Friday, April 28, 2017

What the Ontario Budget States About High Speed Rail

High-Speed Rail - Ontario Budget Chapter 4 Section C 

In 2015, the government appointed the Honourable David Collenette as a Special Advisor to assist in bringing high-speed rail to the Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor corridor.

The Province will now advance the comprehensive environmental assessment and support additional design and planning work for the corridor. Ontario is also considering the development of a governing body that would provide oversight for the ambitious work required to design and implement high-speed rail.

High-speed rail could cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to just over two, and would make Ontario the first province to transform its rail network through high‑speed rail.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

High Speed Rail Canada Updates List of the Previous 22 High Speed Rail Studies in Ontario

High Speed Rail Canada is releasing to the public the an updated list of the previous 22 studies that been completed relating to Ontario high speed rail.

WireService.ca Press Release (04/27/2017) - High Speed Rail Canada is Canada's only advocacy groups dedicated to promoting the modernization of passenger rail in Canada.

High Speed Rail Canada is the authority on previous high speed rail historical studies in Ontario and Alberta.

They are announcing they have updated the Ontario list and have included links to 3 more Ontario high speed rail studies that were previously not available to the public.
The studies added to the list are:
  •  1990 - Sprintor, Pre-feasibility Study, Windsor-Quebec Rail Corridor, ABB Canada Inc
  • 1990 The Canadian TGV Project - Bombardier, GEC, Alstom
  • 1991 Groupe de travail train rapide QuebecOntario Rapport Final 
High Speed Rail Canada's mandate is to educate people on the benefits of modern passenger rail. They do it through their website, Youtube channel, Facebook, Twitter ;@HSRCanada and public educational sessions.

Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states," One of the original goals of the organization was to find all of the previous high speed rail studies done. Our list in Ontario has now grown to 22. We are hoping the next study due out in May 2017 (The Collenette Report) will be good news and we can start to build a high speed rail line like many other countries have enjoyed for decades."

To see the list of all the Ontario studies and download links go to our website at http://www.highspeedrailcanada.com/p/all-canadian-hsr-studies.html or call Paul Langan at 519-654-0089 or email highspeedrailcanada(at)yahoo.ca

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

David Collenette`s Ontario High Speed Rail Study to Be Released In May, 2017

Riding on Canada's Last High Speed Rail Train - The Turbo Train in the 1970s

Multiple sources are stating the long awaited David Collenette report on the business case for high speed rail between, Windsor,London, Kitchener and Toronto will be released in May.

What the study will actually say is of interest to many? Just recently Liberal Deb Matthews seemed to state the high speed rail plan  was just being studied with no commitment to implmentation.

High Speed Rail Canada will be watching closely and analyzing the study. We also wonder what the definition of "high speed" will be? At the very least the trains should travel over 200km/h. Which would have been the definition over a decade ago. Now it is routine for high speed trains to travel 300km/h.

Unfortunately in the United States of America the definition of "high speed" has been severely modified to basically mean any train running on newer tracks!

In Canada, the term for "high speed trains" has also become confusing. VIA Rail Canada invented the term "high frequency rail" to basically hide the fact that their proposed plan would involve train speeds similar to ones Canada had in the 1970s!

What we expect to see is some sort of hybrid system to meet the unique Ontario situation. Stay tuned for more information.

CP24 Toronto Story Link - http://www.cp24.com/news/high-speed-rail-line-proposal-connecting-southern-ontario-to-be-tabled-in-may-1.3385168

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time to Get Bombardier Off the Gravy Train

Opinion Column - I have blindly supported Bombardier for decades in hopes they would lead a passenger rail renewal in Canada. Sadly recent events have lead me to the conclusion that it may be time to look outside of Canada for passenger rail companies. These companies are willing to lobby the government for modern passenger rail service, build their trains here and deliver them on time.

Here are a couple events in Bombardier's past..

In 2002, I advocated strongly for Bombardier and their Jet Train. They made the large financial decision to actually build a demonstration vehicle. They promoted the Jet Train for corridor use in several locations in Canada and the USA. Sadly the timing was wrong as both the Canadian and USA governments were being run by anti-passenger rail leaders in 2003 and funding was never given to buy any Jet Trains.

I even supported Bombardier in 2004 when their Canadian made Las Vegas monorail had parts fall off the monorail vehicles to the ground during service. This caused the line to be shut down on two occasions.

Bombardier Las Vegas Monorail
After the failed Jet Train promotion it seemed Bombardier turned their backs on Canada as a place to lobby, invest and build modern high speed trains in. Yet around the world Bombardier had become a leader in building high speed trains and lines even competing and cooperating with China on their vast high speed rail system.

As mentioned previously on this site, high speed rail manufacturers from around the world are hesitant to even lobby in Canada, let alone invest, as they feel Bombardier will win the bid even if they do not have the capacity in Canada to build them.

Today the situation with Bombardier in Canada can only be described as despicable. As widely publicized the Quebec government gave Bombardier $1.3 billion to help in their CSeries Jet problems. Then in 2016 the Canadian government gave Bombardier a $372 million loan again to fix their ailing aerospace problem.

So what do executives in Bombardier receive for taking so much taxpayer money? They are given bonuses… I will not dwell on this fact as it has been widely reported in the papers. Suffice to say there is not a Corporate ethics policy at Bombardier.

Over on the train side of Bombardier, there is the Toronto LRV debacle. Bombardier have failed to deliver their LRV on time and this has led Metrolinx trying to cancel the contract with Bombardier. Unfortunately a recent court order prevents Metrolink from getting out of the contract until a dispute resolution process has taken place. This may take months/years to resolve as Bombardier will appeal any decision against them.

In conclusion, what is good for Bombardier may not be what is good for Canadians or the future of passenger rail in Canada. It is time for our government and the public to welcome and encourage other passenger rail manufacturers into this country.

Paul Langan

Monday, April 17, 2017

All Day Service on North Mail Line from Kitchener to Toronto is Complex

Go Trains Interior

I give full credit to rookie Liberal MPP Daiene Vernile, the provincial MPP for Kitchener Centre for sponsoring a recent forum at the Kitchener Library with Metrolinx officials.

People in the Waterloo Region want the answer to a simple question. When will there be all day GO Transit service in this area? Metrolinx have stated they hope this will happen by 2024.

This quote from the Cambridge Times coverage of the meeting shows just how challenging some of the improvements are.

“The first step is a new 30-kilometre corridor (between Bramalea and Milton) to bypass CNs existing track, so that we can build capacity,” said Gord Troughton, Metrolinx director of corridor infrastructure.

That work alone will require up to 35 new bridges for road and water crossings, including significant crossings of Highways 401 and 410, the modification and/or relocation of up to 17 hydro towers and up to 3.4 kilometres of major gas lines, as well as the construction of 60 km of new track.

Add in the fact that the government does not have an agreement with CN yet and there are still lots of challenges still ahead.

I am supportive of the provincial and federal governments trying to solve the existing problems on the line to bring more convenient, faster trains from Kitchener into Toronto. For decades the North Main Line has been neglected by CN and it is time for passenger rail renewal. We need to support this massive project regardless if it is GO Transit, VIA Rail or a private company offering higher speed rail delivering passenger rail service in the future on the line.

Paul Langan


There are two recent articles to read on the subject.