Was just looking at a GO train schedule for Niagara Trains this weekend. I did not realize how bad the service was until I just looked at it.
Yeesh. I cannot believe they got rid of the late trains. Great way to strand people in the falls.
If you're getting the same document that I'm getting, you need to re-read it slightly.There may be 49 in service each day, but right now 73 consists are put together.
46 are 10 car trains
24 are 6 car trains
2 are 12 car trains
1 is a 4 car train.
632 cars are being used right now.
Apparently those trains were averaging 12 people per trip last year.
They were busier pre-COVID, but those were also the most lightly-used of the trips.
Route 30 also has much more demand on Friday evenings and the service should definitely start to reflect that. 30 buses running on weekends would be great, but there's no train service to Bramalea on weekends either, only the 31L bus which runs hourly.The other thing is that the Route 30 doesn't run weekends. Route 30 really isn't a bad bus connection to Kitchener/Waterloo, because Bramalea will soon be a really easy train/bus transfer, and it runs on a pretty quick route on the 407 and 401 (with only a stop at Meadowvale Business Park, where there's connections to other GO buses as well as Miway and BT), and extending it to U of Waterloo was a smart move. But that should have been an addition to the return of the 25C, not a substitute.
Maybe September is when we'll see weekend service happen on the entire line overall, probably just from Union-Bramalea at least to start. Either then, or whenever Mount Dennis/Crosstown opens which would make the most sense to attract a whole new ridership pattern. With the Bramalea GO terminal now open with more possibilities to enhance service and more ridership starting to come back overall, it's probably time to introduce weekend service on the 30, while also giving back the 25C for the Sq One riders.Route 30 also has much more demand on Friday evenings and the service should definitely start to reflect that. 30 buses running on weekends would be great, but there's no train service to Bramalea on weekends either, only the 31L bus which runs hourly.
Good to know, I’ll re-read it and make a correction tomorrow.If you're getting the same document that I'm getting, you need to re-read it slightly.
Any trainset indicated with a 900-series number doesn't have a loco and is marshalled together for the sake of that document.
It makes sense but the fact that the 19:15 trains last summer were standing room only says something.
You would think GO would schedule a train a hour or so later to pick up the slack but then again...
Even my father commented about how 19:15 was early to be leavint Niagara Falls in the evening.
I wonder how much it would help with crowding and trip flexibility if the VIA Maple Leaf resumed service. Until March 2020 its weekday & weekend schedule was:Can't wait for the weekday schedule to have at least the weekend frequency. Well over 100 ppl wanting to go to Niagara at 11 am on a Wednesday to me indicates latent demand
The nature of GO service and the location of both the US and Canada stations being directly beside the border means they should be dumping straggling passengers already IMO. Port any stragglers onto the next GO train or Amtrak Departure from Niagara Falls NY.I wonder how much it would help with crowding and trip flexibility if the VIA Maple Leaf resumed service. Until March 2020 its weekday & weekend schedule was:
08:20 - 10:16 | Toronto-Niagara
17:45 - 19:41 | Niagara-Toronto
These are popular times/directions for leisure travel between Toronto and Niagara. VIA tickets are a fair bit more expensive than GO tickets, especially on weekends with GO's $10 day pass, but it's possible some people would spend the extra money to avoid the crowds, have a more comfortable ride and a marginally faster trip. Unfortunately the Amtrak trainsets that VIA operates are way too small to handle the ridership which would come if they accepted GO tickets.
I'm also wondering if it would be worthwhile for GO to take over the Canadian portion of the Maple Leaf from VIA and run actual GO trains on those trips. Since GO operates multiple departures per day, it would reduce the chance of delays at the border, cutting cross-border travel times. If somebody gets held up at customs entering Canada, the train will still depart on time without them and thanks to GO's open ticketing they can just take the next train or bus. Running GO consists on both morning departures from Toronto on weekends would also distribute passengers more evenly between the trains rather than the current situation where nearly everyone crams onto the 08:51 GO train.
Meanwhile the Amtrak train could begin in Buffalo or Rochester in the morning, arriving at Niagara Falls around 10:30, to connect to the 11:15 GO train to Toronto and provide a day-trip option for Americans visiting Niagara Falls ON. Then it would turn around and run its existing schedule from Niagara Falls to New York City.
In the afternoon it would be the reverse, with the train arriving from New York turning around and heading to Buffalo/Rochester in the evening, providing a second daily cross-border connection from Toronto and bringing Americans back home after a day in Niagara Falls.
The logistical challenge of doing so would be that Canadian and American customs would both need to occur on the Canadian side of the border, since GO is not certified to cross the border. Plus the low-floor GO trains physically can't serve the American station anyway since its platform is 48" high and only 6 cars long. However, the advantage of that change is that it would make the Amtrak service a lot more convenient for Americans visiting Niagara Falls ON. Physically it would work okay because the Niagara Falls ON platform is already extra-long precisely so that a GO train and Amtrak train can be in the station at the same time.