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Rumours & Speculation & Rants
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   Author  Topic: Rumours & Speculation & Rants  (Read 21490 times)
ENR3005
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #520 on: Nov 26th, 2008, 11:57pm »
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Interesting news however I would doubt if it is forest product related. Mining is also dead for the most part. The proposal for the Ethanol plant in Cumberland outside of Courtenay is not dead and is the only potential new source of car loadings I can think of, in fact I would put money on it. If this project was to move forward this would bring a considerable amount of traffic to the E&N potentially inbound and outbound. Low-grade wheat stock could be off loaded into covered hoppers for shipment to the manufacturing plant in Cumberland. Ethanol would then be shipped back to Port Alberni to a storage facility until ready to be loaded onto ships for shipment elsewhere. The E&N would essentially act as a pipeline for the plant. Rail is essential for a plant like this to operate if not impossible to operate without from what I have read. Don't believe me, check out the below site and what the Ontario Government has been doing to encourage development of this industry with funding and grants and the comment that rail service is "critical" in order for an Ethanol plant to operate. Maybe our Provincial Government has been working behind the scenes to encourage the project with special funding and grants of their own as it would be sure to create several new jobs for many areas of the island. Just what is needed in bad economic times prior to a provincial election. I have also pasted what was said on the site as I found it quite slow to load.
 
http://www.railcan.ca/sec_new/en_new_archive.asp?yr=2006
 
Ontario Railways can play Important Role in Province’s Ethanol Industry    
Ottawa - With the Government of Ontario recently announcing funding and operating grants for new ethanol plants in the province, railways could play a big role in the sustainability of Ontario’s emerging ethanol industry.
 
“I don’t know of an ethanol plant that isn’t going to be located on a railway line,” said Tom Cox, the chair of the Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative. “It is absolutely critical to have railway access.”
 
The ethanol plant funding is all part of the Ontario Ethanol Growth Fund and a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by blending ethanol in the province’s gasoline. What it means for the railway lines is more industrial business.  


« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2008, 12:09am by ENR3005 » Logged
ENR3005
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
  ethanol20plant20copy.jpg - 211481 Bytes
« Reply #521 on: Nov 27th, 2008, 12:16am »
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Here is a shot of what an Ethanol Plant looks like. It would sure create a lot of traffic. Note the rows of tank cars on the right hand side of the screen.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/Vancouver/ethanol20plant20copy.jpg
Click Image to Resize

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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #522 on: Nov 27th, 2008, 12:48am »
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Mining could be a possibility in the future (long term), as coal traffic was mentioned on ICF website. Also I think the forestry industry is not dead, and could still be an important customer for the E&N. Of course the current economic climate puts everything in question.
 
I would suspect that there would be significant upgrades to the port sub to accomodate this sort of traffic, because the current condition of the line even with minor upgrades wouldnt be able to handle large amounts of traffic.
 


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95XXX
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #523 on: Nov 27th, 2008, 9:23am »
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Mind too, I don't see how there is not a gravel train in operation over the 'hat right now...there is NO way that it is cost/enviornmentally efficient to run multi Super B's over the hat 6x a day to get gravel, and that is happening (as one person on here can attest!)  
 
James  
 
Current track condition could not handle that amount of traffic over the hat,
When funding is achieved you may see it then.
 
Every other week there is a super frieghter being loaded in Nanaimo with Lumber and or raw logs ,In the week leading up to this there is non stop lumber being trucked into Nanaimo from where ? I would guess a lot from Alberni ,Cowichan and other Rail access areas.


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ENR3005
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #524 on: Nov 27th, 2008, 5:03pm »
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Maybe mining isn't dead and I should quit betting money my wife has already spent. I hate rumours and prefer to look at the facts however it is neat to read the speculation that has been going on in the various posts. Reading through the Yahoo forum some of the members speculate that it may be coal moving over the line and that the Port Alberni sub could be returned to operation in a month with a small army of men. I can't find anything on the internet about any sort of proposed development in the area however there is no reason why something couldn't be in the works. China still has a need for large amounts of Western and Australian coal. If coal was moving out of Cumberland to Port Alberni it could almost cut off two shipping days that would otherwise be spent navigating an empty bulk freighter to Cumberland. Two days is equal to several hundred thousand dollars of lost revenue ontop of a non-revenue return trip from Asia which could justify the use of a railway to expedite the process.  However until someone comes forth with a news release or some other hard evidence I still think the Ethanol plant proposal might be the E&Ns last chance at gaining some major traffic. The Cumberland Township is still working to make this project a reality.  
 
Even if both projects don't pan out, there is no reason why the mill in Port Alberni couldn't return to rail. The Arrowsmith Explorer project may provide enough enhancements to the rail line to justify additional funding to bring it up to freight standards.


« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2008, 5:06pm by ENR3005 » Logged
Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #525 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:07pm »
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I too thinks its coal, but ethanol fuel would be a big customer, and if Cumberland does get that rolling, there will be so many trains, we wont know what to do.  

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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #526 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:13pm »
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Just to add to my last post. If it is coal and Dennis is right about many train shipments, then I would suspect, that signals would have to be installed and the sidings would have to be not just put back in but lengthened as well. Then add ethanol trains to that and hopefully forest products, its going to be one busy sub.
 
But wouldnt it take more than a month to install a coal receiving facility at Port Alberni, and install a branch line to the coal mine?
 
something to think about
 
Aaron


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:20pm by Aaron Lypkie » Logged
CP8673
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #527 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:28pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:13pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Just to add to my last post. If it is coal and Dennis is right about many train shipments, then I would suspect, that signals would have to be installed and the sidings would have to be not just put back in but lengthened as well. Then add ethanol trains to that and hopefully forest products, its going to be one busy sub.
 
But wouldnt it take more than a month to install a coal receiving facility at Port Alberni, and install a branch line to the coal mine?
 
something to think about
 
Aaron

Lengthened sidings yes.  CTC no and a waste of cash.  


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #528 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:29pm »
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This is an exert from the Our Corridor website. No this is not the confirmed news we have all be hoping for. This has been on the site since it went online in March.
 
Read it carefully.
 
Quote:
• Rail operator Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SVI) is developing opportunities to ship bulk products such as coal through Port Alberni, which can be transferred to deep sea freighters for customers throughout the Asia Pacific region


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #529 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:31pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:28pm, CP8673 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Lengthened sidings yes.  CTC no and a waste of cash.  

 
 
Then I would assume the radios they use now will be like CTC, only they would radio in their location?
 
Out of curiosity, why would CTC be a waste of cash?
 
Cheers
 
Aaron


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #530 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:42pm »
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Another exert from the Our Corridor website
 
Quote:

• Restoration of the rail corridor to modern standards could trigger hauling to market an additional $1 billion a year in forest products alone, such as lumber and paper, and value-added lumber and veneer products.
 
• Other businesses have identified a further $2.4 billion in agricultural supplies, fertilizers, sand and gravel, coal and steel, bio-fuel and gas, chemicals and waste materials that could be carried by rail each year.

 
Obviously SRY has done their homework when it comes to finding business that would be willing to go back to rail. This speculation of coal and ethanol could be related to the 22,000 carloads I mentioned a while back.


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #531 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:49pm »
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Isn't Quinsam  located by Campbell River? Is this the origin of the possible coal trains that is being speculated on Yahoo Groups?

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CP8673
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #532 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 10:11pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:31pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Then I would assume the radios they use now will be like CTC, only they would radio in their location?
 
Out of curiosity, why would CTC be a waste of cash?
 
Cheers
 
Aaron

Using OCS to control train movements works fine.  CTC signalling would not be needed anywhere on the north part of the line.
 
Lets see waste the money one non essential signals or spend it wisely on improving track conditions on a larger portion of the railway.


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #533 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 10:19pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 10:11pm, CP8673 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Using OCS to control train movements works fine.  CTC signalling would not be needed anywhere on the north part of the line.
 
Lets see waste the money one non essential signals or spend it wisely on improving track conditions on a larger portion of the railway.

 
I agree.
I would definitely spend the money on the latter, improving track conditions on the larger portion of the railway.  


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2008, 10:20pm by Aaron Lypkie » Logged
cn2220
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #534 on: Dec 1st, 2008, 11:49pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:31pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Then I would assume the radios they use now will be like CTC, only they would radio in their location?
 
Out of curiosity, why would CTC be a waste of cash?
 
Cheers
 
Aaron

 
CTC is very expensive to install and maintain and only works well on high traffic lines.


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Tyler

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tfctrains
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #535 on: Dec 4th, 2008, 1:10am »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:49pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Isn't Quinsam  located by Campbell River? Is this the origin of the possible coal trains that is being speculated on Yahoo Groups?

Coal from the Quinsam mine is trucked to Campbell River, then loaded on a barge, the barge is towed to Texada Island, where it is off loaded and then reloaded on a frieghter for it's trip to wherever Japan? They did try a trial run on the E&N a few years ago. They trucked it to Courtenay from the mine and loaded on railcars for a trip to the states, the people in Coutenay flipped, YOU ARE NOT LOADING COAL IN MY BACK YARD. I also understand the US didn't like the idea of Canadian coal being used in Washington state.


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wx732
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #536 on: Dec 4th, 2008, 6:24pm »
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2 comments:
 
CTC/proper signalling...not of necessity required, depending on the level of traffic.  IIRC, traffic volumes of greater than 8 trains/hr are needed to justify the cost/complexity of a fully signaled railway.  Not likely to happen
 
Below 4 trains/hr, certainly, there are bits which you want to automate, but do not require the whole shooting match of signaling.  And I highly doubt we are talking of even 1 train/hr on most points of the E&N  (at 22 000 carloads/month, you are talking 30 cars/hr passing any given point...or somewhat smaller trains than used to run on the port sub historically...at 22 000/year, you are talking of .3 cars/hr passing any given point...)
 
 the people in Coutenay flipped, YOU ARE NOT LOADING COAL IN MY BACK YARD. I also understand the US didn't like the idea of Canadian coal being used in Washington state
 
IIRC, Quinsam is under quite strict environmental issues for the transshipment of the coal due to the way which it transports it.   The load out is done via Super B's and a mine/forestry road...specifically because of load concerns.  If there is enough demand to move the load out, how far exactly is it in km to get the railway to the end of that road?  (anyone know?)  Again, if you could reduce the transshipment, that might make it financially viable to move the coal by rail.
 
(and I presume it is coal we are talking about...I can't see much else that would make sense...coal, or other similar product.  It isn't going to be Copper, because the weight of what is mined isn't that high...)


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #537 on: Dec 4th, 2008, 8:18pm »
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that would mean an extension to Campbell River, then a branch line to the coal mine at Quinsam.  So we are talking another 45 kms, including the branch line? I checked Google to estimate the distance, and I may be off.
 
 
 
Of course it depends what SRY is planning to do. There is not enough space at Courtenay to adequately load large numbers of coal cars (I wonder which ones would be used, older ones or newer ones).
 
 


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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #538 on: Dec 4th, 2008, 11:46pm »
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on Dec 4th, 2008, 1:10am, tfctrains wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Coal from the Quinsam mine is trucked to Campbell River, then loaded on a barge, the barge is towed to Texada Island, where it is off loaded and then reloaded on a frieghter for it's trip to wherever Japan? They did try a trial run on the E&N a few years ago. They trucked it to Courtenay from the mine and loaded on railcars for a trip to the states, the people in Coutenay flipped, YOU ARE NOT LOADING COAL IN MY BACK YARD. I also understand the US didn't like the idea of Canadian coal being used in Washington state.

 
 
I think we need a "qualifier" as to when this coal shipment took place.   I have followed the E&N since 2000 and I do not recall any coal shipments.   When was this "few years ago"?


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tfctrains
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #539 on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:32am »
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on Dec 4th, 2008, 11:46pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
I think we need a "qualifier" as to when this coal shipment took place.   I have followed the E&N since 2000 and I do not recall any coal shipments.   When was this "few years ago"?
Iam quessing but I would would say late 90's. I think they made one trip into the states, to a coal fired generator in Washington State. The empty train returned to Courtenay but I do not thing it was reloaded. The cars sat in Coutenay for a while before they were removed. The loading took place right at the end of track, north of fifth street. The track as since been removed.


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