News   May 27, 2024
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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

In terms of what we know is in progress, and what ought to be, here's a re-sort -

Things that are doable to completion by year end are:

Opening a segment of the 4th track on the Weston Sub with service improvements
Opening Mount Dennis station (LRT or not)
Completing the Breslau and Guelph sidings and opening Guelph as a 2-platform station
Opening the east end connection at West Harbour with service improvements
Service agreement with CN confirming scope of construction and assuring eventual service plan (with clear milestones) for Halton Sub (Kitchener)
Evening service to Unionville/Stouffville

Things that ML should be able to advance to "shovels in the ground" this year, but may take to 2025 to build:

The West Highland Creek bridge (Stouffville line)
Acton siding
Bloor station 4th track and Railpath
Third track through Brampton
Third track and flyover Norval-Georgetown-Silver
Station improvements at Georgetown
Mount Joy Passing Track
CTC Clifton - Niagara Falls
Confederation GO extension
Separate track for Barrie line Strachan-Parkdale
Second track and signalling Parkdale-Sheppard (Barrie Line)
Second track and signalling Concord-Maple (Barrie Line)
Second track and signalling where planned King-Aurora (Barrie Line)

Things that ML should be able to advance to procurement in 2024

Woodbine Station and fourth track Humberview-Wice, third track Wice-Airway
Double track Kennedy to Scarborough Jct

Things that are major projects with longer deliverables

Restoring 3rd track and adding 4th track Cherry St - Scarborough Jct
Bloor station connection to Dundas West subway
Union Station reconfiguration
Bowmanville extension

- Paul
 
Double track Kennedy to Scarborough Junction is waiting on the flyunder there, which will be a huge project. I believe it's included in the GO expansion contract, but it will be years until it's completed due to it's complexity.
 
Double track Kennedy to Scarborough Junction is waiting on the flyunder there, which will be a huge project. I believe it's included in the GO expansion contract, but it will be years until it's completed due to it's complexity.

Metrolinx removed the flyover from their project plan.

They deferred it to ONCorr to consider the utility of; but have a standing plan to go ahead w/o it, at some future point.
 
The quad track segment that they built last year is from just east of Islington to just south of Weston Station.

The segment west of Islington will be part of a completely separate project which involves demolishing Etobicoke North station and realigning the tracks to use the new tunnels. Under Islington the plan is to extend the road underpass to the south with a new span for a 4th track.

Extract from Metrolinx OnCorridor Public Information Centre #3 Draft conceptual design roll plans, November 2020:
View attachment 532241
Got it, looks like they'll build a new retaining wall and put it south of the columns...a mirror of where the road is on the other side. Explains why the deck won't be impacted.
1704908869980.png
 
Metrolinx removed the flyover from their project plan.

They deferred it to ONCorr to consider the utility of; but have a standing plan to go ahead w/o it, at some future point.
There would still be the grade separation with Danforth Rd, by lowering the railway corridor, not a simple project even without the flyunder.
 
The quad track segment that they built last year is from just east of Islington to just south of Weston Station.

The segment west of Islington will be part of a completely separate project which involves demolishing Etobicoke North station and realigning the tracks to use the new tunnels. Under Islington the plan is to use the space under road overpass to the south of the southern support pillars.

Extract from Metrolinx OnCorridor Public Information Centre #3 Draft conceptual design roll plans, November 2020:
View attachment 532241

I really think MX needs to build a replacement station for Etobicoke North, a bit south of where it was. They are leaving a large community without transit after having it for 40 odd years.

They could run it alternating with Woodbine like they are doing for Park Lawn/Mimico.
 
I really think MX needs to build a replacement station for Etobicoke North, a bit south of where it was. They are leaving a large community without transit after having it for 40 odd years.

They could run it alternating with Woodbine like they are doing for Park Lawn/Mimico.
It has already been established that Etobicoke North will replaced by the new GO station at Hwy 27 on the grounds of Woodbine Racetrack. Etobicoke North does not provide "transit" to northern Etobicoke, it has never been more than an isolated park-and-ride facility.
 
It has already been established that Etobicoke North will replaced by the new GO station at Hwy 27 on the grounds of Woodbine Racetrack. Etobicoke North does not provide "transit" to northern Etobicoke, it has never been more than an isolated park-and-ride facility.
Exactly. It was stranded in the middle of an industrial area. Strange place for a commuter station.
 
It has already been established that Etobicoke North will replaced by the new GO station at Hwy 27 on the grounds of Woodbine Racetrack. Etobicoke North does not provide "transit" to northern Etobicoke, it has never been more than an isolated park-and-ride facility.
The Woodbine location is even further from the residential area that was barely close enough to EN.

I think there is a large gap now between Weston and Woodbine that could benefit from a station.
 
It has already been established that Etobicoke North will replaced by the new GO station at Hwy 27 on the grounds of Woodbine Racetrack. Etobicoke North does not provide "transit" to northern Etobicoke, it has never been more than an isolated park-and-ride facility.
It all comes down to who we’re trying to serve. Woodbine is better for Rexdale and transit connections more generally, but it is pretty far out the way of the old stations catchment. If park-and-riders were coming from the south, a station at Islington might function better by being more equidistant from Woodbine and Weston, while also being south of the 401 for better access from Westway/Kingsview area. Instead of crossing two highways, residents now have to cross neither, meaning bus travel times would probably be quite favourable compared to today.
 
I don't see much opportunity for Transit Oriented Development at Etobicoke North. The station is close to employment lands that are needed as such. Finch and Eglinton LRT is coming and will change commuting habits.
Certainly there are plenty of people who fill buses on Kipling and Islington, but I'm not sure a GO stop helps their trips any. Different origins and destinations.
I have a hunch that those parking lots are filled with cars from further away eg Woodbridge - if so, moving to Woodbine won't create disincentive for that ridership.
It would be interesting to see the ML data on Islington.

- Paul
 
Yes, yes yes!

Finally someone else says what I've thought for years. "Woodbine" Station (a name that will surely cause no confusion whatsoever) does NOT serve the community at all, it serves some industrial buildings and a casino (barely) with no opportunity for redevelopment due to being under the approach to Pearson Airport. If Etobicoke North must be demolished to build the fourth track, it should be rebuilt at Islington for the following reasons:
  • Islington is about halfway between "Woodbine" and Weston.
  • The parking lot at Weston fills up early every day and this would get even worse if Etobicoke North closes.
  • Islington has full highway access, unlike the current station location in which only one of four highway-to-street movements is possible (from the east).
  • There is enough land to build a station building and parking structure.
  • There is an existing residential community of single-family houses, a school, several high-density apartment buildings, a hotel, and office buildings including the ministry of the environment and ministry of labour.
  • There is a high-density community on the north side of the highway, about a 10 minute walk away.
  • Adriatic Rd, a small residential street immediately next to the potential station location, has been completely bought up by a developer with the intention of building a new condo tower.
  • Unlike the current Etobicoke North station which is only "served" by the Kipling bus (which stops a 400m walk away), Islington would be served by the Islington bus's A and B branches, which spread out all over northern Etobicoke. GO-TTC transfers will become even more important in the future as the province introduces integrated fares.
 
Yes, yes yes!

Finally someone else says what I've thought for years. "Woodbine" Station (a name that will surely cause no confusion whatsoever) does NOT serve the community at all, it serves some industrial buildings and a casino (barely) with no opportunity for redevelopment due to being under the approach to Pearson Airport.
Woodbine Racetrack station will have far better local coverage because unlike Etobicoke North, it will be directly served by frequent bus service on routes such as the 927 which connects it to the casino and Humber College, as well as new local bus routes to connect it to neighbourhoods to the north and northwest. Furthermore, a large portion of the community that the station will serve has not been built yet, it is part of the massive Woodbine Racetrack redevelopment (hence why Woodbine Entertainment Group is sharing the cost of the station in the first place).

Just because you can't build highrises or skyscrapers does not mean that the site cannot be redeveloped. It is possible to build at a fairly high density using midrise structures. Especially when the current land uses are vacant fields or parking lots, as is the case at Woodbine racetrack.

I agree the name Woodbine would be a bad idea due to the existing Woodbine station (which unlike this station is actually on Woodbine Ave). My preference is for "Pearson Junction" to highlight its utility for transferring from the UP Express to the Kitchener line, e.g. for passengers travelling to the airport from Kitchener and Guelph. Alternatively "Racetrack" or "Woodbine Racetrack" would be a name that acknowledges Woodbine Entertainment Group's contribution to the station without being duplicated by an existnig station.

If Etobicoke North must be demolished to build the fourth track, it should be rebuilt at Islington for the following reasons:
Etobicoke North does need to be demolished to build the fourth track. I agree that it would be nice to add an intermediate station between Woodbine Racetrack and Weston, but I don't think such a plan should stand in the way of completing the fourth track.
 
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Etobicoke North has 4 tracks with the current station being a centre platform one. Will require tunnels to the platform as the north track current access has to be close off. I don't how much freight traffic uses that north track with the downsizing of the industrial area that it currently service. The CN local switcher uses that track along with the fifth track to the west to swap cars for the industries and can tie up that track for an hour or two.

A track switch will have to be installed along with regrading of the area to service any remaining industries. This will allow that track to connect to the 409/401 tunnel. Parking is and has been an issue since the station first opened.

It is my understanding that there would be no connection between UPX and GO, but that most likely has changed since service on the line goes to Kitchener all day now.

It is one reason that I have always seen/call for a Y junction there along with a few Ministers for MTO going back as far as 2008 that would offer direct service to/from the airport west as far as London.

Again, not every station should have parking for it if good transit service can be had as well walk-in traffic.

Etobicoke North lacks transit service as well as walk-in, let alone density and is in an industrial area. Islington is a little better as it is in both employment land and residential area with more residential to the south than the north. Will not be fun walking over the 401/409 overpass especially during the winter months.

Woodbine station would be serviced by the car folks until the density development takes place for the racetrack as well having the Finch LRT connecting to it and the airport. Other than the racetrack there, employment land only with poor transit service.

Would pick up the wife at Etobicoke North when we were going west out of Toronto on the 401 than the Lakeshore West line as it was faster and easier to do. Those days are over since she hasn't worked downtown in decades.
 

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