Wednesday, November 18, 2015

High-speed rail players waiting for clear signals before accelerating Canadian lobby efforts, advocate says

This is the best article on the current state of high speed rail lobbying in Canada. Unfortunately to view it, you have to sign up for a two week free trial subscription to the Lobby Monitor. Well worth the little effort needed.


Far right wing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got sued after he cancelled orders and refused federal money to build a rail line with Talgo trains in the USA.

In Canada, VIA RAIL service compared to Uzbekistan passenger rail is embarrassing. So here is more news to make our situation even more depressing as Uzbekistan buys additional Talgo high speed trains.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

All Aboard Florida unveils trains, new name for Miami-Orlando not quite high speed rail service

Scheduled to being operations in 2017, the new Miami-Orlando high speed rail project will carry passengers between Florida’s two largest, most international cities and link the state’s two tourist-y-est destinations. The group behind the project, previously known as “All Aboard Florida”, recently unveiled what their new trains would look like- as well as renderings of what the new, highly anticipated train terminals will look and feel like once they’re done.

“I promise you the real thing will be a lot bigger than this,” said All Aboard Florida president Michael Reininger, at a press conference where the company released details about the trains- including a number of tiny, brightly colored model train toys- and a brand-new name for the high speed rail service: Brightline.



Monday, November 9, 2015

Press Release: High Speed Rail Canada - VIA RAIL Slow Train Coming to Ontario

High Speed Rail Canada has written a critique of recent media reports from VIA RAIL CEO Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano about plans for increased passenger rail service in the Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal corridor. Press Release (11/09/2015) - High Speed Rail Canada is Canada's only advocacy groups dedicated to promoting the modernization of passenger rail in Canada.

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.

Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano has stated that VIA RAIL is looking at building dedicated track for passenger rail service between Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal. He has stated that it would not be high speed.

Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states," With the new federal Liberal government we are at a pivotal time in passenger rail history in this country. We need for VIA RAIL to engage the public and promote modern passenger rail service in Canada that the rest of the world has enjoyed for decades. Unfortunately the VIA RAIL future plans falls short on both points."

To view the High Speed Rail Canada critique of VIA RAIL CLICK HERE. If that is slow, here is a FAST LINK. To learn more about High Speed Rail Canada or to contact founder Paul Langan go to

Friday, November 6, 2015

Greg Gormick Releases his VIA 1-4-10 Plan - Recovery Stategy for VIA RAIL

Photo by Walter Pfefferle

Greg Gormick is an authority on the history of passenger rail service in Canada. In particular he has studied VIA RAIL extensively. Transport Action Canada hired Greg to produce a study on how to revitalize passenger rail service. He has produced a lengthy 126 page report on the topic.

His report hits home identifying some of the serious problems facing VIA RAIL especially relating to it's poor management, lack of VIA RAIL legislation, inability to market their train services and the need for new rolling stock.

This study educates people on the current state that VIA RAIL is in. Greg also offers a plan to fix the situation. Most of his solutions involved continuing to use existing CN tracks and make incremental improvements.

Herein lies the problem with the studies recommendations. Greg, like many who have followed VIA RAIL through their history, is trapped in the past thinking VIA can thrive staying on CN lines. The cruel reality is this has never worked since VIA RAIL began service. There are decades of examples of CN being a substantial part of the problem that keeps VIA RAIL from becoming any type of efficient passenger rail service.

Part of the answer is owning the track for more reliable passenger rail service. GO TRANSIT realizes this is the key to success as they continue to purchase track from CN.

The new VIA RAIL proposal for a medium speed dedicated track Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal is discussed in this paper also.

Although this report ignores high speed rail solutions, we still recommend it as essential reading to understand the scope of the problems facing VIA RAIL as they continue to struggle running on freight rail lines. Read the whole study at this link.