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New funding announced
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   Author  Topic: New funding announced  (Read 195 times)
Ken V
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New funding announced
 
« on: Oct 11th, 2007, 10:12pm »
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Today the Federal Government announced $691.9 million in additional funding for VIA Rail over the next five years. The money is to be spent on locomotive and rolling stock rebuilds, track and infrastructure improvements in the Quebec City - Windsor Corridor, and station refurbishments.  The official press release is on the Transport Canada web site.

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They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
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Spenda
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #1 on: Oct 16th, 2007, 8:23pm »
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This is fantastic news for Via Rail.  I'm pleased, and somewhat surprised,  to see that funding for passenger rail in Canada was something that Stephen Harper's Government would provide.  I know it is just a drop in the bucket, but nonetheless this funding will allow Via to undertake a couple of important capital projects.  It will be good to see the whole fleet of F40s in the new livery and LRC coaches that match their Rennaissance counterparts.
 
What intrigues me most about the Transport Canada press release is the idea that frequency may increase in some parts of the network.  Does anyone care to speculate which routes might see this increase?  I've recently had the opportunity to sample Via's service between Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.  I really think the train is the way to travel between these cities.  The prices are competetive with the bus, and given the price of gas they certainly are competetive with the car.  City centre to city centre Via's service compares with air travel in terms of time too.  I think the only thing holding rail service back in the corridor at the moment is frequency.  It would be great if the frequency on key routes could be increased to stimulate ridership and get more people on the rails.
 
I suppose it would be too much to ask for new routes, or rather re-instated routes, but wouldn't it be great to see F40s or P42s hauling coaches between Calgary and Edmonton?  Also, daily Canadian service would be grand along with a Winnipeg to Kamloops section via Regina and Calgary.
 
The only thing that worries me about this funding is that it is the biggest news for Via in four years and nobody seems to have anything to say about it!  I know what I'd like to see.  Does anyone else have any thoughts?
 
Discuss!


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jmlaboda
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #2 on: Oct 16th, 2007, 9:04pm »
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How does the figure compare to what they were requesting... $691.9 million Canadian seems a bit low... is it enough

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Ken V
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #3 on: Oct 17th, 2007, 12:14am »
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The funding breaks down to $516 million for capital expenditures and $175.9 million for operations. As I understand it, VIA had been asking for $800 million for capital upgrades so this announcement does fall short of that. Nonetheless, it is more than just a drop in the bucket.  It should allow VIA to rebuild most of the F40PH-2 and LRC fleet and upgrade several of the transcontinental Budd built sleepers.
 
When VIA announced their upgrade plans in April 2000 there were a number of frequency enhancements listed, all in the Quebec City - Windsor corridor. The details are still available at About VIA Rail. Since then the only significant change has been the replacement of the overnight Montreal - Toronto Enterprise with an unnamed Kingston - Toronto commuter service.
 
Additional frequencies in the corridor would certainly boost ridership as would more express trips connecting the main endpoints. This would certainly attract more business travellers away from the airlines, something the Enterprise failed to do.
 
Oh, and for the bean counters, at the time of the announcement $691.9MM CDN was equivalent to about $705MM US.


« Last Edit: Oct 17th, 2007, 12:16am by Ken V » Logged

They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
-- Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian Railroad Trilogy)
missthealcos
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #4 on: Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:44pm »
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Unfortunatley(and I am one of the biggest proponents of this), I don't see any service increases coming in the west.  
 
I hate to beat this further, but Rocky mountaineer is the biggest single reason, If Via once again trys to increase service on even the existing routes, expect a tantrum to end all tantrums from RMR...and they have won very time in the past....they simply will not realize it is a different ball game, and they never will. So until Ottawa stops listening to them, it won't happen. They hate Via, on a totally ridiculous level.
 
As for any sort of resumption of service on CP across Western Canada, Via, and the federal gov't, would have to REALLY want it done, it's the only way the RMR tyraid will be disregarded. On top of that, in the last few years as far as I know, CP has become quite hostile to the idea...some of it may be valid, the railways are very busy, and a passenger train thrown into the mix will be quite simply put, a pain...so it better be worth it to them(hence what I mean in terms of it would hav eto be the gov't championing it)..but I also think there is some RMR influence there as well.  
 
Hate to sound negative, but it's pretty much common sense to realize how things are today. What I can see, and hope is a positive, is at least it will hopefully eliminate any threats to the services as they are today(maybe even make fares a little more affordable for John Q public, or improve them...anything else is a bonus. Call it guarded optimism!


« Last Edit: Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:46pm by missthealcos » Logged
Spenda
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #5 on: Oct 24th, 2007, 8:56am »
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Will the snow train be running between Edmonton and Jasper again this year?  I know it is hardly in the same league as daily Canadian service, or reinstatement of passenger service via Calgary, but I saw the introduction of the Snow Train as a step in the right direction for Via.
 
It makes use of underutilized equipment in the winter months, and it made a weekend trip to Jasper a bit more feasible for the travelling public.  Presumably, this is what Via needs to do at the moment: increase ridership with the existing fleet of locomotives and coaches.  
 
I know it isn't as much as what we'd all like to see, but again I thought it was a step in the right direction.


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missthealcos
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #6 on: Oct 24th, 2007, 1:42pm »
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Agreed, that is exactly what I said when they started the snow train, step in the right direction...but even that new service caused tantrums to be thrown...I was surprised when it actually got the green light to run.

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Ken V
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Re: New funding announced
 
« Reply #7 on: Oct 24th, 2007, 10:14pm »
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on Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:44pm, missthealcos wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Unfortunatley(and I am one of the biggest proponents of this), I don't see any service increases coming in the west.

For the most part the new money that VIA will (hopefully) receive will be spent in the Corridor. The Mayor of Belleville Ontario has already said to the press that his town will be getting a completely brand new station although VIA has made no such announcement.  While the rebuilt F40 locomotives will be running over the entire system (including the on the Canadian), the LRC cars are captive to Ontario and Quebec. There may be some funds allocated to refurbishing the long distance Budd fleet including the possible replacement of sections (upper/lower berths) and roomettes(?) with deluxe bedrooms on some Manor/Chateau sleepers. VIA also needs to further modify the Ren cars to accomodate disabled passengers.
 
While it doesn't appear to be in the cards, new service in the west is sorely needed as are trains in Atlantic Canada.  A daytime Saskatoon-Regina-Winnipeg service, for example, could be implemented without raising the hackles of Mr. Armstrong and company.
 
on Oct 24th, 2007, 8:56am, Spenda wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Will the snow train be running between Edmonton and Jasper again this year?

Yes it will.  VIA just announced the schedule of the Snow Train for the 2007-2008 season.


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They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
-- Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian Railroad Trilogy)
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