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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. Please sign up for our free newsletter and stay engaged through our social media.

The MEDIA or interested parties can use our CONTACT page to get in touch with us for interviews.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Study to Look at Relocating Freight Trains Away from Milton and Kitchener GO Lines


The City of Mississauga, City of Toronto, City of Cambridge and the Town of Milton are each requesting support from their Council Members to partner on a study that could result in a transformation of the rail network in the western GTA.

“Improving rail transit in the western GTA would provide long-lasting benefits for our city. It would stimulate economic growth by attracting new talent, businesses, employers and students to the city while increasing innovation, growth opportunities and prosperity,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We share the same vision as our municipal partners and Mississauga is taking the lead, to bring about convenient and effective transit solutions to move people across the GTA and beyond. Similar to Mississauga’s LRT, there’s a strong foundation that supports the need for a regional rapid transit system.”

The federal government has indicated its intent to invest in transit infrastructure, including rapid transit. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $2.6 billion in funding for Toronto's SmartTrack transit plan, as a commitment ahead of October’s federal election.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Turbotrain, Zerotrain, Ecotrain: The Ecological Political Economies of High-Speed Rail in Canada

We have added to our HSRC Google Drive the dissertation of  Ryan Maurice Katz-Rosene titled,  Turbotrain, Zerotrain, Ecotrain: The Ecological Political Economies of High-Speed Rail in Canada from 2014 from Carleton University. Enjoy reading it. 347 pages. http://tinyurl.com/nkmcjvv

Monday, June 22, 2015

Will the Harper government hand out money to CP Rail for new Detroit/Windsor Rail Tunnel?



I, like many others, dream of seeing the return of passenger rail between Canada and the USA. Specifically the Sarnia/Port Huron or Windsor/Detroit Border.

The proposed $400 million CP Rail new double freight tunnel between Windsor and Detroit does not include any mention of passenger rail only freight.

The tunnel project known as the the Continental Rail Gateway project. It involves mainly CP Railway and Borealis Transportation — a division under the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System along with the Windsor Port Authority.

$200 million comes from the partners and $200 million is needed from the USA/CANADA governments. Then the construction of the tunnel, which will be built next to the existing tunnel, can begin.

This is not the first time the new tunnel idea has been tried. The Detroit River Tunnel Partnership spent around $100m on engineering. It also acquired 20 acres of land for the project from Detroit in 2007. The project could not kick-start due to funding problems.

So there are a couple questions that need to be asked.

1. Where is the $200. million in government funding coming from to make this project happen? The state of Michigan announced $10 million in funding, which proponents say is significant but falls far short of the needed amount.

2. The Harper government, who have been in discussion with the project leaders about tapping into the Build Canada fund. Should they fund a project that primarily benefits a private rail company and a pension fund?

3. Can passenger trains once again connect Detroit and Windsor? Yes this could happen. But it would be challenging for a variety of reasons. Especially since  VIA chose to build their new station where the old station is in Walkerville. Had they picked a new station location, as suggested in the Community Based Strategic Rail Study (pg 15) connections to the tunnel would have been easier.

Can the Harper government demand passenger rail service in the new tunnel in exchange for money? Yes they can. Ensuring passenger rail service in the tunnel would make the project beneficial to Canadians and not just CP Rail.

We will keep you up to date on this issue. For now we included a great video of the rail tunnel from 1994 when it was expanded a the top of this article.

Santa Cruz County Passenger Rail Transit Study



This report studies the feasibility of passenger rail transit service between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, CA. Interesting reading - http://www.sccrtc.org/projects/rail/passenger-rail/ 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Making the Most of High-Speed Rail in California: Lessons from France and Germany

Eric Edllin - The Germand Marshall Fund of the US

This report argues that in order for high-speed rail (HSR) to deliver on its promise to 38 million Californians and investors, the project must be designed as the backbone of a comprehensive system for sustainable passenger mobility in California.

If HSR is to serve as the backbone of sustainable intercity mobility in the state, the project's definition must extend beyond HSR route planning to include sustainable local transportation connections and careful station area planning.

Cities across France and Germany demonstrate how HSR can be a powerful tool for strengthening cities and towns along HSR corridors in economic, social, and cultural terms. With careful planning, the same can be achieved in California.

This is why the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA) is funding planning efforts in most of the cities that will have HSR stations, to ensure that each station area is designed to maximize HSR-supportive development within station areas. This report highlights best practices from Europe that can help inform these CAHSRA-funded planning efforts.

READ THE STUDY HERE!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

High Speed Rail Canada Founder to Speak at International Right of Way Association Luncheon June 3rd, 2015

Paul Langan, President of High Speed Rail Canada will speak at a luncheon hosted by the International Right of Way Association, June 3rd, 2015.

Location is the Harbour Banquet & Conference Centre, 2340 Ontario St, Oakville, On.L6L 6P7.Non -Members tickets are :$45.00 (HST included). For more information:
http://www.irwachapter29.org/#!information/vstc1=luncheons

To order tickets go HERE:

Friday, May 22, 2015

High Speed Rail - History - On Board the VIA Turbo Train Interview March 6th, 1977


I love this interview. It is short but captures the essence of  being a passenger in 1977 on the Turbo and comparing it to the cost/convenience to travelling by plane.

FROM CBC ARCHIVES  February 28th, 1977, Federal Transport Minister Otto Lang announces the creation of a new Crown corporation that will take over all passenger rail services in Canada. It is called VIA Rail Canada. Until this time, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways both operated a mix of profitable freight services and debt-ridden passenger services. CBC Radio reporter Bob Johnstone, on board the Turbo train between Toronto and Montreal, asks his fellow passengers why they prefer traveling by rail. http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/1977-via-rail-canada-is-born

Thursday, May 21, 2015

VIA RAIL TRAIN HITS RIDING LAWNMOWER, DRIVER OKAY!

NOTE: This blog title sums up the present state of passenger rail in Canada.

WINDSOR STAR - A train travelling from Windsor to Toronto clipped a John Deere lawn mower east of Chatham.
The 83-year-old lawn mower driver was wearing ear protection while cutting grass and did not hear the train coming, according to a police news release. He was not injured.
Damage to the lawn mower was estimated at about $1,500. Police said no charges will be laid.

Maxime Dupont-Demers, spokesman for VIA Rail, said the train made an emergency stop after it struck the mower at a crossing between fields where there are no lights or barriers. Police said it was near the intersection of Kent Bridge Road and Northwood Line.

“There is a right of passage for tractors there,” he said in an email. He said the mower driver was not injured, nor were any of the train passengers.
Dupont-Demers said the train has the right of way and whistles at all crossings.

Via Rail Boss say NO to High Speed Rail

Windsor Star - The Windsor market will gain two runs as part of a strategy by Via Rail Canada to increase ridership.

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, the president and CEO of Via Rail, announced the return of a 5:30 p.m. weekday train from Toronto to Windsor and an extra run between Windsor and London during a Wednesday luncheon hosted by the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re working hard to increase ridership at Via Rail,” Desjardins-Siciliano told about 50 people at the Caboto Club. “We believe we’re poised for growth.”

He said the extra service should be in place late this year or by early 2016. There is also a plan to add an extra service between Sarnia and London.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

High Speed Rail Canada Announces New On-Line Clothing Store

High Speed Rail Canada officially announces that their on-line store is now open to buy High Speed Rail Canada clothing.

WireService.ca Press Release (05/20/2015) Cambridge, ON, - High Speed Rail Canada is Canada's only national advocacy group promoting the introduction of high speed rail since 2008.

High Speed Rail Canada has over 20 previous Canadian high speed rail studies on their website as well as the world’s largest publically available video and audio recordings relating to the CN Turbo Train and Bombardier Jet Train. Their newsletter goes out to over 300 supporters and is growing each month.

The introduction of clothing embroidered with the High Speed Rail Canada logo for sale is now being offered on their website. Payment is available through Paypal.
Clothing available through the site includes:
  • Short and long sleeve T-shirts.
  • Ladies and mens polo Shirts.
  • Zippered and pull over Gildan Hoodies
High Speed Rail Founder Paul Langan states, "It is time to actively promote the need for high speed rail travel in Canada. Our clothing is one way to raise the visibility of the issue and to also allow supporters a chance to buy it. The embroidered logo looks fantastic on the shirts and hoodies.”

Visit the High Speed Rail Canada store on their website . Keep in touch with them via Twitter - @HSRCanada. Contact Paul Langan 519-654-0089

High Speed Rail Canada Website