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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

drum118

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^It's going to be so exciting when that 4th track on the Kitchener line goes live.
Why??? It only connects to CN Halton Sub as a loop now and no plans in the works going further west than it does today. The south track will connect to the Bramalea platform as #3 track, Track 2 will connect to the south track for the centre platform like it has been doing all these years. Track 2 will connect into CN Mainline Halton Sub and be on the north side of the centre platform. There is space to add the south 3 to the east of the Bramalea station and deal with the current 2 tracks to the east. No idea with the siding tracks are been used at this time nor does the track connect into CN track 3 to the west.

Having 4 tracks for the KW line on the Halton Sub goes back to the early 2000's when it was only a single track. GO did a EA for adding a 2nd track and I call for 4 tracks then. EA was approved a 2 tracks, but 3 got built that I was happy to see, but still want 4. This would allow CN to use 2 tracks and GO using the other track and cut down on the interference for adding more trains down the road. Other than Brampton Station area, the corridor can support 4 tracks easy. If the office and bus terminal get torn down as been talked about, then the corridor can 4 tracks from Bramalea to Georgetown.

Current setup




Any idea when the Hamilton Desjardins Channel 3rd track will be connected to the line?
Its up to CN and CP, but mostly CN who have this on the long list of things to be done after dealing with their mainline issues first. Maybe 2020 or 2021 with 2021 time frame due funding cuts and opening of Confederation Station. Others with better info may say something different and my view only at this time.
 

crs1026

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Any idea when the Hamilton Desjardins Channel 3rd track will be connected to the line?
It’s supposed to be imminent, ie next few weekends. Initially, there will be one new switch connecting the new track to the south CP-CN connecting track (the track that takes.GO to CP at Desjardins). The new Interlocking at Dundurn (where the two tracks coming out of West Harbour narrow to one track) will come on line at that time also.

- Paul
 

Allandale25

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It’s supposed to be imminent, ie next few weekends. Initially, there will be one new switch connecting the new track to the south CP-CN connecting track (the track that takes.GO to CP at Desjardins). The new Interlocking at Dundurn (where the two tracks coming out of West Harbour narrow to one track) will come on line at that time also.

- Paul
So this right?

195652
 

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crs1026

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Remind me what this connection permits. It’s part of the ML communication strategy. Draw it out long enough and no one remembers what is supposed to be happening or why.
ML built a new track from Hamilton Jct (where the CP and CN lines through Hamilton connect) to the new station at West Harbour. The theory was that the track would be needed when substantial GO sevice was begun through West Harbour. The track has been there for some years now, but never tied in or used. At current GO service levels it hasn’t been missed, but it will be needed if 2WAD to West Harbour or beyond ever arrives. It’s a white elephant or it’s good long range proactive investment, whichever you like.

The “no one remembers what is supposed to be happening or why” comment is well put, and mostly applies to GO’s internal plan to serve Hamilton. Lots of grand plans, but either no money or no railway agreement or no sense of urgency, or a sudden better idea that restarts the planning, or all of the above.

Oh, and by the way.....the final configuration will need further rearrangement of plant at Hamilton Jct, plus extension to Bayview, before it can actually do what it is meant to do....and GO has no apparent procurement in process to finish the job, so this summer’s work is just a small step, not the end of the job.

Maybe some day.

- Paul
 

crs1026

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What I'd propose:
1. Shift the Southern Platform and track at Scarborough as far South as the current building permits that give room to elevate the express track which becomes the Flyover Track and starts climbing around Scarborough
2. Shift the current Stouffville Line track farther North as it turns, this mainly just encroaches on parking lots, giving room for the down ramp for the second track.
3. Remove the intersection of Danforth Road and Midland, Danforth now passes under Midland and drivers can use Greystone Walk Drive to connect, this gives room for the second track to come in next to the original track
Interesting analysis. I am really reluctant to speculate on how the pro's might design this - that's what the TPAP is for ;-) But I can offer a few comments on what you have proposed.

1) I don't quite agree with your track diagram, especially the way that the middle Kingston track terminates at the east end of the junction. One would expect GO to want all three main tracks to run right through the plant, so that "through" trains (ie anything routed along the Kingston Sub) are not stopped or slowed by crossovers en route.
2) Past "official" draft diagrams of the original "flat" design showed a fourth track starting at least one trainlength east of the junction, running of the northmost of the three through tracks. The intent being that a westward train destined for that northmost track (most likely a stopping GO train) could clear the through track even if the route through the junction were not yet clear. That would allow the next westward train to overtake on the north track, without backing up stopped trains behind the train that couldn't proceed..
3) The optimal "dream" connection from the Stouffville line would be between tracks 1 and 2 for one track, and track 3 and 4 for the second track, with high speed switches giving potential routing to either track. One might save money by just building the T3/T4 track as an over/underpass and letting the other track join the northmost track as a flat switch, but let's not erode the design just yet. A two track guideway that branches at the very west end might be not much more expensive to build as a single.
4) Some hard data for a flyover: using the Davenport Diamond design as a template, the TPAP calls for a minimum clearance of 7.0 meters to the underside of the overpass. (that seems low to me, especially if the underside line were electrified). Adding the depth of the guideway, the elevation required at railhead is 8.6m. At 2% (a steep but reasonable grade) that requires a minimum gradient of 430m or 1411 feet at each end of the flyover. I would be conservative, and predict grades closer to 1.5%, although the Davenport Diamond project was comfortable with 2%....shorter means cheaper construction. It's 462 meters (1517 feet) from Danforth Road to the northmost track at Scarborough, so a guideway could begin south of the level crossing and just clear the Kingston Sub west of Scarborough GO station. One wonders if the guideway ought to just continue northwards at full elevation to achieve a grade separation at Danforth Road, but that would add to cost, and put the north half of the flyover in the backyards of a whole residential area.
5) The alternative would be to move the whole flyover west of Kennedy Road. It's 1.16 km from Birchmount to Kennedy, so an entire flyover could go up, over, and down again (or a flyunder could descend, cross over, and rise again) in this section. It's also a residential area, but the tracks run in a cut a couple meters or more below the grade of the adjoining properties, so much of the flyover's elevation would still be below ground level - probably mitigates the sound impacts of a flyover somewhat.
6) Building the flyover without also building the fourth track towards Union would be foolish, but money doesn't grow on trees. I have little confidence that between ML, Queens' Park, and the eventual DBFOM vendor, common sense will prevail. I hope I'm wrong.

- Paul
 
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crs1026

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Some rail workers in Guelph doing some of the upgrades that have been mentioned here? cc @crs1026
No doubt. There's so much to do, both on GO and on the trackage that CN uses for freight in Guelph. GEXR left everything in awful shape.

Much of the work going on at the moment is actually outside of town. Virtually every level crossing is being rebuilt. Low spots and uneven track over the crossings is a big part of what is constraining track speed at the moment. Crossings have to be maintained separately from the rest of the track, partly because of impacts on motorists and partly because the automated tampers etc that maintain the open line can't be used over a paved crossing. And they have a different wear and tear thanks to being both trackway and roadway.

- Paul
 
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innsertnamehere

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I'm really interested to see what types of speed improvements come from these upgrades. 2:03 travel time from Kitchener is kind of crazy today - anyone know what kind of travel time we can expect after? would 1:45 be reasonable? Right now they are averaging only 54km/h between Kitchener and Georgetown.. would an 80km/h average be reasonable? No reason the rural parts of the route can't be 150km/h..
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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I'm really interested to see what types of speed improvements come from these upgrades. 2:03 travel time from Kitchener is kind of crazy today - anyone know what kind of travel time we can expect after? would 1:45 be reasonable? Right now they are averaging only 54km/h between Kitchener and Georgetown.. would an 80km/h average be reasonable? No reason the rural parts of the route can't be 150km/h..
#whyHSR ? (sorry couldnt resist)
 

crs1026

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I'm really interested to see what types of speed improvements come from these upgrades. 2:03 travel time from Kitchener is kind of crazy today - anyone know what kind of travel time we can expect after? would 1:45 be reasonable? Right now they are averaging only 54km/h between Kitchener and Georgetown.. would an 80km/h average be reasonable? No reason the rural parts of the route can't be 150km/h..
I think I recall ML's Greg Percy saying at one of the town halls that his long term goal was 1:30. I don't think we will see that quite yet.

For comparison, fifty years ago today, CN's Guelph-Toronto commuter trains 986/987 were scheduled Georgetown to Guelph, with stops at Acton and Rockwood, in 32-33 minutes. That was with 1920's heavyweight coaches and far less horsepower.

In those days the standard RDC/conventional train timing was Kitchener-Guelph 24 minutes; Guelph-Georgetown express 23-28 minutes.

Today, GO takes 24 minutes Kitchener-Guelph eastbound only - Westbound, the best timing is padded to 29 minutes. Guelph-Georgetown is 35 eastbound and 29-32 westbound, stopping only at Acton.

One would hope that restoring the tracks to 1969 quality would get us back to at least those timings.

- Paul
 

KevinT

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Crossings have to be maintained separately from the rest of the track, partly because of impacts on motorists and partly because the automated tampers etc that maintain the open line can't be used over a paved crossing. And they have a different wear and tear thanks to being both trackway and roadway.
I thought the trend for road/rail grade crossings these days was to use concrete cover plates instead of pavement so they could be lifted out for automated tamping and then placed back down. At least that's what they used for the shared ION/freight track at Erb & Caroline in Kitchener, https://goo.gl/maps/zn9yVQVJpaW3GJXP8. You can see in the satellite pic that the light rail only track on the south is embedded, while the shared track on the north uses cover plates.

Also, thanks for all of your insights here on UT, I learn so much from your posts!
 

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