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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ontario government wants railways to make room for GO transit

The province wants Canada’s new federal Liberal government to join it in pushing private railways to make room for more passenger trains on the Milton and Kitchener GO lines.

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said it’s time to formalize discussions on rationalizing the Kitchener and Milton tracks, which are still owned in sections by CN…

6 comments:

TomW said...

"Keep dangerous cargo away from populated areas"
Right. I'll believe that when I stop seeing tank cars with chlorine on the CN line through Durham... The one which passes beside condo towers in Pickering, and right through Oshawa station.

There's no need to transport chlorine in industrial quantities.

Moi said...

That'll be a frosty day in Satan's domain before CN and CP give any consideration to GO and VIA. If this goes forward (which I thing is totally NOT going to happen) you can bet your house on CN and CP making outrageous demands before even giving the slightest bit of consideration to this plan.

They know a hostage situation when they see one and the ransom will be high.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

"They know a 'hostage situation' when they see one and the 'ransom' will be high."

Isn't that sort of the norm for a lot of people and a lot of situations?
I run into lots of businesses and private individuals who behave that way, par-for-the-course.

Tyson Moore said...

"There's no need to transport chlorine in industrial quantities."

Are you serious? You can't be serious...

I respect you Tom but that comment is total bunk. Think of all the manufactured compounds that require chlorine: PVC, PTFE, silicone, all kinds of epoxy resins, hydrochloric acid (for steel, fertilizer, dye, rubber, textiles...), solvents for dry cleaning, countless inorganic compounds like titanium oxide (for paint, plastics, glass coatings/glazes, semiconductors)...

As somebody who lives in close proximity to CN's Toronto-Chicago mainline, I appreciate the variety of industrial chemicals transported by rail every day, and how they have the potential to cause harm to the surrounding environment in case of breach. However, I have never proposed and will never propose we ship those materials any other way. Could you imagine if we relegated these industrial chemicals to travel by road? With the incident rate of motor vehicles, I wouldn't trust it. If the only argument against rail shipment is quantity, we run into the horse sized duck/duck sized horses argument -- there's no clear winner.

In an ideal world, we'd either have teleportation or nobody would live within 10km of freight train lines, but neither of these are currently possible. I think anybody who is more worried about trains carrying dangerous cargo than trucks carrying the same is deluded.

Rory said...

The Federal Government holds the hammer on this issue. They could, in theory, pass regulations requiring CN and CP to give priority to passenger service. They could also encourage CN and CP to negotiate with GO transit in good faith by threatening to impose a regulations if the two sides can't come to a reasonable agreement regarding track usage on their own. However, I don't know if there is the will at the Federal level to do this.

Moi said...

Rory, that's what CN and CP want to do. Get the feds involved so it will be a long, drawn out process that will give them the upper hand in any negotiations.

There is no way IMO that the feds can force the freights to give way to passengers simply because that might threaten their bottom line. After all any freight delayed is money lost and the feds know this too. That would increase their subsidy at a cost to the taxpayers.

No, CN and CP will at the most allow more tracks to be built on their right of ways and then demand priority use of them in case of emergencies, breakdowns, etc etc but no way on heck will they give up income. If the feds ever tried to do that, we'll all have levitating magnetic trains before they will voluntarily reach an agreement that doesn't benefit them only. The court challenges will be endless.