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  #81  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2020, 3:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Convenient for anyone whose starting point is being on foot in downtown Edmonton and who's fine with being on foot in downtown Calgary, or vice versa.
They don't necessarily have to be on foot for it to be convenient. It is also a convenient location for people using transit or driving. Yes you'd have to pay to park there all day, but that's no different than the situation at the airport, which in Edmonton is very far out of the way.

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I'm sure that's the case for some people - the question is, are they numerous enough for a HSR business case.

My guess is "clearly, no", but I could be wrong.
Well, you might be right there, otherwise there's a good chance that it would have happened already.
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  #82  
Old Posted May 1, 2020, 3:19 AM
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Moving this discussion here:

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Originally Posted by roger1818 View Post
By "The Dayliner" I assume you mean the Victoria–Courtenay train (aka the Malahat or E&N)? One issue is it will no longer be possible to have a station in downtown Victoria. The tracks were removed and the station was demolished when the Johnson Street Bridge was replaced in 2018. You could still have a station across the narrows in Victoria West, but you would need to find a new location for and build a new station.

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Originally Posted by roger1818 View Post
To be fair, resumption of the Victoria–Courtenay train has been studied and the Federal government promised $7.5 million to do the repairs back in 2014, but never came through with the funds. ref1, ref2 Also, VIA Rail did list this route (along with the Matapédia – Gaspé route) as two of their Regional Services in their Summary of the 2018-2022 Corporate Plan on pg.21, but indicate that they "have been suspended for safety reasons."
BC's Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has published a report which finally puts a realistic price tag at restoring the Victoria-Courtenay service:


Unfortunately, the cost of just restoring the service which operated until unsafe track conditions forced its suspension is estimated at $227.3 million, which translates with a ridership figure of 45,706 in 1988 (sorry, couldn't find any more recent ridership figure, but would be surprised if it had increased since then) to a capital cost of $5,000 per rider. To compare, this is equivalent to spending $29.9 billion to get VIA's Corridor ridership from 4.1 to 9.9 million, whereas the sales pitch for HFR promises to achieve the same with only $4 billion...

Just to provide an illustrative example for why the costs of restoring the ROW have escalated so much:

Source: WSP (2020, p.21)
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  #83  
Old Posted May 1, 2020, 12:26 PM
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The cost per rider is high. But....

As a stimulus project, I'm wondering if this is something that work can be started on quickly. If so, it does have some value. And that initial federal grant can then give the province a piece of infrastructure to expand on, in the future.
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  #84  
Old Posted May 1, 2020, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
The cost per rider is high. But....

As a stimulus project, I'm wondering if this is something that work can be started on quickly. If so, it does have some value. And that initial federal grant can then give the province a piece of infrastructure to expand on, in the future.
It would only be a drain on tax dollars. Nowhere near enough people would use it to make it viable in even the most densely populated parts of the West. Its total lack of utility makes it a certain white elephant. I wish it was viable but it simply isn't.
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  #85  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 3:47 AM
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Honestly, the only intercity rail services at this point are tourism related (be it the Canadian, the Skeena or the Rocky Mountaineer). With Covid killing international travel, perhaps the market for scenic rail tours could be grown by positioning it as an alternative for short vacations. That way, passenger rail infrastructure would at least be kept in use until the day intercity commuter service becomes feasible again.
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  #86  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 4:13 AM
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I posted this elsewhere. It shows that there is potential to increase ridership in the West.

__________________________________________________________

Information can lead to some great discoveries....

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3wx7vr93sq...FINAL.pdf?dl=0

This was shared on Urban Toronto with regards to 2018 Via Rail boardings and deboardings. When you dig through it, you start to see some patters that are only apparent on a map.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/drive?...7D&usp=sharing


I put all stations with over 1000 on the map.
The colours are as follows:
over 1 million, red
500,000 - 1 mill, green
100,000-500,000, yellow
50,000-100.000, orange
10,000-50,000 purple
under 10,000, blue

Zooming in and out, and looking at more than just the numbers, what we see are some obvious things, and some things we can extrapolate from.

1) The 3 highest cities are Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Makes sense. They have the most trains to them. They are also among the top 5 cities in Canada.

2)The busiest stations are all along the Corridor, where it has the most trains.

3) London is the 4th and Kingston is the 5th in ridership. They are both about 2 hours drive to Toronto. This also means that one day if GO is extended to them, it will likely do well, and these numbers would drop. There is already murmurs that this will happen.

4) All terminals, except for Churchill are on the map. Churchill has 494.

5)Smith Falls is on the map, and likely would grow due to HFR going to it. It might be a good way to get to Kingston from places along the HFR route.

--------------------

Now it is time to have some fun. It is time for.... math.

Lets take the major cities outside of the Corridor and see what more service might look if the growth was linear.
The cities we will look at are: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Moncton and Halifax.

I have suggested a few things:
1)Daily service
2) cutting the long haul lines up
3) Adding additional service as needed between those terminal cities.

Lets start with the 1st one. It is simple math.
Currently, with 3 days a week service, the cities have:
Vancouver - 42,838
Edmonton -14,858
Winnipeg - 15,089
Moncton -18,823
Halifax -29,865

So, simply doubling it would give
Vancouver - 85,676
Edmonton - 29,716
Winnipeg - 30,178
Moncton - 37,646
Halifax -59,730

Ahhh, but you see, in my idea of daily service, you actually have in and out, both ways. Which means each day is 2 trains, not 1.

Vancouver - 171,352
Edmonton - 59,432
Winnipeg - 60,356
Moncton - 75,292
Halifax - 119,460

So, now it comes to cutting the long hauls up and running services like they do on the Corridor.

So, lets say we still keep the daily service, but we have alternative routes. Lets say they are also only 1 a day, both ways

For the Canadian, only Vancouver and Winnipeg would change
Vancouver - 342,704
Winnipeg - 120,712

For the Ocean, there are alternatives. So, here is how Moncton and Halifax would fair:
Moncton - 150,584
Halifax - 238,920

What about Edmonton? Well, lets say we had service down to Calgary. lets say it was really horrible, and was only 4 times a day. Lets also assume that the amount would be equal to the numbers on the Canadian getting on or off.
Edmonton - 237,728 + 59,432 = 297,160

Realize, we have not added an HFR route on any of these routes. We have not made them faster. We have just added daily service plus adding 1 new route that could draw more service.

So, our new numbers are:
Vancouver - 342,704
Edmonton - 297,160
Winnipeg - 120,712
Moncton - 150,584
Halifax - 238,920

On the map, that would make all of these go yellow. That would move Vancouver to the 6th spot.

Now, one could argue that adding the southern route across the Prairies would actually add more than this as there is more population than the northern route. And if we ever saw a return of the Gull/Downeaster to Halifax, then the numbers for Moncton and Halifax would jump too.

This is basic math. I did not even do it where I bumped the numbers up for that 7th day. So,there is a buffer in these numbers. As an engineer, whenever we do math calculations,w e always have some sort of buffer/safety factor built into the math.

Numbers don't lie. They are numbers.. They do not care about your motives.
So, once HFR frees up subsidy money, we should add services elsewhere to build up the numbers.
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  #87  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 7:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolworm View Post
Honestly, the only intercity rail services at this point are tourism related (be it the Canadian, the Skeena or the Rocky Mountaineer). With Covid killing international travel, perhaps the market for scenic rail tours could be grown by positioning it as an alternative for short vacations. That way, passenger rail infrastructure would at least be kept in use until the day intercity commuter service becomes feasible again.
Perhaps a better approach is to focus on commuter rail for the major cities. Once the commuter rail lines are in place, there may be a case to extend a line here or there.
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  #88  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 1:32 PM
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Perhaps a better approach is to focus on commuter rail for the major cities. Once the commuter rail lines are in place, there may be a case to extend a line here or there.
You mean adding a line for the first time in 25 years? That would be a start.
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  #89  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 3:52 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
You mean adding a line for the first time in 25 years? That would be a start.
Yes.

Commuter rail in Vancouver currently goes from Vancouver to Mission City. Rolling stock goes into Vancouver in the morning and is unused until afternoon commute. You can potentially take one train set that would sit unused all day in downtown Vancouver and use it to run in the opposite direction (e.g. Vancouver-Abbotsford or Hope) in the morning and still have it back in the city for the evening commute. Or for the morning commute start one train in Hope.

A commuter line from North Vancouver to Whistler would likely work.

Victoria could use commuter rail to Langford.

Calgary to Banff could work if timed to either provide commuter service as it gets closer to Calgary or using a trainset that would sit idle in Calgary during the day.
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  #90  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Yes.

Commuter rail in Vancouver currently goes from Vancouver to Mission City. Rolling stock goes into Vancouver in the morning and is unused until afternoon commute. You can potentially take one train set that would sit unused all day in downtown Vancouver and use it to run in the opposite direction (e.g. Vancouver-Abbotsford or Hope) in the morning and still have it back in the city for the evening commute. Or for the morning commute start one train in Hope.
A few problems with Vancouver's commuter rail network:

- Vancouver likes to build Skytrain to the areas that commuter rail lines would likely service to ie. Port Moody and Coquitlam. IMO this is a good problem but it does "sort of" make the development of commuter rail lines less appealing since Skytrain is reaching to further destinations already.

- The WCE rails are still owned by CN/CPR (I forget which: I know, I should have my BC residency revoked for not knowing) and they still share the rails with freight trains so that makes things difficult especially considering that it is still a popular freight train route.

- There is a lot of opportunity to develop Coquitlam Central Station into an excellent inter-connection node for WCE to interconnect with Skytrain. There is some speculation that to extend the WCE to other municipalities that they would have to connect with Coquitlam Central so long as the tracks are still sharing with freight.

However part of the main appeal of the WCE (as it operates now) is that it is a direct connection to Waterfront station in Downtown Vancouver. If Coquitlam Central was redeveloped as an interconnected transit hub then one would have to transfer at Coquitlam Central to the Millennium line and then transfer later onto the Expo line to get to downtown Vancouver. Remember: downtown Vancouver is the most popular transit destination in Metro Vancouver for the most part.

It basically all relies on CN/CPR selling their rail to translink and I personally don't think that they will do it without optimizing another route to carry a similar amount of freight. So I think that your idea could work however it would more likely follow a route of Abbotsford/Hope > Coquitlam Central just based on loose unprofessional speculation . Feel free to correct me if anyone knows better .




Quote:
Originally Posted by casper View Post
A commuter line from North Vancouver to Whistler would likely work.
We already have the Rocky Mountaineer so the route is entirely possible. However the demand: not so much. Whistler would have to be crying for people to commute to them from Vancouver in order for a rail link to be feasible.


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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Victoria could use commuter rail to Langford.
To me this will be unlikely since Victoria will probably oppose anything rail. Their NIMBYs are next-level and Victoria has never had rail nor are they preempting any development of transit corridors to my knowledge.
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  #91  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 8:01 PM
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post
A few problems with Vancouver's commuter rail network:

- Vancouver likes to build Skytrain to the areas that commuter rail lines would likely service to ie. Port Moody and Coquitlam. IMO this is a good problem but it does "sort of" make the development of commuter rail lines less appealing since Skytrain is reaching to further destinations already.

- The WCE rails are still owned by CN/CPR (I forget which: I know, I should have my BC residency revoked for not knowing) and they still share the rails with freight trains so that makes things difficult especially considering that it is still a popular freight train route.

- There is a lot of opportunity to develop Coquitlam Central Station into an excellent inter-connection node for WCE to interconnect with Skytrain. There is some speculation that to extend the WCE to other municipalities that they would have to connect with Coquitlam Central so long as the tracks are still sharing with freight.

However part of the main appeal of the WCE (as it operates now) is that it is a direct connection to Waterfront station in Downtown Vancouver. If Coquitlam Central was redeveloped as an interconnected transit hub then one would have to transfer at Coquitlam Central to the Millennium line and then transfer later onto the Expo line to get to downtown Vancouver. Remember: downtown Vancouver is the most popular transit destination in Metro Vancouver for the most part.

It basically all relies on CN/CPR selling their rail to translink and I personally don't think that they will do it without optimizing another route to carry a similar amount of freight. So I think that your idea could work however it would more likely follow a route of Abbotsford/Hope > Coquitlam Central just based on loose unprofessional speculation . Feel free to correct me if anyone knows better .
It is mostly CP currently. I would not propose discontinuing service into downtown. No reason Skytrain and WestCoast express can't overlap in service. All trains currently start in Mission. You could take one or two of the existing trains and start them in Hop or Abbotsford 40 minutes earlier so they feed into current schedule.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scryer View Post
We already have the Rocky Mountaineer so the route is entirely possible. However the demand: not so much. Whistler would have to be crying for people to commute to them from Vancouver in order for a rail link to be feasible.
This is the route of the old Great Eastern Railway (later called BC Rail). The rail line is owned by the government of BC and leased to CN rail. The agreement provides for priority for passenger rail should it ever be brought back.

A number of existing rail routes in the lower mainland have contractual provisions that provide priority for passenger rail. That applies to almost all the lines to use to be belong to BC Hydro or BC Rail.



Quote:
Originally Posted by scryer View Post
To me this will be unlikely since Victoria will probably oppose anything rail. Their NIMBYs are next-level and Victoria has never had rail nor are they preempting any development of transit corridors to my knowledge.
The line already exists and was used by Via rail until just a few years ago. The issue is BC Rail operated it as an intercity line to Nanaimo. Wrong direction and poor timing for commuters.
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  #92  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 8:41 PM
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post

To me this will be unlikely since Victoria will probably oppose anything rail. Their NIMBYs are next-level and Victoria has never had rail nor are they preempting any development of transit corridors to my knowledge.

VIA Rail ran between Victoria and Courtenay until 2011.




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  #93  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 9:21 PM
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post
To me this will be unlikely since Victoria will probably oppose anything rail. Their NIMBYs are next-level and Victoria has never had rail nor are they preempting any development of transit corridors to my knowledge.
Huh? The exact opposite - its almost being demanded. Light rail has had extensive studies and planning since the 90s. We just need the money! Highway/Freeway expansion on the other hand is seen as being regressive by many Victorians.

Quote:
The municipalities of the Capital Regional District (CRD) in southern Vancouver Island are calling on the provincial government to implement a commuter rail service.

An open letter to BC Premier John Horgan and Transportation Minister Claire Trevana, signed by all 13 mayors in the region, calls for “immediate action” on a passenger train service between Victoria and Langford on the E&N rail corridor, with further length beyond Langford implemented in phases.
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vict...-february-2019

Quote:
Earlier this decade, there was also a proposal by BC Transit to construct a $1-billion, street-level LRT connecting downtown Victoria with its suburban communities, but the project lost momentum due to funding challenges.
https://www.bctransit.com/documents/1507213417994
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  #94  
Old Posted May 31, 2020, 2:44 AM
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Originally Posted by craneSpotter View Post
Huh? The exact opposite - its almost being demanded. Light rail has had extensive studies and planning since the 90s. We just need the money! Highway/Freeway expansion on the other hand is seen as being regressive by many Victorians.



https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vict...-february-2019



https://www.bctransit.com/documents/1507213417994
Quote:
Huh? The exact opposite - its almost being demanded. Light rail has had extensive studies and planning since the 90s. We just need the money! Highway/Freeway expansion on the other hand is seen as being regressive by many Victorians.
Yikes I stand corrected. I completely forgot about the VIA rail to Courtenay.

I didn't know much about that second bit but that just may be me not paying attention to the handful of Victoria threads.
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  #95  
Old Posted May 31, 2020, 3:09 AM
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Yes.

Commuter rail in Vancouver currently goes from Vancouver to Mission City. Rolling stock goes into Vancouver in the morning and is unused until afternoon commute. You can potentially take one train set that would sit unused all day in downtown Vancouver and use it to run in the opposite direction (e.g. Vancouver-Abbotsford or Hope) in the morning and still have it back in the city for the evening commute. Or for the morning commute start one train in Hope.

A commuter line from North Vancouver to Whistler would likely work.

Victoria could use commuter rail to Langford.

Calgary to Banff could work if timed to either provide commuter service as it gets closer to Calgary or using a trainset that would sit idle in Calgary during the day.
I actually was sarcastic. It is sad that in 25 years, no new service has been added. Excuses about ownership is bull...

Quote:
Originally Posted by scryer View Post
A few problems with Vancouver's commuter rail network:

- Vancouver likes to build Skytrain to the areas that commuter rail lines would likely service to ie. Port Moody and Coquitlam. IMO this is a good problem but it does "sort of" make the development of commuter rail lines less appealing since Skytrain is reaching to further destinations already.

- The WCE rails are still owned by CN/CPR (I forget which: I know, I should have my BC residency revoked for not knowing) and they still share the rails with freight trains so that makes things difficult especially considering that it is still a popular freight train route.

- There is a lot of opportunity to develop Coquitlam Central Station into an excellent inter-connection node for WCE to interconnect with Skytrain. There is some speculation that to extend the WCE to other municipalities that they would have to connect with Coquitlam Central so long as the tracks are still sharing with freight.

However part of the main appeal of the WCE (as it operates now) is that it is a direct connection to Waterfront station in Downtown Vancouver. If Coquitlam Central was redeveloped as an interconnected transit hub then one would have to transfer at Coquitlam Central to the Millennium line and then transfer later onto the Expo line to get to downtown Vancouver. Remember: downtown Vancouver is the most popular transit destination in Metro Vancouver for the most part.

It basically all relies on CN/CPR selling their rail to translink and I personally don't think that they will do it without optimizing another route to carry a similar amount of freight. So I think that your idea could work however it would more likely follow a route of Abbotsford/Hope > Coquitlam Central just based on loose unprofessional speculation . Feel free to correct me if anyone knows better .
1) There comes a point where the ride is too long and would be much faster on an express line. If only, the West Coast had an Express.....

2) So are some lines of GO and EXO. They still have expanded beyond the singular line....

3) The do it. The extension has been open for long enough to have a plan made public.

4) You know, you could have other lines do the very same thing.

5) Yes, Metrolinx owns some, but not all.
https://rac.jmaponline.net/canadianrailatlas/
If you zoom in, you can see that there are sections that are still CP/CN owned. Go over to Montreal. Even less is owned by EXO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scryer View Post
We already have the Rocky Mountaineer so the route is entirely possible. However the demand: not so much. Whistler would have to be crying for people to commute to them from Vancouver in order for a rail link to be feasible.
Rocky Mountaineer does not do point to point train service. They are like cruise, where you book a package. So, no, it does not do anything you think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scryer View Post
To me this will be unlikely since Victoria will probably oppose anything rail. Their NIMBYs are next-level and Victoria has never had rail nor are they preempting any development of transit corridors to my knowledge.
They have had several lines, of which there is still 1. So, maybe learn some geography before posting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by casper View Post

This is the route of the old Great Eastern Railway (later called BC Rail). The rail line is owned by the government of BC and leased to CN rail. The agreement provides for priority for passenger rail should it ever be brought back.

A number of existing rail routes in the lower mainland have contractual provisions that provide priority for passenger rail. That applies to almost all the lines to use to be belong to BC Hydro or BC Rail.
People will whine because they want Skytrain to ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghYHZ View Post
VIA Rail ran between Victoria and Courtenay until 2011.




Quote:
Originally Posted by craneSpotter View Post
Huh? The exact opposite - its almost being demanded. Light rail has had extensive studies and planning since the 90s. We just need the money! Highway/Freeway expansion on the other hand is seen as being regressive by many Victorians.



https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vict...-february-2019



https://www.bctransit.com/documents/1507213417994
I'll bet, even if they brought back the old Budd service, but timed it better, it would still be used well.
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  #96  
Old Posted May 31, 2020, 1:27 PM
scryer scryer is offline
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Rocky Mountaineer does not do point to point train service. They are like cruise, where you book a package. So, no, it does not do anything you think.
Read what I wrote again, you completely missed my points.

Point 1: The infrastructure is somewhat still there with the rails already being used.

Point 2: There has to be strong demand for the service.

Never did I compare the Rocky Mountaineer service to anything like a passenger rail service unless you can quote me on it. I only spoke on the route.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
They have had several lines, of which there is still 1. So, maybe learn some geography before posting.
I had crossed it out since I was corrected more graciously by another poster since I had completely forgot about the Via Rail link to Courtenay. My post was edited to cross it out before you made your post (and you can check the date/time to see that) and I even made another post afterwards mentioning that I stood corrected so IDK what happened there; perhaps one was accidentally triggered?

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  #97  
Old Posted May 31, 2020, 5:44 PM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post
Read what I wrote again, you completely missed my points.

Point 1: The infrastructure is somewhat still there with the rails already being used.

Point 2: There has to be strong demand for the service.

Never did I compare the Rocky Mountaineer service to anything like a passenger rail service unless you can quote me on it. I only spoke on the route.
I was multiquoting people. I also know that there is service there, but not as a commuter type set up.

Just for the skiers, there would be demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scryer View Post
I had crossed it out since I was corrected more graciously by another poster since I had completely forgot about the Via Rail link to Courtenay. My post was edited to cross it out before you made your post (and you can check the date/time to see that) and I even made another post afterwards mentioning that I stood corrected so IDK what happened there; perhaps one was accidentally triggered?

I posted mine and then your new post appeared. Glad to hear you know geography.
So, how many lines ran through the CRD? What has happened to them all?
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  #98  
Old Posted May 31, 2020, 8:26 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Numbers don't lie. They are numbers.. They do not care about your motives.
So, once HFR frees up subsidy money, we should add services elsewhere to build up the numbers.
Speaking of subsidies, long-haul routes are subsidized to the tune of ~$600/passenger. So as you allude to, it's all fun until you put a dollar sign in front of that number... and then all of a sudden it doesn't matter what your motives are, but what the penny-pinchers in Ottawa want.
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  #99  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 1:09 AM
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Originally Posted by foolworm View Post
Speaking of subsidies, long-haul routes are subsidized to the tune of ~$600/passenger. So as you allude to, it's all fun until you put a dollar sign in front of that number... and then all of a sudden it doesn't matter what your motives are, but what the penny-pinchers in Ottawa want.
That is why regular, predictable service matters. If you know the train comes in at the same time everyday, you can plan to use it. If it is once every few days, it is hard to plan. For a small example. I want to get a picture of the Budd going by my house, but because it is at different times, depending on the day, I have missed it a few times. Just imagine if you wanted to ride it. That is why the Corridor is so successful. You can plan to ride it everyday. I want to take the Canadian to Toronto and come home. But I can only do that on certain days, and it even depends on the time of year.

So, yes, add another train at $600passenger to then give the rest of Canada predictable service. Then we can use it.
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  #100  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2020, 2:16 AM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolworm View Post
penny-pinchers in Ottawa
You mean the politicians elected by the public? This thread is truly ironic given that the politicians most ready to cut VIA's budgets are usually from the provinces being discussed here.

Also, opportunity cost is a real thing. Ask Albertans, Saskatchewans and Manitobans if they want $100M per year invested in transit in their cities, or a once per day VIA train from end-to-end on the CP and CN tracks. We all know what they will say.
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