dot had turned into cab control cars.

RB Leasing scrapped a fair number of their ex-GO units - my contact there said 2 dozen, but upon further review it was a smaller number than that. The prime movers and HEP engines found their ways into mobile, container mounted gensets.

 

Dan

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5 hours ago, smallspy said:

RB Leasing scrapped a fair number of their ex-GO units - my contact there said 2 dozen, but upon further review it was a smaller number than that. The prime movers and HEP engines found their ways into mobile, container mounted gensets.

 

Dan

Much, much smaller - all the units other than the three scrapped (18537, 18538 & 18554) are accounted for going to other owners, with the exception of 18539. Not sure if that one was also scrapped, or if it's sitting somewhere parked. NC Dot and Larry's Truck & Electric got the bulk of the RB Leasing F59 fleet.

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