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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

ViveleCanada

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The only shame about this is that we don't get the express trips on the Kitchener runs, or the local trains serving all stops to Bramalea. That seemed the most effective way to deal with capacity issues and it also goes beyond just giving UP Express 15 mins to only serve Weston and Bloor in the process which all the current peak trains do anyways. At least we have the midday trips back to and from Kitchener which will definitely drive up ridership and efficiency going there.
Good news is that the restored Kitchener trains will still make it to Union in 1 hour 43 minutes (about the same time as the previous express service). So they seemed to now have accounted for the upgraded Guelph section. Will be exciting to see how fast the the express trains can get to Union once they return as well.
 

Krypto98

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Good news is that the restored Kitchener trains will still make it to Union in 1 hour 43 minutes (about the same time as the previous express service). So they seemed to now have accounted for the upgraded Guelph section. Will be exciting to see how fast the the express trains can get to Union once they return as well.
Any word on fixing the rule 105 zone at Georgetown? With that and express sub 1:30 should be possible.
 

ShonTron

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I don't get why the 8:34 from Union to Mount Pleasant is cut - and replaced by a single "31X" bus that makes all stops from Malton to Mount Pleasant. That just seems weird, unless there are still not enough train crews to make that work when extending other trains to Kitchener, or if the capacity is given up for UP Express.
 

ARG1

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I don't get why the 8:34 from Union to Mount Pleasant is cut - and replaced by a single "31X" bus that makes all stops from Malton to Mount Pleasant. That just seems weird, unless there are still not enough train crews to make that work when extending other trains to Kitchener, or if the capacity is given up for UP Express.
I can't imagine capacity to be the bottleneck, unless the bottleneck is somehow their ability to stick with a clockface schedule.
 

reaperexpress

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One minor detail you missed. The Stouffville Line once again has 3 trains per day to and from Old Elm on weekends, something that (I believe) hasn't happened since COVID started (even then it only operated briefly).
I didn't miss that there are 3 weekend trains to/from Lincolnville, it just isn't notable. Running an hourly service to Mount Joy requires three trainsets, and the trains are stored in Lincolnville.

Kitchener should should be down to 1:20 once they are done imo.

I'm not sure what you mean by "done", but in September 2021 the express service was 8 min faster than the local service (2 minutes per stop skipped), so that would work out to 1h35 if it were implemented tomorrow. Their plans to fix up slow areas such as Georgetown and the Union Station corridor will save another few minutes, bringing it down to 1h30 as described in the Kitchener Expansion business case.

The bad news though is that the time saved will be eaten up by 8 minutes of schedule padding at Georgetown to account for CN sidelining GO trains until the rail-to-rail grade separation is built.

Barrie is ok but they have got to get to hourly to Barrie, it's taking a long time.
The travel time from Barrie to Aurora is under an hour, so given that the line will already be double tracked south of Aurora, all that's needed for hourly service to Barrie is a single siding 20-25 minutes south of Barrie. That places it somewhere between Innisfil and Bradford. Unfortunately the existing siding in Bradford is too far south (28 min from Barrie).
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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I didn't miss that there are 3 weekend trains to/from Lincolnville, it just isn't notable. Running an hourly service to Mount Joy requires three trainsets, and the trains are stored in Lincolnville.



I'm not sure what you mean by "done", but in September 2021 the express service was 8 min faster than the local service (2 minutes per stop skipped), so that would work out to 1h35 if it were implemented tomorrow. Their plans to fix up slow areas such as Georgetown and the Union Station corridor will save another few minutes, bringing it down to 1h30 as described in the Kitchener Expansion business case.

The bad news though is that the time saved will be eaten up by 8 minutes of schedule padding at Georgetown to account for CN sidelining GO trains until the rail-to-rail grade separation is built.


The travel time from Barrie to Aurora is under an hour, so given that the line will already be double tracked south of Aurora, all that's needed for hourly service to Barrie is a single siding 20-25 minutes south of Barrie. That places it somewhere between Innisfil and Bradford. Unfortunately the existing siding in Bradford is too far south (28 min from Barrie).
I mean in terms of track improvements. They should reconsider full double-tracking but the upgrades should be enough to get to 90 minutes. Weekend service needs to happen to Mount Pleasant now though.

Thanks for the update on Barrie. I wish they would move the south Newmarket station, it feels like they won't do the second platform at Newmarket GO. Barrie south needs a second platform no?
 

anb

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And can I ask why still no weekend/holiday train service on the Kitchener line at least as far as Mount Pleasant? With maybe a few trains extended to Kitchener? It would seem that should be theoretically possible now..
Union-Bramalea is way more than possible right now and its still at least something if they ran weekend service only up to and from there (the tracks between are literally 98% owned by GO). A couple months ago they leaked a schedule by accident that included weekday 30 min service all day to and from Bramalea, but I think its safe to say it might be an actual thing at least in September. The service could easily translate further into the weekend and I hope its at least hourly to Mount Pleasant to start.
 

SaugeenJunction

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Union-Bramalea is way more than possible right now and its still at least something if they ran weekend service only up to and from there (the tracks between are literally 98% owned by GO). A couple months ago they leaked a schedule by accident that included weekday 30 min service all day to and from Bramalea, but I think its safe to say it might be an actual thing at least in September. The service could easily translate further into the weekend and I hope its at least hourly to Mount Pleasant to start.
I love when GO accidentally leaks things in schedules. A little while back Mount Dennis showed up on schedules. Makes me wonder if the GO station might open before the Crosstown.

Metrolinx should really execute on 30 min all-day weekday and weekend service from Union to Bramalea. The trains would be well-used.
 

superelevation

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30m to Bramalea should especially be doable given the low UP frequencies rn, but given the layout of the tracks on GTS right now are there actually passing loops for trains to operate every 30? You can't quite make it to Bramalea in time otherwise, and clearly the 4th platform hasn't started at Bloor and isn't done at Weston
 

reaperexpress

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I mean in terms of track improvements. They should reconsider full double-tracking but the upgrades should be enough to get to 90 minutes. Weekend service needs to happen to Mount Pleasant now though.
The planned track configuration can support 2 trains per hour between Kitchener and Georgetown. There is no need for full double track in the current planning horizon, but that's something which can definitely be done at a later stage.
Thanks for the update on Barrie. I wish they would move the south Newmarket station, it feels like they won't do the second platform at Newmarket GO. Barrie south needs a second platform no?
Newmarket eventually needs a second platform because the plan is for every 15 minutes to Bradford (i.e. double-track to Bradford).
But in the meantime my guess is that their next step will be sidings to support 30-minute service, similiar to what they're building right now between Kitchener and Georgetown. The current peak service is every 30 minutes to Barrie so those sidings would be required before there can be any counter-peak service. In addition to the siding between Bradford and Innisfil (for hourly midday/evening service), half-hourly service would also require second platforms/tracks at Barrie South and East Gwillimbury.
30m to Bramalea should especially be doable given the low UP frequencies rn, but given the layout of the tracks on GTS right now are there actually passing loops for trains to operate every 30? You can't quite make it to Bramalea in time otherwise, and clearly the 4th platform hasn't started at Bloor and isn't done at Weston
30-minute service to Bramalea doesn't even require the existing third track, let alone the fourth track under construction. The average speed of GO's local service is similar enough to UPX that they can slot between the UPX trains on the two western tracks - even while UPX is operating every 15 minutes. The UP Express timetable already leaves gaps at Wice (Pearson Junction) to allow an eastbound train to reach the south track without conflicting with UP in either direction.

It makes sense that the current hourly off-peak GO service uses the 3rd track instead of the 2 UP tracks. If the track exists, we might as well use it to reduce the chance of interference between the services, and be able to serve Etobicoke North station. But it isn't strictly necessary. One compromise option could be to run the hourly Mount Pleasant trains on the 3rd track as per the current pattern (since they have a higher chance of delay), while the hourly Bramalea trains share the UP tracks.

But to actually answer your question: the new 4th platform at Weston will enable half-hourly single-tracked operation on the 3rd and intermittent 4th tracks. Trains would meet at Malton, Weston and Union.
I don't get why the 8:34 from Union to Mount Pleasant is cut - and replaced by a single "31X" bus that makes all stops from Malton to Mount Pleasant. That just seems weird, unless there are still not enough train crews to make that work when extending other trains to Kitchener, or if the capacity is given up for UP Express.
The 8:34 from Union used to arrive in Mount Pleasant at 9:23, then turn around and operate the 9:40 eastbound from Mount Pleasant to Union.

In the current schedule, the 9:40 eastbound from Mount Pleasant now starts in Kitchener at 8:45, so it's operated by a different trainset which is stored in Kitchener, making the 8:34 westbound unnecessary.

But given that the 9:34 westbound now continues all the way to Kitchener rather than turning back to operate the 10:40 eastbound from Mount Pleasant, that raises the question of where that 10:40 eastbound train now comes from. If it deadheads from Union, then surely it would be better to just use that train on its old schedule to Mount Pleasant, and shift the Kitchener-bound train a bit earlier. The Kitchener train can't depart along the old 8:34 schedule because it would get to Georgetown at 9:34 which is too soon after the eastbound train which departs Georgetown at 9:30. But it looks like there's room for it to depart Union around 8:55 or 9:10, operating express to Malton on the centre track, then all stops to Kitchener.
 
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trainfanjacob8

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Has anyone been following the on-time performance of the GO trains to London as of late? VIA 84 has been delayed frequently over the past few weeks between London and Kitchener, and I've noticed that CN has added additional 10 mph slow orders between London and Kitchener. I also noticed on the VIA tracker that there's a new, and fairly long, 10 mph slow order just west of Kitchener.
 

ssiguy2

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(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.)

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

View attachment 399688
VIA's Cinderella was invited to the party but she decided not to come.

The GO/VIA discussion is natural as GO continues to spread further out due to the absence of VIA. If VIA provided an affordable, fast, frequent, and reliable service to SWO then GO wouldn't be expanded into it. VIA has essentially abdicated the London/KW/Union route to GO and I can see the London/Woodstock/Union route being next. The London/Union route is, by passenger mile, the most financially sustainable one in the entire country yet has been allowed to rot and hence you can't blame people in London & SWO to demand better.

This really does exemplify how politics trumps transportation policy at VIA. When 14 of Ontario's federal cabinet ministers are from the GTAH and none from SWO, you know that SWO is going to be ignored. GO is provincial and the Tories need those key SWO MPPs and hence it's expansion. People in London, Windsor, and all of SWO would be far better off with an enhanced GO system than VIA.
 

reaperexpress

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Has anyone been following the on-time performance of the GO trains to London as of late? VIA 84 has been delayed frequently over the past few weeks between London and Kitchener, and I've noticed that CN has added additional 10 mph slow orders between London and Kitchener. I also noticed on the VIA tracker that there's a new, and fairly long, 10 mph slow order just west of Kitchener.
It's not looking good today, in any case:
g.JPG


I had also noticed the 10 mph operation west of Kitchener station. I think your hypothesis is correct: new slow orders west of London have decimated the on-time performance of the London GO train and VIA 84 (Sarnia-Toronto).
Via 87 (Toronto-Sarnia) was hopeless regardless, but at the very least they should shift its departure time from Kitchener about 8 minutes earlier to account for the Metrolinx track upgrades between Georgetown and Kitchener, and give a bit more time to tiptoe from Kitchener to London.

Also, it is occuring to me that the London train departs for a more practical time for me (11:33 Central European Time) than the for the people in London Ontario.

I'm wondering if we could make a program to automatically estimate the current track speed profile summarize using the GO and VIA GPS traces. If you plotted speed over distance for all trains in a month, then traced the maximum speed for any train for each given segment of track, you would have a "maximum speed profile" for the line which could be compared from one month to the next to identify new or lifted slow zones.

I personally am not tech savvy enough to do it, but it seems like it would be quite doable for someone who has worked with GTFS data before.
 
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