Transport Action Canada
Transport Action Hotline - 15 October 2010

In this issue...

This is the Transport Action Hotline, issue number 1086, for 15 October 2010.

  • 1 - Calendar
  • 2 - Reprieve granted to the second Vancouver-Portland Amtrak train
  • 3 - Transport Action Ontario event: Transit Priorities for Toronto
  • 4 - Un an de transport gratuit: Transport 2000
  • 5 - Michigan activists honour Harry Gow, founding president of Transport Action
  • 6 - High Speed Rail In Canada: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • 7 - Big trucks in British Columbia: Six-month pilot project not yet underway between Deltaport and Tilbury
  • 8 - VIA Rail advances fleet renewal program
  • 9 - Rail service expansion imperiled at state level
  • 10 - No private bids for the Ottawa Valley Canadian Pacific rail line
  • 11 - Edmonton: New bus will link airport, LRT
  • 12 - Transport Canada: Rail Freight Service Review
  • 13 - Transports Canada: Examen des services de transport ferroviaire des marchandises
  • 14 - New Book: 100 Years of Trains at White Rock, Crescent Beach and Ocean Park
  • 15 - Gothard, le plus long tunnel du monde

1 - Calendar

2 - Reprieve granted to the second Vancouver-Portland Amtrak train

"At the last minute, a deal was made to continue the Amtrak train for another year. Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) wanted to charge Amtrak $1500 per day ($550,000 per year) for border inspections. Amtrak refused to pay and was going to cancel the second daily Vancouver-Seattle train at the end of October if a deal wasn't going to be made by Oct. 15. Transport Action has learned the CBSA has agreed to a one-year extension," Transport Action BC's Matthew Buchanan reported on Oct. 14.

"Thanks to everyone who spoke out on this issue including Transport Action members who contacted politicians, publicised the story on blogs, and talked to friends and colleagues. A special thanks goes to Ian Burkheimer at PNWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region) who organised a group of tourism officials, government people, and public transport advocates. Ian brought together everyone with conference calls and emails to get the government to listen to common sense.

"This issue isn't dead yet, only delayed for another year. The fact that the CBSA made another extension instead of dropping the idea of cost recovery means that we haven't heard the end of this story. At least it will give Amtrak Cascades another year to grow and improve the service over the next year," Buchanan reported.

http://transportactionbc.wordpress.com/

3 - Transport Action Ontario event: Transit Priorities for Toronto

Board member Bruce Budd made an excellent presentation to about forty members and guests who attended the Oct. 12 Transport Action Ontario event. Budd's seven megabyte, 22-slide powerpoint file is at: http://www.jgoss.com/transportaction/TransitPrioritiesforToronto.ppt

Ted Wickson, noted transit archivist and expert on transit history, took the audience through the master plans of the past. His slide show of photographs, gathered over a thirty-year career at the TTC, documented many changes, innovations and blunders. Distinguished guests included Sarah Thomson, the former candidate for Mayor of Toronto who proposed road tolls to pay for transit expansion. At the event Transport Action Ontario released an update of Transit Priorities for Toronto which can be downloaded at:

http://www.jgoss.com/transportaction/TorontoTransitPriorities.doc

4 - Un an de transport gratuit: Transport 2000

« Dans la foulée du lancement du Guide de l'usager : se déplacer autrement au Québec, Transport 2000 invite le public à participer à son concours Se déplacer autrement, jusqu'au 22 novembre. Les participants peuvent remporter un des quatre titres de transports annuels de l'Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT). Ces titres seront personnalisés selon les besoins des gagnants et leur permettront d'utiliser sans frais, pendant un an, le réseau de métro, de trains de banlieue et d'autobus de l'AMT » Courrier Laval a rapporté cette semaine.

« Le concours est réservé aux 18 ans et plus et une seule participation par personne est acceptée. On peut s'inscrire en ligne ou par la poste, en envoyant son nom et ses coordonnées au 300, rue St-Sacrement, bureau G-34, H2Y 1X4, à Montréal. (N.V.) » Courrier Laval a rapporté.

http://www.transport2000qc.org

5 - Michigan activists honour Harry Gow, founding president of Transport Action

The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, at its first-ever meeting in the Upper Peninsula, honoured Indians Trails of Owosso with a Special Achievement Award and Harry Gow, Argus Press reported on Oct. 13

"MARP presented the award to Indian Trails, a motor coach service, on the occasion of its 100th birthday. ... Harry Gow, 71, founding president of Transport Action Canada (formerly Transport 2000 Canada), was honored with an International Friendship Award for his decades of work on behalf of consumers of transportation services and for promoting sustainable transportation options through advocacy and education. "It is no exaggeration to say that the expansion of public transportation in Canada is largely based upon the foundation laid by Harry Gow's work," said DeLora, retiring chair of MARP," Argus Press reported.

http://www.argus-press.com/news/community/owosso/article_00f5cff6-d6d1-11df-9749-001cc4c002e0.html

6 - High Speed Rail In Canada: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

High Speed Rail Canada in cooperation with the Princess Twin Cinema will host an evening of presentations, guest speakers and video about high speed trains on Nov. 18, 7 pm at 46 King Street North, Waterloo, Ontario. "High Speed Rail in Canada - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" will include guest speakers Paul Larouche from Bombardier and Ashley Langford, Alstom. Tickets are only $10.00, advance tickets are strongly recommended as the cinema has limited seating capacity.

http://www.highspeedrail.ca

7 - Big trucks in British Columbia: Six-month pilot project not yet underway between Deltaport and Tilbury

"At a Delta council meeting in August, civic politicians endorsed a pilot project with Maersk Distribution that would see the company operate its extended length trucks between its facility on River Road and the Deltaport container terminal at Roberts Bank. The trucks, which are known as extended length super B-trains (ELS B-trains), are combination vehicles consisting of a tractor and two trailers that measure just over 12 metres in length," Jessica Kerr wrote for the Delta Optimist on Oct. 9.

"It raises a whole lot of questions," Delta North MLA Guy Gentner said. "The Liberals are fundamentally changing road transportation with the introduction of truck trains between the coast and the interior." ... He has asked the practice of permitting long combination vehicles be stopped until the provincial government addresses safety concerns and sustainable transportation alternatives," the Delta Optimist reported,

"Ontario began a pilot program in 2009 to study the impact of long combination vehicles. Full results of the study have not been released yet, but early indications are the project has proceeded smoothly and there have been no collisions with more than 11,000 truck trips covering 3.5 million kilometres," the Delta Optimist reported.

Transport Action opposes the expanded use of double-trailer trucks. The watchdog group argues the increased road, safety and environmental costs, none of which are paid for by the industry, make it a losing proposition. The group notes the results, yet to come from the on-going Ontario pilot project, will be difficult to evaluate given the small sample size and the lack of any current safety statistics on the trucking industry with which to make comparisons. The most recent statistics cover 2007.

http://www.delta-optimist.com/news/MLAs+raise+safety+issues+about+truck+trains+using+Delta+roads/3647665/story.html#ixzz12F30IDzS

8 - VIA Rail advances fleet renewal program

"VIA Rail Canada Inc. has put the first of a series of refurbished sleeping and dining cars back into service on its Canadian route between Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia. The railroad is overhauling the cars as part of an $894 million fleet renewal program. Forty sleeping cars now feature new upholstery, carpets and wall coverings, as well as upgraded bathrooms, and heating and ventilation, electrical, water and brake systems," Progressive Railroading reported on Oct. 12.

"VIA Rail also is rebuilding 13 dining cars, which will feature energy-conserving light assemblies, renovated kitchens and improved ventilation systems, as well as new carpet flooring, wall coverings, dining room chairs and bench seats," Progressive Railroading reported.

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/prdailynews/news.asp?id=24739

9 - Rail service expansion imperiled at state level

"Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama's signature initiatives: his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation's first bullet-train service. In his State of the Union address this year, the president called for building high-speed rail backed up his words with $8 billion in stimulus money, distributed to various states, for rail projects. But Republican candidates for governor in some of the states that won the biggest stimulus rail awards are reaching for the emergency brake," the Michael Cooper wrote for the New York Times on Oct. 4.

"All Republicans are not against trains. One prominent rail advocate, John Robert Smith, was a four-term Republican mayor of Meridian, Miss. Any notion that somehow rail is subsidized, and other modes of transportation aren't, is simply not factual," said Mr. Smith, the president Reconnecting America, a nonprofit transportation advocacy group, who noted that highways and airports were subsidized as well. "Honestly, transportation infrastructure should not be a partisan issue. When you talk about good transportation solutions, they cross party lines," the New York Times reported.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/us/05rail.html

10 - No private bids for the Ottawa Valley Canadian Pacific rail line

"It is now up to the federal and provincial governments to determine the fate of Ottawa Valley's Canadian Pacific rail line, which is in the process of being abandoned. Last week, the deadline passed for private companies to reach a deal with CP for the 175 kms of line running between Camspur, just north of Petawawa, to Smiths Falls, which means it will be offered first to the federal government and then the province to see if there is any interest," Stephen Uhler wrote for the Pembroke Daily Observer on Oct. 15.

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2801594

11 - Edmonton: New bus will link airport, LRT

"The province has approved a new transit line to shuttle commuters between south Edmonton, Leduc County and the international airport. The C-Line will cost $5 one way, $4 for youth and seniors, with stops at Century Park, the airport, Nisku, and 13 points in Leduc. Monthly passes and ticket packs will also be available at discounted rates. Edmonton Transit expects to begin service within a month, operating during peak commuting hours in the morning and afternoon," Ben Gelinas reported for the Edmonton Journal on Oct. 14.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/will+link+airport/3669202/story.html#ixzz12KoPCXZt

12 - Transport Canada: Rail Freight Service Review

The Panel issued its Interim Report on October 8, 2010. The Panel also issued a call letter inviting stakeholders to comment on the Interim Report by November 8, 2010. The Panel expects to complete and submit its Final Report to the Minister by the end of 2010.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/policy/acg-rfs-review-examen-sfm-rvw-eng-442.htm

13 - Transports Canada: Examen des services de transport ferroviaire des marchandises

Le Comité a remis son rapport provisoire le 8 octobre 2010. Ce comité aussi a remis une lettre d'appel invitant toutes les parties intéressées à formuler des commentaires sur le rapport provisoire de 8 novembre 2010. Le Comité comptait achever et de soumettre son rapport finale au ministre d'ici la fin de l'année 2010.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/fra/politique/acg-examen-sfm-rfs-review-rvw-fra-442.htm

14 - New Book: 100 Years of Trains at White Rock, Crescent Beach and Ocean Park

"In 1909, a railway line opened along the shoreline of Semiahmoo Bay, where the Canada-United States boundary meets the Pacific Ocean. The new railway made the superlative beaches of Semiahmoo Bay easily accessible, and soon scores of beach-goers arrived with almost every passing train. In response, the communities of White Rock, Crescent Beach and Ocean Park sprang up and prospered," Sand Hill Books reported this week.

The author, Barrie Sanford, is one of BC's most prolific and highly regarded railway historians. Born in New Westminster and raised in White Rock, Sanford is also an avid photographer who has lived in Quesnel and has an engineering degree from UBC, plus a business administration degree from SFU. In 1973 he won and award for best technical paper in British Columbia from the Corporation of BC Land Surveyors.

http://www.sandhillbooks.com/cgi-bin/sandhillbooks/00271.html

15 - Gothard, le plus long tunnel du monde

« Il fait 57 km de long et descend à 2000 mètres sous terre : le Gothard est la fierté des Suisses, qui viennent d'abattre vendredi la dernière paroi qui séparait les deux galeries du plus long tunnel du monde. ... Le tunnel ferroviaire, dont les travaux ont été lancés voilà 15 ans, sera opérationnel en 2017 et devrait décongestionner le trafic routier européen.» Radio Canada a rapporté le 15 octobre.

« Il permettra de relier Zurich à Milan en 2 heures 40, soit une heure de moins qu'actuellement. Les trains de passagers pourront circuler à 250 km/h. Les convois de marchandises atteindront 160 km/h. Selon les prévisions, 300 trains pourront emprunter le tunnel quotidiennement. Sa réalisation constitue un record qui détrône celui du tunnel japonais du Seikan (53,8 km), reliant les îles d'Honshu et d'Hokkaido » Radio Canada a rapporté.

http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/International/2010/10/15/003-suisse-gothard-tunnel.shtml

Thank you for calling the Transport Action Canada Hotline. For additional information, please contact our web site at:

www.transport-action.ca.