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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

And how much experience does DB have with operating in North America?

I wouldn't expect too much of them, especially at the start. They are going to have a very steep learning curve.

I believe Deutsche Bahn's International Operations first passenger rail contract is GO RER, though they recently won a contract in India which will begin operations this year. They also have a freight contact in Uruguay starting this year.

I think everything else DB operates uses, at least partially, German infrastructure. In short, their Operations branch is very new to anything outside Western Europe.

Their Engineering and Consulting branch has done quite a bit of work outside Germany, but not operations and Alstom has the engineering role for GO.
 
I am thinking as a devil's advocate for a moment. Will increase in services be enough to increase ridership by that magnitude? It's not like GO trains are packed and people are not using it because there is no space for more riders. Many who want to use GO for their office commute are already using it. Many who are driving today will keep driving. Some people will shift from driving to GO because they will have to wait less but how many? It's not like the trips are getting a lot faster. From what I read, speeds were going up by around 20% on an average which is still not enough and may still be slower than car when comparing door to door times including waiting for trains and connecting services.

In my opinion, GO needs faster services more than frequent services if we are looking for an overhaul in modal share of transit. Highway 401 in Toronto in peak hours is faster than Lakeshore West from Clarkson to Union. That's saying something.
 
I am thinking as a devil's advocate for a moment. Will increase in services be enough to increase ridership by that magnitude? It's not like GO trains are packed and people are not using it because there is no space for more riders. Many who want to use GO for their office commute are already using it. Many who are driving today will keep driving. Some people will shift from driving to GO because they will have to wait less but how many? It's not like the trips are getting a lot faster. From what I read, speeds were going up by around 20% on an average which is still not enough and may still be slower than car when comparing door to door times including waiting for trains and connecting services.

In my opinion, GO needs faster services more than frequent services if we are looking for an overhaul in modal share of transit. Highway 401 in Toronto in peak hours is faster than Lakeshore West from Clarkson to Union. That's saying something.
good thing a big part of GO Expansion is improving travel times. It's not a one or the other prospect, it's a "why not both" prospect.
 
I believe Deutsche Bahn's International Operations first passenger rail contract is GO RER, though they recently won a contract in India which will begin operations this year. They also have a freight contact in Uruguay starting this year.

I think everything else DB operates uses, at least partially, German infrastructure. In short, their Operations branch is very new to anything outside Western Europe.

Their Engineering and Consulting branch has done quite a bit of work outside Germany, but not operations and Alstom has the engineering role for GO.
DB is also the 100% shareholder of Arriva, which operates trains & buses in several European counties. With mixed success, it has to be said.
 
good thing a big part of GO Expansion is improving travel times. It's not a one or the other prospect, it's a "why not both" prospect.
There are also un-tapped markets on capacity-constrained lines like the Kitchener Line. For example, there are no trains into Toronto from stops past Bramalea during the evening peak period. There's a gap in service from Mt. Pleasant to Union between 15:42 (too early to be off work) and 19:40 (too late to for a game or a show). Also, the chances of the off-peak period schedule of every-2-hours matching a customer's travel needs are very low; a consistent hourly service, in both directions with extra peak trains, would be the minimum frequency for a useful service, and 30-min should be the target. The more frequent, shorter, trains proposed by OnExpress should help as long as the infrastructure is in place to support additional service.
 
There are also un-tapped markets on capacity-constrained lines like the Kitchener Line. For example, there are no trains into Toronto from stops past Bramalea during the evening peak period. There's a gap in service from Mt. Pleasant to Union between 15:42 (too early to be off work) and 19:40 (too late to for a game or a show). Also, the chances of the off-peak period schedule of every-2-hours matching a customer's travel needs are very low; a consistent hourly service, in both directions with extra peak trains, would be the minimum frequency for a useful service, and 30-min should be the target. The more frequent, shorter, trains proposed by OnExpress should help as long as the infrastructure is in place to support additional service.
As is being discussed in the construction thread, reliable 30-60min frequencies to the more “intercity”-like parts of the GO Network would go a long ways.

Although, I think you might just be referring to the fledgling parts of the core network that won’t be electrified. Places like Bramalea-Mount Pleasant, Unionville-Mt Joy/Stouffville, and Aldershot-WH are places where demand doesn’t fall off, but service does/will for one reason or another. I think the gap between the electrified services and non-electrified will evidently stifle ridership growth in these areas even if we commit a large number of express diesels to provide 30min-or-better frequencies. While it would have limited utility as local rapid transit, it would still be a very compelling service.
 
I am thinking as a devil's advocate for a moment. Will increase in services be enough to increase ridership by that magnitude? It's not like GO trains are packed and people are not using it because there is no space for more riders. Many who want to use GO for their office commute are already using it. Many who are driving today will keep driving. Some people will shift from driving to GO because they will have to wait less but how many? It's not like the trips are getting a lot faster. From what I read, speeds were going up by around 20% on an average which is still not enough and may still be slower than car when comparing door to door times including waiting for trains and connecting services.

In my opinion, GO needs faster services more than frequent services if we are looking for an overhaul in modal share of transit. Highway 401 in Toronto in peak hours is faster than Lakeshore West from Clarkson to Union. That's saying something.
The fact that so many lines are running at hourly headways is actually a huge problem for many. While having clockface scheduling is nice, and hourly headways is certainly a frequency one can plan around, its not exactly convenient. Let's say you have to go to a convention in Toronto, the event ends at 7pm (its a weekend), and you need to go back home with the closest line being the Barrie Line. Barrie trains leave at XX:53, so unless you excuse yourself 15-20m early, you have to wait almost a whole hour to catch the next train. By that point, you could've just found a place to park and driven home. What GO has right now is a system that is workable with the right forward planning, however isn't something people can conveniently use on a whim, or the most ideal system to use in such cases. Want to switch lines? Well that's certainly going to result in even more waiting, just wondering the halls of Union for ~20m unlike say the subway system where at most your transfer is going to be like 3m (in pre-covid times).
 
The fact that so many lines are running at hourly headways is actually a huge problem for many. While having clockface scheduling is nice, and hourly headways is certainly a frequency one can plan around, its not exactly convenient. Let's say you have to go to a convention in Toronto, the event ends at 7pm (its a weekend), and you need to go back home with the closest line being the Barrie Line. Barrie trains leave at XX:53, so unless you excuse yourself 15-20m early, you have to wait almost a whole hour to catch the next train. By that point, you could've just found a place to park and driven home. What GO has right now is a system that is workable with the right forward planning, however isn't something people can conveniently use on a whim, or the most ideal system to use in such cases. Want to switch lines? Well that's certainly going to result in even more waiting, just wondering the halls of Union for ~20m unlike say the subway system where at most your transfer is going to be like 3m (in pre-covid times).
Great explanation. In essence, the increased frequency will enable different kinds of trips that GO traditionally doesn’t capture. It is not that the existing use case for GO (commuting downtown) will be more appealing to more people, but that the system can now facilitate different kinds of trips that are already occurring, just not with GO.

Lots of people for instance simply use their municipal transit to get around. GO stations do not currently mean anything to these folks because the service offered makes it completely irrelevant. But if you can use GO just like any other frequent service, there’s no need to pay it special attention, which usually is just ignoring GO entirely today. It will start to manifest like a subway line in the collective minds of transit users, if not better.
 
From link.

Service Adjustments March 25 & 26​

There will be no train service on the Barrie Line beginning of service Saturday, March 25, until end of service on Sunday, March 26. Buses will replace train service during this time.​
Between Bradford GO and Downsview Park GO, we will be performing track construction and maintenance to ensure the safe and reliable operation of our train service.​
This weekend crews will also be making track connections on the Davenport Diamond Guideway – a significant project that supports more frequent, two-way, all-day train service on the Barrie Line in the future. The Guideway will enable GO Trains to travel above traffic and over Canadian Pacific freight train tracks reducing congestion and improving service reliability. Learn more about the Davenport Diamond Guideway.
Here’s what you need to know:
  • There will be no GO train service on the Barrie line during this service adjustment.
  • Replacement buses will provide service between Union Station Bus Terminal, Rutherford, Maple, King City, Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury GO stations. Some bus trips will run express to Aurora GO so be sure to check schedules before you travel.
  • Replacement buses will not serve Downsview Park GO. You can use TTC or YRT to travel to and from this station.
  • Regular train service will resume Monday, March 27.
Thank you for your patience as we perform this important work. Through the GO Expansion program, we are building a better service with faster trains, more stations, increased capacity and reduced travel time.​
 
From link.

Service Adjustments March 25 & 26​

There will be no train service on the Barrie Line beginning of service Saturday, March 25, until end of service on Sunday, March 26. Buses will replace train service during this time.​
Between Bradford GO and Downsview Park GO, we will be performing track construction and maintenance to ensure the safe and reliable operation of our train service.​
This weekend crews will also be making track connections on the Davenport Diamond Guideway – a significant project that supports more frequent, two-way, all-day train service on the Barrie Line in the future. The Guideway will enable GO Trains to travel above traffic and over Canadian Pacific freight train tracks reducing congestion and improving service reliability. Learn more about the Davenport Diamond Guideway.
Here’s what you need to know:
  • There will be no GO train service on the Barrie line during this service adjustment.
  • Replacement buses will provide service between Union Station Bus Terminal, Rutherford, Maple, King City, Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury GO stations. Some bus trips will run express to Aurora GO so be sure to check schedules before you travel.
  • Replacement buses will not serve Downsview Park GO. You can use TTC or YRT to travel to and from this station.
  • Regular train service will resume Monday, March 27.
Thank you for your patience as we perform this important work. Through the GO Expansion program, we are building a better service with faster trains, more stations, increased capacity and reduced travel time.​
Any idea on what this work is? Bradford to Downsview is a pretty long stretch of track.
 
^Clearly, getting headways down under 30 minutes - 15 would be ideal - is critical. Hourly is acceptable for longer distances where even with a wait, the overall transit time is competitive to driving.

To my mind the limiting factor for regional service is the poor quality of first mile/last mile rather than the speed or frequency of the backbone rail service. We can’t rely on parking garages at stations to handle all the potential ridership. The whole playing field needs to be adjusted - municipalities are not well aligned to deliver people to GO, and for the majority of the suburban area we are not going to attract ridership door to door by running 40-foot buses deep into suburban neighbourhoods. Nor are municipalities likely to fund or apply innovation to their local transit operations to achieve this, even though there may be mutual benefit. We need a new “pact”, and Ontario may need to pony up the starting investment and perhaps financial incentives to riders and to municipalities to get things going.
- Paul
 
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Any idea on what this work is? Bradford to Downsview is a pretty long stretch of track.

I don’t know of any specific cut-ins other than the Davenport Diamond trackage, but one hopes that ML will make maximum use of the outage to do other key work.

- Paul
 
The fact that so many lines are running at hourly headways is actually a huge problem for many. While having clockface scheduling is nice, and hourly headways is certainly a frequency one can plan around, its not exactly convenient. Let's say you have to go to a convention in Toronto, the event ends at 7pm (its a weekend), and you need to go back home with the closest line being the Barrie Line. Barrie trains leave at XX:53, so unless you excuse yourself 15-20m early, you have to wait almost a whole hour to catch the next train. By that point, you could've just found a place to park and driven home. What GO has right now is a system that is workable with the right forward planning, however isn't something people can conveniently use on a whim, or the most ideal system to use in such cases. Want to switch lines? Well that's certainly going to result in even more waiting, just wondering the halls of Union for ~20m unlike say the subway system where at most your transfer is going to be like 3m (in pre-covid times).
These types of trips are usually off peak or counter peak and of course these are always a fraction of peak demand. Even if GO is able to absorb all of such potential off peak demand, that will still be far from enough to triple the ridership.

The question is how much of peak demand GO is already handling. Since trains are sort of already frequent on most lines in peak hours, it is possible that GO is already taking care of most of peak demand and untapped demand is not that much. How many more people will get swayed to use GO just because it's 15 min service instead of 30 min. If GO is a convenient/faster choice for them, they are probably already using it. For many others, driving might be much faster and convenient, and change in frequency doesn't do anything for them. It doesn't make the trip faster, not it brings the station closer to their home.

That's why I was suggesting that GO needs to improve its speeds significantly enough that the time saved overrides the inconvenience of not having door to door service or waiting for a bus to take you to GO. The proposed trip times don't seem to be that much faster to me. I am not expecting HSR speeds obviously but is that the best a regional rail can do? How do other regional rails in Europe or Japan with similar average station gap compare with future GO RER?
 
That's why I was suggesting that GO needs to improve its speeds significantly enough that the time saved overrides the inconvenience of not having door to door service or waiting for a bus to take you to GO.
Go expansion will reduce Barrie line travel time end to end from 1h 41m currently to under 1h, is that not enough?
 
These types of trips are usually off peak or counter peak and of course these are always a fraction of peak demand. Even if GO is able to absorb all of such potential off peak demand, that will still be far from enough to triple the ridership.

The question is how much of peak demand GO is already handling. Since trains are sort of already frequent on most lines in peak hours, it is possible that GO is already taking care of most of peak demand and untapped demand is not that much. How many more people will get swayed to use GO just because it's 15 min service instead of 30 min. If GO is a convenient/faster choice for them, they are probably already using it. For many others, driving might be much faster and convenient, and change in frequency doesn't do anything for them. It doesn't make the trip faster, not it brings the station closer to their home.

That's why I was suggesting that GO needs to improve its speeds significantly enough that the time saved overrides the inconvenience of not having door to door service or waiting for a bus to take you to GO. The proposed trip times don't seem to be that much faster to me. I am not expecting HSR speeds obviously but is that the best a regional rail can do? How do other regional rails in Europe or Japan with similar average station gap compare with future GO RER?
Electrification will yield improvement to average speed. Using Tokyo's Chuo line as an example, their trains operates at 100 - 130km/h - slower than the Lakeshore lines' speed limit outside of the Union station zone.
 

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