Well, it seems we weren’t the only ones who were wondering what Mayoral candidate Clive Doucet had in mind when he outlined his regional rail transit plan, which seemed to indicate that Stittsville would be served by the old CP Carleton Place Subdivision.
Stittsville Central took a look at the same map we did and wondered whether Mr. Doucet indeed intends to connect the exploding western suburb via the old CP line, which is now part of the Trans Canada Trail.
It turns out, that the old CP line between Bells Corners and Stittsville will remain a trail. In response to Stittsville Central’s question, Mr. Doucet’s campaign has suggested that Stittsville be served via a connection to Kinburn via the Renfrew Spur rail line.
This also seems to solve a similar geographical issue in the city’s east end, where Vars and Navan are connected via a non-existent rail line.
Getting back to Stittsville, I have to say that I don’t see the logic to suggesting Stittsville will be served by a connection in Kinburn. Any quick look at a map of Ottawa’s west end will know that Kinburn is by no means a neighbour to Stittsville, since it is closer to Carp. That begs the question why the Doucet campaign would link Stittsville with Kinburn. Of course, it’s politically convenient to suggest to Stittsville residents that they will be first in line to be connected to a regional rail system, but a connection via Kinburn makes little sense, since it’s not exactly located between Stittsville and downtown Ottawa, which would make the most sense to a commuter.
In a radio interview this week, Mr. Doucet also backed off some of his planning for regional rail connections in Gatineau. His map shows connections as far away as Chelsea, which would require a rail line be re-established on the old CP Maniwaki Sub. Mr. Doucet said the regional system will go as far as Place du Portage in downtown Hull. Since I now work in downtown Hull, I can say that the terminus will be much more likely be Terraces de la Chaudière, which is not the same as Place du Portage.
This is all academic, of course. I would be shocked if Mr. Doucet was all that close to incumbent Jim Watson.
Still, I have to give Mr. Doucet for being the first politician to champion regional rail. It was nice while it lasted.