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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

Neutrino

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"Feasibility of flow through to Stouffville corridor to be confirmed" - I think that is of great interest to @steveintoronto
 

steveintoronto

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"Feasibility of flow through to Stouffville corridor to be confirmed" - I think that is of great interest to @steveintoronto
I had to look really hard to find that!

This is indeed a prettier napkin...it actually has lines on it, and analysis behind it. Normally I would perk to such alluding 'considerations' but we're in a very dark time for any real progress for Metrolinx.

Ford I can understand, he is what he is, always was, and always will be. But Verster? The man used to have credential and aplomb. And now he's reduced to fronting the "Sales and Public Relations Bureau" of Metrolinx. Selling things to people they thought they already had, except everything that they're being sold again is on back-order.

Through-running at Union was one of Verster's 'Big Ideas' as espoused in the UT interviews. That was then, this is now, and Phil has become less than an automaton. Automatons are logical, and know when to stop.
 

Allandale25

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^ Thanks. For some reason I missed that text in my own posting of that graphic from the initial BCA. I wonder if flow through with Stouffville is still being considered or has been determined to be not needed given that was written in 2014.
 

steveintoronto

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^ Thanks. For some reason I missed that text in my own posting of that graphic from the initial BCA. I wonder if flow through with Stouffville is still being considered or has been determined to be not needed given that was written in 2014.
I actually started Googling looking for it.

On the question of "flow through", it's worth quoting the 'Verster of Old':
From the supremely good interview by Jonathan English for the UT:
[...]
According to Verster, the proposed system would still be somewhat different from German S-Bahn or French RER systems, but it would share most of their essential characteristics. GO RER lines would be more like a subway, rather than the limited commuter services they are today.

At the heart of the GO RER network is Union Station. This is also its most significant choke point. At UrbanToronto, I have previously written about the issues with Union Station—in particular, the narrow platforms and access stairs—which result in serious congestion issues and limited capacity. “For us at Union, the bottleneck is not technically in moving trains,” Verster said. “The bottleneck is really the narrowness of platforms and the pedestrian flows off trains onto concourses and out of the station.” Union Station has nine access tracks from the west, and room for nine tracks from the east—more track capacity than all of the Paris RER lines combined (they move more than 13 times as many people as GO). Modernizing Union would provide all the capacity that could foreseeably be required, without the need for major new infrastructure.

Though additional stairs have been added with the completion of the York concourse, most platforms remain in their 1927 configuration, even including platforms that were originally designed for loading mail. For modern international stations, a platform width of 10 metres is generally considered to be standard; at Union, most platforms are five metres or even less. Verster argued that rebuilding the station to have wider platforms, combined with wider stairs and a wider walkway along the platform past the stairwells, will bring considerable safety as well as efficiency improvements. Additionally, he discussed plans to raise platforms to be level with the train doors, citing a statistic that level boarding results in a 90 percent decrease in boarding-related safety incidents. Level platforms also dramatically speed loading and unloading along the whole line. With level boarding, “you have much more operation flexibility and much speedier dwell times at stations. When you reduce dwell time, you speed up the whole journey. And 30 seconds at a station and ten station stops means five minutes on a journey, which is worth gold.”

[...]
The other key constraint at Union is the complexity of train movements through the station. Rather than each route operating on dedicated, direct tracks through the station (like the subway), most trains move across several tracks, sometimes blocking other trains from entering or leaving the station. They must crawl at a snail’s pace through the many switches, which further reduces capacity. Most trains, the Lakeshore route aside, also terminate and turn around at Union. The time required to carry out the safety procedures to turn a train forces long waits, all the while taking up track space on the most valuable real estate in the city. In response to this, Verster described “working out our train plan to be such that we can pair services coming from the west of Union with services that go to the east, so that by pairing the services appropriately relative to the service intensity and the service plan, we can have a minimized number of crossing moves.” As an example, “if we have services from the Barrie corridor not crossing over all the way to Lakeshore East,” he said, “then we don’t have an X formation of services ... from the Lakeshore West corridor that may be going up on the Stouffville or Richmond Hill line.”

In effect, GO RER would mimic overseas regional rail systems, with trains running from one side of the region to the other through downtown along dedicated track paths, which Verster says would “greatly add to our capacity through the corridor.” This problem, and possible solutions, was discussed in greater detail in an earlier article.
[...]
https://urbantoronto.ca/news/2018/02/union-station-and-go-rer-metrolinxs-phil-verster-future

And here's J English' following sentence:
It is frankly exciting to hear a Metrolinx head talking in detail about finally developing clear plans to resolve these longstanding obstacles that stand in the way of real regional rail service.
We all got sucked in...big time.

And Verster? They not only sucked out his brain, but it appears his soul too.

Mods: I'm having serious compatibility issues with the new web site (and the last one, this one even worse, it might be the web writing software) with Linux (Ubuntu) on three different web-browsers (Chromium {open-source Chrome}, FF and Brave), copy and paste isn't working properly.

Apologies for not dating and giving author's byline above, can't capture it.

Google cache no help, but here's from the Google search hit:
Feb 1, 2018 - UrbanToronto sat down with new Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster to talk about the future of GO RER—the conversion of the service
Your second back older web-form was far better than the newest sanitized and spiritless one. But I guess I'm old fashioned, using a powerful desktop running Linux...ostensibly this newest web-form is for iPhones and small screens.
 
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drum118

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We had a look at a Few Projects sites today and haven't miss much since my last visit.

Bramalea Station:
Forming taking place on the north side of the new tunnel for the new entrance to it. Nothing new for the platform for it. Some platform edge added to parts of the centre platform, but not completed yet. The east end of the centre platform has a new roof over the platform, but no platform pour for it. The south platform has about 70% of the steel work up for the new roof, but no decking on it. What is odd with this platform, a new temporary accessibility platform has been built at the west end area and no access to it exist today for it.

The existing parking lot is partly close where the new parking structure is to built on it, with some site work taking place on it.

Torbram Grade Separation:
The east retaining wall on the north side of the CN track still being form with road grading taking place for the northbound lanes and it should be finish around Sept.

Excavation has taken place for the north side of the Weston Sub to the point ground work taking place where the east retaining wall is to be built. Couldn't get a good look to see if the area being ready for the 4th track bridge. This separation will not be completed until the end of 2020 or later.

401/409 Tunnel
The north side of 409 and the south side of 401 looks to frozen with shoring taking place between the 2 highway as well on the north side of 409.

What caught my eye was seeing 4 3 car UPX trains and one 2 car. The first time I have seen more than 2 3 car trains on line at any given time. The other was seeing 9 riders getting off a Mount Joy train and 2 getting on at Etobicoke North Station around 2:30 pm.

Caught Metrolinx 6025 sitting outside the maintenance building and the first time seeing a car in person, since we were out of the country for the Open House Event.

Have photos, but no idea when they will be on line since I have a few 1,000's shots in front of them to do first.

Have up loaded photos of Cooksville Station that I shot the day before we left on our trip as well all of the May 4 shots.
 

Allandale25

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Where are you getting the "3 working days" direct quote from? A certain timemark in the video? Online?

If you look at the links I provided in this post it gives a sense of how long it takes to respond. When the Metrolinx account replies the date is attached. So for the March 4, 2019 townhall it looks like it took about 22 days since most of the replies were on March 25-26. So if we use the same amount of time for the March 4th town hall, that would mean the answers for the May 4th townhall should appear around Friday, May 24th. Cheers.
As noted in the Metrolinx: (other items) catch all thread, Metrolinx published on May 25th the responses.


@steveintoronto
 

steveintoronto

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As noted in the Metrolinx: (other items) catch all thread, Metrolinx published on May 25th the responses.


@steveintoronto
I already responded to it within an hour (edit: Couple of hours) of it being posted. It's trite. It's a classic case of obfuscation and pap stock answers that say nothing. Most of the answers refer to the footage we've all been quoting from the Town Hall meeting. They still refuse to post a written transcript...
 
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ShonTron

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I came upon this map from a recent Metrolinx presentation showing planned improvements to the Halton Sub through Brampton and Georgetown.

The first phase of track improvements includes a new connection from the third platform at Bramalea Station to the mainline, as well as a second track leading westbound out of Georgetown Station/Yard. I would guess that Phase I is coincident with major station construction at Bramalea, which includes a new bus loop, new tunnel and bridge, and parking garage.

A second phase would extend the third track from Mount Pleasant to Georgetown, probably for the benefit of CN freights as it wouldn't connect with the Georgetown GO tracks. Finally, the third phase would build that third track through Brampton Station on the south side, and build a track flyover/flyunder between Mount Pleasant and Georgetown.

There would also be a third track on the GO Weston Sub and another platform at Bramalea for local/RER trains - tying in with the 401/409 tunnel and the plans to finally build the fourth track on the section dominated by UP Express.

As Brampton is now planning to tear down 8 Nelson Street West and replace the bus terminal (among other things) this will make the third track downtown easier to build.

GOKitchenerTrack.jpg
 

steveintoronto

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^ This was discussed briefly (in this string?) as per the 'flyover' (in purple) being (gist) "back on" as per @crs1026 . The map is an almost complete admission or acceptance by the present QP/ML regime that their (gist) "Close working relationship with CN" is appeasement and not CN's accommodation of finding a simpler, cheaper and faster to implement solution.

If one accepts the politics as they seem, this looks like a very good approach, it satisfies most if not all needs.

And now...the funding. I hear crickets chirping...

I noticed a few more trucks yesterday at Wade St and the Barrie Line (site of the legendary Davenport Flyover). It looked like the CP contracted crew, I'll check again, cycling past there in few minutes.
 

Allandale25

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I already responded to it within an hour (edit: Couple of hours) of it being posted. It's trite. It's a classic case of obfuscation and pap stock answers that say nothing. Most of the answers refer to the footage we've all been quoting from the Town Hall meeting. They still refuse to post a written transcript...
Cool - hadn't seen your response within the hour it was posted on May 25th.
 

Allandale25

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I came upon this map from a recent Metrolinx presentation showing planned improvements to the Halton Sub through Brampton and Georgetown.

The first phase of track improvements includes a new connection from the third platform at Bramalea Station to the mainline, as well as a second track leading westbound out of Georgetown Station/Yard. I would guess that Phase I is coincident with major station construction at Bramalea, which includes a new bus loop, new tunnel and bridge, and parking garage.

A second phase would extend the third track from Mount Pleasant to Georgetown, probably for the benefit of CN freights as it wouldn't connect with the Georgetown GO tracks. Finally, the third phase would build that third track through Brampton Station on the south side, and build a track flyover/flyunder between Mount Pleasant and Georgetown.

There would also be a third track on the GO Weston Sub and another platform at Bramalea for local/RER trains - tying in with the 401/409 tunnel and the plans to finally build the fourth track on the section dominated by UP Express.

As Brampton is now planning to tear down 8 Nelson Street West and replace the bus terminal (among other things) this will make the third track downtown easier to build.

View attachment 190195
And just by way of comparison, here's how the several track plan options were graphically displayed in the appendix of the 2015 initial Business Case Analysis of GO RER.

Page 88 graphic.png
Page 88 graphic.png
Page 111 graphic.png
Page 122 graphic.png
 

Allandale25

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^ This was discussed briefly (in this string?) as per the 'flyover' (in purple) being (gist) "back on" as per @crs1026 . The map is an almost complete admission or acceptance by the present QP/ML regime that their (gist) "Close working relationship with CN" is appeasement and not CN's accommodation of finding a simpler, cheaper and faster to implement solution.
I would assume the cost of the flyer over (purple line), third track in downtown Brampton (also a purple line), and another stretch of third track (blue line) would be a lot less expensive than 30 km of new bypass tracks for CN (which would have included moving some hydro towers and more grade separations - see below). A Metrolinx presentation broke down the $2.25B bypass plan as being $1.45B for the bypass tracks, $0.5B for electrification between Bramalea-Georgetown-KW, and $0.3B for the new Georgetown-KW track. I would also assume it would be faster to implement than the bypass option. In December 2018 the Minister said they wouldn't pursue the bypass plan and would move forward with an alternative to add more service on the Kitchener Line faster.

In terms of a cost comparison between $2.25B for the bypass plan and this alternative plan, PDF page 98 in the Initial BCA appendix provides some context, and puts the cost at $.320B. Given the federal government provided $752 million or so for the Kitchener Line, it'll be interesting to see if or how that's used and if we'll know before the federal election starts.

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