Ramblings of a frustrated armchair Railway Modeller

Everyone is entitled to my opinion, so I've decided to enter the blog-o-sphere in order to share them with you.
My focus is the rationale and development of my model railway, but I am likely to wander off topic from time to time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fantasy Land access to Cottage Country

Here it is the beginning of Winter and I'm thinking about Summer...

I'm not a snow bird getting ready to fly south for the winter. I wouldn't want to drive there, although it would be nice to take the train; however I'm not interested in exchanging Pines for Palm Trees. A few hours on the beach to take the chill out of my bones would be fine but I can do that in the sauna without getting sand in my creases or getting stung by a jellyfish.

What I am thinking about is the crushing commute that occurs all summer long from the "May Two/Four" Queen Victoria Birthday Weekend to Canadian Thanksgiving featureing Friday night traffic crawling along the highway to cottage country and back into the city Sunday night.

People trying to escape their daily grind by enduring an even worse one as they suck exhaust in hot humid weather.

Did I mention taking the Train?

This brings me around to the idea of using Ro-Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off car carrier) service. There isn't any room downtown for an operation like this near Toronto Union Station. I'm thinking of using the former Canadian Military Airbase that is now Downsview Park.

It's close to Highway 401, and Allan Road... With connections to the TTC Downsview Subway Station and the GO train to Barrie... Making it a good spot for Suburban 905ers to use the service too...

Hey, while we're at it, let's close the much maligned Billy Bishop Island Airport and use Downsview for a full service transportation hub for Planes, Trains and Automobiles.... But I digress...

No offense to the residents of Barrie, but for cottagers, dropping them in the middle of no-where isn't very appealing... The added traffic in and out of Barrie for connecting trippers to points beyond Barrie will cause a bigger bottle neck along gasoline ally.

Ideally the terminus should be farther north, like Washago, which isn't likely anytime soon. (Especially since it is on a different line, but would put trippers within spitting distance of Rama.)

A better idea is to extend service to Collingwood which would put weekenders and day-trippers within spitting distance of Wasaga Beach and Blue Mountian for year-round recreational access...

Toronto to Collingwood via Barrie is the historic route of the Ontario Simcoe & Huron RR: cum Northern, cum Canadian National and more recently GO Trains and BCRy.

There's the Amtrak Auto Train and car transport in Europe like the BLS L├Âtschberg Car Transport, Vereina car transporter Rhaetian Railways AG and Albula car transporter Rhaetian Railways AG

What has this got to do with Model Railroading? It is the type of service that I want to depict on the Humber Valley & Simcoe Railway...


  1. That could have potential. I thought about a ro/ro for the K├Ârschtalbahn but it's too short for that and I don't think there would be a market for it, especially as we aren't as car dependent as the US and Canada: a good, fast commuter service has more potential in our valley.
    On Obermettingen, my other model there would be no market as it's post-oil so there will be no cars except a few rusty hulks in forgotten corners.

  2. Hi Andy,

    Cars are a necessary evil for the HV&SRy. The idea is to work with them instead of trying to make them go away. Hopefully reducing the dependence on them and creating more co-reliance.

    As for the post-apocalyptic, post-oil story line: I can apply what Northrop Frye called the Suspension of Disbelief, but you have to back-date yourself to a time before bio-fuels multi-layer capacitors and Lithium Ion Batteries combined with other "Green" sources of energy and their application.