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Took a look - quite interesting.

Travel time proposals:

View attachment 452384

The asterisk is in french despite the rest of the slide deck being in English, for some reason, but google translate says that it says "conservative approach with low speed segments", which I assume is intended to say that travel times are conservative estimates and could actually be better.
I feel like they’re saying that these are the times for TGV if they’re being conservative by including sections that are low speed, otherwise the times would be quicker with more high-speed sections (amusingly introducing scope creep into their own scope creep by proposing HSR to begin with). Could be wrong though.
 

At first I thought they were proposing a bypass from the original Havelock Sub somewhere between Havelock and east of Sharbot Lake? The map is very pixilated so it's hard to tell. When I looked at Open Railway Map it turns out it looks like they are following this corridor. Surely there would have to be some straightening if they wanted to achieve "Red: 200-300 km/h"? cc @reaperexpress @Urban Sky [I think you've done some mapping/calculations here before]

Black arrows annotated below for the 'dip' between Bonarlaw Junction (east of Havelock) and Sharbot Lake.
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Red arrows annotated below for the 'dip' between Bonarlaw Junction (east of Havelock) and Sharbot Lake.
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Also, looks like they are proposing to use the Don Spur to get into/out of Union Station rather that the LSE-Stouffville Line-Belleview Sub. I guess we'll know in a few months (years?) when the public consultation/document release process advances? I wonder what this may mean for GO's Don Valley Layover.
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I can (sort of) understand the reluctance to promise higher speed on the Toronto-Havelock section, as that section has freight sharing, and a huge number of level crossings to address..... and possibly potential for coexistence with much slower-speed GO service stopping along the way (I hope not, but they may want that to appeal to the locals).

The Montreal-Quebec section also has freight sharing ..... or are they assuming it can be moved or eliminated? Certainly Montreal-Quebec is eminently suited for speed improvements, as that line is fairly long and straight for the most part. But there are many grade crossings to address. And we won't see freight operations retained - even in dead of night - if track has to be maintained for 300 km/h.

The Havelock-Perth segment at 300 seems fanciful, if one takes the line drawn literally. And if one doesn't.... I come back to - which has lower cost, 98 miles of new 300 km/h line linking Havelock to Perth, or 98 miles of similar line constructed from Smiths Falls to Kingston (roughly 40 miles of new right of way from Portland to Kingston, and then 60 miles of new right of way roughly parallel to the CN line from Kingston westwards to Brighton?)

The proposal really does seem to dangle nice things in front of those with the most political leverage (ie Quebec) while not overly inflating the cost of what is likely already Ottawa's plan in Ontario. Nice marketing, but we sure have wandered a long way off the path of designing a network.

And, all of this still leaves me wondering a) will the price point be too high to woo people out of their cars and b) how does this sustain local service other than T-O-M-Q ?

If the goal is to create a "virtual airport" that moves T-O-M-Q air travellers out of the existing terminals and runways, HSR may well do that. But we need the other side of the package - TER as opposed to TGV, to compare to France - also supported.

- Paul
 
@Allandale25

I don't know if I discussed this much in the various posts about the Don Yard project..........but from early on, I assumed it was a placeholder for VIA HFR.

I could never confirm that, but it was the only thing that made sense to me, which is why I discussed that any trail on the 1/2 mile bridge would need to be cantilevered off the side to hold open the option of restoring rail.

*****

On a different note, I have one serious reservation about HSR from an ecological perspective. Assuming that there was a need to hard separate the rail corridor (fences) from adjacent lands, it would form a very significant barrier to wildlife.

Moose and Bears are currently found in the eastern reaches of the former ROW and on both sides of it. I wonder if thought has been given to this.

Secondarily, assuming the Trans-Canada Trail were retained in parallel on the applicable route sections, again, fencing could be quite isolating and inconvenient.

IF the choice were made not to fence in the more remote areas, there would presumably need to be risk analysis for moose collision. Not a risk factor for HSR in most parts of the world!
 
^ This is why I wonder if the hydro corridor parallel to Highway 7 will be considered and whether they'll have to look at multiple animal crossings (bridges/tunnels).
 
I'm sure wildlife crossings would be integrated into any HSR plan.

Wildlife can generally cross Highway 7 without issue as traffic volumes are low enough.

With regards to the alignment, I would not read too much into it. They likely traced the existing alignment to show approximate route, I imagine if it were to actually move forward an EA would be completed to create a basically entirely new alignment through the area.

This presentation is clearly a few lines drawn in Google Maps to illustrate a rough proof of concept, with the actual work to think through the details to occur later.

What it isn't' is a detailed plan which can be fully analyzed. What it is, is a a high level concept to show the Federal Government that true high speed rail may be worth considering. Part of that "considering" would be more detailed discussions of how pinch points would be addressed, more detailed cost, travel time, and ridership estimates, and more analysis of where the detailed alignment would actually run.
 
On a different note, I have one serious reservation about HSR from an ecological perspective. Assuming that there was a need to hard separate the rail corridor (fences) from adjacent lands, it would form a very significant barrier to wildlife.

Moose and Bears are currently found in the eastern reaches of the former ROW and on both sides of it. I wonder if thought has been given to this.

Secondarily, assuming the Trans-Canada Trail were retained in parallel on the applicable route sections, again, fencing could be quite isolating and inconvenient.

IF the choice were made not to fence in the more remote areas, there would presumably need to be risk analysis for moose collision. Not a risk factor for HSR in most parts of the world!

One thing that one notes when riding TGV..... the entire right of way has been entry-proofed on a scale that is far from what would be done for vanilla HFR. Basically, they have removed any possibility for any vehicle or large animal (more likely cattle or horses, in the French context) to reach the track at any point.

Vanilla HFR might have involved fences, but probably not quite as impermeably. Farm crossings etc are still theoretically OK at 160 km/hr - there are plenty on the existing VIA lines. Deterring snowmobilers and ATV'ers is, sadly, an important consideration in the Canadian context. Lots of hunting goes on in the wilds, and that too is a consideration in terms of past use and crossing of the old rights of way.

So yes - the environmental considerations for HSR probably do exceed what was previously on the table. I don't know how much consideration was given to animal crossings similar to what is done in National Parks etc.

- Paul
 
To anyone wondering how much engineering & design work has been invested into this proposal, it helps to compare the lofty promises for Montreal-Ottawa (while showing a map which follows every single kink of the Alexandria Sub) with the results achieved on the Frankfurt-Cologne HSL:

MetricMontreal-Ottawa (HFR)Montreal-Ottawa (Alstom proposal)Frankfurt-Cologne (HSR)
Distance (straight-line, downtown station to downtown station)162.9 km162.9 km152.5 km
Rail corridor length180 km180 km173.8 km
- of which: design speed of 200 km/h and more??160.1 km (i.e. 92.1 %)
- of which: design speed of 300 km/h0 km?135.6 km (i.e. 78.0%)
Minimum travel time103 minutes (average)60 minutes63 minutes
Average speed104.9 km/h180.0 km/h165.5 km/h

Red is 300 km/h design speed:
1674672630716.png

Source: Open Railway Map
 
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pg 11 of their presentation shows a proposed timeline.... 18 months for RFP... 3 YEARS for design and development... so it could be 2028 before construction even STARTS!!!.
so realistically under the Alstom plan we wont see the finished product until mid next decade at the earliest..... :mad:
 
That's the schedule from the HFR RFFEOI.

The Trudeau Liberals are doing what the Wynne Liberals did with Ontario HSR. Did nothing for half a decade. Then just have token meetings so they can tweet out something and then hopefully setup a large project that some other government will have to pay for. Let's see if any of this survives a change in government.
 
Realistically, is there any chance the Feds go with anyone but Alstom? I feel like having big business lobbying for HSR, especially one with the political sway that Alstom has with their Canadian manufacturing bases and partial Quebec ownership could push HSR to a possible reality for once.
 
Realistically, is there any chance the Feds go with anyone but Alstom? I feel like having big business lobbying for HSR, especially one with the political sway that Alstom has with their Canadian manufacturing bases and partial Quebec ownership could push HSR to a possible reality for once.

I know it's hard for people to really accept this. But we're not a complete banana republic yet, where the government just hands out multi-billion dollar contracts to whoever they like.

This will be a $15-20B project. There is going to be some strict monitoring for corruption. CDPQ/Alstom have the benefit of understanding the bid process, the local geography, etc so that they have ever advantage on targeting their bid more effectively. They aren't guaranteed though. And if they were, nobody else would bother bidding. It costs millions to bid on projects like this. Companies don't do it unless they are sure they have a shot.
 
pg 11 of their presentation shows a proposed timeline.... 18 months for RFP... 3 YEARS for design and development... so it could be 2028 before construction even STARTS!!!.
so realistically under the Alstom plan we wont see the finished product until mid next decade at the earliest..... :mad:

The GO On-Corridor tender, a similarly priced railway project, had that kind of timeline too. RFQ in April 2018 and we're looking at a 2024 to 2025 construction start.
 
I know it's hard for people to really accept this. But we're not a complete banana republic yet, where the government just hands out multi-billion dollar contracts to whoever they like.
This will be a $15-20B project. There is going to be some strict monitoring for corruption. CDPQ/Alstom have the benefit of understanding the bid process, the local geography, etc so that they have ever advantage on targeting their bid more effectively. They aren't guaranteed though. And if they were, nobody else would bother bidding. It costs millions to bid on projects like this. Companies don't do it unless they are sure they have a shot.

We’ll see, we didn’t end up with decades of Bombardier contracts due to their competence. I’m sure in the end there will be a few consortiums bidding on this, but Alstom has the clear advantage here. Hard to reject bids that start with X facilities supported, $$ in Canadian investment, Y jobs sustained, etc. as Alstom leads with in their presentation.
 

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