New Train Lines Planned for Toronto and Ont./Que.

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by RobertInOntario, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Last night, on the CTV news, I heard that Toronto plans to develop a series of light rail lines along major roads in Toronto -- several routes were mentioned but one that caught my interest was Eglinton Ave., because I live very close to Eglinton.

    These would be a series of dedicated lines for streetcar-like light rail trains. They showed some (computer-generated?) pics of what this might look like. The trains strongly resembled today's streetcars, but were much longer, and had pantographs on top of them.

    After this segment, they also announced that Ontario was looking into developing high-speed electric trains for the Windsor-Quebec City corridor. I've heard this before and have even posted previous news here. However, it sounds as if they're getting closer to making this happen. These trains should be similar to the high-speed electric trains of Europe where "they have been very successful" and they said this could lead into a "new golden age of rail travel."

    I'm no fan of Miller and McGuinty (that's another topic -- let's not get into that here!) but I think they're onto something good.

    Of course, I'm very excited about these plans and certainly think it's the way to go for the future. Yet, I'm sure there will be lots of cynics and criticism, especially from those who like car travel over trains!

    I believe that we should NOT build any more roads or freeways (just simply maintain and improve the ones we have) and develop lots of new train lines and electric passenger lines.

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I always like to hear stories like this, but am always afraid that it will come to nothing.

    Ottawa's light rail/transit plans are the most messed up I have seen since they originally ripped out the street cars to replace them with busses.

    The thing that really gets me is that the planners/city councils/government ministries don't even have to have any imagination... all they have to do is look at Europe. Or in the case of the light rail with pantographs, Calgary.

    I would like to see high speed rail (electric or diesel) come to Windsor-Quebec. Given the right mix of stops, it could be very popular and give the airlines a run for their money.

  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks -- yes, I recall reading about the Toronto projects in Miller's new "Your Toronto" (or something similar) magazine. I'm hoping they can keep the streetcars but expand the light transit elsewhere. I guess we'll have to wait in see if this happens or if politics and/or bad planning gets in the way! Rob
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Yes, I'm hopeful but (as you say) you never know what will come along to mess up these plans. Even if it was too expensive to create high-speed electric lines from Windsor to Quebec, maybe they could at least beef up or improve their diesel service? It would be great if they could really market and advertise this, offering more trains at lower fares. Rob
  6. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Every Thing...

    That you wanted to know about mass public transit, but were afraid to ask:

    Transit City


    From what I understand, in order to do all of the projects, it will cost $80-billion-CAD. So far, there's only a third of this amount available.

    So, let the games begin!

    Either the Government will have to find the rest of the cash, or they'll play politics to choose certian projects over the others.

    Otherwise, they've got to schooze the private sector into coughing up the bucks.

    In the last major round of Capital expansion for the TTC, the Eglinton Subway was killed (Even though it cost several million dollars to fill the in holes in the ground.) in favour of the Subway to no-where along Sheppard Avenue East.

    North York Mayor Mel Lastman won over the funding for the Sheppard Line even though the Cross Town Eglinton Line was/is in higher need/demand.

    On the one hand, I'd like several of these projects to go ahead, but the curmudgeon in me doesn't give a rat's pajama's!

    I suffered through the innitial stages of the reconstruction of the St. Claire Avenue West Streetcar line. But I moved away before the project was complete and I will no longer have the day to day benifit of a dedicated ROW for my daily commute.

    As for the Eglinton Line: I'd really benifit from it now!

    But by the time that the Eglinton Line is complete, I'll be retired and won't need it. In the meantime, I'll have to suffer through over a decade of traffic jams and construction chaos. wall1wall1wall1
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! Good feedback and links.

    (BTW, I stopped by the Narrow Gauge Madness booth at the Toronto Christmas Train Show -- sorry I missed you. I'll try again next time!)

  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The problem with these type of plans is that Toronto makes the plans, then expects the rest of the province to pay for them. :rolleyes: Miller and McGuinty both need to hop in their cars once in a while and visit the rest of Ontario, where bus service is infrequent (if there's any at all, and I'm talking about inter-city - for intra-city, forget it in most small towns), taxis are non-existent, and if you need to shop, access government services, or even a doctor, you'll need a car. Of course, they should be sure to not stray from provincial highways, as many secondary roads are falling apart, and they'll likely get lost anyway: in the rural Niagara area, at least, many roads have no signs denoting what the name of the road is.
    I read an interesting article in Car and Driver magazine not too long ago, concerning transit: I don't recall the exact figures, but, supposedly, most mass transit operates at a loss, with ridership fees covering about one third of costs, and taxpayers picking up the balance. As ridership increases, the percentage of costs covered by users actually decreases as the amount of infrastructure and equipment increases. :eek: If governments really think that public transit is the way to go, then they should put the costs all to the taxpayers in the area where the system operates, and give everyone a rider pass. Visitors and out-of-towners would be required to pay to ride.
    In large cities like Trawna, public transit is probably necessary - unfortunately, government policies are making small towns in southern Ontario into big towns, but neglecting to consider the infrastructure to support such growth. The problem will become even worse in 20 years or so, when the provincial land-banking scheme (the "Green Belt") is finally ready to be developed, as the developers are buying up land as fast as the farms are being forced out of existence.
    Sorry, Rob, but I find it hard to get enthused about anything the government dreams up, even if it includes trains. We just can't afford it. ;):-D

  9. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    It probably won't make you feel any better, but we have these same problems south of your border. I live in Charlotte, NC and we're in the middle of adding a light rail system to take people into the city and "reduce" the street/highway traffic. Finding exact numbers is almost impossible, but the project is over $250 million over budget now and there's only one line in operation with several more in the planning stages. We've weathered debates over "urban planning", "highway improvement vs light rail", "where's all the money going to", and so many others. It's hard to say which side is right or accurate or even truthful, but all sides agree the project will be wildly more expensive than originally thought...which makes all of us taxpayers here cringe. Our major roads need repair and are woefully unable to handle the daily traffic volume, but we've got a shiney new light rail line to wisk you the 9.6 miles of track into the downtown area...with the average one-way trip taking just a bit longer than if you drove. Ok...I must stop venting now...sorry.
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Are you kidding me???

    They would raise our taxes, raise the rates for the system and still make those of who live in The Big Smoke pay on top of it all to use the system. They'd never just give us a pass! That would be absolutely ridiculous. You'd also get those who don't use the system b*tching about why they have to pay for a system that they do not/will not support/use. Never mind that the various levels of government/politicians would never be able to afford that fat raise they'd give themselves the following year as a pat on the back for a job "well done". I'm not an anarchist, however I'm not a big fan of our present day government either. Nothing but b.s., backstabbing, greed and one-up-men-ship tactics. When is "good enough" or "the lesser of two evils" going to stop being acceptable?

    As a cyclist, as much as I would like to see this happen, I'm gravely skeptical. Less people in cars always sounds good to me. However, I'll believe it when I see it. Even then I'll wait before I decide if it is a good thing or not.

    You really wanna know how much this City's status quo gets my goat...just ask me about the new garbage bins and the fee they are charging homeowners now. :curse:

    /Rant off.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, sorta: it was meant to be semi-sarcastic. ;) I totally agree with you about people being upset about paying for something they don't use, and that's what's happening out here in "the boonies". Many Toronto politicians can't see beyond the city limits (they are, after all, supposed to represent their ridings), but, in my opinion, Mr. Miller is out of control. The additional development fees, charges for garbage collection, surcharge on licence plate stickers, etc., etc., being imposed on Trawna residents is disgusting even to this Hog Town hater (GOlf, Leafs, GOlf!) :-D:-D These measures demonstrate that the mantra of "growth is good" has some serious flaws.
    While at least one person has declared me to be an anarchist, I'm not so naive to think that such a system is practical, however, government at all levels is getting out of control, and I, for one, don't wish to have the state be my "minder" for every step (or misstep) I make.
    To bring this thread back to, or at least headed towards, the original topic, here's something that runs on rails. :p:-D:-D

    Grand Trunk 1008 (shown above in Morrisburg, Ont. with its original number) was at one time CNR #88, and, as such, ended up on its side on Ferguson Avenue, in Hamilton - not "light" rail, but street trackage nonetheless. A picture of the incident is in Ian Wilson's latest book "Steam Echoes of Hamilton" - I recall seeing the scene in person. :-D

  12. galt904

    galt904 Member

    My experiences in travelling across the province is different, the provincial highways are rough and the county/regional roads to be better maintained. It seems the province waits until a road is well below acceptable standards, and then over-rebuilds spending big bucks, while the regional roads get fixed on a more regular basis and are not allowed to get into such poor shape. Part of the problem is most of the provincial highways were poured concrete in the 50s and 60s, and the expansion joints become pretty rough after multiple layers of asphalt.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Down here in the banana belt, the provincial highways are mostly limited to the QEW and the 400-series roads. I think that #6 may still be provincial, along with #3, but #8 is regional, as are the service roads. There are some areas west of Hwy 6, and north of Brantford/Guelph where the regional roads are really good, though.

  14. Genetk44

    Genetk44 New Member

    Sounds like you guys are stealing ideas on road maintenence from Transport Quebec ( Quebec Roads Department0 :mrgreen:

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