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kEiThZ

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This rail line must achieve minimum travel time reductions from today’s speeds (no maximum speed)

Technically a max was offered up since they suggest that it will be Class 7 tracks. So up to 125 mph.

The trains will most likely still be VIA branded

I have doubts. It's very likely the new operator may choose to rebrand in some way. Or we get some kind of co-branding. "Corridor Services by VIA Rail Canada"
 

crs1026

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Where would this leave Windsor, London and Sarnia? GO is already piloting service to London, so having GO expand service to cover Windsor and Sarnia is only a few more steps from that, but at that point they'd really need to get separate trainsets and set up essentially a separate non-"commuter" service.

One has to think that Ontario's interest in London comes from reading the tea leaves and noting Ottawa's indifference to this route.

Which again demonstrates just how far from a commercial basis we have come, because one has to think that if nothing else, ridership from west of Toronto for points east of the GTA is gravy for HFR, and Windsor-London-Toronto ridership may even possibly be an attractive business proposition of itself.

Maybe Ottawa is quietly hoping the P3 proponent will be interested. Or that Ontario is ready to step in.

- Paul
 

kEiThZ

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One has to think that Ontario's interest in London comes from reading the tea leaves and noting Ottawa's indifference to this route.

I don't get why you see indifference here. Or why you think a GO service that takes hours is really impactful (rather than a token effort). I think it's hard for organizations to focus everywhere. And given all that is going on with GO, UPE and Pearson airport itself, going west of Union is a major endeavour best left for its own phase.

If HFR pans out on the pledged timeline, GO's transformation should be well along and there will be more clarity on how to proceed. Hopefully, at that point, the replacement of UPE and a firmer concept of the Pearson Hub will have emerged.
 

nfitz

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Technically a max was offered up since they suggest that it will be Class 7 tracks. So up to 125 mph.
Has Transport Canada finalized the new rail classes? I thought that committee was still working.

USA has Class 5 (passenger up to 90 mi/hr), Class 6 (passenger to 110 mi/hr) and Class 7 (up to 125 mi/hr). But I think Transport Canada's Class 5 was passenger to 95 mi/hr - with waivers to 100 mi/hr for some equipment. I didn't think that if Canada established a Class 6 or 7 (or higher), they would necessarily match the USA.

One has to think that Ontario's interest in London comes from reading the tea leaves and noting Ottawa's indifference to this route.
When VIA announced HFR, I assumed it didn't extend west of Toronto, because Ontario had already announced they were looking at HST. I'm not sure who was the chicken and who was the egg here.
 
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crs1026

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I don't get why you see indifference here. Or why you think a GO service that takes hours is really impactful (rather than a token effort). I think it's hard for organizations to focus everywhere. And given all that is going on with GO, UPE and Pearson airport itself, going west of Union is a major endeavour best left for its own phase.

If HFR pans out on the pledged timeline, GO's transformation should be well along and there will be more clarity on how to proceed. Hopefully, at that point, the replacement of UPE and a firmer concept of the Pearson Hub will have emerged.


While Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal Quebec is an overall transformative opportunity .... highway congestion west of the GTA is much closer to meltdown. East of the 115, Highways 7 and 401 are not at capacity, there is a choice of airlines offering frequent service, and (absent covid) there is a very respectable set of choices for train timings.

So, while HFR is a great commercial opportunity to compete and win modal share, better rail service west of Toronto is about capacity deficit that is being deferred for Phase II.

I can't fault the logic of starting with a Phase I and doing a Phase II later.... and I understand that a federal viewpoint will see the interprovincial connectivity as the place to start. And I'm not siding with Ottawa versus Queens' Park. Lots of bad ideas and poor execution, plenty of blame on all sides. But when politcal foibles and bureaucratic turf and mandates and federal-provincial demarcations and sensible management of project scopes are set aside, the data might show that there is more pain and less runway left by continuing to underfund capacity west of Toronto than east of it.

In bureaucracies and in politics, there is always a logical explanation for why things are being done the way they are and at the speed they are.... I'm just pushing that particular boulder up the hill.

- Paul
 

Urban Sky

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To end the pointless bickering here, HFR as VIA proposed it is dead. The project now is essentially a few key cities on the map (Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal, Trois Rvieres, and Quebec City) which the private sector will propose solutions to connect with a rail line (no route defined). This rail line must achieve minimum travel time reductions from today’s speeds (no maximum speed), and be electrified. The trains will most likely still be VIA branded, but the private sector will do the rest. VIA has been cut out completely from planning and operating the service. It is all in the publicly posted RFEOI for HFR here.
I unfortunately have been cut off from any internal information for more than a year (and effectively also for the last three of the the six years I worked at VIA), but I struggle to identify even one characteristics of the revised HFR project which hadn't been considered at an early stage of the project - as has been the case with electrification, speeds beyond 110 mph, public-sector involvement or splitting VIA into a for-profit and a not-for-profit entity. As you can see in Crazy Greg's account of HFR, the original travel time targets were even more aggressive than what has been now implied in the RFEOI document (i.e. 1:43, 2:57 and 4:13 hours, respectively):

1655780813751.png

Source: The High Performance Rail Option (March 2016, p.8)


When encountering the inevitable cost-escalations which plague rail and other large-scale infrastructure projects (45% cost escalation seems to be the average for rail projects), VIA's default response was to descope the project to keep the price-tag somewhat acceptable for the government. Now that the government has taken over directly, they seem to exhibit much different priorities than VIA, but this doesn't make HFR an entirely different project, as VIA might have adopted most of these decisions as well, had they received any indication that the government would favor such scope creep (just like VIA conceded to political demands to include Montreal-Quebec City)...
 
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nfitz

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The TC RFEOI presentation says that HFR will be built and operated by a wholly own subsidiary of VIA Rail, run by a private sector contractor who will also take over existing Corridor operations. In effect, the government is using HFR as an excuse to split the Corridor from the rest of VIA. Dunno if that nominally counts as VIA run HFR? Does a GO line run by contractors count as a Metrolinx run service?
Interesting. All the GO Train lines are run by contractors - so this would all be VIA as far as the world sees it (well, unless they brand the HFR differentially like UP Express is done).

I am going off what was mentioned in the presentation.
I'd not seen that. Presumably an indication of where the committee will (has?) landed.
 

Bordercollie

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Interesting. All the GO Train lines are run by contractors - so this would all be VIA as far as the world sees it (well, unless they brand the HFR differentially like UP Express is done).

I'd not seen that. Presumably an indication of where the committee will (has?) landed.
So will it be a battle of have and have not's where the new corridor will have the best equipment and the best travel times and everything else will be Garbage?

Like first and second class citizens?

Before Metrolinx crews were run by Bombardier, where they all CN crews? What about the conductor? Were they GO employees ?

Does CN still have the right to bid on these crew jobs when they come up for bid?

Are Milton line crews still operated by CP crews?
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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Before Metrolinx crews were run by Bombardier, where they all CN crews? What about the conductor? Were they GO employees ?
The engineer was either CN or CP depending on what line they were on. The conductor was a go employee and used to be at the top level on the rear car in the opposite of the direction of travel so for example when the cab car was the front of the train they would be at the end near by the engine and in the cab car when the engine was at the front. They also had a separate person who put out the ramp.

Does CN still have the right to bid on these crew jobs when they come up for bid?
Probably same as with CP however i don't think that they actually want to do that
Are Milton line crews still operated by CP crews?
I think they are all bombardier or now Alstom crews for all go lines.
 

smallspy

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The engineer was either CN or CP depending on what line they were on. The conductor was a go employee and used to be at the top level on the rear car in the opposite of the direction of travel so for example when the cab car was the front of the train they would be at the end near by the engine and in the cab car when the engine was at the front. They also had a separate person who put out the ramp.
This is not quite correct.

CP trains were staffed by two crew members, both of whom were CP employees. The one operating the train was an engineer, and the one operating the doors was the conductor, which somehow managed to get around the 2-man operating crews standards (don't ask me how a crewmember 5 cars back is supposed to repeat signals, but it was what it was, I guess).

CN trains were staffed by three crew members, all of whom were CN running trades employees. The two up front were the normal engineer and conductor duo, while the one operating the doors was also a trained conductor.

Today, all trains are operated by three staff who are employed/provided by Alstom (formerly Bombardier). The two crew up front are still running trades - ostensibly an engineer and a conductor, although they are termed differently in Metrolinx parlance - while the one operating the doors is no longer a running trade, and therefore is not allowed to be at track level.

Dan
 

Bordercollie

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three crew members, all of whom were CN running trades employees. The two up front were the normal engineer and conductor duo, while the one operating the doors was also a trained conductor.
So the arrangement with VIA and HFR would be similar? They wont be using "VIA Crews"? But operated by a private company who bids on the work? Is that a cost savings? I guess Siemens would be tasked with maintenance due to the fact that it's part of the agreement with the purchase of the trainsets.

Have we made any progress on the NON corridor fleet renewal?
 

kEiThZ

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So the arrangement with VIA and HFR would be similar?
Not quite. Imagine if all of GO and the tracks it runs on were contracted. That is what will happen with all of the Corridor. HFR and all of the Corridor services will be spun off into a new business unit that is run by a contractor but owned by VIA.

We may well see different branding, loyalty schemes, etc
 

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