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Hamilton Street Railway

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On 12/2/2019 at 3:57 PM, TransferCutter said:

Could strike as early as Dec 18

No board report has been filed 

 

On radio - 

https://globalnews.ca/news/6243687/hamilton-transit-workers-possible-strike/
 

 

Less than a week to go.  This one’s been interesting in that there has been very little negotiating in the media.   It’s been quiet with relatively few leaks or press conferences/press releases so far.  Hopefully this means they’re working through the outstanding issues and getting a tentative agreement nailed down before the strike deadline.

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3 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Less than a week to go.  This one’s been interesting in that there has been very little negotiating in the media.   It’s been quiet with relatively few leaks or press conferences/press releases so far.  Hopefully this means they’re working through the outstanding issues and getting a tentative agreement nailed down before the strike deadline.

Hopefully. Cause Uber will still be there and so will the cabs.

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I've got CBC and CHCH's "live streams" running and both have got slates saying they're starting soon and there's a blurb on CHCH's Facebook page timestamped 2:37 saying that the briefing has been cancelled.  That would explain the absence of a live stream from either broadcaster although you'd think the press conference being cancelled after it was supposed to begin would have been news worth covering in itself.

I've seen a lot of strange machinations in the transit world before but this is a new one on me.

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57 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

I've got CBC and CHCH's "live streams" running and both have got slates saying they're starting soon and there's a blurb on CHCH's Facebook page timestamped 2:37 saying that the briefing has been cancelled.  That would explain the absence of a live stream from either broadcaster although you'd think the press conference being cancelled after it was supposed to begin would have been news worth covering in itself.

I've seen a lot of strange machinations in the transit world before but this is a new one on me.

So, it looks like the province has cancelled the Hamilton LRT and also cancelled the press conference that they scheduled to announce the LRT's cancellation.

Absolutely unbelievable.  As unbelievable as the claims being made that the cost of building the line quintupled from ~$1 billion to $5 billion.

How long do you guys think it'll be before they concoct a premise to cancel the Hurontario LRT?

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That means they have to reduce the quantity of the Alstom order too.

EDIT: Nevermind, I just did the math. They only ordered 61 Alstom units and they are all taken up by Finch West and Hurontario. Clearly they never planned for the Hamilton LRT back in 2017 when they placed the order with Alstom.

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1 hour ago, Cityflyer said:

That means they have to reduce the quantity of the Alstom order too.

EDIT: Nevermind, I just did the math. They only ordered 61 Alstom units and they are all taken up by Finch West and Hurontario. Clearly they never planned for the Hamilton LRT back in 2017 when they placed the order with Alstom.

The AFP for the Hamilton LRT was quite open-ended for the private sector. In addition to the design, build, operate, and maintain portions of the AFP, IO requested bidders to include vehicle acquisition in their bids. Bombardier was actively involved in one of the three consortia that were bidding on the contract, likely for both the vehicle side and the operations side (as they have experience operating the GO trains among a few other rail operation contracts).

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7 hours ago, Cityflyer said:

That means they have to reduce the quantity of the Alstom order too.

EDIT: Nevermind, I just did the math. They only ordered 61 Alstom units and they are all taken up by Finch West and Hurontario. Clearly they never planned for the Hamilton LRT back in 2017 when they placed the order with Alstom.

They already did. It's not 61 anymore. Instead it's 46 after cutting the city centre loop. They didn't make a public announcement of it. 17 remains for Finch West.

An article from a couple months ago: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/10/12/metrolinx-not-concerned-about-ottawa-lrt-issues-despite-having-order-in-for-the-same-vehicles.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Quote

 

The trains used on the Confederation Line are Alstom’s Citadis Spirit model, up to 46 of which Metrolinx, the provincial agency responsible for transportation in the GTA, has agreed to buy from the company.

...

Metrolinx wouldn’t disclose how much it’s paying for the trains, but previous announcements suggest the 46 cars would cost about $400 million.

 

 

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I've been watching the 905 and Ottawa LRT projects with great interest because it marks the introduction of rapid transit into communities in Ontario outside of Toronto for the first time.  Granted, Ottawa's had construction problems including that sinkhole, the delayed opening, and they're working through some pretty serious teething pains but the line is open and carrying passengers.  Kitchener-Waterloo's line's opened up and is carrying passengers with minimal fuss.

But watching the Metrolinx projects has been an exercise in agony starting with giant sections and whole lines in the Transit City plan get scrapped.  What little being built is a fraction of the original lines with only the middle part of Eglinton and Finch West only going to Humber College.

But outside of Toronto?  All I can say is wow.  The Hamilton LRT has been a gong show on all sides between waffling with the city council, endless delay before the Kathleen Wynne government finally agreeing to do it, and then Metrolinx using every stall and delay tactic in the book to drag out actually getting on with building it, providing the maximum amount of opportunity for someone, city or province, to change their minds and cancel the project before a DBFOM contract could be signed and shovels break ground.  That abysmal performance yesterday by Caroline Mulroney took the cake.

I can see the cost of building the line going above the $1 bn that was committed but not by a whole lot.  CP requiring them to tunnel under that rarely used freight spur added some cost for sure but not having to replace the Queenston Rd. bridge over the Redhill Parkway definitely put a stop to any huge increases.  Worst case, all the bids are unaffordable, none of them can be worked down to something manageable between Ontario, Hamilton and the federal government which had been hinting they'd be willing to chip in on the LRT, and then cancel it if it truly can't be made to work.  Instead of working through to the end of the process, since the build cost hadn't exploded into a huge number on its own, the Ontario Government packed the operating costs, the lifecycle costs, every cost imaginable into the $5 bn number they quoted but didn't count any revenue and used that as the justification for cancelling the project before the three consortia preparing bids could deliver bid packages with actual, hard numbers to work with.

By indulging in creative accounting and packing all of these non-construction costs incurred over the next 30 years but not counting any revenue generated into that final number, the government is claiming the Hamilton LRT would've had an absurd cost per kilometre not seen in the cost to build the Ottawa line and get it running or build the Kitchener line and get that running or what the government of Ontario is claiming the costs to build Finch West and Hurontario because they're not accounting for the costs the same way they just did yesterday with Hamilton.

Then, instead of facing the music like a responsible adult, no-show for the press conference, duck out of the building, run across the street, jump into a car inside a locked garage and high tail it out of town with a police escort under the tired old fallback of "security reasons" that every government uses when they don't have anything else.

Disgust doesn't come close to describing the contempt I have for the fraud artists in Queen's Park.

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I feel that they just cancelled it and swept it under the rug. Not giving a care in the world to be accountable.

I dont think they did their due diligence to come up with a solution.  Why not build it in stages? Why not outsource it to the private sector and lease it back for 30 years? Come to the table with all parties and have a discussion rather than just cancel it. Good luck getting Hamilton votes in the next election.

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On 12/18/2019 at 11:24 AM, Shaun said:

I feel that they just cancelled it and swept it under the rug. Not giving a care in the world to be accountable.

I dont think they did their due diligence to come up with a solution.  Why not build it in stages? Why not outsource it to the private sector and lease it back for 30 years? Come to the table with all parties and have a discussion rather than just cancel it. Good luck getting Hamilton votes in the next election.

Because Ford is a clown and doesnt have common sense? Do you think that thought even came to his mind?

He couldn't care less about Hamilton's votes, clearly evidence by cancelling the LRT for not one solid reason. In fact, the reason he probably cancelled it is because Hamilton didnt vote for him, that's how petty the clown is.

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On December 18, 2019 at 11:24 AM, Shaun said:

I feel that they just cancelled it and swept it under the rug. Not giving a care in the world to be accountable.

I dont think they did their due diligence to come up with a solution.  Why not build it in stages? Why not outsource it to the private sector and lease it back for 30 years? Come to the table with all parties and have a discussion rather than just cancel it. Good luck getting Hamilton votes in the next election.

 

On December 19, 2019 at 9:42 PM, lip said:

Because Ford is a clown and doesnt have common sense? Do you think that thought even came to his mind?

He couldn't care less about Hamilton's votes, clearly evidence by cancelling the LRT for not one solid reason. In fact, the reason he probably cancelled it is because Hamilton didnt vote for him, that's how petty the clown is.

Pretty much.  Politicians love to campaign on these accountability platforms but they sure don't practice it when they get into office.

Anyways, the Hamilton LRT like the other Metrolinx LRTs is outsourced to the private sector, or would have been.  That was the whole crux of the Design, Build, Operate, Finance and Maintain (DBFOM) contracts they were tendering for each of the LRT projects including Hamilton.  That's also where the 30 year timescale comes from for all the maintenance and operation costs they packed in to the build price to justify cancellation.  30 years worth over the 30 year life of the DBFOM contract that they would've been paying the LRT off over.

I agree, I've been saying ever since the news dropped that sitting down with the three consortiums preparing bids once the bid packages are ready in March along with the city and federal government and figure out how to do it.  That's what would take place if there was a genuine desire to get it done.  Except there isn't a genuine desire to get it done.  There's a genuine desire to cancel it.  There's a genuine desire to punish Hamilton for traditionally voting NDP.  There's a genuine desire to send a message to the rest of Ontario that this is what happens when you don't vote correctly.

Plus, there's the whole general Ontario mediocre, puritan tightwad don't spend any money because we don't want to spend any money to have nice things make do with what you have, don't get any ideas above your station and don't question the government or you're getting a lump of coal on Wednesday aspect to things.  I poked some serious fun at that whole mindset over on the General Lounge when I posted an Archives of Ontario video showing how the government of Ontario says you should barbecue a chicken vs. how I do it.  That video really captures how bland, boring, crappy, mediocre, backwards etc. this province is.  It's Ontario in a nutshell: the worlds blandest barbecue chicken.  Stuck in 1961 in perpetuity.

Bottom line, if you want your LRT to be built.  If you want it to open.  If you want it to be up and running carrying passengers, you need to look at places like Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo.  Both are forward thinking tech hubs.  Both did it with no Metrolinx and minimal government of Ontario involvement beyond chipping in some money and allowing a car purchase to be tacked on in the case of K-W.  But you do not entrust it to the government of Ontario and its agency Metrolinx both of which are having trouble grappling with the idea that the 1950s ended sixty years ago ten days from now.

So I met up with a friend of mine who teaches at Niagara College in East Hamilton a few days ago and I took a look at the new Go station going in on Centennial Parkway and then drove up to Eastgate Square, made a right on Queenston and drove part of the kiboshed LRT line.  You can see the CHCH transmission tower from that part of Hamilton since it's up the road on Centennial on top of the escarpment and I thought to myself, this place is so backwards, there's probably still angry guys yelling at their kids to this day to move the rabbit ears around to get the snow out of the picture when they're tuning it in.

As for voting intentions, I'm sure Doug Ford picked up some votes among the loudest anti-LRT contingent but I'm also equally sure he's cemented a lot of people's decisions not to vote conservative after seeing this go up in smoke.  I'm also sure he's lost the endorsement of the construction workers' union whose members won't be getting work building this thing and whose pension fund saw the value of their investments in downtown Hamilton real estate development along the line get a nice haircut overnight.

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39 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

 

Pretty much.  Politicians love to campaign on these accountability platforms but they sure don't practice it when they get into office.

Anyways, the Hamilton LRT like the other Metrolinx LRTs is outsourced to the private sector, or would have been.  That was the whole crux of the Design, Build, Operate, Finance and Maintain (DBFOM) contracts they were tendering for each of the LRT projects including Hamilton.  That's also where the 30 year timescale comes from for all the maintenance and operation costs they packed in to the build price to justify cancellation.  30 years worth over the 30 year life of the DBFOM contract that they would've been paying the LRT off over.

I agree, I've been saying ever since the news dropped that sitting down with the three consortiums preparing bids once the bid packages are ready in March along with the city and federal government and figure out how to do it.  That's what would take place if there was a genuine desire to get it done.  Except there isn't a genuine desire to get it done.  There's a genuine desire to cancel it.  There's a genuine desire to punish Hamilton for traditionally voting NDP.  There's a genuine desire to send a message to the rest of Ontario that this is what happens when you don't vote correctly.

Plus, there's the whole general Ontario mediocre, puritan tightwad don't spend any money because we don't want to spend any money to have nice things make do with what you have, don't get any ideas above your station and don't question the government or you're getting a lump of coal on Wednesday aspect to things.  I poked some serious fun at that whole mindset over on the General Lounge when I posted an Archives of Ontario video showing how the government of Ontario says you should barbecue a chicken vs. how I do it.  That video really captures how bland, boring, crappy, mediocre, backwards etc. this province is.  It's Ontario in a nutshell: the worlds blandest barbecue chicken.  Stuck in 1961 in perpetuity.

Bottom line, if you want your LRT to be built.  If you want it to open.  If you want it to be up and running carrying passengers, you need to look at places like Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo.  Both are forward thinking tech hubs.  Both did it with no Metrolinx and minimal government of Ontario involvement beyond chipping in some money and allowing a car purchase to be tacked on in the case of K-W.  But you do not entrust it to the government of Ontario and its agency Metrolinx both of which are having trouble grappling with the idea that the 1950s ended sixty years ago ten days from now.

So I met up with a friend of mine who teaches at Niagara College in East Hamilton a few days ago and I took a look at the new Go station going in on Centennial Parkway and then drove up to Eastgate Square, made a right on Queenston and drove part of the kiboshed LRT line.  You can see the CHCH transmission tower from that part of Hamilton since it's up the road on Centennial on top of the escarpment and I thought to myself, this place is so backwards, there's probably still angry guys yelling at their kids to this day to move the rabbit ears around to get the snow out of the picture when they're tuning it in.

As for voting intentions, I'm sure Doug Ford picked up some votes among the loudest anti-LRT contingent but I'm also equally sure he's cemented a lot of people's decisions not to vote conservative after seeing this go up in smoke.  I'm also sure he's lost the endorsement of the construction workers' union whose members won't be getting work building this thing and whose pension fund saw the value of their investments in downtown Hamilton real estate development along the line get a nice haircut overnight.

The city could still partner with the feds and figure out a way to make it work by working with the private sector.  

The sad part is the Douggie Ford might win another mandate considering the liberals still don't have a candidate to replace Wynne. 

2 years after they lost the election, I'm not sure what their plan is.  

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8 minutes ago, Shaun said:

The city could still partner with the feds and figure out a way to make it work by working with the private sector.  

The sad part is the Douggie Ford might win another mandate considering the liberals still don't have a candidate to replace Wynne. 

2 years after they lost the election, I'm not sure what their plan is.  

Bob Bratina’s already on record as saying the cancellation was inevitable so what federal support the Hamilton LRT has won’t be coming from him.  The eastern part of the line would run through his riding too so this is disappointing to hear from him.

I don’t know what the three bidders plan to do.  Infrastructure Ontario is going to pay them out for the work they’ve done.  Here’s where it gets tricky, the bids have to be almost finished since they were to be delivered in March.  That’s not far away and from a doing work on it perspective, even closer when you factor in the dead time over the holidays when people are on vacation and nothing’s getting done. The bidders might want to consider eating cost of completing their bid packages in case the LRT is reinstated so they’re ready to go to submission immediately.  However, and I don’t put it past the government to be this spiteful, if there are conditions on getting paid out by Infrastructure Ontario that require the already completed work to be destroyed or not be used in any subsequent LRT bid packages, that ideas out the window and it’s totally back to square one.

I totally agree about the possibility of Doug Ford getting re-elected.  I figure, unless the liberals shape up mighty fast, we’re looking at a second Ford mandate or maybe an NDP government depending how good or bad things go for the province as a whole over the next two years.

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4 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Bob Bratina’s already on record as saying the cancellation was inevitable so what federal support the Hamilton LRT has won’t be coming from him.  The eastern part of the line would run through his riding too so this is disappointing to hear from him.

I don’t know what the three bidders plan to do.  Infrastructure Ontario is going to pay them out for the work they’ve done.  Here’s where it gets tricky, the bids have to be almost finished since they were to be delivered in March.  That’s not far away and from a doing work on it perspective, even closer when you factor in the dead time over the holidays when people are on vacation and nothing’s getting done. The bidders might want to consider eating cost of completing their bid packages in case the LRT is reinstated so they’re ready to go to submission immediately.  However, and I don’t put it past the government to be this spiteful, if there are conditions on getting paid out by Infrastructure Ontario that require the already completed work to be destroyed or not be used in any subsequent LRT bid packages, that ideas out the window and it’s totally back to square one.

I totally agree about the possibility of Doug Ford getting re-elected.  I figure, unless the liberals shape up mighty fast, we’re looking at a second Ford mandate or maybe an NDP government depending how good or bad things go for the province as a whole over the next two years.

Fat chance with the NDP getting a mandate in Ontario, only happened once. 

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On 12/22/2019 at 3:19 PM, Shaun said:

Fat chance with the NDP getting a mandate in Ontario, only happened once. 

Normally I would agree but with the Liberals seemingly out of action for the foreseeable future, a lot of people are going to have to confront the question about which of the NDP or more Ford is worse than the other.

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1827 is at some vendor along the QEW (I imagine it has something to do with the engine, since a benz logo was one of numerous on the building)

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