News   Apr 03, 2020
 7.7K     3 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 8.5K     0 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 2.8K     0 

EllisDon to Lead Prairie Link High-Speed Rail Partners - Edm-RD-Cal

I have worked and visited places in Africa such as Angola, Gabon, South Africa, Ghana, Mozambique and Morocco. From what I saw, a lot of their roads are well maintained and in good condition. Yes I've seen poor roads there, but the same can be said for North America as well.
Don't have to go far for poorly maintained roads. Just take the Swan Hills route to Slave Lake. Past Swan Hills feels like you're on a washboard for an hour straight.
 
I agree with you for the most part, except for the inclusion of VIA Rail. VIA is a federal crown corp that is solely mandated to deliver passenger services. Their service in the prairies is terrible, since all the rail is owned by freight companies. But out east it's a lot better, especially on portions where they own track.

100%. And aside from the complexity of that system, due to all the components being involved, it's also super unsustainable... due to all the components involved. So many resources go into making each vehicle out there, from metals, to plastics, to electronics, and paint.

On average, around 39,000 gallons of water is used to make a single car. As of 2016, there were almost 700,000 vehicles registered in Edmonton. When you include the broader metro region, and fast forward to 2022, we'd probably be pushing one million at that point. If we round down to 900,000 vehicles, and assume each vehicle required 39,000 gallons of water during manufacturing, that comes out to 35,100,000,000 gallons of water. We see around 20,000 additional vehicles in Edmonton (not including the region), and that makes 780,000 gallons of water. And that's just for our humble little region of less than two million residents!

Compare that to ~1,000 buses and ~130 LRVs in Edmonton, and perhaps another ~150 buses in the metro region. Passenger rail here would maybe require one-two dozen engines, plus a few dozen cars to start. Sure, the latter vehicles are larger than the average personal vehicle, but it's still an astronomical difference. Not only would our cities have more breathing space if we had less personal vehicles (even autonomous ones), but so would our planet. Even if self driving vehicles were 100% electric and autonomous, they'd still be an unsustainable form of transportation compared to transit and trains.
Problem #1 VIA is a monopoly, Problem #2 it is a crown corporation. So, it really has no incentive to provide good customer service. Problem #3 - the rail lines are owned and controlled by someone else whose priority is not passenger rail service.

We don't need the fastest trains in the world on a line that would cost 10s of billions, we just need a few dedicated rail lines that would allow for a reasonably fast speed - something similar to what they have and what is being proposed in the east.
 
Problem #1 VIA is a monopoly, Problem #2 it is a crown corporation. So, it really has no incentive to provide good customer service. Problem #3 - the rail lines are owned and controlled by someone else whose priority is not passenger rail service.
I never claimed any of that, nor did I say they should be the operator. All I was saying was that the line "Their primary focus is on freight delivery." doesn't apply to VIA, simply because it's not a freight delivery company.
 
Last edited:
I never claimed any of that, nor did I say they should be the operator. All I was saying was that the line "Their primary focus is on freight delivery." doesn't apply yo VIA, simply because it's not a freight delivery company.

In terms of operator I know VIA is set up for it but I'd rather it go to open tender or a consortium. If VIA wins, great. But if Trenitalia, SNCF, Italo, or Eurostar think they can make money operating trains in Alberta honestly go for it.

I know most of the other rail operators are state owned too but the key to HSR in Canada being a success is operating it without being bogged down in problems other countries have already solved.

Having the operator being international isn't ideal but I would rather someone come in who knows the business with a track record of successfully running proper HSR than us trying to figure it out for the first time and learning lessons the hard way. The alternative is dumping money into consultants and I don't think that's much better.
 
I'm not entirely convinced that autonomous cars are going to make HSR obsolete. If 130kph is the best they can do in ideal conditions it's still going to take about the same amount of time to get to Calgary as it does now where as modern HSR has no issue breaking 200+kph and is competing with air travel in terms of travel time (as far as actively travelling in the train anyways).

Self driving cars do solve the last mile issue mind you, but rail is still the better option for longer city to city travel I think.
Greenfields HSR usually targets 320+ kph, 200-250 is usually older lines being retrofit
 
68A3AAB2-957F-41C8-8C3E-BEAD9B6E9A55.jpeg

Unfortunately, I am aware that this is a fictional map, but Alberta would benefit much from this High-Speed Rail Line. I love the idea of Prairie Link's original vision and the potential for an expansion to Lethbridge.

Source:
 
Not really unfortunately (I hate to be that guy), but I will say that you should stay tuned as early as this week but more likely next week.
Can you say if it's about the Banff line or the Calgary to Edmonton one?
 

Back
Top