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kEiThZ

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DO know the difference between zero emissions and net-zero.

Your constant insistence that VIA eliminate all emissions says otherwise. You don't seem to even entertain the idea of offsets. This means you don't understand net zero.

The problem with your logic of saying that VIA shouldn't have to become zero emissions by 2050, is that then everyone will start to say the same and Canada will hardly reduce its emissions at all.

Strawman.

If VIA {which gets its funding from Ottawa} gets a pass then how could one in good conscience tell the other transportation systems that they can't do the same?

What about other sectors? If Ottawa won't spend the money to reach net zero in the guise that it really doesn't matter because net-zero is a national goal and hence doesn't need everyone to be carbon-free then everyone else can start saying the same. From mining to oil sands to manufacturing to freight to buses to airlines to agriculture to electrical production to other levels of government operations.............................the list is endless.

This notion that we can somehow reach net-zero without individuals {personal or business} having to actually make any sacrifices themselves is what has gotten this planet into the dire situation is in know. If we keep giving everybody a pass, then this planet is a write-off.

This is proof that you don't understand what a national net zero target means. I want you to think this through. What do you think it means when Air Canada says they will be net zero by 2050? Do you think they won't be burning jet fuel? Also, why do you seem to think macro goals are all applied proportionally at the micro level? That is not how it works. The main function of a net zero goal is driving policy, namely carbon pricing and various subsidies and taxes to get the country there. 2050 is not some Cinderella-esque date where VIA locomotives still burning diesel turn into pumpkins. What will happen is that the 2050 goal drives carbon pricing that makes burning diesel progressively more expensive till the business case drives a switch in technology or an end to the activity if it's not worthwhile.
 

kEiThZ

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Good grief. Nobody ever boils an ocean. You can however eat an elephant, if you do it one steak at a time.

Driving change is a matter of shrewd prioritisation, selecting leverage points, prioritising effort and resources, picking battles. Timing is everything. Seizing momentum and exploiting it. Recognising obstacles and addressing them. Identifying prerequisite conditions and tackling these first, to make the following steps easier. Building momentum.

VIA should decarbonize when it can be done at the point that offers minimal investment with maximum result. Via is not in a good position to be the “low hanging fruit”.

There are carts and there are horses. And ducks that need to be aligned.

And probably other cliches to apply.

- Paul

More specifically, VIA has very little say and choice in how it will decarbonize because that will be dictated by the freight rail networks they operate on. The only other alternative (HFR) requires a massive capital investment from the government.

It's entirely possible VIA long haul may not survive to 2050 as carbon taxes make diesel long haul economically prohibitive. Some find this idea galling, but the entire point of carbon policy is to reserve pollution for activities that make good economic sense.
 

lenaitch

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KeithZ....................I DO know the difference between zero emissions and net-zero.

The problem with your logic of saying that VIA shouldn't have to become zero emissions by 2050, is that then everyone will start to say the same and Canada will hardly reduce its emissions at all. If VIA {which gets its funding from Ottawa} gets a pass then how could one in good conscience tell the other transportation systems that they can't do the same?

What about other sectors? If Ottawa won't spend the money to reach net zero in the guise that it really doesn't matter because net-zero is a national goal and hence doesn't need everyone to be carbon-free then everyone else can start saying the same. From mining to oil sands to manufacturing to freight to buses to airlines to agriculture to electrical production to other levels of government operations.............................the list is endless.

This notion that we can somehow reach net-zero without individuals {personal or business} having to actually make any sacrifices themselves is what has gotten this planet into the dire situation is in know. If we keep giving everybody a pass, then this planet is a write-off.
You've used "zero emissions" and "net zero" back-to-back. To use the earlier Air Canada example, in 2021 they committed to net zero by 2050. It's a goal to work towards, not an operational plan. If they mean 'zero emissions', do you honestly believe that their high level corporate position includes a shut-down strategy if, approaching 2050, the stars aren't aligning. In 2021, they (we) have no idea if emerging technology will even allow zero carbon emissions on long haul commercial aircraft.
 

crs1026

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It's entirely possible VIA long haul may not survive to 2050 as carbon taxes make diesel long haul economically prohibitive. Some find this idea galling, but the entire point of carbon policy is to reserve pollution for activities that make good economic sense.

I don’t find the idea galling, but I prefer to look for opportunities and hope. If some more carbon-free propulsion method comes along, maybe VIA can then apply it and then sell their carbon credits (in whatever yet to be determined form that takes) to underwrite continued operations.

No harm in thinking positive ;-)

- Paul
 

kEiThZ

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If some more carbon-free propulsion method comes along, maybe VIA can then apply it and then sell their carbon credits (in whatever yet to be determined form that takes) to underwrite continued operations.

Unfortunately for VIA, decarbonization will be mostly about cost avoidance. Namely the cost of a growing carbon tax. Even by being headquartered in Quebec they will gain very little in the way of credits they can exploit.
 

ShonTron

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The CPR purchased 18 Park cars, which, according to Wikipedia, are as follows:

CP No.Via No. (1979)Via No. (HEP)NameParkDecorArtistNotes
1540115501Algonquin ParkAlgonquin Provincial ParkPA. J. Casson
15402155028702Assiniboine ParkAssiniboine Provincial ParkOGeorge Franklin Arbuckle
15403155038703Banff ParkBanff National ParkPCharles Comfort
15404155048704Evangeline Parkprivate park, now Grand-Pré National Historic SiteOHarry Leslie Smith
15405Fundy ParkFundy National ParkOLawren P. HarrisWrecked in 1959
15406155068706Glacier ParkGlacier National ParkPAdam Sherriff Scott
15407155078707Kokanee ParkKokanee Glacier Provincial ParkOA. Y. Jackson
15408155088708Kootenay ParkKootenay National ParkPGeorge Pepper
15409155098709Laurentide ParkLaurentides Wildlife ReserveOAlbert Edward Cloutier
15410155108710Prince Albert ParkPrince Albert National ParkPFrederick James Finley
15411155118711Revelstoke ParkMount Revelstoke National ParkPRobert Pilot
1541215512Riding Mountain ParkRiding Mountain National ParkPWilliam Arthur Winter
1541315513Sibley ParkSibley Provincial ParkOYvonne McKague Housser
15414155148714Strathcona ParkStrathcona Provincial ParkOWalter J. Phillips
15415155158715Tremblant ParkMont-Tremblant National ParkOEdwin Holgate
15416155168716Tweedsmuir ParkTweedsmuir Provincial ParkOE. J. Hughes
15417155178717Waterton ParkWaterton Lakes National ParkPLlewellyn Petley-Jones
15418155188718Yoho ParkYoho National Park

As @Urban Sky said, 14 still remain in service. Of the remaining 4, one (Fundy Park) was wrecked in a collision in 1959, and three (Algonquin Park, Sibley Park, and Riding Mountain Park) have been preserved.

A shame that the Ocean now runs bidirectional. (Thanks, CN, for closing out the wye in Halifax.) My spouse and I rode in a double bedroom in Tremblant Park from Halifax to Montreal in 2017. The Park Car was the only dome car on the Renaissance-equipped train.

When I first took the Ocean in 2004 - and it still ran 6 days a week, not 3, the train sets were all still HEP-I with a Park car and a Skyline car.

A shame how the long distance trainsets were left to deteriorate.
 

Bordercollie

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More specifically, VIA has very little say and choice in how it will decarbonize because that will be dictated by the freight rail networks they operate on. The only other alternative (HFR) requires a massive capital investment from the government.

It's entirely possible VIA long haul may not survive to 2050 as carbon taxes make diesel long haul economically prohibitive. Some find this idea galling, but the entire point of carbon policy is to reserve pollution for activities that make good economic sense.
I'm sorry but if carbon taxes will make diesel long haul trains cost prohibitive then your iPad from Taiwan is going to cost you 100k in carbon tax.

Or your fridge from Mexico is going to cost you 500k in carbon tax not to mention $500 a day just to have it plugged in.

The point of net zero is not to cripple the economy and change the way we travel. Then we may as well resort to horse and buggy's but then someone will complain about the horses giving off CO2.

Each F40PH has a 1500 gallon fuel tank (2 locomotives per train) let's say it burns 170 gallons per hour per locomotive for a 4 day journey (96 hours) 32k gallons for the whole train to go from Toronto to Vancouver. But the train can carry 150 people and more if you count the people getting on and off (806L per person).

If you were to do that in your car at 43mpg (9.1l/100km) to 4500km (2800 miles) which will require 235L of fuel to get there (one person).

This is probably not an accurate representation however what to take into consideration is that the train is running regardless of if you drive so if you take the train instead of driving you save the planet by not burning an additional 235L of fuel x 150 people who did the same thing. Which is 35kL.

Now if you take into consideration the 100 other people who got on or off the train during the journey who also didn't drive then you offset another 15kL of fuel. That's why the train is greener than driving. And so by reducing the fuel consumption of the train even by 15% has a huge advantage. Making your car 15% more efficient has marginal effects in this scenario. Now if you offset the trains emissions by other means then you have reached your goal of net carbon neutral.
 

kEiThZ

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I'm sorry but if carbon taxes will make diesel long haul trains cost prohibitive then your iPad from Taiwan is going to cost you 100k in carbon tax.

Or your fridge from Mexico is going to cost you 500k in carbon tax not to mention $500 a day just to have it plugged in.

1) How much does an iPad weigh? What do you think the shipping costs are on an iPad? Ever wondered why Apple flies their devices instead of shipping them by sea? Cause the devaluation from the seaborne shipping time is greater than the cost of shipping. It costs them maybe $2-3 per device to ship. Even tripling that won't do much.


2) And those shipping costs won't triple. Because carbon taxes are domestic. They do not apply to imported items or international transport operations. FedEx and the Mexican fridge maker from your example don't pay the same carbon taxes you do.

The point of net zero is not to cripple the economy and change the way we travel.

It won't cripple the economy. It reduces the GHG intensity of the economy. And it will change the way we travel by growing the differences between polluting modes to drive either a modal shift or reducing the need to travel. The most efficient business trip is the one done via MS Teams. So other than simply shifting modes, plenty of businesses are increasingly looking at reducing total travel. My work travel planner now reports total emissions per trip option. This is to improve total corporate reporting. As this becomes more commonplace, there will be a lot more direction to cut travel.

On topic, long haul rail is already not a preferred method of travel for anybody but those who live in isolated communities along those lines. If the land cruise traffic on those lines gets more expensive, you will see frequencies on them further cut, to the bare minimum to support those communities. If there's alternatives (for example electric buses or flights), some of these services will get cut. Did you think climate change would get solved with absolutely zero impact to current practices?
 

kEiThZ

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Each F40PH has a 1500 gallon fuel tank (2 locomotives per train) let's say it burns 170 gallons per hour per locomotive for a 4 day journey (96 hours) 32k gallons for the whole train to go from Toronto to Vancouver. But the train can carry 150 people and more if you count the people getting on and off (806L per person).

If you were to do that in your car at 43mpg (9.1l/100km) to 4500km (2800 miles) which will require 235L of fuel to get there (one person).

This is probably not an accurate representation however what to take into consideration is that the train is running regardless of if you drive so if you take the train instead of driving you save the planet by not burning an additional 235L of fuel x 150 people who did the same thing. Which is 35kL.

Your example should tell you why nobody takes the train to get across the country. The real comparison is not against a solo driver which is exceptionally rare. It's against an airline passenger or multiple passengers in a car (with two pax, fuel consumption per passenger is halved). And they most definitely aren't doing it solely for transportation. How do I know this? Because I see it all the time in the military. Anybody driving long distances is usually doing so to move their car, often at substantial expense to themselves, not because it's the cheapest form of transportation (which we are mandated to use). They usually do it to have a car to use locally. Nobody is driving 3 days from Winnipeg to Trenton for a 6 week course because it's the cheapest way to get there. When the carbon tax triples in 2030, this choice will be even more expensive for anybody not driving an EV.

On topic, the way to look at this math is to use the metric of litres per passenger-km or gallons per passenger-mile. Use that and you'll quickly realize how inefficient long haul rail is. Airbus claims that the A220 at high density on medium-long haul is down to 2L/100 pax-km. Even if we were to discount their claims because of lower density and less than full load factors, even at double the fuel consumption (4L/100 pax-km), long haul diesel rail would find it difficult to compete. Moving bedrooms and kitchens thousands of kilometres over days with diesel power is simply inefficient. That's just physics. The only way long haul passenger rail can ever beat air travel or driving is with full electrification. It's what makes sleepers competitive in Europe. We will never have this in Canada.

So, like I said, unless they can find a fuel substitute that avoids the escalating carbon tax, long haul diesel travel will keep increasing in price, driving even more discretionary long haul passenger rail travelers to choose air or road. VIA long haul, if it survives, is very likely to be cut down to bare minimum for what the remote communities en route need.

What you should be worried about isn't VIA long haul. It's the same thing happening to Corridor services in 2040, when most people have EVs and the airlines are deploying electric short haul and sustainable aviation furls, as the carbon tax goes to over $200/tonne.
 

Bordercollie

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Unfortunately for VIA, decarbonization will be mostly about cost avoidance. Namely the cost of a growing carbon tax. Even by being headquartered in Quebec they will gain very little in the way of credits they can exploit.
What's with you and this obsession about carbon emissions?
 

kEiThZ

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What's with you and this obsession about carbon emissions?

I was responding initially to ssiguy's assertions that net zero requires a complete decarbonization of VIA Rail. There's clearly a misunderstanding of climate policy and goals in this regard and I wanted to correct the discussion. I am no expert, but I do have a graduate level certificate in climate studies (albeit focused on defence and national security) that at least has me aware of the basic concepts involved in the discussion. Thought I'd at least bring some knowledge to bear.

Beyond that, ya know, you should kinda care about decarbonization if you want your kids to have a habitable planet to run choo-choos on. And if you don't care about that, you should at least understand the impact of climate policy on the choo-choos you care about. Because you can be sure all the government bureaucrats who work at Transport Canada are absolutely taking such policy into account when making decisions (as they are mandated to do).
 

Bordercollie

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I was responding initially to ssiguy's assertions that net zero requires a complete decarbonization of VIA Rail. There's clearly a misunderstanding of climate policy and goals in this regard and I wanted to correct the discussion. I am no expert, but I do have a graduate level certificate in climate studies (albeit focused on defence and national security) that at least has me aware of the basic concepts involved in the discussion. Thought I'd at least bring some knowledge to bear.

Beyond that, ya know, you should kinda care about decarbonization if you want your kids to have a habitable planet to run choo-choos on. And if you don't care about that, you should at least understand the impact of climate policy on the choo-choos you care about. Because you can be sure all the government bureaucrats who work at Transport Canada are absolutely taking such policy into account when making decisions (as they are mandated to do).
It's not that we don't care about carbon emissions, we just want to be realistic.
 

kEiThZ

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It's not that we don't care about carbon emissions, we just want to be realistic.

What you define as realistic can be very different from every other person. That's why it's better to look at policy and actual usage than personal opinion of what is "realistic".

Reality is:
  • Rail is not widely used for long haul
  • Rail is substantially inefficient on emissions when using diesel for long haul
  • Rising carbon taxes will increase the price of this inefficiency for the end user
Acknowledging reality doesn't mean that I'm somehow opposed to rail. I've been a staunch supporter of rail investment for years. I see that as imperative, in no small part, because I can see how policy will create viability issues in the future. Closing my eyes, plugging my ears and chanting loudly will not change reality.
 

Bordercollie

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What you define as realistic can be very different from every other person. That's why it's better to look at policy and actual usage than personal opinion of what is "realistic".

Reality is:
  • Rail is not widely used for long haul
  • Rail is substantially inefficient on emissions when using diesel for long haul
  • Rising carbon taxes will increase the price of this inefficiency for the end user
Acknowledging reality doesn't mean that I'm somehow opposed to rail. I've been a staunch supporter of rail investment for years. I see that as imperative, in no small part, because I can see how policy will create viability issues in the future. Closing my eyes, plugging my ears and chanting loudly will not change reality.
Your statement about rail being inefficient if using diesel, what do you propose as an alternative?
It is more efficient than trucking which is its main competitors.
 

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