Category Archives for "Intercity Rail and Bus"

Feb 11

Addressing VIA Canada’s role in passenger rail transportation

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News

In response to a letter from Transport Minister Alghabra, Transport Action Ontario has written back to the Minister outlining our thoughts and needed work on eight topics, summarized below;

  • Expedited restoration of VIA Rail corridor services needed
  • Transparency on VIA’s High Frequency Rail (HFR) project very inadequate
  • Details needed on HFR capital investment ($396 million over 5 years)
  • Need to develop options to HFR northern corridor (Toronto-Peterborough-Smith Falls)
  • Need to invest in southwestern Ontario rail debottlenecks
  • Shared maintenance facilities with Exo or Metrolinx
  • Welcome first step on VIA’s long-distance fleet replacement
  • Cross-border rail services

Our letter can be viewed below.

Photograph: VIA 912 by djaytoo (d*jay)

Toronto to Chicago Amtrak/VIA Rail train in 1996
Jan 19

Increased Interest in U.S./Canada Cross-Border Passenger Rail

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News

With the passage of President Biden’s infrastructure bill in November, 2021, there is considerable interest in the U.S. to boost passenger rail connections to Canada.

Transport Action Ontario (TAO) board member Ken Westcar has published an article in the Winter 2022 newsletter of the (U.S-based) Rail Users Network (RUN). It speaks about the challenges of rigourous border procedures, food/beverage service and the necessary cooperation of host railways. The article is found on page 6 of the newsletter.

Ken is also cited on pages 11-12 of the newsletter, discussing proposed new service between Chicago and Toronto. This paper was presented at the RUN mini-conference in October. Ken’s slides have been posted on the TAO website in an October 15 posting.

The RUN newsletter is attached below.

Jan 15

Input to Updated Business case for Northeastern Passenger Rail

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario

With the soon-to-be-expected release of an Updated Business case for Northeastern Ontario Passenger Rail, Transport Action Ontario has written the Minister of Transportation and the President of Ontario Northland with two suggestions:

  • Interim service to Huntsville or North Bay using GO Transit
  • Requirements for permanent rolling stock

Our letter can be viewed here.

Jan 03

Response to Mandate Letter to Minister Alghabra

By Transport Action Ontario | Highways and Bridges , Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario , Southwestern Ontario , Urban Transit

Prime Minister Trudeau released his mandate letters to all cabinet ministers in mid December. Transport Action Ontario has written to Minister of Transport Alghabra providing several critical perspectives on the letter he received. They are

-Full due diligence needed

-Improve transparency/reliability/accountability/communication

-Execution skills and talent are a concern

-Rail offers domestic industrial benefits

-Must account for externalities

The letter can be viewed below.