(Baie-Saint-Paul) The LRT Charlevoix could become commuter train to Estimauville sector. The one whose primary purpose is to serve Le Massif, the tourists and the local population could see its expanded mission in a few years … if financial stars are aligned.
“Ideally, we would like to get to Estimauville to connect to public transportation there,” said in an interview Frédéric Garand, CEO of Network Charlevoix, a non-profit organization that manages the shuttle.
The light rail that connects Baie-Saint-Paul at the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency could continue its path, cross the avenue Estimauville and stop next to the new federal buildings near the Park & Ride, suggests M . Garand, adding that this scenario is still at the draft stage.
Charlevoix Network believes that the Côte-de-Beaupré has a “potential cheap”. “It’s made a dormitory of Quebec City. It has some of the 138 in the morning, “says Mr. Garand.
In January, the mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Jean-Luc Fortin, Sun confided her dream to see the shuttle train between Quebec City and Charlevoix serve commuter train year round.
“We explain to the locals that yes, perhaps ultimately it will become a public transport, but it lacks the financial means nor the infrastructure to do for now,” suggests Mr. Garand cautiously .
To offer this service to the community, we should add units to the shuttle, consisting of only two trains of two cars, said Mr. Garand.
Among the success factors, it also points to the need for investment to secure the crossings. In the context where the train would go to Estimauville sector happen very close to the houses, he pleads.
This is the state of the tracks determines the speed limit imposed by Transport Canada, Transports Québec and by the people of the railway. The train can now flow a maximum of 50 km / h.
Result, the transit time is not viable, he said, in a transit context. He thinks the path between Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre and Montmorency Falls or 20 minutes separating the fall of Estimauville sector is too long, he said.
Mr. Garand believes that once the track and secure level crossings, the speed limit could rise to almost 70 km / h. “There, we would be very competitive in the Côte-de-Beaupré to go up Estimauville. That could be interesting. ”
The manager, who rejects the label of “beggar gang”, also points out that the financial requirements are high and he still has a significant portion of it when you want to grant transit. “It’s like that everywhere in the world. There are very few private train, the majority is financed by the public. ”
To find the necessary funding for the establishment of a commuter train, Network Charlevoix began to educate all levels of government, it provides a meeting forum of elected Capitale-Nationale and is in talks with the Government of Quebec. “There’s interest,” suggests Mr. Garand. To date, he said, still probing the Canadian government involved in infrastructure.
“This is a schedule of some years. But as we said, we must plant the seeds now. ”
employees are in service
passengers can take place in a light rail
Frédéric Garand est directeur général de Réseau Charlevoix,… (Le Soleil, Caroline Grégoire) – image 3.0
Frédéric Garand is CEO of Charlevoix Network, a nonprofit organization that manages public infrastructure in the Massif recreational tourism project which runs between Quebec City and La Malbaie
In September 2011, Le Massif launched with great fanfare its rail cruise, a tourist train composed of old cars from the 50s used to transport suburban Chicago, transformed by the firm Morelli designers.
Picture windows, kitchen shiny stainless steel, high-end appliances, gourmet meal at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. The convoy of eight cars could embark 528 passengers. The commissioning process required $ 14 million on a total investment of $ 44 million.
But then in January 2015, Groupe Le Massif announced that the railway cruising was taking a break to make way for light rail network Charlevoix, Quebec that would connect La Malbaie. It is this time of German manufacture of trains, each consisting of two self-propelled wagons without locomotive. Lighter, more energy efficient, they offer a lower price more departures and stops. The adventure began in June and continues until October.
What happens to the tourist train? Where is he? Could it come back? If early in the year, Groupe Le Massif categorically refused to sign the end of the upscale train, he was not willing to answer questions from the Sun this week due to holidays.
On the side of Charlevoix Network, which operates light rail, the CEO Frédéric Garand not vote. Each of their records. But he made it clear that any announcement of his return shuttle between Quebec City and Charlevoix summer and next fall. “To date, it smells good.”
By October, the agency has set a ridership target of 75 000 to 80 000 passengers on its two circuits, Quebec Baie-St-Paul Baie-St-Paul La Malbaie.