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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.

Dan
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.

Will DB have some unique interactions with NA ops and practice? Yes, but most of the trackage where we will be operating frequent service is owned by MX with freight as the guest, I think it's very concerning to suggest that they should not be aiming to operate in a non-North American way, thats why we are installing ETCS and other infra that is used in Europe. DB has worked on other stuff in NA too. There is of course a learning curve, but I would guess thats why there are so many years of planning between the consortium and MX before implementation. Basically, they aren't going to be operating on a typical North American railway, I mean GO is already unlike most operations on the continent!

Of course we are hiring DB so that they can operate trains their way, of course they will need to accomodate for truly necessarily North American things like loading gauge - and mixed traffic where it exists, but a lot of stuff we do is not set in stone. Even if all they do is propose improvements to the way we do things today as opposed to a paradigm shift. And yes, these things are compatible, Australia and Mex come to mind as places where both ETCS and a lot of Euro derived infra is mixed with heavy NA style freight.

Edit: TBC this isn't really meant to be pointed at either of you, just a broader sense I worry about that we will bring DB in to just do things how we do them today. A ton of the projects we are doing and have done in the past on the GO network are to enable more isolation from the trad mainline rail network so that we can operate stuff differently.

^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

TTC attracts oodles of ridership with a good suburban last mile bus service, and a lot of the 905 has this service - it just needs beefing up and expanding to connect with trains that don't just run during rush hour.

I would like to be proven wrong, but let's perhaps temper our expectations for DB. They seem to do well enough in Germany, but I suspect GO Expansion will be delivered by a subsidiary of the company like Arriva. And the thought of anything like Arriva coming to take over GO should be adequate cause for panic. Their lack of vision, service planning has given a handful of bus operators in the former Czechoslovakia no end of difficulties.

It's not Arriva. This is a very different project - they are involved deeply in infra and planning, not just operating existing trains on existing infrastructure.
 
I think simply increasing service to All day 2 way on several corridors will increase ridership substantially ( Theres a whole Facebook car pooling world which could be made obsolete), In cities like Kitchener, Hamilton or Barrie, there is probably more off-peak travel to Toronto than on-peak.
As someone who lives and works in Barrie, absolutely. More off-peak train service here would make the city feel less isolated from Toronto and everything it has to offer on the weekends.
 
Strangely, Lisgar GO has no weekend bus service, much like Dixie GO.
There are direct-ish local bus options or GO bus stops to them, or at least to neighbourhoods adjacent to them. But the only way between Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo is the long way via the 401, with a transfer at Aberfoyle. Apples to oranges, IMO.

 
There are direct-ish local bus options or GO bus stops to them, or at least to neighbourhoods adjacent to them. But the only way between Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo is the long way via the 401, with a transfer at Aberfoyle. Apples to oranges, IMO.


You probably know who I am and that I am very much aware of what connects to what and what doesn’t connect. I was just pointing out of one the other strange things GO buses do.
 
You probably know who I am and that I am very much aware of what connects to what and what doesn’t connect. I was just pointing out of one the other strange things GO buses do.
Totally, and I hope you know I'm never taking a shot with these comments, it's just laying it out for everyone reading on the sidelines, and continue the discussion (and really emphasize "WTF GO, C'MON!").
 
Of course we are hiring DB so that they can operate trains their way, of course they will need to accomodate for truly necessarily North American things like loading gauge - and mixed traffic where it exists, but a lot of stuff we do is not set in stone. Even if all they do is propose improvements to the way we do things today as opposed to a paradigm shift. And yes, these things are compatible, Australia and Mex come to mind as places where both ETCS and a lot of Euro derived infra is mixed with heavy NA style freight.

Agreed. The only comparable North American commuter-rail system to GO-RER is the Long Island RailRoad, which also has very unique operating characteristics that don't really work for Toronto.

Either way you go it's new territory for the hired operator (either the service levels or the regulations). Alstom is the closest entity to having experience with both, and they're very involved with setting up the physical infrastructure.

DB's biggest issue will be training and retaining engineers for the level of projected service, something Bombardier was not able to adequately resolve either.
 
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I read the Alstom job document for April 9th and beyond today, and from what I read the Stouffville and Barrie Lines will have a major service decrease on the weekend for the foreseeable future. Though I’m not sure if these plans are 100% finalised yet so I’ll have another look in a couple weeks with revisions will be released.
 
A GO bus has now been spotted for at least the second time on Woodlawn Road (Highway 7) in Guelph, from Kitchener. Steven thinks it's testing a new direct route, I really hope he's right.

This is a long time coming and will be really helpful for off peak service.

Fingers crossed the next service announcement is a GO Guelph - Kitchener Bus and weekend train service (that includes service to London)
 
I read the Alstom job document for April 9th and beyond today, and from what I read the Stouffville and Barrie Lines will have a major service decrease on the weekend for the foreseeable future. Though I’m not sure if these plans are 100% finalised yet so I’ll have another look in a couple weeks with revisions will be released.
Seems believable - the Stouffville Line improvements seem almost done. Probably want the time to tie in all the new track and platforms? Unfortunate to see a service cutback like this especially when I hear it is pretty well used - hopefully we don't see something like this again. That being said with the infrastructure the Stouffville Line will have service could be easily ramped to half hourly all day after - which would be awesome!

Less familiar with the state of things on the Barrie Line, but obviously Davenport is happening
 
I read the Alstom job document for April 9th and beyond today, and from what I read the Stouffville and Barrie Lines will have a major service decrease on the weekend for the foreseeable future. Though I’m not sure if these plans are 100% finalised yet so I’ll have another look in a couple weeks with revisions will be released.

If this is due to a need for construction windows, then it's a good thing. Maybe this will clear up some of the last items to get added track in place and in service.

The challenge being, getting ML to have a sense of urgency about restoring service afterwards. We shall see.

- Paul
 

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