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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

Krypto98

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At macmillan we've lost 4 guys that either went to GO or to VIA, 2 locomotive engineers and 2 conductors... yes the pay is probably less at GO but at least they get a schedule a week in advance and not the day of...
The thing with GO is... even if you've been a locomotive engineer or conductor for 5 years at CN you still have to be a CSA for 2 years then conductor for 5 years before you are back at the controls again...
 

Krypto98

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Just wondering, what's the grade for the weston tunnel and the west toronto tunnel on the weston sub?
 

smallspy

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At macmillan we've lost 4 guys that either went to GO or to VIA, 2 locomotive engineers and 2 conductors... yes the pay is probably less at GO but at least they get a schedule a week in advance and not the day of...
And in that same time, Alstom has lost a dozen to CN, CP and VIA. Yes, the flows have been both ways, but they've also been predominately out of GO.

The thing with GO is... even if you've been a locomotive engineer or conductor for 5 years at CN you still have to be a CSA for 2 years then conductor for 5 years before you are back at the controls again...
That's right, although the minumum for someone to a CSA before they can move up is 1 year.

Whereas once you're in the running trades at GO, you can easily move to be a conductor at CN or CP. And VIA will gladly hire someone who's been in the head end for the minimum 2 year period.

Just wondering, what's the grade for the weston tunnel and the west toronto tunnel on the weston sub?
Not quite 2-ish% on both ramps.

Dan
 

tmlittle

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To me, this potentially warrants a 'shuttle' route that just runs back and forth between Kitchener and Guelph all day, supplementing the Toronto-bound service on the line. Even more so once Breslau station comes online.

It wouldn't need to be a 12-car hulk, maybe a 6-car train. Based on schedules it looks to be about 17 mins to run between Kitchener GO and Guelph GO, and 20 mins for the reverse trip. So theoretically, you could run a 45-min service with 1 train.
This is a good way of looking at things in my opinion. One of the flaws even with "Nu Metrolinx" planning is that, yes, they've moved toward endorsing smaller trains, frequent service, electrification, etc, but the assumption is that this should only be on "core" parts of the network - which still shows a focus of drawing people inward toward Toronto as the driving force. With the Kitchener line in particular, and other lines as well to an extent, you have Toronto, the GTA, then rural Greenbelt lands, then some larger regional centres (Guelph, Kitchener) mixed in with the small towns in their orbit (Breslau, Baden, New Hamburg), then with the London extension it's totally different territory.

There's been a lot of commuter-oriented housing development around Baden and I personally know people who car commute in from there to downtown Kitchener. Transit connections right now are pretty minimal with just a basic GRT rural minibus route that's not particularly fast or frequent.

Looking at Kitchener and Guelph as a strong city pairing, you have two whole yards in Kitchener that could at least theoretically accommodate some smaller trains, that in theory could take the 100% Metrolinx owned track back and forth, and in the future expand more into a regional network centred around Kitchener. Not all of this would need to happen at once, but establishing these kinds of small networks would help make GO more polycentric and less rigidly Toronto oriented and eliminate a lot of the vestigial problems created by the downtown Toronto 9-5 commuter model. If this was done across board with Metrolinx getting a big order of, say, bimode EMU/DMUs or something, you could use them both on the "inner network" and also spread them out to be based in some more outer yards to connect strong city pairings. Kitchener-Guelph can't be the only one.
 

Bureaucromancer

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Bear in mind that a Fergus sub Guelph - Cambridge shuttle is precisely the recommendation of the the Cambridge GO feasibility study.

Personally I am strongly of the view that this is the ABSOLUTELY PERFECT use case for a tram train, eliminating southbound transfers at Pinebush. Ideally I’d see this service as battery EMU operated, direct to Galt via Hespeler Rd, with in motion charging on the ION shared portion, stationary charger at the Guelph platform and revision of the Pinebush platform to an island for cross platform transfers to northbound Ion trains. While this is viewed as more or less a GO line in the study (and that might well make sense operationally) I’d really rather see this as an ION line and add a stop at Guelph Ave for Hespeler, and possibly a park and ride just east of Hwy 24.

As far as the Kitchener shuttle goes, I do like the idea, but frankly see Cambridge as having better potential as a stage 1. Stage 2 though... It is definitely something that should be on the table, although I’d really like to see GO running at least 4 TPH into Toronto (if this is actually half hourly express plus half hourly local there’s definitely still room for a true local). I’m inclined to think that it should, at a minimum be extended to Ira Needles (actually, I wonder if the GO trains proper should possibly serve this station - the other things I mention other than Breslau are pretty clearly wholly local) for links to the conceptual Ion Stage 3, and seriously consider adding additional stops between Ira Needle and Central and between Central and Breslau.

Other than that, I’d want to think about additional stops on the west side of Guelph…. Hwy 6 / Silvercreek park and ride on the Fergus line and Elmira Rd on Kitchener?
 
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Bordercollie

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Bear in mind that a Fergus sub Guelph - Cambridge shuttle is precisely the recommendation of the the Cambridge GO feasibility study.

Personally I am strongly of the view that this is the ABSOLUTELY PERFECT use case for a tram train, eliminating southbound transfers at Pinebush. Ideally I’d see this service as battery EMU operated, direct to Galt via Hespeler Rd, with in motion charging on the ION shared portion, stationary charger at the Guelph platform and revision of the Pinebush platform to an island for cross platform transfers to northbound Ion trains. While this is viewed as more or less a GO line in the study (and that might well make sense operationally) I’d really rather see this as an ION line and add a stop at Guelph Ave for Hespeler, and possibly a park and ride just east of Hwy 24.

As far as the Kitchener shuttle goes, I do like the idea, but frankly see Cambridge as having better potential as a stage 1. Stage 2 though... It is definitely something that should be on the table, although I’d really like to see GO running at least 4 TPH into Toronto (if this is actually half hourly express and local there’s definitely still room for a true local). I’m inclined to think that it should, at a minimum be extended to Ira Needles (actually, I wonder if the GO trains proper should possibly serve this station - the other things I mention other than Breslau are pretty clearly wholly local) for links to the conceptual Ion Stage 3, and seriously consider adding additional stops between Ira Needle and Central and between Central and Breslau.

Other than that, I’d want to think about additional stops on the west side of Guelph…. Hwy 6 / Silvercreek park and ride on the Fergus line and Elmira Rd on Kitchener?
It would require an exemption to run non FRA standard equipment on a heavy rail line and would require any switching moves by CN to be done after hours. That might be a problem.

Also cannot be used by Go to move equipment between the two lines while the LRT is running.
 

ARG1

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Bear in mind that a Fergus sub Guelph - Cambridge shuttle is precisely the recommendation of the the Cambridge GO feasibility study.

Personally I am strongly of the view that this is the ABSOLUTELY PERFECT use case for a tram train, eliminating southbound transfers at Pinebush. Ideally I’d see this service as battery EMU operated, direct to Galt via Hespeler Rd, with in motion charging on the ION shared portion, stationary charger at the Guelph platform and revision of the Pinebush platform to an island for cross platform transfers to northbound Ion trains. While this is viewed as more or less a GO line in the study (and that might well make sense operationally) I’d really rather see this as an ION line and add a stop at Guelph Ave for Hespeler, and possibly a park and ride just east of Hwy 24.

As far as the Kitchener shuttle goes, I do like the idea, but frankly see Cambridge as having better potential as a stage 1. Stage 2 though... It is definitely something that should be on the table, although I’d really like to see GO running at least 4 TPH into Toronto (if this is actually half hourly express and local there’s definitely still room for a true local). I’m inclined to think that it should, at a minimum be extended to Ira Needles (actually, I wonder if the GO trains proper should possibly serve this station - the other things I mention other than Breslau are pretty clearly wholly local) for links to the conceptual Ion Stage 3, and seriously consider adding additional stops between Ira Needle and Central and between Central and Breslau.

Other than that, I’d want to think about additional stops on the west side of Guelph…. Hwy 6 / Silvercreek park and ride on the Fergus line and Elmira Rd on Kitchener?
If anything, a Guelph-Cambridge Line is the perfect case to implement something akin to the Trillium Line. We can use Battery EMUs if we want, but Diesel-electric Stadler FLIRTs should be just fine, running mostly single tracked.
 

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If anything, a Guelph-Cambridge Line is the perfect case to implement something akin to the Trillium Line. We can use Battery EMUs if we want, but Diesel-electric Stadler FLIRTs should be just fine, running mostly single tracked.
I'd say less current Trillium as such than O-Train day 0 pilot project. It really should be possible to implement a minimal DMU service on Fergus at very little cost.
 

crs1026

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I'd say less current Trillium as such than O-Train day 0 pilot project. It really should be possible to implement a minimal DMU service on Fergus at very little cost.

The line needs new rail - a point the business case overlooked. (They talked about the need for Class 3 or better track, but didn’t assess what an upgrade to that level would require).(It won’t be cheap).
The difference between upgrading for vanilla GO equipment versus a lighter vehicle probably isn’t that significant, so I would argue for upgrading to GO standard so that all options are open.
When that cost is tabled, the plan may not look so attractive.

- Paul
 
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ARG1

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The idea of a Guelph-Galt-Brantford tra


The line needs new rail - a point the business case overlooked. (They talked about the need for Class 3 or better track, but didn’t assess what an upgrade to that level would require).(It won’t be cheap).
The difference between upgrading for vanilla GO equipment versus a lighter vehicle probably isn’t that significant, so I would argue for upgrading to GO standard so that all options are open.
When that cost is tabled, the plan may not look so attractive.

- Paul
Well, how much better were the track conditions on the Trillium Line pre O-Train compare to what exists on Cambridge-Guelph, and how much of the $21M involved track upgrades? I can't imagine the all but abandoned O-Train tracks were in that much of a better shape.
 

Krypto98

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It would require an exemption to run non FRA standard equipment on a heavy rail line and would require any switching moves by CN to be done after hours. That might be a problem.

Also cannot be used by Go to move equipment between the two lines while the LRT is running.
Keep in mind, the spur is currently R105 territory with basically 10-15 speeds
 

kalis0490

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Looking at Kitchener and Guelph as a strong city pairing, you have two whole yards in Kitchener that could at least theoretically accommodate some smaller trains, that in theory could take the 100% Metrolinx owned track back and forth, and in the future expand more into a regional network centred around Kitchener. Not all of this would need to happen at once, but establishing these kinds of small networks would help make GO more polycentric and less rigidly Toronto oriented and eliminate a lot of the vestigial problems created by the downtown Toronto 9-5 commuter model. If this was done across board with Metrolinx getting a big order of, say, bimode EMU/DMUs or something, you could use them both on the "inner network" and also spread them out to be based in some more outer yards to connect strong city pairings. Kitchener-Guelph can't be the only one.
I've actually looked into this further, Kitchener-Guelph are approx. 22 km away from each other. it takes 17 minutes to get from one to the other. and you need a loop in the middle - there's conveniently located GO owned grain elevator tracks. If you construct a switch from the mainline to the branch, and a track from the the 2nd grain track to the mainline so that it would still have access, you would have 15 minute service between Kitchener and Guelph. @ARG1 the business case says a total cost of $150 million inc. for track upgrade and speed increases, but a lot of the work needed is already being done in projects like the Guelph south Platform and the ION. The true cost is probably lower. The BCR even in low growth hourly frequency scenarios is positive.
 
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Bordercollie

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crs1026

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I've actually looked into this further, Kitchener-Guelph are approx. 22 km away from each other. it takes 17 minutes to get from one to the other. and you need a loop in the middle - there's conveniently located GO owned grain elevator tracks. If you construct a switch from the mainline to the branch, and a track from the the 2nd grain track to the mainline so that it would still have access, you would have 15 minute service between Kitchener and Guelph. @ARG1 the business case says a total cost of $150 million inc. for track upgrade and speed increases, but a lot of the work needed is already being done in projects like the Guelph south Platform and the ION. The true cost is probably lower. The BCR even in low growth hourly frequency scenarios is positive.

That addition of that passing track is already in the works.

Keep in mind, though, that GO intends to run hourly to Toronto. And VIA will require some track capacity. And the question remains, what can be done with better bus service in the Region while the need for higher order transit grows..

As for the O train, in its original form it was fundamentally a demonstration project that had very low capacity and used tracks that seen regular freight and passenger use until not that long before it started. The G&G is not in anywhere near that shape. There are even operating restrictions that limit operations to night time hours in hot weather due to the age and pedigree of the track. Getting to today took a lot of incremental investment, and patience.

I am solidly behind the concept of higher order transit linking various points in the Grand River area…. linking Guelph, K-W, Cambridge, and even Brantford-Paris and Stratford. But that needs to be planned much more rigourously than just looking at where existing rail lines are - or were - and assuming that’s where we should build. We are facing a whole intensification of the Region. Much safer to add new corridors - even if that takes 20-30 years - than loading every possible form of transit on to the old routes.

- Paul
 

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