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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

drum118

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Sept 17
Bramalea GO Station:
I can't believe how long it taking to rebuilt the south platform. Steel up for the roof and roofing about to be seal for it. Most of the platform edge in place and nearing the point snow melting system can be place for the platform.

The new east extension for track 2 & 3 platform is seeing the same thing as the south one. Nothing new for connecting the new tunnel to the centre platform, even though steel is up for the new north entrance.

By the looks of things, precast framing for the parking structure could start to go up in late Oct or Nov. Building the ramp walls now and could be finish end of the month or early Oct.

CN Torbram Grade Separation
Surprise to see the top of the east retaining wall still missing as well back filling. Some sidewalk work needs to be done as well paving the road.

Metrolinx Torbram Grade Separation
Been a busy beaver since I last the site that the south east retaining wall being top off and the will move to the north side this month to start finishing that retaining wall off. The east sidewalk is pour with the south end having handrail on it. Another truck load of handrail show up while there and could have all the railing install either this month or early Oct.

Grading and curbs being pour the north bound lanes and could be ready in Oct for paving.

Either Oct or Nov will see the grade separation cease to exist to the point the road will have to be close to remove the north temporary road so not to interfere with southbound traffic, as well getting ready to start the west retaining walls.

By summer of 2020, all the construction will be finish for this project.

Not sure if the CN track will be move back to where it was over the new 4 track bridge or leave it as it until it known what going to take place at the Halton Junction. A switch will have to be install to have track 1/2 connect to tracks 3 and 4 to the west of the road if CN track is move back to where it was before.

Barrie Line
Had a look at the line at Eglinton a few weeks ago and nothing new for either the Barrie Line or the Eglinton Line station.
 
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joet00

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Heavy equipment, piles of ballast on and around the Roger's Rd bridge on the Barrie corridor. Hopefully part of the Barrie corridor expansion contract that was awarded in April.
Also noticed some work beginning in front of the No Frills at Lansdowne, including some ballast.
One of four jobs listed as explanation for the bus-stitution this coming weekend:
  • Installation of concrete track panels and waterproofing on the Rogers Road rail bridge, for a smoother crossing over the bridge and ensuring durability of bridge infrastructure.
 

Allandale25

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mdrejhon

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Nice to see them publicize all the work they've already done, and describe the gaps that still need to be filled. We knew this stuff from this forum but few others outside of it would have been aware. Thanks @mdrejhon.
I'm glad to see Metrolinx improves communications to local Hamilton residents -- the bad rep of the forced-ghost-station status of West Harbour GO as it awaits completions of weak links.

From Metrolinx: "Over the next couple of months, we will be doing more track work at Hamilton Junction and activating the second mainline between CN Hamilton Junction and CN Stuart Yard. Similarly, to the John Street Bridge, we will be starting work on other bridges in Hamilton to create corridor capacity through Hamilton. "

In local cityplanning documents of the last 1-2 year, there is suggestive mentions of an upcoming Hamilton Birch Street bridge replacement project (near the power transmission corridor and near the old HSR maintenance facility.) that will also be needed before there's capability to have a continuous Metrolinx-priority track between West Harbour and Confederation / Lewis Yard (Grimsby) in order to not be disruptible by freight train schedule. I would not be surprised if it, alas, took until 2028 to full build out the necessary mainline expansions -- but I'm really hoping they get that done by 2025-ish (allday GO by 2025 as the promise currently is). The piecemeal bridge projects probably has municipal/federal complications like the big new bridge over Centennial Parkway.

Theoretically they probably could early-activate hourly West Harbour allday by 2020-2021. Realistically they will incrementally increase West Harbour service towards ~2025.

It could swing either way depending on political winds and Metrolinx tolerance for freight disruption (e.g. goverment willingly funds the Service Guarantee refunds from the increased complaints) in the "all day with no Metrolinx mainline to Lewis Yard" scenario.

Early assumes the north platform + functioning new mainline to Hamilton Junction + tolerance for occasional disruptions by freight. Latter assumes new Metrolinx-priority mainline between West Harbour and Lewis Yard -- that stuff is only study stage and not yet tendered -- the focus is on bridge rebuilds with "future provisions", Centennial Parkway style, probably. That's what I'm expecting to happen with the Birch Street bridge replacement, probably provisions for 3/4 tracks. smallspy didn't see anything on radar about the mainline yet, so it's probably the cost-optimized approaches (north platform added to West Harbour) initially while they start resolving the bridges/overpasses for a mainline (still under study) from West Harbour thru Lewis Yard.
 
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mdrejhon

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Digging up documents, this is little-said Confederation seems slated to eventually get hourly allday 2-way GO train service too.

Page 80 of this Metrolinx document, at 1 offpeak train per hour in both directions.

206153


Logically -- this is compatible with the desire to have a Metrolinx-dedicated mainline (the one under study or EA) -- between West Harbour and Lewis Yard, and might as well stop at Confederation along the way.

Probably 2025 or 2028 stuff, and it's possible West Harbour will get it first...

-- Hourly Confederation+WestHarbour will be useful for a quick commute between Stoney Creek and Downtown Hamilton, as a backup transit option parallel to LRT
-- Can add improved options for all-day 2-way GO bus service to Niagara Falls, letting Niagara GO buses connect at both Burlington AND Confederation.

It would seem logical to have the Hamilton LRT could eventually extend 1 stop beyond Eastgate Mall to connect at Confederation GO station...
 
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dowlingm

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mdrejhon

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Doubtful trackage elevation will change. It would probably be a roadbed lowering + better drainage. But this could be a good opportunity for Metrolinx and City Hall to co-ordinate all of this work, given the Birch Avenue rail bridge needs expansion for long term.

They may keep the heritage bridge if its in good shape (2002 report) -- 17 years ago was graded a 50-C so it's a wash between refurbish versus demolish, given the time that has now passed. If refurbish, a new abutment for future track alongside. It may be that they add a parallel bridge alongside for 3rd rail track.

I see Birch coming up intermittently on the Metrolinx side too, in this 2017 PDF. It's probably cost-optimized by the Ford government, i.e. can kicked slightly down the road -- but it's still on the books as a needed track between West Harbour and Confederation as a long term incremental. There's an in-progress study with Metrolinx/CN that involves this track as we speak so the "due diligence" on that is definitely progressing, just study-stage and pre-procurement probably (given smallspy commentary that nothing is happening regarding 3rd track yet).

206058


Based on my assessment:

* Now: Bridge and road underpass refurbishments, abutments for future tracks, electrification min height (John & MacNab spec) and bridge provisions will occur first.
* Later, procurement for 3rd track (probably 2021-2024 window)

Although CN is not planning to let electrification happen, all bridges being rebuilt have raised clearance to electrification spec (MacNab bridge, Bay bridge, and now John St bridge). Lewis Yard is electrification-provisions ready. Metrolinx is protecting-for electrification on Grimsby sub, even if that's decades in the future (there will be pressures for freight electrification eventually).
 

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Allandale25

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^ Since you're following the Burlington to Niagara Falls stretch so closely, have they starting using that new 3rd track they recently installed at Bayview Junction? cc @crs1026
 

crs1026

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^ Since you're following the Burlington to Niagara Falls stretch so closely, have they starting using that new 3rd track they recently installed at Bayview Junction? cc @crs1026
Well, let's compare the facts with the recent blog description
  • Track is now in place from Stuart (the interlocking at the west (Toronto-side) end of West Harbour station to Hamilton Jct (where the CP line diverges to the old Hamilton GO station). I haven't observed first hand that it is being used, but conversations with some GO RTE's makes me believe it can be used if needed.
  • The interlocking at Hamilton Jct has been tweaked but not rebuilt, which is a prerequisite to really effective use of the new trackage.
  • There is no new track laid yet from Hamilton Jct to Bayview. That's a second prerequisite to effective service.
  • At Bayview, a new set of crossovers were installed a couple years ago, but I'm told that CN bobbled the software for these and they were taken out of service within days of their being installed. They have only recently been placed in service. They are only good for 25 mph, which is not condusive to speedy GO service, but they do fulfil CN's requirement to route GO onto the third (southmost) track from Bayview to Aldershot, thus keeping it out of the path of freights headed for London and beyond.
So, in terms of the full plan to build a third track from Bayview to West Harbour, only about 25% of what was planned has been put in place.... and that project has been in progress in fits and starts since about 2014.

I take some satisfaction from the much more granular description in that recent ML blog post. It's almost as if ML staffers are reading this thread and feeling pressure to allay some of the fact checking we do here. If you compare the plan in the 2017 powerpoint (thanks, @mdrejhon, for sharing it with us) with what has happened to date, it's pretty slow progress.... every bit is worth cheering but the pace is abysmal.

How much of the
four (4) bridge modifications (Birch, TH&B, Kenilworth, Red Hill Creek); three (3) culvert extensions; eight (8) level crossing upgrades
has been advanced since 2017?

The thing that is enabling better service to date is that CN's traffic along the Grimsby line is pretty light, so even if the GO tracks haven't been built, GO can use the existing CN track and not encounter delays. But that is risky as on any given day a CN train might be there to take priority.

I do believe that the wheels are starting to turn towards getting track built to Confederation.....but anything beyond that is waaaay off in the future.

We are definitely analysing table scraps here.

- Paul
 

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