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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 3:55 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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I'm sure the demand would be there if a proper rail line between Calgary and Edmonton existed, with an average speed of ~100-150km/h (the faster the better).

But it would cost lots of money to build. Every other city pair in the prairies has a worse business case (other than perhaps some commuter rail), so if there is no political will to build Calgary - Edmonton, there's no point discussing the other routes.
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
I'm sure the demand would be there if a proper rail line between Calgary and Edmonton existed, with an average speed of ~100-150km/h (the faster the better).
Think you'd need 200km/h minimum..otherwise people would just drive.
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 4:22 PM
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Not everyone. There is bus service right now that could be supplanted and even moderately fast rail that is reliable could still be competitive with flying downtown - downtown.

The WCML in the UK operates at a max speed of 200km/h, so its average speed is less, connecting London, Birmingham and Manchester (similar distances as Calgary - Edmonton) and plenty of people take that option instead of driving or flying.

Obviously though the faster the better and since the line is probably going to have to have substantial new infrastructure, you might as well spend the money to get it right.
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 4:40 PM
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Think you'd need 200km/h minimum..otherwise people would just drive.
I challenge you to name any HSR service in the world with an average speed in excess of 200 km/h and for every one you name I will name you five HSR services which have an average speed below 160 km/h, just to make the point that if your claim was correct, almost nobody on this planet would take the train...
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 5:07 PM
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Originally Posted by goodgrowth View Post
Think you'd need 200km/h minimum..otherwise people would just drive.
LOL. Are you saying that Albertans like to speed a lot?

I definitely support intercity rail between Calgary and Edmonton however if there is a system in place I do wonder where in each of those respective cities that the intercity station would go and how the alignment would look?
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 6:20 PM
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Think you'd need 200km/h minimum..otherwise people would just drive.
I disagree. The train between Ottawa and Toronto has a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) and is slower than that for much of the way and it is quite popular. Part of its success is the frequency of service (they have 10 trains a day during the week). If a similar service could be created for Calgary-Edmonton, it would likely also be popular

Both cities are of similar size to Ottawa, but much smaller than Toronto. They are also closer together (300km vs 450km), so I wouldn't expect exactly the same service or response.

The keys are getting the speed and frequency high enough that it is convenient. It doesn't need to be faster than driving, as the convenience of not having to waste your time stuck behind a wheel is worth something.

People often try to have trains compete with planes, but that isn't a great option. On the distance that trains are viable, a small minority of people currently fly. The vast majority of them drive, making for a much larger target market. Sure if you make the service good enough, you will win some of them over, but that shouldn't be the target demographic.
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 6:23 PM
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Originally Posted by roger1818 View Post
I disagree. The train between Ottawa and Toronto has a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) and is slower than that for much of the way and it is quite popular. Part of its success is the frequency of service (they have 10 trains a day during the week). If a similar service could be created for Calgary-Edmonton, it would likely also be popular

Both cities are of similar size to Ottawa, but much smaller than Toronto. They are also closer together (300km vs 450km), so I wouldn't expect exactly the same service or response.

The keys are getting the speed and frequency high enough that it is convenient. It doesn't need to be faster than driving, as the convenience of not having to waste your time stuck behind a wheel is worth something.

People often try to have trains compete with planes, but that isn't a great option. On the distance that trains are viable, a small minority of people currently fly. The vast majority of them drive, making for a much larger target market. Sure if you make the service good enough, you will win some of them over, but that shouldn't be the target demographic.
Yeah well 160km/h is not bad. You are at least saving some marginal time over driving on the highway...
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 6:26 PM
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The average speed is what is important, not the top speed.
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  #29  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 8:01 PM
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Everybody want better everything but it simply comes down to dollars and because, as with all things, there is only so much money to spend, the government has to make sure that it gets the most bang for the buck. It's called setting priorities.

Is it is better to spend huge amounts on low ridership routes or on the Corridor that carries 95% of all VIA's passengers? Just because Sherbrook politicians want a subway from Sherbrook to Magog doesn't mean the government should build it at the expense of not building one in Montreal. Just because the Calgary & Edmonton want to revive rail between the 2 cities doesn't mean the government should then have to bring in rail service between Whitecourt and Grande Prairie just " to be fair". Just because the government financially supports People with Disabilities doesn't mean they should also cut Weston a cheque so his feeling won't get hurt.
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 8:23 PM
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Originally Posted by goodgrowth View Post
I think the simple formula for feasible passenger trains is that it has to be at least double the speed of what a car can do but short enough of a distance where a plane doesn't make more sense...

In other words connecting large cities with HSR that are not more than a few hundred km's apart.

You'd think Calgary - Edmonton might be an option but maybe they are not large enough. How many people fly between these cities daily?
I suspect the majority of people flying are connecting to another flight.

I have my doubts that many people would fly from Calgary to Edmonton for travel between the two cities. Those people are likely driving or taking the bus. The quicker travel time of flight would likely be eliminated by the hassles of flying.

Unless you're one who is going from downtown to downtown, the train isn't the best option, because you'll likely have to get somewhere else within each city.
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2020, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
I suspect the majority of people flying are connecting to another flight.

I have my doubts that many people would fly from Calgary to Edmonton for travel between the two cities. Those people are likely driving or taking the bus. The quicker travel time of flight would likely be eliminated by the hassles of flying.

Unless you're one who is going from downtown to downtown, the train isn't the best option, because you'll likely have to get somewhere else within each city.
Back in the '60s and '70s....Pacific Western Airlines operated the 'Chieftain Airbus' shuttle between Edmonton and Calgary. The advantage it had then...was the flights operated from the near downtown Edmonton Municipal Airport (next to where the VIA Station is now) and there was no advanced check-in required. You'd just show up and go. After that airport closed and flights moved to the International Airport.... and now with security and check-in requirements.....you could drive and almost be in Calgary in the same length of time.

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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 3:00 AM
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Unless you're one who is going from downtown to downtown, the train isn't the best option, because you'll likely have to get somewhere else within each city.
The advantage of having downtown stations (such as most train stations) is not just for people living/working in close proximity to these stations, but also that the hubs for urban/regional transit tend to be also located downtown, which means that the single-best location to place any transportation station is downtown, but this does not preclude the train from also stopping at a suburban station (like Dorval and Saint-Lambert for Montreal, Fallowfield for Ottawa or Guildwood, Oakville or Malton for Toronto).

That said, the struggle is to find a somewhat ideal location in Calgary (where the C-train passes at least 300 meters away from the existing - disused - rail station) and of course in Edmonton (where the "South Edmonton" terminus is 2 km away from the next LRT station and at least twice that distance from anything which could be called "downtown")...
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Disclaimer: I am employed by VIA Rail. However, the opinions expressed here are my own and VIA is in no way liable or responsible for their content. Comments and figures posted by me here should be treated as the work of an enthusiastic University student currently researching part-time on related topics and not in any way be linked to my employment at VIA Rail.
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 3:07 AM
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I’ve heard the discussion on this before but lost track after:
What’s Transport Canada’s verdict on putting heavy rail trains on light rail tracks (if the gauges are even the same)? And yes, lol I’m looking at the viability () of putting passenger trains on light rail tracks.
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 3:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
I’ve heard the discussion on this before but lost track after:
What’s Transport Canada’s verdict on putting heavy rail trains on light rail tracks (if the gauges are even the same)? And yes, lol I’m looking at the viability () of putting passenger trains on light rail tracks.
What cities and light rail corridors do you have in mind?
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  #35  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 3:26 AM
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In this context, Calgary and Edmonton.
But yes I also had Mont Royal Tunnel in mind when I asked that.
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We'll soon begin work to extend Highway 417 to Renfrew, first replacing the intersection of Calabogie Road with an interchange!

On va prolonger l'Autoroute 417 jusqu'à Renfrew à bientôt, tout en remplaçant l'intersection du Chemin Calabogie à un échangeur d'abord!
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 4:00 PM
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Well, I see everybody came down on me for my comment but I can't help but wonder if we could compare an average commuter-type train to a high-speed bullet train. I'm not sure things wouldn't be a lot worse at 300 kph. I'm actually rather surprised with how little people on these boards care about the prospect of a train derailing at high speed just because "most people would survive". Because that matters.
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 4:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Spocket View Post
Well, I see everybody came down on me for my comment but I can't help but wonder if we could compare an average commuter-type train to a high-speed bullet train. I'm not sure things wouldn't be a lot worse at 300 kph. I'm actually rather surprised with how little people on these boards care about the prospect of a train derailing at high speed just because "most people would survive". Because that matters.
I'm far more concerned with a poorly maintained train and/or tracks than a terrorist attack. I'd rather money be poured into the trains and infrastructure than some ineffective security arrangement to piss off passengers.
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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 4:19 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Originally Posted by Spocket View Post
Well, I see everybody came down on me for my comment but I can't help but wonder if we could compare an average commuter-type train to a high-speed bullet train. I'm not sure things wouldn't be a lot worse at 300 kph. I'm actually rather surprised with how little people on these boards care about the prospect of a train derailing at high speed just because "most people would survive". Because that matters.
Rail is incredibly safe, especially in countries outside of NA where rail safety is taken seriously. Air travel is also incredibly safe.
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 4:21 PM
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The advantage of having downtown stations (such as most train stations) is not just for people living/working in close proximity to these stations, but also that the hubs for urban/regional transit tend to be also located downtown, which means that the single-best location to place any transportation station is downtown, but this does not preclude the train from also stopping at a suburban station (like Dorval and Saint-Lambert for Montreal, Fallowfield for Ottawa or Guildwood, Oakville or Malton for Toronto).

That said, the struggle is to find a somewhat ideal location in Calgary (where the C-train passes at least 300 meters away from the existing - disused - rail station) and of course in Edmonton (where the "South Edmonton" terminus is 2 km away from the next LRT station and at least twice that distance from anything which could be called "downtown")...
The transit planners in Calgary appear to consider any heavy passenger rail to be so unlikely or far in the future that they have never considered it in their plans. And that was probably a sensible assumption.
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2020, 4:23 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
I’ve heard the discussion on this before but lost track after:
What’s Transport Canada’s verdict on putting heavy rail trains on light rail tracks (if the gauges are even the same)? And yes, lol I’m looking at the viability () of putting passenger trains on light rail tracks.
Would that not be up to the local transit operators, rather than Transport Canada? I would have though TC would only care if you were running light rail vehicles on mainline track.
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