Good-bye To DRTP's Rails To Trails
I can understand the reason for that since the gossip is that the long-awaited Financial Services Commission of Ontario Report is due out shortly. FSCO, the body that regulates pension plans has been conducting a review with regard to some of OMERS investment practices, specifically in relation to Borealis Infrastructure.
When describing the existing rail tunnels, I was surprised that there was no mention of it possibly being used by trucks although there was a map included that was more appropriate for the truckroad than rail. Pictures included show that "much of [the DRTP] corridor is surrounded by vacant or industrial land." Except for those homes built in South Windsor subdivisions or the shopping area around the mall I guess.
DRTP uses a great line in the document, so politically correct it is hilarious:
In other words, it is almost 100 years old and the new taller rail cars do not fit inside it. As an example, Honda's new rail cars will not fit through the tunnel since they are too tall.
Finally the pitch: a new taller rail tunnel has to be built beside the existing ones.
Then a description of how the tunnel can be built and that it can be built 4 years after environmental approvals are given and government permits issued. As well, a whole page devoted to security...in effect, pre-clearance for trains!
What the document then tries to do is to seek to be involved in a study to improve freight and passenger rail service in Detroit and to make Detroit a transportation hub between east coast Canada and the US midwest. Of course, in DRTP's opinion, their DRTP corridor is vital and the study will disclose how to optimize its use locally, regionally and nationally. Freight, commuter and passenger rail traffic will all be part of this study.
I think the document then asks for money but the way it is worded, I am not sure. Somehow money is directed to be directed to MDOT for the study.
I was pretty happy when I saw the document. Its emphasis on rail exclusively ought to mean that the DRTP truck project is dead and gone. Even DRTP must believe that no one will buy into their project I hoped.
What I am not sure (although I was told that this document has been around since September, 2006) is actually when the document was presented. It certainly has been shown to those in various Government groups very quietly. I have not heard any publicity about it until the other day.
Let's assume that it was shown last September or October....then why did DRTP spend so much money on their Rails to Trails Windsor municipal election initiative? If the road route is dead, then why spend cash pretending to keep it alive? If the CASO line is still going to be used for trains, then why pretend that it is going to be used for Trails? Is DRTP proposing to put trains underground too now? Isn't it inconsistent talking about trains on CASO while at the same time talking about converting CASO to a new Ganatchio Trail?
It is all very confusing to me.