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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

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!
 

crs1026

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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.
That’s certainly true - I don’t have any info as to whether ML is going to that method.

- Paul
 

smallspy

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No reason the rural parts of the route can't be 150km/h..
The original plan for the work on the Guelph Sub was to aim for a 90mph zone speed - 145km/h. There would be other, lower speed limits in places due to geometry, but that was the upset goal for the whole stretch from Georgetown to Kitchener.

Unfortunately, it sounds like that goal may be scaled back. There is a limited and finite budget to do the work, and the crews have been told "make due with it what you can".

Dan
 

Streety McCarface

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The original plan for the work on the Guelph Sub was to aim for a 90mph zone speed - 145km/h. There would be other, lower speed limits in places due to geometry, but that was the upset goal for the whole stretch from Georgetown to Kitchener.

Unfortunately, it sounds like that goal may be scaled back. There is a limited and finite budget to do the work, and the crews have been told "make due with it what you can".

Dan
I mean, the area is so rural, so I would think that class 6 track would only require some fencing at grade crossings and additional signals (Crossing and mainline). Are there any other pieces of infrastructure (say rail ties, higher strength rail) or alignment challenges along the guelph sub?
 

drum118

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Kennedy





Stouffville Line

 

smallspy

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I mean, the area is so rural, so I would think that class 6 track would only require some fencing at grade crossings and additional signals (Crossing and mainline). Are there any other pieces of infrastructure (say rail ties, higher strength rail) or alignment challenges along the guelph sub?
Subgrade? Structures?

There is way more involved than just putting up some fences and gates to bring it up to any substantial standard.

Dan
 

raptor

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The project began last year I believe, but the actual tunnels construction just started

 

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