April 25, 1974 (29th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Charles Frank

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Frank:

Mr. Chairman, I will try not to take too long. I appreciate the opportunity to ask the minister or the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, of Transport for clarification on the funding of a specific relocation project which I feel should be a tremendous urban renewal step forward for the city of London, part of which represents an important part of my riding. The part of the bill that I am not too clear about is the percentage of funding that could be expected for such a project. In order to give the minister a picture of what I am speaking about, I should like to outline what is there now and the tremendous improvement that could be made by its relocation.

First of all, we have both main lines operating through the city of London. Both CPR and CNR are there, they operate as separate entities, but the facilities are somewhat different. The CNR has a relatively new station and the facilities are in reasonably good shape. The CPR station is somewhat antiquated and I doubt very enticing to passengers. The two railways operate about a mile apart, through the main core of the city. The CPR has only two crossings that are not open through the whole area, which is approximately four miles long. You can imagine the number of level crossings that people have to contend with, particularly in the mornings and evenings. Even though it is a single line track that the CPR operates on, it is hard to estimate how many hundreds of man hours are lost by people each day waiting on train switching or for a freight train of over 100 cars passing through. The yard area is on the east side of the city.
The CNR right of way is a double line track and, as I said before, is in reasonably good shape. The CPR right of way is located in such a position that it could fill a very desperate need for an east-west, in-city traffic route for rapid transit, automobiles, or whatever would best serve future in-city traffic flow.
I feel the possibility of dualing these two main lines through the city of London is unique. Some six miles from the present CNR station and less than two miles from the city limits to the west of London the two lines are literally side by side, separated only by a telegraph line. I know this area well because the two main lines go through property where I have lived all my life. The side by side area I speak of is immediately east of my property. It would be a natural thing to route these two traffic potentials to the two-track CNR line, and would be almost equally convenient to separate them to go their separate ways east of the city by way of a spur CNR line that already heads north east and presently crosses the CPR line. It would be quite easy to reroute them. After they have progressed through the city on the dual line, they could go their separate ways again.
No doubt the proposed in-city relocation would present some technical and manpower problems, but the many advantages would far outweigh the disadvantages. One problem, of course, that would have to be overcome would be the relocation of some employees in the yards in the existing facilities that operate within the city on the CPR line. However, I am sure that would not be a major problem.
This is a very brief explanation of the present situation and the possible future of the railroads in London. My question to the minister is for some clarification of the percentage of funding that would be possible. If I have made myself clear I would like an answer to that.

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