Calgary <-> Toronto 100% Canadian Fibre Resiliency on failover

Jean-Francois Mezei jfmezei_nanog at
Wed Nov 1 21:23:16 UTC 2017

On 2017-11-01 03:16, Jacques Latour wrote:
> JF, c¹est bon ça!
> This is good point JF, according to
> we
> seem to have a single rail on top of Lac Superior.

Both CN and CP (still) have their own tracks. CP along shore of Lake
Superior, CN further north.

a more accurate map of CN where they have track rights or own tracks:

The black lines indicate other railways (such as CP and short lines)

As CP went on a "anthing but be a railway" policy between early 1980s
and a shoreholder revolt a couple years ago, not sure how many telecoms
would have wanted their fibre along CP tracks that CP might tear up.
(CP had requested permission to shut Thunder Bay to Sudbury in the 1980s
- it was refused).

It isn't clear to me what happens to fibre when a railway abandons and
removes tracks. For instance, Rigaud to Ottawa on CP. Ottawa to Sudbury
was sold to short line, and Ottawa-Mattawa tracks removed in 2012. CN
had long ago removed its Ottawa-Sudbury tracks.

So, from Ottawa to Winnipeg, unless a carrier follows rural road 17 (the
trans canada in Ontario) from Ottawa to Sudbury, you are essentially
stuck with the one track out of Ottawa to Smith Falls. There, the CP to
Belleville, or continue to Brockville and CN to Belleville.

Belleville to Toronto, the CP and CN tracks basically follow each other,
sometimes distant enough to have separate crossings, often share same
rail crossing barriers.

And from Pickering to downtown, it's basically the Metrolinx tracks (Go
Train) or go around on freight lines and then down to downtown (and
follow same route up towards Sudbury).

>From a "diversity" point of view, I guess you have to look at frequency
of backhoe events on railway right of way. Since railways also have
their own signaling fibre in the conduits, I suspect they have very few
"oops, forgot there were conduits below tracks" events.

Also, whether train derailments often affect fibre under tracks. CN had
a few derailments along its Sudbury-Winnipeg line last year and there
were no news of major telecom disruptions. Is it because of carriers
having diversity in routes or because the fibre under tracks is rarely
affected by derailments?

So would having carrier-A and carrier-B burried same tracks be
considered dangerous ? (along a road, I suspect the backhoe risks are
higher since individual home owners have driveways to road and could use
a backhoe without calling anyone).  But along tracks, farmers would not
use backhoes or other equipment over track ballast.

Also: there is a big difference between a highway like the 401/417 and a
road line the 17. For major highways, any upgrades/construction will
involve the govt informing the carriers who would have burried cables
along highway.

But along rural roads like the 17, municipalities often are in charge of
a strech of highway, and individual homeowners or businesses have their
driveway to the road and may not call to locate cables before having fun
with their backhoe.

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