Podcast

Rail Fans Map - A discussion with map creator Derek Ellis

The Rail Fans Map features Ottawa's O-Train, Toronto's Subway and Kitchener-Waterloo's ION systems in high detail. Illustrating all track positions, switches, crossovers and yards. We speak to Derek Ellis, creator of the map, on this impressive project.

You can check out the map here : map.railfans.ca

Rail Fans Map - A discussion with map creator Derek Ellis -

A Conversation on the iconic TTC Streetcars with Helen Lee of The Next Stop Podcast - May 2022

The City of Toronto operates an extensive Streetcar system, consisting of 9 streetcar lines, 685 stops across 83km in length. All this makes it the 3rd largest light rail system in North America.

The TTC Streetcars are very iconic and emblematic of the City of Toronto. They are also an essential and integral part of the public transit network.

In this conversation with Helen Lee, Creator / Executive Producer / Co-Host of The Next Stop Podcast, we talk about the Streetcars and touch on the following points of interest:

  • What is the Toronto Streetcar System.
  • The history of the Streetcar system.
  • The rolling stock, recent past and present.
  • The Mystique of the Streetcar system and what makes it unique to Toronto.
  • How the Streetcars in Toronto endure, while most other cities systems have been discontinued.
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You can learn more about The Next Stop Podcast and listen to their insightful episodes by visiting their website: www.thenextstop.ca. The podcast is also available on all major podcast platforms.
A Conversation on the iconic TTC Streetcars with Helen Lee of The Next Stop Podcast

Reliability - How the transit operator and the paying rider perceive and experience reliability on a rail-based system

Reliability - How the transit operator and the paying rider perceive and experience reliability on a rail-based system -
How does the transit operator calculate reliability? How does a paying rider see and experience reliability? Reliability has many facets. This episode aims to highlight some points on this important topic.

What does reliability mean to you on a rail-based system? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Stage 2 LRT Update - A Look at the Progress of the O-Train Expansion in Ottawa - May 2022

Recently, the City of Ottawa delivered an update on Stage 2 LRT progress in the city. Stage 2 expands the O-Train service in the East from Blair to Trim, in the West from Tunney's Pasture to Algonquin and Moodie, and in the South from Bayview to Limebank and the Airport. 

In this video, I discuss and provide my take on some of the important progress being realized on these massive construction and infrastructure projects across the city. 

The photos contained in this video were provided by the City of Ottawa and mostly date from Q2 2022. 

  • 00:00 - Introduction 
  • 00:44 - East Extension (Blair to Trim) 
  • 15:26 - West Extension (Westboro to Moodie and Algonquin) 
  • 33:36 - South Extension (Bayview to Limebank) 
  • 50:08 - Wrap Up and Closing 

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In the video, it is mentioned that the new East pathway that passes over Green's Creek will continue to Jeanne d'Arc. This was an error, the pathway will run from Blair and end at the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway. Existing pathways from there can be used to reach Jeanne d'Arc (via the parkway and not alongside the 174). 

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To see the latest photos of the stations, please check out our Snapshot Updates at otrain.railfans.ca/snapshot

Toronto's Scarborough RT - The History and Technology, Expansion Options and Closure with Seth McDermott - July 2021

Toronto's Line 3 Scarborough RT - The History and Technology, Expansion Options and Closure with Seth McDermott -

Line 3 Scarborough (originally known as the Scarborough RT or SRT) is a light rapid transit line and part of the Toronto TTC's Subway system. Featuring 6 stations, along a length of 6.4km of mostly elevated track, it connects with Line 2 Bloor-Danforth at Kennedy Station. The northeast terminus is McCowan. 

The line operates the Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS) Mark I trains, built by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), which are also known in Toronto as the S Series. These trains are some of the earliest examples of Linear Induction Motor technology in a transit system and have since been built and used in other cities around the world, notably Vancouver's SkyTrain. 

In this video discussion with Seth McDermott, a transit enthusiast and historian, we discuss the history and development of this very interesting and unique transit line, as well as the linear induction motor (LIM) technology that it helped pioneer. Be sure to also watch Part 2 of this video series (found below), in which the conversation continues, and touches on the many expansion and upgrade options that have been debated over the years, and its eventual and soon approaching permanent closure in 2023.

Quebec City Tramway - A Discussion on the Currently Proposed Project - January 2022

Quebec City Tramway - A Discussion on the Currently Proposed Project - January 2022

Quebec City is actively working towards building a state-of-the-art Tramway system through the city. It will operate from Le Gendre to D'Estimauville (West to East). The proposed line will have 28 stations, be 19.3km in length and feature a downtown underground tunnel of 2.1km, that will be home to two stations.

In this conversation with David Bellerive, we discuss this exciting and important infrastructure and transit project, poised to transform commuting in Quebec City. Touching on the history of the first Tramway in the city that ran till the mid-1900s, the new system being designed, the choice of technology, the routing and location of stations and finally the stunning rolling stock that may ride the rails. This is your introduction and overview of the Quebec City Tramway. 

Discussing the Gatineau Tramway with Maude Marquis-Bissonnette, Mayoral Candidate - July 2021

Discussing the Gatineau Tramway with Maude Marquis-Bissonnette, Mayoral Candidate - July 2021 -

The Gatineau Tramway, proposed for the west-end of the city, will transform public transit, most notably in the Plateau and Aylmer sectors, which currently do not have any rapid transit offered. 

In this discussion with Maude Marquis-Bissonnette (Mayoral Candidate, Leader of Action Gatineau, and councillor for Plateau), we discuss the tramway project, the eventual rapibus conversion, the tramway insertion into Ottawa, and the 6th crossing between Gatineau-Ottawa. 

Discussion on the Stations of O-Train Line 1 with Jeff (J.OT13) - June 2021

Discussion on the Stations of O-Train Line 1 with Jeff (J.OT13) - June 2021
O-Train Line 1 features 13 stations, spread over a length of 12.5km and opened in September 2019. 

In this discussion with Jeff (J.OT13 on the Rail Fans community), we discuss and provide commentary on all 13 stations, including the highlights and the areas that they could have been done differently or have room to be improved upon. 

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  • 00:00 - Opening 
  • 00:19 - Introduction 
  • 01:11 - Blair Station 
  • 03:59 - Cyrville Station 
  • 05:05 - St-Laurent Station 
  • 07:30 - Tremblay Station 
  • 10:05 - Hurdman Station 
  • 12:50 - Lees Station 
  • 14:57 - uOttawa Station 
  • 17:26 - Rideau Station 
  • 22:56 - Parliament Station 
  • 27:19 - Lyon Station 
  • 32:15 - Pimisi Station 
  • 36:27 - Bayview Station 
  • 41:48 - Tunney's Pasture Station 
  • 47:59 - Closing

Transition to a Zero-Emission Bus Fleet with Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning - June 2021

Transition to a Zero-Emission Bus Fleet with Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning - June 2021 -

OC Transpo in Ottawa has recently announced its intention and plan to transition to a Zero-Emission Bus Fleet by 2035. 

In this discussion with Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning, we talk about this important endeavour towards battling Climate Change.

O-Train Past, Present and Future, with David Bellerive, Rail Fans Enthusiast - June 2021

O-Train Past, Present and Future, with David Bellerive, Rail Fans Enthusiast - June 2021 -

The O-Train is approaching 2 years of Revenue Service in September 2021.

In this June 2021 discussion with David Bellerive (Rail Fans Enthusiast and the Host of the Official O-Train Livestream), we reflect on the start of service, how things went, where things are now and what is to come in the near future with Stage 2.

O-Train Technical Discussion with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations - June 2021

O-Train Technical Discussion with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations - June 2021

The O-Train Confederation Line (also known as O-Train Line 1), is a 12.5km long, fully grade-separated, 13 station rapid transit system, operated in the City of Ottawa by OC Transpo.

In this June 2021 conversation with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations at OC Transpo, we discuss the intricacies of the line's operation.

Transit-Oriented Development in Ottawa with Alain Miguelez, Manager of Policy Planning at the City of Ottawa - April 2021

Transit-Oriented Development in Ottawa with Alain Miguelez, Manager of Policy Planning at the City of Ottawa - April 2021 -
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a form of urban development, which maximizes the number of residential, business, commercial, and leisure spaces within walking distance of public transportation.
In this April 2021 discussion with Alain Miguelez, Manager of Policy Planning at the City of Ottawa, we discuss Transit-Oriented Development in Ottawa. 

Areas discussed include: 

  • What is TOD. How are we building TOD in Ottawa. 
  • What are we trying to achieve in Ottawa. 
  • Underground City or RESO. 
  • TOD Proximity to Stations. 
  • Large condo and tower developments in Ottawa.
  • Official Plan and how to get involved and engaged.

O-Train Improvements and Enhancements with Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning - March 2021

O-Train Improvements and Enhancements with Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning - March 2021 -

Ottawa's O-Train system continues to move forward with improvements and enhancements to better serve and support customers and passengers. 

In this March 2021 interview with Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning, we discuss some of the improvements and enhancements that are being undertaken on the O-Train. 

Areas discussed include work to allow fare gates at stations and Presto readers on buses directly accepting credit cards and mobile payments, OC Transpo Presto and STO Multi Card usage on each-others networks, Real-Time Information Improvements, Station Retail, Advertising in Stations and Trains, Improvements to customer service involving the social media channels of OC Transpo.

West-End Gatineau Tramway with Myriam Nadeau, President of the STO - March 2021

West-End Gatineau Tramway with Myriam Nadeau, President of the STO - March 2021
The City of Gatineau is moving forward with opportunity studies to determine the need, technology, route options to better serve the West-End of Gatineau (specifically Aylmer and the Plateau). It has been determined that a service offered by rail is needed to provide adequate service in the future for these growing communities as well as providing service in and out of the downtown core of Ottawa. 

In this March 2021 interview with Myriam Nadeau, City Councillor for Pointe Gatineau and President of the STO, we discuss the West-End tram for Gatineau and answer the following questions: 
  • How a decision was made to pursue building a Tram/LRT in Gatineau. 
  • The advantages that the Tram/LRT will bring to commuters and citizens of Gatineau and in particular to those residing in the Plateau and Aylmer. 
  • The currently proposed routing options. 
  • The options for entry into Ottawa via the Portage Bridge: Surface on Wellington / Underground beneath Sparks. 
  • The timelines: work that has been completed, the next steps, and when might we see the first passengers ride this new transit service. 
  • How citizens can get involved during consultations, as well as provide feedback and support.

O-Train Line 1 - Winter Operations with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations - January 19, 2022

O-Train Line 1 - Winter Operations with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations - January 19, 2022 -

On Monday, January 17, 2022, the City of Ottawa received a significant snowfall, and is being described as the 5th highest recorded snowfall in one day. O-Train Line 1 operated without issue throughout this winter snowstorm and blizzard, from the start to the end of service. 

In this conversation with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations at OC Transpo, we discuss this snowstorm, how the O-Train performed, how winter operations are planned and executed, and more. 

We also discuss the importance and use of the emergency call stations and emergency features located in stations and trains and why it is important to signal for help should you observe or witness an emergency situation.

Stage 2 LRT Update - A Look at the Progress of the O-Train Expansion in Ottawa - December 2021

Last week, the City of Ottawa delivered an update on Stage 2 LRT progress in the city. Stage 2 is expanding the O-Train service in the East from Blair to Trim, in the West from Tunney's Pasture to Algonquin and Moodie, and in the South from Bayview to Limebank and the Airport. 

In this video, I discuss and provide my take on some of the important progress being realized on these massive construction and infrastructure projects across the city. 

The photos contained in this video were provided by the City of Ottawa and mostly date from November 2021. 

To see the latest photos of the stations, please check out our Snapshot Updates at otrain.railfans.ca/snapshot

  • 00:00 - Introduction 
  • 01:21 - East Extension (Blair to Trim) 
  • 14:32 - West Extension (Tunney's Pasture to Algonquin and Moodie) 
  • 37:36 - South Extension (Bayview to Limebank and Airport) 
  • 56:12 - Closing Thoughts 

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The State of Passenger Rail in Canada with Terry Johnson, Transport Action Canada - December 2021

The State of Passenger Rail in Canada with Terry Johnson, Transport Action Canada - December 2021 -

VIA Rail Canada is the operator of passenger rail in Canada. Many changes and improvements are in store for VIA Rail over the coming years. These include a new fleet for the busy Corridor service (servicing from Windsor to Quebec City), as well as High-Frequency Rail (HFR), which together are poised to create new opportunities and options for travellers and passengers. 

In this discussion with Terry Johnson, President of Transport Action Canada, we discuss the new fleet, high-frequency rail, the struggles and challenges that passenger rail in Canada faces, why passenger rail in Europe is so successful and popular, and the possibilities and hopes for the future for the rest of Canada. 

A Discussion on VIA Rail's New Fleet for the Corridor with David Bellerive - December 2021

A Discussion on VIA Rail's New Fleet for the Corridor with David Bellerive - December 2021
VIA Rail Canada is acquiring 32 new Siemens SC-42 & Venture trainsets to completely replace and modernize its busy corridor service (operating between Windsor and Quebec City). This segment of the passenger rail network is the busiest in Canada, accounting for around 70-80% of all ridership.

These new trainsets are stunning, complete with an eye-catching and classy new look, many new passenger features and amenities, and other enhancements that will enhance operations and efficiency for VIA Rail. 

In this conversation with rail enthusiast David Bellerive, we discuss these exciting new trainsets, what they offer, all the great improvements they bring, and why we can't wait to ride them for real in the coming years!

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A Discussion on the State of the O-Train with Jeff (J.OT13) - November 2021

Artist Name - A Discussion on the State of the O-Train with Jeff (J.OT13) - November 2021

O-Train Line 1 opened in September 2019. In the following 2 years of service, it has encountered numerous technical challenges. The most recent set of issues involved two derailments, 6 weeks apart in August and September 2021. 

In this discussion with Jeff (J.OT13), we talk about the recent incidents, the information that has been shared, the work that has been done, what the ridership really wants, and the promise of Stage 2 and the future. 

Toronto’s Ontario Line, the trains, stations, line and more with Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor

Toronto's Ontario Line, the trains, stations, line and more with Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor -

Toronto's Ontario Line is a much-anticipated transit project that will feature 15 stations along a 15.6-kilometre route, operating underground, at grade and on elevated guideways, running from Exhibition Place, through downtown and reaching the Ontario Science Centre. This line will provide much-needed relief to the existing transportation options while connecting new communities to the rapid transit network. 

In this video discussion with Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor of the Ontario Line with Metrolinx, we discuss the project, what need it addresses, the future stations and path of the line, the rolling stock, the future and how to get involved, making this video the perfect introduction and overview of this massive and significant Toronto transit project. 

Réseau Express Métropolitain with David Bellerive - September 2021

Réseau Express Métropolitain with David Bellerive - September 2021 -

The Réseau Express Métropolitain in Montreal will transform commuting and transit in the city over the next 10 years. With 26 stations and 67 km of track, and even more announced in the near future, this project has really gathered much excitement and generated lots of anticipation. 

In this video discussion with transit and rail enthusiast David Bellerive, we talk about the REM and several of the more interesting and exciting points about the project. 

O-Train Service Update with Troy Charter - August 18, 2021

O-Train Service Update with Troy Charter - August 18, 2021 -

On Sunday, August 8th in the afternoon, one LRV that was not in service, experienced a minor derailment shortly after departing Tunney's Pasture terminus station. 

In this short video discussion with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations at OC Transpo, we touch on this service incident and the facts and investigations that continue to take place into the root cause. 

Toronto’s Finch West LRT with Wade O’Leary, project Vice President - August 2021

Toronto's Finch West LRT with Wade O'Leary, project Vice President - August 2021 -

Toronto is building a new Light Rail Transit line in the northwestern region of the city. This new line will feature 18 new stops (including one underground station and one below-grade), along an 11km rail alignment, stretching from the TTC's Finch West (University Line) subway station to Humber College. The line will make use of the Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles, each carrying up to 300 passengers. 

In this video conversation with Wade O'Leary, Vice President of the Finch West LRT project, we discuss this important transit infrastructure project, that will connect people quicker than ever before in this heavy transit corridor, the line, the trains, and some of the unique design features of the line. 

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Transit app with Stephen Miller, Communications Lead - July 2021

Transit app with Stephen Miller, Communications Lead - July 2021 -

Transit is a rapidly growing and evolving app designed to make using transit easier for commuters. From learning about the next departure times, to trip planning, and even knowing crowding levels and purchasing fares, this made in Montreal app has revolutionized the transit experience. 

In this video conversation with Stephen Miller, Communications Lead at Transit, we discuss this incredible app, how it works, the newest features recently added, and where things are headed for the future. 

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Réseau express métropolitain, Montréal's new transit system, with spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix

Réseau express métropolitain, Montréal's new transit system, with spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix -

The currently under construction Réseau express métropolitain, will be Montreal's newest transit system. Featuring 26 stations and a length of 67 kilometres, and stretching from the south shore to Deux-Montagnes in the north and Anse-à-l'Orme in the west, it is poised to transform rapid-transit in the Greater Montreal Region in the coming years. 

Featuring exciting new underground stations in downtown Montreal, and passing underneath the imposing Mount Royal, it is sure an exciting time for the city. 

In this video discussion with Jean-Vincent Lacroix, spokesperson for the REM, we discuss the system currently being built, the next steps and the organization behind this massive infrastructure project (CPDQ Infra). 

Learn more about the REM on their official website here : www.rem.info