Reviewing former station stops on the VIA Rail Canada $4 billion abandoned rail corridor plan

Rail History Buffs Will Like VIA Rail Canada Plan

VIA Rail Canada is so desperate to get their trains off CN owned rail lines that they have spun this idea of using an abandoned CPR, former Ontario Quebec railway line.

In previous posts we have examined communities along the line that once had service or are getting service in the proposed VIA Rail Canada plan before parliament. We examined the communities of Pontypool, Sulfide, Ungava, Kaldar, Sharbot Lake and Tweed. They are all along the abandoned route which is now part of the Canada trail system.

We all know about the VIA Rail High Frequency Rail Plan ( A phrase they made up)  The plan is better known now as the VIA Rail Sharbot Express Train due to the fact VIA Rail has stated they are stopping in Sharbot Lake and will be travelling at speeds from 50 years ago, to pick up and drop off the happy campers. (bringing tents on the train will cost more!)

More updates on the proposed Sharbot Lake, Tweed Ontario stops in a future post.

We will just deal with their original plan to have their trains start in Toronto and run through Peterborough, Sharbot Lake, Tweed, Ottawa to Montreal, Quebec City . The VIA Rail Canada website,states that the trip times will be 25% faster than the timetable now.  That is a simply ridiculous to think, that the new route from Toronto  through the outback of Ontario and through Ottawa to Montreal, will be 25% faster than the  existing Toronto to Montreal service now.

Is VIA RAIL Canada using a 1892 rail map of the line to justify their business case?

The business case for this line has never been released by VIA Rail. Why? We think because the average person could assess it and see the critical flaws in it.

We at High Speed Rail Canada love history and this rail line has a lot of history. Over a 125 years ago the then Ontario & Quebec (O&Q) railway line was busy.  Here is a LINK to a map of the line in 1892 when there actually was a lot of economic vibrant  towns along the line. Maybe VIA Rail does not realize things have changed in the last century. .

Here is a few more historical updates about communities along the line for VIA Rail to adjust their dubious business plan for returning passenger rail service to it.

Ardendale Station back in the day!

Arden (Ardendale) (population 968)

 Now known for its proximity to provincial parks, camping, beautiful scenery and artisan community, Arden is not like it was in its heyday when the O&Q rail line went through it. The blacksmith shop, sawmill, grist mill, planning mill, sash and door factory are all gone. The railway station was dismantled in 1967 the same year the last train went through Arden.

On a positive note, the Legion is open and it is just up the road where the former rail line, now Canada trail, is.

Mountain Grove Ontario - former rail line and abandoned church and Mountain Grove Rowers Club

Mountain Grove (Olden) -  (population 906) 

 There are a number of residences, a library, and a monument to our war dead. However the industries of potash and lumber are long gone and there is little growth in the community.

If your in the area,  near where the former station/rail line was , on private property is an abandoned church and seemingly abandoned Mountain Grover Rowers Clubhouse!

Hungerford, Ontario building right next to former rail line, now trail.

Hungerford - (population - <10

Hungerford is just 4km away from Sulfide Ontario . We talked about the community of Sulfide in a previous posting. Hungerford was once home to woodworking, carving, and a coffin making factory. It also benefited from the early rush of people to the gold mine in Sulfide. This was before they mined sulfide there. The gold mine went bankrupt and eventually Hungerford faded into the past..

The correct term to describe Hungerford today is a dispersed rural community.

Hope you enjoy our continuing rail history that relates to VIA Rail’s $4 billion boondoggle plan

Paul Langan talks High Speed Rail on the AM570 Mike Farwell Radio Show

Paul Langan is interviewed by Mike Farwell about the Ford government expanding #highspeedrail study to include highway building, adding buses and possible GO or VIA rail options.

Kate Langan is the recipient of the Margaret S. McCready Memorial Scholarship

Alex Grenzeback presents scholarship to Kate Langan 
Congratulations Kate Langan for being the recipient of the Margaret S. McCready Memorial Scholarship at the University of Guelph.

The scholarship was established in memory of Margaret S. McCready, former Principal and Dean of Macdonald Institute (1949-69). The award is granted on the basis of high academic achievement as well as leadership ability as demonstrated through extracurricular involvement in the preceding two years.

Kate is currently in the Masters Program at the University of Guelph in Applied Nutrition.

Choun Kitchen in Hespeler is great!

Tasty food with a Thai twist in Downtown Hespeler

Hespeler News - After the sad closing of the The Stables restaurant at 39 Queen Street East, Unit 102 in downtown Hespeler the community was hoping a new tenant would be found and the doors would open up.

The people who ran The Stables had done so much work to turn that room into a restaurant.

A few months ago the Choun Kitchen coming soon sign was put out and the locals could not wait for it to open. I was able to go there with a friend three days after it opened this week.

The verdict is in. The Choun Kitchen has scored a hat trick. The ambience, service and food were top notch. The prices were fair.

We ordered Thai Curry (with chicken) and Lemon Chicken each were $15.00. Lunch prices were $10.00 each. The food came steaming hot and was fresh and tasty.

Although they say it is a limited menu, it did have something for everyone. Gluten free lovers  and  vegetarians can all be satisfied here. The person who still wants a burger will get one.

The only small item to be corrected is the building owner should take down The Stables two signs still on the building.

Let us support this new restaurant and the downtown.

We Need Kathryn McGarry and Clifford Vanclief

 Kathryn McGarry and  Clifford Vanclief

We need Kathryn McGarry and  Clifford Vanclief

Here is why I support Kathryn McGarry to become our new mayor and Clifford Vanclief to become Ward 1 Councillor.

Kathryn McGarry

I first met Kathryn about 20 years ago when I was involved in trying to save the Hespeler Railway Station. She is a nurse by occupation.

She was involved with Heritage Cambridge and trying to get the Sheaves Tower in Blair restored. She was a fighter back then in the community, and went to council  many times to fight for what she believed in.

Back then, people like Kathryn McGarry and Jan Liggett fought for heritage and the environment because it was the right thing to do. They knew many times they were not going to win. I was very happy when Kathryn was our member of provincial parliament because she truly represents the people and came from an community advocacy background. Her knowledge of how the provincial government works will be extremely important as mayor in the future.

People have suggested Ben Tucci as mayor. All I can say is, he has already had 17 years on council to get his ideas across. I am tired of the same old ideas by the same people. When I used to go to council meetings 15 years ago, he was just like all the rest. It bothers me that he enters the mayoral race at the last moment (he filed his papers 2 hours before nominations closed). His running may will split the opposition vote to let the incumbent Doug Craig back in.

To Doug Craig a big thank you for giving so many decades to the public service. The job as councillor and mayor can be extremely difficult at times and you persevered and did a good job.

We need Kathryn McGarry as Mayor to fight for us at the local, regional, provincial and federal levels.

Clifford Vanclief

Cliff is the person who owns The Hub, the bike shop in Hespeler. I have been going into the shop for over a decade. Cliff is someone I respect because he puts community first and truly cares about people.

He has been loyal to the downtown with his business. It would probably have been better for his business if he had moved out of the Hespeler core but he stayed, saying it was the right thing to do.

When I visited the store he always had ideas and opinions on how things could be different in Hespeler and the rest of Cambridge. Many of these ideas I agreed with.

I was torn about him running for councillor because I know the impact it will have on his business and personal life. Once he decided to run, I have been behind him 100%.

Cliff is an entrepreneur, family man and community activist. We need a straight talking person with lots of good ideas like Cliff to be the councillor in Ward 1.

Clifford Vanclief can bring excitement and a new sense of urgency to the role of city councillor for Ward 1.

Please vote on Monday in the election.

About Paul Langan -- I have lived in the Hespeler part of Cambridge for 25 years and have been involved extensively in the community. My involvements have included: volunteering in youth sport, writing history booklets, and fighting to preserve the environment and heritage in Cambridge. 

Taking Your Bike on the Train - Comparing VIA Rail, GO Transit and Comboios de Portugal

VIA Rail charges $25.00 each way to put your bike on their train!  

 On my recent trip to high ride trains in Portugal and Spain, I was on a local train in the town of Olhao to connect with the hide speed train in Faro. The fare was only $2.00 and putting your bike on the train was free. I noticed people loading their bikes on the train and wondered what the policies were for putting your bikes on the train in Canada.

Comboios de Portugal 

There is a variety of options depending on the type of the train you are taking in Portugal. The one constant fact on all trains is bringing your bike on the train is free.

I Inquired about taking my bike leaving from Guelph Ontario.

VIA Rail 

VIA Rail has no trains that have baggage cars so you can't take your bike on train. If they did have baggage car, VIA Rail charged the ridiculous price of $25.00 each way plus taxes to put your bike on.

GO Transit

GO RAIL does allow bikes on its trains at no charge. The only restrictions are during rush hour when bikes are not allowed. They are allowed at all times on weekends. Good news except if you live in Guelph when the trains are mainly available during rush hour and there is no weekend service.

One more example of VIA discouraging ridership by outdated ridiculous pricing policies.