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The most infuriating one is the Toronto North Railway, which would have provided a perfect right of way from Kennedy subway station to STC and Malvern.

Instead we have been fighting over a subway/LRT/SRT thingy for over 30 years at the cost of billions.
Are you referring to the former Canadian Northern line? That was abandoned in the 1920s?

It would have taken an incredible amount of foresight for anyone involved to have imagined that a railway would have been needed along that stretch considering development didn't even start for 30 years after the abandonment of the line.

Dan
 
It would have taken an incredible amount of foresight for anyone involved to have imagined that a railway would have been needed along that stretch considering development didn't even start for 30 years after the abandonment of the line.
Not just this line, either.

The more typical pattern is that our discarded rail lines lost all their business, and sat in the weeds for 20-30 years (not earning money but paying taxes) before the rails were finally torn up, and then sat for another decade before anyone (maybe) suggested a rail trail. let alone any sort of rail banking.But the planning horizon for development didn't look that far into the future, so the lines were eventually discarded and the land turned to other uses before anyone saw a need to retain them.

We have to play the ball where it lies. So if we have intact row's today, then let's start a banking program, and remind adjacent landowners that the pause is only temporary. And perhaps have a provincial rail corridor plan that imposes corridors on municipal land planning. But I can't cry about what happened in the past.

- Paul
 
In a few months we will have the federal budget. For us to get meaningful passenger service outside of the corridor, I am hoping that something that begins the process to replace the LDF is in there. All of that destructive testing should be enough proof the government needs to earmark money for a replacement fleet.
 

I feel like it is worth sharing the page of this new advocacy group here. Better Island Transit is advocating for affordable and frequent bus services for Vancouver Island.

From their goals page, there is a very important statement which pertains significantly to this topic:

Every few years the provincial government develops proposals to reduce traffic problems on this corridor. These focus on costly roadway expansions, which only benefit motorists, or rail which would provide limited service with high fares. They give little consideration to frequent and affordable bus service.

I feel like this is everything we need to know about the lack of meaningful passenger rail service outside the corridor.

Busses significantly outperform rail in all but the highest density intercity applications. These applications generally doesn't exist in Canada outside a few very specific cases.

As a side note, it has been telling to watch the reactions of the Vancouver Island Transport Corridor Coalition to the formation of this group. They claim it to be an effort by Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island to astroturf against the rail line.

The reality is that there is no case for rail on Vancouver Island. If you are advocating for its return, it really puts into question your motives. Do you want better transit, or are you just a foamer?

Anyway, rant over.
 
Busses significantly outperform rail in all but the highest density intercity applications. These applications generally doesn't exist in Canada outside a few very specific cases.
Amen.
The reality is that there is no case for rail on Vancouver Island. If you are advocating for its return, it really puts into question your motives. Do you want better transit, or are you just a foamer?.
Foamers: “BuT iT hAs To Be A tRaIn!!!1!”
 
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Busses significantly outperform rail in all but the highest density intercity applications. These applications generally doesn't exist in Canada outside a few very specific cases.

As a side note, it has been telling to watch the reactions of the Vancouver Island Transport Corridor Coalition to the formation of this group. They claim it to be an effort by Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island to astroturf against the rail line.

The reality is that there is no case for rail on Vancouver Island. If you are advocating for its return, it really puts into question your motives. Do you want better transit, or are you just a foamer?

The old Vancouver Island dayliner has certainly generated its share of romance and nostalgia. It was a wonderful and idyllic rider experience..... but generated insufficient revenue and hauled only a handful of people.

Anyone wanting to enjoy that experience can sill do so - at least one of those E+N RDC's has returned to service in a museum railway setting that is able to sustain itself. But building and operating an island wide railway where a museum will do is not sustainable.

As to motive, it was suggested to me recently that the E&N may still have telecom revenue - in which case the continuing advocacy for the return of the railway may be self-funding and perpetual, even if no funding for the railway is ever found. The advocacy may actually continue for decades.

That puts it in the same league as, well, the Maple Leafs. Lots of reincarnations and remakes with no actual prize gained.

- Paul
 

I feel like it is worth sharing the page of this new advocacy group here. Better Island Transit is advocating for affordable and frequent bus services for Vancouver Island.

From their goals page, there is a very important statement which pertains significantly to this topic:



I feel like this is everything we need to know about the lack of meaningful passenger rail service outside the corridor.

Busses significantly outperform rail in all but the highest density intercity applications. These applications generally doesn't exist in Canada outside a few very specific cases.

As a side note, it has been telling to watch the reactions of the Vancouver Island Transport Corridor Coalition to the formation of this group. They claim it to be an effort by Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island to astroturf against the rail line.

The reality is that there is no case for rail on Vancouver Island. If you are advocating for its return, it really puts into question your motives. Do you want better transit, or are you just a foamer?

Anyway, rant over.
That line is an interesting corridor. South of Naniamo, commuter rail service might work. North of it, not really worth much. The condition of the ties, rails and bridges are so bad they cannot safely support the weight of regular rail rolling stock. What would be good to see would be for Translink to buy the Victoria Sub rip up the rails and ties and lay asphalt down and run commuter buses on it. Only have that for buses and emergency vehicles, like the Transitways of Ottawa. Then, if/when there is enough buses to warrant the cost of a train, rebuild the rail line. The problem is one accident can close the Malahat for hours. If that happens, the only route around it is a 4 hour drive via Port Renfrew. Tome, the corridor as an alternative route is too important to allow it to just go back to nature.
 
The problem with Commuter Rail is it makes the false assumption that everyone works downtown. In North America this is becoming less and less common with decentralization. Instead of a hub and spoke system (with downtown being the hub) what is needed is a grid network. For example, the Skytrain extension to Langley will primarily serve those who work in Surrey.

Of course the other problem with commuter rail (at least the way GO has been implemented) is it is very car dependant, with the suburban stations having car parking cathedrals. As a result, Metrolinx has gained the dishonorable record of being the largest provider of free parking in North America. If they really cared about getting people out of cars, they would stop providing free parking stations and demolish their parkades in favour of Transit oriented development and high quality bus/LRT station transfers.
This is an old post, but I must ask you: What is better? Someone driving downtown, or someone driving to their local go station to take the train downtown? You can make the silly NJB argument all day long, but fact of the matter is that a car sitting at a parking lot next to a go station is a car that isn't sitting in traffic pumping CO2 in the atmosphere. Would it be better if that space is used for more development and more effort is placed on connecting transit service and improving the density in the station walkshed? Yes absolutely, in fact that's quite literally what GO is doing at present. However considering Metrolinx's position and job, there is nothing "dishonourable" of being the largest providing of free parking on the continent because it means that your service is well designed and attractive enough to get people off of Highways.
 
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Re-opening Ottawa's Union Station wouldn't require much if any tunneling, but I'm not holding my breath as there are many other challenges. For VIA, their current station is good enough. A downtown station would only really be needed for commuter rail.

The problem is Ottawa is too small and most of the lines needed were torn up by the National Capital Commission (an unelected body that wields way too much power). Even if the tracks were there, Kanata, Barrhaven and Orleans are too close to be the final stop on a commuter rail line, and the towns beyond them are way too small to support an extension.
My only real concern in the case of Ottawa is whether or not the O-train is capable of handling the passenger load of a post HxR Ottawa station with passengers trying to head downtown. An intercity rail station is only as good as the local transportation's ability to move people to where they want to go from the station.
 
This is an old post, but I must ask you: What is better? Someone driving downtown, or someone driving to their local go station to take the train downtown? You can make the silly NJB argument all day long, but fact of the matter is that a car sitting at a parking lot next to a go station is a car that isn't sitting in traffic pumping CO2 in the atmosphere. Would it be better if that space is used for more development and more effort is placed on connecting transit service and improving the density in the station walkshed? Yes absolutely, in fact that's quite literally what GO is doing at present. However considering Metrolinx's position and job, there is nothing "dishonourable" of being the largest providing of free parking on the continent because it means that your service is well designed and attractive enough to get people off of Highways.
I'm not a fan of the Metrolinx Garage-Mahal strategy.

It's not even about park and rides themselves; the occasional P&R is fine to serve very low density areas with no rationale for connecting transit service. I also prefer a car trip to Oakville GO and onto the LSW, rather than down the entire length of the QEW and Gardiner Expressway.

What I would like to see is analysis of the ridership return, especially post-COVID, is of a new parking spot at $10,000, or $50,000, or whatever the cost might be. Many of the 905 suburbs (cough - YORK REGION - cough) have the ridership potential for connecting bus service, and provincial funding (which, I know, is recurring rather than one-time) for local transit may be a better use of money. Beyond being necessary for improved transit operations and ridership anyways.

Additionally, I want to see some kind of long-term strategy from Metrolinx on redeveloping the closest lots to the station structures. Even if it's just a "2051 roadmap."
 
I'm not a fan of the Metrolinx Garage-Mahal strategy.

It's not even about park and rides themselves; the occasional P&R is fine to serve very low density areas with no rationale for connecting transit service. I also prefer a car trip to Oakville GO and onto the LSW, rather than down the entire length of the QEW and Gardiner Expressway.

What I would like to see is analysis of the ridership return, especially post-COVID, is of a new parking spot at $10,000, or $50,000, or whatever the cost might be. Many of the 905 suburbs (cough - YORK REGION - cough) have the ridership potential for connecting bus service, and provincial funding (which, I know, is recurring rather than one-time) for local transit may be a better use of money. Beyond being necessary for improved transit operations and ridership anyways.

Additionally, I want to see some kind of long-term strategy from Metrolinx on redeveloping the closest lots to the station structures. Even if it's just a "2051 roadmap."
Garage Mahals are fine if done the right way in the right places. Rutherford, is a fine place. Bloomington, absolutely is not the right place.
 
Much of these old crates still running and eventually having to be taken out of service is not only due to Ottawa not wanting to pay for them but also VIA not wanting to run them. The new trains are for The Corridor with the old ones for the rest of the country and this works just fine for VIA despite what they may publicly claim/

The retiring of these vehicles will give VIA the excuse it wants to stop all non-productive rail lines anywhere outside The Corridor. Nearly every route outside Windsor-Quebec is a noose around VIA's financial neck and, as far as VIA is concerned, the sooner they can ditch those routes entirely, the better.
 

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