Dedicated Passenger Track in the Windsor - Quebec Corridor

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jis

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https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/governance-and-reports/dedicated-tracks

The proposed dedicated track, using a new, more efficient train car fleet, is expected to:

  • Relieve congestion, particularly in and out of major urban centres
  • Boost economic development and benefits along the railway corridor
  • Deliver a safer rail infrastructure and a more sustainable rail transportation system
  • Maximize ridership and revenue potential of passenger routes where market demand warrants
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants that contribute to climate change and smog
  • Create a self-funding project that will significantly reduce government subsidies within the Corridor
The dedicated tracks project would also allow the re-design of the current frequencies operating on the shared environment to better meet regional needs for increased service.
 
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Read their RFP outline, and this stood out to me... " More fuel-efficient, Tier 4 Diesel engines, with the option to operate on electrified rail infrastructure as it becomes available."

Sound like any equipment you know?
 

cpotisch

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Read their RFP outline, and this stood out to me... " More fuel-efficient, Tier 4 Diesel engines, with the option to operate on electrified rail infrastructure as it becomes available."

Sound like any equipment you know?
P32AC-DMs? ALP45-DPs? I'm blanking.
 

jis

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Read their RFP outline, and this stood out to me... " More fuel-efficient, Tier 4 Diesel engines, with the option to operate on electrified rail infrastructure as it becomes available."

Sound like any equipment you know?
P32AC-DMs? ALP45-DPs? I'm blanking.
Neither of those two are Tier-4 AFAIK. Indeed NJT bent the rules to the limit to get under the bar for Tier-3 for the ALP45-DPs. There is an effort afoot to upgrade the 45's to Tier 4 since NJT wants to order some additional number of units, and they cannot sneak by on Tier-3 anymore.

I don;t think P32s even meet Tier-3.

Railner may be alluding to a development based on the SC-44/ACS-64
 

jis

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So does a dual mode Charger seem likely anytime soon?
NYSDOT has allegedly working with Siemens for such a beast to replace all the P32AC-DMs (Amtrak and MNRR) and the LIRR DE/DMs. But for obvious reasons this particular project is focused on third rail electrification only.

OHE is a different matter since it drags in a large heavy transformer and one or two heavy pantographs with it. Beyond that the rest is pretty much the same.
 

Urban Sky

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This project quietly received a lot of funding a couple months ago and received an official announcement today: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/high-frequency-rail-project-1.6090930

This is not enough capital to finish the project, but it is enough capital to acquire a significant amount of the land and infrastructure required to do it. I am cautiously optimistic that this is very much a go now!
I would expect that most (if not all) the funding goes to the parts of HFR where it overlaps with VIA's existing Corridor network and would therefore be useful before and even without the approval&construction of the full project. That would be Quebec Gare du Palais to Allenby Junction (8 km), Montreal to Ottawa (180 km) and Ottawa to Smiths Falls (60 km), with the latter being my bet for being the sole 200 km/h segment (just so that the government can call it "High Speed Rail")...
 

NS VIA Fan

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As an announcement is also being made in Trois-Riviere**.....I'll be interested to see how that ties in and how a train on that route will reach Gare Centrale. Will it use the Mount Royal Tunnel along with REM?

(**currently freight only but was once the main Canadian Pacific route between Montreal and Quebec City)
 
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jiml

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I would expect that most (if not all) the funding goes to the parts of HFR where it overlaps with VIA's existing Corridor network and would therefore be useful before and even without the approval&construction of the full project. That would be Quebec Gare du Palais to Allenby Junction (8 km), Montreal to Ottawa (180 km) and Ottawa to Smiths Falls (60 km), with the latter being my bet for being the sole 200 km/h segment (just so that the government can call it "High Speed Rail")...
The 🤣 was for your High Speed Rail comment; I agree with the rest of your post. It will be interesting to see how this actually unfolds, since in Ontario it's basically just the twinning of the existing CP line that was announced quite awhile ago. The unresolved issue was (and likely still is) where the CP freights will go. The CBC report implies this is all new construction, which indicates their usual lack of research. There certainly will be lots of new construction, but segments of the route do have traffic - some of it (like Peterborough-Havelock) down to once-a-week. I'm hoping a reliable rail publication will flesh out the details.

It will certainly be good to have service back on the north shore of the St. Lawrence east of Montreal, but I have the same question as @NS VIA Fan.
 
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Off topic, but when I drive between Montreal and Quebec City, I prefer Route 40 over the faster Route 20…😎
 

jiml

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In Ontario, it appears the main construction will be between Havelock and Glen Tay - west of the Smith Falls junction. I presume the abandoned ROW is still available and hasn't been turned into a rail trail*. I can already hear the outcry from NIMBY and environmental groups.

Edit to add: *Parts are indeed a trail.
 
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NS VIA Fan

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In Ontario, it appears the main construction will be between Havelock and Glen Tay - west of the Smith Falls junction.
Last passenger trains on that section was a CP 'Dayliner' between Ottawa and Toronto at the end of the Pool Train era in Oct. 1965. Shortly after CN assumed responsibility for all Ottawa-Toronto trains and Havelock-Glen Tay became freight only and eventually abandoned. The Toronto-Havelock section did have passenger service well into the VIA era.

Image (3).jpg
 

jiml

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Last passenger trains on that section was a CP 'Dayliner' between Ottawa and Toronto at the end of the Pool Train era in Oct. 1965. Shortly after CN assumed responsibility for all Ottawa-Toronto trains and Havelock-Glen Tay became freight only and eventually abandoned. The Toronto-Havelock section did have passenger service well into the VIA era.

View attachment 23478
That's what I thought. Thanks for the schedule.

There was great hope of reviving passenger service (VIA or GO) between Toronto and Peterborough (Havelock) during the previous federal government. I lived in Whitby at the time. The train would have passed through our area and my MP was a great advocate for it, which came to be nicknamed the Flaherty train/Express. The main opponent at the time was CP (of course). They're down to a weekly or twice-weekly local freight now, serving primarily the ethanol plant north of Havelock and some other local businesses. It's honestly a surprise to see a train on it anymore and most level crossings have had their gates removed. Here's a shot of it from the front of my car:

2 (2).JPG
 

jiml

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The government is committing $500 million CAD to a 2018 project expected to cost between 6 and 12 billion by its completion in 2030. The transport minister made the following statement: "Quebecers and all Canadians deserve a fast, reliable train service." I'm not really sure why it was necessary to separate Quebec, but that portion of the route does have a higher likelihood of completion. With much more of the ROW and infrastructure in place than the Ontario side, it is more a need to expand rather than build new. The route through Ontario will be a minefield of issues unlikely to be quickly resolved.

 

Urban Sky

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The government is committing $500 million CAD to a 2018 project expected to cost between 6 and 12 billion by its completion in 2030.
Not sure what makes HFR a "2018 project", but it was first proposed in 2014.

The transport minister made the following statement: "Quebecers and all Canadians deserve a fast, reliable train service." I'm not really sure why it was necessary to separate Quebec, but that portion of the route does have a higher likelihood of completion.
Today's announcements were made in Quebec City and Trois-Rivières, both of which happen to be located in the province of Quebec. Expect announcements in Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto in the next days, where the same federal transport minister will stress that "Ontarians and all Canadians deserve a fast, reliable train service"...

With much more of the ROW and infrastructure in place than the Ontario side, it is more a need to expand rather than build new. The route through Ontario will be a minefield of issues unlikely to be quickly resolved.

That is correct (at least for west of Smiths Falls), but Quebec holds still claim to the biggest headache with the Mont-Royal mountain...
 
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jiml

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Not sure what makes HFR a "2018 project", but it was first proposed in 2014.
I'm aware of that and you're aware of that, but most (especially on AU) equate it with the 2018 announcement that prompted this thread.
Today's announcements were made in Quebec City and Trois-Rivières, both of which happen to be located in the province of Quebec. Expect announcements in Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto in the next days, where the same federal transport minister will stress that "Ontarians and all Canadians deserve a fast, reliable train service"...
He could have simply said "All Canadians deserve a fast, reliable train service." I'm sure his choice of words had nothing to do with impending retirement of the local MP and the Liberals' desire to take that seat from the BQ in the impending election. I seriously doubt he will even mention Ontario unless you're his speech writer. ;)
That is correct (at least for west of Smiths Falls), but the biggest headache is still the Mont-Royal mountain...
On this we agree. I took a close look at the projected route in Ontario today and apart from the short portion east of Ottawa and VIA's Smiths Falls division, they have a load of problems (and expense) if the trail portions cannot be reclaimed. We're talking cutting through miles of forest, crossing lakes and rivers - enough to delay and exponentially increase the cost of that portion. Do you not think it would be smarter and cheaper to simply double-track from Ottawa to Brockville and then buy CN a third track with a guarantee of priority for VIA?
 

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Do we know how wide the ROW originally was? On some US rail routes, they were originally single-track, and when they've been converted to trails, it's a bear to get them back because the trail has to be removed. On other US routes, the ROW was originally 100 feet wide and four tracks, and it becomes fairly easy to put a two-track railroad in and keep the trail on one side of it. If it's one of the latter, it won't be hard to reclaim the trail portions.

CN has proven untrustworthy with "guarantees of priority", so no way to that; that's a non-starter. In the Greater Toronto Area, Metrolinx just bought CN out in most places. But CN hasn't been willing to sell their ROW east of a certain point. Get the route where VIA can own the route.
 

Urban Sky

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He could have simply said "All Canadians deserve a fast, reliable train service." I'm sure his choice of words had nothing to do with impending retirement of the local MP and the Liberals' desire to take that seat from the BQ in the impending election. I seriously doubt he will even mention Ontario unless you're his speech writer. ;)
I am aware that for surprisingly many Ontarians, the words "Ontarian" and "Canadian" seem to be interchangeable, but in other parts of Canada, people have a more local identity and prefer to be addressed as residents of their province rather than as citizens of their country.

In any case, we will already find out very soon how the federal transport minister calls the people in Ontario, as the next announcements will be in Ottawa tomorrow (Wednesday) and in Peterborough the following day (as reported on Groups.io):

Ottawa station tomorrow at 15:00.
Minister Alghabra, Minister Fortier, Member of Parliament McGuinty and Mayor Watson to make an announcement on High Frequency Rail in Ottawa - Canada.ca

Peterborough Chamber of Commerce (the former CPR station)
Thursday morning.
Via Rail’s return to Peterborough confirmed
 
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Burns651

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This thread's title should be changed, it hasn't been about the Windsor line in quite a while.
 

Urban Sky

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This thread's title should be changed, it hasn't been about the Windsor line in quite a while.
I might have agreed with you until exactly one week ago:


The Government of Canada will work with key partners including VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank through the High Frequency Rail Joint Project Office to ensure that any enhancements to passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario can be effectively integrated with the core route for High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor.

 

Burns651

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"Explore opportunities," that's an exquisitely non-specific, non-committed way to phrase it. Probably the same person writing the press releases for VIA and Amtrak.
 
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