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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

mdrejhon

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It left Union about 15 minutes late, but arrived on time in Hamilton at 7pm. It appeared to be extremely lightly used. There was a somewhat embarrassingly large number of volunteers at West Harbour waiting for the trains arrival, with several shuttle buses waiting to move people to the stadium.
How was management of things at Union?
Were there any PanAm volunteers on the platform?
 

Jonny5

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How was management of things at Union?
Were there any PanAm volunteers on the platform?
There are now repeated announcements starting at 5:30 noting there is a special Pan Am train to Hamilton. There was, of course, still at least one idiot who did not pay attention to the many announcements today. The crew kindly stopped the train at Oakville to allow him to get off.
 

reaperexpress

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I tracked today's West Harbour super-express train using gotracker.ca, noting the delay at each point in order to infer the schedule. GoTracker doesn't tell if a train is early, so I had to interpolate the delays at Burlington and Aldershot.

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 19.05.40.png


Yet again, the train left Union very late and arrived in Hamilton ahead of schedule. And nothing stands out in the inferred schedule to explain why it is so ridiculously generous.

I wonder if more people would have taken these express trains if the schedules actually advertised how fast they are. By the sounds of it, they could have scheduled a departure time of 18:00 without any issues.

Making a couple stops along the way (Oakville and Port Credit) might have boosted ridership as well, with minimal impact to travel times.

There are now repeated announcements starting at 5:30 noting there is a special Pan Am train to Hamilton. There was, of course, still at least one idiot who did not pay attention to the many announcements today. The crew kindly stopped the train at Oakville to allow him to get off.

Interesting to hear that they let someone off at Oakville. I was a bit surprised to see it stop there, but I assumed it was signal indications.
 

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smallspy

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IAnd nothing stands out in the inferred schedule to explain why it is so ridiculously generous.

That train is scheduled to run on the blocks of 925, which leaves Union at 5.43pm. I'm not sure why they've scheduled it with such a schedule - perhaps it was to make sure that there were no other trains in its way, or so that even if it left 20 minutes late it could still arrive at Hamilton on time as there are no other express or VIA trains scheduled in its slot.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

mdrejhon

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There are now repeated announcements starting at 5:30 noting there is a special Pan Am train to Hamilton. There was, of course, still at least one idiot who did not pay attention to the many announcements today. The crew kindly stopped the train at Oakville to allow him to get off.
Good. Perhaps I'm to blame -- I did talk to six different parties.
- Telling the GO ambassador who walked the whole train verifying everyone wanted to go to West Harbour
- Telling the wicket guy at West Harbour
- Telling the most leader-looking PanAm volunteer at West Harbour (one wearing toolbelt and walkie talkie)
- Tweeting to 3 different handles (@GOTransit @Metrolinx @TO2015)

I bet more than 11 boarded this West Harbour train, this time around.

I tracked today's West Harbour super-express train using gotracker.ca, noting the delay at each point in order to infer the schedule. GoTracker doesn't tell if a train is early, so I had to interpolate the delays at Burlington and Aldershot.
Thanks for the useful information!

With such a gem of a express train easily capable of rushing to Hamilton in 50 minutes (if it *had* to) and doing it in 56 minutes despite making a stop at Oakville, this is a wealth of test information for GO Transit, for possible future planning of RER scheduling.

Yet again, the train left Union very late and arrived in Hamilton ahead of schedule. And nothing stands out in the inferred schedule to explain why it is so ridiculously generous.
Indeed. I suspected it would arrive really early because there's really no incentive to throttle the train if it wasn't necessary to do so (except, for, maybe fuel consumption).

I guess they have not recently tested a true express train during weekday peak hour. There hasn't been true direct-to-Hamilton nonstop passenger express trains for a long time, so this is quite an unusual GO train. There were probably a lot of unknowns in respect to delays. Perhaps they were, indeed, worried about leaving Union late (which seems to be what is happening), perhaps there's some logistical reason they already know, why it sometimes has to depart late.

I notice the GO ambassador walks the whole train to verify everyone wanted to go to West Harbour. Maybe they use a generous schedule also because they expected some people to board the train by mistake, and permitting one semi-unplanned stop (Oakville) as Oakville is one of the most flexible Lakeshore West stops to recover a mistake at. i.e. time provisions for a preplanned unexpected stop.

Hmmm. Dreaming ahead 20-30 years... Imagine if we had high speed bullet GO trains along the Lakeshore West corridor, with some trains having only stops at Oakville, Hamilton, and Niagara. And Acela Express on the Empire Corridor making it all the way to Toronto on our high-speed-upgraded GO RER electrification. Except for the Etobicoke curve, the western horseshoe of Lake Ontario with the Hamilton/Bayview Junctions, and past Welland Canal, the corridors are pretty HSR-upgrade-friendly straight-arrows except for high-speed-upgradeable minor curves like Long Branch and Grimsby. Hamilton in under 30 minutes, baby! (somebody needs to photoshop a bullet train, with a GO logo, into West Harbor GO station).
 
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Jonny5

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That train is scheduled to run on the blocks of 925, which leaves Union at 5.43pm. I'm not sure why they've scheduled it with such a schedule - perhaps it was to make sure that there were no other trains in its way, or so that even if it left 20 minutes late it could still arrive at Hamilton on time as there are no other express or VIA trains scheduled in its slot.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.

From waiting on the platform I have seen the train is stuck west of Union around John Street waiting for conflicting train movements to clear Union station, which is complete just before 5:50. Then it pulls up to the platform, which at the usual 5mph takes about four minutes, and then the conductor walks all the way back to the opposite end of the train to do the whole break test routine etc. By the time all that is done it's already 6:00.
 
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mdrejhon

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Archive of GO RER Marketing Graphics by Metrolinx

Expanded version of earlier post
(number of images doubled)

I've been monitoring twitter, and over the last few weeks, is a lot of fancy Metrolinx pictograms occuring about GO RER and upcoming electric trains. The pictured trainset, a Stadler KISS, started appearing in Metrolinx literature several weeks after the Metrolinx MERX tender closed. Presumably, while not final, it might be a possible/favourite candidate. And clearly approved for generic marketing clipart use, at least. Now they are using this train clipart very frequently in tweets, in PPT's and in PDF's.

15-min Oshawa all day: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/621018375267946496
4x the number of weekly trains: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/619616192173617152
Faster electric trains: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/615901084448481280
More all day service: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/610117114159042562
More Stoufville service: https://twitter.com/OntLiberal/status/601440224279834624
Electric trains: https://twitter.com/CanUrbanism/status/595749471327223808
More Kitchener service: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/629732773385908225
Some Journeys 50% faster: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/631906711641698304

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RER-kitchener.jpg
RER-FasterJourney.jpg


Also various tweets involving electric GO trains

This is the clipart of a Stadler KISS electric multiple unit (EMU) train, clearly with a catenary in all the pictograms. Tweets have been made by Metrolinx, by Ontario, and by GOTransit so there seems to be agreement on consistently using this specific EMU clipart to generate excitement about the future.

Electrified EMU trains with catenary:
EMU on Stoufville line: https://twitter.com/StevenDelDuca/status/595575866442313729
EMU on Kitchener line: https://twitter.com/StevenDelDuca/status/599201735337496576
EMU at West Harbor GO: https://twitter.com/StevenDelDuca/status/618847580009680896
EMU at Stoney Creek GO: https://twitter.com/nannymaroon/status/603172961936396289
EMU on Lakeshore West GO: https://twitter.com/StevenDelDuca/status/606095121768136704
EMU more trains: https://twitter.com/StevenDelDuca/status/605729799823347712

While EMUs are not likely to replace all Bombardier Bilevels anytime soon, some kind of EMU, possibly of multiple brands, could be phased-in gradually beginning in 10 years (over the Bramalea-Stoufville 'SmartTrackized' route) over the next 30-40 years. GO probably would let the Bombardier BiLevels go EOL, incrementally retiring the oldest coaches, replacing the oldest with EMUs gradually, until even the new cabs are ancient.

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Other images found in PDFs:

cf-bk9nveaaku_h-png.47006

rer_lsw_off-peak_en-850x821-1-jpg.48199


And also videos:

More two-way all-day service:
TWEET: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/618510553745616896
VIDEO: https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/618510543419240449/pu/vid/720x720/5uX9XPlnf3mGhgN8.mp4

15-min and better
TWEET: https://twitter.com/Metrolinx/status/608712633953452032
VIDEO: https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/608712626701520897/pu/vid/720x720/-6fUU90ODHTtJYlj.mp4
 

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mdrejhon

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Seeing these graphics just reminds me of the lack of movement on the Milton line.
Yeah, it's crappy what the situation is.
But there's hope. Check 407 Freight Rail Bypass Study. Mississauga is paying for this study, along with 3 municipalities.

This frees up Milton line for use by Metrolinx, allowing Milton RER when freight trains stop running on it.

Probably beyond the current 10 year plan (i.e. beyond 2025).
 

drum118

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Yeah, it's crappy what the situation is.
But there's hope. Check 407 Freight Rail Bypass Study. Mississauga is paying for this study, along with 3 municipalities.

This frees up Milton line for use by Metrolinx, allowing Milton RER when freight trains stop running on it.

Probably beyond the current 10 year plan (i.e. beyond 2025).
Beyond 2050

Not sure who dragging their feet, but Wynn said in an 2014 letter that the Milton line would be 4 tracks by 2022 at a cost of about $1.5-$2 Billion. This also included some grade separation and a Fly-under at the Humber River.
 

mdrejhon

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Beyond 2050
Very easily could be. But what if Ontario proceeds with high speed rail in the Kitchener corridor by the 2030s?

Things could suddenly get accelerated on this front in a hurry -- like full federal funding of the Bypass (like the $1 billion for the Kingston rail improvements that mainly benefitted freight companies more than VIA) -- if a pro-HSR government makes a big push, as HSR probably will require removing freight from Brampton
 
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mdrejhon

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I was reading Thomas Mulcair's past public proclaimations of funding for high speed trains.

So we establish his love for high speed trains.
Tom, currently leading the Federal poll (by a slight hair).
Tom, a dual-citizen of France, country of TGVs, proclaiming high speed trains for Canada.

Whether one likes Tom or not -- this is political gasoline for a possible rail boom -- helped along by Ontario.

Maybe hello Freight Bypass sooner than 2050, drum118?
 

Kraylin

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The Stoney Creek extension picture is interesting. As far as I am aware its been a very long time since this was mentioned outside of hopeful residents and lobby groups. Any actual recent indication from Metrolinx that this is a priority?
 

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