Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:16 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Zeke has posted a possible useful restaurant List.

  • Kate 18:11 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    I haven’t seen mention of this anywhere but Spacing: while the city decides on how to develop the old Blue Bonnets site, it could be used as an urban farm.

    • Faiz Imam 14:32 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      It would set a great precedent, even if that site would later be changed to something else.

  • Kate 17:24 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A pedestrian was killed by an STM bus south of Cadillac metro Sunday afternoon.

  • Kate 13:20 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m in agreement with the good, sensitive argument not to move Calder’s “Man” from the islands to some site in midtown Montreal made by sculptor Gilles Mihalcean here.

  • Kate 11:16 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A piece from Lehigh Valley Live is amusing me at the moment. The Lehigh Valley is in Pennsylvania, bleeding across the border into New Jersey. It’s a fairly typical Europe on the cheap piece – Notre Dame was “built in the 1600’s” (actually the main construction was done between 1824 and 1829 but the interior we know now was worked on throughout the 19th century).

    “Montrealers have a rich history of not only combining, but peacefully collaborating, with indigenous Native American tribes.” I see. Let’s just leave that one there. Likewise “While most everyone in Montreal speaks English, it is infused with a charming French accent.”

    Also today, the Boston Globe has a piece on Montreal restaurants – but it also has a paywall.

    • Matt 11:56 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      I didn’t know we had a tango festival. I also didn’t know that it’s in the “not to be missed” category of events.

    • Kate 12:14 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      What, you mean you haven’t been attending? Philistine!

    • jeather 20:19 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Well, Montrealers occasionally peacefully collaborated with First Nations people. And then occasionally they didn’t. It’s possible that the number of each type of occasion is not similar.

      Huh. We really do have a tango festival. And that and burlesque are the big ones? Okay. (It’s in August, though, not May. Unless we have two tango festivals?)

    • Blork 21:28 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Is that plaque still on the wall near Place d’armes boasting that this is the spot where de Maisonneuve strangled an Iroquois chief with his bare hands? How’s that for collaboration?

    • Kate 21:52 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      As far as I know it is, Blork. I was thinking of that.

    • jeather 21:55 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      That’s pretty collaborative, Blork. It’s hard to strangle someone if there’s no someone there to strangle. It lacks a little of the “peaceful” part, true, but you can’t expect perfect accuracy or even basic fact checking from journalism.

    • Kevin 10:01 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      It’s a stretch to call entertainment and tourist pieces ‘journalism’.
      Facts? They don’t care about facts, this is fluff.

    • William 10:49 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Gee, there’s a whole lot of gift horse dentistry going on here.

  • Kate 00:30 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Quel Avenir ponders the smorgasbord of transit possibilities and proposes a sensible option: a tram-train line to be built as part of the new Champlain bridge, with an eye to expanding it as part of a new regional transit system.

    • Ant6n 10:45 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      The tram-train or Karlsruhe model was made famous when the city of Karlsruhe combined their tram system together with surrounding main lines to make one regional system. So inside the city the tram-trains run on the streets as streetcars, but connect to the regions on main lines. They did that partly because their main station was a bit away from downtown, so if you came in with the regional rail system you always had to take the tram to get downtown, anyway. The system was also pretty cost effective (especially given the existing infrastructure at the time), but it doesn’t have a whole lot of capacity. Consider that Karlsruhe itself has a population of 300K people. In fact the downtown section already became a bottleneck, so they are putting the downtown streetcars underground, grade separated, and away from the pedestrian traffic. The trams are also high floor, because main lines are, which may always be a limitation of a tram-train system.

      Montreal doesn’t have many of the properties that make such a system work and/or cost-effective. The population here is much higher (10x), so the capacity of traim trains may be too low from the get-go. We have almost no existing infrastructure that could be effectively used to build a tram-train system – neither a downtown streetcar network, nor mainline lines that could take light rail trains (we already talked about how mixing light rail and heavy rail may not be possible in North America). Our central station is within walking distance of the business district, so there’s no reason not to go there.

      In short, I think it makes much more sense, if building regional rail, to copy the regional rail systems you find in large European cities like Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich, Vienna, etc., which is one of multiple grade-separated mainlines converging into one downtown trunk line (which is usually underground) – much of the infrastructure required for a system like that already exists here.

      (man, i should write a blog…)

    • Philip 17:37 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Who owns the length of rail going from Lucien-L’Allier to Montreal-Ouest? Does it concern the North American train authorities if light stock is rolling on tracks used only by a commuter train line?

    • Ant6n 18:12 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Most rail around Montreal is owned by CP and CN, some is owned by the Port of Montreal. Between Lucien l’Allier and Montreal-Ouest is owned by CP (map). It may be possible to get a waiver to run light rolling stock there, shared with the existing mainline commuter rail. But all the players involved (including the AMT) are extremly conservative. What do you want to accomplish?

      If you wanted improved service between Luciean l’Allier and Montreal-Ouest, with intermediate stops at, say, Cavendish and Melrose, you could just run FRA-compliant rolling stock, build temporary platforms at those new stations, allow the use of STM transit fares and and have service bypassing the Trucot and MUHC mess, running within a month, maybe two. It would probably require two trainsets to get service every 20 minutes. If that section was electrified, it should be possible to run service every 15 minutes with two trainsets.

    • carswell 23:20 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      « (man, i should write a blog…) »

      Man, someone should appoint you transit czar. But until that happens, please start blogging. Your ideas deserve the widest possible dissemination and I worry that they get lost in the unavoidable mêlée here. I mean, is François Cardinal even going to see — let alone respond to — your above rebuttal of his proposal? Maybe, but the chances would be greater if you were also posting it on a Montreal mass transit-specific blog.

    • Kate 00:45 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      The busiest transit forum is the one connected to Matt McLauchlin’s Métro de Montréal site.

      But transit always gets people talking here on my blog. I could see about adding a transit forum here – would people walk through a conceptual door here to keep discussions going on that topic? We’d love to have more things happening on montreal.com.

    • Philip 09:46 on 2013/01/28 Permalink


    • David Tighe 09:47 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I think it is more or less impossible to integrate regular rail lines in the North American context. The priority given to freight movements and the absurd safety regulations that require locomotives and rolling stock to be built like tanks (whose use, paradoxically, CN recently suspended exactly because of this requirement) makes it impossible to provide all-day fast service at reasonable cost. In my opinion a tram, whether across the river or elsewhere, is the ideal solution. Rail Infrastructure is lighter and can be integrated into the road system ( which is spacious and omnipresent here). Trams can be formed into multiple units with a capacity of say, four hundred passengers, which would provide adequate capacity for any route. Let us hope that Projet M manages to revive the enthusiasm of a few years ago. After all, it was not that long ago when an 80kph tram linked Montréal to the South Shore as far as Granby.

    • Philip 10:22 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      David, this tram to Granby… can you tell me more about it / refer me to some reading on it?

    • Ant6n 10:38 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Tram going to Granby. Ran along one side of the Victoria bridge. Unfortunately it would probably be near useless today, too low capacity, too slow.

      Btw, the highest capacity that exists today on any tram is 350 people for the Budapest tram, i’ts a 54m monster train with mostly standing room. I don’t know whether people would like to stand for 25min in a tram to get from Chevrier to downtown, given that people get a seat today and downtown in 15 minutes.

      I believe that trams are awesome, but they should be used as a replacement for buses, not a proper regional transit system. Trams work really well for short to medium distances, either within the city, or to feed to faster transit lines. Or they can function as a regional system in small urban areas (up to 1milllion ppl) where the distances are smaller and the required capacities lower.

    • Kate 10:55 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I’ve read that between the collapse of the Southern Counties Railway, linked by Ant6n, in about 1957, and the opening of Longueuil metro in 1967, there was no public transit link from the city to the south shore at all.

    • Ant6n 11:06 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Montreal Tramways co. used to run buses into Longueil over the Champlain bridge at some point. I dunno about between ’57 and ’67, but there existed at least one line in the forties, the 74 (map – in that map, you can actually see the Southern Counties Railway as well).

    • Ant6n 11:08 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

    • David Tighe 12:09 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      @ Ant6n: I beg to differ re capacity ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alstom_Citadis ). The tram cited has a capacity of 600 passengers.
      Re speed: trams are certainly capable of travelling up to 80 kph.
      Re distance: in Dublin the two lines run from the centre deep into the suburbs, using existing rail for a while in one case, to a distance of about 14 km and could go further if the city were bigger. I have often used them. They need under a half-hour for the full distance and are smooth and comfortable

    • carswell 13:43 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      « But until that happens, please start blogging. »

      Had forgotten that Ant6n already has a transit blog, Catbus. One reason the blog may have dropped off the radar is that it hasn’t been updated in 15 months. Anyway, revise that exhortation to “please restart blogging.”

    • Ant6n 13:58 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      That 600 passenger train ordered for Ottawa is a 50m train running in double traction. This is would be for Ottawas LRT project, which is completely grade separated afaik. You can’t really run a streetcar that’s 100m long – as I said, the longest street running train is 54m long, in Budapest.

      Re speed: We’re talking about the Champlain corridor, which these days people want to run along Wellington and Peel. That’s 10km of on-street running, and you can’t really expect more than 20km/h average for that (always assuming the TRAM runs on their own tracks). Assume 40km/h average between Wellington and Chevrier, and you end up with a total travel time of 26minutes – which incidentally matches what you say, 14km in half an hour. And this is for a system that is mostly not on street-running, just as the trams in Dublin can only support speeds of up to 70km/h where they are not running on the street.

      Most distances in Montreal are longer than that, just as the population of Montreal is several times that of Dublin, the region easily reaches 30km out. If we assume a mostly street-running system, that easily means an hour or more of travel time.

      The capacity issues will really start to be obvious once you assume a regional system of tram lines, converging into downtown streets. If the Champlain bridge corridor were to be implemented with trams, you’d need to run a 300ppl train at least every 60-90 seconds to accomodate the rush hour traffic. Now imagine multiple such lines and

      Yeah I should do that. It’s hard to write posts compared to arguing in threads, I dunno how Kate does it.

    • Philip 14:15 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Thanks David/Ant6n. Very interesting to read about that old tram to Granby. I wonder how it would far if they ran something like that down the middle of A10 and linked it back up to Granby.

      I was curious about that bout between Mtl-West and Lucien-L’Allier because I can somehow see the opportunity for a Champlain train/tram to link in with the necessity for expansion of the western network (the Airport, the MUHC and the Vaudreuil-Hudson).

      I figure start a hub at the airport, let run along Pullman, stop at the southern end of the MUHC to relieve Vendome traffic. From MUHC, repurpose the soon-defunct Saint-Jacques-720 onramp into a set of tracks that dip under the 720. Eliminate the Rose-de-Lima/Atwater exit and repurpose Rose-de-Lima, and send the rails to Lionel-Groulx or something. From the Champlain, bring some rails along the 15/20, then under the canal and bring them to Lionel-Groulx too.

      The Lionel-Groulx hub could send tracks back up and reconnect to the AMT/CPR rails into Lucien-L’Allier.

      Or something. Some kind network to join the airport, the Champlain and downtown, all connected. The new Turcot is supposed to have a rail system running through it (near Pullman/the falaise). Links up the airport, the MUHC, a metro station with two lines, the terminus for three commuter lines, the canal, the Champlain bridge, and you could even give service to Cavendish, Dorval, Lachine,

      I know its pretty naive, but who knows.

  • Kate 00:01 on 2013/01/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Max Pacioretty will be away from the Canadiens for up to a month after an emergency appendectomy Saturday.

    P.K. Subban is still holding out for a satisfactory contract with the team.

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