Welcome to High Speed Rail Canada. Canada's only national advocacy group on high speed rail. We have over 25 years of passenger rail advocacy experience. This blog will educate and keep you current on high speed rail information from Canada and the rest of the world.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Is Alberta Moving Out of Prehistoric Times. Discussions at the Provincial Standing Committee about High Speed Rail.
You can listen to the audio from that meeting here:
Listening to the audio, it is clear that some members of the committee understand the urgency for Alberta to have high speed trains. Others minimize this urgency, and talk about high speed rail as if it may be possible 30-40 years from now.
On December 3rd, committee will receive a briefing from the Ministry of Transportation on the subject. The committee will then decide how consultation will take place between the public and stakeholders.
The lack of any passenger rail in Alberta reflects Canada's dire state of passenger rail nationally. It has been 28 years since passenger rail existed between Calgary and Edmonton.
In 2003, Bombardier showcased their JetTrain in Alberta. Unfortunately the timing was not right and Bomardier failed to get orders for the JetTrain.
Previous Alberta studies on high speed rail that were completed in 2004 and 2008 resulted in no action taken by the government. Even Alberta High Speed Rail (http://www.albertahighspeedrail.com), a private company interested in building the project has been unsuccessful in convincing the government to take action in this regard.
Polls have routinely showed that the citizens of Alberta and Canada want high speed rail. So, is the time finally right for the people of Alberta to have passenger rail like the rest of the modern world has had for the last four decades?
In the case of high speed rail, public/private partnerships are the norm. Almost all major infrastructure projects require substantial input from the federal government. Herein lies the problem. In Canada, I have often stated that the lack of any vision on passenger rail by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is killing any hopes for passenger rail resurgence in Alberta or anywhere else in Canada.
If Harper has no vision for passenger rail, one might hope that maybe he would, for political gain, invest in the future of high speed rail in Alberta. It could be suggested that many votes were gained by Harper's government $30 billion ship-building strategy in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, in Alberta, Harper needs no votes so the chance of a political reason for a major rail infrastructure commitment is slim.
What about partnerships with other countries that have high speed rail? If Prime Minister Harper stated the Government of Canada was open for business relating to investing in a partnership in high speed rail, the companies would come. In 2008, when President Obama announced the USA were spending $8 billion to modernize their passenger rail system, Germany's Siemens, Spain's Talgo, Japan's Central Railway Company, and even Canada's Bombardier wanted to do business.
If the Alberta government is truly committed to returning passenger rail to Alberta they have to get the federal government on board.
Friday, November 29, 2013
DATE: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 TIME: 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm LOCATION: Committee Room A 4th Floor – Legislature Annex
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Agenda
3. Approval of Meeting Minutes: November 25, 2013
4. Presentation on the feasibility of high-speed rail transit within Alberta a) Ministry of Transportation Mr. Rob Penny - Deputy Minister Ms Sara Wong - Director, Multi-Modal Transportation Policy
b) Questions from the Committee
5. Other Business
6. Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
High Speed Rail Canada is releasing to the public for free the Canadian National Railways 1966 press releases and background material relating to the introduction of the Canadian National/United Aircraft high speed Turbotrain.
Media Release - November 19th, 2013 - High Speed Rail Canada is a national non profit organization dedicated to educating Canadians on the benefits of modern passenger rail in Canada. They do it through their blog, youtube video channel, Facebook site and public symposiums.
High Speed Rail Canada has the largest audio and video collection of the United Aircraft and Canadian National Turbotrain. This train ran from 1968 through to 1982. It was Canada's high speed train with speeds over 200km/h.
These 1966 CN and UAC Press Releases and background material, including diagrams and models of the Turbotrain, are being made available for the first time in over four decades.
Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states, " If you read these documents, and also listen to the 1967 press conference on the Turbotrain, you will be taken back to a time when our country had a vision for modern high speed passenger rail travel. Unfortunately 45 years later under Prime Minister Harper's government, passenger rail is on the verge of extinction throughout many parts of Canada."
For the links to the 1966 Canadian National Press Releases/Backgrounder, 1967 Press Conference go to our Turbotrain Archive page http://www.highspeedrailcanada.com/p/uac-cn-turbo-train-archives.html
For more information on High Speed Rail Canada - http://www.highspeedrailcanada.com, Twitter - @HSRCanada highspeedrailcanada (at)yahoo.ca
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Here are 4 maps from studies of the possible high speed rail lines in Canada. New York-Montreal, Boston-Montreal, Quebec City- Windsor, Calgary-Edmonton.
These maps are not new but making them easily accessible for future generations is important. Here is the link - https://archive.org/details/HSRCanadaMaps
Monday, November 11, 2013
Well there is a lot of similarities between the Republicans refusing of money to reinvest in passenger rail and the Harper governments slow kill of passenger rail in Canada. This article is a good summary of the ridiculous attitude of the Republican politicians south of our border towards improving passenger rail.
Republican governors’ rejection of funding frustrates efforts in key regions of the country. By Juliet Eilperin The Washington Post
MILWAUKEE — The gleaming red-and-white trains sit motionless in a cavernous warehouse in Century City, an industrial neighborhood that cranked out 100 million car and truck frames in its heyday. The seats are draped in plastic; an electronic screen on one reads, “Quiet Car. 11:10 a.m. 000 MPH.”
President Barack Obama once hoped that these high-speed trains would be transporting passengers from Milwaukee to Madison, Wis., part of a broader system crisscrossing the Midwest and the nation.
But Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, rejected $823 million in funding that the federal government was offering, and the Transportation Department transferred the funds to California. The two trains now sit idle, with five employees of a Spanish manufacturer left behind to tend them
High-speed rail was once a central part of Obama’s vision for government – one in which the nation’s infrastructure, schools and health-care systems would be modernized to meet the challenges of globalization and expand the middle class.
But the abandoned Wisconsin rail project, and several others around the country, illustrate just how difficult – and incomplete – the effort has been. Even as he managed to get the federal government up and running again this past month, Obama’s larger project of redefining what government should do has been stymied by steady Republican opposition and public disenchantment with political leaders. And chronic problems with the rollout of provisions of the new health-care law have made Obama’s sales pitch even harder.
While the high-speed project has made a tangible difference already in some parts of the country, key regions will be left out. In both the upper Midwest and Florida – two key planks of the president’s initial vision – residents find themselves without a viable high-speed option – and the manufacturing jobs that come with it.
“In terms of urban revitalization, this is the type of activity that would have generated good American jobs, and that would have provided work for people who needed work to support their families,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat and Obama ally who ran unsuccessfully against Walker in 2010 and 2012.
While Obama has framed the question in different ways over the past five years, he has consistently sought to convince Americans that well-run government is uniquely positioned to help secure their economic prosperity. After the 16-day shutdown ended last month, he argued that the impasse had affirmed the principle that “smart, effective government is important. It matters.”
“So let’s work together to make government work better instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse,” Obama said.
One of the biggest ideas was Obama’s high-speed rail initiative, which since 2009 has invested $12 billion in 32 states and the District of Columbia. More than one-third of that total went to California; much of the rest went to projects that Transportation Department spokeswoman Meghan Keck described as “laying the foundation for high-speed rail,” which Congress defines as 110 mph and above.
When he launched the high-speed rail push in early 2010, Obama called it “the infrastructure of the future.” “I mean, it’s important to repave our roads; it’s important to repair our bridges so that they’re safe,” Obama said that year in Tampa, Fla. “But we want to start looking deep into the 21st century, and we want to say to ourselves, ‘There is no reason why other countries can build high-speed rail lines and we can’t.’ ”
But three key states rejected the funding altogether. Florida, for example, was in line to receive $2.4 billion for a rail project. But Republican Gov. Rick Scott turned down the offer, as did Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, and Walker, dooming the initiative in those three states. The Transportation Department later gave more than $2 billion from Florida’s share to 15 states and Amtrak.
In a recent interview, Walker said he determined it was cheaper to drive his 1998 Saturn to Madison, Wis., from his home in suburban Wauwatosa, Wis., than it would be to drive to downtown Milwaukee, park and take a fast train.
“Typically the reason people take mass transit is because it saves them time and/or money. This did neither,” he said, noting that he ran an ad touting his opposition to the project during his 2010 gubernatorial bid. “It was one of my well-received popular ads out there, because so many people shared that sentiment.”
Barrett – who has made reviving Century City one of his central missions – and many other Wisconsin Democrats feel differently. The city bought 84 acres of land in the industrial area in 2009 and razed 1.5 million square feet of buildings to make way for new development. A.O. Smith built car frames there from 1910 to 1996; Tower Automotive took over the plant in 1996 and built Dodge Ram trucks there for a decade before moving its operations to Mexico.
“As a little boy, I remember driving by there with my parents, and it was row after row of car frames. ... The stacks got smaller and smaller,” Barrett said. “You can see America’s history all in this one plot of land.”
Talgo USA, the American subsidiary of a Spanish train manufacturer, agreed to pay $29,000 a month to occupy half of the 300,000-square-foot Building 36, which the city refurbished with two rail spurs and maintenance pits. The firm sourced many of the train’s components from local manufacturers and it hired 80 workers to assemble and test the trains.
The company produced two trains that went to Oregon for service in the Pacific Northwest Cascades Corridor passenger rail line; the other two sit amid boxes of spare parts here in Milwaukee. Talgo filed a lawsuit against the state of Wisconsin this week seeking $66 million for unpaid bills, lost business and other damages.
Talgo spokeswoman Nora Friend said the firm had envisioned the facility as a launching pad to supply high-speed projects across the United States. But a boom never materialized, as Obama’s stimulus rail initiative fell victim to political pushback.
Unlike those in Europe or Asia, existing U.S. rail lines are unequipped to handle high-speed trains and are expensive to upgrade. Oregon is the only state where high-speed trains have been manufactured and delivered with stimulus funding, but the line from Eugene, Ore., to Vancouver, B.C., can only accommodate speeds of up to 79 mph.
Stimulus funding is also being used to upgrade tracks, build trains and improve electrification on four routes in the East and Midwest: Boston to Washington, Washington to Charlotte, Detroit to Chicago and Chicago to St. Louis.
The Chicago-to-St. Louis route – where trains will run at 110 mph along 75 percent of the route by 2015, lopping an hour off the commute – stands out as one of the bright spots. The Japanese firm Nippon Sharyo, which won a $352 million federal contract to provide passenger cars to the Midwest and California, helped revitalize Rochelle, Ill., by opening up a factory there last year that now employs 330 people.
The biggest project of all is slated for California, where a $68 billion line is envisioned to run from Los Angeles to San Francisco at up to 220 mph. But the effort has been beset with delays, and officials project the full line won’t be open until 2029.
According to our sister paper, China-based China Times, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's mid-October visit to Thailand has been described as a diplomatic trip for promoting China's high-speed rail technology.
The total length of the high-speed rail network in China is more than 10,000 kilometers. The Chinese government now aims to build a pan-Asia railway that connects Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
Located in the central area of the pan-Asia railway, Thailand plans to release bids for its first high-speed rail line in the second half of 2014. It is speculated that China's chances of winning the auction are high, owing to China's commitment to importing more rice from Thailand.
However, Thai officials have hinted at competitive bids for the construction from Japan, South Korea and France as well. Among the competitors, Shinkansen by the East Japan Railway Company (JR-East) may be China's strongest contender. China has an advantage, in that its high-speed rail is supported by the government, which implies that in order to win the bid, China can sweeten the deal with other concessions to Thailand.
However, in recent years, Japan has increased its investment in Thailand, with its total investment reaching 74.6 billion yuan (US$12.2 billion) in 2012. JR-East has previously won an urban railway construction in Bangkok earlier, worth US$400 million.
Compared to China's railway technology, JR-East, which has expanded exports of railway infrastructure, has an edge in terms of quality.
Following the corruption case against Liu Zhijun, former minister of the Ministry of Railways, and the June 23 Wenzhou train collision in 2011, China has become more conservative in terms of exporting its rail technology. However, as Chinese top leaders have proactively promoted their high-speed rail technology overseas on various occasions, the Chinese government appears to have decided to strengthen its efforts to promote high-speed rail export
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This website I did at the time provides some historical information including:
1. Northern Mainline Rail Alliance Business Case Development Increased Passenger Rail Service along the North Main Line Report
2. Proposed 20 Train schedule for the North Mainline (this is from a different report)
3. CTA Ruling Against Goderich-Exeter Railway vs VIA Rail - Insight into the war between the USA owned short line railway company and VIA Rail.
I hope there is some information on it that will help the groups out fighting this cause. CLICK HERE FOR WEBSITE
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
It is always refreshing to see what the Chinese are doing in high speed rail.
he Xiamen-Shenzhen high-speed railway, which is an important section of the coastal railway artery in China, is expected to start trial operation by the end of 2013.
According to reports, 34 pairs of trains will run on the railway, including 3 ‘G’ (300km/h) and 31 ‘D’ (200km/h) trains.
After its opening, 4 pairs of trains will run from the Shenzhen North Railway Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, 1 pair to Nanjing South, 1 pair to Hangzhou East, 1 pair to Wenzhou South, 6 pairs to Fuzhou South, 5 pairs to Xiamen North, 2 pairs to Longyan and 9 pairs to Chaoshan, and another 2 pairs will run between Guangzhou South and Fuzhou South.
With a designed speed of 250 kilometres per hour, the travel time from Xiamen to Shenzhen by train will be shortened to less than 3 hours from the current 14 hours.
Ticket information revealed suggests prices will be RMB190 or RMB160, for a first-class and second-class seat respectively, from Xiamen North Station to Shenzhen North Railway Station.
There will be a total of 20 stops along the railway, starting from Xiamen North Station, at Qianchang, Xin Jiaomei, Zhangzhou South, Yangkui, Zhangpu, Yunxiao, Zhao'an, Raoping, Chaoshan, Chaoyang, Puning, Kuitan, Lufeng, Shanwei, Houmen, Huidong, Huidong South, Longgang and finally Shenzhen New Railway Station.
Friday, October 11, 2013
The bill, which requires parliamentary approval before the end of the year, will allow the government to invest €3.2bn in the high-speed rail network. There is more than 1200km of new lines still under construction in Spain.
The study concluded that a 220-mph HSR service from O'Hare International Airport, through downtown Chicago to Champaign-Urbana and on to St. Louis or Indianapolis is feasible and likely would be able to cover its operating costs without subsidies, according to a report released by the university.
The report recommends that public-private partnerships, which have successfully been used to finance HSR projects overseas, should be explored.
"An incremental or blended approach completed over a longer time period would reduce initial capital costs and provide other nearer-term transportation benefits, while simultaneously improving intercity transportation and quality times," the report states.
To read the report's executive summary CLICK HERE
Friday, October 4, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Always interesting to see what Bombardier projects are going on in the world.
Saudi Gazette - JEDDAH – Two model Haramain trains for test-run arrived at Jeddah Islamic Port, according to sources.
The trains belonging to the Bombardier Saudi Arabian Company Limited will be used for trial-run between Jeddah and Madinah before the official opening of the Haramain train route by the end of the next year.
The propulsion and bogies are being made at Bombardier factories in Spain for the 449.2-km high speed inter-city rail transport system. Bombardier Transportation Company, which specializes internationally in railway technology, announced the signing of contracts with Talgo Spanish Company to develop and supply the basic components for 36 high speed trains for Al-Haramain Train Project.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
We have serious passenger rail problems in Canada and the USA. We are almost half a century behind in the development of modern high speed trains.
To his credit, President Obama realized this problem and in 2009 announced his vision for modernizing the outdated U.S. passenger rail system. Perhaps they should have used the phrase "higher speed rail" instead of high speed rail, since most money would go to upgrading existing rail infrastructure. The President knew the economic, social, and environmental benefits that could happen.
While progress has definitely been made, the current political quagmire of American politics has made acceptance and implementation of his plan difficult.
The national passenger rail carrier Amtrak is carrying record ridership. In June 2013 more people rode Amtrack that month than in its history: 2.9 million people. Its signature high speed train the Acela Express has done very well.
In Canada the situation is very grave for the future of any passenger rail train service.
Prime Minister Harper has no vision for passenger rail service and VIA Rail, our National carrier, is cutting routes and ridership is decreasing.
Both countries suffer from a cultural vacuum when it comes to understanding that high speed passenger rail can be an effective way of moving people in a sustainable fashion. Why? Since we have let our passenger rail system fall so far behind the rest of the world we think traditional high speed rail is still futuristic. This belief despite the fact high speed trains have been running in many countries for decades. In the case of the Japan, the HSR has been running safely since 1964.
In Canada in the 1970s the UAC Turbotrain routinely traveled over 200 kph. Yet, in Canada and the USA in 2013 we fight for the most basic of passenger rail services.
So this brings me to the subject of the futuristic Hyperloop and Magline transportation proposals that are being flaunted.
Why support technologies that do not exist and that lack factual data to support their safe use (Hyperloop - vacuum tube) or
Why support a technology (Magline - maglev) that despite being around for 40 years only has two commercial systems in operation? One of these systems (China) has decided not to extend their existing system and has used conventional high speed rail instead.
A consideration of how these ideas are even allowed to get media attention and review harkens back to our cultural abyss for what modern passenger rail systems are.
When Billionaire Elon Musk, Telsa (electric cars), SpaceX (space transport) talks people take notice.
Mr. Musk sees high speed rail as a no go. He bases his opinion on the California high speed rail experience in implementing America's first true high speed rail system instead of basing his views on the over 40 years of experience in 20 countries with over 21,365 km of high speed rail track.
Unfortunately, the HYPERLOOP document that Mr. Musk proposes his futuristic idea of moving people by a vacuum tube of air seems critically short on details. When he talks about cost comparison his cost analysis is primitive, overly simplistic, and lacking in a comprehensive analysis. He doesn't even bother with the total lifecycle cost of the project.
Vacuum tube travel has been proposed as long as ago as 1954 when Dr. Robert Goddard, famed rocket scientist, had designed a VacTrain early in his career.
The Hyperloop idea also suffers from a cursory overview of safety and its tube design has the potential to cause catastrophic loss because the person could be trapped in the pod and tube during an emergency. No detailed Risk Assessment has been done so one cannot make statements like. "Hyperloop is intrinsically safer than airplanes, trains, or automobiles."
Many have suggested that this idea is similar to The Jetson cartoon TV show. The comparisons are fair since both are fantasy. But the Jetsons lasted 25 years on TV where has the Hyperloop is already a non-starter.
Next up in Fantasyworld of transit systems is the Edmonton-based Magline Transit concept that basically will shuttle pods of people by way of magnetic levitation (maglev). This idea suggests people will move between Calgary and Edmonton in 45 minutes. A reality check is in order.
Let us look at the existing 3 maglev type systems in the world. The one in service in Japan now is only 6km long and speeds along at only 100km/h and loses approximately $22 million a year.
In Korea, there is an airport people mover maglev that will be running this year. It will go a maximum of 110 km/h. Here is a video showing it: http://youtu.be/F-bZTyzsNbg
The only fast maglev train runs in China from Shanghai airport and connects to Shanghai metro. The 30km line takes about 7 minutes and travels at an amazing 430 km/h. Sounds like a success, correct? Look a little closer and you will see that the Chinese have abandoned the technology.
The Chinese were going to run a line from Shanghai to Hangzhou. Citizens complained along the line about noise and radiation fears. The Chinese decided to use traditional high speed rail lines and maglev was abandoned. Now if a mass transit powerhouse like China says no to maglev in favour of traditional high speed rail, we should be listening.
It is an absolute tragedy in Alberta that there is no passenger rail between Calgary and Edmonton. Alberta High Speed Rail is a private company that has tried to convince politicians of the importance of HSR along the corridor. http://www.albertahighspeedrail.com/.
The MAGLINE is just another fantasy. Albertans should be talking about how to connect the two communities with proven higher speed passenger rail technologies.
What Hyperloop and Magline have in common is that both continue perpetrating the North American myth that modern high speed trains are futuristic and not realistic. The reality is that high speed rail has run reliably for over half a century in other parts of the world.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Do roads make money? Car ownership and the building, maintaining and use of the roads is one of the largest financial and environmental costs to Canadians. One example to illustrate the cost of roads is the PEI Confederation Billion dollar bridge. We as taxpayers are paying a staggering $44 million a year for the next 33 years to in effect pay the mortgage on it.
Does providing policing, sewage treatment and health care make money? Of course not, these are things that are done for the public good.
We also seem to ignore the cost overruns associated with the building and maintaining nuclear power plants. An example: Just one plant, the Darlington Nuclear Plant original cost in 1993 was estimated to be $3.95 billion. The final cost was a staggering $14.4 billion. Now repairs are necessary at the plant and the cost is estimated at $6-10 Billion. Most assume this repair cost estimate will rise dramatically. That does not even address the question of how to deal with the costs associated with storing the thousands of tons of dangerous radioactive nuclear waste. This waste stays radio active for 250,000 years.
I found an excellent article on the subject of high speed rail lines and if they make a profit. It was written by Noel T. Braymer. READ IT HERE.
So in the future, when you are asked the question about high speed rail profitability, you can respond with existing things we do as a society for the public good and have the facts about high speed rail costs.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
It’s not hard to describe the current state of high speed rail in Canada. It’s pretty much non-existent. That is apart from Bombardier who is busy building high speed trains for countries around the world. The ZEFIRO by Bombardier is capable of speeds up to 380 kilometres per hour. Yet you won’t find any of them in Canada.
Around the world many countries are expanding existing high speed rail infrastructure; yet Canada it seems is intent to sit on the sidelines. media! News Magazine asked the founder of High Speed Rail Canada, Paul Langan, about the state of high speed rail in Canada.
Here is what he had to say. How did you get involved with High Speed Rail Canada?
I had been doing passenger rail advocacy for about 25 years in Canada. Grassroot groups that were mostly about fighting to keep VIA Rail service going in a community. I found myself often in conflict with VIA RAIL management on how the organization was run. I decided to do something different but still passenger rail advocacy related.
In 2008, I started up the national non-profit advocacy group High Speed Rail Canada to educate Canadians on high speed rail. I found there definitely was a lack of knowledge about high speed rail in Canada and on the subject in general. Describe the current state of high speed rail in Canada
In Canada the state of passenger rail now is at one it’s lowest points in Canadian history.
Prime Minister Harper has no vision for passenger rail at all. This has resulted in Canada having a passenger rail system that is about 50 years behind the rest of the modern world. High Speed Rail Canada’s Paul Langan
Canada had faster passenger trains in the 1970s than they do now. The CN Turn train had speeds over 200km/h in the early 1970s. So Canada already had high speed rail. Four decades later and passenger rail in Canada is in shambles. Could we be doing better?
You cannot do better if you do not invest in it. The Harper government continues to cut funding to VIA Rail and VIA keeps cutting routes. Why should Canadians care about high speed rail?
It is no secret that automobile exhaust is big contributing factor for global warming and the resulting climate change we are experiencing. The true social and financial cost of our auto-dependency is staggering. If you care about the future and the quality of life for the next generation we have to make significant changes in how we life. Using higher speed passenger rail is one of those options. What are some current viable routes in your opinion?
Siemens Velaro China high speed trainEdmonton to Calgary – The easiest route that should be done first is Edmonton to Calgary. How can Alberta’s tow largest cities not even have passenger rail service.
I cringe every time I read about traffic accidents on that highway between the two cities.
Windsor-Montreal Corridor – Over twelve studies have been done and still no action.
Without the political will, there will never be high speed rail in Canada. ~ Paul Langan
You can learn more about High Speed Rail Canada and Paul Langan by visiting www.highspeedrailcanada.com. There you will find past Canadian high speed rail studies, CN Turbo Train videos and much more.
Should the Canadian federal and provincial governments be investing money in high speed trains or could it be better spent elsewhere? Are there better options? Let us know what you think about high speed rail by leaving a comment below.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Police sources told Spanish newspaper El Pais that, moments after the crash, the traumatised driver made another call to the operator.
"It derailed!" he said. "What am I going to do, what am I going to do? We are all humans – we're humans. I hope there are no fatalities because it will all be on my conscience."
Both the drivers escaped the crash with minor injuries.The carriages careened off the tracks at a curve approaching the station at Santiago where the limit is set at 80 km per hour (50mph).
Monday, July 22, 2013
Over the next few months. I would like to organize some meet and greets. The events will be called, "You Can't Organize Unless You Socialize".- The Future of High Speed Rail in Canada.
We can discuss strategies on how to get improved higher speed passenger rail on the political agenda in the next federal election in Canada.
Basically we would meet in a bar/restaurant and network. A Saturday 1-4pm type of thing.
If you have a fun place in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and want to help get the word out let me know.
I can do an Events page on Facebook. I can also do a poster and send it out to our 300 email list and our media list.
So lets start in Toronto in August. Send suggestions on where and if you can help get the word out to highspeedrailcanada(at)yahoo.ca . It is time for Harper to go. Paul Langan, High Speed Rail Canada
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
It is hard to imagine how the tragedy in Lac Mégantic could have happened. A comprehensive investigation will reveal that it was not only the human errors at the time of the incident that caused the accident. A systematic failure in the safety program at the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway occurred.
Reading the Globe and Mail article on their reporting of the accident suggested many questions needed to be asked.
Questions regarding training, competency, inadequate safe work procedures, maintenance standards of locomotives, staffing policies will be asked.
What I hope will happen from this tragedy is that regulations will be put in place, and enforced, to ensure railway companies make safety a priority in how they do their business.
Among the projects are the modernization or building of four airports, seven seaports and about 3,350 miles (5,410 kilometers) of highways. The government will strengthen fiber optic networks and expand broadband internet access, and speed up freight train service.
"Mexico can be the great logistics platform for Latin America," Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said. "We have to create significant savings in the time and cost of transporting goods."
But in announcing the plan, President Enrique Pena Nieto emphasized the goal of reviving passenger trains in Mexico.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Workers on new 1,776-km rail link no strangers to tough conditions, reports Cui Jia in Urumqi.
It was just after midnight in Hami prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the construction workers on the Lanzhou-Urumqi high-speed railway had just started work.
The men work at night to avoid the intense heat of the day that causes the water in the concrete mix to evaporate too quickly and could compromise the strength of the bridge being built, making it too fragile to meet stringent safety and engineering standards.
The stifling summer heat is just one of the challenges facing the 30,000 workers on the Xinjiang section of the project.
The 1,776-km-long railway, which on completion will link the capitals of Gansu province and Xinjiang, crosses the desolate and inhospitable Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the arid sands of the Gobi Desert and a number of high-wind areas. These features make construction of the rail link a difficult and risky task.
The project, dubbed the "high-speed Silk Road", is the longest high-speed railway under construction in the world and the first in China to be built partly across a plateau.
After five years' work in Gansu, Xinjiang and Qinghai province, the line is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2014. The team in Xinjiang expects to finish laying the tracks by November.
Currently, only one railway carries passengers and cargo in and out of Xinjiang, the old Lanzhou-Urumqi railway, which connects Xinjiang with the rest of China and also provides a link to Central Asia and Europe.
Continue reading http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2013-07/12/content_16765644.htm
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The crew of Via train No. 92 in Burlington, Ont., misperceived a warning signal to slow down before their locomotive and five passenger cars were involved in a deadly derailment in February 2012, according to a report released today by Canada's Transportation Safety Board that recommends "fail-safe" train controls. Here is the report.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Frecciarossa 1000 to begin line testing | International Railway Journal
Monday, July 1, 2013
Pickering: Remember Mirabel? Letter June 22
We are told that Toronto will be short of airport capacity in the near future and that a second major airport is needed in Pickering.
Not that many years ago, major airport renovations and expansions were carried out in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal at the cost of billions of dollars. Analysts with a broad vision said at the time that nearly one-third of all flights at these three airports were indeed travelling between these three cities only and that a high-speed rail corridor serving these three cities would cancel the need for the airport expansions and the dollars needed for expansion would be sufficient to pay for the high-speed rail. Alas, this was not to be, and the airport expansions went ahead.
Looking at the arrivals/departure boards at the three airports these days suggests still that a high-speed rail service would significantly reduce the airport capacity needs. It is time for Transport Canada do cross modal planning and promote environmentally sustainable ground transportation instead of air travel.
Rail travel is much less affected by inclement weather and can have stops at downtown locations as well as airport locations.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
The Bullet Train for Australia Party is urging people passionate about high-speed rail to stand as candidates in the electorates of Indi and Farrer in September's federal election.
As part of its campaign to establish a high-speed rail link between Melbourne and Newcastle, it wants to field candidates in the electorates along the proposed railway route which crosses Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales.
It is looking for everyday people from Shepparton and Albury-Wodonga to nominate.
Party president Tim Bohm says it has received huge support from regional communities.
"We've launched Facebook pages in all the regional cities along the route and we've had a huge take-up, even more support than the capital cities," he said.
"So the Albury-Wodonga page has more than 1,000 people and it's only two weeks old."
Friday, June 21, 2013
As the world’s largest nation by land mass, and one that historically loves trains, Russia hopes rail development represents the perfect solution to help meet growing demand on the country’s travel infrastructure as it gears up to host international events like the Sochi Olympics and 2018 World Cup.
Under the Strategy for Developing Rail Transport, signed by President Putin in June 2008, the amount of high-speed rail track in Russia will grow almost 17 times over, from the current 650km of track to 10,887km. The new high-speed routes will connect Moscow to St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan, with an extension to Yekaterinburg.
Russian Railways says the new trains will significantly reduce passenger journey times, improve journey conditions and comfort, and ultimately boost passenger travel by as much as 30 percent.
Fast passenger-train travel is considered not only the most comfortable and safe form of transport, but also the most environmentally friendly.
Russian Railways stated that the initiative to connect Russia with modern high-speed trains was prompted by rising demand for fast and comfortable travel throughout the country, as well as economic development that has boosted cargo transfers.
In addition to benefits for passengers and cargo operators, Russian Railways claims the initiative will create jobs in manufacturing and spark technological development.
“Building high-speed rail links is a brand new trend for the development of our economy,” Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin told reporters in Sochi. The company called its work a revolutionary project that will not only make travel more enjoyable, but will also help bring economic development to the regions beyond Moscow.
Russian Railways is approaching the ambitious project with important lessons learned from the implementation of high-speed rail transit throughout Europe, where experts found that high-speed trains require tracks to be in top condition, and also benefit from the latest in automatic, centralized control systems. Russian Railways has committed itself to meeting these standards to ensure a world-class modern transportation system.
High-speed rail first appeared in Russia in 2009 with the debut of the “Sapsan” train between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Later, lines were added between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod and between St. Petersburg and Helsinki.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The standards, which the FRA expects to publish later this year, will provide baseline safety requirements for high-speed trains operating at up to 350km/h on dedicated lines, and up to 200km/h on conventional infrastructure. Once finalised, the new standards will be applied on the Washington DC – New York – Boston Northeast Corridor and in California.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Between February 8 and June 2, Renfe cut the price of AVE trains by 11 per cent in an attempt to reverse a decline in sales for high-speed services.
Since the introduction of the new pricing structure, sales have increased by 18 per cent on last year.
Train occupancy has also risen from 2012 levels to an average of 75 per cent.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Delivering a key-note speech on Thursday at a seminar and exhibition entitled "Thailand 2020" in the Thai northeastern province of Nakorn Ratchasima, the transport minister said the government has planned to build a 625 km rail system to link Bangkok with the northeastern border province of Nong Khai, across Mekong River from the Lao capital of Vientiane while Chinese high- speed trains will arrive from southern China.
During the initial stage of a 730-billion-U.S.-dollar rail and logistical program, designed for reconstruction of major rail routes in all regions of Thailand, a 250 km Bangkok-Nakorn Ratchasima route will be built first.
Then, the next phase will see a 375 km Nakorn Ratchasima-Nong Khai route built up for the Thai high-speed train to shuttle passengers and cargoes, especially including fruits and vegetables, between Thailand and Laos, which will be connected via the high- speed train with southern China, Chadchart said.
Given such a modernized rail system, Thai food will be delivered fresh and daily to China, according to the transport minister.
"Nakorn Ratchasima is not only the economic hub of the entire northeastern region of Thailand but a gateway to welcome an ASEAN Economic Community, which will open in 2015," he commented.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Mind the transportation plan gap
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The first successful tests have been carried out for Japan's new generation of L0 trains, maglev bullet trains designed to travel at speeds of 500km/h.
The trains are currently on schedule to be deployed on the Tokyo-Nagoya line in 2027, with the first five cars (including the aerodynamic long 'nose' on the front carriage) displayed on a test track in Yamanashi Prefecture.
The new trains use magnetic levitation (maglev) technology in place of wheels, allowing for much smoother moment than traditional wheeled systems.
The lack of friction means acceleration and deceleration are faster and they are unaffected by weather conditions.
The first commercial maglev service was opened by China in 2004.
The Shanghai maglev can travel at speeds up to 425km/h through the average is closer to 241km/h.
In the UK the average train speed is closer to 200km/h.
The new train has been designed by the Central Japan Railway Co (JR Tokai) and will consist of 16 carriages, carrying up to 1,000 passengers at a time. The new train will cut the current travel time for the by more than half, from 90 to 40 minutes.
Japan's reputation for high-speed rail started in 1964 with the unveiling of its first bullet train coinciding with the Summer Olympics.
The central line in Japan - the Tokaido Shinkansen - is the world's busiest high-speed rail, carrying 151 million passengers each year.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
“Building high-speed rail links is a brand new trend for the development of our economy,” Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin said in Sochi, the Black Sea city that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russia’s ambitions to hold world sporting events is forcing the government to expand the national transportation system. The country doesn’t have a single high-speed rail line, while Japan introduced the world’s first service in the 1960s, according to data from OAO High-Speed Rail Lines, a unit of RZD as the Russian rail monopoly is known.
State-owned Russian Railways plans the routes from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan, with an extension to Yekaterinburg near the border of Europe and Asia. The company is trying to start the pilot link to Kazan in time to race soccer fans to stadiums in four of the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches.
Russian Railways may require another 1.5 trillion rubles to build tracks for trains that can travel about 200 kilometers an hour (124 miles an hour), Yakunin said in the May 31 interview. High-speed trains can go twice that fast.
“If everything goes according to plan, we could be in time for the World Cup,” Yakunin said. This year, RZD expects to receive 16 billion rubles of budget funds for engineering under the Moscow-Kazan project, after which it could start building the railroad in late 2014 or early 2015, Yakunin said.
Moscow-Kazan is estimated to cost 928 billion rubles, Yakunin said during a conference with President Vladimir Putin last week. Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov said the link would span 800 kilometers, cutting travel time to 3 1/2 hours from as current 11 1/2 hours.
The plans are drawing interest from large foreign companies including Siemens AG (SIE) and Alstom SA, Yakunin said.
Yakunin said the project should be 70 percent financed from the budget, with the remaining 30 percent to be provided by RZD itself and investors.
The government and RZD are discussing the possibility of investing state funds in the construction, Yakunin said.
“The state, the Pension Fund and the National Wellbeing Fund could all contribute to the implementation of global long-term projects,” Yakunin added.
Story Source BLOOMBERG - Ekaterina Shatalova i
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Excellent idea to practice for train accidents. More needs to be done in Canada. Yes these exercises are costly to put on but they do save lives.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
At a time of development planning and uncertainty over the country's future economic direction, the rail system retains a centrality in Russia's security and economic position.
Despite developments in transportation over the 20th century - the evolution of modern vehicles and airplanes, and the increasing access of the world's population to inexpensive car ownership and flight - sea and rail are still the most efficient ways to carry large quantities of goods over long distances.
Passenger rail is also essential to economic growth - not just for travel and tourism, but also for mobility of the labor force, said officials and analysts at last month's Passenger Forum at RIA Novosti. For urban development in particular, integrated "intermodal" transportation systems are necessary to relieve Moscow's notorious congestion.
"The main thing is access, quality and comfort of passenger services, toward which the developed transportation strategy project is directed," said Alexander Misharin, first vice president of state rail monopoly Russian Railways. "We have good examples of the development of a passenger network in [other] countries - China first of all - and we should unconditionally take [them] into account in our own programs."
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The major railroads in these countries are all integrated systems: infrastructure operator and railway undertaking are combined in a single company. The study finds that these rail systems have significantly improved their traffic volumes, asset and personnel productivity and investments over the last ten years.
Our analysis of international rail systems took place in the run-up to the Fourth European Railway Package. The study was trigged by the current debate about potential complete separation of infrastructure operators and rail transportation companies in Europe.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
High speed rail spread around the globe from the 1960s when the first bullet trains took off in Japan. Rear Vision looks at why previous attempts to introduce high speed rail in Australia have failed.
Japan opened the world's first high-speed rail line - between Tokyo and Osaka - in time for the 1964 Olympics. Japan’s ‘Bullet Train’ was the first to run on a dedicated line – a high speed service for passengers only. Over the last 30 years, millions of dollars have been spent in Australia on studies and proposals but is a fast train service on the east coast any closer?
LISTEN HERE TO BROADCAST
Saturday, April 27, 2013
As if the situation wasn’t painful enough at the conveyor belt and X-ray machines, it’s now lurched to a sputtering halt. Already we had the comical scene of normally sensible people lining up in stocking feet (the seriously daft are the ones who go barefoot in airports that haven’t seen their floors get a proper cleaning since 1972), and toting multiple plastic bins full of the contents of their travel bags.
This has now deteriorated from being a process that moved along with the jerky pace of a stop-motion sketch to something that resembles a frozen frame from a manga comic chronicling the collapse of civil society circa 2013. Read the rest of the article here.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
It always makes our day when we find footage of Bombardier's Jet Train. We still hold out a slim hope that this engine will be introduced some day. For background on the Jet Train go to this good summary on the TRAINoftheWEEK BLOG .We have also added a Bombardier JET TRAIN PLAYLIST on are very popular Youtube Channel.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
No secret about how reliable and safe Japan's Shinkansen High Speed Trains are. Well since Canada's high speed rail aspects are grim we might as well enjoy this ride inside the cab of the Shinkansen 500 high speed train.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Bombardier Transportation has been granted a $440-million contract to design and supply major components for the next generation ICx high-speed trains for Deutsche Bahn AG.
The order comes under a framework agreement with Siemens AG signed in May 2011. DB AG recently expanded its original order by an additional 170 coaches.
Bombardier Transportation, a division of Montreal-based plane and train maker Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B), said in an announcement Monday that it will supply Siemens with all the body shells as well as trailer bogies and other components for the new ICx fleet.
Bombardier will also carry out the final assembly of all end coaches and of some intermediate coaches.
The steel car bodies, which promise significant reductions in energy consumption, are being developed in the Bombardier factory in Hennigsdorf, Germany, and are being manufactured in Gorlitz, Germany.
Hennigsdorf is responsible for the final assembly of all ICx end coaches. Bombardier will also carry out the final assembly of up to two intermediate coaches per train at this site, the company said.
from the Montreal Gazette
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Megacity growth in the developing world is fueled by a desire to access their large local labor markets. Growing megacities suffer from high levels of traffic congestion and pollution, which degrade local quality of life.
Transportation technology that allows individuals to access the megacity without living within its boundaries offers potentially large social benefits, because individuals can enjoy the benefits of urban agglomeration while not paying megacity real estate rents and suffering from the city’s social costs.
This paper presents evidence supporting the claim that China’s bullet trains are playing this role.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Bullet trains fuel real-estate booms, improve quality of life and create other unintended consequences by sharply reducing commute times from smaller cities to large megacities, economists from UCLA and China's Tsinghua University observed in a new study in China. A similar dynamic, they said, could play out as California builds its own high-speed rail system.
Because high-speed rail effectively brings cities closer together by reducing travel times, it allows people to enjoy many of the benefits of big cities while living in "second-tier" cities far from the pollution and congestion. By making second-tier cities attractive to those who would otherwise flock to global hubs, bullet trains could act as a safety valve for crowded megacities in the developing world and ease the effects of overpopulation, the study authors report.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
by Drew Kerr A new environmental report on a planned high-speed train from Minneapolis to Duluth didn’t expose significant barriers to its construction, though future funding for the $820 million connection remains undetermined.
The Environmental Assessment released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Transportation says that bridge work, wetland crossings and station construction for the Northern Lights Express would have limited impact along the 155-mile corridor.
Adding passenger trains to the freight rail corridor would likely mean building new tracks near BNSF’s Northtown Yard, in Fridley, between Isanti and Hinckley and near Superior, Wis. Nearly two dozen bridges may also need to be replaced or rehabilitated.
Bob Manzoline, executive director of the St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Rail Authority, described the report’s largely positive findings as an “absolutely huge” milestone for supporters of the high-speed connection.
“Many projects get mired down in some of the effects the project would have, but they really haven’t found anything here that would be a real detriment,” Manzoline said Monday. “Nothing is rising to the top, so we’re pretty happy about that.”
Officials from several communities along the corridor said they were still reviewing the report but that there were no glaring, immediate concerns.
“I think the city is just happy to have the project moving forward,” said Mark Perry, Hinckley’s planner and zoning administrator.
Still, building a high-speed connection would not come without its impacts. Read more: http://finance-commerce.com/2013/03/high-speed-train-to-duluth-clears-hurdle/#ixzz2NymoP6Hg
Saturday, March 16, 2013
The new TGV rail link fast-tracks Robin McKie along a very civilised route from London to Barcelona via Paris, a theme he continues with a stay on a sailing boat in Sitges
Friday, March 15, 2013
Of all the high speed rail projects and plans in America perhaps the best idea comes out of Texas. Texas Central Railway has partnered with Central Japan Railway Co. JR Central has decades of experience in high speed rail. We think that partnership is a very smart move.
Texas Central High-Speed Railway is a private, for-profit Texas company, working to bring high-speed, high-tech rail to our great state with a route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston in the next ten years with a travel time of 90 minutes. These bullet trains will move at speeds over 200 miles-per-hour and exceed the expectations of every traveler. Texas Central is working closely with JR Central, the internationally respected high-speed passenger rail leader, to utilize the proven N700-I Bullet Train system.
About JR Central. JR Central has developed the latest generation of world-class high-speed passenger rail and its Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed rail line has been in operation for nearly 50 years with a perfect safety record. It's cutting-edge technology that is fast, quiet, safe, reliable and efficient.
We have added their link to out links section of our website or you can CLICK HERE.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
The paternal grandmother of a baby girl born on a train packed full of commuters during rush-hour said today: "We're all still in shock."
Mari-anne Stanley was travelling back to her home with the unnamed woman who suddenly went into labour on board the 18:18 London Victoria to Maidstone East service last night.
Passengers on board the Southeastern service were asked to move off the train or into a separate carriage as a midwife, nurse and police officer, who were off-duty, came forward to help.
Ms Stanley said the mother gave birth a week early to a "perfectly healthy" 6lb 13oz baby called Phoebe on board - and were greeted with cheers by other passengers.
Explaining how it began, she said: "The train was stopped at West Malling to let passengers off and I ran off to the driver telling him we needed to not go any further and call an ambulance because she was giving birth."
Ms Stanley added: "Mum and child are doing very well. They are expected to be released from hospital today. We would like to thank everybody involved yesterday.
"We'd also like to apologise to all the passengers who were delayed but the circumstances were such that we simply could not go any further."
Ms Stanley was beside mother as she gave birth and joked that she was having her "fingers broken gently" during the labour, which lasted just 15 minutes.
"When we were taken off to go to the ambulance there were people on the platform who gave us a rapturous round of applause and cheered. Passengers were lining the platform.
"It was a fantastic reception." She went on: "The guard and the driver were extremely helpful. The driver was making announcements, keeping the passengers updated.
"The guard called the ambulance and was extremely helpful, and there was an off-duty nurse, off-duty midwife and an off-duty police officer on board the train, thank God."
Ms Stanley said it was a "pain-free labour" which lasted 15 minutes from around 7.15pm, and has resulted in a second child for the mother.
"I was having my fingers broken gently through the labour as I was helping her breathe," she joked. "I believe it was the midwife that helped deliver her."
She praised the response of other passengers on board, saying they moved away without any dissent. "They were asked to leave the carriage to give us a bit of dignity, and everyone either left or got on another carriage.
"We're all still in shock."
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
A little more info on France's low cost high speed train.
It was really only a matter of time, but it's finally happened and the world now has some low-cost, high-speed rail options...in France. Have a few Euros in your pocket and need to head from Paris to the French Riviera? Well, it can actually happen now, thanks to Ouigo (pronounced wee-go), a train from the SNCF designed to bring affordable travel to all.
Starting April 3rd, the super-fast TGV train is launching its low-cost tickets from Paris to Lyon, Marseille and Montpellier at an absolute steal of 10 Euros each way. Since there are a few stops in between these cities, a weekend get-away in Provence is not out of the question.
If you have ever flown on a true budget airline, you will see some parallels within the Ouigo details. For example, the main train station is not in Paris. In fact, it's about a 40 minute commuter rail trip outside the city, by Disneyland Paris, at Marne-la-Vallée.
Also, don't think the 10 Euros will get you anything more than a seat. If you need to charge your devices, that's an extra 2 Euros; some extra baggage will add 5-10 Euros to the ticket price. Make sure you bring your own nibbles for the roughly 3-hour trip south since there is no cafe car when your feeling peckish. Obviously it will be more economical to pack passengers in like sardines.
As expected, the cheap-y prices are a supply and demand equation. The faster the cheap seats sell out, the higher the prices go. A 10 Euro ticket can easily turn into 30 Euros if you wait too long. So if you can plan ahead, you might be able to snag a seat for a few bucks. We would also recommend brushing up on your French, since the website seems to be "'sans Anglais."
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
CHICAGO - In the next few years, taking a trip to St. Louis may be a lot quicker, thanks to high-speed rail. The federal government is investing nearly $800 million to jump-start high-speed rail projects, and a new report by the Environmental Law and Policy Center says that means thousands of new jobs in the Midwest.
It's exciting, said ELPC's President, Howard Learner.
"We're now going to see modern, fast higher-speed rail operating between Chicago and Detroit, and Chicago and St. Louis by 2015, 2016, using modern new rail cars that are being assembled in Rochelle, Illinois."
He says 84 companies all over Illinois will be making rail cars or components for the cars as a result of investment in high-speed rail.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
From April 2 Ouigo services will run from Marne-la-Vallée Chessy station on the eastern outskirts of Paris to Marseille and Montpellier. There will be three return services a day and four on Sundays.
Tickets can only be booked on line, with fares for the single class priced according to demand and ranging from €10 to €85. Children accompanied by an adult pay a flat fare of €5 and SNCF says that 25% of the seats will be sold at less than €25. Read the full story click on link.
SNCF unveils Ouigo low-cost TGV service - Railway Gazette
Saturday, February 16, 2013
After 20 years' delay because of opposition from locals and environmental campaigners, work on the Italian side of a high-speed rail tunnel designed to link Turin with Lyon in France has finally begun. But with protesters in the woods and hills around the site, the Italian army has been brought in to provide security.
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/65897000/jpg/_65897390_tunnel_frenchside_afp624.jpg He called my mobile phone sounding a little panicky, shortly before our rendezvous at an anonymous motorway service station in north-west Italy.
"We have to change the plan," he blurted. "They've found out you're coming!"
This sounded interesting. My run-of-the-mill filming trip to a tunnelling project - albeit the world's most extravagant in ambition, budget and controversy - was turning into a scene from a spy drama.
"Who's found out what?" I asked.
"The protesters!" he exclaimed. "We can't meet there after all." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21450740
Monday, February 11, 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
A recent article in the Toronto Sun by Simon Kent was titled, "Making A Case for High Speed Rail". The on-line version of the article also had a poll asking people, Would you ever use a high-speed rail service between Toronto and Montreal?
A resounding 77% of poll respondents stated they would take the high-speed rail if it was quicker than planes. Rail would be significantly quicker once you add in the total time a flight actually takes. (eg: add in airport security issues, travel to airport, wait times at airport, etc.) Only 7% preferred to still drive between the two cities.
Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states, " Although on-line media polls may not be statistically sound, they do give you a snapshot of people's views on subjects. It is clear that poll respondents support the implementation of high-speed rail in from Toronto to Montreal.
The Toronto Poll ( (CLICK HERE) results mimic the findings of the EKOS Research Poll on High Speed Rail in Canada (CLICK HERE) , November 2009 that showed over 77% of Canadians supported the implementation of high-speed rail. It is too bad our federal government has no vision at all for the future of passenger rail in this country."
Monday, February 4, 2013
by Simon Kent - Toronto Sun - Canada is a nation built on steel. Big, steel wheels.
As early as 1836, when the first public train began running between Saint Jean sur Richelieu and La Prairie near Montréal, rail travel helped Canadians conquer the tyranny of distance.Somehow these mechanical marvels reflected our famous capacity for boundless energy, optimism, hope and sheer hard work.
For 150 years and more, tracks were laid east, west, north and south carrying passengers and freight into the farthest corners of Canada.Then we seemed to gradually fall out of love with traveling on ribbons of rail.
Permanently. The last effort to try and re-engage train travellers saw the launch of Canadian National’s Turbo Train in 1968. Read the whole article CLICK HERE.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
It amounts to a high-profile smear campaign on the high-speed rail program from a mainstream media source trying to expose government corruption and waste where none exists. Cooper makes it clear they’re going to stay on the story; they already did a similar takedown of the California rail program.
Keeping CNN Honest: 10 Ways Anderson Cooper Got the Rail Story Wrong
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The train will be able to cover the approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Mexico City to Queretaro city in less than two hours, Communications and Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said.
The train will have state-of-the-art technology and operate at speeds of up to 180 kph, official said. (well not true high speed but moving forward!)
Mexico to have high-speed rail system
Sunday, January 27, 2013
British engineers have found simple ways to reduce the deadly impact of bomb attacks on trains which could prevent a repeat of the heavy tolls left by the Madrid train attacks in 2004 and the London Underground bombings in 2005. The designs by Newcastle University researchers include plastic-coated windows, energy-absorbing materials and wires tethering down ceiling panels. The intention is to reduce the amount of flying debris in the carriage.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
WireService.ca Media Release - January 15th, 2013 - High Speed Rail Canada is a national non profit organization dedicated to educating Canadians on the benefits of modern passenger rail in Canada. They do it through their blog, youtube video channel, Facebook site and public symposiums.
High Speed Rail Canada has the largest audio and video collection of the UAC CN Turbo train. This train ran from 1968 through to 1982. It was Canada's high speed train with speeds over 200km/h. These 1969 CN TURBO TRAIN Equipment Location Diagrams Model TMT-7D are from United Aircraft Canada are being made available for the first time ever for the public.
Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states, " Our mandate is to educate Canadians on high speed rail. These detailed train diagrams from Canada's Turbo Train can be used by students, engineers, politicians and the general public to increase their knowledge on high speed trains. We are sending them to Prime Minister Harper's office in the hopes he can increase his knowledge on high speed trains."
To view the the TURBO TRAIN DIAGRAMS go to our HERE.
To learn more about the CN TURBO Train go to our Archive page on our Website.
Contact - Paul Langan, 519-654-0089, highspeedrailcanada (at)yahoo.ca
Sunday, January 6, 2013
The high speed train of the new 2,298-kilometre (1,425-mile) line between Beijing and Guangzhou. China started service on December 26 on the world's longest high-speed rail route, the latest milestone in the country's rapid and -- sometimes troubled -- super fast rail network. The opening of this new line means passengers will be whisked from the capital to the southern commercial hub in just eight hours, compared with the 22 hours previously required.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Fyra high speed train at Brussel-Zuid/Bruxelles-Midi a video by justindperkins on Flickr.
New Years Eve Belgium High Speed Train leaving the station
We will have has a pdf download on this blog, the ORIGINAL CN TURBO TRAIN Equipment Location Diagrams Model TMT-7D from United Aircraft Canada. These are simply spectacular.
The UAC CN Turbo ran from 1968 to 1984 in Canada and often had speeds over 200km/h. This has been well documented.
To get pumped up for the Equipment Diagrams release go to our archives and listen to complete official 1967 CN press conference announcing the Turbo. Journey back in time when Canada actually had a vision for high speed rail.
My hope is that some politician/ business leaders in Canada will look at these diagrams and say, YES, we can have high speed trains again in Canada and do it better. Stay tuned for the official press release and download info.