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VIA Rail/Transit in the Canadian Budget


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#1 Anderson

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:52 AM

The Canadian government dropped its FY17 budget.  While the package isn't everything one might have hoped for (a transit tax credit got the axe), VIA got C$867m over three years in it, and there is a lot of investment in mass transit (C$3.4bn over the next three years and C$20bn over ten years...some of the lag is down to the joys of how long some projects take to spool up).  There are big-ticket items in most of the major cities (not really a shock, but still a pleasant surprise) with Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary(!) getting the biggest-ticket wins.

 

I'm not quite sure what VIA can do with C$867m, but that amount is well above their operating need at the moment (IIRC that hovers around C$75m/yr), so hopefully this is enough to actually place the new equipment order that's been floating out there for a bit.

Edit: So, some elaboration:
-Caprica City Vancouver gets a new Skytrain subway line on Broadway.

-Toronto gets both some LRT projects and a ramping-up of all-day GO Transit service.

-Calgary gets a 40km extension to their LRT system (the Green Line).

-Ottawa gets a 36km set of LRT extensions.

-Montreal gets the big prize: Funding of the "Réseau électrique métropolitain", basically a Skytrain project for the city which will hub out of Gare Centrale as well as directly serving Dorval Airport from downtown.


Edited by Anderson, 23 March 2017 - 05:06 AM.

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#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:41 AM

Thanks for the update from the Great White North Cliff!

And one would expect no less from the only Democracy left in the World with a Progressive Government!🤔

And one would hope that some of the money could be used on improving the bottle necks that cause the Canadian to lose so much time due to the heavy Freight Traffic out West!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 23 March 2017 - 07:46 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#3 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:44 AM

The Canadian government dropped its FY17 budget. ...

 

I'm not quite sure what VIA can do with C$867m, but that amount is well above their operating need at the moment (IIRC that hovers around C$75m/yr), so hopefully this is enough to actually place the new equipment order that's been floating out there.

They've been talking high(er) speed rail along their, um, Southeast Corridor: Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto. Could the C$867 be toward the beginning of that huge project? Or will that be separately funded?



#4 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 08:46 AM

Really more of this money should go to the finest city in Canada- Winnipeg.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#5 Bob Dylan

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 10:02 AM

Really more of this money should go to the finest city in Canada- Winnipeg.

Come on Lion!

Theres lots of cities in Canada that are better than Winterpeg including Vancouver,Victoria,Edmonton,Montreal and the Crown Jewel, the Nations Capitol, Ottawa!😎
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#6 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 10:24 AM

Really more of this money should go to the finest city in Canada- Winnipeg.

Come on Lion!

Theres lots of cities in Canada that are better than Winterpeg including Vancouver,Victoria,Edmonton,Montreal and the Crown Jewel, the Nations Capitol, Ottawa!


I don't know about that! I'd rank Winnipeg right up there and speaking of Crown Jewels..the next time you're in Winnipeg, take the tour of the Manitoba Legislature that's offered right from the VIA Station during the Canadian's stopover. A beautiful Building with quite a history!.

http://www.mhs.mb.ca...ebuilding.shtml

#7 Bob Dylan

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 12:58 PM

Im not knocking Winnipeg, I know its a really nice City, but its so cold in tbe Winter and so far from Civilization!(guess Edmonton is too come to think about it!)

I still would pick Ottawa as the Best Overall! YMMV
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#8 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 02:19 PM

Im not knocking Winnipeg, I know its a really nice City, but its so cold in tbe Winter and so far from Civilization!(guess Edmonton is too come to think about it!)V


Far from Civilization?? Winnipeg has a metro population of nearly 800,000 and Edmonton: 1.35 million. They are their own ‘civilizations’.... with all the services and amenities of any big city.

#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 04:28 PM

Im not knocking Winnipeg, I know its a really nice City, but its so cold in tbe Winter and so far from Civilization!(guess Edmonton is too come to think about it!)V

Far from Civilization?? Winnipeg has a metro population of nearly 800,000 and Edmonton: 1.35 million. They are their own civilizations.... with all the services and amenities of any big city.
I realize that, I was just referring to how difficult it is to get to/from them if you dont fly and the Canadian has such a sparse schedule.

I've enjoyed visiting Winnipeg when it wasn't 40 below, or just Winter, but that's true of most Northern Cities including those all over the world!

I still think Ottawa is the jewel of Canada! YMMV
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 04:26 PM

 

I'm not knocking Winnipeg, I know its a really nice City, but its so cold in the Winter and so far from Civilization! (guess Edmonton is too come to think about it!)V

Far from Civilization?? Winnipeg has a metro population of nearly 800,000 and Edmonton: 1.35 million. They are their own ‘civilizations’.... with all the services and amenities of any big city.

A few years back, the Minnesota State Rail plan had a two phase wish list. Phase One featured another train on the Empire Builder route CHI-St Paul-St Cloud. Phase Two extended that train Fargo-Grand Forks-Winnipeg. With such a train Winnipeg wouldn't be all that far from civilization as we know it.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 07 April 2017 - 08:06 PM.


#11 Anderson

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:23 PM

Well, and that train would probably be good for 5k/yr in new riders for the Canadian and some share of that for Churchill (since it would eliminate some very expensive flights from a possible vacation and/or make "short loops" more doable).  I suspect there are folks who would happily take the Canadian, potentially as a "change of pace" (or "oil trains have the line jammed"...) alternative to the Builder or Zephyr/Starlight to the PNW* and not having to kick out for a one-way airfare to do the Canadian.

 

*Depending on the schedule, you'd be looking at a three-night/four-day trip Chicago-Winnipeg-Vancouver-Seattle or Chicago-Sacramento-Seattle.


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#12 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:05 AM

What makes Winnipeg nice is the climate. But then, I wouldn't expect someone who voluntarily lives in Texas to agree with me on something climate related ;)
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#13 Bob Dylan

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

What makes Winnipeg nice is the climate. But then, I wouldn't expect someone who voluntarily lives in Texas to agree with me on something climate related ;)

I agree if you're talking about Summer Lion, but the Winters sure,a nice!😄

And with thousands moving to Texas each week, and millions of tourists visiting,( sounds,like Florida,eh?) I would say that you are wrong! YMMV
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#14 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:52 PM

Not wrong, I just like the cold. That makes me weird, not wrong. But outside of the climate, it is one of the nicest cities I've visited.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
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#15 CAQuail

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 03:02 PM

Does this figure include both operating funds and capital?  Looking at VIA's 2015 annual report that year VIA required $280 million in operating support.  Even if you subtract $80 million for depreciation and amortization that still leaves you with an operating loss of $200 million a year that the government will need to fund.  Maybe I am missing something but it looks like VIA will get just enough to keep running.  I would love to be proven wrong though.

 

http://www.viarail.c...ort_2015_EN.pdf

 



#16 Anderson

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 05:45 PM

http://www.viarail.c.../Via_Q3_ENG.pdf

It's the Q3/2016 report, but there are some fun nuggets:
-The subsidy on the Canadian in-season is now less per passenger-mile than the Corridor.  Multiplying the loss-per-passenger-mile by the total pax-miles gives an overall loss of $3.8m.

--This seems to be down to those Prestige sleepers, which appear to have basically added about $3.5m year-over-year.
-Otherwise, VIA does seem to be doing about 5-10% better year-over-year.  YTD, VIA's cost recovery is up from 51% to 55% and for Q3 it was up from 61% to 68%.

--The Prestige service aside, one thing driving this appears to be the increased amount of through-service at Montreal (alongside possibly slightly longer trains).  In the last few years VIA has gone from having no through trains to most Quebec-Montreal trains running through to Ottawa.

 

With that said, I have no idea why the year-end report is taking so long.


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#17 TheMalahat

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 01:37 AM

 In Canada the fiscal year ends March 31st; the year had only been over a week when "why so long" was posted :)


Edited by TheMalahat, 16 April 2017 - 01:37 AM.


#18 Anderson

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 03:11 AM

 In Canada the fiscal year ends March 31st; the year had only been over a week when "why so long" was posted :)

VIA's Q3 report clearly refers to "the quarter ending September 30".  So Q4 would be October-December, with VIA operating on a calendar year for this purpose.


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