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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

generalcanada

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12 car trains coming back for majority of the lines
 

reaperexpress

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I think this makes even more sense if UPX gets merged into regular GO (RER) operations too.
It's frankly insane that UPX and GO still have separate Presto systems. They could easily integrate the UP Fares into the GO Presto system by making a separate fare zone for the UPX stations at Union and at Pearson.

I don't know how Metrolinx expects us to trust them with integrating fare systems between other agencies, when they can't even integrate the two agencies they own themselves.
 

reaperexpress

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12 car trains coming back for majority of the lines
Good ol' GO Transit, where not even filling 10-car double-decker trains is enough to warrant increasing frequency...

Just a reminder that the below table is still accurate...
capture-jpg.405468


Do Canadians think that the world's great S-Bahn/RER systems waited until they had this level of ridership before introducing the frequent service which has subsequently made them succesful?
 
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ARG1

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Good ol' GO Transit, where a full 10-car double-decker train still isn't enough to warrant increasing frequency...
Some Barrie and Kitchener Line GO Train trips will also increase from six and 10 car lengths to 12 cars long.
Ok, at least for Barrie and maybe Kitchener I can understand since there are only so many trains you can run. But Lakeshore? Come on, is the driver shortage really that bad?
 

ShonTron

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In Brampton today, the main parking lot was nearly full, with the exception of the reserved monthly parking spots, which were mostly empty. The small lot off of Main Street was reopened (it was closed, like many secondary GO lots, for the last two years) and that lot was half full.

So it appears that ridership is slowly returning.
 

reaperexpress

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Ok, at least for Barrie and maybe Kitchener I can understand since there are only so many trains you can run. But Lakeshore? Come on, is the driver shortage really that bad?
Even on Barrie and Kitchener, the number of trains they can run during peak periods is at least double the current number, based on the September 2021 timetables...
 

ARG1

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Even on Barrie and Kitchener, the number of trains they can run during peak periods is at least double the current number, based on the September 2021 timetables...
The reason I sort of waived that detail off is because of this line:

Starting this month, many GO Train trips on the Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West Lines will increase in length from 10-car trains to 12-car trains. This includes some weekday and all weekend trips.

Some Barrie and Kitchener Line GO Train trips will also increase from six and 10 car lengths to 12 cars long.
The way I interpreted this is that a good chunk of the traffic that needs relieving is weekend trips and a smaller fraction of off peak and peak hour trips, which in the case of Barrie the former 2 are completely maxed out. Unfortunately this article is very detail shy about where and when the increased train lengths will be used, and depending on those variables, the state the system was in last september is sort of irrelevant. This is anecdotal, but I have a friend who lives in Kitchener who endlessly complains about how busy the GO train is at Kitchener already, and looking at the chart you provided, Kitchener is running just as frequently as it was back then minus the express stops. As such increasing the amount of coaches makes a lot of sense. Overall it really depends on how much doubt you're willing to give to Metrolinx.
 

reaperexpress

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The way I interpreted this is that a good chunk of the traffic that needs relieving is weekend trips and a smaller fraction of off peak and peak hour trips, which in the case of Barrie the former 2 are completely maxed out. Unfortunately this article is very detail shy about where and when the increased train lengths will be used, and depending on those variables, the state the system was in last september is sort of irrelevant.
That comment does suggest that some of the lengthened trains would be off-peak trains but based on my experience with off-peak Barrie trains I don't imagine much of the crowding is off-peak. Ridership has been steadily increasing but apart from during special events, it wasn't filling a 6-car trains, let alone 10 car trains.

I'd love to be proven wrong though, it's always nice to hear about successful off-peak services.
This is anecdotal, but I have a friend who lives in Kitchener who endlessly complains about how busy the GO train is at Kitchener already, and looking at the chart you provided, Kitchener is running just as frequently as it was back then minus the express stops. As such increasing the amount of coaches makes a lot of sense. Overall it really depends on how much doubt you're willing to give to Metrolinx.
In 2019 the Kitchener line had 4tph peak and 2tph counter-peak. Currently it has 2tph peak and no trains counter-peak. I wouldn't call that "just as frequent".

The crowding on the Kitchener line is not at Kitchener, it's at Union. When customers talk about crowding in Kitchener it just means that they have needed to sit next to someone.
 

smallspy

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Come on, is the driver shortage really that bad?
In a word - yes.

Head office is pressing Alstom to be ready for a large round of sweeping changes (and mainly improvements) to service in September.

And yet, word on the ground is that they may have to be postponed until the new year - Alstom is having trouble staffing trains now as it is.

Dan
 

Northern Light

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In a word - yes.

Head office is pressing Alstom to be ready for a large round of sweeping changes (and mainly improvements) to service in September.

And yet, word on the ground is that they may have to be postponed until the new year - Alstom is having trouble staffing trains now as it is.

Dan

What seems to be the issue, Dan?

It is compensation related? Has there been a wave of retirements? (unexpected?); is there any workplace/working condition related issue driving dissatisfaction? Are more new hires not working out?

Just curious if you have any insights.

Typically I would have thought of these jobs as decent paying for someone w/o a University education.
 

kalis0490

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So kitchener-guelph takes about 17 minutes on the go train, which means it takes ~34+4 minutes for a round trip (extra 4 minutes for getting off) It should be possible to have maybe an hourly 3 car train go kitchener-guelph round trip at off peak- weekend times. Such a service would be beneficial ( if I recall more trips occur between kitchener guelph than kitchener to any gta city)



@ARG1 when i used the kitchener service several weeks ago there were roughly 8+ people in each coach getting of at kitchener: assuming 8 cars, thats 64 people to kitchener just on 1 of 8 trains that day . It doesn't sound like much but pre covid kitchener had ~300 people using it per day. you are getting like 40% of that ridership on one train ( round trip) so it is very possible that ridership now is higher than precovid. Also Kitchener is a very poorly design station and often there's 100+ cars trying to get in at the same time so it is crowded .
 

reaperexpress

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So kitchener-guelph takes about 17 minutes on the go train, which means it takes ~34+4 minutes for a round trip (extra 4 minutes for getting off) It should be possible to have maybe an hourly 3 car train go kitchener-guelph round trip at off peak- weekend times. Such a service would be beneficial ( if I recall more trips occur between kitchener guelph than kitchener to any gta city)

Your math is roughly correct, though you need to schedule a lot more than 2 minutes at each terminal. But that doesn't change the answer - it is indeed possible for a single train shuttling back and forth to provide hourly service between Kitchener and Guelph. However, there are two main problems:
- there is only one siding in that segment, located just east of Kitchener station, so it is difficult to acommodate the other trains which need to use the line (several GO trains, a VIA train and a CN train).
- there is construction ongoing on more sidings along the line (in Breslau and in Guelph), which would be inconvenienced by adding more trains.

Bottom line, although hourly all-day service between Kitchener and Guelph is technically possible, and definitely needed, it is probably wisest to wait a couple years for the new sidings to be completed. Once that happens, not only will there be hourly train service between Kitchener and Guelph, but that hourly service will also continue through to Toronto.
 

smallspy

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What seems to be the issue, Dan?

It is compensation related? Has there been a wave of retirements? (unexpected?); is there any workplace/working condition related issue driving dissatisfaction? Are more new hires not working out?

Just curious if you have any insights.

Typically I would have thought of these jobs as decent paying for someone w/o a University education.
It seems to be a whole host of issues that have managed to come together. But part of the problem for me in analyzing it, as frequently happens, is separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the rumours.

For instance, one rumour I've heard is that they lost a lot of staff and crews due to the vaccine mandates. And yet, I've been told by people in head office that the actual number of employees (and contractors) lost due to non-acceptance of vaccines is something like 9.

One thing is that is certain is that Alstom has continued the trend of Bombardier by paying less than what VIA and the freight railways pay. Yes, there are very serious lifestyle advantages to working for GO over the other railways (always home every night, more consistent schedule, more room for upwards growth), but for those that are just looking for that filthy, filthy lucre the freight railways will always win.

Early on in the lockdown, Alstom was doing a pretty good job of managing to keep crews retained. Rather than laying people off, they were rotating them in and out of service (3 weeks on, 1 week off) to try and spread the pain. And from what I had heard, it was working quite well, and they lost very few people. But then they got lazy, and stopped the rotations about a year and a half ago. At that point, the writing was on the wall - senior guys pushed out more junior guys into crappier work or lower positions, the most junior were laid off and a lot of them went looking for other work to make ends meet.

It's not that Alstom hasn't been trying - they've hired about a dozen classes worth of CSAs so far this calendar year. But now the problem is that with the progression of the positions, the first of those CSAs won't be ready to move up to the head end for a full year after their starting dates.

Dan
 

Willybru21

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I guess basically as fast as it would go? Would be the speed limit? (At the time).

I have a question about how the CSA controls the doors on the train, I see that in the accessibility coach there is a tablet that allows them to select which doors open and close. I guess it's either open or doors before or after the accessibility coach?

How did they do this in the old days when the conductor sat at the top?

Also does the CSA tell the engineer when the doors are closed and the train can depart?
Do you mean a literal tablet with a screen? Because that’s not how they control the doors; or is that some other way to say the physical control panel on the doors. Because they also had a control panel in the upper level on Series I-V coaches:
F4FF5874-C650-4591-8E0F-79DB71064887.jpeg
 

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