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Ontario Moving Forward With High-Speed Rail

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  • Jul 28th, 2017 9:44 am
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Deal Addict
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Jan 6, 2011
2973 posts
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GTA
Mike15 wrote:
May 19th, 2017 3:08 pm
Wynne's in full reelection mode right now, so I'm sure defending Guelph, Kitchener-Centre, and London-North is on her mind. There is a case for the rail though. It'd be linking communities that are already economically integrated with the GTA to the GTA, and maybe even making a Guelph or K-W to Toronto commute realistic, fostering employment opportunities and economic development. This is linking through Pearson not just to take advantage of existing infrastructure, but because with this part of Ontario trying to attract international investment as a tech hub, HSR connection to Canada's busiest airport is extremely important.
Not against your point but this sounds like abusing taxpayer money though.
1. This govt has no idea how to match HSR capabilities to actually operating needs: I remember seeing Chinese operational results, which I can't seem to find it right now, majority traffic is from small cities along the line into large cities at the end nodes, the through traffic is the least in volume. This is consistent with Tokyo's experience. Alternatively, HSR makes large city grow even larger, contrary to what was believed. Further, Detroit is bankrupt. Basically HSR is cheaper/faster commute than planes.
2. The international investment follows productivity growth, not HSR. Japan has HSR but their innovation and productivity still fail to pick up.
3. No govt is capable of creating a tech hub by intent. It forms by accident. The HSR is going to be used by GTA to draw all resources and further concentrate them. Your VC example is more likely that all tech worker in KW needed to HSR their asses to at least Toronto if not NYC/LA to present their ideas requiring global funding.

If they said something boring such as help reform our aging manufacturing capability I would have bought it. A lot of failed family businesses could at least bail out on the massive fiscal spending, and some local land speculators would gotten rich and trickle down their new wealth. Not against any of that. Again, this should have happened in 2008/2009, or at least 2020 so our downturn would be over sooner.

Hey, I am all for progress. Since they said Windsor not Sault Ste. Marie so I take comfort these elected and unaccountable officials are not complete morons.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
6190 posts
462 upvotes
Toronto
I have to admit to being a bit puzzled by this plan. It seems to me that it's a bit like the Ontario Pension Plan all over. Why would a province build a high speed train route over a limited distance when that route is just part of a much longer inter-provincial route, and, already operated by a federal agency, VIA Rail?

Also, David Collenette, the "expert" - read: former Liberal minister - who produced this report, was, IIRC, the main advocate of the disaster known as the Union-Pearson Express. That was also going to be built and operated by a private company and we all know how that worked out.
Penalty Box
Dec 2, 2007
794 posts
85 upvotes
Toronto
the high speed rail is going to cost the same debacle as TTC subway. Wynne will **** it up
Last edited by Mars2012 on May 19th, 2017 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: reported/bypassing swear filter
Deal Addict
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Nov 13, 2010
4656 posts
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Scarborough
its appalling and really idiotic that they can't link the major/important cities in the whole country by efficient, highspeed frequent train service (like they have in europe and elsewhere).
there seems to be no nationalism and no vision at all other than wastage of taxpayer funds and useless unnecessary bickering.
Linking the whole country means boost to economy, quick movement of goods/people/trade and opportunities. Highspeed/bullet trains can do that.

but can't expect that from these 3rd class politicians and "leaders"
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
6659 posts
683 upvotes
Toronto
As others above have said, it truly is about abusing taxpayers money and no respect for the voter or taxpayer period.
Once in, the taxpayer and voter has no choice but to bend over for 4 long years.
By the end of those 4 years the voters have forgotten all faux pas, and eaten up the new promises that will potentially be broken in a never ending cycle over the next 4 years.
Because there were no ramifications for all the incompetence and wastage in the not too distant past, they believe they can do anything and continue to get away with it. And off course the evidence has demonstrated this thus far.
There is no proper and transparent mechanism in play here on how to use the limited taxpayers resources.
In fact it may be more about underlying factors of simply coming up with anything that will make them seem to be doing something, but in fact have other underlying motives. For example, more ways to pump millions into the pockets of cronies already existing in the cronies filled Metrolinx machinery for example.
There are many better and far less risky projects that more creative minds can come up with, that would yield better value for taxpayers money.That's one of the biggest and highest priority mandates of any government.
Many don't even include building anything, but bolstering existing infrastructure that are badly in need of maintenance,renovations and improved efficiency.
Sr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
600 posts
286 upvotes
There isn't a lot of evidence that any of VIA Rail (for example's) intercity operations are any more fuel efficient than using Dash8 airplanes. And true high-speed rail is quite energy intensive, ranging from all the fuel consumed during infrastructure construction and maintenance, to the extra fuel consumed by the trains themselves.

For what each VIA passenger is subsidized by (~$100 per passenger in the Toronto-Montreal corridor), it is relatively trivial to buy commercial airline tickets at retail pricing. On some of VIA's long-distance routes, the subsidy alone per passenger mile is enough to purchase business class air travel on the same routes (ie: Toronto-Edmonton, Toronto-Saskatoon!). In the winter, on some of VIA's routes, they literally could hire private taxi cabs for individual passengers cheaper than they can operate the trains.
Deal Addict
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Jan 6, 2011
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GTA
burnt69 wrote:
May 22nd, 2017 9:25 pm
There isn't a lot of evidence that any of VIA Rail (for example's) intercity operations are any more fuel efficient than using Dash8 airplanes. And true high-speed rail is quite energy intensive, ranging from all the fuel consumed during infrastructure construction and maintenance, to the extra fuel consumed by the trains themselves.

For what each VIA passenger is subsidized by (~$100 per passenger in the Toronto-Montreal corridor), it is relatively trivial to buy commercial airline tickets at retail pricing. On some of VIA's long-distance routes, the subsidy alone per passenger mile is enough to purchase business class air travel on the same routes (ie: Toronto-Edmonton, Toronto-Saskatoon!). In the winter, on some of VIA's routes, they literally could hire private taxi cabs for individual passengers cheaper than they can operate the trains.
Energy cost is only a small portion to the total economic value. Whole point of HSR is speed, total travel time including security checks. To business, that means higher turnover, or lower cost of capital that was otherwise impossible to attain.

The actual experiences globally is that HSR near completely eliminate direct competing air routes. Of course, they way Canadian does everything more expensive, it might be different here.

The alternative to HSR should be revamping existing passenger rail, cut fare, electrify it, upgrade rails to increase speed, and replace public subsidies with light cargo revenues.

So the biggest problem is with current proposal that it might not add enough value compare to the alternative: 250km/h might be too slow, London/Windsor might not be the optimal choice, total length might be too short to see near/mid term benefits and Bombardier might take taxpayers to laundry i.e. relative to global bids.
Penalty Box
Dec 2, 2007
794 posts
85 upvotes
Toronto
I have to restrain myself from laughs hard. The politicians will screw up this project as well as the vendors. I sense a collosal financial disaster looming if Wynne make it official. The whole project will cost 10 times at completion. Taxpayers will have to pay for the massive screw up
Deal Addict
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Jan 6, 2011
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GTA
GDP =C+I+G+X

Problem is declining global demand, so X down.

Our boomer generation spending should track US (European vs Pacific theater), so C won't prop up our debt.

The first choice is either boost G or I, that boost productivity. And many emerging countries already caught on with HSR.

The second choice is, which generation of govt is going to be trusted. If not current, would next be least dumb as usual?

Either way, all the accumulated reform is going to catch on and crush the upcoming generations. The question is, do we want to emerge as a more productive economy in 20yrs, or stay stagnant and get dropped out of G7.
Deal Expert
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Dec 7, 2012
25126 posts
5563 upvotes
GTHA
TransPod Hyperloop faster, cheaper than high-speed rail, Toronto startup says
Imagine hopping on a train at Union Station and being in Montreal in under an hour — and in Windsor in 30 minutes. Toronto-based TransPod says Ontario's plan for high-speed rail is slower than their Hyperloop technology, and more expensive too.

Sr. Member
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Dec 13, 2016
839 posts
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I am not sure if this has been mentioned, but why not start with improving one of the most embarrassing public transport networks in the world - the TTC?

As for the hyperloop above, the government will always choose the more expensive option as there are brown envelopes that need to be passed on and on.....
Newbie
May 22, 2017
76 posts
33 upvotes
It is nearly impossible to do in Canada.
The only country had built a full-scale high speed rail network is China by now, and China did it not in one decade.
China had unquestionably large population to support the ridership first of all, and China had massive territory that cities with million population are spread over fairly evenly across major part of Chinese land. And most of Chinese city have reasonable public transit service that people use on daily basis, which also support the railway structure. These are all pre-requisites, and the next are efforts in decades:

Before China built high speed rail, Chinese railway ministry already had 6 massive national-wide "speed-up" project, which speed up speed of traditional train and railway to 160 km.
China has also the largest manufacturing facility, it had success in purchasing "western technology" and transfer into domestic design, including Canadian Bombadier's prototype - now it is Chinese Rail highspeed model 5.

China deserve what it has now because Chinese modestly reasonably done a number of things right - for decades. But if you think how Bombadier keep domestic TTC order delay and delay, and look at liberal crooked politician in their eyes, you probably figure out it is just another spoof.

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