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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

BlogTO has a new article up about the E-Bikes on the GO trains.

https://www.blogto.com/city/2024/02/go-transit-cracking-down-bikes-trains/
This is a multi-layered social phenomenon/problem that I'm not sure is GO's to solve alone. Gig economy, people unwilling to brown bag - if the market didn't exist, neither would the problem. Mortgages and rents are high, but has anybody ever been able to live reasonably downtown or even in the burbs on what amounts to minimum wage - ever?

I suspect that if GO tacked on a 'bike car' or two but charged for the service people would complain about that.
 
Can someone remind me why this is the option and not the north side? I acknowledge that isn't an easy option either. just wondering what the thought process was.

Best layout to connect the existing third track to the east and west, plus least impact on the north side where there are actually more things to displace eg the heritage depot, parking, etc..

There is actually a plan in the drawer for a fourth track at some later date, and it does contemplate moving the depot and building on that side.

- Paul
 
No, they will not be operating the Lakeshore trains with shorter sets. Well, perhaps operating more L10 sets over the L12s. But Lakeshore is the one line that needs the longer trains even at off-peak and sees the largest peak loads, so shortening the trains is not foreseen as being helpful.
If Lakeshore has so much off-peak ridership that it still needs 10 car double-decker trains even after 15-minute service is restored, then we need to be pushing for service increases beyond just 15-minute local service. Once 15-minute off-peak service is restored, 10-car trains would provide more off-peak capacity than some of the busiest railways in Europe.

For example, the mainline between The Hague and Rotterdam (where I used to live) runs 10 trains per hour:
2 intercity trains per hour: 7 single-level coaches (2x 500 seats)
4 regional trains per hour: 6-car bilevel EMU (4x 571 seats)
4 local trains per hour: 6-unit single-level EMU (4x 322 seats)
Total: 4572 seats per hour

Once Lakeshore West returns to 15-minute off peak service, it will have:
4 local trains per hour: 10 bilevel coaches (4x 1400 seats)
Total: 5600 seats per hour

If off-peak ridership is really that high then we should be pushing for the immediate introduction of all-day express service to Hamilton, in addition to the 15-minute local service to Oakville (30 minutes to Aldershot)
 
I don't imagine ridership is that high - but rather, it tends to surge during certain periods.

Lakeshore GO ridership in the off-peak period is heavily dependent on entertainment trips to Downtown. Crush loads after a Leafs / Raptors / Jays game would easily fill Lakeshore capacity for 2-3 trains after letting out.

On a Tuesday afternoon at 2pm? Yea, probably not full.

I do think that an all-day express service pattern to Hamilton is warranted however - even if it's just the hourly service to West Harbour which runs express.

Ideally we have 15 minute service from Union to Burlington and 30 minute service to West Harbour, split with 30-minute frequency express trains and 15-minute locals, half of which turn back at Clarkson.
 
What I can think of is all the stations except Georgetown are on the south side of the corridor.
There's only two (VIA) stations in that stretch, Georgetown and Brampton. Georgetown is on the south, and Brampton is on the north.

At Brampton, Bramalea and Mount Pleasant there are multiple platform faces, so it's much easier to route trains.

Also that the Weston sub comes in at the south side of the Halton Sub at Halwest.
But at Silver the Guelph Sub comes off of the north side, so no matter what you will have crossing movements.

If Lakeshore has so much off-peak ridership that it still needs 10 car double-decker trains even after 15-minute service is restored, then we need to be pushing for service increases beyond just 15-minute local service. Once 15-minute off-peak service is restored, 10-car trains would provide more off-peak capacity than some of the busiest railways in Europe.

For example, the mainline between The Hague and Rotterdam (where I used to live) runs 10 trains per hour:
2 intercity trains per hour: 7 single-level coaches (2x 500 seats)
4 regional trains per hour: 6-car bilevel EMU (4x 571 seats)
4 local trains per hour: 6-unit single-level EMU (4x 322 seats)
Total: 4572 seats per hour

Once Lakeshore West returns to 15-minute off peak service, it will have:
4 local trains per hour: 10 bilevel coaches (4x 1400 seats)
Total: 5600 seats per hour

If off-peak ridership is really that high then we should be pushing for the immediate introduction of all-day express service to Hamilton, in addition to the 15-minute local service to Oakville (30 minutes to Aldershot)
The issue is not with the average ridership per train, it's with the peak loads. With all of the various events going on downtown, off-peak trains are regularly loaded to the gills when the events let out, even to the point where GO regularly runs extras to help absorb some of the peak. That's where the 15 minute service will come in handy (although I certainly wouldn't blame you if you wanted to make a case to only run every second train part of the way, say Oakville to Pickering).

And considering that there has been very minimal noise about the continued cutting of the QEW express bus service, it would seem that the current train schedules (or maybe even an enhanced one with half-hourly service) to Hamilton is sufficient for everyone's needs.

Don't get me wrong, I desperately would like to see better, and express, service to Hamilton. But I alone can't justify the service.

Dan
 
Best layout to connect the existing third track to the east and west, plus least impact on the north side where there are actually more things to displace eg the heritage depot, parking, etc..

The schematic below was briefly available from Metrolinx in April 2021. (note that the thin lines represent tracks and the thick line the overall subdivision)
GO ProposedTrack Bramalea to Silver wCN switches.jpg


Hoping that the design package that CN is reportedly about to award covers phases 2 & 3 of the work.

The Credit Bridge already has space for the phase 2 track between Mt Pleasant and Georgetown and the 3rd track signal heads were all installed around 2014.

For Phase 3, Metrolinx has already expropriated land between the bridge and Winston Churchill Blvd, that's likely for the grade separation. But, as noted above, the City of Brampton needs to redevelop the area south of Brampton Innovation station before the 3rd track can be built.

Looks like Metrolinx thought they'd already paid for a 2nd through track at Georgetown but there's still only one track and the getting the island platforms is now part of an upcoming Georgetown Station Improvements Phase 1:
1709241568408.png
 
If Lakeshore has so much off-peak ridership that it still needs 10 car double-decker trains even after 15-minute service is restored, then we need to be pushing for service increases beyond just 15-minute local service. Once 15-minute off-peak service is restored, 10-car trains would provide more off-peak capacity than some of the busiest railways in Europe.

For example, the mainline between The Hague and Rotterdam (where I used to live) runs 10 trains per hour:
2 intercity trains per hour: 7 single-level coaches (2x 500 seats)
4 regional trains per hour: 6-car bilevel EMU (4x 571 seats)
4 local trains per hour: 6-unit single-level EMU (4x 322 seats)
Total: 4572 seats per hour

Once Lakeshore West returns to 15-minute off peak service, it will have:
4 local trains per hour: 10 bilevel coaches (4x 1400 seats)
Total: 5600 seats per hour

If off-peak ridership is really that high then we should be pushing for the immediate introduction of all-day express service to Hamilton, in addition to the 15-minute local service to Oakville (30 minutes to Aldershot)
I can tell you our trip to/from Rotterdam in July 2022 saw few riders in our coach.

Hamilton doesn't need express trains off peak, and it should be from Port Credit every 30/60 minutes as ridership falls badly after Oakville. Another example of using shorter trains as 10/12 cars are too long. Even 8 would be pushing it.
 
Hamilton doesn't need express trains off peak, and it should be from Port Credit every 30/60 minutes as ridership falls badly after Oakville. Another example of using shorter trains as 10/12 cars are too long. Even 8 would be pushing it.
No indeed Hamilton will not sink into Lake Ontario in the absence of express trains. But connecting three of the largest cities in Ontario (Hamilton, Mississauga and Toronto) within a reasonable amount of time would have a significant effect on the attractiveness of car-free travel in the region. Maybe the reason ridership falls steeply after Oakville is that it takes so long to get to Hamilton that people choose to instead drive or take the GO bus route that exists solely because the train is so slow.
 
No indeed Hamilton will not sink into Lake Ontario in the absence of express trains. But connecting three of the largest cities in Ontario (Hamilton, Mississauga and Toronto) within a reasonable amount of time would have a significant effect on the attractiveness of car-free travel in the region. Maybe the reason ridership falls steeply after Oakville is that it takes so long to get to Hamilton that people choose to instead drive or take the GO bus route that exists solely because the train is so slow.
The last time I was at West Harbour station in 2023 about 15 minutes before a train was due, you had a dozen riders waiting for that train that ran hourly. The earliest you could see where an express train could start would be Oakville.

If you were using 3-5 car EMU train set to Hamilton, Burlington would be the express point Doing a hop scotched for stations, Oakville/Mississauga would be the last station until Union unless there was a special event at Exhibition.
 
The last time I was at West Harbour station in 2023 about 15 minutes before a train was due, you had a dozen riders waiting for that train that ran hourly. The earliest you could see where an express train could start would be Oakville.

If you were using 3-5 car EMU train set to Hamilton, Burlington would be the express point Doing a hop scotched for stations, Oakville/Mississauga would be the last station until Union unless there was a special event at Exhibition.
If you ran an hourly train that stopped at West Harbour, Burlington, Oakville, Port Credit, Exhibition, Union, I think it would be well used by anyone that uses those stops. Just look at the time savings that the Niagara train gets with a similar pattern. Getting Hamilton to Union trips closer to an hour will definitely swing more people away from driving and onto the train.
 
No indeed Hamilton will not sink into Lake Ontario in the absence of express trains. But connecting three of the largest cities in Ontario (Hamilton, Mississauga and Toronto) within a reasonable amount of time would have a significant effect on the attractiveness of car-free travel in the region. Maybe the reason ridership falls steeply after Oakville is that it takes so long to get to Hamilton that people choose to instead drive or take the GO bus route that exists solely because the train is so slow.
Completely agree on this. Taking the train to West Harbour from Union is great, except that it takes ~80min because most of the trip is spent accelerating and decelerating due to the relatively close spacing of stations the whole way and use of diesels hauling 12 bi-level cars. The train trip can be 20mins longer than taking the bus at some times of the day/week. An express could shave 15-20mins off the trip. That's a pretty substantial time savings! It would make the train a lot more attractive.

Though I suppose once the track improvements at West Harbour are done the Niagara express trips will stop there.
 

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