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Saturday, December 3, 2016

High Speed Rail Canada December Newsletter to Include Link to Turbo Train Video

We wanted to let you know that when our free e-newsletter comes out tomorrow it will include a link to a rare Turbo Train 1 minute b/w silent video. So if you are interested in viewing the video, please sign up for our e-newsletter on the front page of our blog. We only ask for your name and email. Here is the direct link to our sign up page.
Turbo Train Video Clip Link Included in Our E-Newsletter

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Réseau électrique métropolitain the Mont-Royal Tunnel and VIA Rail

Guest Blog by André Lussier - It is true that using the Mont-Royal tunnel for the REM could well forbid any other train to use it.

The REM is a catenary driven electric train and its height is not easily compatible with bi-mode diesel electric locomotives already used through the said tunnel.

See, both the most used line ( Deux-Montagnes North-West, already electric ) and the newest line ( 2 years old ) Mascouche (North-East, bi-mode locomotives) will be cut from the tunnel, defeating their usefulness.

But the Deux-Montagnes line will be entirelty replaced by a new REM line rolling on the present day train tracks that have just been refurbished at a 400 millions $ cost.


As for the Mascouche line, the REM offers a tranfer station to the REM somewhere on highway 40 ( I do not live in Montreal, so, some of my infos lack proper context, but I can read... ! ) to reach downtown, or any other place via REM and/or the Metro


To get it straight, the tunnel is not compatible with running diesel locomotives, no proper exhaust for the fumes exist to this day and no proper exits for people in case of large problems like fire neither exists. To turn this around, the AMT ( Transport Authority purchased bi-mode locos that switch from electric to diesel once out of the tunnel ).

To get this tunnel repaired or replaced would imply very costly works, like 1 billion $ for a new tunnel to get it to par with recent safety rules, even if parallel to the existing one. At least this is what they say, is it believable ?  I sincerely do not know.

There are other ROW lines to leave the Island on the north shore but they are all slower than using the tunnel. And, as I keep digging, some discussions seem to be going on how to make it compatible with modifications to the signaling and automating some of the traffic to let passenger trains through the tunnel other than the REM system. 

One point that seems to angry VIA is the taking into possession of the tunnel without consideration to the present users as if they were non existent. VIA wanted to use the tunnel for its HFR running on the north shore of the river, making for an easier access to Trois-Rivières & Québec eastbound and Ottawa&Toronto westbound.  But since that part is still a project ...

As you can see, the deck of cards is still flying in the air and no set of rules has yet been arranged.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The USA Finally Make Safety Rules for High Speed Rail

Wired Advocating for HIGH SPEED RAIL in the US is a brutal business, continually raising and dashing one’s hopes. Six years ago, President Obama dedicated some $8 billion in stimulus funds to high speed rail projects. Then the governors of Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin spurned the cash. California took the money, only to see its plan to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles hamstrung by bureaucracy, crippling land use issues, and the Golden State’s vicious brand of NIMBYism. Read the whole article https://www.wired.com/2016/11/feds-finally-make-safety-rules-high-speed-rail/

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Guest Blog - Stop Playing Politics With High Speed Rail

by Anonymous -Mobility via road transportation is almost at a standstill in the Quebec City/Windsor corridor and we must now look at train travel as the missing third link in order to allow people to move from A to B in a quick, safe, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner.

It is so sad to see that other developed countries realized this long ago and have invested long-term in railways as a viable alternative to the automobile and short- to medium-length airline travel.

As a result of our short-term thinking, Canada is at least 50 years behind the times when it comes to rail travel.

And we have no excuse for being in the dark in terms of finding transportation solutions as most Canadians have access to a wealth of information via the internet...

Also, a lot of us have travelled to Europe and have literally emerged in shock after witnessing their seamless transportation systems that allow a passenger upon disembarking a plane to quickly make the transition to other forms of transport such as intercity rail, ferries, buses, etc.

Isn't time that we stop playing politics and stop using excuses such as subsidization to prevent any attempts at revitalizing rail transportation in Canada since all forms of transportation are subsidized one way or another, either directly or indirectly!

We have to admit to it once and for all, that suburbia simply isn't sustainable or workable in the long term and that we must rethink and find solutions for our transportation woes, not to mention the proper and intelligent steps to safeguard our environment and planet!

Unfortunately, I personally feel that Canada will never get high speed rail because there are higher forces at play here that will prevent this viable and realistic solution from ever being implemented!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Guest Blog Posting - High Speed Rail in Canada

by Alex Naughton  - The charismatic and youthful Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is much admired around the world as the leader of the world\'s leading liberal democracy - i.e. Canada. Here in Britain, Canada is increasingly much admired as a beacon of hope and inclusive, liberal democracy and politics.

In light of the unfortunate election of Donald Trump in the USA which sees that country apparently heading in a retrograde direction, Canada has an opportunity to be a leading force for liberal politics and as a democratic country that is open, inclusive and welcoming to the world. Brand Canada already has many high regarded and well known brands such as The Canadian train service, Air Canada, Four Seasons Hotels, Canadian Pacific Railroad, Bombardier, Rocky Mountaineer luxury land cruise train, etc. It has a growing reputation for iconic names in the entertainment industry such as Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Michael Buble, Ryan Gosling etc. Why not move towards global excellence by developing high speed rail?

I feel that a good opportunity for Canada to lead the way in thinking in North America is in high speed rail. Examples in Europe and elsewhere show that high speed rail and investment in infrastructure can enhance competitiveness of a country and make it more attractive for businesses.

Has Canada considered developing a high speed rail network? A great corridor to consider could be Quebec City - Montreal - Ottawa - Toronto - Windsor. This could even go across to Detroit and Chicago in the USA in the future perhaps. This corridor is the most populated corridor in Canada and would be great for a prestigious high speed rail service showcasing Canada.

Canada should lead the way with this for North America and create a high speed rail network on this corridor and give it a distinctive brand showcasing Canada. This would be wonderful especially as 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canada.

It would be a great postiive development for Canada and help it remain dynamic and competitive into the future.

CCPPP Keynote: Minister of Transport Marc Garneau

Marc Garneau mentions rail infrastructure!

Federal minister of transport Marc Garneau was the opening keynote speaker for the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships conference held on November 14 in Toronto. LINK to rest of the story.