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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

The bolded is key. The Ontario Line will go further north, almost certainly to Sheppard, and possibly Finch (Seneca College) or beyond.

There is no way we're going to invest in duplicating work in that corridor.

Where there may be a more interesting investment on the Richmond Hill Corridor is from Don Mills (north of Lawrence) northwards, where its plausible one could have an interchange w/the Ontario Line.

Alternatively, from Sheppard northwards, since that would provide an interchange w/Sheppard's Line 4 and a connection to the Ontario Line at Don Mills Station.
re. bolded part. The may just add 10min with the double transfers. The ridership between Langstaff and Leslie/Oriole will be so low they might as well truncate the line at Langstaff.
How feasible would it be to run two branches of the Ontario Line past Lawrence - one towards Senaca College, the other taking over Richmond Hill line? They can replace Old Cummer with a Steeles and/or John St. station on the Richmond Hill route.
 
How feasible would it be to run two branches of the Ontario Line past Lawrence - one towards Senaca College, the other taking over Richmond Hill line? They can replace Old Cummer with a Steeles and/or John St. station on the Richmond Hill route.

There's is no reason it couldn't be made feasible on any portion of track not shared with freight, and where double-track can be provided at most points along the route (moderns signals can handle some controlled-access single-track sections)

Obviously the maximum frequency is 50% of the maximum of the combined line to the south.

So if the service max's at every 2' in the southern portion, it will max at every 4' on the branch lines.

Off-peak the same, so every every 5' becomes every 10'

GO and the O/L both use standard gauge; obviously any electrical infra needed for the O/L would have to extended on to the extant corridor.

Where the line is shared with freight, there would a problem.

Obviously, of course, this is an added cost, it should be said, and I think a northern extension should probably be built straight north to Seneca first; while future-proofing a branch line connection if that is desired.
 
A reminder to everyone trying to give away a heavy rail route into downtown that even if somehow GO Transit doesn’t need that route, VIA (Canadian) does. How much GO needs it is not merely dependent on the Richmond Hill service but also how long they will need the York Mills layover yard.
 
There's is no reason it couldn't be made feasible on any portion of track not shared with freight, and where double-track can be provided at most points along the route (moderns signals can handle some controlled-access single-track sections)

Obviously the maximum frequency is 50% of the maximum of the combined line to the south.

So if the service max's at every 2' in the southern portion, it will max at every 4' on the branch lines.

Off-peak the same, so every every 5' becomes every 10'

GO and the O/L both use standard gauge; obviously any electrical infra needed for the O/L would have to extended on to the extant corridor.

Where the line is shared with freight, there would a problem.

Obviously, of course, this is an added cost, it should be said, and I think a northern extension should probably be built straight north to Seneca first; while future-proofing a branch line connection if that is desired.
It might be useful to start adding a cost consideration to many of the ideas that are promoted on UT (and I am as guilty as anyone in promoting a good 'cause' without much thought to any budget or cost considerations). If we had our own FAO office to add some relevant cost considerations to these ideas, which are mainly public dollar investments, our ambitions and our planning might be revised.

For instance, the Original Ontario Line was budgeted around $11 billion when announced. As of 2022 the cost has about doubled with a completion date of 2031, so certainly room for that number to expand. Would anyone wish to hazard an estimate on extending the line in two directions?

For budgetary reasons its important to review what the province does with its revenues. The Ontario Government already subsidizes electrical power costs (7 billion) the price of gas (almost a billion), transit fares, expenses for owning a car etc.....the Ontario Deficit will be about $10 billion next year, the Provincial Debt is over $400 billion (and debt service will cost about $14 billion per year. Our GDP growth is below 2%, perhaps less then 1% next year, and unemployment sits at around 6.2%. Its not a tremendously rosy picture as the government insists on reducing taxes, yet increasing services (we all support this, but at what cost)

So extensions to Richmond Hill and Seneca? Built alongside or over existing track and replacing, adding to, or augmenting any other existing services? Outside of any purely political consideration (which we all recognize has a significant impact on these decisions) do we have a business case to support this idea with the added estimation of the costs to build and operate such extensions? I don't really know the areas well enough to speculate, but perhaps others have thoughts.
 
For one thing, the flooding in the Lower Don is being mitigated as we type. That’s not going to be as much of an issue in the future.

As for Via HF/SR, I would not be shocked if they took a route from the CP Havelock Sub down to a new connection to the GO Uxbridge Sub in Agincourt. CP is going to demand some serious track capacity improvements, with the viaducts over the East Don and West Don going to be pricey. Who knows for sure, though.
 
It might be useful to start adding a cost consideration to many of the ideas that are promoted on UT (and I am as guilty as anyone in promoting a good 'cause' without much thought to any budget or cost considerations). If we had our own FAO office to add some relevant cost considerations to these ideas, which are mainly public dollar investments, our ambitions and our planning might be revised.

Lots of us here can put reasonable guestimates on cost. They will be class 5 estimates or class 4 at best when there's no detailed engineering or drawings to work with, but they'll be vaguely in the ballpark, in current $.
I've provided these for those speculating on Sheppard Subway Extensions.

For instance, the Original Ontario Line was budgeted around $11 billion when announced. As of 2022 the cost has about doubled with a completion date of 2031, so certainly room for that number to expand.

Its important to note that the government has muddled many costs in its O/L numbers, these include maintenance and operation, rolling stock and construction of the Maintenance and Storage Facility etc.
There's also the matter of financing costs which will vary based on what portion of a project is cash from current and whether the financing is private or public.

This is important to note, because while its likely one would acquire extra rolling stock for extensions, one would hope not to need an additional MSF at least for modest expansion.

Would anyone wish to hazard an estimate on extending the line in two directions?

No, LOL. I could try to get some high level numbers, but I would need to know what route someone has in mind to provide an estimate.

For budgetary reasons its important to review what the province does with its revenues. The Ontario Government already subsidizes electrical power costs (7 billion) the price of gas (almost a billion), transit fares, expenses for owning a car etc.....the Ontario Deficit will be about $10 billion next year, the Provincial Debt is over $400 billion (and debt service will cost about $14 billion per year. Our GDP growth is below 2%, perhaps less then 1% next year, and unemployment sits at around 6.2%. Its not a tremendously rosy picture as the government insists on reducing taxes, yet increasing services (we all support this, but at what cost)

I am very much of the view that:

a) Taxes need to be raised.

b) As a matter of principle, revenues should align w/expenses excepting wars and extraordinary recessions.

c) The government can and should spend its money more wisely. (I'm not a champion of corporate welfare/regional development funds, or P3s); on electricity, I don't like the form of the current subsidy, but i don't think maximal rate hikes make sense either. I'd rather transfer a portion of Hydro One/OPG's debt to the general government account, as a one-time cost, and apply the interest savings to reduce the base rate of electricity. I'd also prefer to do away with time-of-day pricing as I don't feel it was well conceived, most people simply can't load shift; and its a terrible penalty to shift workers or others who may have schedules in conflict w/said rates.

A simplified rate structure with no 'subsidy' in it; one charge for power + distribution (there really is no point in breaking these out from the consumer point of view as you can't change either one); the same usage charge applies at all times, I think would be more efficient, more sustainable, more popular even at a slightly higher net rate than today.

So extensions to Richmond Hill and Seneca? Built alongside or over existing track and replacing, adding to, or augmenting any other existing services? Outside of any purely political consideration (which we all recognize has a significant impact on these decisions) do we have a business case to support this idea with the added estimation of the costs to build and operate such extensions?

The City of Toronto did cover the extension of the Ontario Line to the north in a recent report and ranked it highly, its a high level document, but the case is solid. No one outside of UT has seriously contemplating running two branches. I was merely answering a question in relation to same.
 
As for Via HF/SR, I would not be shocked if they took a route from the CP Havelock Sub down to a new connection to the GO Uxbridge Sub in Agincourt. CP is going to demand some serious track capacity improvements, with the viaducts over the East Don and West Don going to be pricey. Who knows for sure, though.
All the indicationss I've seen, from the HFR (poor-scale) mapping, the cancellation of the yard on the ex-CP tracks under the poorly-named Prince Edward viaduct, and the realignment of the DRL/Ontario Line to use the rail tracks indicate they've decided against using the Uxbridge Sub (Stouffville Line).

With the Ontario Line sterilizing two of the six possible tracks along the Kingston sub, I don't see how there's much alternative to put VIA up the Don Valley. And it's a beautifully straight alignment, with the only really restrictive curve being around the West Don Lands. Rather than the (double) curves at Scarborough Junction and Agincourt - which are far enough out of Union, that it would slow the train.

This does indeed give more options for GO to use use that alignment for a fast service to Peterborough - or even Richmond Hill - where I believe the option for reactivating the Don Mills Trail still exists.

(alternatively, is a new GO viaduct connection, curving up along the DVP from the Wynford-Concorde are to the Bala sub south of Lawrence)

That said, I think the Yonge Line 1 extension to Langstaff GO could be the end of paid GO service on the Bala sub in the Don Valley,. I think that changing to the subway at Langstaff GO would be the more popular option for many of the riders from north of Langstaff.
 
All the indicationss I've seen, from the HFR (poor-scale) mapping, the cancellation of the yard on the ex-CP tracks under the poorly-named Prince Edward viaduct, and the realignment of the DRL/Ontario Line to use the rail tracks indicate they've decided against using the Uxbridge Sub (Stouffville Line).

With the Ontario Line sterilizing two of the six possible tracks along the Kingston sub, I don't see how there's much alternative to put VIA up the Don Valley.

Yes.

This does indeed give more options for GO to use use that alignment for a fast service to Peterborough - or even Richmond Hill - where I believe the option for reactivating the Don Mills Trail still exists.

Not at all likely.
 
Not at all likely.
Why not? The alignment is 30 metres wide (at Lawrence). Which is a couple of metres wider than the Kitchener line at Lawrence, which is to carry 4 tracks.

More than enough room for tracks and a path. Nothing would stop the province from reacquiring the land from the city.
 
I'd also prefer to do away with time-of-day pricing as I don't feel it was well conceived, most people simply can't load shift; and its a terrible penalty to shift workers or others who may have schedules in conflict w/said rates.
Off-topic but most people don't realize that they can adopt different pricing plans with the click of a mouse; TOU, tiered and Ultra Low Overnight. I switched from TOU to tiered at our last house and saved a couple hundred per year (I haven't re-done the numbers at our new place).
 
Why not? The alignment is 30 metres wide (at Lawrence). Which is a couple of metres wider than the Kitchener line at Lawrence, which is to carry 4 tracks.

More than enough room for tracks and a path. Nothing would stop the province from reacquiring the land from the city.

Lets start by going backwards; there is no unlimited pot of money, and the Ontario Line will go North its only ~900M east of this routing. Two rapid transit routes, 900M apart is exceedingly unlikely.

Then, there's the question of politics, removing a trail/park is not good politics, its exceedingly popular, just packed on nice weekends from May to October; its a potential swing riding; lots of Conservative voters, lots of Liberal voters; its a very rich area, with a litigious residents association.

Add to that, real estate potential; that dictates a lot of transit plans in this city, can someone make $$$ off it. Not when you've got the Bridle Path and the Botanical Garden just a few hundred meters away. There's no developable land west of Leslie for all intents and purposes, to the east/south you can't build anything tall until about the Donway if you don't want to leave the botanical garden with a billionaire patron in perpetual shadow..........

And at or east of the Donway is already approved for intensification, so there's no additional money there.

How's that for a start?

The small matter of running regular service over that trail requiring a very expensive fly under/over from the CP Mainline is also an issue.

For frequent service, you'd also have to grade separate Lawrence; plus you have do something for Bond Street and the East-West neighbourhood links you'd bulldoze; and then there's the protected ravine with endangered species you'd damage.

In summation, bad politics, prone to delay, redundant and costly.
 
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Lets start by going backwards; there is no unlimited pot of money, and the Ontario Line will go North its only ~900M east of this routing. Two rapid transit routes, 900M apart is exceedingly unlikely.

Then, there's the question of politics, removing a trail/park is not good politics, its exceedingly popular, just packed on nice weekends from May to October; its a potential swing riding; lots of Conservative voters, lots of Liberal voters; its a very rich area, with a litigious residents association.

Add to that, real estate potential; that dictates a lot of transit plans in this city, can someone make $$$ off it. Not when you've got the Bridle Path and the Botanical Garden just a few hundred meters away. There's no developable land west of Leslie for all intents and purposes, to the east/south you can't build anything tall until about the Donway if you don't want to leave the botanical garden with a billionaire patron in perpetual shadow..........

And at or east of the Donway is already approved for intensification, so there's no additional money there.

How's that for a start?

The small matter of running regular service over that trail requiring a very expensive fly under/over from the CP Mainline is also an issue.

For frequent service, you'd also have to grade separate Lawrence; plus you have do something for Bond Street and the East-West neighbourhood links you'd bulldoze; and then there's the protected ravine with endangered species you'd damage.

In summation, bad politics, prone to delay, redundant and costly.

If you use all those arguments, nothing would ever be built in this city.

If they were ever to make the existing Richmond Hill into a full-time line, like the other GO lines, the environmental impacts would surely be even worse.

I'm puzzled why the distance from Don Mills Road and the Ontario line is an issue. It's not further than the tracks the Richmond Hill line currently uses. And the first station north of Union (Oriole) is unchanged no matter which route you use.

Though personally, I don't think this is where they'll go. I'm thinking it's more likely that the line, simply starts at Langstaff GO.

It will also be interesting to see where the Ontario line goes, north of Eglinton. The DRL alignment that takes over the Richmond Hill line west of Don Mills Road to Langstaff GO is still an option. I suppose though, branches may make sense too, as ridership north of Eglinton will never be as high as the downtown segments.
 
I'm puzzled why the distance from Don Mills Road and the Ontario line is an issue. It's not further than the tracks the Richmond Hill line currently uses. And the first station north of Union (Oriole) is unchanged no matter which route you use.
Minor nitpick, but if you move the RH line to follow the Midtown Line for that section, you can easily justify building a station at Sunnybrooke Park to connect to Line 5.
 
Kitchener double track update, 5 April 2024:

The first phase of the Breslau double track segment is physically complete:

The switch configuration is bizarre. The switch at the west end has the north track as the through route while the switch at the east end has the south track as the through route. So trains always need to slow from 70 mph (112 km/h) to 45 mph (72 km/h) to switch tracks even if they're not meeting any train in the opposite direction.

The platform at Breslau station will be on the north side, so the west switch should have been installed the other way around to allow the train bypassing the station to pass through at full speed. The stopping train needs to slow regardless of the switches.

The Kitchener line website says that there's an upcoming contract to extend the second track further east but that would replace the eastern switch, not the western one.

Although the Guelph second platform is nearly complete and the switch at the east end of the second track is in service, there has been little to no work on the west end of the second track.


Here's my estimate of the status of the various double-track elements.
Base = hourly local service
Extra = one additional train per hour (GO express during peak periods, CN or VIA off-peak)
GuelphSub_2024-04.PNG

GuelphSub_Legend.PNG
 
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