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I remain paranoid enough to worry that there may be some accounting regime that stands in the way of VIA allowing its seat count to artificially inflate during the overlap period while the new trains are placed in service and before the old ones are retired.
But more realistically, the mechanical and maintenance pressures which we know are already pushing the envelope on the old fleet may well be at play here.
Certainly one would hope that VIA is able to sell every last ticket at the optimal price point when demand is at a peak. I wonder if the ridership just didn’t materialise as hoped. Nothing wrong with aiming high and having to course correct with experience.

- Paul
 
An interesting idea, though I’m sure most on here would be vehemently opposed, as it doesn’t serve the centre of the universe Toronto. 😜

Even though this wouldn’t serve Toronto, I still think it’s a good idea, generally, to service Ottawa-Montreal better.

I’m not sure I am convinced that Via should use part of CP’s line instead of improving their own though as we’ve kinda already tried that and it hasn’t been a glowing success.

But overall I agree with removing crossings and straightening the line.
 
I’m not sure I am convinced that Via should use part of CP’s line instead of improving their own though as we’ve kinda already tried that and it hasn’t been a glowing success.
Hard disagree on CP. This is precisely the kind of project to use to get a proper legislative framework to force freight carrier cooperation. Bear in mind that the full proposal on this doesn't do very much VIA funding of CP, it mostly just gives up on a long section of less than ideal VIA owned track so the funds can be concentrated in the remaining dedicated corridor, and parallel tracks built later.

I'm wholly on side with this so long as we can get binding commitments to, or force (ideally by creating a piece of legislation the railway will at least not openly object to) at least an hourly clockface train slot entitlement on the shared tracks and an agreement to allow future electrification on at least publicly owned tracks parallel to freight corridors.

Honestly, my only reservation as outlined is that electrification of the actual remaining VIA track seems like a rounding error in even the ~4 billion budget, and we already have dual mode chargers available for order. In even the minimal case some early electrification should probably be sought, and I'm tempted to think that it should quite possibly just go for full HFR on this corridor given the (lack of) political distinction between a ~4 billion and a ~9 billion project.
 
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An interesting idea, though I’m sure most on here would be vehemently opposed, as it doesn’t serve the centre of the universe Toronto. 😜

Nice Idea - don't think it could happen without building their own dedicated corridor parallel to CPKC though.

We all know how CPKC treats GO in the GTA - they won't just track share for free.
 
Nice Idea - don't think it could happen without building their own dedicated corridor parallel to CPKC though.

We all know how CPKC treats GO in the GTA - they won't just track share for free.
I haven’t seen the video yet, but I believe we are talking about ROW-sharing, not: track-sharing, and CP has recently removed their second track off mist of its Winchester Subdivision, which should make it fairly easy to add a dedicated passenger track.

I believe the main difference between CN and CP is that CN insists on retaining the ownership and dispatching for any tracks built within their ROW…
 
I remain paranoid enough to worry that there may be some accounting regime that stands in the way of VIA allowing its seat count to artificially inflate during the overlap period while the new trains are placed in service and before the old ones are retired.
But more realistically, the mechanical and maintenance pressures which we know are already pushing the envelope on the old fleet may well be at play here.
I don't think there is any overlap period between when new trains arrive and when old ones are retired. If anything we have a gap, based on the inability to run current service levels which are still (slightly) lower than pre-pandemic, with the cancellation of 44 and 647 being just the latest symptom.

The LRC coaches are being retired ASAP due to structural cracks in the aluminum frame.
It seems that the last Renaissance set has been retired from the corridor this week.
The Budd coaches are being retired ASAP due to concerns about their crashworthiness.
Certainly one would hope that VIA is able to sell every last ticket at the optimal price point when demand is at a peak. I wonder if the ridership just didn’t materialise as hoped. Nothing wrong with aiming high and having to course correct with experience.

- Paul

If Via were deliberately cancelling the train, they would have waited until January, rather than cutting it right during the peak holiday travel season. Prices on Via are astronomical right now, which should theoretically indicate very high demand given that they use demand pricing. I travel fairly regularly between Ottawa and Toronto and it's been probably half a year since I've taken Via. My cutoff is $80 including tax, since that's the fixed price of a Red Arrow bus ticket (the premium bus with wide seats, better wifi than Via, and smoother ride than a Budd coach).

The last time I rode Via I was able to buy a ticket for $55 at the station an hour before departure when my Red Arrow bus was cancelled (Red Arrow gave a full refund). But the reason I had booked Red Arrow in the first place was that the Via ticket prices for that same train had been over $120 weeks earlier when I was shopping for tickets. Even an hour earlier (2h before departure) prices were over $100. The train itself was fairly empty so unless they suddenly tacked another coach on the back of the train, something is fishy with their pricing system.
 
An interesting idea, though I’m sure most on here would be vehemently opposed, as it doesn’t serve the centre of the universe Toronto. 😜


My first thought on this is- people in Toronto won't like this because it does nothing for them.
My second thought goes to a though I have had all along on Via Owned subdivisions -Why are they not built to the maximum speed the train can physically go?

Via has had cuts after cuts to the point it is irrelevant. Even to the point where people think pulling the "profitable" parts out from it is a good idea.

To the host of the video, I will simply say "I agree with your proposal 100%, swear words and all."
 
In theory, I agree that Ottawa and VIA should have begun with a low investment demonstration project, with Ottawa-Montreal being the idea candidate.
But in reality, I suspect there were several deal breakers:
- Any project would have had to cope with entry into Montreal from the west. It's likely that CN has only limited capacity eaSt of Dorval (or even Coteau) such that any significant added frequency demands extensive construction.of new trackage. So the "cheap" project cost might be inflated by several hundred millions just for that bit. (A very wise investment, I would say....., but there may not be an actually "cheap" demo project available.
- I suspect that any demonstration project that excluded the Trois Rivieres line would have political repercussions. If that line isn't in the initial tranche of investment, the demonstration might aggravate the Quebec voters.. (That political reality annoys me, but it is what it is)
- The whole idea of a demonstration project that leans heavily on a shared solution with a freight railway on a shared line runs directly contrary to the HfR premise. If that solution were that easy, we could build along CP and CN more broadly....except....
- Even a demonstration project with only a few kms of new construction might trigger a demand for consultation and environmental study on a scale that isn't "quick and dirty"...

IIRC, the investment that VIA was proposing on the Alexandria Sub was actually pretty affordable.... not much more than the cost of the JPO. If we had just built that instead of funding bureaucrats for three years, I'm sure VIA would have a decent line of its own that would sell the concept well..

So while that podcast makes some good points, I'm not taking it too literally as the better solution. It simply rubs salt in the whole inability to get HFR going.

- Paul
 
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An interesting idea, though I’m sure most on here would be vehemently opposed, as it doesn’t serve the centre of the universe Toronto. 😜


Plenty of people here have suggested that VIA should have built O-M as a demonstration. This isn't exactly a novel idea. Even if it's a new idea to Paige. Recall that his previous video on HFR criticized the routing through Ottawa.

Paige, as usual though, doesn't understand VIA's governance and legislated requirements. Like a lot of ignorant railfans, he thinks it's all just VIA execs choosing to make bad decisions and policies for decades. Heck, he doesn't even understand that HFR isn't a VIA project anymore. VIA was literally cut out of it. I wish these railfans understood that in the long run their slandering of VIA is more likely to get VIA killed than improved.
 
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Plenty of people here have suggested that VIA should have built O-M as a demonstration. This isn't exactly a novel idea. Even if it's a new idea to Paige. Recall that his previous video on HFR criticized the routing through Ottawa.
This is your‘s truly proposing the same routing some ten years ago for his Bachelor Thesis:
IMG_3756.jpeg


 
This is your‘s truly proposing the same routing some ten years ago for his Bachelor Thesis:
View attachment 525950


This was the schedule I proposed:
View attachment 525972

Here is the whole document, for those anxious of running out of things to read during a very long winter night:
@Reecemartin

Maybe you should do a podcast with Johannes.
 
Plenty of people here have suggested that VIA should have built O-M as a demonstration. This isn't exactly a novel idea. Even if it's a new idea to Paige. Recall that his previous video on HFR criticized the routing through Ottawa.

Paige, as usual though, doesn't understand VIA's governance and legislated requirements. Like a lot of ignorant railfans, he thinks it's all just VIA execs choosing to make bad decisions and policies for decades. Heck, he doesn't even understand that HFR isn't a VIA project anymore. VIA was literally cut out of it. I wish these railfans understood that in the long run their slandering of VIA is more likely to get VIA killed than improved.
Via is effectively a Zombie. The HFR is one last hurrah before they potentially are killed off.The 1990s cuts and the privatization of CN have done Via no favours. My hope is that enough of our MPs hear that Via should do better and invest in the crown corporation so that it can do better.
 

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