Wonderful Waterloo Archive

This site is maintained by Sam Nabi as a record of the vibrant Wonderful Waterloo community, which was taken offline in 2014. This site is a partial archive, containing some posts from 2009-2013. To read more about the recovery effort and access the data in a machine-readable format, check out the GitHub page.

VIA Rail News

Post #210
12-30-2009 09:14 PM

Urban Issues Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener Posts 656
Via examines options to improve Kitchener-Toronto commute

August 02, 2008
Brian Caldwell

WATERLOO REGION - Via Rail is planning "significant improvements" to the line that runs through Kitchener and Guelph, giving commuters hope of a more efficient alternative to clogged highways.

Malcolm Andrews, a spokesperson for the Crown corporation, cautioned that negotiations are continuing and only preliminary engineering work is being done on the line between Toronto and London.

But he said an announcement on firm plans is expected by the end of the year, with work to begin in 2009. "At this point, a number of options are being looked at," Andrews said.

Included are upgrades to tracks, sidings, signal systems and other infrastructure to reduce trip times and accommodate more trains.

Via currently runs three trains a day each way between Toronto and Kitchener, including a morning commuter service.

Paul Langan, a regional spokesperson for advocacy group Transport 2000, called it "great news" that improvements are likely to go ahead.

"Our line is finally going to join the modern age with faster trains."

He is still frustrated, however, by the slow pace of progress and that rail service isn't given a much higher priority in overall transportation plans.

Money for work on the Toronto-London line will come from $692 million committed by the federal government last fall for the busy Quebec City-Windsor corridor.

Most of the funding, $516 million allocated over five years, is earmarked to refurbish trains, infrastructure and stations.

Andrews said plans for the Toronto-London line are complicated by negotiations with the owner of the tracks, Goderich-Exeter Railway.

"It's not headline news yet," he said. "We're not quite there."

Post #211
12-30-2009 09:15 PM

Urban Issues Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener Posts 656
VIA Rail plans to add 6 afternoon trains on the North Mainline by 2011
By shost at 10:07 pm on Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GO published their final Environmental Assessment documents this week and within was some interesting information about VIA Rail’s planned improvements. After some heavy reading, the following was published in Appendix B:

VIA Rail plans to add six new trains to the North Mainline, London to Toronto via Kitchener and Guelph. Trains departing from London at 1155, 1505, 1755, and departing from Toronto at 1300, 1630, 1830. This plan would provide off-peak service during the afternoons, and seems to avoid GO “Rush Hour”.

Very interesting news, as if this comes to pass we stand to have 12 VIA Rail and 8 GO Transit departures and arrivals per day by 2011, more than double today’s passenger rail service.
Post #5701
04-28-2010 10:00 AM

Senior Member
Date Mar 2010 Location H2OWC Posts 321
If we were trains we would have crashed at 08:39am

Here's a relevant letter to the editor: CN Rail never abandoned line
W. Dean Trentowsky’s letter to the editor talks of Rail America (Goderich-Exeter Railway) “saving” the rail line that runs through Guelph and Kitchener (commonly called the North Main Line) from abandonment in the 1990s. Trentowsky stated CN Rail was going to abandon it. I would like to point out a few facts.

CN Rail never put the line up for abandonment. It was never on their list of proposed lines to be abandoned. CN Rail still owns the line 20 years after Trentowsky suggested CN was going to abandon it. Any other thoughts on this matter are simply conjecture.

The federal government has invested money in VIA Rail to improve rail safety and infrastructure on the North Main Line to be able to increase passenger rail trains from the current six a day.

According to GO Transit’s environmental assessment report for Guelph, VIA Rail and GO Rail want to schedule 20 passenger trains a day to travel through Kitchener and Guelph to London and Toronto.

The only reason we do not have 20 passenger trains on this line is that Rail America is preventing this from happening.

It is a fact that the Canadian Transportation Agency ruled against Rail America in its application against VIA Rail under Sections 112 and 138 of the Canada Transportation Act, (Decision No. 101-R-2009, dated, March 19, 2009).

It is time to move forward.

Paul Langan

Post #5716
04-28-2010 12:49 PM

Transportation & Infrastructure Moderator
Date Feb 2010 Location Kitchener, Ontario Posts 301
"Only the insane have the strength enough to prosper. Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane."
Quote Originally Posted by IEFBR14
If we were trains we would have crashed at 08:39am
Crash averted.
Post #6282
05-06-2010 08:32 AM

Senior Member
Date Mar 2010 Location H2OWC Posts 321
Petition wants federal minister to resolve rail dispute
Any resolution to a dispute that derailed improved passenger train service between Kitchener and Toronto is many months away, says a spokesperson for the federal agency that will rule on the disagreement between Via Rail and the Goderich-Exeter Railway Co.

“The process is underway now,” Mark Comeau, spokesperson for the Canadian Transportation Agency, said. “We are not talking years here, but we are certainly talking months anyway.”

VIA wants to add more passenger trains on what is called the North Main Line, which runs from Georgetown to Guelph, Kitchener, Stratford, St. Marys and London. The Goderich-Exeter Railway leases that stretch of line from CN and has control of it until 2018.

The dispute centres on how much money VIA must pay Goderich-Exeter for increased use of the track. After years of negotiations, VIA applied for what’s called formal adjudication under the Canadian Transportation Agency.

VIA wants to make improvements to the track and change how trains are controlled. These changes will add to the operating costs for Goderich-Exeter.

“We will arrive at a determination that party X must pay so much to party Y for the use of the line,” Comeau said. “Once a decision is made it is binding on the parties for five years.”

VIA applied for adjudication of the issues under a clause in federal legislation — the Canada Transportation Act — that allows passenger carriers in disputes with freight haulers a faster way to get the Canadian Transportation Agency involved.

It will not be fast enough for Friends of the North Main Line, a group of citizens who want the issues resolved between VIA and Goderich-Exeter so more passenger trains can start rolling.

That group started an online petition Monday night and in less than 24 hours, more than 56 people added their names to it.

The petition is addressed to John Baird, the federal minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and asks him to resolve the dispute between the railways so passenger rail service can be improved along the line that serves a population of a million people.

“Basically we want to take it to the next level,” Paul Langan, spokesperson for Friends of the North Main Line, said. “I am totally confident that we will easily get 500 or 1,000 names.”

Highways and streets are expanded all the time, but better passenger train service is a different story, Langan said.

“We are hoping that’s the answer, to raise the profile of the issue,” he said. “I mean how do you get a government to respond to hold a government agency accountable?”

VIA is a federal agency but so far, the federal government has not waded into the dispute between VIA and the Goderich-Exeter Railway Co.

On March 18, the mayors of London, St. Marys, Stratford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Halton Hills and Waterloo Region all signed a letter that was sent to Baird.

“There is a substantial need for increased inter-regional rail service to support employment opportunities, tourism (including the Stratford Festival) and other business and personal passenger travel between our communities and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area),” said the letter.

“Currently the congested Highway 401 is the only means of access to the economic hub located in Toronto,” the letter said.

Baird has not responded so far.
The petition site is here: VIA Rail vs Goderich Exeter Railway: Resolution Petition
Post #6311
05-06-2010 04:10 PM

Junior Member
Date May 2010 Location Hespeler Posts 4
There has been excellent articles in the Record but they do not publish websites. Here are the websites related to this issue.
Please sign the petition VIA Rail wants to move this money to somewhere instead of spending in on the North Main Line because of the hassle with Goderich Exeter.
Petition - http://www.petitiononline.com/via2010/petition.html
Press Release - http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?...ticle&sid=2494
Friends of the North Main Rail Line Website - http://moretrains.weebly.com

Paul Langan
Post #6325
05-06-2010 05:06 PM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener Posts 2,081
Welcome to Wonderful Waterloo Paul!!

Im glad the process is underway, but it's a real shame it'll take so long. It'd be nice for a decision to be made soon so that they can move forward with much needed improvements.
Post #6634
05-11-2010 08:47 PM

Junior Member
Date May 2010 Location Hespeler Posts 4
Thanks, great forum, Here is the latest in the saga of VIA Rail verus Goderich Exeter from the Guelph Mercury http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/630172 . VIA Rail's statement in this article about "committed to making the improvements on the line" is so far a sham. They have not spent a dime on rebuilding the rail diesel cars to run on the line nor have they started any improvements. Please sign the petition.
Post #6635
05-11-2010 10:41 PM

Date Mar 2010 Posts 74
Where are the RDCs for the North Mainline being stored? I only know of two at Mimico and a number of them out east being rebuilt for northern Ontario and Vancouver Island.
Post #6936
05-17-2010 01:15 PM

Junior Member
Date May 2010 Location Hespeler Posts 4
Quote Originally Posted by DHLawrence
Where are the RDCs for the North Mainline being stored? I only know of two at Mimico and a number of them out east being rebuilt for northern Ontario and Vancouver Island.
Industrial Rail Car in Moncton has about 30 of them. They are the company that refurbishes them. here is a link to a slide show from their website showing the RDCs. http://www.industrialrail.ca/services.php#rrdcu