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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

I hope this means that GO service can soon start feeling more like Berlin's S-Bahn and not the mess that it can be under Metrolinx's leadership. The press release says the consortium will be in charge of train service planning, which I hope also means we get consistent line/route nomenclature, ideally complementary to TTC lines (so subway lines 1, 2, 4, and GO lines A, B, C, etc).

I also hope we can take as much advantage as possible of all tracks within the city to build infill stations on existing lines, at places like Sunnyside, the Junction, Lawrence East, and so on.
 
Management staff? It's always interesting what happens to existing staff when a "takeover" happens. No guarantees, I imagine, and one would think that the new consortium may have people they want to bring in from their other organizations to help out.
Alstom management staff were told to apply at OnXpress for the same position, management isn’t being moved over, or at least not a majority of them, it’ll be fresh faces which I think is a good sign
 
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The provision of an explicit date is encouraging. I believe the date was mentioned in the past, but only notionally. This gives it much more skin in the game.
Personally, I would have predicted longer.

- Paul
 
The Go Expansion Tweet.
Great news! We’ve accepted ONxpress’ proposal for the operations & maintenance of the GO network beginning Jan. 1, 2025, for the next 20+ years 🎉

A new #GOExpansion operator will mean more trains, less waiting & faster, more frequent service! Learn more: https://bit.ly/4b6ClGV
They're currently in a 2 year development phase. The news is also that they accepted the finalized proposal for the operations and maintenance.
 
I hope this means that GO service can soon start feeling more like Berlin's S-Bahn and not the mess that it can be under Metrolinx's leadership. The press release says the consortium will be in charge of train service planning, which I hope also means we get consistent line/route nomenclature, ideally complementary to TTC lines (so subway lines 1, 2, 4, and GO lines A, B, C, etc).

I also hope we can take as much advantage as possible of all tracks within the city to build infill stations on existing lines, at places like Sunnyside, the Junction, Lawrence East, and so on.
Letters for the GO lines is definitely coming at some point, it's in Metrolinx's Wayfinding standard, and looks similar to the TTC line signage. Main difference is the letters are in squares with rounded corners rather than numbers in circles. Also worth noting both Lakeshore West (Line A) and Lakeshore East (Line G) both use red (albeit slightly different shades), so it seems like that's possibly a set up for merging those into a single "Line A" Lakeshore line sooner or later.

I also think the renderings for Park Lawn GO station included the "A" branding for Lakeshore West, so hopefully we'll start to see the actual thing in stations eventually.
 
I'm finding it all very confusing. So has Metrolinx basically taken themselves completely out of the picture regarding GO transit? It sounds like Onxpress will be doing everything that Metrolinx was originally doing. What role does Metrolinx now serve within GO transit? To simply hand over money to Onxpress with the provincial governments blessings?
What I find even more perplexing is why did Metrolinx hire a consortium of 4 different companies to come in and bring about these changes? Why didn't Metrolinx simply hire some top guys from these European Companies to help bring about the changes within Metrolinx?
 
I'm finding it all very confusing. So has Metrolinx basically taken themselves completely out of the picture regarding GO transit? It sounds like Onxpress will be doing everything that Metrolinx was originally doing. What role does Metrolinx now serve within GO transit? To simply hand over money to Onxpress with the provincial governments blessings?
What I find even more perplexing is why did Metrolinx hire a consortium of 4 different companies to come in and bring about these changes? Why didn't Metrolinx simply hire some top guys from these European Companies to help bring about the changes within Metrolinx?
It's the Province via Metrolinx setting the overall framework through the various business cases, cabinet sign offs, money. So from what I can. See they still have the overall planning function.
 
It's the Province via Metrolinx setting the overall framework through the various business cases, cabinet sign offs, money. So from what I can. See they still have the overall planning function.

I'm not a fan of P3, but it is very popular these days.

In theory, as an entity that only does planning and "smart buying", ML should become a much smaller organization. In practice, they have to maintain a lot of the same overhead and corporate functions - and the concept of "smart buyers" always seems to require twice as many people as originally believed.

The biggest problem is how it firewalls information and accountability such that government doesn't need to disclose anything, can hide behind confidentiality clauses, and blame for problems can be passed away from both politicians and ML itself. In that respect, it's actually a brilliant way to cover everyone's behind. And adds a layer of complexity to communication and information flow.

The benefit in this case is that the consortium may actually be capable of building and maintaining an organization comprised of people who actually know how to "do" and not just "plan". It may be an improvement on some of the monolithic aspects of ML, and it will bring in people from elsewhere in the industry who may constructively challenge many sacred beliefs within ML and drive change instead of complacency.

On the other hand, the risk is that four partners who have not necessarily played together before now need to converge to a single way of doing things and an integrated operating model. That will take time and there will be a learning curve. And anything that ML did not get right will now require a change order, and that comes at a negotiated price.

- Paul
 
Why didn't Metrolinx simply hire some top guys from these European Companies to help bring about the changes within Metrolinx?
The cost to entice them might have proven to be prohibitive. Once you hire somebody, you inherit responsibility for salary, benefits, pension, severance (if/when it comes to that) etc. as well as the whole HR process to hire them in the first place. It's sometimes cleaner to simply makes rules and write cheques.

It seems that, in this case, the government wants to take on the role of director and funder rather than do-er; although as mentioned, the bus side seems unaddressed as does UPX. Metrolinx also has responsibility for Presto, and it is not clear if 'operations' includes security/fare enforcement. The latter might require a legislative change.
 
I believe the most important project GO transit should be working on (more so than electrification) is separating freight from passenger rail. The hypothetical freight bypasses. Does this consortium give GO transit more leverage when confronting CN and CP? Do these European train companies have any experience dealing/ negotiating with North American, Class 1, freight companies? Freight rail in Europe is not the same as freight rail in North America.
 
I believe the most important project GO transit should be working on (more so than electrification) is separating freight from passenger rail. The hypothetical freight bypasses. Does this consortium give GO transit more leverage when confronting CN and CP? Do these European train companies have any experience dealing/ negotiating with North American, Class 1, freight companies? Freight rail in Europe is not the same as freight rail in North America.
Depends on the scope of the contract, but I'd guess it's highly unlikely MX is going to have contractors negotiating with CN or CP. That would remain a government/Metrolinx problem. Freight bypasses for example would almost certainly not be part of any current contract (no one is going to make a contract that is so open ended in terms of potential costs) and would require a change order later once the negotiations around any bypasses are complete.
 

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