Railway safety, trucking safety, Pas de station de train léger

Coalition for Algoma Passenger
Trains will host a second
screening of the new
documentary film in the
Soo on March 24.
Une station de train léger, Rough rides on OC Transpo, Positive Train Control, Nous avons des solutions concrètes and more in today's Transport Action Canada Hotline.

Winnipeg, City committee favours articulated Ottawa lemons

"The used articulated buses Winnipeg wants to buy have been called "lemons" and were part of Ottawa’s old fleet that had faulty parts that caused some buses to catch fire. Ottawa used the buses between 2001 and 2004, and media reports show that some articulated buses had defective parts and faulty brakes which caused some buses to catch fire. In April 2010, Ottawa city council voted to replace 226 of its articulated buses with newer, fuel-efficient models," Jen Skerritt wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press on March 8. http://is.gd/tkJfkZ

Transport Action Canada's Peter Lacey observes the OC Transpo buses also experienced handling problems in cold and snowy weather.

Building rural transit, Les Transports Adaptés et Collectifs des Collines

There's transit in them there hills thanks to the legendary Harry Gow. Last month he announced his retirement from the board of the local transit system serving communities in Quebec's Gatineau Hills north of Ottawa. Gow, the founding president of Transport Action Canada, has done much to build up Les Transports Adaptés et Collectifs des Collines.

On Feb. 23, in Val-des-Monts, the groups's annual meeting  learned more and more people are using rural transit in the Gatineaus. Rural transit ridership in the MRC des Collines doubled in 2011, from 568 riders to 1,119, and  has more than tripled since 2008. http://is.gd/QDR72E

Train 92 Aldershot tragedy, Why no high speed switch?

"Why is there no "high speed switch" built into such a busy triple track mainline," Transport Action Ontario's Avrum Regenstreif wrote in the wake of the tragic Via Rail crash on Feb 26. "With the very heavy mixed use traffic, in which the design speed for most this area of line is well above the actual train speed at the time, it is totally unacceptable to use a low speed switch."

"One need only open a copy of Trains, International Railway Journal, or Railway Gazette to see full page ads by manufacturers of high speed switches. There is and has long been technology available around the world for high speed switch designs which can easily and safely accommodate trains at speeds of 100 -120km/hr, or even higher on double track, triple track or quadruple lines, to allow trains on mixed use lines to pass each other, or change tracks  safely at higher speeds. I suspect that there are already higher speed switches elsewhere on CN's mainlines which do not require freight or passenger trains to slow down from 108km/hr. to 24km/hr. for a switch point and then speed up again to 100km/hr," Avrum Regenstreif wrote.

More technology doesn't guarantee safety, David Jeanes 

"(E)very system has its limits, (Transport Action's David) Jeanes said. Positive train control won't keep locomotives from smashing into vehicles or people at rail crossings _ among the most common types of railway deaths, he said. And technology can fail or be turned off, Jeanes notes, pointing to the Costa Concordia disaster that killed at least 25 people in January," Paola Loriggio wrote for the Canadian Press on March 4.

"That doesn't mean technological safeguards should be scrapped, Jeanes said, adding the benefits still outweigh the pitfalls. "If someone runs a red light, you don't blame the technology," the Canadian Press reported. http://is.gd/kHoFYS

France, Transport 2000, Nous avons des solutions concrètes

Les associations locales des usagers des transports ferroviaires continuent d'être sollicitées par les usagers. Et pas vraiment pour dire du bien de la situation actuelle... Les associations, dont la Fnaut (Fédération nationale des associations d'usagers des transports) ont rencontré la présidente de région, Marie-Guite Dufay (voir ER du 24 février). « Nous avions la possibilité de travailler chacun dans notre coin ou de faire une opération régionale. C'est ce dernier cas de figure qui s'est présenté et plus rapidement que ce que nous imaginions. La présidente a envoyé un courrier à Guillaume Pepy (le PDG de la SNCF). Mais localement, il y a encore beaucoup de points à éclaircir et à travailler. Nous avons des solutions concrètes et réalisables à proposer », explique Jacques Ferry de l'association Transport 2000," L'Est Républicain a rapporté le 3 mars 2012.

Canada's watered down road safety plan

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators is an extra-parliamentary body that co-ordinates road safety policies. Last year the federal government more or less got out of the road safety business. Canada's road safety plan was watered down. It no longer covers big trucks.

Now the safety-side (excepting commercial vehicles) of the CCMTA is figuring out how to cut itself. It will present a new 2-3 year business plan to its annual meeting in Winnipeg in May. There is not much information available about the trucking-side of the CCMTA which is called Compliance and Regulator Affairs. CRA is responsible for trucking safety. It writes the National Safety Code. A major report on Trucking Safety produced last year remains under wraps. http://is.gd/fYx87k

Second screening in the Soo, De-Railed: The National Dream

Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains reports,"Since the screening on Sunday was sold out and people have been asking when a second one would be, we booked the Great West Life Amphitheatre (NW200) at Algoma University for Sat. March 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets will be ready to be sold at Storey Home Furniture at 274 North St. (corner of Wellington). http://captrains.com/?p=505

Ottawa LRT needs a stop in the centre of town, David Jeanes

"Transit Commission Chair Diane Deans says I shouldn't object to moving the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) station from Confederation Square to Rideau Street. … The LRT stations on Queen and Rideau will serve local businesses and the ByWard Market but are not at the heart of Canada's Capital," Transport Action Canada's David Jeanes wrote in a letter to the Ottawa Citizen.

"Ottawa's three downtown LRT stations replace seven bus transit stations and create a lot more walking and crossing of streets. The one km gaps between Bank, Rideau and campus stations should have stations at Confederation Square and Laurier, (for National Defence and the university)," The March 6 Ottawa Citizen letter said.  http://is.gd/YHYxCi

Pas de station de train léger donnant accès au CNA et à la gare Union

«L'abandon d'une station desservant les deux rives du canal Rideau ne déçoit pas que la CCN. La direction du CNA a elle aussi exprimé sa déception, la semaine dernière. L'organisme Transport Action déplore quant à lui le fait que le futur train léger ne s'arrêtera pas à proximité de pôles importants comme l'hôtel de ville, le palais de justice, la place Bell et la tour de 17 étages qui remplacera l'ancien édifice Lorne, rue Elgin» Le Droit a rapporté le 7 mars 2012.

«Un train léger doit relier les stations Blair et Pré-Tunney de l'actuel Transitway d'autobus d'OC Transpo d'ici 2018. La pièce maîtresse du projet est un tunnel d'environ 2,5 kilomètres au centre-ville. Les travaux doivent débuter l'an prochain» Le Droit a rapporté.

Tim Lane, Rough ride on Ottawa transitway

"Some OC Transpo riders say they are getting a rough ride on their daily commute along the transitway between Tunney’s Pasture and Bayview Station. "On one occasion I actually looked at the speedometer and the bus was actually doing 80 km/h," said Tim Lane of Transport Action," CBC News reported on Mar 6.

"The ride was very rough. We hit some of those holes, and the fare box would just about break off the floor." Lane has been keeping a close eye on buses in the city for two decades. He said the stretch of transitway between Bayview and Tunney’s is notorious for poor road conditions," CBC News reported. http://is.gd/IWaPR2

Extend the O-Train line now Transport Action activists say

"Extending the O-Train to Riverside South is a great idea the city should take up sometime later, the city’s transit commission agreed Wednesday," David Reevely wrote for the Ottawa Citizen on March 1.

"Several train advocates, including Tim Lane and David Jeanes who were instrumental in getting the O-Train established in the first place, spoke to the commission to say that the extension could be built and operated more cheaply than the city’s planners were saying — that level crossings could be used instead of under- or overpasses and that service doesn’t have to be as frequent as on the rest of the line — but the commission voted to shelve it for now anyway," the Ottawa Citizen reported. http://is.gd/jnpmGD

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1156, March 9, 2012
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TransportAction
RSS: feed://www.transport-action.ca/rss/tarss.php


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/

April 21, Toronto, Transport Action Ontario Annual General Meeting, Metro Hall, Toronto, 55 John St., Room 303. 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Business meeting and election of officers. Afternoon program: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. tba.

les 26 et 27 avril, Granby, Le Colloque 2012 de l'Association des Transports collectifs ruraux du Québec (ATCRQ) se tiendra à Hôtel Spa et Confort à Granby, Québec http://www.atcrq.ca