Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Jan 18th, 2018, 5:08pm
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Varnish
   VIA Rail
(Moderator: Yves)
   Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 2  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?  (Read 478 times)
rwk
Historian
Posts: 708
Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« on: Nov 14th, 2007, 1:59am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Do RR's in Canada go by miles or kilometers? On my first trip to Canada last July, 2006 I saw the speed limit signs on the roads change from miles to km's after passing through the Canada Immigration checkpoint. They made us go into this building to get checked further then let us go. We did a circle trip from Allentown, PA to Thousand Islands, Kingston, Toronto, and Niagara Falls and back. After crossing the border around 11 pm we hoofed it down the 401 in Ontario to a McDonald's rest area then stayed overnight at a Courtyard Marriott, then backtracked to Kingston, stayed at two different hotels, did the 1000 Islands boat, then down to Toronto, stayed by the waterfront in the Westin, took the ferry to the amusement park on the island, went to Niagara Falls, stayed overnight at a Hampton along the way, stayed at a cheap hotel at the falls, walked the amusement strip Clifton Hill, did six haunted houses, saw the falls from the car, everything very expensive, plus Ontario and Canada have 2 taxes,  PST and GST 8% and 7% That's 15 % tax! Our sales tax in PA is 6% At least we got our rebates back at the duty free shop at the falls before crossing back to the US over the Rainbow Bridge. Only thing the US officer saud was Citizenships? looked at our ID (didn't look at birth records, just driver's and state ID's and social securtiy cards) and let us go.

Logged
Pyronova

View Profile  

Posts: 2059
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #1 on: Nov 14th, 2007, 12:18pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Nov 14th, 2007, 1:59am, rwk wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Do RR's in Canada go by miles or kilometers?

Canada, like the majority of the planet, is metric.
Since Railways/Railroads are continent wide, and interchange, and the sheer cost of changing the minority (Canada), the railway/railroad industry standard is not metric.  Imagine all the math for surveys, charts, mileposts etc. that would have to be changed.  And all the human errors when trying to implement the change.  Dangerous.
However, CP (Canadian Pacific) is still imperial measure.  Their fuel tanks are measured in imperial gallons.  An imperial gallon has 5 quarts, unlike the US gallon of 4 quarts.
Now, all that said, looking at a VIA Rail timetable, it is printed in metric, as it is owned by the government, and the government is metric.  
Quote:
Ontario and Canada have 2 taxes,  PST and GST 8% and 7% That's 15 % tax! Our sales tax in PA is 6%

The latest stat I heard was if you are a Canadian making $50,000 cdn a year, own your own home, 55% of your income goes to tax.  All levels - sales, municipal, provincial & federal.  Gotta pay for health care some how.
   


Logged

Moderator of: Mainline - Rail Safety; Regional Areas - British Columbia & Vancouver Island; Fallen Flags - The Milwaukee Road; & Model Railroading - N-Scale .


Pennsy
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4586
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #2 on: Nov 14th, 2007, 2:22pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

I have some very good and dear friends in Canada. Charmody is a suburb of Montreal. First thing, I was chastised for being an "American" and entering a foreign country without the coin of the realm in my hands. So, I was overcharged for a dinner when I paid for the dinner with American bucks instead of Canadian dollars. They accepted the Bucks at par value. Lost seven cents on a buck.
 
Metric system is of no major problem provided you can quickly transform one system into the other and so catch the benefit of the change. Last time I bought gas in Canada, it was sold by the Litre and I was charged in Canadian dollars. Used a credit card, and so took advantage of the difference. When I got the bill from the credit card company, all had been changed over into English gallons and American bucks. Got the advantage of both and the gas turned out to be quite cheap. Moral of the story is use your credit cards in such countries as much as possible and take advantage of the changes and differences. Good luck


« Last Edit: Nov 14th, 2007, 2:23pm by Pennsy » Logged

Dyed in the wool PRR fan.
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #3 on: Nov 14th, 2007, 2:31pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Loonies (which I used to call "Beaver bucks") are now worth as much as $US or maybe a bit over. Making Canada (even without regard to the tax structure) an expensive place to visit right now.

Logged
Pyronova

View Profile  

Posts: 2059
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #4 on: Nov 14th, 2007, 2:55pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Nov 14th, 2007, 2:22pm, Pennsy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Last time I bought gas in Canada, it was sold by the Litre and I was charged in Canadian dollars. Used a credit card, and so took advantage of the difference. When I got the bill from the credit card company, all had been changed over into English gallons and American bucks. Got the advantage of both and the gas turned out to be quite cheap.

I bet if you did the math, you didn't get as great a deal as you first thought.
 
Lets say gas was $1.00 per litre.  1L x 3.78 US = $3.78 cdn per US gallon.  Lets say the exchange was $0.85 per $1 cdn.  $3.78 x .85 = $3.213 US per US gallon.  I bet US gasoline was about $2.75.gallon.   Not the best.
 
Today: Lets say gas was $1.00 per litre.  1L x 3.78 US = $3.78 cdn per US gallon.  Lets say the exchange is $1.05 per $1 cdn. $3.78 x 1.05 = $3.969 US per US gallon.   Now its really not the best.
 
I have always been a supporter of a North American Currency.  There are too many people losing/gaining jobs (feast and/or famine) and a minute few getting super rich on currency exchange fluctuations between the Peso, American dollar and Canadian dollar.  One currency would stabilize our continental economy.  
But would we all become metric as well?    


Logged

Moderator of: Mainline - Rail Safety; Regional Areas - British Columbia & Vancouver Island; Fallen Flags - The Milwaukee Road; & Model Railroading - N-Scale .


ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #5 on: Nov 14th, 2007, 5:31pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Politics of it (i.e. "National pride") would make it hard to get a unified USA/DC currency. Mexico? Forget it. That would require Mexico to accept controls on its internal dealings that simply will not happen.

Logged
rwk
Historian
Posts: 708
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #6 on: Nov 14th, 2007, 8:31pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

The US and UK are the only major nations still using the English system officially. The other major English-speaking countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) switched to metric, Canada did in the 70's, for speed and roadsigns Sept. 1977 Canada switched from miles to km's. So, prior to that date Canada was miles on roads just like us in the US. I almost got confused seeing the 200-something to Toronto thinking it was so far but since a kilometer is slightly shorter than a mile there's more of them for the same distance, so the numbers are higher. That's why highway speed limits are 100 km/h, its not super fast like the Autobahn, it's actually about 60-65 mph like the US. I believe all non-English-speaking nations use metric. Celsius vs. Fahrenheit, I like F better. I'm used to 100 being hot and 0 being below freezing. Celsius is weird, 32 is freezing in F but hot in C.

Logged
Pennsy
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4586
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #7 on: Nov 15th, 2007, 12:41am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

HI,
 
Interesting piece of trivia you just reminded me. Forty degrees below zero Fahrenheit and forty degrees below zero Celcius (Centigrade) are the same temperature. They are equal.  
 
A Kilometer is 5/8 ths of a mile.


« Last Edit: Nov 15th, 2007, 12:42am by Pennsy » Logged

Dyed in the wool PRR fan.
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #8 on: Nov 15th, 2007, 9:11pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Actually, one kilometer is so close to .62 miles that you can't tell the difference without surveying instruments. So - 200 klicks is 124 miles. And 100 km/hr is 62 mph (real measure)...

Logged
Spenda
TRAINing
View Profile  

Posts: 15
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #9 on: Nov 15th, 2007, 9:57pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Actually believe it or not the UK, that is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, no longer uses the Imperial system officially.  The UK is now officially a metric nation, although road signs continue to read in miles.  They changed from Imperial to metric sometime in the early 2000s when I was living over there.
 
Funnily, despite the fact that Canada has been a metric country for much longer, it is far easier to get by in metric units in the UK.  This, apparently, is because the UK has been using metric units for a long time in order to standardise with other European countries.  Here in Canada, we do things to standardise with The States.  Try, for example, going into Rona (like Home Depot) and ordering building supplies in metric units.  The assistant will look at you like you're mad.  This is because the building code, rather like railways, still uses imperial units in Canada to standardise with The States.
 
As for currencies, well, I wouldn't go to a foreign country expecting to spend Canadian bucks.  It always helps to have some of the local currency on you to avoid getting screwed.


Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #10 on: Nov 16th, 2007, 12:20am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Not having seen them, I cannot be sure, but I would suspect that the railroads in Canada still are marked with mileposts, not kilometer posts.  It would simply be too much trouble for no benefit to change everything.
 
I have been told by and English co-worker that the railroads in Great Britian and Ireland are all still marked with mileposts and the speed limits set in miles per hour for the reason that there would be too much work for no benefit to change everything.


Logged
CP8673
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 900
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #11 on: Nov 16th, 2007, 1:30am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Nov 16th, 2007, 12:20am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Not having seen them, I cannot be sure, but I would suspect that the railroads in Canada still are marked with mileposts, not kilometer posts.  It would simply be too much trouble for no benefit to change everything.
 
 

Absolutely correct.


Logged
Pennsy
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4586
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #12 on: Nov 16th, 2007, 10:38am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Hi Clyde,
 
Just reminded me of an interesting incident. First time I drove across the border into Canada, suddenly all the signs were in Metric. Fortunately, I was in a new car, at that time, and under the normal MPH scale on the dashboard, there was a Km/hr scale. Came in handy immediately.


Logged

Dyed in the wool PRR fan.
rwk
Historian
Posts: 708
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #13 on: Nov 16th, 2007, 2:58pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Question: Why is the US hanging on to the English system when the rest of the world has gone Metric? Why is the US so slow with metrication? Is it the US is too "comfortable" with inches, feet, yards, miles, Fahrenheit, etc. to bother switching over? I know it would be weird though if all of a sudden every US state decided to replace all MPH speed limit signs with km/h signs, and distances in kilometers. Or the weather channel started announcing temperatures in Celsius in the US.

Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #14 on: Nov 16th, 2007, 5:30pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Nov 16th, 2007, 2:58pm, rwk wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Question: Why is the US hanging on to the English system when the rest of the world has gone Metric? Why is the US so slow with metrication? Is it the US is too "comfortable" with inches, feet, yards, miles, Fahrenheit, etc. to bother switching over? I know it would be weird though if all of a sudden every US state decided to replace all MPH speed limit signs with km/h signs, and distances in kilometers. Or the weather channel started announcing temperatures in Celsius in the US.

Very high cost. Very low benefit.  A royal nuisance forever in many ways.  It is not near the panacea it is made out to be.  If an honest cost-benefit analysis were ever made and published we would quit even talking about it.


Logged
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #15 on: Nov 16th, 2007, 11:03pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

"Low benefit" George? I'm more inclined to say "No benefit, and cost a lot besides".

Logged
Pyronova

View Profile  

Posts: 2059
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #16 on: Nov 17th, 2007, 12:31am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Nov 16th, 2007, 2:58pm, rwk wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Question: Why is the US hanging on to the English system when the rest of the world has gone Metric? Why is the US so slow with metrication? Is it the US is too "comfortable" with inches, feet, yards, miles, Fahrenheit, etc. to bother switching over? I know it would be weird though if all of a sudden every US state decided to replace all MPH speed limit signs with km/h signs, and distances in kilometers. Or the weather channel started announcing temperatures in Celsius in the US.

Watch Jay Leno some night when he interviews people on the street......  


Logged

Moderator of: Mainline - Rail Safety; Regional Areas - British Columbia & Vancouver Island; Fallen Flags - The Milwaukee Road; & Model Railroading - N-Scale .


Ken V
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 623
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #17 on: Nov 17th, 2007, 2:47am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Okay, here's something I saw on TV last night that immediately made me think of this thread. On the Canwest Global program "Are you smarter than a Canadian 5th grader", the question was:
 
Jason has a swimming pool that is 3 metres wide, 6 metres long, and 2 metres deep. How many litres of water does it take to fill the pool?.
 
The 5th grader answered 36, which was wrong, while the adult contestant wisely chose to "drop out". It's a tough question.
 
The key to this question is converting from dry measure to liquid measure and I assume the student thought it was a simple mathematics question (although the category was units of measurement).
 
I remember from high school (well past grade 5) that 1 cubic centimetre (cc) is equivalent to 1 millilitre. Maybe they now teach such things much earlier and perhaps even give a direct conversion between cubic metres and litres (which is 1,000 litres per m3) making the correct answer to the question 36,000 litres.
 
The point is that there is some relationship between many of the various metric units that doesn't exist with the Imperial system. Can you imagine trying to figure out the number of gallons to fill a pool 20x10x6 feet in your head?
P.S. 1 cubic foot = 7.480 519 481 gallon [US, liquid]


« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2007, 3:32am 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)
Pennsy
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4586
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #18 on: Nov 17th, 2007, 10:40am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Hi Ken,
 
You got it, but we had that back in High School. The course was called "Dimensional Analysis". Trick is to set up the equation with all the "correction factors" and away you go with the calculator. In those days we gave them the name of " fudge factors". A correction factor such as twelve inches per foot, often used the reciprocal, one foot per twelve inches, helped the calculation immensely. A more complex one would be the conversion factor for Centigrade to Fahrenheit. That one is an equation all by itself.


Logged

Dyed in the wool PRR fan.
joncalon
Historian
Posts: 267
Re: Railroads? Miles or Kilometers?
 
« Reply #19 on: Nov 18th, 2007, 1:00pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Going from the original subject and not getting into the metric vs. imperial thing...
 
All of Canada's railways, save for one, are in imperial measurements.  Miles per hour, mileposts, gallons of fuel.
 
The one railway which is metric is the one that the O-Train in Ottawa travels on.  The train speed is km/h, track distance is in kilometers, and they've got kilometer posts.  Of course, it's because of the Talent equipment being produced for metric regions and not worth the costs to produce an imperial measurement system.
 
Jon


Logged
Pages: 1 2  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »