Safe roadways? Priorités essentielles pour Montréal, and more transport action
Transport action on trucking safety, Pie-IX, train de l’Est, Saskatchewan Transportation Company, Ottawa bus terminal, Swissair Flight 111, the Intercolonial railway and more in today's Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1132, Sept. 23, 2011.
Transport 2000 Québec, Les priorités essentielles pour Montréal
L’association Transport 2000 Québec s’inquiète devant le spectre de compressions budgétaires éventuelles dans la modernisation et le développement de certains services de transport collectifs incluant des projets déjà annoncés, tels que le service Pie-IX dans la Métropole, le moratoire dans la réalisation du train de l’est, entre autres.
À l’occasion de l’ouverture de la Semaine des transports collectifs et actifs, les membres du conseil d’administration de Transport 2000 et de la direction générale ont signé une lettre ouverte pour faire part solennellement de leurs préoccupations à cet égard au Gouvernement et à la population, lettre qui accompagne le présent communiqué.
D’ailleurs, les administrateurs du groupe se réuniront pour une retraite vendredi prochain afin de faire le point sur les priorités stratégiques nationales, en plus d’une participation aux activités prévues à Québec et à Lévis toute la journée de mardi, dans la région de la Capitale. Les priorités actuelles sont les suivantes : modernisation du service d’autobus en site propre sur le boulevard Pie-IX à Montréal, réalisation du train de l’Est entre le centre-ville et la région de Lanaudière via le segment Montréal-Repentigny, amélioration des services de train dans l’ouest de l’île de Montréal, les deux lignes principales de tramway à Québec et à Montréal, modernisation des services ferroviaires pour passagers dans l’axe Québec-Windsor, prolongements ciblés du réseau de métro, reconstruction du pont Champlain et amélioration des liens de transport collectif entre Montréal et la Montérégie.
Ron Haskell elected president of Transport Action Prairie
Transport Action Prairie members, at the AGM on Sept.17, elected Ron Haskell, former VP Sask.and present supply teacher in Melville as President. Don Mitchell, former mayor of Moose Jaw, then federal NDP candidate, will assist with Communications. Catherine Verrall, as Past President, will deal with membership.
Dean Madsen, our longtime friend in the STC (Saskatchewan Transportation Company) gave encouraging insights into our own Crown Corporation bus company, whose ridership , in the past year, has increased 13%. Lori Reichert told about the growing Regina Car Share Cooperative. "Cool Youth" Piper Burns, aged 18 and usually a bike/ bus/foot traveller ( sometimes when needed, his parents' car) shared a youth's view .about non-car transport ( He found the whole meeting "interesting... pretty cool ").
Len Boser, former insurance man until a stroke) had come from Saskatoon on his motor chair on the STC bus to share his Disability Awareness
(see his website www.lenboser.com). Good connections were made among attendees).
Transport Action fights for downtown Ottawa bus terminal
"The Greyhound bus terminal on Catherine Street could remain at its downtown location, even if the property is redeveloped with condo towers in the future. ... The city’s planning committee approved a plan to rezone (The Greyhound bus terminal) to allow a mixed-use development to cover the block spanning from Kent to Lyon streets, including two towers of 25 storeys each," Laura Mueller wrote for Ottawa this Week on Sept. 22
But below that, even underground, as one transit advocate suggested, the Greyhound station could still make its home. That’s the model used in Winnipeg, said David Jeanes, president of Transport Action Canada, and he asked city councillors to use the zoning to encourage the property’s owner, Crerar-Silverside Corp., to consider retaining the bus station at the location.
The downtown site has great access to Highway 417 and it serves the core as an important regional and provincial transit link, Jeanes said. “It’s city policies that are important to continue to ensure that we have the intermodal services that people need,” Ottawa this Week reported.
CN proposes to abandon part of the "Intercolonial" Route
"CTV in Halifax had an item that CN would like to discontinue service from Moncton to Miramichi in New Brunswick. Apparently the mine on the Nippisiquit Sub. is scheduled to close and none of the pulp mills along the route are now functioning," runningtrades.com reported this week.
"CN is saying the line is in need of upgrading, at present much has long standing temporary speed limits. Rather than continue to spend money on the former Intercolonial, CN would prefer to upgrade the former National Transcontinental line through Edmundston which includes some large trestles," runningtrades.com reported.
Transport Action Atlantic, Rail review has implications for N.B. service
"This CN rail line that travels from Moncton through the west of the province would be the last one remaining, including for use by Via Rail, should the line from Moncton through northern New Brunswick ever be eliminated. CN is currently assessing the need for the northern line," James Foster wrote for the Times & Transcript on Sept. 17.
It might seem logical that the faster, shorter line which is in better physical condition would be the better option for rail passengers and freight customers alike. However, as Marcus Garnet, president of Transport Action Atlantic, explains, that would leave no rail service at all between Moncton and the north shore - for passengers or freight. (Garnet said) "We are very concerned about the future of that line," the Times & Transcript reported.
Transport Action Atlantic's John Pearce, The Ocean issue
Aside from all other aspects of Via Rail Ocean issue, I am skeptical of anything close to a 4.5 hour saving in time using the Edmundston route. The running time Moncton to St. Andre Jct. using 1967 "Cabot" schedule when the NTR was in excellent shape shows Moncton-Edmundston as 7h05m plus 20 min stop in Edmundston plus 2 hours over the hilly and twisty Pelletier SD with some zone freight speeds of only 35 mph (used 43.5 mph VIA average speed) gives 7h 25m via NTR. The NTR route Moncton to St. Andrews only 73 miles shorter than the Intercolonial via Campbellton.
In 1993 when CN still owned the Newcastle and Mont Joli SDs and the track was in good shape the Ocean time Moncton to St. Andre or reverse was about 9h 20m, less than a 2 hour difference. It does NOT make sense to compare the current NTR to the 2011 ICR crippled by short line deferred maintenance with VIA times over 2 hours slower than in 1993.
Pearce notes other considerations:
1. Fredericton and Edmundston have two express buses each way each day to Quebec City, Montreal and beyond and to Moncton and Halifax. Fredericton has good air service. North Shore NB has one local bus per day and one expensive afternoon flight from Bathurst to Montreal each day. Cities and large towns such as Riviere du Loup, Rimouski (50,000), Mont Joli, Campbellton, Bathurst, and Miramichi are heavily dependent on 6 days per week rail passenger service to Quebec City, Montreal and westward as well as to the southern Maritimes.
2. It is 317 track miles on the NTR from Moncton to St. Andre with several major trestles. Given the critical time sensitive nature of growing container traffic, it makes sense to maintain redundance through a robust second freight line. Major trestle repairs on the Napadogan SD would be much easier with an alternate freight by-pass route. Rigid U.S. security inspections would likely rule out the NBSR-MMA link to Montreal as a detour route.
3. Rebuilding the economy of the North Shore is paramount for the government of NB and to any federal assistance programs such as Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. For heavy industry to grow, rail service with robust track is essential. (This is what drives NS provincial incentives for the CB&CNS Cape Breton line and dredging of the Sydney harbour).
Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train Railway Line Repairs Cost $6.8 Million
"The cost of repairs for the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield steam train railway track is estimated at $6.8 million. The costs were part of a report released today addressing the decision to shut down the train after heavy rain in late June eroded a section of the track," CFRA reported on Sept. 20.
Gilles Picard, General Director of Outaouais Tourism, says reviving the train will bring back major tourism dollars to the area. The fate of the Steam Train is still hanging in limbo, as Outaouais Tourism still has to secure funds from its partners before commencing repairs.
Doubler l'offre de transport collectif
« Bien que nos émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) aient diminué de 1,2 % entre 1990 et 2008, le secteur des transports routiers a vu les siennes augmenter de façon inquiétante, de plus de 32,9 %. Il est aujourd’hui le plus grand responsable des émissions de la province. Pour inverser la vapeur, on doit investir massivement dans les infrastructures et doubler l’offre d’un transport collectif urbain » a écrit Steven Guilbeault, cofondateur d’Équiterre, dans Les Affaires 24-09-2011.
Horwath, Hudak want to scrap GO Transit deal with Quebec firm in favour of the ONR
"In North Bay, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she is prepared to rip up a $120 million contract given to a Quebec firm to repair Go Train cars and hand the job to Ontario Northland.," Richard J. Brennan wrote for the Toronto Star on Sept. 17. A day later PC leader Tim Hudak made the same promise.
TSB Stands By Its Findings on the Swissair Investigation
On Sept 17 The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said it stands by its thorough investigation of the 2 September 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 near Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. Significant positive improvements have been made as a result of the Swissair investigation recommendations, including:
- Regulators in Canada, the US and France almost immediately required the removal of metallized polyethylene terephthalate (MPET) insulation from many aircraft, the first material to ignite in the Swissair accident.
- A more rigorous flammability test, the Radiant Panel Test, along with enhanced regulations and standards are now in place to validate insulation materials used in aircraft.
The final Swissair Flight 111 report
A huge success in keeping our roadways safe?
"On Sept. 12-13, a joint initiative commercial motor vehicle safety blitz was conducted. This initiative was supported by members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Ottawa Police Service, Transport Canada, Ministry of the Environment and Revenue Team. The initiative was conducted on Highway 417 and the City of Ottawa. In the two days of enforcement, 175 trucks were inspected," EMC News reported on Sept. 22, 2011.
"Stats from the inspections:
- 43.5 per cent of vehicles were taken out of service
- 128 charges were laid
- five drivers were driving while under suspension
- 12 drivers were driving without the proper class of licence
"This initiative was a huge success in keeping our roadways safe for everyone," EMC reported.
David Collenette on 9/11
Saskatchewan's new West Central Road & Rail (WCRR)
BC jobs plan anchored in rail expansion
$31.1 million grant to improve intercity passenger in Cascades corridor
Winnipeg's Union Station
Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1132, Sept. 23, 2011
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
Recorded Hotline: 1-800-771-5035
October 16-18, Calgary, Railway Association of Canada, AGM, Trade Show and Research and Development Conference
November 22, Toronto, Transport Futures, Mobility pricing stakeholders forum