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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

anb

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So exactly why are they suppose to take this train? It certainly does squat for commuter because it LEAVES the city in the morning as opposed to the other way around. Can you imagine Toronto having it's GO commuter lines LEAVING the city in the morning? Of course not but apparently ML thinks this is how Londoners commute.
You can get to Detroit/Windsor from Toronto in under 4 hours, and London is the midpoint in between those 2 destinations so why would anybody take the train as a commuter service if it takes 4+ hours to travel only half the time it takes by car. This definitely can be used for other purposes such as airport travellers, via rail travellers who don't wanna pay more and are going east of Union, London-Kitchener commuters which is reasonable, or people who wanna take a vacation to lets say Owen Sound via Guelph for example. There are many different uses for this train and as GO is transitioning into its RER service, we shouldn't take this train service as a commuter oriented one despite the schedule because it isn't.
 

Northern Light

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I can't imagine there are merits. The line does not connect directly to anywhere useful in London,

A question about this....

I see the line arrives at the CN mainline only slightly east of downtown London, albeit, the tie-in pointing the wrong direction.

Assuming that the a connecting spur could be put in pointing west, and the line could terminate at the downtown London VIA station, would that materially alter your perception on its utility?

Also, if you know, did there used to be a full wye allowing a west-facing connection? I see sufficient room in the local ROW's to wonder.
 
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crs1026

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A question about this....

I see the line arrives at the CN mainline only slightly east of downtown London, albeit, the tie-in pointing the wrong direction.

Assuming that the a connecting spur could be put in pointing west, and the line could terminate at the downtown London VIA station, would that materially alter your perception on its utility?

Also, if you know, did there used to be a full-Y allowing a west-facing connection? I see sufficient room in the local ROW's to wonder.

The old London and Port Stanley depot was indeed at Richmond, across from the old CN station. Whether there was a wye, or whether they just backed in, I can’t say. Certainly if one were willing to acquire the land and move some roadways, a direct connection could be added. The buildings that are in the way are low value.

I’m not sure that such a connection would change the picture, however. London’s downtown houses only modest employment numbers. All of the educational and health facilities would require a transfer to a bus. A rail route into Central London would need a transit hub at its terminus. It would still be appealing (even with today’s congestion) to drive rather than take transit. And cheaper to improve bus service south of London. Until London gets serious about high-capacity transit corridors, it’s hard to contemplate connecting services.

That’s for commuting. For regional or intercity travel, one can suppose that St Thomas would generate some level of ridership…. but the “old days” of secondary lines with one or two departures a day are not going to return. Especially if the branch line has a high capital cost to create. Why would we run frequent service London- St Thomas when VIA service to London is not very frequent ?

It makes intuitive sense to add communities of St Thomas’ size to a backbone rail system…. but we need a backbone first…. in more than one sense.

- Paul
 

Krypto98

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It would be really funny if this sign was put up in St Mary and Stratford
20211012_100134.jpg
 

Urban Sky

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To be fair its going to be 45mph (70km/hr) by the end of the year
Below the corresponding blog post:
Earlier this spring, Metrolinx also conducted tests of improved signalling systems through the City of Guelph that will allow trains to safely travel at higher speeds.

Thanks to all that work, starting Oct. 25, 2021, GO train speed limits will start incrementally increasing, with three-week intervals between every increase:

• Increase from 10 mph to 20 mph starting October 25

• Increase from 20 mph to 30 mph starting November 15

• Increase from 30 mph to 45 mph starting December 6

To prepare for this, Metrolinx also recently completed upgrades at level crossings that will result in the cross arms, lights, and sounds responding to approaching trains much sooner.

 

reaperexpress

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Quick order-of-magnitude benefits of this new raised speed limit for the 1 mile (1.6 km) zone through Guelph:

1 mile @ 10 mph = 6 minutes
1 mile @ 45 mph = 1.3 minutes

Net time savings: 4.7 minutes

The trains of course need to accelerate from 10 mph to 45 mph within Guelph, but that should approximately cancel out with the time they used to need to accelerate from 10 mph to 45 mph west of Guelph (en route to 70 mph).

Kitchener Station - Guelph Station travel times assuming a conservative 3-minute improvement:
Current: 21 minutes (63.6 km/h average)
December: 18 minutes (74.2 km/h average)
By comparison, Google Maps estimates the car driving time at 29 minutes without traffic.

Once Kitchener Central Station opens (providing easy access to GO trains from across Waterloo Region) and Guelph Station gets its second platform (allowing hourly all-day train service), I expect that GO will capture a sizeable chunk of the Kitchener-Guelph travel market.

A 3-minute improvement would reduce the Kitchener to Toronto travel time to 1h38 for express trains (63 km/h average) and 1h46 for local trains (58 km/h average). We've come a long way from the 2+ hour travel times when the service was first introduced.

__

On a semi-related note, I happened across this description of speed limits on the Guelph Subdivision (London-Georgetown) in a TSB report on a derailment in 2004:

The Guelph Subdivision is designated as Class 4 track,Footnote3 with maximum allowable operating speeds of 70 mph for passenger trains and 55 mph for freight trains.

The Guelph Subdivision extends in an east-west orientation from Mile 30.0 (the junction with the Halton Subdivision) to Mile 119.9 at London. At the time of the occurrence, temporary slow orders (TSOs) were in effect at all locations where jointed rail was used. These TSOs (Mile 51.0 to Mile 58.8, Mile 64.0 to Mile 78.0, and Mile 91.0 to Mile 116.0) restricted passenger train speed to 60 mph and freight train speed to 40 mph. These TSOs have been in effect since 1996.
So it sounds like welding the rails would indeed be a prerequisite to getting the Kitchener-London speeds back up to the historical 70 mph (112 km/h), up from the current 30 mph (50 km/h) and 40 mph (64 km/h) speed restrictions.
 
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Bordercollie

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Quick order-of-magnitude benefits of this new raised speed limit for the 1 mile (1.6 km) zone through Guelph:

1 mile @ 10 mph = 6 minutes
1 mile @ 45 mph = 1.3 minutes

Net time savings: 4.7 minutes

The trains of course need to accelerate from 10 mph to 45 mph within Guelph, but that should approximately cancel out with the time they used to need to accelerate from 10 mph to 45 mph west of Guelph (en route to 70 mph).

Kitchener Station - Guelph Station travel times assuming a conservative 3-minute improvement:
Current: 21 minutes (63.6 km/h average)
December: 18 minutes (74.2 km/h average)
By comparison, Google Maps estimates the car driving time at 29 minutes without traffic.

Once Kitchener Central Station opens (providing easy access to GO trains from across Waterloo Region) and Guelph Station gets its second platform (allowing hourly all-day train service), I expect that GO will capture a sizeable chunk of the Kitchener-Guelph travel market.

A 3-minute improvement would reduce the Kitchener to Toronto travel time to 1h38 for express trains (63 km/h average) and 1h46 for local trains (58 km/h average). We've come a long way from the 2+ hour travel times when the service was first introduced.

__

On a semi-related note, I happened across this description of speed limits on the Guelph Subdivision (London-Georgetown) in a TSB report on a derailment in 2004:


So it sounds like welding the rails would indeed be a prerequisite to getting the Kitchener-London speeds back up to the historical 70 mph (112 km/h), up from the current 30 mph (50 km/h) and 40 mph (64 km/h) speed restrictions.
So that would apply for the Kitchener west portion as well. If they could get it to 45mph it would be a huge investment.
 

reaperexpress

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Is there currently a summary available of current speed enhancement projects on the GO network?
Not that I'm aware of, but off the top of my head I can only think of two:

As part of this same project, GO has said they will build a new mainline platform at Georgetown station to raise the speed limit from yard speed (10 mph?) to mainline speed (70 mph). However that should have been tendered a year ago yet I haven't heard about any shovels in the ground.

As part of the Union Station Enhancement project the three southernmost tracks of Union Station will be rebuilt to allow a speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) through the approach tracks and platforms. If I recall correctly, trains are currently limited to 30 mph (50 km/h) in the approaches and 5 mph (8 km/h) in the platforms.

It would make sense if there were speed upgrades included in the current double tracking on the Stouffville line between Kennedy and Agincourt, and the Davenport Diamond grade separation, but I haven't heard of any. Both of those segments have unusually low speed limits.
 

smallspy

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As part of the Union Station Enhancement project the three southernmost tracks of Union Station will be rebuilt to allow a speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) through the approach tracks and platforms. If I recall correctly, trains are currently limited to 30 mph (50 km/h) in the approaches and 5 mph (8 km/h) in the platforms.
Trains are currently allowed 45mph on the east side of the USRC heading outbound, 30mph heading inbound. This is from the ladders east to the Don.

Trains are limited to 30mph on the west side of the USRC until the subdivisions start, which is a couple of hundred meters east of Bathurst.

The ladders are all currently limited to 15mph.

Once the signalling system is complete, trains will be allowed to run at 60mph within the USRC from its outer limits to the ladders, 25mph diverging on the ladders and 45mph on the straights until they reach the trainshed.

Dan
 

innsertnamehere

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Trains are currently allowed 45mph on the east side of the USRC heading outbound, 30mph heading inbound. This is from the ladders east to the Don.

Trains are limited to 30mph on the west side of the USRC until the subdivisions start, which is a couple of hundred meters east of Bathurst.

The ladders are all currently limited to 15mph.

Once the signalling system is complete, trains will be allowed to run at 60mph within the USRC from its outer limits to the ladders, 25mph diverging on the ladders and 45mph on the straights until they reach the trainshed.

Dan
When's the signaling upgrades planned to be completed again? 2022 right? The combined time savings impact on travel times will be massive as it will effect literally 90% of GO customers. From what I recall it's supposed to cut travel times by about 2 minutes on LSW/Milton/Kitchener/Barrie trains and ~3 minutes on Richmond Hill/LSE trains, right?
 

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