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GO Transit Electrification (Metrolinx, Proposed)

Jeff Morgan

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Allandale25

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^ There were some charts in a Steve Munro blog post from a few years ago. This is the last (fiscal) year on them.


Also, this Star story had a graphic as well: https://www.theifp.ca/news-story/5565230-go-to-add-almost-50-per-cent-more-trains-in-the-next-five-years/

Here's Steve's chart beside the Star one.

199295
 
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ssiguy2

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Not train news per se but it's implications for all travel modes {including rail} are huge...………...

ZeroAvia {a California based company} has announced that it has begun manufacturing of hydrogen PLANES that will be available by 2022. The planes are regional and will have capacity of 10 to 20 seats and have a range of 500 miles so almost everywhere flights go out of Billy Bishop. Boeing and Airbus are also developing hydrogen planes that will have longer ranges and higher capacity as all airlines are feeling the heat to dramatically reduce or eliminate their huge carbon footprints just as train and car companies have. These development exemplify not only the dizzying pace of hydrogen development and deployment but also how manufacturers are pouring billions to move towards a hydrogen economy.
 

raptor

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Not train news per se but it's implications for all travel modes {including rail} are huge...………...

ZeroAvia {a California based company} has announced that it has begun manufacturing of hydrogen PLANES that will be available by 2022. The planes are regional and will have capacity of 10 to 20 seats and have a range of 500 miles so almost everywhere flights go out of Billy Bishop. Boeing and Airbus are also developing hydrogen planes that will have longer ranges and higher capacity as all airlines are feeling the heat to dramatically reduce or eliminate their huge carbon footprints just as train and car companies have. These development exemplify not only the dizzying pace of hydrogen development and deployment but also how manufacturers are pouring billions to move towards a hydrogen economy.
hydrogen storage is quite dangerous, just saying
 

crs1026

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I wonder what (if anything) the recent announcement about GO train expansion means for RER.

The recent announcement had some positive gains that demonstrate progress, but the big news is mostly what’s going on elsewhere.

The improvements on the Kitchener Line are the most significant because they seem to indicate a breakthrough, or at least a crack in the wall, in the previous impasse with CN over the use of its Halton line. That’s good news.... but ML still has to invest a great deal more in the CN line and its own line through Guelph to fulfil a basic RER footprint. The new service plan plus the completion of the fourth track to Bramalea (in progress) is just enough of a taste of better things that public pressure is likely irreversible. The big impact in my view is that from this point, few pols of any stripe will stand in the way of spending the money. We may have passed the tipping point of public support on this line. The big thing to watch for is a public announcement of agreement with CN and some sort of procurement for Halton expansion.

The Hamilton improvements also reflect CN cooperation, plus finally extracting some value from a rather substantial investment in a new station and track that was virtually a white elephant for several years now. The added peak trains will be well received, but that just makes it clearer that ML really doesn’t have a strategy or assets to serve Hamilton by 2WAD. To move forward from this point, there has to be a firm plan backed up by lots of money. I don’t see evidence of this. ML is buying time here.

The Niagara service is window dressing and short term pain relief. Improving Niagara service is a spend-or-get-off-the-pot proposition. ML and the province are still playing charades here.

The big picture status report on RER is in what wasn’t said. Stouffville improvements are mostly in the bag, ML mostly just needs time to finish work already underway. Barrie is in the bag, but ML is only just breaking ground on construction.There won’t be any good news on the Barrie line for several years, so expect lots of similar announcements that address expectations and construction impacts on neighbouring communities. Meanwhile, LSE has been quietly deferred. That’s reality sinking in.... the Liberals played up RER as one big package but couldn’t afford it as such. ML has quietly decided on its priorities and aligned them with the funding that the new government will provide. We can debate ML’s priorities - every community wants to be first in line - but someone has to be last. I deplore ML’s lack of transparency and political timidity, but I support their stepping up to make tough decisions.

So, we will have Barrie, Stouffville, and Kitchener on their way towards equalling LSE/LSW as diesel powered, full service lines. That’s a big accomplishment. As for the electrified, 15 minute vision....that’s waay down the road, no way we will have that by 2025 IMHO.

The reality for ML is that they will have to make small gains sound awesome, until they have done enough construction to enable the big gains that get us somewhere meaningful. The previous government entered “silly season” with its incessant puffery over little things.. This government does some of that, but the bigger gains are quietly happening.

- Paul
 
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dowlingm

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I'm wondering whether VIA is going to get squeezed on the Kitchener route as GO gets faster and puts on these midday/evening/express-ish trains.
 

crs1026

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^ A lot will depend on how much GO improves the timings especially by making more Kitchener trains express for the inner part of the route. VIA will always be able to market through service connecting to points east of Toronto, and the London-Windsor route has growth potential. But if GO trip time decreases, and assuming VIA fares remain above GO’s, there won’t be a lot of advantage in taking VIA instead.

The slots that VIA may have on paper don’t really stand for anything without capacity additions. Nobody - GO or VIA - can run a morning westbound against all the peak GO trains. In that sense, ML has soaked up all the existing capacity on the line. Of course, GO has shelled out a lot of money, where VIA hasn’t.

- Paul
 

W. K. Lis

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The key for GO Transit expansion is additional tracks on the right-of-ways.

For example. They want to add a fifth set of tracks on the CP Rail line that goes over the Scarlett Road Bridge at St. Clair Avenue West & Dundas Street West. That is why it is taking so long to get started on widening that bridge, they want to design it for the fifth set of tracks. From link.

Other challenges that are adding to the complexity of the project include:
  • ensuring resiliency in the stormwater management system to address climate change
  • identifying opportunities to minimize impacts of the bridge project to private property
  • negotiation of a construction agreement with CP Rail
  • ongoing discussions with CP Rail about a planned fifth track and the relocation of the rail signal bridge
 

smallspy

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The added peak trains will be well received, but that just makes it clearer that ML really doesn’t have a strategy or assets to serve Hamilton by 2WAD. To move forward from this point, there has to be a firm plan backed up by lots of money. I don’t see evidence of this. ML is buying time here.

- Paul
This is not true, although I will agree that it's not painfully obvious.

There is a plan afoot - the hope is that it will start to be unveiled as part of the October service improvements. The (partial) completion of the trackwork in the Bayview/Desjardins area is the first - and very positive - step in the process.

Dan
 

mdrejhon

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About the rumored new north platform at West Harbour as a workaround...

I really hope the formerly-seasonal Niagara semiexpress service (the one that skips lots of stations) stops in West Harbour eventually. The train is already going slow due to the low speed limit, the geometry enforced by the lake curve and railyard, and the dwell can thus be brief. With the Desjardins bridge, the time savings may now exist to do it with zero schedule impact?

I see piecemeal construction towards Niagara. Sure "Taking Merry Time" construction but looks like WH can now easily activate allday 2way once it's a through-station. All the pre-requisites are live except for the mistake of keeping West Harbour a spur station this long, forcing it to miss many trains (...Niagara...)
 
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ssiguy2

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Service is important but remember guys we have a thread for GO service and this is an electrification thread.

Hydrogen technology is safe and is currently used throughout the world in many different applications including chemicals, transit buses, European trains, ferries, and even trams in China. There are over 2500 hydrogen cars in Japan alone. Hydrogen is highly flammable but there are many safeguards already in place which is why it is safe. In fact many state that hydrogen is safer than diesel of natural gas because those products have to be transported over very long distances to get to their respective fueling stations but this is not required with hydrogen as it can be produced at source using electrolysis. If hydrogen wasn't safe to use than none of these application would be currently in use.

The reality is that hydrogen is already used in many applications all over the world and just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there. Unfortunately for the industry, hydrogen {until recently} has a negative reputation because you still have morons who think everything with hydrogen is going to blow up because it happened on the Hindenburg 85 years ago. This is much like monorails which stupid people think can't work because they heard it on a Simpson's song but try telling that to the 400,000 who use their new system in Sao Paulo or the 900,000 who use monorail everyday in Chongqing.
 

crs1026

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The reality is that hydrogen is already used in many applications all over the world and just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.
True enough.

I was in Ohio recently near a busy railroad line, and a local pointed out to me that all the CTC bungalows had been fitted out with hydrogen-powered backup power cells. I was impressed, for several reasons, but the proof was there.

We still need to see a higher-powered rail traction application that has reached maturity. And we need codes and standards for Hydrogen in Ontario.

- Paul
 

ssiguy2

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More news on the hydrogen & battery front:

TerraWatt Industries of Santa Clara Cal have come out with a revolutionary solid state battery that greatly increases it's power density. The maximum right now is 260 watts/hr/kg and the new batter takes that to 432.....a huge jump. As a base example on a smaller scale, that would take the 2011 Nissan Leaf from a range of 70 miles to 220 miles on the exact same size battery. This allows vehicles {like trains} travel 3X as long without recharging or conversely dropping the weight of the batteries needed currently by 2/3 which is a very big deal as the weight of the batteries themselves are often viewed as one of battery trains biggest drawbacks. The batteries also last longer. It will be available by late 2021.

ProtonTechnologies of Calgary has come out with a game changer for hydrogen. It has developed a way to take hydrogen out of current & dormant oil wells and the oil sands with zero emissions. What's more is that most of the infrastructure to do so is already part of the wells themselves and the cost would drop from currently $2/hr kilo of hydrogen down to just $0.10 to $0.50. and implementation of large scale production could begin within 18 months.

The rate of changes and new technologies in both batteries and hydrogen {and hence how they can be used on passenger rail} is truly numbing.
 
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