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High-Speed Rail (HSR) - Toronto/Pearson/Kitchener/London
D'Amato: High-speed trains are just a shiny distraction

Quote:As someone who believes in public transit, this sounds great to me. But still, I'm suspicious.

First of all, I can't believe this rail system can be built for only $2.5 billion, as the consultant's initial report says...

Secondly, even if the price is correct, this government doesn't have $2.5 billion to spend...

Finally, a project like this has little credibility when the government drags its feet on promises it already made for more modest levels of service...  to distract voters from the government's slow implementation of two-way, all-day GO Train service.

As one commenter to the article points out, her second concern isn't valid because capital projects of this type are usually financed. Also it doesn't include the costs avoided in not expanding the 401 to accommodate the "estimated 20,000 trips... each day" that the HSR would divert.

Future Proposed High Speed Rail in Germany as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3u-2Dovv3g

For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Just imagine, Kitchener to downtown Toronto in less than 40 minutes. This would be the best thing to happen to the 401 corridor in ... well ... possibly ever.
It's also one of those rare projects that has a meaningful impact on millions of people across a wide demographic.

Even non-Torontonians are really negatively impacted by the 401 congestion.
We need vision and leadership to pull off a project like this.  Thankfully, the two most powerful politicians in Canada are both on-board with this and committed to public transport.

Paul Langdon just uploaded some great archival footage of the Turbo:

For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
HSR connecting Montreal to Toronto would easily pay for itself in economic benefit... I think... Smile
(11-01-2015, 02:08 PM)JoeKW Wrote: HSR connecting Montreal to Toronto would easily pay for itself in economic benefit... I think... Smile

I've done the math several times over and in my opinion it's close to being profitable on its own, never mind economic benefits.
These commissions, studies promises and inaction by governments have gone on for almost forever and little happens with the exception of the media hype and consultants get paid a lot.

Since 1970 there have been twenty official High Speed Rail (HSR) studies and promises.


I presented a consulting report in Montreal to the 1991 - Ontario/Quebec Rapid Train Task Force, Ontario and Quebec Governments study and it was seemingly feasible then but politicians only get elected every four years and governments change,. Fill in the blanks _______________ 

Here is the final report link ...     1991 - Ontario/Quebec Rapid Train Task Force, Ontario and Quebec Governments  http://www.bv.transports.gouv.qc.ca/mono/0986299.pdf

I do hope you can forgive my deep seeded pessimism but I hope I live long enough to see HSR and also to ride the promised HSR in Ontario. 

Nota bene: It was interesting to re-read today the 1991 report and see the data projections for the year 2010 being used. No time to see if any were even close or accurate (hind site is fun). It was interesting to see the user, cost and economic data projections used in 1991.
Somehow, this time it rings more real to me. Same with the KW-Guelph highway 7, which had been promised long ago. So I'm hoping that this time is for real, but as you say, there are good reasons to be skeptic.
This time, I think, the stars are aligned - the Feds want it, the provinces want it, the mayors and other influentials want it. I'm optimistic within reason.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
The obligatory Rick Mercer video.
Quote:High-speed rail would address a number of chronic challenges facing the country, including the weak economy, a poor record on innovation and rising greenhouse gas emissions.  (...)  At the very least, high-speed rail should be part of the infrastructure conversation.

The Record's view: Answers needed on high-speed passenger trains through Kitchener   
Quote:Ontarians need to see the comprehensive business plan for high-speed rail. Give the people hard, realistic estimates for how many passengers would use it 10 and 20 years from now.

Let's see realistic cost estimates, too. What would the price be for a ticket? How high would construction costs soar? A previous Ontario government estimate that suggested a 185-kilometre high-speed rail line could be built between London and Toronto for $2.5 billion seems impossibly low when you consider the cost of land acquisition, hammering in tracks that can safely hold high-speed trains, buying trains and making every road crossing safe and secure along the route.

By contrast, a joint federal, Ontario and Quebec study from 2011 concluded a high-speed link between Quebec City and Windsor would cost $21 billion to build. Even when you take into account the estimate is for a greater distance, the $2.5-billion figure seems off. Heck, it's costing close to a billion dollars just to build an 18-kilometre light rail line in Kitchener and Waterloo...

[Via's president] Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, considers high-speed rail a poor investment and has no interest in building such a system in this corridor. Instead, he wants money for a Windsor to Quebec City rail corridor dedicated only to passenger service that could run at 160 km/h. "That option is much cheaper (than high-speed rail) at a third of the price and it serves more people," he said earlier this year. 

It's also worth noting that Via Rail will be asking the incoming federal government to back its $4-billion plan to build this dedicated track on the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor. Southern Ontario could benefit from better passenger rail service — but it doesn't need two railways competing with each other and providing overlapping services propped up by tax dollars.

Finally, Collenette should explain how high-speed rail would complement the province's plans to improve GO train commuter service. Does Ontario need both?

I'd like to see some answers to these issues. For example, a 160km/hr train would make 1 hour Waterloo to Union commutes possible (including time to make a few intermediate stops.) Perhaps that's "good enough" compared to true HSR if the price differential is great enough.
We should also look at merging this rail option with GO (and with a link to YYZ) if at all possible. Perhaps if the new Union-Pearson line could be upgraded to be part of this there could be an express train from Union to KW to London, etc. with a stop at YYZ. This is the sort of service that railways throughout Europe provide.
I read somewhere in those reports that 45 min from KW to Union Station was feasible. This would make HSR the preferred mode of transportation to anyone going close to downtown Toronto when one considers parking prices in the equation. Add a stop at Pearson and we are talking in the order of 10K trips a day.

Any one has statistics for KW-T.O. trips a day when combining VIA+GO+Greycoach?
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