High Speed Rail Toronto Public Symposium

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plangan plangan's picture
High Speed Rail Toronto Public Symposium

High Speed Rail Canada: Toronto High Speed Rail Public Symposium Announced

TORONTO, ONTARIO-- High Speed Rail Canada is putting on a high speed rail symposium for the public in Toronto on Saturday April 25th 2009 from 12:00pm to 4:30pm at the University of Toronto, Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George Street, Room 1130.

High Speed Rail Canada, a citizen's national advocacy group dedicated to the education on, and the implementation of, high speed trains in Canada, has announced the line-up of guest speakers for their 2nd in a series of Canada wide public symposiums on high speed rail.

The key note speaker is Greg Gormick, Railway Age Contributing Editor as well as speakers from some of the biggest high speed train manufacturers in the world such as Alstom Transportation and Siemens Canada.

Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states, "Greg Gormick is probably the most knowledgeable person on passenger rail in Canada. Along with Ashley Langford from Alstom Transportation, Mario Peloquin from Siemens Canada and the other guest speakers, participants will have access to a wealth of information on high speed rail."

Preregistration is mandatory to attend the April 25th Toronto symposium. The cost to attend is only $10.00. Seating is limited to 160 in the auditorium. To view the list of guest speakers and to register for the symposium go to the High Speed Rail Canada website at http://highspeedrail.ca.

 

Star Spangled C...

Is the GO train system not considered high speed light rail?

nussy

Go transit it pedestrian speed when compared with the 300kmph trains in Aisia and Europe.

Michelle

As much as *I* know that I live in the centre of the universe, I don't think a Toronto event is "national" news.  So I'm moving this to the Central Canada forum before we bring on a case of western babbler alienation and Maritime babbler wrath. :)

Tommy_Paine

I was just this afternoon reading about the Republican Convention, and how people who got to Chicago by rail did so at speeds of 60mph, or VIA rail speed. 

In 1860.

Yeah.  It's time for an upgrade.

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

I was just this afternoon reading about the Republican Convention, and how people who got to Chicago by rail did so at speeds of 60mph, or VIA rail speed. 

In 1860.

Yeah.  It's time for an upgrade.

VIA trains go up to 90 mph, and slightly faster in some areas. You can regularly see trains speeding past the traffic on the 401. Freight trains aren't allowed to go that fast.

That said, it's by no means "high speed rail", which is far faster and requires special tracks, concrete ties, etc.

 

plangan plangan's picture

Not to be depresssing but train schedules in the 1970s showed  trains between Montreal and Toronto ran faster  then they do now. Come out to the symposium, it is time for a change. thanks

Unionist

Here you go, from the [url=http://www.viarail.ca/trains/en_trai_onta_oato.html]VIA Rail website:[/url]

Quote:
When you choose the train, you can relax between Montréal and Toronto while you watch the countryside roll by at speeds of up to 150 kilometres per hour, no matter what the weather conditions.

Tommy_Paine

Ah, the Toronto/London line must have different restrictions.

But, you are correct, in fact there are some places where VIA's LRC's are allowed to go 100mph, if the information at one site is accurate.

I suspect with the frequent stops, and frieght traffic, VIA doesn't get much past 60mph between Toronto and London.  In the few places where the line parallels  the QEW and later the 401, cars and trucks seem to be going faster.

Unionist

plangan wrote:

Not to be depresssing but train schedules in the 1970s showed  trains between Montreal and Toronto ran faster  then they do now. Come out to the symposium, it is time for a change. thanks

I agree about the symposium and the need for high-speed rail in the corridor. And I do recall the Turbo as being fast. But are you sure the schedule showed better than the current Train 67 from Dorval to Toronto (4 hr. 14 min.)? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just wondering.

 

Tommy_Paine

"... no matter what the weather conditions."

While looking about for info, I came across this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080629.wvialate0629...

 

 

plangan plangan's picture

1973 Turbo schedule - Train 62 which left Toronto at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Montréal at 4:44 p.m.

Train 63 left Montréal at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Toronto at 4:44 p.m. (Both were daily trains.)

Yes, the Turbo ran late and Yes, as the previous post mentioned, VIA runs late.

Tommy_Paine

 

I had the privelege of spending an afternoon with a retired CP rail engineer who started as a fireman back in the 30's, and retired with the steam locomotives he used to drive.  Great stories, let me tell you.

Anyway, he told me that steam locomotives would reach 100mph on passenger runs.

 

Le T Le T's picture

I just took a long train ride from Toronto and back. It included some time on the electric rail from Albany to NYC. It was amazing to travel on the electric rail and then hit the MTA trains and subways in NYC. Canada is in the stone ages when it comes to rail travel. We need to build a highspeed train and ripdown that god forsaken 401!

Never heard of that HSR group. They really need to get a high speed website though.

Michelle

Le T, that's interesting - I take Amtrak between Toronto and NYC, and it's really interesting when you get to that north-south corridor into NYC and see the other train lines that go through - they're electric, are they?  I've never taken them, though, because the only place other than NYC that I go in New York state is Syracuse, and the only train that way is Amtrak.  (Actually, it looks like you can't take the electric trains all the way to Albany either - you have to switch to Amtrak in Poughkeepsie: http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/mnrmap.htm)

The trains that go from New York to New Jersey and Philadelphia are pretty neat too - they have amazing transit in that New York-NJ-Philadelphia corridor.  And of course, the MTA subways are incredible - although I find the whole express train thing kind of confusing when I have to go to any stop that isn't a transfer point or hub.  http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm

plangan plangan's picture

Interesting comment about the High Speed Rail Canada website not being high speed. http://highspeedrail.ca It usually loads very fast . Please email me personally and let me know when it was slow to load. If there was a problem registering for the conference on-line also let me know. This is the first I have heard about the website not being fast to access. thanks Paul Langan, founder High Speed Rail Canada, 519-654-0089

Unionist

plangan wrote:

1973 Turbo schedule - Train 62 which left Toronto at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Montréal at 4:44 p.m.

Train 63 left Montréal at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Toronto at 4:44 p.m. (Both were daily trains.)

Amazing. How soon we forget. Thanks.

Skinny Dipper

I remember taking a day trip from Paris to Lyon by TGV.  The distance is about 457 km.  It took two hours for me to get to Lyon.  Near the end of the day, I hopped back on the TGV back to Paris.  Luckily, I had a Eurail Pass that was due to expire in a couple of days.  It was essentially a free day trip for me.

The distance between Toronto and Montreal is about 541 km.  I don't think I could make a day-trip to Montreal or even Ottawa.  I did fly from Toronto to Montreal in order to drive a pick-up truck back to Toronto the same day.  My former company paid my ticket.

Le T Le T's picture

When I got to Albany on the Amtrak they switched engines to an electric to go to NYC. The MTA trains are also electic and I took some of those in and around NYC. I don't think that any diesel passenger trains go to Grand Central or Penn station. And yes, I would have been totally lost on the subway with all those express trains had I not had a local with me.

Paul - I just found the site a bit slow to load for the info that was on it. Didn't mean to offend. It seems that it's done in flash or something but doesn't need to be. I just have slow internet so I complain about stuff like that. It's actually faster this morning so it might even have been my connection.

plangan plangan's picture

In the last budget VIA was given money($300 million>) to triple track from Toronto to Montreal. Good idea to get their own track and off CNs. Now the bad news, the times savings will be 15 minutes off the current schedule. So doing the math...... means spending $300 million just to get schedules we had in 1973. Tragic really.

Le T - No offence taken in your comments on the website. We at HSRC really depend on the website to get the message out to the Canadian public so I need to know if it is working well.

Michelle

Paul, does that mean that they gave VIA money to simply build another of the same kind of track we already have?  For slow trains?  Argh.  If they're going to build new tracks anyhow, they should build high speed ones!

plangan plangan's picture

As mentioned previously, It is good that the third track allows VIA not to be on CN track, but according to VIA's own documents they will only shorten the schedule by 15 minutes and yes its the traditional pasenger rail service that VIA currently delivers.

The purpose of High Speed Rail Canada is to educate Canadians about high speed rail and get a critical mass to get whichever government is in power to implement high speed rail. A tall task but Canada is so far behind the rest of the world people are definitely getting fed up with the status quo. thanks

Tommy_Paine

 

I've had the pleasure of traveling by rail in Jolly Olde, thirty some years ago.  The London to Manchester run went fast, but they did have their local milk run trains.  Never will forget the slow ride in the fog from Birmingham to Stratford.

ANYways....  The British system had the cement ties, and no level crossings.  You also didn't require the team of Sherpas that VIA demands to climb from the platform into the car, as the platforms were at the same level as the car floors. 

High speed rail requires a lot of retrofitting of stations, if not completely new ones, as it also needs to be integrated with other forms of public transit, and fast boarding and.... dissemboarding?  :)  Add to that, the cost of total grade separation (that's a lot of bridges) and suddenly we're talking real money.

However,  what's the cost of NOT having a high speed rail line?  For starters, I think if fair to say that the lane additions to the 401 between Toronto and London, and eventually Windsor could be considered a cost of not having a high speed rail line.

It just got suddenly cheaper, didn't it?

 

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The question of money is a diversionary tactic. Putting aside the fact that Western governments have spent untold trillions 'bailing out' our economy at the drop of a hat, a miniscule fraction of which would have established a brand new high speed rail industry and system (with a manufacturing infrastructure and workforce we already have, and a Canadian world-beating industry leader in Bombardier), as Tommy says, our lack of a modern intercity mass transit system results from investment choices made in favour of 16-lane highways and the ugly morass of overpasses and interchanges that surrounds the greater Toronto area. It results from investment in a new terminal at Pearson airport and consant expansion of regional airports. These choices made by our governments represent, like the ill-advised payouts to GM, investments in a dying industry--unless they were prognostic choices meant to establish a buzzing demolition industry, which never goes out of fashion.

The money is there, and it always was.

If you doubt for a minute the luxury and convenience of modern rail travel, as opposed to all other forms of human transport, look no further than The Man in Seat 61, who has taught me how to travel cheaply, quickly and comfortably across Europe.

Incidentally, high speed enthusaists aren't even asking for VIA to upgrade to 'modern' trains, necessarily. The TGV from Paris to Lyon averaged more than 200 km/h back when it opened in 1981.

plangan plangan's picture

Your above comments are so true.

On another note....Just wanted to let Babble folks know we have added MP Joe Volpe to Toronto High Speed Rail symposiusm agenda. He will give the "welcome" speech.

http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1020

Tommy_Paine

 

Great.  I'll bring the rope, you supply the train schedules.

1weasel

plangan wrote:

1973 Turbo schedule - Train 62 which left Toronto at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Montréal at 4:44 p.m.

Train 63 left Montréal at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Toronto at 4:44 p.m. (Both were daily trains.)

That would be the week in June 1973 when the Turbo was in service.  It was not until January 1974 that the Turbo saw any prolonged service even though it was scheduled for use in December 1968.  Engine fires on Sept. 23, 1975, and May 29, 1979, caused further setbacks and reductions in the Turbo rolling stock.  The LRC, which CP was developing prior to the creation of VIA, took over after the Turbo's last run on October 31, 1982.

The Turbo had a number of problems related to its design and the facilities it was used upon.  The main infrastructure problem was that there were too many level crossings along the route that required speed reductions.  Slightly behind that was the lack of welded track that resulted in lower speeds and a rougher ride (with resulting damage to the wheels).

Train problems began with the fact that the Turbo was not a standard design where cars could easily be interchanged.  Parts were also scarce at times due to the unique design.  CN found that the wheels were prone to trouble from the track issue and attempted to resolve this by going with harder sets from Britain but found they cracked even worse in our conditions.  Other early problems related to poor weather seals in the engine compartment and inadequate heating and air conditioning in the passenger cars.  They even had the toilets freezing during the early runs.

A rebuilt Turbo with CN officials and Amtrak VIPs on board had the misfortune of having their 1973 test run sideswiped in the Montreal yard and having the crew & guests evacuate their burning train.

There is not a whole lot to be nostalgic about the Turbo.  It looked good but only delivered 8-9 years of real service - far below what was expected.  The train may have been the right idea but the execution was severely botched by its manufacturer and CN.

plangan plangan's picture

Good points about the Turbo. With President Obama's plans for high speed rail for the USA, people in Canada are somewhat optimistic things will change here.  FYI - Just letting rabblers know that are still 60 seats left for the High Speed Rail Symposium this Saturday in Toronto. We have finalized the guest speakers list. To register go to http://highspeedrail.ca.

Unionist

Thanks for the great info about the Turbo, 1weasel! It inspired me to look in Wikipedia, and re-discover (I once knew this...) that the Turbo was manufactured by United Aircraft (Pratt & Whitney)!

1weasel

Thanks, here's another image from the VIA days.

 

Kinetix

Plangan, I'd like to visit your web site but it's totally inaccessible to people who do not have the latest version of flash installed.  You're eliminating access to anyone who uses Safari or who may access from a school, library, or mobile computer.  Websites about public policy don't have to be ugly but you can still do great design without requiring the latest version of Flash.

plangan plangan's picture

Sorry about that. There are a number of reasons High Speed Rail Canada has the flash website. Mainly it is part of an overall package that comes with the web service provider. Adobe flash player 10 is freeware downloadable at their site. Hope in the future you are able to access it. Paul

Michelle

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Great.  I'll bring the rope, you supply the train schedules.

Haha!  This made me burst out laughing.  And I'll probably be giggling sporadically for the next 10 minutes. :D

1weasel

How did the symposium go?

Unionist

The cover feature in the June 2009 Walrus magazine is entitled: "Off the Rails: How Canada killed high-speed train travel, and why we should revive it", by Monte Paulsen. Unfortunately [url=the">http://www.walrusmagazine.com/][u]the website[/url] still has last month's issue. I'm going to key in the first couple of paras to whet your appetite:

Quote:
On the morning of December 10, 1968, a shiny new locomotive left Toronto's Union Station, pulling a gleaming train packed to its "power dome" with journalists. Just four short years earlier, Japan had rolled out the world's first 200-kilometre-per-hour bullet train, and now scores of reporters were aboard to witness North America's technological response: the TurboTrain, designed by Sikorsky Aircraft, built by Montreal Locomotive Works, and proudly operated by Canadian National.

An hour later, the TurboTrain slammed into a truck.

"The driver of an empty meat truck near Kingston was used to beating trains across a level crossing and tried to outrun the Turbo," recalls John Downing, who reported on the maiden journey to Montreal. "We cut the truck in two, like a hot knife through butter."

The hapless meat man survived. Canada's efforts to develop modern passenger rail service did not. Four decades later, we remain the sole G8 nation without high-speed rail.

Whew, was that ever harder than copy and paste... whatever did we do in the good old days...

plangan plangan's picture

1. The Toronto symposiums went well. Fantastic audience participation and speakers. The main line media ignored it but thats not a surprise. The London symposium on May 28th, 2009 promises to be even better. There is alot of support from the City of London, local media  and various groups.

2. Vancouver/Seattle - Montreal/Boston- Montreal/New York City - Because of President Obama's initiative these communities are excited about highspeed rail possibilities. I have spent a bunch of time updating our website  http://highspeedrail.ca with the studies relating to these corridors.

3. Walrus Magazine HSR Article - I was interviewed for the story so today I will go and buy it.

4. Turbo Video Clip on You Tube - I promise when things slow down a bit I will post a Turbo video for all Turbo fans.

5. Yes High Speed Rail Canada is going to Alberta to organize. Stay tuned.

Unionist

plangan wrote:

3. Walrus Magazine HSR Article - I was interviewed for the story so today I will go and buy it.

Now I've read the article - several column inches (centimetres?) dedicated to Paul Langan - good stuff! He even praises Sir John A. I'm not telling any more. Copyright, ahem, you know. Go out and buy it.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

God I have wanted high speed rail in Canada for so long. Just build it already! Keep up the great work Paul!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

And, having less scruples than unionist, and no access to a newstand that carries the magazine, here's the Walrus article online:

Off the Rails

Quote:
Japan's legendary bullet trains now carry 410,000 people a day. France's Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV), launched more than a decade after the Turbo, moves 268,000 passengers daily, at speeds exceeding 300 kilometres per hour. Altogether, high-speed trains dash across almost twenty nations. These include not only powerhouses such as Russia, China, and the United Kingdom, but Finland, Portugal, and Turkey. Many of these countries are spending stimulus funds to expand their networks.

New high-speed rail projects are in the works around the world. Argentina and South Africa are laying track; Iran and Brazil are laying plans; Morocco has landed partners. Saudi Arabia is building a line from Medina to Mecca, and may collaborate with neighbouring states to develop a 1,984-kilometre railway from Kuwait to Oman. There is talk the line could extend to Yemen, which would become the first nation served by high-speed rail but not a functional government.

Even the Americans are spending billions to extend high-speed rail beyond the Boston-Washington corridor. The stimulus bill passed by Congress in February includes $8 billion for new passenger rail projects. California is likely first in line for that money, with construction slated to begin in 2011 on a statewide high-speed network that promises to whisk passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two and a half hours. Also fighting for a cut of the billions are Texas, with its T-Bone Line connecting Dallas to San Antonio and Houston; Florida, with a bullet train that would fly along the shores of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico; and New York, seeking a link from the Big Apple through Albany to Toronto.

Why are these countries planning and building high-speed rail lines? Because they're a kind of insurance policy for the twenty-first century. High-speed rail ensures that cities remain connected the next time the price of oil rises, and in the event that $150-a-barrel oil returns for good. Because it is so much more fuel efficient, high-speed rail is far, far greener than flying, and in a century of dwindling oil it's also far more economically sustainable - a fact Saudi Arabia seems to grasp, but Canada does not.

 

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

And, having less scruples than unionist,

Why didn't you just say so - I could have lent you some till payday.

 

Tommy_Paine

If memory serves, you can get a prescription ointment for scruples.

 

Since this thread started, I've  noticed that the VIA train is screaming through on the CN mainline on the edge of London, at Clarke Side Road, instead of creeping through like it used to.   

I also notice much lower frieght traffic.

Coincidence?  I'd like to see VIA's on time percentage since the economic downturn.  I suspect it's better, which points to VIA-- by which I mean us as owners-- previously not getting the track priority we pay a premium for to CN.