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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 5:01 PM
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Rural Commuter Rail

Quote:
Ottawa's rural commuters should get a train: study

Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2007 | 8:46 AM ET

CBC

A commuter rail line to Ottawa from the counties east of it would enhance the lives of residents and promote economic development, a new study says

Commuters who drive or take the bus from communities such as Limoges, Casselman and Alexandria endure a rush-hour ordeal through the clogged junction of Highways 17 and 417 nicknamed "the parking lot."

But many would rather take the train, said the report prepared for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell.

Officials such as Sylvain Charlebois think that's an idea worth pursuing.

"There's always a problem at rush hours," Charlebois, co-ordinator of development and tourism for the region, said Thursday. "So the commuter train would probably resolve that issue."

Tentatively approved by Via


The study recommends running the trains on existing Via tracks with possible stops at Limoges, Casselman and Alexandria — an idea Via has already tentatively approved.

There would be two departures during morning rush hour, two in the afternoon and additional return trips in the evenings and on weekends.

Transportation expert Harry Gow, who helped put together the report, said the first phase of the project would involve one rail line to Alexandria and improved bus routes. He said eventually it could be expanded to a second rail line along Highway 17.

Municipal officials presented the plan for the estimated $7-million project to the provincial government on Feb. 27 and continue to discuss it with them. They hope it could be partly funded by gas tax revenues.

Gow, founder of the research and advocacy group Transport 2000, said transit projects tend to come together more quickly in rural than urban areas.

"That's the elegance of things in the country," said Gow. "Things tend to move fast because you don't have a heck of a lot of people to please. You have to please the taxpayer, and that's sort of the end game with these rural municipalities."
not sure what the latest status of this proposal is...
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 5:08 PM
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found this from Casselman's Sept 25/07 meeting

Quote:
Resolution for the commuter train:
Resolution no. 2007-331
Moved by: daniel lafleur
Seconded by: francyn a. Leblanc
Be it hereby resolved that the council of the village of
Casselman agrees to participate financially in the
Transport commission of north glengarry and prescott
Et russell.
And be it further resolved that the council of the village
Of casselman appoints the municipality the nation to
Manage the funds of the transport commission of north
Glengarry and prescott and russell.
The corporation of the village of casselman - minutes - september 25, 2007
Minutes -september 25, 2007 page: 2007.23.6
And be it further resolved that the proposed reference
Terms are referred to the transport commission of north
Glengarry and prescott-russell for revision and
Recommendation.
And be it further resolved that the council of the
Village of casselman commits a financial contribution of
$30,000.00 for 2007 for a specialized transport systems and
Recognizes the commitment of an additional $20,000.00
Contribution in 2008.
And be it further resolved that the company rail trust is
Engaged to begin the establishment and the application
Of the transport specialized system for municipalities
Being part of the transport commission of north
Glengarry and prescott and russell.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 5:29 PM
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Sweet. At least something is getting done about Commuter Rail.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2008, 6:17 PM
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Ontario-Quebec to study rapid rail link

Norma Greenaway
Canwest News Service

Thursday, January 10, 2008

OTTAWA - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his Quebec counterpart Jean Charest have agreed to finance a study on the feasibility of launching a high-speed rail service between Montreal and Windsor, Ont., CanWest News has learned.

The two premiers will formalize the bilateral agreement at a meeting Thursday in advance of a rare meeting Friday night with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and their provincial and territorial counterparts.

A rapid train system between Montreal and Windsor has been kicked around in the past, but there has not been a feasibility study about such a project in more than 10 years.

The idea is being resurrected now because of concerns about global warming and the need to reduce green house gases, according to a provincial source. Enhancing the attraction and use of public transit is seen as one way of tackling the problem.

The two premiers were the first to call for a first ministers' meeting to deal with heightened worries about the economy and key industries being whacked by the high-flying dollar and soaring energy prices.

Ottawa Citizen


I guess this previous internal VIA report from August of last year went unheeded....



High-speed rail studied to death, time for decision: Via Rail report

By Dean Beeby, THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — The benefits of high-speed rail service in the Toronto-Montreal corridor have been demonstrated repeatedly and it’s time to stop studying the concept and make some decisions, says a new report for Via Rail.

“The merits of high-speed passenger rail have been clearly established,” says the report, obtained under the Access to Information Act.

“The question is not to ask whether it is worth government support, but rather where it stands with respect to competing mega-projects on the priority list of decision makers. More studies are of no use in this regard.”


The Aug. 14 report was prepared by a consulting engineer for Via Rail’s board of directors as they revisit the issue of a high-speed rail link connecting Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The document reviews seven major studies since 1984 that examined the feasibility of building the link,
at a cost ranging up to $11.1 billion. It also reports on a 2004 study looking at a similar link between Calgary and Edmonton, estimated to cost $3.4 billion.

The analysis, by Andre Gravelle of the firm UMA Engineering Ltd., notes that every Canadian study to date has concluded that significant government investment is required to build the infrastructure for high-speed rail, as has been the case in other such projects in Japan, France and elsewhere.

“These studies have also indicated that, like roads and airports, public investment is required to finance the construction of the required infrastructure.”

But once the link between Montreal and Toronto is built, passenger volumes are forecast to be high enough to turn a profit for any firm operating the service.

Gravelle cites one 1991 study that indicated almost a third of high-speed rail passengers would be snatched from the airlines, and suggests the airline industry helped kill the proposal.

“The results of this study created considerable concern among the airlines, given the huge public investment required to implement high-speed rail.

“It is believed that the ensuing lobby was a major factor in the lack of support for follow-up action on HSR (high-speed rail) proposals.”

The report also generally faults the “Canadian bureaucracy, suspicious of demand and revenue forecasts” for allowing high-speed rail proposals to wither on the vine.

A spokesman for Via Rail said the report was ordered by the board because many of them are new to the job and want to be briefed on issues facing the Crown corporation.

“Via’s board of directors is to a large degree newly constituted and has, quite naturally, been going through the process of familiarizing themselves with Via’s history, current performance and prospects,” said Malcolm Andrews, head of corporate communications.

He cautioned that Gravelle’s report does not necessarily reflect the views of the corporation, and “any opinions expressed therein are his own.”

Last week, the federal government announced it would spend $692 million on Via Rail over five years to help rebuild crumbling infrastructure. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the new money would, among other things, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by getting people out of their cars.

The corporation receives about $170 million each year to subsidize the travel of its 4.1 million passengers.

The announcement at Toronto’s Union Station last Thursday drew immediate fire from the Canadian Airports Council, which said the rail sector should not be getting subsidies while the airline industry struggles with high costs and taxation.

“Canada’s 100 million air travellers a year will pay nearly $300 million in rent this year while the government pours nearly $700 million to benefit Via Rail’s 4.1 million passengers,” said council president Jim Facette.

“This is a double standard that clearly must end.”

The UMA report on high-speed rail is among the first internal documents released by Via Rail since the Crown corporation became subject to the Access to Information Act on Sept. 1.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 2:46 AM
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Rural mayors go it alone to plan commuter rail line
Cassandra Drudi
Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday, June 03, 2008

OTTAWA - A recommendation made last June by Mayor Larry O'Brien's task force on transportation continues to gather steam even though council has shifted its focus from regional transit to transit within the city.

The task force's final report recommended region-wide rail service, mostly on existing tracks, that would include service to the city's surrounding regions, covering more distance with each of three separate service expansions in 2010, 2017 and 2037.

On June 13, Mr. O'Brien is to meet with regional mayors for a followup to last year's transportation summit. On Tuesday, the mayor's office would not disclose what the city hopes to achieve at that meeting.

At last year's meeting, regional mayors were taken with the idea of extended rail service, said Arnprior Mayor Terry Gibeau.

"It seemed to make a hell of a lot of sense. Everybody signed on and away we went."

Now that the City of Ottawa has shifted its focus, Mr. Gibeau and mayors from eight other municipalities in Ontario and Quebec are in the preliminary stages of planning a commuter rail line on their own.

"It's a bunch of people who happen to be small-town politicians saying,
'Maybe we can do something from this end'," Mr. Gibeau said.

He and a group that includes Mayor Scott Wilson of Bristol, Que., aim to determine whether running commuter trains along the Ottawa Central Railway's line from Pembroke to Ottawa, criss-crossing the Ottawa River, is a viable option.

"It's a loser's argument to say we should discourage people from coming into the city," said Mr. Gibeau, "because they're going to keep coming.
They're going to keep driving cars and they're going to keep polluting."

A trial run of the train tentatively scheduled for September will run from Portage du Fort, Que., to Ottawa, near the Walkley rail yard, said Mr. Wilson.

"It's going to be nothing extravagant. We're not going to have bleachers or raised platforms or anything like that set up."

The trial run is intended to expose the riders to the route and the duration of the trip.

"There's a whole lot of homework to be done yet," said Mr. Gibeau, including determining whether the region has the ridership to support a commuter rail line.

Although the group is working independently of the city to examine commuting options, the western mayors have
approached West Carleton-March Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, whose ward the existing line crosses, about joining them for future discussions.

"Any effort from our neighbouring municipalities to reduce cars on our roads is a good sign," Mr. El-Chantiry said. "Having said that, it's always the devil in the details. Who's going to pay for what?"

To the city's southwest, a rail line runs through Smiths Falls, then on to Brockville. It has been identified as a possible solution for moving commuters, said Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples.

"We have a number of citizens in my area who commute into Ottawa on a daily basis, clogging up roads," he said. "We're looking at ways that we can work with the city to come up with a better approach to getting people in and out of Ottawa for work."

Mr. Staples said he and other regional mayors expect to find out more about the city's transit plans at the June 13 meeting.

© Ottawa Citizen 2008
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Ahhh!

I feel Ottawa is finaly making sensable options!

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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 3:40 PM
c_speed3108 c_speed3108 is offline
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This was an interesting development this morning.

I wonder how it will do. I can only really rural commuter rail being feasible where tracks already exist. The other problem is it may make for one heck of a strange trip downtown...depending on where people are going.

We shall see.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2008, 5:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_speed3108 View Post
This was an interesting development this morning.

I wonder how it will do. I can only really rural commuter rail being feasible where tracks already exist. The other problem is it may make for one heck of a strange trip downtown...depending on where people are going.

We shall see.
It needs to be really well incorporated with the LRT system. As we previously saw on the "interim" solutions presented by the city, transfer stations at Fallowfield, Confederation and the Via Station could resolve this issue. Trains at every 2-5 minutes are more than acceptable for a transfer to downtown.

While we don't have a train station downtown, it's still not much of an inconvenience to transfer to the LRT if service is frequent.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 4:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_jeffrey View Post
While we don't have a train station downtown, it's still not much of an inconvenience to transfer to the LRT if service is frequent.

Exactly! Hopefully the commuters in those far-out areas will be able to see the big picture, mainly the time saved and decrease in stress by not having to deal with rush hour traffic or bad weather, $$ saved by not spending as much on gasoline when prices are skyrocketing, increased safety compared to driving, and increased comfort with the option of reading/sleeping. With all those pros taken into consideration, who cares if the train detours slightly by going to the Via station by Alta Vista? CBD will be a 5 minute LRT ride away.

Last edited by Radster; Jun 5, 2008 at 5:23 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2008, 4:09 PM
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Ottawa to host regional rail summit
The Ottawa Citizen
Monday, June 09, 2008

Municipal leaders from around Eastern Ontario are scheduled to gather at Ottawa City Hall on June 13 to pursue plans for a regional rail system, Mayor Larry O'Brien announced Monday morning.

The morning session is a follow-up to last year's summit, where mayors and reeves began discussing a proposal from Mr. O'Brien's mayor task force on transportation: to run trains from as far away as Arnprior, Smiths Falls and Alexandria into downtown Ottawa to ease the pressure commuters put on highways 416 and 417. The panel, led by former federal transportation minister David Collenette, suggested relying heavily on existing rail lines, and potentially even serving communities in the Outaouais.

Ottawa city council has spent the last several months examining plans for an urban mass-transit system within the city, but other Eastern Ontario towns were so taken with the idea that several have been pursuing elements of the plan independently. As the Citizen reported last week, mayors of communities in the Ottawa Valley are planning a test-run of a train along the Ottawa Central Railway line, which extends to Pembroke.

Federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon is to take part in the summit this Friday, as will Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Watson and National Capital Commission chief executive officer Marie Lemay.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2008, 7:40 PM
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Quote:
Wakefield train could be used by commuters, supporters say
Dave Rogers, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

OTTAWA - Supporters of the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train say the train should be relaunched with more equipment and new stations and track so the line can also be used for a commuter train linking Wakefield to Ottawa's light rail network.

John Trent, a spokesman for Friends of the Steam Train, said the federal and Quebec governments should help pay for improvements to the line and new equipment, which would be too expensive for Gatineau, Chelsea and La Peche, the owners of the line.

"Partners should be sought for building a new station next to the Casino with the opportunity for a smaller secondary station in Chelsea," the group said in a news release Tuesday.

"Improvements are needed in Wakefield, including covered platforms for rainy days.

"It is important to keep in mind that these rail lines can eventually be used for a light rail commuter service to Wakefield and to join the O-Train in Ottawa. The idea of extending the rail service to Montebello and the purchase of new rolling stock should be given new consideration."

Train owner Jean Gauthier decided in May to sell the 1907 steam locomotive and passenger cars because he said he had lost confidence in the ability of the three municipalities to manage the track. Train manager Andre Groulx said the business faced frequent demands for small improvements such as removing a tree near the line.

The municipalities have agreed to find a buyer for the business and fix a landslide north of the Alonzo Wright Bridge near Highway 105 that stopped the train in May. Chelsea Mayor Jean Perras said he hopes the train will roll again as early as September or October.


© The Ottawa Citizen 2008
...
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2008, 8:25 PM
the capital urbanite the capital urbanite is offline
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^ perhaps the title should be "Wakefield train CORRIDOR could be used by commuters..."?!
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Old Posted Jun 10, 2008, 9:03 PM
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Originally Posted by the capital urbanite View Post
^ perhaps the title should be "Wakefield train CORRIDOR could be used by commuters..."?!

Did the Delcan report say anything on steam trains?
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2008, 10:47 PM
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http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/stor...in-080723.html
Group pushes for Ottawa Valley commuter train


Last Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | 5:50 PM ET Comments0Recommend0

CBC News


A passenger train running along the Ottawa River between Pembroke and Ottawa would breathe new life into the region, an economic development group says.

The group, in Quebec's Pontiac region, wants the train to travel on existing track west of the national capital, passing through Renfrew, Ont., crossing into Quebec, and dipping through Portage-du-Fort and Shawville before crossing back into Ontario at Fitzroy Harbour, toward Kanata and Ottawa.

The group's chair, Heather Alberti-Dickson, said Wednesday that such a train would "just change the face of Pontiac," a region that once relied on forestry, but has been struggling economically since the downturn in the industry.

Alberti-Dickson said she has discussed the idea with most of the communities along the route, which are all trying to attract homeowners, tourists and businesses to the region.

"They're just so on board with this idea, because they can all see how it's going to benefit their communities," she said.

The Ottawa Central Railway owns the track, which is used daily to haul freight.

James Allen, the railway's general manager, said he supports the new plan and doesn't think it would be difficult to make room for a passenger train.

"Where these projects become difficult is where you have to lay down track. But where we are now the infrastructure is in place, so it's just a matter of using it."

The next step, Allen and Alberti-Dickson said, is to put together a business plan that includes information about the estimated cost of the service and the demand for it.

Once that is in place, the communities hope to approach the provincial and federal governments for money to support the project.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 3:32 PM
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Quote:
Ottawa Sun
Fri, July 25, 2008
Train route pitched
Would aid Ottawa Valley commuters

By TERRI SAUNDERS, SUN MEDIA

A commuter train that would weave between Ontario and Quebec through the Ottawa Valley into the capital's west end could give an economic boost to communities along its route, say proponents of the plan.

"This train would do wonders for economic development throughout the region," said Heather Alberti-Dickson, chairwoman of the Pontiac Community Futures Development Corporation in Shawville, Que., the group behind the proposal. "I think all the communities would see an increase in population and it would mean more people could work in an urban area but live a rural lifestyle."

The train would run on existing track between Pembroke and Ottawa, travelling through communities such as Renfrew, Aylmer and Gatineau, with of the end line in Ottawa's west end.

FASTER COMMUTE

For people living in those communities, it could mean a much faster commute to work.


"I would think it would be lot faster than the existing bus service or the length of time it takes to travel by car," said Harry Gow of Transport Canada 2000, a transportation advocacy group. "There are parts of the line where a train could travel at (112 km/h) and that's faster than a lot of buses or cars can travel on the roadways in those areas."

The existing track is owned by the Ottawa Central Railway and is currently being used by freight trains operated by local industry.

A two-car run three times a day -- morning, noon and late afternoon -- could service commuters heading towards Ottawa, while returning trains could be used to boost area tourism say proponents.

"We have great white water rafting opportunities in the area, and I can imagine a group of rafters hopping on a train in Ottawa and coming up for a weekend," said Alberti-Dickson.

BUSINESS PLAN

The group will now approach the federal government for funding in order to complete a needs assessment and prepare a business plan. Support is already on the table from many of the area municipalities.

"They think it's a great idea," said Alberti-Dickson. "They can see the potential on so many different levels."

Alberti-Dickson said the service could drastically reduce the number of vehicles that travel on roadways between Pembroke and Ottawa every day.

"We believe there's about $50,000 spent on gas every day for the amount of vehicles which travel those roads into Ottawa," she said. "We think people would much rather save their money, get on a train and have a pleasant ride into work."
This thing seems to have some legs.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2008, 6:17 PM
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VIA Rail to make improvements to Ottawa-area rail line
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Fri, Aug 1, 2008 9:00 AM EST

Ottawa Business Journal VIA Rail Canada is investing more $25 million to improve rail infrastructure between Ottawa and Montreal, prompted by new funding from the federal government to improve passenger rail service.
"These initiatives will improve comfort, speed, ride quality and reliability," said VIA Rail CEO Paul Cote.



"They will also enhance overall safety and increase scheduling flexibility and capacity for additional trains. Just as importantly, a more efficient operation will also contribute to reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions."


The national rail carrier said it will be launching a multi-phase, multi-year program as part of the federal government's $692-million investment, with the first phase of the project to include a 760-metre-long passing track about 16 kilometres east of Ottawa, and the instalment of new continuously welded rail and other associated track work over some 40 track-miles between Coteau, Que. and Moose Creek, Ont.


VIA Rail also plans to modernize and improve the layout of the public washrooms, ticket office and baggage operations, as well as enlarging its Panorama lounge to accommodate increased demand. The company said it would also be making environment improvements to the station.


Three Ottawa companies have been selected to work on the station in a deal worth about $500,000: Terlin Construction Ltd. will be the general contractor, while CSV Architects Inc. and Norr Ltd. will provide design and engineering support. The work is expected to begin shortly and be completed by this fall.


VIA Rail also said it would be performing structural rehabilitation of the bridge over the South Nation River in Casselman.



this should help that proposed line for eastern ottawa
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2008, 10:27 PM
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My fingers are crossed for electrification and eventual high speed rail. And trains running every hour. Come on!
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2008, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rathgrith View Post
My fingers are crossed for electrification and eventual high speed rail. And trains running every hour. Come on!
But that would be a different corridor... there's one reserved as that's the Canada Trail. The welded tracks, is that something new in Canada? It's usually used for high speed tracks. First time I've heard of it here.
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Old Posted Aug 2, 2008, 1:03 AM
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Originally Posted by d_jeffrey View Post
But that would be a different corridor... there's one reserved as that's the Canada Trail. The welded tracks, is that something new in Canada? It's usually used for high speed tracks. First time I've heard of it here.
The O-Train runs on welded tracks and I'm pretty certain it's been installed in the Toronto area. I don't think it's uncommon in areas with heavy train traffic.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2008, 1:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jeremy_haak View Post
The O-Train runs on welded tracks and I'm pretty certain it's been installed in the Toronto area. I don't think it's uncommon in areas with heavy train traffic.
I assumed it was the new kind, tied to concrete plates, I guess we'll see in the future what they're installing. It's still surprising that most rails are still using the same fabrication methods as of 250 years ago... sigh.
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