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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

Allandale25

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I had business in Markham today, and while coming back I took some video of progress on the Stouffville line.

Most notable is that the hardware for a set of crossovers is staged around Progress Ave. That demarcates the North and Central zones of the project. Supposedly Milliken-Progress is to be put in service first, and Progress-Kennedy second. From my observation, there is a lot more to do north of Progress than south of it.

This first video starts at Milliken, heading southward. It shows that apart from some small bits north of McNicoll, the second track bed isn't anywhere near ready for laying track. Lots of water, some excavations still going on, and lots of fiber conduit that remains to be trenched, and much sound fencing to install. Plenty of progress on the tunnels at Agincourt (as there was at Milliken). One has to remember that after the second track is laid, it becomes the single main line while the "old" line is torn out and relaid with vibration matting and then fresh ballast and concrete ties. So really we aren't at the 50% track laid point yet.

The second video runs from Agincourt southwards. One can see that the bridgework over the creeks is just getting underway. Again, lots of second track needs to be laid, and then the existing track needs to be taken up and new track laid.

The third video is a short segment north of Kennedy, showing that the new second track is now being used as the main track while the old track is starting to be removed. The turnout at the interim end of the double track just north of Kennedy has been installed.

It's certainly a lot of progress over the past few months, but I wonder just how long it will be before either section can be put in service. I would bet that the two segments won't be operable as double track before next spring. The station work may take much of next year.

- Paul
Great video and observations, @crs1026
 

Tcmetro

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I'm curious about the Confederation GO station. Is the rail station opening this year, or is it just the bus loop? What is the service plan once Confederation opens.

I've done some googling, but only yielded a few articles in the past year.
 

Platform 27

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Most notable is that the hardware for a set of crossovers is staged around Progress Ave. That demarcates the North and Central zones of the project. Supposedly Milliken-Progress is to be put in service first, and Progress-Kennedy second. From my observation, there is a lot more to do north of Progress than south of it.

This first video starts at Milliken, heading southward. It shows that apart from some small bits north of McNicoll, the second track bed isn't anywhere near ready for laying track. Lots of water, some excavations still going on, and lots of fiber conduit that remains to be trenched, and much sound fencing to install. Plenty of progress on the tunnels at Agincourt (as there was at Milliken). One has to remember that after the second track is laid, it becomes the single main line while the "old" line is torn out and relaid with vibration matting and then fresh ballast and concrete ties. So really we aren't at the 50% track laid point yet.
I was passing by on foot a few weekends ago and have a slight correction --- I think you have the sequence right, but the work is a bit further along.

They've already completed the process of putting in one finished "second" track to new standards for that Milliken-Agincourt section (with concrete ties, fresh ballast mats etc.), and your train is actually running on it ---- it's mostly on the east side of the corridor (the exception looks to be a little north and south of the McNicoll crossing where it's jogged over to west track's slot).

The old track, which had mostly been on the western side of the corridor, has now been ripped out and torn down to subgrade, where they'll repeat the same sequence to reconstruct to new standards, basically exactly what you described as the followup step.

You inspired me to dig up reaperexpress's video going the opposite direction over the same segment from last year to compare. As you can see, at that point the trains were running on the west side and most of the regrading was going on the east side.

So even through there are fewer visible cases of two parallel tracks next to each other, the north end is in fact more advanced than the south, and well past the 50% mark. That said, I don't see them actually using it right away, as it's not much good without at least that turnout at Progress and double platforms at Milliken and Agincourt.
 

crs1026

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You inspired me to dig up reaperexpress's video going the opposite direction over the same segment from last year to compare. As you can see, at that point the trains were running on the west side and most of the regrading was going on the east side.

So even through there are fewer visible cases of two parallel tracks next to each other, the north end is in fact more advanced than the south, and well past the 50% mark. That said, I don't see them actually using it right away, as it's not much good without at least that turnout at Progress and double platforms at Milliken and Agincourt.
Quite true in plenty of places. I still wonder about the Finch to Havendale section....there isn’t enough room on the west side for the track to have been shifted, and with all the water and excavations there clearly hasn’t been a roadbed there ever....so I’m inferring that that section is still “original” track on the original alignment. Possibly the east side has been graded and that’s where the new track will go, so the west side doesn’t need much more than drainage and utilities, but the east track would still have to be put in service and the existing track torn out and rebuilt there.

....food for another trip. Hard to watch both sides at the same time!

I probably erred by implying that 50% of track is 50% of completion....that doesn’t give credit for all the work to do the retaining walls and grading beforehand, which is at least 50% of overall completion all by itself. Certainly, that kind of work seems to be pretty much wound up. All the same, there are only so many weeks left until winter, and there are lots of things remaining to be done.

- Paul
 

Platform 27

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Quite true in plenty of places. I still wonder about the Finch to Havendale section....there isn’t enough room on the west side for the track to have been shifted, and with all the water and excavations there clearly hasn’t been a roadbed there ever....so I’m inferring that that section is still “original” track on the original alignment. Possibly the east side has been graded and that’s where the new track will go, so the west side doesn’t need much more than drainage and utilities, but the east track would still have to be put in service and the existing track torn out and rebuilt there.

....food for another trip. Hard to watch both sides at the same time!
That's actually exactly the area where I was able to wander past on foot (geeky deviation after leaving a friend-of-a-friend's place around the corner) and all service is definitely running on concrete ties right up against the eastern sound barriers through there. It's certainly not spacious, but there's room for a track on the west side, and the level crossings have already all been twinned (visible in your video at Finch (2:35 mark), Huntingwood (3:10) and Havendale (3:30)). There evidently had to have been a track on that western half of the right of way until a short while ago, because it was in operation while they laid the eastern one. Regret not snapping any photos of my own.
 

Leo_Chan

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As for my local station we did a video discussing some of the progress at Milliken Go on the ST line!

When you mention that new track on Steeles was constructed and the old tracks were removed, are they there temporary while they work on the grade separation? I noticed a new curve just south of Steeles in the video.
 

Reecemartin

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The track itself is permanent. What happened was that they needed to install the second track at Steeles in order to remove the original crossing (which was to the East, both were present at one point) which was in need of replacement anyway. Then they connected this new crossing with the old track hence creating the curve you noticed (would have been straight when connected to the original crossing).
 

Leo_Chan

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The track itself is permanent. What happened was that they needed to install the second track at Steeles in order to remove the original crossing (which was to the East, both were present at one point) which was in need of replacement anyway. Then they connected this new crossing with the old track hence creating the curve you noticed (would have been straight when connected to the original crossing).
But is the new track temporary while they work on the grade separation? Also, do we know what the construction phasing will be like for the grade separation?
 

drum118

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But is the new track temporary while they work on the grade separation? Also, do we know what the construction phasing will be like for the grade separation?
All track work is permanent on the north side as well the new east track in the station area.

They will build the first grade separated bridge on the east side while the new east platform is being built. Once the new bridge and platform is built, everything will shift to the west side. The eastbound traffic lane and the south retaining wall will be built at the same time of the bridges. Part of the north side retaining wall will be built by the bridges at the same time and will be completed once traffic is shifted to the new eastbound lanes.
 

drum118

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May go out of our way to see if I can better shots of the site than the ones I shot on May 4

Lakeshore West passengers: A reminder that this weekend, Lakeshore West trains will run hourly while we finish replacing a section of track at Exhibition GO Station, which will be good for another 30 years.

Hourly service begins on Friday night with the 9:43 p.m. train from Union and the 9:01 p.m. train from Aldershot. Please expect delays of 15 minutes both ways as trains slow down near Exhibition station.

This work can only be completed when trains aren't running, so we're doing the work over the weekends to minimize the disruption to you.

Please use our See Schedules tool before you travel.

This is the last planned weekend of hourly service due to this track replacement. Thank you for your patience as we work to help keep service consistent and comfortable for you.
 
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