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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

salsa

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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.
Mulcair being a dual citizen of France, country of TGV high speed trains, has proclaimed a big love of high speed trains.
So we establish his love for high speed trains.
(drum roll.... look at Thomas Mulcair's love of trains -- including high speed trains, choo, choo!).
Your repetitive tripe on a multitude of topics (especially Sobi) is getting tiring.
 
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wopchop

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Anyone know if anyone has ever lobbied for, or proposed a station at Gage Avenue? It's a pretty big gap from James St North to Centennial (Stoney Creek GO), and a station at Gage would also provide a quick local connection to Tim Hortons Field.

I also remember something about a new recreation complex that was supposed to replace all the facilities at Scott Park. Not sure if that is still happening.
 
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Jonny5

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Anyone know if anyone has ever lobbied for, or proposed a station at Gage Avenue? It's a pretty big gap from James St North to Centennial (Stoney Creek GO), and a station at Gage would also provide a quick local connection to Tim Hortons Field.

I also remember something about a new recreation complex that was supposed to replace all the facilities at Scott Park. Not sure if that is still happening.
I have no idea if sufficient land is available there or if it could be expropriated for a station, but I'm not sure who would use it. I'm still not sure who even the Centennial GO station is supposed to serve beyond a handful of extreme distance commuters.

Quick access to Tim Horton's field isn't much value for GO. It's vacant at least 300 days a year, likely far more. The Tiger Cats only play 10 home games a year, and in a good year there are only a handful of concerts. Toronto has some of the highest capacity utilization in the world, with the ACC and Skydome as statistical outliers. It's normal for many arenas, stadiums and sports fields sit empty for weeks at a time every year.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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wopchop

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I have no idea if sufficient land is available there or if it could be expropriated for a station, but I'm not sure who would use it. I'm still not sure who even the Centennial GO station is supposed to serve beyond a handful of extreme distance commuters.

Quick access to Tim Horton's field isn't much value for GO. It's vacant at least 300 days a year, likely far more. The Tiger Cats only play 10 home games a year, and in a good year there are only a handful of concerts. Toronto has some of the highest capacity utilization in the world, with the ACC and Skydome as statistical outliers. It's
normal for many arenas, stadiums and sports fields sit empty for weeks at a time every year.
My assumption would be that it is to serve people in Stoney Creek that are looking to commute to locations all along the Lakeshore Line. Metrolinx is moving towards all-day service, which means that the line won't simply be about bringing people to Union Station. I'm not sure if this property extends all the way to the rail corridor, but the City of Hamilton bought the old glass plant at Gage & Lloyd, for use as soccer fields / park space, so they might be able to one day figure out a way to integrate a GO station into the area.

It's not about value for GO, it is about value for the public.
 

mdrejhon

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This is long-term 20-year Hamilton vision.

We observe:
- Hamilton LRT funded. Stoney Creek GO funded.
- Metrolinx teasing Hamilton with electric train graphics at West Harbour/Stoney Creek
- GO RER electricifation expansion: who knows, electrification brought to Hamilton in 15-20 years?
- City of Hamilton purchased land at Gage & railroad for park. Protects future Gage GO station?
- Some incumbents/campaigners wildly love trains.
....see Mulcair; dual-citizen of France, TGV/RER country -- hello possible Canadian rail renaissance?

Now that definitely points to a possible Gage GO station being within our lifetimes.

I have no idea if sufficient land is available there or if it could be expropriated for a [Gage GO] station, but I'm not sure who would use it. I'm still not sure who even the Centennial GO station is supposed to serve beyond a handful of extreme distance commuters.
I would use Gage GO Station.

I live almost exactly between West Harbour and Stoney Creek GO. Both stations are within 15-20 minute bike ride of me. Gage would be walking distance! (or a super quick bike ride, and bike infrastructure will explode once LRT arrives and better bike routes become avaialble)

In 20 years from now, we may have a whole transit loop, when LRT loops northwards and connects to Stoney Creek GO. Given Hamilton downtown has enough space to triple in size (without expropriation of detached houses) just by all the sheer vacant lots and low-rises.

This is the official Metrolinx graphic:


TL;DR Version:
Now consider Eastgate loops up to Stoney Creek GO.
Hamilton's first rapid-transit rail loop!
Boom. Gage GO station becomes more valulable.

Now imagine U.S. Steel lands redevelops into a busy office park district.
Boom. Gage GO station preliminary planning occurs.

Now imagine GO RER electrification goes to Stoney Creek in 20 years.
Boom. Gage GO station now funded.

Pop. New condos on highly-desirable Barton Street in 20-30 years.
Parking lot retail places bought out in favour of denser new developments.
Last shuttered storefront closed over a decade ago.

Long version:
If all-day 30-minute or 15-minute service, 2-ways, is someday brought to Stoney Creek in 20 years, we actually have Hamiltonians commuting within Hamilton (Back and fourth between Hamilton and Stoney Creek). And Oakvillers/Burlington commuting towards us, like to a new office park when U.S. Steel leaves us.

In 20 years, the U.S. Steel lands may become major employment lands. This is a Toronto-downtown-sized parcel of land that U.S. steel may be leaving behind! Once developd, this would drive up demand for a Gage GO station for commuters coming from both east/west, as we would now have intra-Hamiltion GO commuters for the first time. This will already happen with Stoney Creek GO, as a quick shortcut for Stoney Creek residents to Hamiltion downtown, especially during major events like Supercrawl -- it's just a 5-10 minute zoom straight to Hamilton downtown!

I am a lower city resident, and suddenly Gage GO station becomes my nearest GO station, only a 5 minute bike ride of just 2 kilometers. I'd now bike to that GO station instead. Though I may be retired by then (20-25 years from now).

The distance between West Harbour and Stoney Creek is twice the average commute distance between two typical Lakeshore West station, so one infill station is definitely can be on the table. Gage would be one of the many possible candidates.

Do not underestimate the potential of intra-Hamiltion commuting in 20 years from now. It won't be a significant % at first, but it may be in 20 years. Keep it on the table, we've got massive office/employment/business redevelopment opportunity in discontinued steel lands.

It's not worthwhile now. But it should be looked at later, and "protected for" in a city master plan -- like the soccer/park space with enough parcel to slice off for a small GO station someday. It could happen sooner if the 600-car garage at West Harbor overflows (maxed-out 300 + 300 expansion), and there's lots of nearby land to build a much larger parking garage. Hamilton will still be auto-happy for many years to come, even as it also benefits residences to the south (like me), and there's reasonable access (Burlington near-freeway) to this garage.

Besides, we've got electric trains being advertised in Metrolinx graphics. A distant possible signal that Ontario may be thinking of extending electrification to us during RER Phase II





Look at that. Catenary!!!! Although this is fancy clipart, this is an intentional tease of what can come to Hamilton. Electric 15-minute 2-way service between West Harbour GO, Gage GO, and Stoney Creek GO -- only brave Hamiltonian would dare imagine that could happen. It could.

Electric catenary, and an EMU trainset pictured in two Hamilton stations -- imagine! With the EMU acceleration, an infill station wouldn't be disruptive. Although this is currently clipart, this is a dream that someone at Metrolinx might make reality within our lifetime (with a train-happy Ontario/Federal government -- look at the fed polls), especially if they find a way to electrify around the Lake Ontario bend, and then purchase the rarely-freight-used Grimsby sub.

If Gage GO Station existed, it would become another east-west route companion to the Hamilton LRT, as you can see in the map, for accessing other parts of the city, or heading outside of Hamilton. It would be a big catalyst of revitalization for Barton, having the LRT to the south and the GO station to the north. Small fancy condo low-rise towers on Barton Street (perish that thought) in 50 years from now. Yes, that currently-ugly street.

Hey -- you know, some condo-filled streets in Toronto used to look like boarded-up-storefronts 30 years ago. Just like Barton Street here in Hamilton! It's happened before. It is possible that some older long-time Hamiltonians probably will yell blasphemy, but those will be long gone by the time the appetite for towers along Barton comes -- we're talking Year 2035 and the taxpayer base of 2035 putting more funds in Hamilton's coffers than today. Mixed development that supports everybody can occur, keeping a lot happy. It did happen in some cities, it has happened before to Toronto, and it could happen to Barton, unbelievably. City needs more taxpayers, and denisification helps a lot.

What better catalyst to have two parallel 'surface subways' in Lower City, to make that happen?

We can dream -- who knows, in 20 years?

Therefore -- yes, protect for Gage GO Station -- for a 20-year plan!

City of Hamilton did the right thing purchasing land near the railroad at Gage Avenue -- I wonder if they did that intentionally. If so, that is a rare moment of a Hamilton visionary move on the scale of R.C. Harris insistence of including a rail deck on Price Edward Viaduct. Unused for 50 years. Until Bloor-Danforth subway got built, and used that railroad deck on that bridge over Don Valley. R.C. Harris' folly was then acclaimed as a cost-saving visionary move. That is a compliment, knowing that our city council has had many issues with lack of vision. If Hamilton Port Authority takes over a windfall of Steel lands, hope they factor this carefully into their development options.

(update -- my ward's elected city councillor, retweeted me on this post!)
 
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Young Stats

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What would happen with the GO "Train-Bus"service once the AD2W GO service is implemented. Will it be introduced to new routes that were never served? or are will it be enhanced on the 407 corridor?
 

mdrejhon

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Let's hope this means all day service in 3.5 years.
Let me make a gamble:

Semi-all-day service is coming either 2016 or 2017 for summer weekends.

This is done via the introduction of a Hamilton stop on the Niagara seasonal summer train. It's an all-day 2-way service that occurs once every several hours.

Right now it cannot be done due to West Harbour being a dead-end terminus, but 2016 completes the fully-funded infrastructure construction work to make West Harbour a through station in 2016 by reconnecting it back to the eastwards mainline. They need to do this to shuttle trains to the Lewis GOtrain overnight parking yard which is beyond Stoney Creek. But they did not promise they would finish the pre-requisites early enough to permit Niagara seasonals to start in 2016 instead of 2017.

It would be a profitable move for Metrolinx to simply stop Niagara trains in Hamilton as early as 2016, simply by making sure construction phasing completes the "through-station" capability of West Harbour by the 2016 start date of Niagara seasonal. Please make sure you email/tweet to @Metrolinx (I have).

We must demand Niagara seasonals stop in Hamilton, so we get our 2-way service in 2016. It's a zero-budget change for Metrolinx that is net-profitable (boardings massively outweighs stopping fuel & wicket staffing cost). Niagara Trains are already crawling past West Harbour, due to speed limits due to the Lake Ontario curve, not much stopping delay or fuel, and would only be a 1 minute delay instead of 2, because of lack of braking time needed. Virtually zero schedule impact on a 2-hour route! And some event trains could be eliminated, as the Niagara seasonal can handle the role of James Street supercrawl train, as an example. Brings people from the whole Golden Horseshoe to Hamilton.

And us Hamiltonians can go to Toronto via the return Niagara trains, since Niagara trains are 2-way. Who sez the Niagara trains are just for Niagara! Let Hamilton be a destination too. And Toronto is a destination. And we got Toronto friends who take 2 to 2.5 hours trying to make it to our home via public transit from the Aldershot trains. Weekend West Harbour GO service would save 30-60 minutes off this journey.

And since the stop-skipping Niagara summer trains are almost 50% faster than the weekday GO trains (only 40 minutes Union-Burlington), it actually races the Hamilton 16 express rather efficiently during busy summer traffic. West Harbour is successfully reached in 55 minutes (based on my PanAm Express Train experience).

Tweet to @Metrolinx and @GO_Transit -- demand Niagara seasonal train to stop in Hamilton in 2016!

This is early AD2W weekend Hamilton train service we can get in 2016 at no cost to Metrolinx!

Link to GO's "Submit Suggestion" Page
 
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mdrejhon

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^ they should not keep using the track excuse when they have gotten all this money already.
Even back in 2012, it was long confirmed Phase 2 of West Harbour lasts until 2017
https://raisethehammer.org/article/1688/details_on_james_north_go_station

Most media (Toronto Star, TheSpec) neglect to mention the fact there's a Phase 2 lasting through 2017 ...
The funding for the second track / through service wasn't in Phase 1, but in post-PanAm Phase 2, a fact known since 2012.

But I agree -- no excuse for further delay to Niagara summer service. No-brainer. Get the pre-requisites done, pronto.
 
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denfromoakvillemilton

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Even back in 2012, it was long confirmed Phase 2 of West Harbour lasts until 2017
https://raisethehammer.org/article/1688/details_on_james_north_go_station

Most media (Toronto Star, TheSpec) neglect to mention the fact there's a Phase 2 lasting through 2017 ...
The funding for the second track / through service wasn't in Phase 1, but in post-PanAm Phase 2, a fact known since 2012.

But I agree -- no excuse for further delay to Niagara summer service. No-brainer. Get the pre-requisites done, pronto.
We should not have to wait until 2019 for all day service. everyday.
 

Jonny5

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West Harbour express was moved to platform 13, but the LED signs and LCD screens were not updated and still said 7/8. Mass confusion as to where which train was going ensued.

EDIT: 6:15 and still at Union
 
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rbt

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^ they should not keep using the track excuse when they have gotten all this money already.
I do hate GOs incremental approach. Numerous vague/ambiguous announcements and non-delivered results.

TTC might get be a little late, but when they promise certain capacity after such-and-such a project they usually get pretty close; resignalling not included.

IMO, the resignalling project has all the same issues as GOs incremental approaches. A number of required items for the wanted results are not a part of the project or even funded.
 
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