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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

drum118

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How nice. Where the 30 minutes for the Lakeshore line
Published On Tue May 17 2011
Tess Kalinowski Transportation Reporter


A new station at the north end of the Richmond Hill GO line is expected to ease traffic in the area and attract about 1,000 new transit riders when it opens in early 2013.
GO officials project the current 10,000 daily ridership on the line will double in the next decade. The existing terminus in Richmond Hill is already at capacity.
The Gormley station construction is being combined with a new layover facility about 6 miles north near Bethesda that will also improve reliability on GO's shortest line, said GO president Gary McNeil.
Currently trains have to travel from GO's Willowbrook yard in Mimico to serve Richmond Hill riders.
The four southbound morning trains and five northbound afternoon runs also stop at Langstaff, Old Cummer and Oriole.
It's not clear when more commuter service will be available but the new station and layover are "the first step in all-day, two-way GO service," said Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow.
"It will get people off the (Highway) 404," he said, adding that Richmond Hill is a throughway for commuters north of the town.
Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, who grew up in Richmond Hill, told residents and reporters gathered near the train tracks on Tuesday that the community's culture hasn't traditionally been transit oriented. But that is changing with improvements such as the $97 million station and layover that will accommodate six trains.
"People are not going to get out of their cars unless it is more convenient to do so," she said.
Eventually GO wants to extend the line further north to Aurora but McNeil said that's probably still a decade out.
 

DavidH

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At Ajax GO, the new south overflow lot will open on the 24th, including the new signalized intersection at O'Brien Court and Westney. From 4 to 7 pm on weekdays, gates will be lowered to block the exits from the south lot onto the main exit at Fairall. This means that people parking in the south lots will need to exit at O'Brien, or if heading south, directly onto Westney.

Presumably, we should be seeing the first signs of construction starting on the new parking structure within the month.
 

wicked willy

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Just posted this over on the Dufferin Jog thread, before I even saw this one. On the CN/GO lines on Dufferin and Queen, they pulled up track 3 and opened track 7 this weekend. So now, tracks 4,5, and 7 are being used instead of 3,4, and 5. There were months of inactivity before all this happened, and I hope that there will not be months between whatever they did this weekend and the completion of what they are doing now.
 

EnviroTO

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Why? What are they doing now that can't wait months? The Strachan and West Toronto grade separations aren't going to be done for a few years. There is only one Georgetown corridor track and partial use on the Milton tracks which are the real bottlenecks to increased service. Until there is some place to take 7 tracks worth of trains there should be no race to have 7 tracks.
 

drum118

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Why? What are they doing now that can't wait months? The Strachan and West Toronto grade separations aren't going to be done for a few years. There is only one Georgetown corridor track and partial use on the Milton tracks which are the real bottlenecks to increased service. Until there is some place to take 7 tracks worth of trains there should be no race to have 7 tracks.
If the track work was on the last bridge to the west like I saw on Sat, that is track 8. Track 8 and 7 will be for the Milton line. Only track 7 is in operation at the diamond at this time. That will change in the coming months.

Track 1 and 2 will be for the Barrie Line when those 2 new bridges show up this fall. Track 3 to 6 will be for the Georgetown and the Airport line.

The reason for the race is to relocate the existing 3 tracks to the west side from Bathurst St to Queen so work can start on the first haft of the flyunder on the east side for Strachan. Once that haft is done, the tracks will swing to the east side using the new track 1 and 2 as well track 3 to finish the other haft of the flyunder.

That how construction is done on the RR.

The weather has not been on the good side this year that is causing all kinds of delays. The rail crew was from either the Lakeshore group or another site.
 

unimaginative2

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It makes me a bit nervous that Metrolinx is investing in all these capital improvements without any immediate plans to improve the actual service. If they wait ten years or something to actually bring in frequent service, I could see CN and CP making demands for additional improvements.

We could save a lot of time and money if we just invested in a better signalling system and smaller, more frequent trains that don't have to wait five minutes at stations for people to board and disembark. It's completely ridiculous that each of these low-frequency lines will require a pair of tracks. The RER line A moves as many people as Toronto's entire subway network on a pair of tracks.
 
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Mapleson

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It makes me a bit nervous that Metrolinx is investing in all these capital improvements without any immediate plans to improve the actual service. If they wait ten years or something to actually bring in frequent service, I could see CN and CP making demands for additional improvements.

We could save a lot of time and money if we just invested in a better signalling system and smaller, more frequent trains that don't have to wait five minutes at stations for people to board and disembark. It's completely ridiculous that each of these low-frequency lines will require a pair of tracks. The RER line A moves as many people as Toronto's entire subway network on a pair of tracks.
Metrolinx definately is working on plans to improve service along with the capital projects, only we have a few years major backlog before we can start to get major service improvements. One of the incremental bits they've been doing for example is the Kitchener layover for two trains on the Georgetown line. They are upgrading the signal systems with the new tracks, espically around Union Station. Union Station a major the choke point still and one reason why they've moved to LONGER trains over the short-term. They can't get a train into and out of Union Station fast enough, thus they are getting more people on each train.
 

EnviroTO

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Track 1 and 2 will be for the Barrie Line when those 2 new bridges show up this fall.
Track 1 is not being built over Dufferin or under the 401 until demand requires it. There will definitely not be anything running over the Track 1 Queen St bridge when it is completed in the fall.

The reason for the race is to relocate the existing 3 tracks to the west side from Bathurst St to Queen so work can start on the first haft of the flyunder on the east side for Strachan. Once that haft is done, the tracks will swing to the east side using the new track 1 and 2 as well track 3 to finish the other haft of the flyunder.
The Strachan track shifting does not need to reach Queen St. They moved tracks when building the Dufferin underpass back and forth and the impact of that did not reach beyond King St.
 

drum118

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Track 1 is not being built over Dufferin or under the 401 until demand requires it. There will definitely not be anything running over the Track 1 Queen St bridge when it is completed in the fall.



The Strachan track shifting does not need to reach Queen St. They moved tracks when building the Dufferin underpass back and forth and the impact of that did not reach beyond King St.
I didn't say track 1 and 2 will be in service this fall. Yes there will be trains over those bridges in a year or 2 when the tracks get moved from west to east for the other haft of the flyunder. Never said anything about the 401 tracks. Putting words into my mouth.

I stated what the tracks will be when they are 100% in service.

Track 1 or will go into service for Barrie once the tracks gets move to the east side and will remain in service one all 8 tracks are in place at Strachan.

Track 7 or 8 will be used until the diamond work is done for Strachan.

Your guess is good as mine for Georgetown as to what track it will use until the diamond is done, but it will be shifting during construction of it.

If you look closely at the tracks between King and Queen, they are straight to match the the bridges at Queen and King. GO wants speed during the construction at Strachan and therefore the tracks will be straight from Queen to Bathurst.

Railways do not like sharp snake bend and therefore a smoother transition is required.

Why do you think CN has been moving the tracks around at Queen St for that overpass???
 

jsjaker

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Since moving to Richmond Hill 5 years ago, I have seen a steady increase in ridership of the Richmond Hill line to the point that the trains are full (standing room only) by the time they leave Langstaff. To add another station further north will not (in my opinion) ease the congestion on the trains but rather just add to the overcrowding. More service must be added - more frequent and more trains - now and not later. The commuters in Richmond Hill are not going to drive up to Gormely to board the trains and spread out the boarding process. It will just add more travellers from the north before it reaches the RH station.
I applaud Metrolinx for expanding the line but just adding more people without more sevice makes no sense. We need at least one more train in the morning right now to alleviate the overcrowding.
 

Mapleson

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Since moving to Richmond Hill 5 years ago, I have seen a steady increase in ridership of the Richmond Hill line to the point that the trains are full (standing room only) by the time they leave Langstaff. To add another station further north will not (in my opinion) ease the congestion on the trains but rather just add to the overcrowding. More service must be added - more frequent and more trains - now and not later. The commuters in Richmond Hill are not going to drive up to Gormely to board the trains and spread out the boarding process. It will just add more travellers from the north before it reaches the RH station.
I applaud Metrolinx for expanding the line but just adding more people without more sevice makes no sense. We need at least one more train in the morning right now to alleviate the overcrowding.
The main reason for expanding the Richmond Hill line north (like Georgetown to Kitchner and Stouffville to Lincolnville) is the room for a train layover. With increased train storage capacity, they can reduce operations limitations like deadheading (running empty) and start trains earlier in the morning. As soon as additional capacity is opened at Union Station, there will be more GO trains in peak hours. Until then, over the next 10 years, expect to see them do small improvements, like tightening up the timetable as train reliablity increases or running shoulder peak trains, but I notice the 2009 load counts showed the 830 train (7:08 Union arrival) at only 27% utilization and the four trains had an average 69% usage. For comparision, the Milton line had 7 trains with an average of 85% and only one train below 66% peak usage. So all the lines are reaching peak capacity during rush hour, and it's a balancing act which gets something extra.

From GO's perspective, one customer is much the same as another, and longer distance means more fare, so on the balance they'd prefer a 50 Gormley patrons to 50 Richmond Hill patrons. From a users perspective, more competition for seats is bad, but there is more competition for space everywhere.
 

unimaginative2

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The problem I see is a bit chicken and egg. We'll never be able to increase the number of trains running through Union Station because the dwell time of the bilevel monsters is too high, and we'll never increase Union's throughput until we move to smaller, more frequent trains.

Here's a crazy idea that I don't think has been tried anywhere in the world and would require a very elaborate rebuilding. It would be more useful where capacity growth is genuinely constrained, like in Paris or Japan. What about bi-level loading and unloading? Couldn't you have doors on both floors of the train exiting to two-level platforms at the busiest stations?
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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The problem I see is a bit chicken and egg. We'll never be able to increase the number of trains running through Union Station because the dwell time of the bilevel monsters is too high, and we'll never increase Union's throughput until we move to smaller, more frequent trains.

Here's a crazy idea that I don't think has been tried anywhere in the world and would require a very elaborate rebuilding. It would be more useful where capacity growth is genuinely constrained, like in Paris or Japan. What about bi-level loading and unloading? Couldn't you have doors on both floors of the train exiting to two-level platforms at the busiest stations?

The greatest benefit would be had at Union no? Could we squeeze bi-level platforms there, cuz if not it kinda makes little sense to put them anywhere else.
 

gweed123

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The problem I see is a bit chicken and egg. We'll never be able to increase the number of trains running through Union Station because the dwell time of the bilevel monsters is too high, and we'll never increase Union's throughput until we move to smaller, more frequent trains.

Here's a crazy idea that I don't think has been tried anywhere in the world and would require a very elaborate rebuilding. It would be more useful where capacity growth is genuinely constrained, like in Paris or Japan. What about bi-level loading and unloading? Couldn't you have doors on both floors of the train exiting to two-level platforms at the busiest stations?
I think the best way to decrease headways is to gradually move GO to a more S-Bahn type of system. Electrification is obviously a big part of that.

But in the short term, the biggest thing GO can do is to hire and train more conductors. You can't increase frequencies if you have nobody to drive the train.

Another thing they can do is to keep long trains for peak hours, but run shorter trainsets in off-peak hours. During peak hours, these trains can be used in between the currently scheduled trains, or as trains going outbound in the AM. This will reduce the amount of trains that are running 90% empty outside of peak hours (which would lead to lower operating costs). Because let's face it, a 4-5 car trainset is all you really need for the 8pm inbound Lakeshore West train.

And just to clarify, I don't mean separating and joining cars every AM and PM rush hour. I mean have dedicated trainsets that are 10 cars, and some that are 5 cars. Schedule the 10 car trains when you know there will be demand for them, and use the 5 car trains when you know the demand is limited. During rush hour for example, you can run large trains on the 00s and 30s, and small trains on the 15s and the 45s. Once rush hour is over, you drop of the 00s and 30s trains and keep the 15s and 45s trains until the PM rush hour, where the longer trains are inserted back into the rotation.

But without more conductors, all those plans are pretty much useless.
 
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EnviroTO

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Track 1 or will go into service for Barrie once the tracks gets move to the east side and will remain in service one all 8 tracks are in place at Strachan.
They can't put tracks 1 and 8 in service over Queen when there is only room on the bridge over Dufferin for 7 tracks. It is impossible. The city wanted to open their Dufferin underpass on schedule rather than add the 8th track that Metrolinx wanted built... so it is on the backburner.

If you look closely at the tracks between King and Queen, they are straight to match the the bridges at Queen and King. GO wants speed during the construction at Strachan and therefore the tracks will be straight from Queen to Bathurst.
There is a curve in the whole corridor between Queen and King. If the corridor had 4 tracks crossing King in the future position of tracks 5-8, and across Queen in track positions 2-5, nobody would notice in terms of speed.

Railways do not like sharp snake bend and therefore a smoother transition is required.
There is already a bend between Queen and King so there is no need for a sharp turn... you start curving early or late to arrive at the bridge you want to cross.

Why do you think CN has been moving the tracks around at Queen St for that overpass???
Maybe for construction space on the north side of the corridor. They are installing bridges on Queen in the fall and they are going to need to put a proper railway bed on the north side because that side has never had mainline tracks.
 

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