Monday, October 24, 2016

Rare Final Run VIA Rail Turbo Train Photos to Be Releasd

October 31st, 1982 Turbo Train
It pays to start cleaning out your storage areas. John Stewart had lent me his slides of the Turbo Train. The slides were take on October 31st, 1982. It was the last run of the Turbo from Toronto to Montreal.

I had recently been going through my collections and found these slides again. Although not always the best quality photos they certainly are the rarest photos of  CN/VIA/ Turbo Train

In 7 days on October 31st, we will post a link to them on our website. It will be exactly 34 years since since Canadas only high speed train operated.

For now you can look through our worlds largest collection of Turbo Train by clicking HERE.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

VIA Rail Canada - 2016 House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts/Comité permanent des comptes publics

Thanks to Greg Gormick for letting us know about the June 16th 2016 House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts/Comité permanent des comptes publics hearings and subsequent evidence.

The hearings focused on the previous Auditor General of Canada report on VIA Rail and featured senior VIA Rail management being asked questions by the committee. Topics such as: the need for enabling passenger rail legislation, VIA Rail's problems running on CN track and the High Frequency Rail idea are discussed.

High Speed Rail Canada has published the evidence from this hearing on their google drive for the public to view and download. Click HERE for english version. Click HERE for french version.

The hearings are only as good the politicians sitting on the committee. Unfortunately partisan Tory politician  Hon. Pierre Poilievre and his outdated opinions on high speed rail add little value to the committee.

The All Aboard St. Mary's rail advocacy group has issued a press release on the committee hearings.

We at High Speed Rail Canada are looking forward to see what the future holds for inter-city passenger rail in this country.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What to Buy a Maglev Train?

Transrapid Maglev For Sale
It is good to be skeptical of Maglev technology as a viable transportation system. Despite the billions spent on maglev over the years only one high speed maglev train is in operation. Even this train, the Chinese Shanghai Maglev, had future expansion plans cancelled. The original partner on the project Siemens decided not to be involved in Maglev anymore also.

So it really comes as no surprise that the Transrapid Maglev in Germany are up for sale. We have followed this train through its tragedies (2006 - 23 dies in accident) and failed projects in China.

Bidding closes on October 25th. CLICK here to read the specifics of the auction. CLICK here to go to the auction site. It is in German.

Passenger Rail Innovation Corridor Waterloo Region - Toronto

(notice the footers for catenary masts for electrification of the line when exiting Pearson)

Perhaps it is fitting that the modernization of passenger rail service happens on the North Main Line(NML) running from London - Kitchener - Toronto. The Waterloo Region and Toronto are the leaders in Canada in attracting technology companies. The Innovation Corridor has been created.

Unfortunately the passenger rail transportation between the two areas is painfully slow with 2 hours using Go Transit or ridiculously high priced with VIA Rail ($74.45 Kitchener-Toronto).

There have been some substantial investments and successes in updating the NML corridor since the FCP World consultants released their 2014 pre-feasibility study about possible high speed trains on the line. The line has long been ignored by the previous owner CN and does require a substantial financial investment.

The good news is GO Transit did buy the line between Georgetown-Kitchener and have also come to an agreement with CN about getting them off their remaining section between Georgetown-Bramalea. Ownership of the line is critical to be being able to improve the passenger rail infrastructure needed for modern trains.

The completion of the Go Transit Georgetown South Project,  has already resulted in an increase in Go Train service and the introduction of the Union-Pearson Express trains to the airport.

The electrification of the NML line has already been assessed from Union Station to Pearson. It is now being extended from Malton to Bramalea.

david collenette
David Collenette
Former Federal Transport Minister David Collenette will soon be giving his recommendations to the Ontario government regarding the implementation of high speed rail trains between London-Kitchener-Toronto.

Whatever is recommended by Mr. Collenette will be require significant capital investment. The federal government and private partners must come on board to finance high speed rail.

If real change is to happen along the NML groups like the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation, Communitech and the Chamber Of Commerce Greater Kitchener-Waterloo have to get active in their advocacy on this issue.

I am hopeful that the Waterloo Region to Toronto will be the first location for high speed trains in Canada.

Friday, October 7, 2016

National College of High Speed Rail on track

New Civil Engineer - The roof structure on the National College of High Speed Rail in Birmingham has been finalised, meaning it is on track to open to students in September 2017.

The government said that finalising the roof structure was a significant milestone in the construction phase. When complete, it will provide the specialist training, skills and qualifications required to build High Speed 2 (HS2) and future rail infrastructure projects.

The college, based in Birmingham’s university district, along with its sister site in Doncaster’s Lakeside, will play a vital role in ensuring Britain addresses the impending skills shortage in the engineering sector while upskilling the current workforce, said a government spokesperson.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Incomplete communication led to risk of collision between a VIA Rail train and equipment at a CN work site in Whitby, Ontario, in October 2015

RICHMOND HILL, ON, 5 Oct. 2016 /CNW/ - According to its investigation report (R15T0245) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has determined that incomplete communication and improper signal blocking were causal in the risk of collision between a VIA Rail train and work equipment at a Canadian National Railway (CN) work site in October 2015 in Whitby, Ontario.

On 25 October 2015, before a crew started work on a CN track of the Kingston Subdivision, near Whitby, Ontario, the foreman called the CN rail traffic controller (RTC) and asked for—and received—exclusive use of the south track (which meant that trains would be operating on the north track only) between Mile 304 and Mile 305. However, the RTC inadvertently entered improper signal blocking that would still permit trains to operate on the south track past Mile 304