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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

SaugeenJunction

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That's great to hear! That's real progress almost a year in.

I hope GO makes this permanent and can move up the London AM departure time to a later time.
From this PC election announcement for $160 million of upgrades for the London service, I think it’s safe to say it will be made permanent.

The big question is if the Kitchener Line gets re-named to the “London Line”. The PCs seem to like re-naming things, like Old Elm GO and the Hazel McCallion LRT.
 

Deadpool X

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From this PC election announcement for $160 million of upgrades for the London service, I think it’s safe to say it will be made permanent.

The big question is if the Kitchener Line gets re-named to the “London Line”. The PCs seem to like re-naming things, like Old Elm GO and the Hazel McCallion LRT.
Both Stouffville and Richmond Hill lines have their terminal stations different from the line's name.
 

crs1026

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Some good London GO news: travel times are decreasing and trains are speeding up.

FWIW I kept an eye on VIA 87 tonight on the Moving Maps. The train made great time west of Georgetown... apart from one speed reduction at Acton (to 68 km/h) the train ran at roughly 111 km/h without reduction all the way to Guelph, arriving 3 minutes early. It ran just as well to Kitchener, arriving 8 minutes early..... but after an 11 minute pause at Kitchener, it ran at about 50 km/h all the way to the Nith River. It got up to around 96 km/h for a bit, but slowed west of Shakespeare with a couple very short sprints up to around 80 km/h. Arrival at Stratford was 13 minutes late.

Sure looks like a lot more track work is required to get things up to a reasonable speed west of Kitchener.

- Paul
 

Bordercollie

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FWIW I kept an eye on VIA 87 tonight on the Moving Maps. The train made great time west of Georgetown... apart from one speed reduction at Acton (to 68 km/h) the train ran at roughly 111 km/h without reduction all the way to Guelph, arriving 3 minutes early. It ran just as well to Kitchener, arriving 8 minutes early..... but after an 11 minute pause at Kitchener, it ran at about 50 km/h all the way to the Nith River. It got up to around 96 km/h for a bit, but slowed west of Shakespeare with a couple very short sprints up to around 80 km/h. Arrival at Stratford was 13 minutes late.

Sure looks like a lot more track work is required to get things up to a reasonable speed west of Kitchener.

- Paul
Even if they could shave off 30min from the whole trip that would be excellent. How far does 160millon go towards track work? New ties and ballast for 20km?
 

SaugeenJunction

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Even if they could shave off 30min from the whole trip that would be excellent. How far does 160millon go towards track work? New ties and ballast for 20km?
You’d get much more than new ties and ballast for 20kms for $160 million. You can completely rebuild a trackbed from the sub-base up, including new rail for about $2 million per kilometre (conservative number). Below is my best, uneducated guess on what Metrolinx might spend that $160 million on.
  • Buying the Guelph Sub from CN between Kitchener and London. I can’t see the province wanting to sink $160 million into it without ownership. We also know from past VIA annual reports CN is possibly open to selling.
  • Raising the speed limit across the line to at least 100 km/h if not higher.
  • Major tie and track upgrades, likely continuous weld rail in many spots.
  • Permanent wheelchair ramps at stations and PRESTO readers at London, St. Marys and Stratford Stations.
  • Fixing the St. Mary’s Bridge so MP40s can use it. Only being able to run F59s on the London trains is a major limitation for future growth of the service right now.
  • Possibly a passing loop at Stratford Station with a second platform and extension of existing platform to accommodate GO train lengths. St. Marys has a super short platform, but due to low ridership I can’t see a reason to extend that platform in the foreseeable future.
  • Power hookups for locomotives at London Station so they don’t have to idle all night long like they do now.
In the medium term, London will need a GO layover if service is to increase in a big way. It’s too far from Kitchener to deadhead from existing layovers, and Stratford is also too far too (I’ve heard people suggest this before). Luckily, the Guelph Sub runs through many industrial areas in London, so finding a spot shouldn’t be hard.

Another blessing is that VIA Rail installed a modern signalling system across the Guelph Sub in the early 2010s. They were never able to run more trains on it, but that’s a win for GO now.

I would guess that this investment of $160 million will be a “first wave of upgrades”, and more investments will occur over this decade as ridership builds.
 

Bordercollie

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You’d get much more than new ties and ballast for 20kms for $160 million. You can completely rebuild a trackbed from the sub-base up, including new rail for about $2 million per kilometre (conservative number). Below is my best, uneducated guess on what Metrolinx might spend that $160 million on.
  • Buying the Guelph Sub from CN between Kitchener and London. I can’t see the province wanting to sink $160 million into it without ownership. We also know from past VIA annual reports CN is possibly open to selling.
  • Raising the speed limit across the line to at least 100 km/h if not higher.
  • Major tie and track upgrades, likely continuous weld rail in many spots.
  • Permanent wheelchair ramps at stations and PRESTO readers at London, St. Marys and Stratford Stations.
  • Fixing the St. Mary’s Bridge so MP40s can use it. Only being able to run F59s on the London trains is a major limitation for future growth of the service right now.
  • Possibly a passing loop at Stratford Station with a second platform and extension of existing platform to accommodate GO train lengths. St. Marys has a super short platform, but due to low ridership I can’t see a reason to extend that platform in the foreseeable future.
  • Power hookups for locomotives at London Station so they don’t have to idle all night long like they do now.
In the medium term, London will need a GO layover if service is to increase in a big way. It’s too far from Kitchener to deadhead from existing layovers, and Stratford is also too far too (I’ve heard people suggest this before). Luckily, the Guelph Sub runs through many industrial areas in London, so finding a spot shouldn’t be hard.

Another blessing is that VIA Rail installed a modern signalling system across the Guelph Sub in the early 2010s. They were never able to run more trains on it, but that’s a win for GO now.
Would CN sell it for 160 Millon but agree to pay for track slots and track slots that they dont get to choose?

I thought Stratford already has two tracks? They just need another platform.
 

SaugeenJunction

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Would CN sell it for 160 Millon but agree to pay for track slots and track slots that they dont get to choose?

I thought Stratford already has two tracks? They just need another platform.
CN sold the Georgetown (Silver) to Kitchener portion of the Guelph Sub to Metrolinx in 2014 for $76 million. I can’t see how the Kitchener to London portion would cost more. Railways are subject to property tax, and it would be a far better deal for CN to pay Metrolinx for track slots than pay for property tax and maintenance on the corridor. The corridor usually only sees 1 to 2 freights per day.

Regarding track slot times, I am sure that is something that would be negotiated in the event of a sale. These deals aren’t public, but the fact that CN can run Aldershot to Oakville Yard trains during busy times on the Lakeshore West Line tells me that CN reserves certain rights over timing.

Stratford would need some re-jigging for a second mainline track (switch locations etc) but it wouldn’t be hard. Stratford Yard is decently busy but nothing that would preclude a second platform.
 

crs1026

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^ Some of that money should go to adding more passing sidings with higher speed turnouts so that a more flexible service pattern can be implemented. $160M won’t get the line to hourly service, but bi-hourly 2WAD would be a huge step forward and an attainable goal.

Many crossings need to be refurbished. And there are several big bridges on that route - even if they are not weight restricted they will all need work to avoid becoming slow ordered. New rail throughout is needed, although some sections that are already cwr may be fine. Tie and stone work is a major item. I would be reluctant to see too much station and platform work, ML has a bad habit of overspending on these, and if only $160M is available then it needs to be applied judiciously….. overkill on stations could blow through a chunk of that very quickly.

Track, track, track…….now there’s a motto.

- Paul
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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Unless there is a route I can't picture, you'd have to get to T3 and go out the far (north) exit - where the out-of-town vans and limos pool - and walk out American Dr. That end of T3 is actually quite close to Airport Rd.

Or take the inter terminal train out to the parking lots/hotel and walk from there. There's sidewalks on those streets
 
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Woodbridge_Heights

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I'll offer my own data point.

Back in late Aug on a typically busy Toronto weekend (Multiple events at BMO, SBA, RC, Bud Stage etc), I was at BMO while my wife was visiting friends downtown. We arranged to meet at Union and take the train (LE) home together. When my train pulled into Union my wife was only able to board the train because I told her which platform the train was on. Apparently, according to her, the notice boards in Union made no mention of this train's arrival at Union. Almost as if it were a pocket train trying to avoid the rush of the crowd at Union from swamping the train.

This seems to be a practice GO uses during TFC games, but probably should be deploying more often.
 

Willybru21

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I know a lot of untrue rumours and stuff comes up in these forums, but yesterday a CSA told me that the Alstom crews requested to be able to strike or something along those lines.
 

Bordercollie

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