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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

smallspy

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One thing about the increased service frequency to Milton that ought to get more profile: this line is clearly well used, but it's inherently uneconomic, because every one of the nine (and soon to be ten) trainsets make only a single round trip each day.

With this intensity of service, one would hope that GO could double back two or three trainsets each rush hour for a second run. The problem, obviously, is track capacity: the Milton line is mostly a two track railroad, and the existing one-way GO service ties up one track completely. If GO trains were doubled back, there would be no capacity remaining for freight trains at rush hour. CP is unlikely to find that acceptable.

Consider this, however - a single GO trainset is a capital investment of somewhere around $15M-$20M, plus maintenance costs. If GO could double back three trainsets each morning and afternoon, the ten trips could be operated with three fewer trains. This would free up close to $60M in capital. That money might be better spent adding track capacity instead of just buying trains. The yard in Milton is maxxed out too....if GO has to stick with 10 single-trip trains, perhaps one or two ought to carry on to Cambridge, if for no reason other than to find space to park them overnight.

- Paul
More than just a small part of not doing that earlier on the Milton Line was due to CP's crewing demands. They would have needed an additional crew for the additional round trip on the line, and who would have had to work partial hours, and CP would simply not allow it. Sure, there are capacity constraints on the line, but apparently CP was willing to work with GO on that.

Moving to Bombardier for crewing should make it easier to allow some additional trips with the existing equipment. Indeed, the preliminary schedules that I've seen for the 10th trainset next year show it being a "non-peak" train, leaving before to-be-instituted 3.40pm train.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

salsa

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Today another pedestrian has been fatally struck by a GO train on the Lakeshore line, this time at Lorne Park Rd. A service suspension has been going on for hours now while police investigate. I understand that this particular road is not grade separated, but I wonder if Metrolinx is doing enough to prevent people from getting onto the tracks given that several people have been killed over the past few months, causing huge service disruptions. It will only get worse with the increasing number of trains coming in the near future.
 

BurlOak

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Today another pedestrian has been fatally struck by a GO train on the Lakeshore line, this time at Lorne Park Rd. A service suspension has been going on for hours now while police investigate. I understand that this particular road is not grade separated, but I wonder if Metrolinx is doing enough to prevent people from getting onto the tracks given that several people have been killed over the past few months, causing huge service disruptions. It will only get worse with the increasing number of trains coming in the near future.
I am not sure what the problem is (lighting, visibility, ?), and what the solution could be (short of grade-separating everything). Maybe we need to accept this and find a way of investigating while the railway remains open.
I recall 3 people were killed on St. Clair in Aug/Sept during the mayoralty campaign.

Maybe its wrong, but I assume that all subway accidents are suicide and all Streetcar accidents are accidents (I think all 3 in Aug/Sept were elderly). I am not sure where GO fits in.
 

salsa

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I am not sure what the problem is (lighting, visibility, ?), and what the solution could be (short of grade-separating everything). Maybe we need to accept this and find a way of investigating while the railway remains open.
I recall 3 people were killed on St. Clair in Aug/Sept during the mayoralty campaign.

Maybe its wrong, but I assume that all subway accidents are suicide and all Streetcar accidents are accidents (I think all 3 in Aug/Sept were elderly). I am not sure where GO fits in.
Grade-separating everything will probably not be enough. A number of people have died by trespassing onto the tracks, or by attempting to take a shortcut by crossing the tracks. Maybe the tracks should be enclosed by a tall chainlink fence, just like the subway.
 

Panontario

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I am not sure what the problem is (lighting, visibility, ?), and what the solution could be (short of grade-separating everything). Maybe we need to accept this and find a way of investigating while the railway remains open.
I recall 3 people were killed on St. Clair in Aug/Sept during the mayoralty campaign.

Maybe its wrong, but I assume that all subway accidents are suicide and all Streetcar accidents are accidents (I think all 3 in Aug/Sept were elderly). I am not sure where GO fits in.
Obviously, I have no first-hand knowledge. But I believe that most railroad deaths are suicides similar to the subways. I just have difficult time imagining pedestrians not clearing the rails and get caught by the train.
 

innsertnamehere

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That stretch of lakeshore east is full of people cutting across the rails. People often hop the fence and walk across the rails at Pape instead of using the bridge that is literally right there. Idk how you would fix it really.
 

wopchop

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I know that it's crass, but it shouldn't take 2.5 hours for the police to release the tracks so that trains can keep moving. In the UK, from what I understand, a 90-minute target is set for re-opening the rail line. I understand that an investigation needs to happen, but this is a major rail line that serves thousands. The police wouldn't be so quick to completely shutdown an entire highway for 2.5 hours. The response unit needs to be better prepared for these incidents, because they are only going to happen more frequently with more frequent service.

Also, GO really really needs to improve their communications for situations like these. I was stuck at Long Branch GO and the station attendant had absolutely no idea what was going on, and judging by the comments on twitter, even a lot of the train crews were completely in the dark.

It's weird, because they did a better job with the bus bridge during last years ice storm than they did this time.
 

Jonny5

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That stretch of lakeshore east is full of people cutting across the rails. People often hop the fence and walk across the rails at Pape instead of using the bridge that is literally right there. Idk how you would fix it really.
Yes. If people are not familiar with the part of Mississauga in today's accident; between Port Credit and Clarkson; it's a mix of new and old subrbia, some of it very old, dating back to the times before even the QEW existed. People's backyards literally end at the tracks. A few people even plant vegetable gardens in places that likely stray on to the railway property. The back of some houses appear to be only 20 metres from the passing trains. The railway has no fences of its own here, and there may not even be space for them if they wanted to add them.

Because of the limited routes to cross the corridor, people take lots of shortcuts in between and also use it as a quick way to walk somewhere east or west (psychogeographically) because the rail corridor is straight vs. the windy suburban roads. I recall not long ago a teenager was killed by a train just outside Port Credit walking toward Lorne Park. I bet today's accident was caused by someone waiting for a train to pass and then walking across the tracks without checking for a second train coming in the other direction.

Lorne Park Road is a really tricky case to grade seperate as it crosses the tracks at a 45 degree angle, with intersecting roads only a few metres north and south of the tracks and a small strip mall on the north side. It's too busy a crossing to simply remove, and, if they did, it would in turn cause even more people to trespass and walk the tracks. Maybe they could just make a pedestrian underpass?

Stavebank road (immediately west of Port Credit station) will also be a complicated fix to deal with in the future.

IIRC, a long time ago, GO, or its predecessor, had a station at Lorne Park Road.
 
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salsa

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Ya, if people are not familiar with the part of Mississauga in today's accident; between Port Credit and Clarkson; it's a mix of new and old subrbia, some it very old, dating back to the times before even the QEW existed. People's backyards literally end at the tracks. A few people even plant vegetable gardens in places that likely stray on to the railway property. The back of some houses appear to be only 20 metres from the passing trains. The railway has no fences of it's own here and there may not even be space for them.

Because of the limited routes to cross the corridor, people take lots of shortcuts in between and also use it as a quick way to walk somewhere east or west (psychogeographically) because the rail corridor is straight vs. the windy suburban roads. I recall not long ago a teenager was killed by a train just outside Port Credit walking toward Lorne Park. I bet today's accident was caused by someone waiting for a train to pass and then walking across the tracks without checking for a second train coming in the other direction.
This accident in 2012 is a perfect example of the problem that you're talking about: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/11/students-mourn-teen-killed-by-go-train
 

smallspy

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Generally, deaths on the railroads are broken down into three categories - suicide, accidents, and death by misadventure.

This one took so long to open up because the person struck was some distance from the level crossing, and thus they needed to figure out if it was a suicide or death by misadventure.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

georgevicbell

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Today another pedestrian has been fatally struck by a GO train on the Lakeshore line, this time at Lorne Park Rd. A service suspension has been going on for hours now while police investigate. I understand that this particular road is not grade separated, but I wonder if Metrolinx is doing enough to prevent people from getting onto the tracks given that several people have been killed over the past few months, causing huge service disruptions. It will only get worse with the increasing number of trains coming in the near future.
I grew up in Lorne Park and went to school just down the road...there have been a lot of deaths at this particular grade crossing...a quick google search shows 3 at lorne park road in the last year...there are many more if you include the tracks in the area and the two stations as well as clarkson road...

There is a high school and public school very close, and Lorne Park rd is a main route walking home for many of the students, Clarkson road has major park with baseball diamonds right up next to the tracks, and I remember our balls going over the fence quite a few times. The chain link fence is in many areas less than ideal, or maintained...

If they wanted to fix this, they would put up physical walls for most of this route (probably appreciated by the neighbours if it blocks sound), and they should grade separate or at least put in pedestrian bridges at a few locations along the route (LP/Clarkson road being the obvious ones). I don't think you could grade seperate easily without tearing down a few buildings and redesigning the roads...but a pedestrian underpass or overpass would be great.

It would be interesting to see if they have stats for number of track incursions made by kilometre or if they have cameras that could get that information....I have a strong feeling this area would have a very high number...and should be marked for fixing.

I also wonder what liability they have for track incursions on their track, specifically where there aren't fences or where fences have degraded quality...or if there is a pattern of deaths at a specific location?
 
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crs1026

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Are there any plans to extend rail service to Brantford or Cambridge?
The short answer is no. The Big Move document, which is now six years old but still sets the outer limit on planning, shows Cambridge as a 'Potential' project. Brantford isn't even on the map.

This doesn't prohibit getting something going on those lines, but it's unlikely to jump the queue for any significant funding commitment.

Brantford doesn't have enough population to create a compelling business case beyond improving VIA. Cambridge has the same problem that the Kitchener line has.....extending Milton trains doesn't lead to a speedy trip, but express trips are problemmatic under the current track limitations. In both cases, it's easier and faster to just get on the highway and park at Milton or Aldershot GO than to try to drive into the depot in central Brantford or Galt. If you can figure where to put a GO station that would tempt Toronto bound motorists to just park and ride, both lines might have potential for some minimal service imho.

- Paul

- Paul
 

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