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I was also thinking that the parliamentary committee should have asked VIA re representatives if they themselves took the train to the meeting or did they fly? And they should be required to ride every route from end to end at least once a year. So that they themselves can understand the quality of service.
I have to admit that I'm a bit undecided here as to which of your suggestions is more absurd: That VIA Exec's might travel by plane between Montreal and Ottawa or that they should be required to travel every single route at least once a year.

Just for the laugh, traveling VIA's entire network end-to-end would take (calculated as separate trips from Montreal):

  • Ocean: 2.5 days (e.g. leave Wednesday evening, arrive back Friday morning)
  • Montreal-Jonquierre: 2 days (e.g. leave Monday morning, return Tuesday evening)
  • Montreal-Senneterre: 2 days (e.g. leave Wednesday morning, return Thursday evening)
  • Canadian: 9 days (take train to Toronto Tuesday afternoon, leave on #1 on Wednesday, arrive in Vancouver Sunday morning, leave on #2 on Monday, arrive in Toronto Thursday morning, take train to Montreal)
  • Sudbury-White River: 4 days (e.g. fly on Monday to Sudbury, take #185 on Tuesday and return on #186 on Wednesday, fly back to Montreal on Thursday)
  • Winnipeg-Montreal: 7 days (e.g. fly to Winnipeg on Monday, take #693 on Tuesday, return on #692 on Saturday, fly back to Montreal on Sunday)
  • Jasper-Prince Rupert: 6 days (e.g. fly to Prince Rupert on Tuesday, take #5 on Wednesday, arrive in Jasper on Thursday, take #6 on Friday, arrive back in Prince Rupert on Saturday, fly back to Montreal on Sunday)
If I count correctly, that's 33.5 days, so almost 7 work weeks worth of business travel in every year...
 
I have to admit that I'm a bit undecided here as to which of your suggestions is more absurd: That VIA Exec's might travel by plane between Montreal and Ottawa or that they should be required to travel every single route at least once a year.

Just for the laugh, traveling VIA's entire network end-to-end would take (calculated as separate trips from Montreal):

  • Ocean: 2.5 days (e.g. leave Wednesday evening, arrive back Friday morning)
  • Montreal-Jonquierre: 2 days (e.g. leave Monday morning, return Tuesday evening)
  • Montreal-Senneterre: 2 days (e.g. leave Wednesday morning, return Thursday evening)
  • Canadian: 9 days (take train to Toronto Tuesday afternoon, leave on #1 on Wednesday, arrive in Vancouver Sunday morning, leave on #2 on Monday, arrive in Toronto Thursday morning, take train to Montreal)
  • Sudbury-White River: 4 days (e.g. fly on Monday to Sudbury, take #185 on Tuesday and return on #186 on Wednesday, fly back to Montreal on Thursday)
  • Winnipeg-Montreal: 7 days (e.g. fly to Winnipeg on Monday, take #693 on Tuesday, return on #692 on Saturday, fly back to Montreal on Sunday)
  • Jasper-Prince Rupert: 6 days (e.g. fly to Prince Rupert on Tuesday, take #5 on Wednesday, arrive in Jasper on Thursday, take #6 on Friday, arrive back in Prince Rupert on Saturday, fly back to Montreal on Sunday)
If I count correctly, that's 33.5 days, so almost 7 work weeks worth of business travel in every year...
Or have one executive ride two routes per year. How else are they going to improve the service if they don't ride it.
 
Environmental mitigations are an “and” not an “or” equation. You can’t wall off migratory or breeding paths for animal species and say that’s offset by carbon reduction. There will have to be an assessment of what impacts are created by an HSR quality infrastructure, and these will have to be mitigated.
If the line were elevated, and particularly if it ran very closely to or above pre-existing roads/rail for as much of the line as possible, wouldn't that mitigate breeding path concerns? Animals would either be able to pass under or already can't pass now so no difference.
 
Or have one executive ride two routes per year. How else are they going to improve the service if they don't ride it.
You're assuming they are unaware of issues. I doubt that. I think they are quite aware of the issues. Whether they are resourced to fix that is another matter.

You want to see VIA improve? Force the Members of Parliament to ride VIA. I've only ever seen a few that did. Despite it being free for MPs and low cost passes for staff. You'll see plenty of them at the Maple Leaf Lounge at Ottawa airport though, all with enough flights in for lounge privileges.

Blaming the execs and employees at VIA is a convenient out for politicians who actually control and resource VIA.
 
If the line were elevated, and particularly if it ran very closely to or above pre-existing roads/rail for as much of the line as possible, wouldn't that mitigate breeding path concerns? Animals would either be able to pass under or already can't pass now so no difference.
I'm no engineer but that might add a few hundred dollars to the cost.
 
If the line were elevated, and particularly if it ran very closely to or above pre-existing roads/rail for as much of the line as possible, wouldn't that mitigate breeding path concerns? Animals would either be able to pass under or already can't pass now so no difference.
This one aspect I’m curious about. How do other countries deal with wildlife? It seems like Canada tends to use it as a easy excuse to inflate construction costs. Not saying that other places don’t do environmental assessments, we just tend to twist them in a way to make excuses for not building anything.

With Alstom pushing the full HSR concept, unproven technology being kicked around and knowing that CN and CP will never agree to eletrification (unless the government stiff handles it to them), I think the Federal government will use the exponential costs as a easy nail-in-coffin.
 
This one aspect I’m curious about. How do other countries deal with wildlife? It seems like Canada tends to use it as a easy excuse to inflate construction costs. Not saying that other places don’t do environmental assessments, we just tend to twist them in a way to make excuses for not building anything.

I’m no expert in this, but a quick bit of googling produced this paper.

I don’t believe that Canada has somehow invented or distorted the Environmental Assessment process. The thought leaders, technical experts, and lawyers in this area are very conversant with international precedents and practices, so what is done here is very much informed by what goes on elsewhere.

What may be different in our case is simply that we are dealing with a land that is still very close to its original natural state, and our intent is to keep it that way…. which may be very different than what is possible in places where major human impacts may stretch back a thousand years or more.

Personally I’m proud that we take that approach, and the cost is simply something that is spread over our cost of living. As Canada is one of the world’s most affluent nations, it’s hard to make the case that such expense is strangling us. Perhaps we are actually doing it better and reaping the benefit.

I’m certainly aware of situations where a multi billion dollar project was snagged by a single colony of endangered birds…. but the point is to mitigate and adapt plans, not stop things.

I don’t see the environmental costs as halting this project - although it will certainly be one reasons why the pricetag for a more HSRish plan will be higher than the vanilla HFR proposal. The bigger project is being sold as delivering greater societal returns, so the business case is calibrated accordingly.

- Paul
 
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It's happening!!!!!

1675121883805.png
 

It's happening!!!!!

View attachment 453389
Hold your horses. Need the funding first. If there is an election and we get Prime Minister Pierre, you can consider VIA dead.
 
^That spin is a bit over the top.

I'm not aware that Ford ever killed a HSR plan. If the reference is to the David Collenette study from the Wynne era, that initiative was mostly fictional and Wynne never had a serious intent to launch it.... it was just for show.

I'm no Ford fan, but this is pretty close to fake newsmongering.

- Paul
 

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