Wednesday, May 25, 2016

GUELPH Wants High Speed Rail

Guelph Wants High Speed Rail
High Speed Rail for Guelph, ON?

GUELPH MERCURY - A proposed high-speed rail project from Windsor to Toronto through London and Waterloo might stop in Guelph, but only if the city agrees to costly rail upgrades including dealing with the city’s numerous at-grade crossings

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Minister in denial about Via's woes: Greg Gormick

How much does CN charge VIA RAIL to run on their tracks?

London Free Press - Jonathan Sher - Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau can’t fix what ails Via Rail until he stops shunting responsibility to others and admits Via has declined for decades, a leading rail expert says.

The critical comments from Greg Gormick came after Garneau and his ministry supplied what Gormick described as boilerplate responses to questions posed by The Free Press.

“They bobbed and weaved,” said Gormick, a Cambridge consultant whose clients have included CN and CP, Via and General Motors’ former locomotive-making business in London.


Monday, May 9, 2016

A 1964 Future Transportation System - Monorails, High Speed Rail, Turbine Engine Cars,Buses and Trucks!

1964 Futuristic Vision of  Transportation Systems in 1980

A 1964 vision of what a typical highway running through an American City would look like in 1980. What really happened to this vision? CLICK HERE FOR LARGE SIZE OF ABOVE GRAPHIC 

 In 1964, the Philadelphia Enquirer posted a graphic of what a typical American city would look like in 1980 with a highway going through it. Looking at this graphic now in 2016, with the present state of our transportation systems and how our highways connect to our Canadian and USA cities, we see how badly we need a renewed vision for the future.

 By 1964 the tearing up and elimination of the inner city streetcar systems was well underway, as the automotive and rubber tire manufacturers of the USA decided more room was needed for the cars they were building. Please watch this video “Taken for a Ride” for more information on this issue. 

The massive highway building that started in the late 1950s and their continued expansion and reliance to this day has meant alternatives to intercity travel have been largely unsuccessful.

 Let us have some fun and look and what the solutions were in 1964 and the realities are in 2016. The answer in 1964 evolved around technologies that were new/experimental and futuristic at the time. 273 km/h High Speed Trains, 96 km/h Monorails, and cars, buses and trucks powered by gas turbine engines were going to be of the solution to our transportation needs.

Gas Turbine Cars In North America 

In the early 1950s General Motors (GM) had been developing a gas turbine engine. The demonstration vehicle was the GM Firebird XP-21. It was Chrysler corporation that led the way with the Turbine Car. It had model that had the first two prototypes travelling across the USA in 1956 and 1958.

From 1962-1964 it made 50 vehicles to be demonstrated by the public. Nine still exist today, including one owned by Jay Leno. Although the program stopped and started again it was dead by 1977.

Why did the gas turbine engine car by Chrysler not survive? It definitely had positive reviews from the public. A combination of: lack of funding from Chrysler, (Chrysler was in a tough financial situation), new government legislation regarding lower emissions and increased safety standards. The final nail in the coffin for the turbine engine car was during the Ronald Regan government era when the government cut off research funding to the project. An excellent video on the history of the Chrysler turbine car is available to watch here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rail needs speed - London Free Press Press

Bombardier's Zefiro is a HSR Train VIA RAIL Does Not Want

Jonathan Sher - London Free Press - With Via Rail seeking a track of its own for conventional trains, an expert says only high-speed trains will get people out of their cars between London and Toronto and inject a badly needed jolt to the region’s economy.

Southwestern Ontario won’t abandon the highway unless high-speed trains can get them more quickly to Toronto, said Terry Johnson, a Chatham-Kent business­person and president of the Southwestern Ontario Transportation Alliance.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When Canada Had High Speed Trains

John Nelson captured this great photo of the legendary Turbo Train.
Turbo Train - John Nelson Photographer