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mpd618

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I'm guessing Guelph, Brampton, and maybe other small towns along the track will be angered by not having stops.

Brampton in particular seems like the biggest omission. But it's easier to keep the stop count reasonable if it starts small, because you would always have pressure to add stops - some of which will be successful.
 

Rational plan

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In the UK the Intercity network evolved from what was first proposed in the 1970's. For example when they first launched the main HST125 on the Great Western Line to Wales and the South West they stopped at only a few stops. But over time more stops have been added to stations further out from London. Over time the commuting field form London has grown ever larger and business commuting to the Capital had grown more important as the Wesern Corridor out of London has become a major tech corridor.

These days their own operators often describe it as high speed commuting service, with strong flows now in both Directions to Major Centres such as Reading, Swindon and Bristol.

Bristol is 190 km (Greater Urban area 1 million) from London with an average time 1hr 45 minutes, with 7 stops on the half hourly Bristol City Centre service via Bath and Chippenham. The main line to South Wales now passes through it's Northern Suburbs and the opening of the Station in 1972 fueled the massive growth in housing and business parks on the Northern Fringe. This station has a half hourly express to London with a journey time of less than 1hr 30 to London.

Swindon (pop 200,000)was a major railway town and is the junction for high speed services to Cheltenham and Gloucester, Bristol via Bath and South Wales via Bristol Parkway. It is 130km from London and has 5 intercity trains an hour. Swindon has expanded massively since the 1970's as part of the New Towns plan.

Reading is the most important rail junction West of London. It's greater Urban area is 320,000 and is considered the Capital of the TMT sector in the Western Wedge which includes several million people West of London along the M4, M40 and M3 motorway corridors. It is just 67Km from the centre of London. The station is a major transfer point between intercity services, outer express commuter services to London from North of Oxford and from the West of Newbury. Intercity services thay serve smaller settlements west of Didcot and West of Newbury also now experience significant commuter flows to London. It also has cross country services to the South Coast and to the Midlands. It now handles 15.4 million passengers and is going through a £750 million rebuild to add 4 platform and build extra grade seperation of rail tracks. This station has 13 trains an hour to London 6 of which are High speed services. Despite this level of service more people now catch the train into Reading in the morning than out of it.

High speed services used to stop at stations further in, but over time they have nearly all been dropped. At the same time the number of long distance commuter services have exploded.

What's this to do with Toronto? Well you have introduced a green belt and people don't want Toronto growing too large. So the potential is there to seriously upgrade the railways around Toronto and Massively expand commuting from the surrounding towns. If all the lines increase their line speeds and then add some quad track sections you could develop an extensive commuter belt up to 120km from Toronto.

In the UK it's a rule of thumb that 100 minutes commute by train is the point in which you see significant commuting to London (though more people are going further). As time has gone on the trains companies have pushed faster and faster services and line speeds have gradually been improved. In such a scenario many small towns with a rail service could see significant suburban expansion. New Settlements could be built around new stations on existing lines.

It's a big vision but if Ontario continues to grow in population then over a 30 year time period it could be easily achievable. A constellation of medium sized commuter towns Between Kitchener, Guleph, Cambridge and London could form the population base for local business in the area, with a mixture of rail commuting to Toronto and between theses local centres.
 

TOareaFan

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I'm guessing Guelph, Brampton, and maybe other small towns along the track will be angered by not having stops.

Not to get repetitive...but one of those municipalities that you mention is larger than any getting stops on this service other than Toronto.
 

ehlow

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Not to get repetitive...but one of those municipalities that you mention is larger than any getting stops on this service other than Toronto.

Yeah Guelph is a pretty big city and it would be useful for Guelph University as well.


;)
 

diminutive

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What's this to do with Toronto? Well you have introduced a green belt and people don't want Toronto growing too large. So the potential is there to seriously upgrade the railways around Toronto and Massively expand commuting from the surrounding towns. If all the lines increase their line speeds and then add some quad track sections you could develop an extensive commuter belt up to 120km from Toronto.

In the UK it's a rule of thumb that 100 minutes commute by train is the point in which you see significant commuting to London (though more people are going further). As time has gone on the trains companies have pushed faster and faster services and line speeds have gradually been improved. In such a scenario many small towns with a rail service could see significant suburban expansion. New Settlements could be built around new stations on existing lines.

It's a big vision but if Ontario continues to grow in population then over a 30 year time period it could be easily achievable. A constellation of medium sized commuter towns Between Kitchener, Guleph, Cambridge and London could form the population base for local business in the area, with a mixture of rail commuting to Toronto and between theses local centres.

Is this even a good thing though? This is, basically, urban sprawl we're talking about. Even if these outer-urban cities develop a modest commuter base, odds are they'll still be auto-dependent for everything else.

London's a bit of an odd case, given the extreme affordability issues you see there. Toronto's much more affordable and there's still plenty of room in the 416 and the 905, even without resorting to HK style development.

I don't understand why we'd want people to live >100km from their jobs. There are so many areas in Toronto and the suburbs which are totally ignored by transit and hugely underdeveloped. Imagine how desirable places like Malvern or Rexdale would be if frequent rapid transit existed directly downtown!
 

innsertnamehere

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rail based access isn't urban sprawl as development is urban in form. It builds a more multi modal province instead of most growth occurring in the central city while rural outer communities stagnate.
 

ssiguy2

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This is going to be very expensive and for Londoners the time savings will not be much, if any, over an improved London/Union express.

Stops are what make the real difference in speed in short haul routes and far less so the speed of the trains. An improved track and faster trains non-stop to London could bring Union only an hour away from downtown London as the city is 185km via train. It would also mean that services from Sarnia and especially Windsor could become express trains once they hit London also making their trips far faster.

As far as serving Kitchener, big deal. Hamilton is a bigger destination than Kitchener and has connections to Niagara. Yes Pearson is good but most Londoners are going to Toronto itself. London is already served by Air Canada, WestJet, United and several sun destination airlines and Windsorites use Detroit. It would far cheaper and better if they upgraded the current line.
 

EnviroTO

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I don't get why people would think Brampton is a major omission. If people from London can transfer at Kitchener to an all day service from Kitchener to Brampton what is the issue? How many business trips go between London and Brampton and how much sense would it make to have 320km/h high speed rail travel less than 20km between stops? I would think a train actually going 140km/h to Guelph and Kitchener would be providing more than adequate service (less than 25min to Guelph, less than 40min to Kitchener).
 

innsertnamehere

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first of all, time savings will be in the tune of 40 minutes, if not more. Hardly "negligible savings". Second of all, you forget issues with the existing VIA corridor through Brantford. Curvy and full of freight traffic.

Then your "nobody goes to Pearson" claim. Today there were 8 flights from London international making the short hop to Pearson. Countless more made the drive down the 401.

Then you get to the point where the Brantford route doesn't even stop in Hamilton.

And also the fact that demographics of Kitchener are much more Transit friendly than Hamilton. Hamilton is an industrial economy, while Kitchener Waterloo has headquarters of companies with satellite offices downtown and a ton of business flight use.

You are also missing half the point of this proposal, which is not to serve London, but Kitchener and its Tech industry. Hamilton's economy doesn't need an HSR link to the airport, to downtown. A half decent speed regional rail service, sure. This HSR isn't aimed at London, its aimed at Kitchener with an extension to London because its cheap and makes sense.

The convo at MTO likely went like this:

MTO planner 1 - Hey, lets build all day 2 way GO service to Kitchener, we need to promote connections to kitchener, the airport, and downtown to build the GTHA as a venture capital and tech hub, as well as adress congestion issues on the 401.
MTO planner 2 - We should extend it to London as well, the feds are completely disinterested in doing anything with VIA and they could really use some better rail service.
MTO planner 3 - hey, look at this feasibility report I just whipped up. it says that Kitchener and London would be way better served with HSR than just GO trains running at 90mph..

Running it to London via Aldershot serves only London, and a bunch of suburban communities which would be better served by regional rail anyway. (Note, no Hamilton connection. the Aldershot route connects in Burlington, and it would be way too large of a detour to serve Hamilton) Running it via Kitchener serves Kitchener, a city not well served by regional rail due to overly long travel times to union, (roughly 30 minutes more than it would be for Hamilton), as well as Pearson airport. Whats more, travel times would likely be lower as well as construction costs, as costly realignments wouldn't be needed and track purchasing would be way cheaper. There is also the issue of heavy freight use on the Aldershot corridor, something that isn't an issue on the Kitchener corridor. Kitchener could probably build 2 tracks between Kitchener and London, while you would likely need 4 on the Aldershot alignment, jacking up grade separation costs.

Choosing the Kitchener alignment is common sense, I don't know why you are protesting it so much.
 
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1overcosc

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As a citizen of Kingston I can definitely tell that in the small cities of Ontario no one uses the local airports. Everyone just drives to Toronto. It's cost. If I'm going to say, Paris, I can fly Kingston-Toronto-Paris but Air Canada basically adds $500 to the trip compared to the cost of just going straight to Toronto.

Really, I think we should get rid of all these stupid little airports--Kingston, London, Kitchener, etc.--and just have all passenger air service out of YYZ and YOW, with rail connections between them all.
 

nfitz

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Really, I think we should get rid of all these stupid little airports--Kingston, London, Kitchener, etc.--and just have all passenger air service out of YYZ and YOW, with rail connections between them all.
Kingston airport hasn't ever been primarily passenger. It's primarily general aviation. Eliminating passenger air service would have little impact on Kingston Airport. Ditto for the others.
 

diminutive

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rail based access isn't urban sprawl as development is urban in form. It builds a more multi modal province instead of most growth occurring in the central city while rural outer communities stagnate.

I think it would encourage sprawl. The kind of situation Rational Plan was originally describing would see people living hundreds of kms away from their employment, leapfrogging the green belt. If we're lucky this development would be relatively dense and urban, but it would still be mostly auto-dependent. It would basically be like the existing 905, where most trips auto but some people GO to the CBD, except even farther from Toronto.

I don't see why we'd wanna encourage non-contiguous urbanization. It just needlessly increases travel distances. That in turn makes public transit much harder to provision, forcing these expensive, express rail services. Even though these express HSR services are possible, for any given trip length a more local route will by definition serve more potential trips due to more frequent stoping.

If we as a region decide there's really not enough land left in the GTA, why wouldn't we just modify the greenbelt to open up more land? I'm not a fan of that, but it would have the same ecological impact as having development leapfrog the green belt entirely and there's tons of land left in the GTA which would be much easier to serve via transit.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not in favour of changing the greenbelt around. I think there's plenty of room for infill development all over the GTA
 
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MrsNesbitt

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As a citizen of Kingston I can definitely tell that in the small cities of Ontario no one uses the local airports. Everyone just drives to Toronto. It's cost. If I'm going to say, Paris, I can fly Kingston-Toronto-Paris but Air Canada basically adds $500 to the trip compared to the cost of just going straight to Toronto.

Really, I think we should get rid of all these stupid little airports--Kingston, London, Kitchener, etc.--and just have all passenger air service out of YYZ and YOW, with rail connections between them all.

As was written above these 'stupid little airports' are used mostly for general aviation and not major passenger air service so closing them down wouldn't really have the desired effect. Also, the more you close down other airports around the GGH, the more the federal government will try to build their stupid pet project of the Pickering Airport.

I'm just in favour of linking up the existing major international airports to good rail connections. So that adds even more impetus for HSR along Windsor-QC corridor, even if only to reduce the number of people making short flights from Toronto to Montreal etc.

Though even a while after the HSR announcement now, I'm still confused as to how the plan will not interfere or duplicate service with the UPX.
 

MisterF

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Though even a while after the HSR announcement now, I'm still confused as to how the plan will not interfere or duplicate service with the UPX.

I wouldn't think that any existing rail service on that corridor would operate it its current form if HSR gets built, whether it's UPX or GO or VIA. Operations would likely get completely reorganized.
 

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