Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Federal Government Gives VIA RAIL Money for a Study Only in New Budget

Well the Trudeau Liberal budget has continued the trend of past Conservative and Liberals governments by giving VIA Rail Canada $3.3 million over three years for an “in-depth assessment of Via Rail’s high-frequency rail proposal."

Somehow VIA Rail management thought they should be given billions of dollars for an idea. It is a reality check for the crown corporation.

This new study being done by VIA Rail will be according to our records, the 21st study done on high speed trains (although technically VIA Rail's plan is for slow trains).

Rick Mercer's classic parody on the death by study segment on his TV show needs to be viewed again after today's news.

Monday, March 6, 2017

B.C. supports feasibility study of high-speed rail line from Portland to Vancouver

Globe and Mail - British Columbia’s Transportation Minister says the province supports Washington State’s decision to study the feasibility of a high-speed rail line from Portland to Vancouver.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has allotted $1-million (U.S.) from his 2017-19 state budget to examine the costs and benefits of building a system to carry travellers 400 kilometres an hour with stops in Seattle and Bellingham. A report is due in December.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

All aboard? As VIA Rail turns 40, questions about its future remain

Yahoo Canada Finance - This month marks 40 years since the federal government under former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau spun passenger rail services out from under the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways to the newly minted banner VIA Rail.

At least partially inspired by the 1971 creation of Amtrak to the south, the Liberal government had promised to create its own iteration during the 1974 election campaign. Federal Transport Minister Otto Lang announced the crown corporation in February 1977 and by April 1978, VIA Rail took over the Quebec City to Windsor corridor that to this day still represents the highest ridership of its train lines.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

VIA Rail Canada - Take a Ride Through Tweed Ontario

Thanks Lesley Bernard for this photo journey through Tweed on the abandoned rail line. Good Luck VIA Rail Canada on their new route.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Washington State to weigh up $30bn Seattle-to-Vancouver high-speed link

GCR News -   The US state of Washington has announced that it will spend $1m on a feasibility study into a 230km high-speed rail link between Seattle, Portland in Oregon, and Vancouver in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The idea of a high-speed line to link northwestern cities is not new – the Pacific Northwest Corridor is one of 11 possible high-speed routes identified by the US government in 1992 – but no steps have been taken to set such a project in motion.

The issue is back on the agenda partly because of increasing congestion on the region’s roads and airports, and partly because Bill Gates and Satya Nadella, his successor as chief executive of Microsoft, have teamed up with politicians and other business people to support the idea. Read the rest here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Guest Blogger: VIA RAIL Plan For Tweed Can Be Done!

Somewhere near Tweed ON,
photo by Greg Gormick

by Lesley Bernard - As a Tweedite, I have been following this plan closely. Like with many of the other communities on the proposed route, representatives from VIA have been here too to meet with our mayor and council.

The Chamber of Commerce asked council to support the plan. The mayor and council's official position is "wait and see if anything actually happens".

The Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance had been under the mistaken belief that they owned the ROW but CP has always retained ownership. A fibre-optic trunk line was buried under the ROW about 15 years ago. Locals and tourists could be opposed but ownership having been retained by CP, the tracks can go back down whenever they want.

In town, the ROW is intact but with some encroachment by some of the adjacent neighbours with fences and plantings. The ROW runs right thru the local lumber yard but they are in the process of getting permits to build a new facility on the south edge of town. I think likely all in-town road crossings would removed with the roads dead ending at the track. A few locals might be inconvenienced but nobody would get trapped.

The exception is Victoria (Hwy 37), have to be a crossing there. The steel bridge across the Moira R is intact and in good shape.

One bridge that was removed is over the Crowe R south of Marmora. It was replaced with a pedestrian/ATV grade bridge.

Stations are proposed for Perth, Tweed and Peterbrough with 5 of 15 trains/day each way making local stops. Tweed would become the hub for the Quinte/Hastings area.