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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

FWIW, I'm hoping for both, one day.

30M or better service to Hamilton GO Centre (downtown); and the same for West Harbour, with the service merging to every 15M or better from Aldershot to the east.

To be a bit more fanciful, one could use the old belt line route and have the services re-merge to Niagara potentially; though in a world with such budgets, following the CP Mainline to Niagara via Welland might make more sense.

But all that latter stuff is a bit blue-sky'ish; the former should be entirely feasible with a bit of work.
And while we're on the West Harbour topic - I'm not sure why Metrolinx didn't just buy back the old James St station from LIUNA and refurbish it. Guessing cost was a factor.
 
the big issue with Hamilton Centre is the tunnel, and of course CP which hates dealing with Metrolinx.

The tunnel is designed for double tracks, and indeed was even double tracked in the past from my understanding, but does not fit double-stacked containers through it in a 2-track configuration from my understanding.. so CP doesn't let metrolinx build their own dedicated track through it and limits their operating windows to the morning and afternoon rush hours.

If Metrolinx had the money they could likely excavate the tunnel down to allow double-stack containers to fit in a 2-track condition and build a dedicated track from Bayview Junction, if CP doesn't just make them completely rebuild the entire tunnel. That would just be... expensive. Running the equivalent of 15 minute service through Bayview Junction would also likely necessitate a flyover there.

I agree that I hope we see it at some point, but likely not any time soon. The priority right now is clearly improving services on the CN line east towards Niagara.


Edit an old image of when the Hunter Street Tunnel first opened in it's original 2-track configuration:

600886_592312397453724_307092180_n.jpg
 
the big issue with Hamilton Centre is the tunnel, and of course CP which hates dealing with Metrolinx.

The tunnel is designed for double tracks, and indeed was even double tracked in the past from my understanding, but does not fit double-stacked containers through it in a 2-track configuration from my understanding.. so CP doesn't let metrolinx build their own dedicated track through it and limits their operating windows to the morning and afternoon rush hours.

If Metrolinx had the money they could likely excavate the tunnel down to allow double-stack containers to fit in a 2-track condition and build a dedicated track from Bayview Junction, if CP doesn't just make them completely rebuild the entire tunnel. That would just be... expensive. Running the equivalent of 15 minute service through Bayview Junction would also likely necessitate a flyover there.

I agree that I hope we see it at some point, but likely not any time soon. The priority right now is clearly improving services on the CN line east towards Niagara.


Edit an old image of when the Hunter Street Tunnel first opened in it's original 2-track configuration:

600886_592312397453724_307092180_n.jpg
You have to fully rebuilt the tunnel to have 2 tracks for GO and double stack trains. CP placed the single track in the centre of the tunnel for clearance. Its not only CP opposing it, but the NIMBY folks beside the area..

To rebuild the tunnel will require CP to use CN line for about 2 years as well stopping trains going to the THB station.

CP will either have to back in to the yard or have power switch ends.
 
If it's the government doing it and for public use, I am sure there is a way to acquire it.
Other than expropriating for x legal reason, you are dead in the water.

You may have to offer 3+ times of the current property value assuring the current owners can find another property that meets their needs or is better as well operate better than the can now. At the same time, will the same clientele accepted the move to the new location as well attract more of them.

At the end of the day, does the cost of buying it out weigh the cost of building from scratch and does the current owner see the purchase is in their best interests? Not a straightforward answers, but don't see it happening.
 
Other than expropriating for x legal reason, you are dead in the water.

You may have to offer 3+ times of the current property value assuring the current owners can find another property that meets their needs or is better as well operate better than the can now. At the same time, will the same clientele accepted the move to the new location as well attract more of them.

At the end of the day, does the cost of buying it out weigh the cost of building from scratch and does the current owner see the purchase is in their best interests? Not a straightforward answers, but don't see it happening.
But what use do the owners have now? It only generates revenue in what they make in the lease. They don't operate passenger service or bus service and do not have a use for the building. I'm only taking about this specific situation.
 
If it's the government doing it and for public use, I am sure there is a way to acquire it.

Yes, but lots of work required to re-install platform access, meet accessibility requirements, and the building may not be in like-new condition suitable for repurposing back to public use. Could be a very expensive reno job.

I can’t fault Ml for choosing to go for a new build.

- Paul
 
To rebuild the tunnel will require CP to use CN line for about 2 years as well stopping trains going to the THB station.
CP rebuilt the tunnel in the early 1980s. As it was built using cut-and-cover, they reversed the process and removed the top of it for the work. Once they were done, they put the top back on and rebuilt the road above.

This was done with trains still running down the line. There were no cancellations or reroutes.

If it's the government doing it and for public use, I am sure there is a way to acquire it.
Of course there is.

But was it necessary? Don't forget, the Government needs to pay "market value". The building is actively and regularly in use, so LIUNA would have been able to successfully make the case that the value of the building is higher than just its property value implies, as it is a revenue-making object.

And considering that there was more-or-less vacant land across the street from the old station, the rather prudent decision was made to use that instead.

Dan
 
The old James Street station is beautiful, and I wish it never stopped being a train station. But sadly history took it from us, and we have the new West Harbour Station which is a fine station which serves its purpose well.

The two track setup is plenty of capacity for medium term services. Trains won’t need to turn at West Harbour (which eats capacity), as all West Harbour services will terminate or start at Confederation (as far as we know). If extra capacity was ever needed (let’s pretend VIA ran some West Harbour-Ottawa trains), an additional platform could be added to the north end of the station to serve the south CN track.

I understand why GO has focused resources in the short term on West Harbour. It is because you have the future Confederation, Grimsby, and Beamsville stations, and the existing St. Catherines, and Niagara Falls stations after it. Much more logical to invest in this Lakeshore West branch than to Hamilton GO centre, which doesn’t have an easy extension option for it.

Hamilton GO Centre deserves better service to serve downtown Hamilton, absolutely. It should be the 15 min or better electric service terminus. Yes, that’s a big project to get done, but serving the downtown would be a huge development boost. In the near term however, serving West Harbour and Niagara makes more sense, as you can provide more communities with GO service with limited infrastructure dollars.

Part of making West Harbour more workable and connected to the downtown is Hamilton Street Railway boosting bus service to the station. It should be much better than it is today. A Hamilton LRT spur to West Harbour (which was abandoned in the plans) which interlines with the proposed LRT route to McMaster U would also be nice.
 
Once the second platform is completed at Guelph, can we expect additional trains during off-peak hours immediately, or is there more work to be done before service ramps up?
 
Once the second platform is completed at Guelph, can we expect additional trains during off-peak hours immediately, or is there more work to be done before service ramps up?

Quite possibly, but one would have to ask CN.

While it is physically possible to add two way service - even counter-flow at peak, actually - once the Guelph passing track is ready, we don’t know how much additional service CN will accept east of Silver, given that the added service might tie up two tracks at a time,… not to mention at minimum create additional crossover traffic between Silver and Bramalea.

I would expect that at minimum there would have to be some resignalling at Georgetown to allow trains to meet and pass within the station area. Once the additional sidings are completed at Breslau and Acton, there will be lots of capacity west of Silver…. but the stretch that CN controls

- Paul
 
Quite possibly, but one would have to ask CN.

While it is physically possible to add two way service - even counter-flow at peak, actually - once the Guelph passing track is ready, we don’t know how much additional service CN will accept east of Silver, given that the added service might tie up two tracks at a time,… not to mention at minimum create additional crossover traffic between Silver and Bramalea.

I would expect that at minimum there would have to be some resignalling at Georgetown to allow trains to meet and pass within the station area. Once the additional sidings are completed at Breslau and Acton, there will be lots of capacity west of Silver…. but the stretch that CN controls

- Paul
Always great insights, thanks Paul. I’m hoping that some form of weekend service (even just a handful of trains per day) can start ASAP. I can’t see why CN would say no to that.
 
Always great insights, thanks Paul. I’m hoping that some form of weekend service (even just a handful of trains per day) can start ASAP. I can’t see why CN would say no to that.
Quite possibly, but one would have to ask CN.

While it is physically possible to add two way service - even counter-flow at peak, actually - once the Guelph passing track is ready, we don’t know how much additional service CN will accept east of Silver, given that the added service might tie up two tracks at a time,… not to mention at minimum create additional crossover traffic between Silver and Bramalea.

I would expect that at minimum there would have to be some resignalling at Georgetown to allow trains to meet and pass within the station area. Once the additional sidings are completed at Breslau and Acton, there will be lots of capacity west of Silver…. but the stretch that CN controls

- Paul
Agreed, thanks Paul. I think Metrolinx needs to figure out Silver now.
 

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