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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

Stouffville when its running well goes from Unionville to Union very quickly, a few more stops with dedicated tracks and electrification will be fine.

I will say, that's subjective in terms of one's tolerance of commute time.

The travel time today is 41M, which certainly isn't terrible by Toronto standards. But unless you live walking distance from the station, that's not the last leg of your commute.

I consider 40M at my outer zone of tolerance. I know there are people who routinely spend twice that (and more) commuting daily; but perish the thought for me; ugh.

In that context, there is the question of how much time the additional stations will add / offset in part by electrification.

There is also the matter of commuters traveling from further upstream.
 
Stouffville really needs express service from Unionville that only stops at Kennedy and East Harbour to shorten trip times as much as possible for core ridership.
What are the planned frequencies for the Stouffville line? I hope they're robust, otherwise this proposal would end up pushing away local riders that live north and south of Unionville instead.
 
What are the planned frequencies for the Stouffville line? I hope they're robust, otherwise this proposal would end up pushing away local riders that live north and south of Unionville instead.
The frequencies they’re planning aren’t publicised yet, the 2018 business case is inaccurate but I guess that’s the only source for you to go off of
 
From the 2018 Business Case, no doubt much revisited and impacted by Smarttrack since then

- Paul

1712768607541.png
 
I will leave the speeds on existing turnouts to others........

But a #20 generally permits a speed of up to 45mph in the cross over ~72km/ph. * there are factors that cause this to vary.

Here's list of some North American turnouts and their speeds:

View attachment 555193
Here's the more complicated math, which I will leave others to explain:

View attachment 555195

The above is from : https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/docs/programs/eir_memos/Proj_Guidelines_TM2_1_3R00.pdf
Further to this.....

The speeds of the various turnouts are established by the individual railroads themselves, and are also adjusted by case - a single-turnout leading away from the tangent in a spiral will have a higher allowed speed than a crossover, which would induce a back-and-forth, side-to-side swaying motion on the rolling stock. On CN (and VIA and GO, who use the same engineering standards), #20 turnouts are good for 45mph in a crossover configuration - #16s are good for 30mph, and #12s, 15mph. It should also be noted that this is lower than the "safe" speed, but is applied as a hard speed limit on all trains traversing through them.

#24s are an old standard and exceedingly rare, and don't exist in Canada.

There are two additional, higher speed sizes that have been standardized by AREMA and Amtrak: #27.6 and #32.7. These allow for 60mph and 80mph, respectively, when configured as crossovers.

And there are higher speed standards used elsewhere in the World, but their geometries are suspect in the North American sphere of operation. There have been ongoing tests with different geometries at the AAR's TTC in Pueblo, with some showing some promise. Those turnouts listed in the image linked above were originally shut down by the FRA, before stepping back upon the introduction of testing at the TTC.

Dan
 
Further to this.....

The speeds of the various turnouts are established by the individual railroads themselves, and are also adjusted by case - a single-turnout leading away from the tangent in a spiral will have a higher allowed speed than a crossover, which would induce a back-and-forth, side-to-side swaying motion on the rolling stock. On CN (and VIA and GO, who use the same engineering standards), #20 turnouts are good for 45mph in a crossover configuration - #16s are good for 30mph, and #12s, 15mph. It should also be noted that this is lower than the "safe" speed, but is applied as a hard speed limit on all trains traversing through them.

#24s are an old standard and exceedingly rare, and don't exist in Canada.

There are two additional, higher speed sizes that have been standardized by AREMA and Amtrak: #27.6 and #32.7. These allow for 60mph and 80mph, respectively, when configured as crossovers.

And there are higher speed standards used elsewhere in the World, but their geometries are suspect in the North American sphere of operation. There have been ongoing tests with different geometries at the AAR's TTC in Pueblo, with some showing some promise. Those turnouts listed in the image linked above were originally shut down by the FRA, before stepping back upon the introduction of testing at the TTC.

Dan

As a general question, would it be benefits if they had turnouts with higher speeds? Is it a worry that they aren't going higher?
 
For reference, many (most?) of the mainline switches on the Dutch network that are regularly used but aren't near stations have a turnout speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). Here's one I used to pass through on my way to work:

High-speed switches are not some cutting-edge technology, they are commonplace outside of North America.
 
For reference, many (most?) of the mainline switches on the Dutch network that are regularly used but aren't near stations have a turnout speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). Here's one I used to pass through on my way to work:


High-speed switches are not some cutting-edge technology, they are commonplace outside of North America.
It's honestly hilarious how we are so in awe of tech that is commonplace overseas. So much for north America being the bastion of progress and technology. We are still stuck in 1950
 
It's honestly hilarious how we are so in awe of tech that is commonplace overseas. So much for north America being the bastion of progress and technology. We are still stuck in 1950

Those other systems are in awe of our 15,000 foot long freight trains with axle loadings much higher than their railcars. Which may be why we are more conservative in design.

Our signalling is also standardised around those 45, 30, and 15 mph standards. It is a lot of work to slide a 50 mph turnout into a signal and rules protocol that is designed for 45. USRC has installed lots of 25 mph turnouts, but with signalling not yet upgraded, 15 mph remains what is allowed.

Do we need 80 mph crossovers? In places, maybe. But they are less useful than one might think, unless the whole signal and track system is designed for that. And they cost more, to install and to maintain.

- Paul.
 
Those other systems are in awe of our 15,000 foot long freight trains with axle loadings much higher than their railcars. Which may be why we are more conservative in design.

Our signalling is also standardised around those 45, 30, and 15 mph standards. It is a lot of work to slide a 50 mph turnout into a signal and rules protocol that is designed for 45. USRC has installed lots of 25 mph turnouts, but with signalling not yet upgraded, 15 mph remains what is allowed.

Do we need 80 mph crossovers? In places, maybe. But they are less useful than one might think, unless the whole signal and track system is designed for that. And they cost more, to install and to maintain.

- Paul.
The only place you need high-speed crossovers is in the NEC where passenger trains travel at high speed if needed.

How often does GO trains need to do a fast crossover which is small in the first place? Been on several trains that have done the crossover outside of Union. Even on VIA trains.

The significant difference between Europe and NA is the Europe passenger train network which is non-existent in NA. Europe freight trains do not come close to NA system. They play second fiddle to passenger trains while it is the opposite in NA where one does run.
 
Those other systems are in awe of our 15,000 foot long freight trains with axle loadings much higher than their railcars. Which may be why we are more conservative in design.

Our signalling is also standardised around those 45, 30, and 15 mph standards. It is a lot of work to slide a 50 mph turnout into a signal and rules protocol that is designed for 45. USRC has installed lots of 25 mph turnouts, but with signalling not yet upgraded, 15 mph remains what is allowed.

Do we need 80 mph crossovers? In places, maybe. But they are less useful than one might think, unless the whole signal and track system is designed for that. And they cost more, to install and to maintain.

- Paul.
I'm not sure what actual rule changes this would require (or whether TC would actually consider this adequate), but the most logical way to fit high speed turnouts into the CROR rules would be to use the flashing green limited speed aspects with a plaque - the same way the solid green medium speed aspects can be "upgraded" to limited speed.

In practice the high speed switches on the NEC are signaled with cab signals, and TC could very well require the same for any high speed switches in Canada.

Also, if both legs of a turnout are suitable for the full line speed then I'm 90% sure the standard clear aspect can be used for both legs (there can be a separate indicator like a flashing arrow on the preceding signal to indicate switch position). I think some of the turnouts on the Halton sub are signaled this way. The CROR signal rules are concerned with speeds, not routes, though it is usually but certainly not always possible to infer a route from a signal indication.
 
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The only place you need high-speed crossovers is in the NEC where passenger trains travel at high speed if needed.
This is not true. Here are some high-speed turnouts in the United States that are not on the Northeast Corridor that I found with a few minutes of googling:

- 60 mph (97 km/h) turnout on the BNSF Bakersfield Subdivision at milepost 892.4 Lopez
- 80 mph (129 km/h) turnouts on the Long Island Rail Road at Queens interlocking
- 80 mph (129 km/h) turnout on the Brightline Orlando subdivision at control point Orlando West:

How often does GO trains need to do a fast crossover which is small in the first place? Been on several trains that have done the crossover outside of Union. Even on VIA trains.
Well, any express train that needs to switch to an express track away from the start/end of its express segment (e.g. at Guildwood, Mimico, etc) currently needs to slow to 45 mph to turn out. Any location where trains meet on a single track line away from a station (e.g. in Breslau), trains need to slow to 45 mph to turn out. If the turnout speed were higher, those trains wouldn't need to slow down as much.

Sure, we could design the network with enough tracks that express trains never need to switch away from the start and end of their express segments, but that would require building way more tracks (i.e. lots more quad track rather than triple track, and double track rather than single track).

The significant difference between Europe and NA is the Europe passenger train network which is non-existent in NA. Europe freight trains do not come close to NA system. They play second fiddle to passenger trains while it is the opposite in NA where one does run.
Those other systems are in awe of our 15,000 foot long freight trains with axle loadings much higher than their railcars. Which may be why we are more conservative in design.
As I mentioned above, high-speed turnouts do exist in North America. And besides, we're not talking about North America vaguely, we are talking about the Metrolinx-owned portions of the GO Transit network, which have minimal freight traffic.

Our signalling is also standardised around those 45, 30, and 15 mph standards. It is a lot of work to slide a 50 mph turnout into a signal and rules protocol that is designed for 45. USRC has installed lots of 25 mph turnouts, but with signalling not yet upgraded, 15 mph remains what is allowed.
Well ONExpress is proposing to install ETCS, in which case there's really no limitation on what speed can be indicated. I always found it hilariously constricting that the Canadian signalling standard requires locomotive operators to memorize a bunch of different combinations of colours and flashing indications corresponding to a specific set of speeds, instead of just putting the currently permitted speed on the signal like the ATB system does in the Netherlands. Not that that matters now anyway, since ATB is being replaced by ETCS.

Do we need 80 mph crossovers? In places, maybe. But they are less useful than one might think, unless the whole signal and track system is designed for that. And they cost more, to install and to maintain.
Well I would think that the usefulness of an 80 mph turnout is that if the track speed is 80 mph (129 km/h) you don't need to slow down to 45 mph (72 km/h) to change tracks, like you would with a standard turnout. As for the indication, how about "green over red, full speed ahead". It's also worth noting that equilateral switches are much smaller and cheaper than an asymmetric switch with the same turnout speed. So an equilateral switch where both routes allow 80 mph is much smaller and cheaper than the switch in the video above that allows 80 mph diverging and 125 mph tangent.

High speed switches are far more complex to maintain than standard switches so they definitely wouldn't be installed without good reason, but in the places where they allow a lot of trains to avoid slowing down, they also provide a lot of benefit in terms of reduced travel time and reduced energy consumption. And both of those things are good for the bottom line.
 
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As a general question, would it be benefits if they had turnouts with higher speeds? Is it a worry that they aren't going higher?
The benefits are that trains occupy that space for a shorter amount of time, which increases system capacity. As well, there is fuel saved by not having to decelerate and accelerate as much. And, of course, there's the overall time savings from a train that is able to operate at a higher average speed.

The drawbacks are that due to the size of the crossovers that they can't just be put anywhere - a single #20 crossover occupies almost 450 feet. Once you factor in additional crossovers, required tangents, etc., a plant containing only #20 crossovers can stretch a couple of thousand feet. Finding that much straight track without any limitations in either direction (curves + distance from them, bridges or culverts, level crossings, etc.) can be tricky in places. As well, due to the speeds and forces involved, larger switches generally require more maintenance.

It's honestly hilarious how we are so in awe of tech that is commonplace overseas. So much for north America being the bastion of progress and technology. We are still stuck in 1950
It's pretty easy to feel this way if you don't understand the physics involved, or don't actually do any research about how the railways around the world have progressed. There is a lot of railway tech that was developed in North America that the rest of the world is only finding out about now. Head-hardened rail, steel ties....the list goes on.

And as Paul has noted, some of the methodologies used elsewhere simply aren't applicable here. One of the testing facilities at the TTCI is a loop where they have mile long freight trains running at 60mph pulling cars weighted to 125t run for hours and hours. And one of the things that they found there is that most of the switch designs used elsewhere in the world simply don't last as long as the designs used here. Does that mean that their designs are worse than ours? No - in means that in their sphere of operations, with their speeds and axle loadings that it may work, but with the way trains are operated in North America it's not ideal or practical, or even possible.

Dan
 
This is not true. Here are some high-speed turnouts in the United States that are not on the Northeast Corridor that I found with a few minutes of googling:

- 60 mph (97 km/h) turnout on the BNSF Bakersfield Subdivision at milepost 892.4 Lopez
- 80 mph (129 km/h) turnouts on the Long Island Rail Road at Queens interlocking
- 80 mph (129 km/h) turnout on the Brightline Orlando subdivision at control point Orlando West:


Well, any express train that needs to switch to an express track away from the start/end of its express segment (e.g. at Guildwood, Mimico, etc) currently needs to slow to 45 mph to turn out. Any location where trains meet on a single track line away from a station (e.g. in Breslau), trains need to slow to 45 mph to turn out. If the turnout speed were higher, those trains wouldn't need to slow down as much.

Sure, we could design the network with enough tracks that express trains never need to switch away from the start and end of their express segments, but that would require building way more tracks (i.e. lots more quad track rather than triple track, and double track rather than single track).



As I mentioned above, high-speed turnouts do exist in North America. And besides, we're not talking about North America vaguely, we are talking about the Metrolinx-owned portions of the GO Transit network, which have minimal freight traffic.


Well ONExpress is proposing to install ETCS, in which case there's really no limitation on what speed can be indicated. I always found it hilariously constricting that the Canadian signalling standard requires locomotive operators to memorize a bunch of different combinations of colours and flashing indications corresponding to a specific set of speeds, instead of just putting the currently permitted speed on the signal like the ATB system does in the Netherlands. Not that that matters now anyway, since ATB is being replaced by ETCS.


Well I would think that the usefulness of an 80 mph turnout is that if the track speed is 80 mph (129 km/h) you don't need to slow down to 45 mph (72 km/h) to change tracks, like you would with a standard turnout. As for the indication, how about "green over red, full speed ahead". It's also worth noting that equilateral switches are much smaller and cheaper than an asymmetric switch with the same turnout speed. So an equilateral switch where both routes allow 80 mph is much smaller and cheaper than the switch in the video above that allows 80 mph diverging and 125 mph tangent.

High speed switches are far more complex to maintain than standard switches so they definitely wouldn't be installed without good reason, but in the places where they allow a lot of trains to avoid slowing down, they also provide a lot of benefit in terms of reduced travel time and reduced energy consumption. And both of those things are good for the bottom line.
Thanks for posting that video. The visualisation of the Brightline turnout really helped me to better understand what it is you guys are talking about. I'm still fairly naïve when it comes to rail infrastructure, but always willing to learn more.

Seeing that video also made me realise that VIA's HFR project would have to be built to the same standards as Brightline.

It was mentioned earlier that GO wants to upgrade some of their turnouts to #20's. What are most of the turnouts on the GO network currently rated at? Any idea where they're adding #20 turnouts on the GO network?
 
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