Ever since the first rail was laid in 1898 to lift Gold Rush Stampeders over the jagged mountains of the Alaska Panhandle to Canada’s Klondike, the tenuous but irrepressible White Pass & Yukon Route has been rescued from peril by a succession of improbable saviors, one of them the United States Army.
Author: David Thomas
Not for Rachel Notley are Festivus, Yule and other neo-pagan solstice celebrations for the politically minded. No, the Alberta Premier clings to Christmas tradition, or more accurately the toy catalog of yore, with its yummy pages of pointlessly looping Lionel trains.
In a move that it says will increase demand and pricing for Alberta’s tar sands bitumen, the provincial government has affirmed that it will imminently sign orders for two unit-train’s worth of oil tank cars. The deal will be signed by year-end, Premier Rachel Notley declared Nov. 28. The carbuilder was not disclosed.
Even in this new world order, when profoundly held beliefs are cast aside according to the whims of political weather, the Oct. 24 call by the Canadian oil lobby for a government takeover of crude by rail (CBR) is a stunning abandonment of principle.
Montreal’s futuristic, for-profit passenger railway system, Réseau express métropolitain (REM), moved from concept to concrete Feb. 8 with the award of $C6.3 billion of construction contracts by its owner-operator, Caisse de dépot et placement, Quebec’s huge public pension fund.
A 100-year-old tunnel through Mont-Royal has become a choke point for parallel projects to build new intercity and regional commuter railways radiating from Montreal’s Central Station.
A jury of 12 Quebec citizens, after several days of deliberations that came very close to impasse, declined Jan. 19 to accept prosecutors’ contention that three Montreal, Maine & Atlantic employees were criminally responsible for the July 2013 runaway oil train calamity in the lakeside resort town of Lac-Mégantic that claimed 47 lives and destroyed the historic town’s downtown core.
VIA Rail is coyly dripping details of its desired route for dedicated “High Frequency Rail” (HFR) service linking Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto as it seeks to build political support for the C$6 billion scheme that requires approval of its single shareholder, the government of Canada.
Prospects for VIA Rail’s dedicated central Canada corridor appear to be on the move as the publicly owned passenger train operator submits its business case, and an accomplished rail executive is named to prepare the government’s promised infrastructure bank.
One of Keith Creel’s first acts upon becoming Canadian Pacific CEO in February was a call to his counterpart at the union representing the railway’s train and engine (T&E) crews. It was time, CP’s top brass hat told the Teamsters senior rail boss, to restore respect and fairness to the railroad’s treatment of its engineers and conductors.