Jump to content

Commuter Rail


Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, Charlie said:

The whole Prince of Wales bridge situation has become a whole lot more complicated now with 3 different groups wanting to use it: OC Transpo, the STO or whoever will operate the Gatineau LRT and, last by not least, MOOSE rail. Depending on the type of train that Gatineau what’s to use, they might require significant changes to the bridge, like electrifiying it. It’s even gotten more complicated by the end of my paragraph.

Whats the status of Moose . . .

Honestly imo in the ideal world, Bayview gets several platforms and can act as a regional rail hub with several branches north and south of the river but, with DMU (hence eventually EMU) service similar to the current Trillium Line but with several services.

Link to post
  • Replies 35
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

To me if Moose is admitting that the stations are in inconvenient locations, that says everything. Poor plan acknowledged right from the start. If your plan is to build something and you can't even bu

To me personally, this is complete nonsense, in fact with even less of a chance and less of an in depth look of the system then MOOSE rail. He would cancel the Stage 2 of LRT, and make a whole boat lo

Lots of questions indeed on this "Campaign Pitch". If this came to pass, it would seriously reduce the appeal and extent of LRT in Ottawa. I am in no way against other people's opinions or positions o

4 hours ago, reecemartin said:

Whats the status of Moose . . .

Honestly imo in the ideal world, Bayview gets several platforms and can act as a regional rail hub with several branches north and south of the river but, with DMU (hence eventually EMU) service similar to the current Trillium Line but with several services.

As far as I'm concerned MOOSE is vapourware. I've been following them since the beginning over a decade ago and have been in contact with them a number of times over the years and they don't seem to be credible or realistic. They talk a good talk but if they were serious about regional transit there are many avenues they could pursue today that would make viable regional rail lines without having to rely on the Trillium corridor or the Prince of Wales Bridge. Instead they seem stuck on proving some outlandish theoretical business model - centred on that bridge - that involves selling land around stations and using the income/revenue to offer pay-what-you-want rail service. As far as I can tell Moose is nothing more than a hypothetical vehicle to prove an outlandish business theory.

I would suggest that there is demand from places like Arnprior, Smith Falls, Limogues etc. to be connected to Ottawa by rail and that if a modest regional rail system were set up using existing, disused, railroads they could probably make a decent go of it and those communities would become new bedroom communities for Ottawa. It would mean of course a reconfiguration of Moose's proposed rail lines because, in my opinion, using the bridge and Trillium corridor is not going to happen but the people behind Moose won't even entertain the suggestion. They appear to be stuck on using that bridge as the nexus of their network which is why I don't think their system will ever happen as currently being proposed.

It's sad because I would totally live somewhere like Almonte if I could get to work by rail but there's no way I'm commuting that far by car. I proposed they connect Arnprior to somewhere like Casselman or even Hawksbury but they wouldn't even entertain it because all of their proposed routes cross the border over the bridge.

Link to post

The only thing that MOOSE seems to be doing is the whole CTA thing and OC Transpo tearing up the tracks without following the proper procedures or whatever it was. Seems more to me them trying to simply be noticed by the City or something, as it is not like it would do much anyway, as the city wants to connect it up eventually anyways and MOOSE won’t be operating in that time...

Link to post
4 hours ago, reecemartin said:

Whats the status of Moose . . .

Honestly imo in the ideal world, Bayview gets several platforms and can act as a regional rail hub with several branches north and south of the river but, with DMU (hence eventually EMU) service similar to the current Trillium Line but with several services.

I haven't heard any thing from Moose in quite a while, so I assume it is dead.

As for making Bayview a regional rail  hub, I am a little confused by that idea.  VIA already provides a hybrid between inter-city rail and regional rail service to Ottawa and those trains go to Tremblay.  If there was demand for Regional rail to towns in  other directions (which I don't think there is without a big city at the other end of the line), why wouldn't  you want those trains to also go to Tremblay?

As for commuter rail, like Moose was proposing, the populations in Ottawa drop off so sharply past the near suburbs of Kanata, Orleans and Barrhaven, that the  demand  wouldn't justify the cost.   Commuter buses make much more sense for those communities.  Personally I would like to see GO Transit come to Ottawa and offer GO Buses, but I am not holding  my breath on that ever happening.

Link to post

The chance of GO Transit coming to Ottawa is so slim. It would expand further into southern Ontario before it comes to Ottawa. There is a greater chance of some other operator to set up commuter rail then the provincial government. I was thinking about this the other day about how, in the near(er) future, I could see OC Transpo expanding bus service to surrounding communities, as long as there is enough demand. Maybe replacing some of the rural partner routes with itself. But then you get into my whole rant about how OC Transpo needs to start charging distance based fares, but that is for another time ????

-Charlie

Link to post
2 hours ago, Mike said:

As far as I'm concerned MOOSE is vapourware. I've been following them since the beginning over a decade ago and have been in contact with them a number of times over the years and they don't seem to be credible or realistic. They talk a good talk but if they were serious about regional transit there are many avenues they could pursue today that would make viable regional rail lines without having to rely on the Trillium corridor or the Prince of Wales Bridge. Instead they seem stuck on proving some outlandish theoretical business model - centred on that bridge - that involves selling land around stations and using the income/revenue to offer pay-what-you-want rail service. As far as I can tell Moose is nothing more than a hypothetical vehicle to prove an outlandish business theory.

I would suggest that there is demand from places like Arnprior, Smith Falls, Limogues etc. to be connected to Ottawa by rail and that if a modest regional rail system were set up using existing, disused, railroads they could probably make a decent go of it and those communities would become new bedroom communities for Ottawa. It would mean of course a reconfiguration of Moose's proposed rail lines because, in my opinion, using the bridge and Trillium corridor is not going to happen but the people behind Moose won't even entertain the suggestion. They appear to be stuck on using that bridge as the nexus of their network which is why I don't think their system will ever happen as currently being proposed.

It's sad because I would totally live somewhere like Almonte if I could get to work by rail but there's no way I'm commuting that far by car. I proposed they connect Arnprior to somewhere like Casselman or even Hawksbury but they wouldn't even entertain it because all of their proposed routes cross the border over the bridge.

That's a fairly Ottawa/Ontario-centric way of looking at it. Their proposed routes into Quebec going North and East would definitely have some ridership potential. 

North to Wakefield would have a bit of commuter traffic, but would also otherwise be big on touristic travels. Heading out East there are many dense-ish (relatively speaking) areas all along the tracks that could also provide a decent amount of traffic. Crossing the bridge heading in either way has its obvious advantages so it's really not surprising that they'd fight for it.

 

Link to post

I would say though that starting a commuter service on existing and serviceable track is really the easiest way to go, with potentially high rewards, and example being Ottawa-Smiths Falls. I could see commuters doing this, as well as tourists and cottagers. Would it be that difficult for MOOSE to buy up some farmers fields next to the tracks, build a maintenance facility then get Smiths Falls to pitch in and...Bam, a commuter train service. (Yes, I realize it is way more easier said then done, but you get the point)

-Charlie

Link to post
  • Moderator

No I believe the REM is considered rapid transit. The existing service by EXO (formerly AMT) and the service that is being converted to rapid transit via REM, is commuter rail. Essentially the rail lines that exist now are commuter rail. 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Here's the proposed map by MOOSE. It does appear that the intention is to pass all the lines through Greenboro, and 2 of the 3 lines between Bayview and Greensboro. (Their spelling for Greenboro, not mine).

It isn't clear if it would be operated as 3 lines, or 6 lines, as once it passes through the Urban Ottawa-Gatineau area it is going in the wrong direction, if operating only during peak periods.

I don't doubt it would get use but how much I am not sure. The information on their site is somewhat on the limited side explaining how the whole thing would work if implemented.

I do like the line that goes towards Chelsea and Wakefield but again how many people actually commute downtown during the week from Wakefield? TransCollines have bus service that operates 2-3 times max in the morning and again at night. Surely if there was more demand there would be additional runs of the route operating.

To me, proving the demand and usage would be done first with commuter buses so to speak to gauge response and usage trends, rather than build a commuter train network.

image.thumb.png.7c7df64f62ab4bdfe2b40da45fa50328.png

Link to post

The two biggest problems I see with  Commuter rail in Ottawa are:

  1. The population outside of the Urban areas drop off sharply
  2. Ottawa no longer has tracks downtown that a commuter train could use.

It is hard to measure, but each of the 6 legs on Moose's map only serves populations of about 10,000 people outside of the urban area and few people who live in those communities work (or otherwise regularly travel to) downtown Ottawa, so getting a train load of passengers each hour isn't feasible.  As for the stations inside the urban area, they already have fast/frequent service to downtown, provided by OC Transpo and STO.  An hourly train that will require a second transfer (few will be within walking distance  of a station) isn't  a competitive option, especially since it won't likely save any time (in some cases it will probably take longer).

Regarding Moose's solution, they have admitted that their business model requires that the stations be located in locations that  are as inconvenient  as possible for existing residents and  only convenient  for those in the new neighbourhoods that are sponsoring them.  For example, the Barrhaven station would likely be on McKenna Casey Dr (just west of Strandherd), not at Fallowfield station.

Link to post

Hi Roger, very good points. Especially #1 above.

Ottawa region can't be compared to the Montreal region where there is a considerable number of people outside of the city who commute daily to Montreal, and the commuter trains actually do serve a purpose. So much so they don't have quite enough capacity and the service is being improved and expanded, with the REM. The farther regions that the trains in Montreal do serve are still suburban areas mostly. In Ottawa they would be little towns to villages so to speak.

I also agree with your point about the MOOSE stations being in poor locations. To me, the closer stations to the city could see some decent use but it will quickly drop off as you go out farther.

I believe in Rockland and Clarence Creek, Leduc bus lines run commuter buses daily to downtown Ottawa. Such a service could be offered to the other regions that need this type of transit, and at a much more effective cost point than by train.

I think but may be wrong, Galland or Gallant runs some commuter bus service someplace too...

Like it has been stated in earlier posts, run a commuter bus service first before jumping on a train with all the expenses required. Completely unnecessary.

Link to post
  • Moderator

 

4 hours ago, Roger1818 said:

Regarding Moose's solution, they have admitted that their business model requires that the stations be located in locations that  are as inconvenient  as possible for existing residents and  only convenient  for those in the new neighbourhoods that are sponsoring them.  For example, the Barrhaven station would likely be on McKenna Casey Dr (just west of Strandherd), not at Fallowfield station.

To me if Moose is admitting that the stations are in inconvenient locations, that says everything. Poor plan acknowledged right from the start. If your plan is to build something and you can't even build it in the places that make sense, your business plan is flawed and will have a heck of a time to succeed. There also appears to be too few stations outside of the city and too far apart. Look at the Trillium Line, the stations are simple yet work perfectly fine. If Moose cares to provide a good service, they should adjust their plans to serve people as best as they can or as close to them as they can, when stations can be simple and not require too much. Just build concrete platforms along the side of the tracks, put a bit of fencing to control access somewhat and delineate the platform. Simple.

Maybe I'm being a bit critical but the plan seems to fly a big idea of transit and commuting but with a limited level of execution.

I like Rob's idea of the commuter bus service. More flexible, easier to adapt and change as they go, more cost effective. The roads are already there, they would just need buses to execute it. The stops (not stations) could also be better located and better serve people.

  • Like 1
Link to post
2 hours ago, Shane said:

 

To me if Moose is admitting that the stations are in inconvenient locations, that says everything. Poor plan acknowledged right from the start. If your plan is to build something and you can't even build it in the places that make sense, your business plan is flawed and will have a heck of a time to succeed. There also appears to be too few stations outside of the city and too far apart. Look at the Trillium Line, the stations are simple yet work perfectly fine. If Moose cares to provide a good service, they should adjust their plans to serve people as best as they can or as close to them as they can, when stations can be simple and not require too much. Just build concrete platforms along the side of the tracks, put a bit of fencing to control access somewhat and delineate the platform. Simple.

Maybe I'm being a bit critical but the plan seems to fly a big idea of transit and commuting but with a limited level of execution.

I like Rob's idea of the commuter bus service. More flexible, easier to adapt and change as they go, more cost effective. The roads are already there, they would just need buses to execute it. The stops (not stations) could also be better located and better serve people.

The catch is that MOOSE's primary goal is to sell houses (and other buildings) around those stations. That's why they're built so out of the way, so that they can build around them. Their goal isn't to serve existing people unless they "subscribe" to the service.

The only problem with buses is that they aren't very attractive (compared to trains), and once they reach the city they have to deal with traffic.

While Bayview isn't really downtown, it has sufficient transit connections to get people where they need to go with ease.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...