Category Archives for "Regions"

Dec 04

Advantages of rerouting the Canadian and Switching to CP

By clair | Interurban Rail and Bus , Regions

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When VIA was created, there were two transcontinental trains, one on CN tracks and The Canadian, on CP. They ran daily. Then the government cut completely the one on CP (through Calgary) and shifted The Canadian name to the train running on CN tracks. Then service was cut to three days a week, then to two in the winter months and now to two all-year round. There is now no reliable train service for residents of Western Canada.

There are many things that can be done about this, and one of it involves rerouting The Canadian for the Toronto to Winnipeg segment onto the CP main line north of Lake Superior and off of CN.

Here are advantages of the switch to CP (with population figures in 000’s for communities along the way):

(1) A downtown stop in Sudbury (160k in the metro area) instead of 10 km east at Sudbury Junction with no transit connection to downtown,

(2) Fantastic scenery along the north shore of Lake Superior, assuming the schedule is adjusted to run there in the daytime,

(3) Picks up populations centres of Thunder Bay (122k area), Dryden (6k), Kenora (15k) plus several smaller communities, Chapleau (2.1k), Marathon (3.4K), Nipigon (1.6k), Terrace Bay(1.5k), while on the CN line losing only Sioux Lookout (5k) with most of the other communities under 1K,

(4) Several hours in total travel time can be due to the significantly lower freight volume on the CP line since CP routes most of its traffic through Chicago to southern Ontario – especially if the government pays to guarantee that sidings are lengthened to accommodate the longer freights, leaving VIA to stay on the main line, and

(5) By using the GO line to Barrie and using a short part (7 mile) of the Collingwood line to connect to CP, The Canadian would conveniently add the huge population in York Region to the market.

Transport Action will continue to closely monitor this situation and advocate our prospective solutions and ideas to appropriate key decision makers.

Dec 03

Alternatives added to the Environmental Assessment for High Speed Rail

By TAO-admin | Interurban Rail and Bus , Ontario

Our colleagues in Southwestern Ontario, InterCityRail, have issued a notice about the Environmental Assessment study underway for High Speed Rail. Transport Action Ontario is very pleased with this development, as it is consistent with our own advocacy over the years. The notice is pasted below:

InterCityRail
Improving rail transportation is a good idea. Let’s look at all the options.

Hi Everyone

We have been informed by Jeff Yurek, the Minister of Transportation, that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has been instructed to add alternatives to HSR to the Environmental Assessment.

MTO will now be able to consider alternative modes (possibilities may include GO Transit, VIA Rail and Regional Express Rail) instead of just 250 kph high-speed trains. MTO will also be able to consider alternative routes (possibilities may include the existing CN North and CN South corridors, Highway 401/403/407 transportation corridors, etc.) instead of just the Hydro One right of way between Baden and the southeast corner of London. Reports have stated that the impact on rural communities and farmland will now also be considered.

This does not mean that HSR is dead. What it means is that HSR, as well as other options, must be evaluated by the MTO.

We will continue to closely monitor developments and do whatever we can to provide input to the MTO so that an evidenced-based solution — one that serves the needs of all citizens, communities, and the environment — will be found for passenger rail transportation in southwestern Ontario. We will keep you posted on new developments.

Regards

Steering Committee.

Nov 21

Ontario’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement – Mixed Signals on Transportation

By TAO-admin | Highways & Bridges , Interurban Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario , Ontario , Urban Transit

On November 15, Ontario released its 2018 Fall Economic Statement (FES). It is a large document covering all aspects of the Province’s operations. It is likely the most significant statement on the government’s intentions until the provincial budget comes out in Spring, 2019. To date, the government has implemented various tax and fee cuts, including […]
Source: TAO

Nov 16

Open Letter on Ontario Transit Funding: Keep the Promise!

By TAO-admin | Latest News , Ontario , Uncategorized

An open letter has been sent to Premier Ford and Minister of Transportation Yurek urging the government of Ontario to keep its promise to increase public transit funding. A total of 17 civic organizations, including Transport Action Ontario, signed the letter which was also covered by CBC News

The letter can be viewed here:
Open letter on Ontario transit funding_November 15 2018_amended

Nov 07

Advocates have questions on National Railway Day

By timtaa | Atlantic

Transport Action Atlantic is asking why it is taking so long for VIA Rail and the Government of Canada to deliver on an outstanding promise to improve frequency of passenger rail services in the Maritimes. Today is National Railway Day – the anniversary of the last spike ceremony that marked completion of Canada’s continuous rail link from coast to coast on November 7, 1885.

“It’s a very appropriate occasion to pose this question,” says Ted Bartlett, president of the regional public transportation advocacy group, “and not just because it’s a date that was so important in the development of Canada’s nationhood. It was three years ago this week that VIA’s CEO unveiled a plan to reintroduce regional service within Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, using the same type of rail diesel cars (RDCs) that had been discontinued in January 1990 as part of sweeping cuts mandated by the Mulroney Government. His timeline called for the routes between Moncton and Halifax and Moncton and Campbellton to be operational by late summer or early fall of 2016.

“That goal, unfortunately, was not met. Neither were several other target dates subsequently offered. We’re still waiting, and VIA management is no longer even suggesting possible start dates. Furthermore, we understand that there will be no additional frequency or capacity offered during the holiday travel season this year, something that had become standard practice in recent years to augment the very limited schedule normally offered in this region.”

Bartlett acknowledged that the Government of Canada has committed a major investment to re-equip all of VIA’s aging rolling stock in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor, but has shown little interest in upgrading service elsewhere.  He added, however, that it would be unfair to blame the current situation entirely on VIA’s management team.

“If our political leaders considered passenger rail in this region to be important, VIA as a federal Crown corporation would be directed to get on with it,” he said. Our elected MPs – all of whom belong to the governing party – should be insisting that the needs of this region not be forgotten.

“Our mantra at TAA has become ‘Canada doesn’t end at Quebec City’” Bartlett continued. “Rail passenger service in the Maritimes remains a national embarrassment.  For example, we still have that sorry picture of the oldest named passenger train in North America crawling along a 60-mile stretch of badly deteriorated track in northern New Brunswick at 30 miles per hour or less. Forty years ago the Ocean safely ran at 75 miles per hour over most of that route – and it took nearly two hours less to travel from Moncton to Campbellton than it does today. Certainly it’s not something we want to celebrate on National Railway Day 2018!”

“VIA’s so-called ‘regional service’ using 60-year-old RDCs was not a concept that we wholeheartedly endorsed,” says TAA vice-president Ashley Morton. “We extended a lukewarm welcome to that announcement three years ago largely because it promised something better than the existing bare-bones service – a situation that VIA’s management now acknowledges isn’t meeting local needs. We also considered that regional service to Moncton might be a good fit with the Halifax commuter rail proposal. But our ultimate goal remains to have the Ocean restored to its former status as a daily through train between Halifax and Montreal.

“There’s no question that the long-overdue modernization of VIA’s corridor services was the right thing to do,” he said. “But we need to hold the feet of our elected representatives to the fire, and pressure them to insist that Canadians elsewhere in the country have legitimate needs and expectations as well. What we are asking is reasonable, and will not bankrupt the treasury.”

Transport Action Atlantic maintains that a well-marketed and better-equipped daily train could enhance ridership revenues to the point where they would cover the major portion of incremental costs, resulting in a greatly reduced subsidy requirement per passenger-mile and far better value for Canadian taxpayers. Analysis of figures released by VIA indicate that savings realized by the ill-advised 2012 decision cutting service to tri-weekly were negligible.

Transport Action Atlantic is a regional advocacy group, promoting convenient, affordable, safe and environmentally-friendly transportation solutions in the four Atlantic provinces. The organization will hold its semi-annual board meeting in Dartmouth on December 1. The agenda will focus on urban, rural and intercity public transportation, with particular emphasis on new initiatives to restore and strengthen options that reduce dependency on automobile use.

 


Source: TAA

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