|If they take the train away, chances are it's gone|
for good. Photo courtesy of Steve Boyko
Rail experts call for dedicated rail line for passenger trains
"Everyday dozens of trains carry thousands of people along the Windsor-Quebec corridor. It's the busiest Via route in the country. But CN owns the tracks so these passenger trains must take a backseat to freight trains. They sit on sidings while goods go first. Transport experts say one solution is a dedicated passenger track running parallel to the freight line, using Via's existing equipment," Maureen Brosnahan reported for CBC News World Report on Feb. 28
"David Jeanes heads up Transport Action Canada, a consumer lobby group. He says passenger trains are short and could travel faster since they don't require the heavy duty track needed to bare tons of freight. He says such systems have proven safe in other places," Brosnahan reported.
Jeanes told CBC World Report: We could improve safety and we could provide a much better transportation network. There's never been a passenger fatality on the Bullet Trains in Japan and there's never been a fatality on the French TGV trains on the high speed lines in France.
La Presse, Le déraillement de train causé par une vitesse excessive
«Le train de VIA Rail ayant déraillé dimanche à Burlington, en Ontario, tuant trois cheminots, circulait quatre fois plus vite que la limite prescrite. L'analyse de la boîte noire de la locomotive a permis aux enquêteurs du Bureau de la sécurité des transports (BST) de constater que le train filait à 108 km/h lorsqu'il a tenté de changer de voie. La limite de vitesse pour une telle manoeuvre est plutôt de 24 km/h. Le train 92, qui faisait la liaison entre Niagara Falls et Toronto, a déraillé et la locomotive a percuté un bâtiment industriel bordant la voie. Les trois mécaniciens à bord de la locomotive sont morts et 46 passagers ont été blessés» Pierre-André Normandin a rapporté pour La Presse le 01 mars. http://is.gd/Tsf0nF
Steve Boyko, Canadian photographer donates images to the Via Rail campaign
On Feb 25 Canadian photographer Steve Boyko wrote, "I'd be happy to license a few images to Transport Action at no charge as they are a cause I am happy to support." He fears for the Chaleur and the Ocean and think it's clear that cuts will be made somewhere. Transport Action Canada welcomed the contribution. The group also needs a graphic designer, web site help and a campaign co-ordinator.
Steve Boyko publishes a stream of fabulous photos via Googe+ http://is.gd/a2FgNs and blogs at http://www.traingeek.ca
Don't let them take the train away!
Transport Action Canada needs volunteers to help set up a campaign to protect Via Rail passenger services. The national group needs a co-ordinator, graphic designers, web site help, volunteers to lobby MPs, event organizers, fundraisers, donations and more.
The group expects a lot of blood on the floor on budget day. It's developing a focussed message targeting:
- Transport Action members and supporters
- Via rail workers
- other community organizations dedicated to transportation
- Via passengers, especially business passengers
- Montreal railway industry
To volunteer email Transport Action or submit info at the demo site http://is.gd/u1bLae
David Jeanes, Train travel remains among safest
"Passenger train derailments that result in fatalities are still very rare in Canada, with one of the worst being more than 25 years ago," Vanessa Lu wrote for the Toronto Star on Feb. 27. “It’s certainly one of the safest modes of travel. You’re still safer boarding a passenger train then getting into your own car to drive somewhere,” Transport Action's David Jeanes told the Toronto Star. http://is.gd/o4POiJ
Nouveau-Brunswick, Inacceptable, Le manque de transport en commun
«Des résidents du nord-ouest du Nouveau-Brunswick se sentent coincés depuis l'entrée en vigueur du lock-out chez le transporteur Acadian. Depuis le lock-out chez Acadian, le nord-ouest de la province se trouve sans transport collectif. La région n'est plus desservie par Via Rail ni par un transporteur aérien depuis des années» SRC a rapporté le 24 février 2012.
Rodolphe Martin, un ancien président du Front commun pour la justice sociale au Madawaska, a milité pendant des années pour le retour de Via Rail dans le nord-ouest.« On est dans une situation au nord-ouest où on est pris en otage avec aucun moyen de transport et c'est tout à fait inacceptable » SRC a rapporté. http://is.gd/FC9mw4
Saskatchewan short line, North Central Rail buys time
North Central Rail has bought some time in its efforts to buy a rail line in northwest Saskatchewan by asking the Canadian Transportation Agency to determine the net salvage value of CN’s Blaine Lake line. NCR has been negotiating with OmniTRAX for 320 kilometres of the Carlton Trail Railway that runs between Meadow Lake and Speers. It also wants to buy the Blaine Lake line that connects the CTR with the CN line at Denholm," Janet Gibson wrote for the Meadow Lake Progress on March 1. http://is.gd/hk9wcN
Transport Action Prairie welcomes the news but continues to fear for the industry in the wake of the demise of the Canadian Wheat Board. http://is.gd/GJrPWm
Ontario Court upholds DRIC environmental assessment
"The Ontario Court of Appeals has dismissed a bid by the Ambassador Bridge to overturn the environmental assessment for a rival downriver Windsor-Detroit bridge. The bridge company was appealing a lower court ruling that upheld the environmental assessment for the Detroit River International Crossing bridge," Dave Battagello reported for the Windsor Star on March 2.
Transport Action Ontario opposes the $5 billion project and Canada's $500 million gift to "cash-strapped" Michigan. The watchdog group notes border crossing traffic is down and less brown alternatives exist. The case continues to be fought by Ecojustice. http://is.gd/WmVz3t
TriTAG, The case for Light Rail has never been so compelling
On Feb. 27 Tri-Cities Transport Action Group's Chris Klein wrote "the success of transit in Waterloo Region and the shift in our urban form– driven both by demographics and the attractiveness of light rail along our densest corridor– translate into the kind of ridership numbers that won’t just validate LRT, they will demand it." http://is.gd/eRiy08
CAPT, De-Railed: The National Dream
We are excited to announce that the premier screening of Dan Nystedt’s documentary film De-Railed: The National Dream will be on Sunday, March 4 at 5 pm in the Grand Theatre, Sault Ste. Marie as part of the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival. Limited seating so get your tickets soon!
De-Railed: The National Dream, is a documentary examining the crumbling state of the Canadian railway system. Having lost more than 10,000 kilometres of track since 1990, why has Canada allowed it's "ribbon-of-rail" to unravel? More information and a short preview of De-Railed: The National Dream on our website at http://www.CAPTrains.ca .
A Better Vision for Car Free Sundays
"Recent media coverage has been particularly critical of Waterloo’s Car Free Sundays, despite being hailed as a huge success when they were held last year. To counter this negativity, I want to cast a bigger, better vision of what Car Free Sundays could be. Boos would like to see: Increased hours; Greater frequency; Food;
More participation from community groups and businesses; Reduced police presence; and Promotion," Mike Boos wrote for the Tri-Cities Transport Action Group on Feb. 28. http://is.gd/zgt7IG
The Toronto transit situation
Bonjour à tous lecteurs du TRAQ-Hebdo
High speed rail news
Québec rail news
BC Transit perspective
Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1155, Feb. 24, 2012
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
March 6, 7pm to 9 pm, New Westminster, Transport Action BC, Waves Coffee shop, 715 Columbia St., near the New Westminster SkyTrain station
28 et 29 mars, Québec. TRAQ, Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec http://www.groupe-traq.com/
March 29, Federal budget
le 1 avril, Charny, L’assemblée générale annuelle du Groupe TRAQ aura lieu au 104-5314, avenue des Belles-Amours coin Maréchal-Joffre http://www.groupe-traq.com/
April 1, Charny, AGM Groupe TRAQ, 104-5314, avenue des Belles-Amours http://www.groupe-traq.com/