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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

I'm curious..........when it comes to GO expansion why is Brantford never considered? It has a rail line going right to it's downtown and Paris. It has 150,000 people and such a service would also get Brantford to Hamilton commuters and a stop at Dundas would also serve McMaster. It would be money way better spent than on the useless London route.
 
I'm curious..........when it comes to GO expansion why is Brantford never considered? It has a rail line going right to it's downtown and Paris. It has 150,000 people and such a service would also get Brantford to Hamilton commuters and a stop at Dundas would also serve McMaster. It would be money way better spent than on the useless London route.
CN has entered the chat.
 
I'm curious..........when it comes to GO expansion why is Brantford never considered? It has a rail line going right to it's downtown and Paris. It has 150,000 people and such a service would also get Brantford to Hamilton commuters and a stop at Dundas would also serve McMaster. It would be money way better spent than on the useless London route.
Would it? It's about the same distance from the old Dundas station to McMaster than it is from West Harbour.

Though with the long term plans to terminate some trains in Aldershot, it may well make sense to extend an hourly train to Brantford with a stop in Dundas.
 
They meet *an* FRA standard but aren‘t built to the same regulatory basis as UPX trains - they likely need a waiver founded on signal/protection enhancements even to run with FRA Tier 1 DMUs such as UPX or RDCs without temporal separation, never mind CPR or GO. https://www.metro-magazine.com/10023132/denton-county-files-alt-vehicle-tech-waiver.
Although the Stadler FLIRT isn't built to the same regulatory basis as the Nippon Sharyo DMU, it is still fully certified by the FRA and does not require a waiver.

The Nippon Sharyo DMU complies with the traditional FRA regulations, in which crashworthiness is largely measured by the amount of deformation in the vehicle's structure when force is applied to the couplers.

The Stadler FLIRT complies with the "FRA Alternative Compliance" regulations, which are basically the EU regulations, but with a few minor modifications such as a thicker windshield. They came into effect in 2018, so they did not exist at the time of the 2012 article you linked. Here is how the FRA describes the purpose of Alternative Compliance (from link above):
[Alternative Compliance] ensures existing and future alternative trainset designs can operate in the U.S. railroad environment on a widespread basis, beyond the constraints that have been imposed by FRA regulations. This helps avert perpetuating a patchwork of waivers in the U.S. passenger rail market that would, in turn, perpetuate the current unattractiveness of the U.S. passenger equipment market to manufacturers. [It] allows U.S. trainsets to use technological advances for safety compliance purposes in a way that was previously restricted under the former regulations.
Stadler was part of the group which helped get "alternative compliance" created in the first place, precisely to avoid the problem you described. In their case it was for CalTrain's Stadler KISS EMUs which have good enough crash safety to share tracks with freight trains (as per EU crash safety regulations, which are quite strict nowadays) but technically don't meet the FRA buffer strength requirement due to their crumple zones.
 
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I'm curious..........when it comes to GO expansion why is Brantford never considered? It has a rail line going right to it's downtown and Paris. It has 150,000 people and such a service would also get Brantford to Hamilton commuters and a stop at Dundas would also serve McMaster. It would be money way better spent than on the useless London route.
Traditionally the answer has been that Brantford already has a commuter rail service to Toronto, which is is the one operated by VIA Rail. See the 2018 timetable below, with commuter-oriented trips highlighted in green.
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However, given VIA's recent reluctance to reinstate the commuter services from Kingston (e.g. train 651, shown in green below), it is possible that VIA is now interested in transferring their commuter services to GO.
3.JPG


In principle it seems outside VIA's national mandate to be providing commuter service within a particular urban area of a particular province, but it's possible that pre-pandemic it didn't matter since those services were profitable anyway. But if VIA is now doubting that they will continue to be profitable, it may be looking to download those services onto the Province, in which case VIA trains 82 and 83 might be replaced by GO trains in the future.
 
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I'm curious..........when it comes to GO expansion why is Brantford never considered? It has a rail line going right to it's downtown and Paris. It has 150,000 people and such a service would also get Brantford to Hamilton commuters and a stop at Dundas would also serve McMaster. It would be money way better spent than on the useless London route.
Traditionally the answer has been that Brantford already has a commuter rail service to Toronto, which is is the one operated by VIA Rail.

Reaper's answer is a good one, and the mention of CN by others is also apt.

That said, I would add:

Brantford has lobbied for GO service; and that resulted in the 13 bus trips it now gets on weekdays.

I'm not sure what the ridership volume is on those buses, but I imagine that would factor in to considering whether a train is appropriate.

The service, currently is no more frequent than hourly, which seems a bit light for train replacement.

That said, we all know trains will lure additional riders.

****

One thing I'm not sure has been addressed (it may have been) was that Brantford Transit was actually abysmal a few years ago, and the quality of that last-mile connection is an issue when developing
a plan to lure more into transit-based commuting.
 
Ridership from Kitchener seems to be booming. I know GO doesn’t have the infra in place yet for full two way all day all the way to Waterloo Region, but even a handful of weekend trains would be really helpful on the Kitchener Line.

Heck, you could even extend a few to Stratford to serve the summer tourism market. Trains wouldn’t have to cross the St. Mary’s bridge so you could run the MP40s.
Same here. It’s really frustrating and I feel bad for the passengers cramped onto buses to Waterloo.

I’ve emailed Metrolinx about weekend service and I keep getting the runaround. I’m not asking for all day 2 way but some morning and evening weekend service. From guelph it’s either a 1.5 train ride or a 3 milk run. Which, while direct, sucks.

I agree with you about Stratford. It’ll be very popular for the tourist crowd. I’ve seen Stratford packed pre pandemic.

I also hope the service become permanent and Metrolinx buys the line, repairs the bridge, repairs the line and adds sliding for passing. There are so many students using the train when I’ve been on it.
 
Same here. It’s really frustrating and I feel bad for the passengers cramped onto buses to Waterloo.

I’ve emailed Metrolinx about weekend service and I keep getting the runaround. I’m not asking for all day 2 way but some morning and evening weekend service. From guelph it’s either a 1.5 train ride or a 3 milk run. Which, while direct, sucks.

I agree with you about Stratford. It’ll be very popular for the tourist crowd. I’ve seen Stratford packed pre pandemic.

I also hope the service become permanent and Metrolinx buys the line, repairs the bridge, repairs the line and adds sliding for passing. There are so many students using the train when I’ve been on it.

There's enough track capacity for GO to introduce hourly weekend train service to Mount Pleasant, similar to the midday schedule, as it uses only one track between Halwest and Mount Pleasant, leaving a mostly two-track section for CN, with a short one-track section through Downtown Brampton (which isn't much different for CN to the old track arrangement when it was a single track through downtown). That, plus Route 30, would be a hell of a lot better for Guelph and Kitchener, with only Mississauga-bound riders taking the 25 milk run.
 
Brantford has lobbied for GO service; and that resulted in the 13 bus trips it now gets on weekdays.

I'm not sure what the ridership volume is on those buses, but I imagine that would factor in to considering whether a train is appropriate.

The service, currently is no more frequent than hourly, which seems a bit light for train replacement.

That said, we all know trains will lure additional riders.
Although logically that makes sense it makes you realize what a stupid service London GO is when it has no GO buses and then decides to run one huge train a day that it FAR slower than a bus would be.
 
Although logically that makes sense it makes you realize what a stupid service London GO is when it has no GO buses and then decides to run one huge train a day that it FAR slower than a bus would be.
This is Ontario politics. Doug Ford promised train service to Niagara Falls. We got one very slow round trip per day. Doug Ford promised train service to London. We got one very slow round trip per day. Doug Ford gets to check off that he fulfilled both promises. It doesn't matter whether the service is useful.
 
(We seem to have wandered into discussing how VIA and GO might share London service (via Brantford and via Kitchener) in other threads, Pretty hard to figure out which thread is most appropriate. So I'm dropping this here.)

To take my comment about dovetailing service while giving priority to VIA service to Windsor/Chatham, here is a fantasy schedule that would meet those needs. I don't pretend to be an expert at building schedules - the whole point is to have a target to poke holes in. I have left the timings approximate (but close enough to be achievable).

The objective was to establish a proper improved service plan for VIA in Southwestern Ontario, and then weave in GO service to fill the gaps.... as opposed to trying to compete, or plan GO first and leave VIA with table scraps. I gave priority to optimising the number of Windsor trains through Kitchener (keeping the number of Brantford trains within CN's recent precedent) , and used GO turnbacks where needed to ensure good across the platform transfers in London where through service wasn't available. On the Kitchener line, I assumed that there would be additional trains and that (magically) the new track capacity being added would enable whatever GO needs without conflict with this VIA pattern.

There is no reason why VIA can't operate the turnback Toronto-London runs that I showed (in green) as GO trains... but it implies more trainsets than VIA may have available, whereas I'm assuming that GO can handle the equipment allocations within their fleet, especially if Oncorr were to add new equipment (those longed-for EMU's, perhaps).

Again, just a straw man, but the point being to demonstrate that a combined service can be operated as win-win, and to make the point that VIA should not be thought of as a Cinderella who isnt allowed to come to the party.

- Paul

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 9.56.46 AM.png
 
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Found out thanks to a transit app notification of all things....


Also decided to check GO's website, and there is indeed an update but for now I can see only 50% of it (the Bus updates for now), but it does give a clue what to expect for the train service that's about to come. You'll see what I mean when you click the link if its not updated yet

Edit: Nvm, we can see the train service updates now..

 
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Lakeshore West: the Niagara train is now described as a seasonal service until Thanksgiving. Sure, let's just pretend it wasn't previously year-round. There are now only 3 daily round trips, compared to 4 in previous years.
There is still no weekday express service. The weekday Niagara Train takes 2h33, making all station stops. By comparison, weekend express trips take 2h05.

Seasonal Weekend Niagara Falls Train Service Returns Starting May 21​

  • From the Victoria Day long weekend until Thanksgiving weekend, choose from three trips to Niagara Falls departing Union Station at 8:51 a.m., 12:51 p.m. and 4:51 p.m., and trips to Toronto departing Niagara Falls at 11:15 a.m., 3:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. As in previous years, trains will also stop at St Catharines, Aldershot, Burlington, Oakville, Port Credit and Exhibition.
  • The trains will have 12 cars and include three bike coaches that can each hold 18 bicycles.

Kitchener: Limited midday service and evening service from Kitchener is back. There are now 8 daily round trips from Kitchener station, which is the same as pre-pandemic, but short of the 10 which were scheduled in September 2021.
Still no weekday express service. The London train takes 3h55, making all station stops. Still no counter-peak service to Bramalea either.
Starting Tuesday, May 24, we’re bringing back more evening rail service on the Kitchener line.
  • One additional eastbound trip will depart Kitchener GO at 8:45 p.m.
  • Two additional westbound trips to Kitchener GO will depart Union Station at 5:34 p.m. and 9:34 p.m., and one additional trip to Guelph GO will depart Union Station at 10:34 p.m.
  • To offer Kitchener line service later into the evening, the 8:43 p.m. westbound trip from Union Station will stop at Mount Pleasant GO, with bus connections to Kitchener.
Also starting Tuesday, May 24, more trips will start and end at Kitchener GO throughout the day.
  • Eastbound trips at 8:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 2:47 p.m. will begin at Kitchener GO.
  • Westbound trips at 9:34 a.m. and 12:34 p.m. will be extended to Kitchener GO.
To offer more consistent service during the afternoon rush hour, the 5:49 p.m. westbound trip to Kitchener GO will depart 15 minutes later, at 6:04 p.m.

Stouffville: Hourly evening and weekend service is back.
Starting Saturday, May 28, weekend train service returns on the Stouffville line, following the completion of platform work at Unionville GO.
  • Trains will run hourly between Mount Joy GO and Union Station.
  • The first three southbound trips of the day will begin at Old Elm GO, departing at 7:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m. and 9:19 a.m. The last three northbound trips of the day, departing Union Station at 9:14 p.m., 10:14 p.m. and 11:14 p.m. will extend all the way to Old Elm GO.
Starting Tuesday, May 24, train service extends later into the evening on the Stouffville line.
  • Four additional northbound trains will depart Union Station at 9:14 p.m., 10:14 p.m., 11:14 p.m., and 12:14 a.m., three of which extend all the way to Old Elm GO.
  • Three additional southbound trains will depart Mount Joy GO at 8:34 p.m., 9:34 p.m., and 10:34 p.m.
  • To offer Stouffville line service later into the evening, the 7:14 p.m. and 8:14 p.m. northbound trips will end at Mount Joy GO, with bus connections to Old Elm GO.
Starting Tuesday, May 24, an additional morning trip will begin at Old Elm GO, departing at 9:19 a.m.

Barrie: Hourly evening and weekend service is back as far as Aurora, as well as limited midday service to/from Barrie on weekdays as well as weekends.
Starting Saturday, May 21, weekend train service returns along the Barrie line.
  • Southbound trains will depart Allandale Waterfront GO at 6:53 a.m., 8:08 a.m., 11:08 a.m., 2:08 p.m., 5:08 p.m. and 8:08 p.m.
  • Southbound trains will depart Aurora GO at 7:42 a.m., 8:57 a.m., then hourly until 9:57 p.m.
  • Northbound trains will depart Union Station hourly, from 8:53 a.m. until 10:53 p.m., including six extending all the way to Allandale Waterfront GO.
Starting Tuesday, May 24, we’re extending three midday weekday trips to start and end in Barrie.
  • For customers travelling from Barrie, a train at 1:08 p.m. will take you from Allandale Waterfront GO to Union Station.
  • For customers travelling to Barrie, trips at 9:53 a.m. and 1:53 p.m. will take you from Union Station to Allandale Waterfront GO.
We’re adding an additional southbound morning rush hour trip, departing Allandale Waterfront GO at 5:53 a.m. and arriving at Union Station at 7:33 a.m. To provide more consistent service through the morning rush hour, the 5:38 a.m. trip from Allandale Waterfront GO will depart 15 minutes earlier, at 5:23 a.m., arriving at Union Station at 7:03 a.m.

Following the completion of important track work, we’re also bringing back late evening train service on the Barrie line.
  • One northbound trip will travel to Aurora GO, departing Union Station at 9:44 p.m.
  • Two northbound trips will travel all the way to Allandale Waterfront GO, departing Union Station at 9:53 p.m. and 10:53 p.m.
  • One southbound trip will depart from Aurora GO at 8:57 p.m.
  • One southbound trip will depart from Allandale Waterfront GO at 9:08 p.m.
To offer Barrie line service later into the evening, the 7:53 p.m. northbound trip from Union Station will end at Aurora GO, with a bus connection continuing north to Allandale Waterfront GO.

UP Express: 15-minute service is back, but only during peak and shoulder-peak periods. Off-peak service remains only every 30 minutes.
Starting Tuesday, May 24, UP Express trains will run every 15 minutes on weekdays during the busiest parts of the day.
  • In the morning from Union Station, trains will depart at 4:55 a.m., 5:10 a.m., 5:30 a.m., then every 15 minutes until 8:45 a.m. In the afternoon, trains will depart every 15 minutes from 2 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.
  • In the morning from Pearson Airport, trains will depart every 15 minutes from 5:27 a.m. to 9:12 a.m. In the afternoon, trains will depart every 15 minutes from 2:27 p.m. to 7:42 p.m.
  • At all other times of day, trains will continue to depart every half hour, with 25-minute travel time between Union Station and Pearson Airport.

No significant changes for Lakeshore East, Milton, or Richmond Hill.
No signifcant changes to bus service, just cancelling/shifting trips to connect to the adjusted/added train trips.
 
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Lakeshore West: the Niagara train is now described as a "seasonal service" until Thanksgiving. Let's just pretend it wasn't previously year-round...



Kitchener: Limited midday service and evening service from Kitchener is back.


Stouffville: Hourly evening and weekend service is back.


Barrie: Hourly evening and weekend service is back, as well as limited midday service to/from Barrie.


UP Express: 15-minute service is back, but only during peak and shoulder-peak periods. Off-peak service remains only every 30 minutes.


No significant changes for Lakeshore East, Milton, or Richmond Hill.
Finally, they’re really adding 12 cars to the Niagara train again? I’m surprised the demand is that high.
 
Finally, they’re really adding 12 cars to the Niagara train again? I’m surprised the demand is that high.
It is. Last year the 8:51 departure from Union was easily filling up a 12-car train, though the added weight made it difficult to keep up with the schedule which was designed for faster-accelerating 8-car trains. Personally I would have preferred them to keep the trains as 8 cars and add a 10:51 departure, filling the gap until the 12:51 departure.
nf-future2-jpg.260502

The current Willowbrook-based train which operates the 12:51 service could be moved up to 10:51, while one of the trains from Lewis Yard could run a morning trip from Niagara Falls (a notable gap in the current schedule), and then pick up the 12:51 back to Niagara.
 

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