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Looks like pretty much no new big projects in the budget. Unless I missed it, nothing this year for VIA's lofty proposal to rebuild the O&Q.

If adding track capacity for VIA ever happens, I'd think it would be more sensible to add it to the Kingston Sub route. Through the previous government, we have already invested public money to build dozens of km of 3rd track mainline on the Kingston sub specifically for increasing capacity for VIA, and improvements and modernizations at Coburg, Belleville and Oshawa stations.

Wouldn't it make more sense then to keep the momentum and continue efforts to complete the 3rd track and add a 4th where needed? Then expropriate track 3&4 to VIA, upgrade some of the other stations and be done with it... I'm sure its not as simple as that, but surely it doesn't need to be as complicated as building an entirely new rail line and all ancillary station infrastructure, through a less densely populated region, over an abandoned ROW that, at a glance, has numerous sharp curves and may not be able to sustain the 100mph running needed to meet the proposed trip schedules.

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3 hours ago, WMATAC40LF said:

If you wanted to divert all of CN's traffic onto the CP Belleville Subdivision (as the poster above suggested), an additional one to two tracks would probably have to be added (depending on the location) to handle the increased freight traffic.

The Belleville Sub is one track with many sidings already. The Winchester is two. There may be a need to add a second track in places to make it a full two-track corridor from Toronto to Montreal, but there is certainly no need to add more than that.

 

3 hours ago, WMATAC40LF said:

And as for the grade crossings, doesn't Transport Canada have a 110 mph speed restriction on lines that aren't fully grade separated? Now I'll grant you 110 is better than the status quo, but the new trains could potentially go 125 without crossings.

Yes, Transport Canada does have a 110mph maximum restriction on level crossings. But again, that's not the point. VIA was able to run a train from Toronto to Montreal in 4 hours on track with a 100mph maximum. They can't any more because of freight traffic.

 

3 hours ago, WMATAC40LF said:

I do agree that the current proposal to rebuild the old Ontario and Quebec route is kind of strange, but VIA seems to think otherwise. The idea of rerouting VIA onto the Belleville sub is interesting (although it would probably mean skipping over Kingston and Brockville on runs to Ottawa). I still think the biggest obstacle to these plans is convincing freight RRs to give up large portions of track.

Maybe so, but consider that CP's already sold off much of their track east of Montreal. They only run 6 to 8 trains - in both directions - on the Belleville Sub. I don't think that selling off their remaining trackage east of Toronto is unlikely anymore.


Dan

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4 hours ago, LRC3 said:

Looks like pretty much no new big projects in the budget. Unless I missed it, nothing this year for VIA's lofty proposal to rebuild the O&Q.

If adding track capacity for VIA ever happens, I'd think it would be more sensible to add it to the Kingston Sub route. Through the previous government, we have already invested public money to build dozens of km of 3rd track mainline on the Kingston sub specifically for increasing capacity for VIA, and improvements and modernizations at Coburg, Belleville and Oshawa stations.

 Wouldn't it make more sense then to keep the momentum and continue efforts to complete the 3rd track and add a 4th where needed? Then expropriate track 3&4 to VIA, upgrade some of the other stations and be done with it... I'm sure its not as simple as that, but surely it doesn't need to be as complicated as building an entirely new rail line and all ancillary station infrastructure, through a less densely populated region, over an abandoned ROW that, at a glance, has numerous sharp curves and may not be able to sustain the 100mph running needed to meet the proposed trip schedules.

How about spending money on the Kingston Sub and have a condition that the money will be spent conditional to providing priority to VIA rail Trains? Or ensure that there is an on time performance measurement, and if they are not able to meet it due to freight traffic then the host railway is fined. 

Is most of the Belleville and Winchester Sub's rated at class 1 with 70mph speed limit? What would it take for them for it to be able to handle 100mph passenger traffic?

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29 minutes ago, Shaun said:

How about spending money on the Kingston Sub and have a condition that the money will be spent conditional to providing priority to VIA rail Trains? Or ensure that there is an on time performance measurement, and if they are not able to meet it due to freight traffic then the host railway is fined. 

Is most of the Belleville and Winchester Sub's rated at class 1 with 70mph speed limit? What would it take for them for it to be able to handle 100mph passenger traffic?

CN must be heavy donors to political parties - we should already have legislation prioritizing VIA on CN infrastructure particularly when we have paid to expand that infrastructure specifically for VIA.

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For me, the planned VIA HFR route is more about getting trains Toronto-Ottawa faster to make that route competitive and make the most of their previous investments between Smiths Falls and Coteau. They are making substantial improvements in Ottawa Station and they will get a grade separation from the O-Train when the latter is upgraded. Irrespective of whether VIA use CP Belleville or a rebuilt CP Havelock to get to Smiths Falls, I don't think it makes sense to use the Winchester Sub for Montreal trains, at least between Smiths Falls and De Beaujeu simply because VIA don't think the market for Montreal-Toronto is strong enough to support a third route. CP might hive off CP Winchester but VIA will already be knee deep in capital investment requirements for the track west of Smiths Falls. 

Now, they could look at using an upgraded De Beaujeu junction to CP Winchester for services ex Ottawa, and onward to CP Vaudreuil into Montreal. I think this really only gets attractive if the reworking of Central to suit the CPDQ light rail causes them enough pain that setting up an temporary or permanent operation at Lucien L'Allier for terminating services becomes attractive (Quebec City/Ocean/Amtrak trains then getting priority for Central berths). If Central can stay open such that VIA requirements are uncompromised, then spending their money at the CN window to add more train paths at Coteau is probably cheapest/easiest.

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14 hours ago, Shaun said:

https://globalnews.ca/news/5107967/transportation-safety-board-railway-ties-incidents/

Anyone know why these two incidents resulted in damage, even though it is regular practice? Where they stacked on top of each other?

It's not a regular practice. That's why they caused the damage.

 

The usual routine was to stack the tieplates on the outside of the gauge, not inside of it. It seems that they - no one is sure yet whether this came from CN or the respective section formen - were trying something new, and one worker almost paid the price for it.

 

Dan

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On 3/30/2019 at 7:13 PM, Shaun said:

According to this article, it IS common practise. https://globalnews.ca/news/5107967/transportation-safety-board-railway-ties-incidents/

Union confirms it. 

Nothing tells you more about the rail safety culture in this country than a union which after one of its members gets almost killed still needs to wait for another accident before finally acknowledging that a practice which violates any notion of common sense (that loose construction material should never be placed within centimeters of passenger trains running at speeds of 100 km/h and more) might be unsafe...

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On 3/30/2019 at 7:13 PM, Shaun said:

According to this article, it IS common practise. https://globalnews.ca/news/5107967/transportation-safety-board-railway-ties-incidents/

Union confirms it. 

It's common practice NOW. That's all the union has confirmed.

 

(Which also then indicts CN and not the individual section foremen as the cause of it.)

 

It certainly hasn't been historically. I wonder when CN made this change.


Dan

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 1:19 PM, LRC3 said:

Looks like pretty much no new big projects in the budget. Unless I missed it, nothing this year for VIA's lofty proposal to rebuild the O&Q.

I have a totally unsubstantiated suspicion that this will be an election promise project. 

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I am planning on going on the Canadian for the first time this year Toronto-Vancouver or Vancouver to Toronto sometime in Oct. From reading various blogs and watching various youtube videos, this line is prone to delays. How many delays should I expect? should I plan to be delayed for at least 24hours to be on the safe side? Any other tips to make this trip more enjoyable?, for example what to bring etc.... 

Any insights would be appreciated.

 

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16 minutes ago, Bessarion said:

I am planning on going on the Canadian for the first time this year Toronto-Vancouver or Vancouver to Toronto sometime in Oct. From reading various blogs and watching various youtube videos, this line is prone to delays. How many delays should I expect? should I plan to be delayed for at least 24hours to be on the safe side? Any other tips to make this trip more enjoyable?, for example what to bring etc.... 

Any insights would be appreciated.

 

Can't say for Toronto or Vancouver, but by Saskatchewan it's usually 5-6 hours later than what they estimate (based on when the train leaves Toronto or Vancouver). 

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Allow plenty of time for connections and 24 hrs sounds like a good cushion. Why put yourself through the anxiety of a missed connection and ruin your trip. If the train is close to on-time or only slightly late you’ll find lots to do in Vancouver or Toronto while waiting. And I’m guessing you might be a train fan too so enjoy your extra time onboard in the dome, the amenities and additional meals. It's a bonus/more bang for you buck! You will be well taken care of…and you might see scenery that the train usually passes through at night. (On one trip I finally got to see the Fraser Canyon in daylight!)     

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If you live in Toronto, then I'd recommend flying to Vancouver and taking the train back. That will greatly minimize the chance of missing a connection.

 

While the delays were horrific this past winter - a friend of mine was a on a train that arrived 38 hours late - they have been very minimal for the past couple of weeks. And they may stay that way for the summer. The problem is that no one can guess how things will pan out by October, so it's frankly just safer to not risk it and train the train eastward.

 

As for what to bring - that is up to you. If you wish to enjoy the trip, a camera and a scanner may be all you need.

 

Dan

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6 hours ago, ghYHZ said:

Allow plenty of time for connections and 24 hrs sounds like a good cushion. Why put yourself through the anxiety of a missed connection and ruin your trip. If the train is close to on-time or only slightly late you’ll find lots to do in Vancouver or Toronto while waiting. And I’m guessing you might be a train fan too so enjoy your extra time onboard in the dome, the amenities and additional meals. It's a bonus/more bang for you buck! You will be well taken care of…and you might see scenery that the train usually passes through at night. (On one trip I finally got to see the Fraser Canyon in daylight!)     

 

I can not say I am a true rail fan, but I do enjoy riding trains, I recently did a Montreal to Halifax, overnight sleeper and enjoyed every minute of it. The Canadian is something I like to do as a bucket list item. :) 

31 minutes ago, smallspy said:

If you live in Toronto, then I'd recommend flying to Vancouver and taking the train back. That will greatly minimize the chance of missing a connection.

 

While the delays were horrific this past winter - a friend of mine was a on a train that arrived 38 hours late - they have been very minimal for the past couple of weeks. And they may stay that way for the summer. The problem is that no one can guess how things will pan out by October, so it's frankly just safer to not risk it and train the train eastward.

 

As for what to bring - that is up to you. If you wish to enjoy the trip, a camera and a scanner may be all you need.

 

Dan

Yes that is what I was thinking...  to do the Vancouver to Toronto direction,  since I live in Toronto.  Btw pardon my ignorance but what does a "scanner" do and what is it for?

 

 

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