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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

drum118

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Requests for Proposals (RFP) were issued for the development of the new Caledonia GO Station. The Station will be located on Eglinton Avenue West and will directly connect the Barrie GO Line with the future Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Construction is expected to be complete by the spring of 2023.
 

smallspy

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If a fly under/over could be built between Bampton and Bramalea stations, that would remove the crossover effect that exist today to allow GO to run 30 minute service once the 3rd track is in place.
The issue with crossing the corridor isn't between Brampton and Bramalea, or even between Brampton and Mount Pleasant. The GO trains normally run along the south side of the corridor through there anyways.

The issue is further west, between Georgetown and Mount Pleasant. And as it turns out, land is not a problem.

Dan
 

drum118

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The issue with crossing the corridor isn't between Brampton and Bramalea, or even between Brampton and Mount Pleasant. The GO trains normally run along the south side of the corridor through there anyways.

The issue is further west, between Georgetown and Mount Pleasant. And as it turns out, land is not a problem.

Dan
What I have seen over the years, but not much watching the last few years, GO going west on the north side and east on the south side. Have seen a few eastbound CN trains sit or crawl at Brampton waiting for a westbound GO train to clear.

From my point of view, doing what I call for will make everyone life a lot easier. Downside at this time is the south platform at Brampton and the bridges to have a centre platform.
 

smallspy

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What I have seen over the years, but not much watching the last few years, GO going west on the north side and east on the south side. Have seen a few eastbound CN trains sit or crawl at Brampton waiting for a westbound GO train to clear.
That may be what you've witnessed, but the general rule for the dispatchers is to keep the GO trains on the south track at Brampton Station whenever possible in both directions. And of all of the times that I've been out that way, operating on the south track in both directions I would say has been the norm.

From my point of view, doing what I call for will make everyone life a lot easier. Downside at this time is the south platform at Brampton and the bridges to have a centre platform.
No, it really won't. It would be unnecessary and wouldn't help operations one bit. The third track through Brampton will benefit CN (and therefore GO) far more than any flyover would.

And again, they don't need to get to the north side of the corridor until Georgetown, so why would you push the GO trains to the north so soon?

Dan
 

crs1026

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^ I can second the observation that GO uses the southmost track to the maximum through Brampton.

However....a 30 minute 2WAD to Georgetown would be a GO train crossing to the north every 15 minutes, necessitating a route lined conflicting with CN for five minutes or more every 15 minutes. That’s a big chunk taken out of CN’s use of the line.

There’s also the challenge of CN freights passing each other. Nominally, the Halton double track ends at Stewarttown, west of Silver.... but there are two busy level crossings west of Georgetown that can’t be blocked. So westbound freights tend to hold further east until eastbounds (which tend to be slow moving, due to gradient) arrive at Stewarttown. That could put a train blocking GO’s path at the crossovers more often than one would wish for, And, if those eastbound freights arrive to find a GO train lined across in front of them, they will have to slow or stop - potentially blocking those crossings - until the GO movement clears. It’s a recipe for meltdown. So I can buy the desire for a flyover.

BTW the interlocking at Georgetown was rebuilt a few years ago with the third track roughed in, as is the Credit bridge. It would seem prudent to just get on with adding that third track. If there is to be a flyover, there’s lots of room east of the Credit bridge.

- Paul
 

KevinT

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The south platform at Brampton can be retrofitted to become a centre platform. With the planned demolition of the current terminal and office building, it'll be relatively easy to install the third track at the south side. As a bonus, the heritage 1907 GTR station won't have to be touched.
I'm unfamiliar with the area so just had a look via Google maps. There doesn't appear to be much room for a third track unless they reduce Railroad St to a one-lane one-way, or flat out eliminate it by expropriating several houses. The Main, Union, and Queen street bridges along with the one over Etobicoke creek would also need to be widened, so this appears to be quite a major ask. Are there already preliminary plans for this or is it still in fantasy territory?
 

crs1026

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I'm unfamiliar with the area so just had a look via Google maps. There doesn't appear to be much room for a third track unless they reduce Railroad St to a one-lane one-way, or flat out eliminate it by expropriating several houses. The Main, Union, and Queen street bridges along with the one over Etobicoke creek would also need to be widened, so this appears to be quite a major ask. Are there already preliminary plans for this or is it still in fantasy territory?
I saw preliminary roll map drawings a decade ago (sure wish I retained a copy) that lined the third track right through the depot.

I'm quite sure that plan has changed, probably more than once.... but to answer your question, yes there has been quite a lot of technical thought given to the routing. But I don't know if there is a "final" answer.

- Paul
 

KevinT

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Also, Metrolinx bought up and demolished many of the houses along Railroad Street for a parking lot. There’s only three or four houses still facing Railroad now.
Thanks, that doesn't appear to be reflected in either Google Maps' globe or normal mode (often switching out of globe mode gets you more up to date aerial imagery). I'm off this week and am toying with the idea of a Kitchener line trip to Union tomorrow with a bounce up to the end of the Barrie line and back. I'll keep an eye out for the true lay of the land around Brampton if I do. Oh, covid staycations...

Edit to add: D'oh, the morning northbounds only go as far as Aurora, for some reason I thought Barrie was two way all day. Not sure I'm going to bother with that trip today then.
 
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crs1026

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I went looking for some past documentation on ML's stated timetable for electrification, and that led me down a rabbit hole.

There have been so many presentations and so many rosy pictures painted, that it's easy to lose track of what ML claimed it was working on, and when it would be done.

Anyways, if anyone cares, here's the overall theme to the ML On-Corridor Procurement, which covers expansion, electrification, and service planning for the RER, oops, GO Expansion Project:

September 2016 - RER update to ML Board - preliminary

Dec 8 2016 - the “Mother of all DBFOM” procurement strategy first presented to ML Board

Describes RER Procurement as bundled into 3 packages 1, 2, 3
Package 1 - Enabling Works - target completion 2020
Package 2 - “Off Corridor” - stations, SOGR,corporate initiatives
Package 3 - “On Corridor” - track, signals, communications, electrification, corridor maintenance, vehicles

At the same meeting, the Minister’s Letter of Direction to ML was tabled. setting out a new involvement of the Province in things Metrolinx

July 24 2017 - RFQ for RER Operator issued - whatever this was, it appears to have died a quiet death

Dec 6 2017 - Update to ML Board - This document sets out planned schedule for the Procurement of the On Corridor package

RFQ Spring 2018
RFP Release Fall 2018
RFP Deadline Fall 2019
Contract award Spring 2020

April 3 2018
Package 3 RFQ was announced
Trouble in Paradise set in as ML consulted with potential vendors re Package 3, who poked holes in the ML fantasy https://canada.constructconnect.com...rer-package-3-surprises-concerns-stakeholders

May 30 2019 RFQ results announced, RFP released

Four teams were selected to proceed to the RFP stage

Sept 12 2019 Per report to Board, first set of draft Project Agreement materials were released to bidders on July 24 2019

Sometime in 2018-2019, Phil Verster announced a seat-miles target that reflected expansion projected timelines. (I haven't had time to look it up, but it was discussed in detail here in UT)

EDIT: January 2020 More trouble in paradise surfaces

June 25 2020 - The ML 2019-2020 Annual Report offers only a whisper of acknowledgement that this procurement is proceeding

Since March, COVID has undoubtedly messed up the work. Even so, over the last year ML has announced various small packages of work that intuitively were initially bundled with the DBFOM’s. I interpret this to be reality setting in, as the RFP proponents have identified things that they consider too risky to undertake or even bid on, and/or have placed high pricing on in light of risk perceived, or that needed further specc'ing before they could offer a bid.

My very jaded (but not necessarily unfair!) conclusion of the whole procurement affair has been, this is a classic ML “cluster”….
- beginning with a set of unrealistic and rosy statements about what ML thought it could accomplish,
- followed by a couple years of high-level ivory tower navel gazing with absolutely no concrete forward direction, by people who had never actually done this type of work before
- enabled by equally rosy efforts by IO, who were unabashedly turf building within the provincial realm, despite never having actually contracted for a rail commuter network before
- eventually, a RFQ/RFP appeared, leading to examination of ML's plans by people with actual expertise and experience
- ML then realising just how overwhelming the task is and regrouping

I'm sure it will get done. This is, after all, a very huge bit of infrastructure to build. Some routes have been added. And, the government did change midstream. One would expect a few snags.

But..... how Metrolinx !

- Paul
 
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Northern Light

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GO Expansion deal is headed to the next Executive Ctte meeting on September 23.


Includes cost-sharing deals for 10 grade separation projects:

The following five grade separations will be cost-shared per terms agreed to by Council as part of 2016.EX19.1 and agreed to in the Agreement in Principle:

- Steeles Avenue East (Stouffville GO Corridor)
- Finch Avenue East (Stouffville GO Corridor)
- Scarborough Golf Club Road (Lakeshore East GO Corridor)
- Galloway Road (Lakeshore East GO Corridor)
- Morningside Drive (Lakeshore East GO Corridor)


The City and Metrolinx have also reached agreement on a cost-sharing arrangement for the following five additional grade separations based on Canada Transportation Agency guidelines:


- Passmore Avenue (Stouffville GO Corridor)
- McNicoll Avenue (Stouffville GO Corridor)
- Huntingwood Road (Stouffville GO Corridor)
- Danforth Road / Midland Avenue (Stouffville GO Corridor)
- Progress Avenue (Stouffville GO Corridor)
 

Northern Light

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