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GO Transit Electrification (Metrolinx, Proposed)

Wm Perkins Bull

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it's almost like the SRT already drives itself, if only we lived in that world.
Jesus H Christ man, do your research! This is embarrassing. Not just for you, but the fact that Ontario spent billions in the ICTS UDTC program and people in this city don't even know that it used one of the most revolutionary self-driving technologies at the time, in 1985!
This was actually my point, we have had self driving rail for 35 years, but the future was stalled by unions and regulations, and even when done like the SkyTrain, it is still quite expensive. The real game changer is autonomous buses because they would be relatively cheap, and the operating systems are much less. This could make it much more affordable to build a major transit system, remember, even in Toronto, the bus system moves around as much as the subway (in normal times). Imagine if in addition to the electric GO RER, there was also a fleet of electric autonomous GO buses connecting Southern Ontario

So, the Vancouver SkyTrain?
That was the joke, but also the SRT can basically do it itself
 

ssiguy2

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[QUOTE="Allandale25, post: 1564458, member:
^ There's a June Board meeting coming up. I assume they'll mentioned the RFP for GO Expansion (which includes electrification) and any updates to the DBFOM model. In Metrolinx's defense, they made need to wait until the Finance ministry and Infrastructure Ontario provide an update/direction given what covid-19 has done to the finances of the Province.

That said, I recall a recent quote where Ford said no capital projects have changed.
[/QUOTE]

So by the term "update", I assume that they still haven't made up their minds. How many updates on a single decision can one transit agency make? Seriously, GO RER was announced over 5 years ago and they still haven't even decided what trains or technology they are going to use little alone build any. I know Torontonians are use to iinertia on the transit file but this really is scandalous.
 

Amare

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So by the term "update", I assume that they still haven't made up their minds. How many updates on a single decision can one transit agency make? Seriously, GO RER was announced over 5 years ago and they still haven't even decided what trains or technology they are going to use little alone build any. I know Torontonians are use to iinertia on the transit file but this really is scandalous.
And here lies the problem with transit "planning" in the province. The government does plan after plan, study after study, until the cows come home.

The amount of feet dragging that goes on is just laughable and shows they're not serious about this project.
 

lenaitch

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This was actually my point, we have had self driving rail for 35 years, but the future was stalled by unions and regulations, and even when done like the SkyTrain, it is still quite expensive. The real game changer is autonomous buses because they would be relatively cheap, and the operating systems are much less. This could make it much more affordable to build a major transit system, remember, even in Toronto, the bus system moves around as much as the subway (in normal times). Imagine if in addition to the electric GO RER, there was also a fleet of electric autonomous GO buses connecting Southern Ontario


That was the joke, but also the SRT can basically do it itself
Assuming 5G frequencies for full autonomy, the rule of thumb for tower range is ~500 metres. That's roughly 150 towers just for the corridor between Toronto and Barrie. Now let's consider winter.
 

rbt

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Assuming 5G frequencies for full autonomy, ...
What do you mean by 5G frequencies? 5G, like LTE before it, will be deployed on everything from 600Mhz (band 71 will be common in Canada) up to ensure full coverage. Lower spectrum with older technologies (like 2G/3G) will be redeployed to newer hardware. Also, 5G (New Radio) can be deployed on spectrum also used by LTE since both use time multiplexing.

It was designed to be capable of being deployed on very high frequencies but it is not restricted to them.
 
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drum118

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Both CN and CP have rejected electrification of their line due to Double stack cars and other things.

Maybe they should setup a test area of many KM to see what issue there maybe and how to fix it or deal with it.

If other counties around the world can do testing and then set the standards for the system why not in NA??

The big different between the world and NA, we run long trains over a 100 cars while most systems in Europe only see 40 cars, but testing longer trains at this time. Then, passenger service is top dog in Europe compare the opposite in NA.

End of the day, time to electrification all lines until another power source that clean comes along.

Indian Railways starts double-stack electric operation
 

Wm Perkins Bull

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Assuming 5G frequencies for full autonomy, the rule of thumb for tower range is ~500 metres. That's roughly 150 towers just for the corridor between Toronto and Barrie. Now let's consider winter.
5G is needed for full autonomy for cars, not buses, because cars need to be able to be fully autonomous everywhere while buses have predefined routes programmed in, with some detours. Fortunately the provincial government owns a strip of land that connects Toronto and Barrier that GO Transit would be able to use. I never said it would be around the corner, the areas where it will happen sooner is BRT, which has defined routes, and places where they can mount equipment, with dedicated lanes. In the nearer future, we could see advanced driver aids make it much easier for a place like Toronto to run 100ft bi-articulated buses, which offer major potential operating savings. YRT has BRT, MiWay & Brampton are going to build some, Toronto is looking at bus lanes, together they have the purchasing power to get bi-articulated buses offered by Canadian manufacturers, combined with tech Waterloo. to make them easier to run.
 

cplchanb

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Both CN and CP have rejected electrification of their line due to Double stack cars and other things.

Maybe they should setup a test area of many KM to see what issue there maybe and how to fix it or deal with it.

If other counties around the world can do testing and then set the standards for the system why not in NA??

The big different between the world and NA, we run long trains over a 100 cars while most systems in Europe only see 40 cars, but testing longer trains at this time. Then, passenger service is top dog in Europe compare the opposite in NA.

End of the day, time to electrification all lines until another power source that clean comes along.

Indian Railways starts double-stack electric operation
North american rail companies are only interested in the status quo. They have little ambition to improve and progress with the rest of the world. We are in the if it ain't broke don't fix it mentality and if spending a cent can be saved they will do it. That is also why there's so many derailments. Can and cp are either reactive or retroactive to infrastructures repair never proactive. If they were proactive, their mainlines would've been al electric by now.
 

crs1026

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^Our railways do many things that are penny wise and pound foolish, but sometimes the dollars just don’t lie. One has to look at all the costs and investments and ask if the return is there. Limping along with a threadbare operation seems to work quite well... at least, until it doesn’t. The cost of replacing even a few low bridges will buy a lot of diesel fuel, and the carbon loading of all that electrical infrastructure versus the diesel fuel burned, may be much closer on the spreadsheet than we admit.

Much is made of height as the limiting factor for North American electrification, and while that has a convenient argument (which India has clearly debunked!) I’m not sure that’s actually the true impediment.

To my mind, the risk is not in height but in the volume of hazardous material carried and the risk of adding a high voltage spark into that equation. What is the probability of mishaps over say 20 years? And if there is one mishap, what’s the gross end impact in terms of number of settlements paid, average amount per settlement, change in insurer behaviour etc? How much of that is borne by the railway and its shareholders, versus by the state? It would be interesting to know what the risk profiles for the Indian railways are and how the risk aversion of their regulatory and legal environments compare. I suspect the freight railways have thought this through in detail.

I’m not arguing against GO electrification, which should have happened years ago on GO’s own lines....but to ask why electrification is not favoured by our freight railroads, one has to look at all the legal, legislative, liability, and financial changes that would be needed to change their appetite.

- Paul
 
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lenaitch

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What do you mean by 5G frequencies? 5G, like LTE before it, will be deployed on everything from 600Mhz (band 71 will be common in Canada) up to ensure full coverage. Lower spectrum with older technologies (like 2G/3G) will be redeployed to newer hardware. Also, 5G (New Radio) can be deployed on spectrum also used by LTE since both use time multiplexing.

It was designed to be capable of being deployed on very high frequencies but it is not restricted to them.
I'm certainly no techy, but everything I have read says that higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths are necessary for the speed, capacity and lower latency required by fully autonomous vehicles and that those wave characteristics are part of the 5G rollout, and that those characteristics have very limited tower range. It's difficult to find articles that aren't either cheerleaders or predictors of evil in all things 5G. People who can effectively debate this do not include me.
 

rbt

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I'm certainly no techy, but everything I have read says that higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths are necessary for the speed, capacity and lower latency required by fully autonomous vehicles and that those wave characteristics are part of the 5G rollout, and that those characteristics have very limited tower range. It's difficult to find articles that aren't either cheerleaders or predictors of evil in all things 5G. People who can effectively debate this do not include me.
Bandwidth provides capacity. You can assemble an 40Mhz block at 600Mhz (as Rogers did) or at 2.6Ghz (which everybody got); it's just easier to do at 2.6Ghz because it doesn't "feel" as wide. Taking 40Mhz of 1Ghz is much easier than 40Mhz of 100Mhz. The amount of data you can shove around (speed) is also a function of bandwidth, not frequency.

It's possible for governments to auction off 1Ghz wide blocks in the 20Ghz to 600Ghz range but none have done that. It would be line of sight and outdoors only; even drywall and glass block 20Ghz.


Latency isn't frequency sensitive from a practical perspective for cellular (it is, but there are femtoseconds of difference on a multi millisecond process). Radio protocol changes were made between 3G, 4G, and 5G to decrease latency; those improvements apply at all cellular frequencies.

A 40Mhz chunk of 5G (which Rogers will deploy) will perform just as well in rural areas as their 40Mhz of 5G at 2.6Ghz will in urban areas. Higher spectrum helps with congestion due to large numbers of users so they can better manage sold simultaneous crowds at both Skydome and ACC.


Okay. Now for the self-driving vehicle problem. There are advantages to being able to process the data in a central datacenter rather than on the device; for the same reason that Google Assistant used to run on the central servers rather than on the device. It grants access to massively increased computational capacity.

Realistically, as we've already seen with other products like Google Assistant, they'll use that as a fallback capacity only. So, if the onboard computer doesn't recognize a certain situation (currently it pulls over and asks for human help), it'll send it's situational data to the server and ask if they can provide instruction (before pulling over and asking for human assistance) but it's a backup option for tricky scenarios only. Helpful to reduce pull-over events when available but cannot be relied on 100% to eliminate onboard computational equipment (at very least, telcos do regular maintenance which creates temporary outages).
 

Bureaucromancer

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Much is made of height as the limiting factor for North American electrification, and while that has a convenient argument (which India has clearly debunked!) I’m not sure that’s actually the true impediment.

To my mind, the risk is not in height but in the volume of hazardous material carried and the risk of adding a high voltage spark into that equation. What is the probability of mishaps over say 20 years? And if there is one mishap, what’s the gross end impact in terms of number of settlements paid, average amount per settlement, change in insurer behaviour etc? How much of that is borne by the railway and its shareholders, versus by the state? It would be interesting to know what the risk profiles for the Indian railways are and how the risk aversion of their regulatory and legal environments compare. I suspect the freight railways have thought this through in detail.

- Paul
I doubt the analysis really goes that deep; or at rather goes into more detail than these posts. It seems much more like the railroads look at it, see there are potentially issues, and that ALONE is enough for them to decide it's easier to resist all change than even consider further.

To my mind, enabling electrification by passenger operators is one of the major regulatory issues we have with mainline rail, on par with demanding priority scheduling, passenger access to track at all and allowing reasonably design equipment.
 

ssiguy2

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Both CN and CP have rejected electrification of their line due to Double stack cars and other things.

Maybe they should setup a test area of many KM to see what issue there maybe and how to fix it or deal with it.
Which is all the more reason why Metrolinx should have made the decision on single or double level trains BEFORE they put the contract out to tender. This, of course, would have Metrolinx to have made a decision about any thing to do with electrification which it has managed to avoid for a scandalous 5 years.

Now Metrolinx has to battle it out with CN & CP and of course Torontonians could be left with an inferior service due to the way they put out the tender. The tender is only interested in who can provide the service in the most cost effective way as opposed to what's best for the travelling public.
 

LeanMeanMemeMachine

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I’m not arguing against GO electrification, which should have happened years ago on GO’s own lines....but to ask why electrification is not favoured by our freight railroads, one has to look at all the legal, legislative, liability, and financial changes that would be needed to change their appetite.
10 to 15 years down the road, when hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric technologies in trains mature a bit, I could see either one of these technologies used for GO service on freight-owned corridors, since it would be somewhat of a win-win situation: GO gets low emissions service and the freight operators don't have power lines along their railways.
 

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