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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

The common standards for rail platform heights are 130mm, 380mm, 550mm, 760mm, 915mm, 1100mm, and 1250mm.
Those are standards for new construction.

The possibility of all platforms in a given country being upgraded to these standards is very small, however.

And what would we have to gain from choosing a standardized height? As demonstrated in Europe, dropping a floor or moving it upwards a few centimetres is hardly an insurmountable task. Coupled with the continued existence of the BiLevels, I would think the most logical solution is to keep the height at 610 mm.
 

We’re adding a brand new track to the Kitchener GO line to support future service increases of trains every 15 minutes or better up to Bramalea GO.

To make room for additional track in the city’s core, we had to make some adjustments. 🔧

Here’s how teams moved an entire rail bridge in one weekend in a busy neighbourhood on Bloor Street West.

More info on this project: https://lnkd.in/eGHrURkq
 
Those are standards for new construction.
If we are changing the height of the platform... that is new construction.

The possibility of all platforms in a given country being upgraded to these standards is very small, however.
The possibility of new platforms in Europe being 610mm, the possibility of any platforms being rebuilt in Europe or Asia during maintenance to 610mm, and VIA having level boarding at 610mm is even more remote than that. So the ONLY reason you would choose 610mm is to support the past, and not the future.

And what would we have to gain from choosing a standardized height? As demonstrated in Europe, dropping a floor or moving it upwards a few centimetres is hardly an insurmountable task. Coupled with the continued existence of the BiLevels, I would think the most logical solution is to keep the height at 610 mm.
Why would we change the platform height as long as we are using bi-levels? There are raised accessibility platforms in place so it isn't solving a major issue there, and boarding efficiency will not see a significant improvement as long as there are the bottlenecks of having only two doors per car and congestion in narrow stairs to the second deck. We should leave the platforms where they are until there is an actual reason to change and as long as a line is running bi-levels there is no reason. To your point Europe isn't rushing to change the level of their platforms and they see far more service than we do. GO will continue to need to dwell in stations long enough for people to clear the stairwells and car doors... the short steps out the door are not on the critical path to solving any problem that may exist.

When a line needs to replace bi-levels, because it is no longer efficient to run them, that is the time to look at platform heights because that is the time when you are going to get the most benefit from doing so.
 
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If we are changing the height of the platform... that is new construction.


The possibility of new platforms in Europe being 610mm, the possibility of any platforms being rebuilt in Europe or Asia during maintenance to 610mm, and VIA having level boarding at 610mm is even more remote than that. So the ONLY reason you would choose 610mm is to support the past, and not the future.


Why would we change the platform height as long as we are using bi-levels? There are raised accessibility platforms in place so it isn't solving a major issue there, and boarding efficiency will not see a significant improvement as long as there are the bottlenecks of having only two doors per car and congestion in narrow stairs to the second deck. We should leave the platforms where they are until there is an actual reason to change and as long as a line is running bi-levels there is no reason. To your point Europe isn't rushing to change the level of their platforms and they see far more service than we do. GO will continue to need to dwell in stations long enough for people to clear the stairwells and car doors... the short steps out the door are not on the critical path to solving any problem that may exist.

When a line needs to replace bi-levels, because it is no longer efficient to run them, that is the time to look at platform heights because that is the time when you are going to get the most benefit from doing so.
I just don’t see GO getting rid of the bilevels. Milton has zero plans for RER service so they’ll most likely be using them for the rest of our lifetimes. And even on other lines, there’s no guarantee they’ll change it. Why wouldn’t they just standardize to what we currently have?
 
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Milton has zero plans for RER service so they’ll most likely be using them for the rest of our lifetimes.
Milton RER has appeared on multiple Metrolinx and government long-term transit plans. And the federal government promised their share of funding for it in the last election.

I'd say that Richmond Hill is the only line with zero plans for RER service.
 
Milton RER has appeared on multiple Metrolinx and government long-term transit plans. And the federal government promised their share of funding for it in the last election.

I'd say that Richmond Hill is the only line with zero plans for RER service.
To be fair, the Feds only promised up to $500 million, which is a small part of RER-ing Milton. The project would be multi-billions.
 
To be fair, the Feds only promised up to $500 million, which is a small part of RER-ing Milton. The project would be multi-billions.
It was to be about $2.1 Billion back in 2018 to 4 track it with a fly under at the Humber as well a few grade separations. A few new bridges are required as well for those 2 extra tracks. Lisgar station would see the north platform built as the existing one is a centre platform already. Dixie needs a centre platform and Kipling need a north platform as well
 
I just don’t see GO getting rid of the bilevels. Milton has zero plans for RER service so they’ll most likely be using them for the rest of our lifetimes. And even on other lines, there’s no guarantee they’ll change it. Why wouldn’t they just standardize to what we currently have?
I'm not suggesting that GO will get rid of bi-levels any time soon, but I don't think it makes sense to change platform heights on some lines anytime soon either. However, some lines will change services to a more urban service at some point and having bi-levels getting in the way of that service will severely limit its efficiency.

For a line like Stouffville which is single or dual Metrolinx owned track and largely urban why would someone change platform heights to support bi-levels? As long as there are any bi-levels on the line the line speed will be limited by bi-level dwell time.

When it comes to the Milton line and Richmond Hill line perhaps a case for some stations being 610mm platforms might make sense but likely only those platforms on tracks that don't see freight due to concerns around platform clearance. Those lines are unlikely to see all the benefits of GO expansion / onXpress, Smarttrack / in-city stations, and fare unification seen on other lines and will likely remain bi-levels because they will continue to be suburban or infrequent services.
 
^It does seem that some people have latched onto the idea of GO becoming a "regional subway" without realizing that a) it's a metaphor, not a design spec and b) it's a 30 to 40 year maximum capacity design criteria, and not a deliverable for 2025

Regional GO remains a GO train, on headways that will remain hourly in some places, with at best 15 minute headways at rush hour. For those lines, the current design template (bilevels, stepup to board) may remain the norm for as long as those vehicles have life in them.

There are places where we will see very frequent service, hopefully as a much more vital transit role.... but some of the headways will be the result of branching, eg if Stouffville and LSE will be 15 minute services, the Kingston Sub will see 7.5 minute headways.... but that's not a regional subway, it's just a track and signal system that handles many GO trains.

I'm not arguing against the transition, I'm just pointing out that we may not see it in our lifetimes. It's not supposed to arrive this week.

- Paul
 
If we are changing the height of the platform... that is new construction.
No, it isn't.

In many (or even most now) of the stations, rest of the facility needs little work to match the proposed new platform height. Moving a doorway that is already designed to be moved is not "new construction". Adding some more material to increase the height of the platform where there is already material is not "new construction".

The possibility of new platforms in Europe being 610mm, the possibility of any platforms being rebuilt in Europe or Asia during maintenance to 610mm, and VIA having level boarding at 610mm is even more remote than that. So the ONLY reason you would choose 610mm is to support the past, and not the future.
What is done in Europe is irrelevant. We don't operate with their equipment or their rules.

Don't worry about what VIA is doing or will be doing. We should not be shortchanging the system for the the want of a "couple of trains a day". The scale of utility for GO is several magnitudes higher for the people who live in the Toronto area it than it is for VIA.

But don't think that it's mutually exclusive, either. The new VIA equipment is designed to use the new GO platform height, as well as the existing platform height and the floor-level height.

Why would we change the platform height as long as we are using bi-levels? There are raised accessibility platforms in place so it isn't solving a major issue there, and boarding efficiency will not see a significant improvement as long as there are the bottlenecks of having only two doors per car and congestion in narrow stairs to the second deck. We should leave the platforms where they are until there is an actual reason to change and as long as a line is running bi-levels there is no reason. To your point Europe isn't rushing to change the level of their platforms and they see far more service than we do. GO will continue to need to dwell in stations long enough for people to clear the stairwells and car doors... the short steps out the door are not on the critical path to solving any problem that may exist.
Removing steps outside of the equipment is a great way to improve the passenger flow into and out of the equipment, and decrease boarding and alighting times. Why do you think that subways do it around the world? Yes, additional doorways will do even more,, but that can also be something that is done on a future equipment purchase - a longer-term goal. Hell, maybe even the first of the next round of equipment purchases. But in the interim, increasing the height of the platforms to meet the floor height will already make for a huge improvement.

Has anything been mentioned about rail grade separating the Doncaster Diamond?
There are plans, yes. Are they needed? Not for the foreseeable future.

Dan
 
^It does seem that some people have latched onto the idea of GO becoming a "regional subway" without realizing that a) it's a metaphor, not a design spec and b) it's a 30 to 40 year maximum capacity design criteria, and not a deliverable for 2025
I agree it will not be something happening soon. But that means the return on investment of raising the platform isn't likely to be realized any time soon. If on complete new builds of stations now they aren't putting in raised platforms, why would they later? I don't see how that expense ever becomes a priority until it becomes a limiting factor.
 
but some of the headways will be the result of branching, eg if Stouffville and LSE will be 15 minute services, the Kingston Sub will see 7.5 minute headways.... but that's not a regional subway, it's just a track and signal system that handles many GO trains.
Except service is going to be much more than this on both lines, more comparable to a subway especially when you combine their headways on the Kingston sub
 
View attachment 458398

Cold day but lots of work ongoing. Big year for Maple GO!

Looks like underground structural work is completed on the west platforms for access to the two tunnels.
South of the accessibility platform is closed and piles were completed this week for the start of that tunnel access work.
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2023 coming to a close with asphalt in December! Big push here by Kenaidan to get this area wrapped up before winter season.
West platform looks to be complete with just finishes ongoing to the 2 elevator/stair buildings.

Next stage is always interesting, at Rutherford they used a combo of a temporary wooden platform and the new bridge to complete the main platform.
Here they may use the southern portion of the eastern track with doors only opening south of the accessibility coach?
 

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