News   Oct 21, 2019
 223     1 
News   Oct 21, 2019
 310     0 
News   Oct 21, 2019
 636     6 

GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,855
Reaction score
2,439
All I did was get my times wrong on Hamilton trips...thought 57 minutes required an express train and didn't see the point of bypassing people to get to Hamilton express.....carry on with my apologies.
 

mdrejhon

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
3,839
Reaction score
2,419
Location
Hamilton
I agree there should be an Hamilton stop for the NF train, but not going to happen until 2016 or 17 at the earliest. You got to have access at the east end to the mainline first to do it and on the book to be done.
Thought so about the years (2016, 2o17).

Just to be try to reinforce my point to GO -- in the last 24 hours I've sent tweets and letters to several Metrolinx and GO Transit contacts, got a few replies, and my messages have been forwarded, including my polite suggestion to verify construction phasing might possibly permit it to happen in 2016, pointing out the obviously cost. So hopefully somebody is checking a construction phasing and crew planning checlist now, seeing if next year's Niagara trains fit it (I'm trying to teeter any balance towards 2016 instead of 2017) --

Hamiltonians and visitors should do the same -- beginning with Submit Suggestion to GO -- and the publicly available email addresses in Metrolinx Senior Management Team. Which includes contacts of the lead GO planners too. I got a reply that one of them forwarded my message to the president (Greg Percy) and thanked me for my suggestion.

Readers -- We unusually have more power than usual to influence a GO/Metrolinx decision
The obviousness of the situation is so well balanced -- teeter tottering -- that a few citizens can be fully responsible for fully successfully clicking a Nigara Seasonal Train one year sooner (e.g. "2018" becomes "2017", or "2017" becomes "2016").

Who knows -- It may only take one or two Metrolinx/GO decisionmakers towards making 2016 instead of 2017 the date of adding a Hamilton stop to the Niagara Seasonal. Just because somebody dragged a pre-requisite Excel row in a construction phasing sheet or crew planning sheet a little. Or decided to add a PowerPoint slide before the September 2015 or May 2016 timetabling & crew agreement to that. Or somebody decided to check on the construction and said that one very small magic order (like "actually, get that crossover part transported here, next week instead of next month") that unlocked the ability to do a Niagara 2016 start instead of 2017. Or something. Who knows? Do it! This is one of the lowest-cost ever moves that GO Transit can do, to massively improve GO service to Hamilton one year sooner. It's just probably only barely more than 100 meters more of already-funded and planned rail -- and an already-funded track crossover -- that's it.

This is one very rare situation that citizens can actually make a big difference to improving GO services to Hamilton "a little bit sooner", while reducing taxpayer cost, and increasing farebox recovery. As the months pass, a few citizens a month reminding it, creates enough noise to be brought up sooner in internal meetings, etc.

Once the Presto is fully used with TVM, you don't need anyone to man lightly use stations or 1-2 people helping people at TVM, not behind a glass window at heavy use stations. I saw only 1 station man for a system this past week and it was the main DT stations. All the rest had TVM on the platform or on the train.
So, West Harbour can be unmanned on the weekend, which improves economics even further.
So, possibly, in the best case scenario -- only 1 or 2 person boards per train and the stop's probably already paid for (fuel). That's it. If 3 people board the train, it's now taxpayer profit. Wow. But, the stop will no doubt be far more popular than that.

Most likely, West Harbour will be manned by 1 person as I bet there will be more than enough boardings. Especially on good summer weekends; Ex days, events, etc.

Assuming 3 gallon/minute fuel consumption for a locomotive (probably far less for idle of an efficient MP40). Assuming zero crew cost increase. Assuming no cannibalization of Hamiltion 16 Express bus profits, if any (don't know what the farebox recovery is, on that one). Lots of variables that can spike the cost, but boardings are still small.
 
Last edited:

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
5,516
Reaction score
5,982
This discussion reminds me of an ink-blot test. We show you the West Harbour station, you tell us what it looks like to you.

West Harbour in its current state is a storefront that was rushed into play for the Pan-Am games. The main line as it exists today is unfinished, with work (very expensive work, I might add) to add a main line over to Bayview. That will completely change speeds, capacity etc. The east-end switches for the station are a known item on the to-do list they just aren't finished.

So - making conclusions or extrapolations based on what you see today is very risky. Anything that emerges in 2016 will also be transitional, it will take years to advance the improvements on this line.

I'm a lot more interested in what the reall end state plan is for West Harbour as part of an everyday, weekdays and weekends corridor, rather than dreaming one up. GO really hasn't been clear on this other than the Confederation extension creeping forward.

Any real improvements west of Aldershot are constrained by the Oakville line not being able to handle two-way express traffic on top of the all-stops service that is currently 30 mins headway - and may get better. ML is only in the early stages of getting a fourth track started, and only between Canpa and Port Credit. No doubt the politicians and the PR types will run away at the mouths and we will be tantalized by assurances that this is just around the corner, but it's far further away than that.

Personally I would be happy if the all-stops line just keeps getting longer, all the way to St Catherines. With all the new population growth, someone is likely to ride it somewhere. Express links to Toronto (not necessarily non-stop, as the part-way ridership may warrant some transfer points or stops) is really the long term goal. We do not need rail all the way to Niagara Falls - a bus network from St Catherines would be much cheaper and would let GO build a service through all the Niagara Peninsula.

The current weekend service is a sideshow rather than "improved infrastructure". Don't let this be the driver for your thinking.

- Paul
 
Last edited:

smallspy

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
3,723
Reaction score
2,568
Didn't VIA close the Hamilton station in the first place because of low ridership between Hamilton and Niagara?
No. They closed the Hamilton and Dundas stations in order to consolidate all of the services at a single brand new station - Aldershot.

Mark, you know quite well that the track and platform currently in place at West Harbour does not make it conducive to stopping the Niagara Falls trains there. What makes you think once all of the work is done they won't?

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
23,253
Reaction score
3,358
Location
Toronto
No. They closed the Hamilton and Dundas stations in order to consolidate all of the services at a single brand new station - Aldershot.
And yet the GO service to Niagara doesn't stop in Aldershot!

Mark, you know quite well that the track and platform currently in place at West Harbour does not make it conducive to stopping the Niagara Falls trains there. What makes you think once all of the work is done they won't?
Perhaps because they don't stop in Aldershot now?
 

mdrejhon

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
3,839
Reaction score
2,419
Location
Hamilton
West Harbour in its current state is a storefront that was rushed into play for the Pan-Am games. The main line as it exists today is unfinished, with work (very expensive work, I might add) to add a main line over to Bayview. That will completely change speeds, capacity etc. The east-end switches for the station are a known item on the to-do list they just aren't finished.
Extra line to Bayview is not a pre-requisite for getting Niagara trains to stop at West Harbour. That work can be staged separately of the ability to stop the Niagara trains. Further work can optimize things like make the trains go faster -- raising the speed limits, etc.

It's simply my understanding they've already funded to do the work to extend eastwards, and that there will be a crossover accessing the CN mainline. Thay need that to reach Lewis. (The additional track can continue to extend eastwards all the way to Stoney Creek in the coming years -- beyond the crossover -- to later avoid the need to switch back to the CN mainline). But all we need is that first crossover before Niagara Seasonals easily stop at West Harbour.

Work already scheduled to being done 2016 government records. I can't imagine how it would disrupt the integrity of the long-term quality of the infrastructure because this is already apparently 2016 scheduled work.

What we do not want is a situation where the work is done in 2016 but they don't introduce Niagara Seasonal train until 2018 or 2019, because other pre-requisites were not met (like packing the gravel rail bed "on time" etc), and they were sticking to such goals. Enough advocacy needs to occur that Metrolinx is accountable to getting something roughly semblant to a government promise of "all day 2-way service" (even if only by reusing the token Niagara Seasonals) as early as possible, as the promise is late.

What makes you think once all of the work is done they won't?
I never said that.

We both know will happen eventually.

The point is "sooner instead of later".

The only through-service that's officially announced is Stoney Creek GO, announced for a year 2019 completion. Assuming the station is not delayed, 2019 sets the deadline when West Harbour must be a through station. While we have public records that show the pre-requisites (for Niagara) to be finished 2016, including Phase 2 of West Harbour, as well as the Lewis train yard. There is no announcement of Niagara Seasonal Trains. It is easy to slip certain things like a regulatory item or a single "todo" checkbox, and final planning isn't able to occur on time until subsequent year. Therefore earliest date is 2016 and the latest date is 2019. This is now where citizen advocacy steps in.

The promise of all-day 2-way service by PanAm was broken, but the promise can partially be met and only 1 year late. I am merely advocating GO does it in 2016 instead of 2017 or 2018 or 2019. They can screw up construction staging, and other things. Important steps may be missed (even red tape, regulatory, etc) that prevent Niagara stopping on time for the start of 2016 summer season.

The work remaining is 'relatively' slight (I'm saying relatively speaking) and is already scheduled 2016 from public records such as Metrolinx PDFs and other sources. This work is already funded. This work is already scheduled 2016. I am very sure it does not cost $50 million to extend the track and reconnect it to the CN mainline. Metrolinx makes sure sequencing of tasks makes it happen so that it doesn't miss a start-of-season, because some checkbox wasn't added to a list on time (regulatory, issue to resolve, negotiation related, construction item, crew related, staffing related, etc) or wasn't resolved on time. It can easily bump a Niagara seasonal to a subsequent year. It's not as complex as the Lakeshore 30-minute service introduction, or making a new station appear, etc.

My earlier posts was on the perspective of "making it happen sooner than later"

Currently, we have an unusually strong opportunity to influence Metrolinx (i.e. wild things, like hypothetically, somebody remembered a water pipe needed to be relocated a little sooner, or hypothetically some minor but important task that was forgotten to add to a checklist until reminded by a manager who was prodded, or hypothetically remember to make two more essential phone calls to CN, or somebody moves gravel bed packing one week earlier "just in case of issues", or somebody decides to add "good winter weather bonus construction task list", etc, just because a few different people sent emails that reminded him/her roughly weekly.

The butterfly-wings-flapping Chaos Theory is a much shorter less-Rube-Goldberg chain for this "Niagara Train Stops In Hamilton" achievement. The trains pass only 10 feet away and is a matter of a short spur extension and a crossover, plus whatever (study, engineering, regulatory, crew planning, etc) in a very-elastic 2016-thru-2019 date range. A few emails from a few may unwittingly end up being what causes it to happen in "Year X" instead of "Year X + 1". We'll never know. But it costs nothing for a citizen to send them a message. It would really be unproductive to say "don't bother".
 
Last edited:

mdrejhon

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
3,839
Reaction score
2,419
Location
Hamilton
Personally I would be happy if the all-stops line just keeps getting longer, all the way to St Catherines.
Same.

Unfortunately (from government documents) it appears there is no plans for hourly weekday all-day two-way service for Hamilton before 2024 in the Ontario public announcement. The Lakeshore West phasing shows incremental ramp-up that doesn't seem to be all-day hourly anytime soon. This is because of massive upgrades needed due to freight corridor ownership, haggling for train slots from CN/CP, extra crewing, much more construction to add parallel rail (to the Bayview Junction) next to freight rail, to reduce contention between GO trains and freight trains. Etc. Many, many, more pre-requisites that appears phased over 10 years.

Niagara Summer Trains is a lower-lying apple that happens as early as 2016 (or shortly after) with a much lower outlay that is already budgeted, no extra train, no extra train crew, possibly no extra staffing (if WH unstaffed), and operationally better-than-breaks-even, gives 16 new GO trains per weekend to to Hamilton, and is a taxpayer-profitable move.

So Niagara is the obvious initial goal to lobby for, since it has a wide elastic date range (see Lewis 2016/Stoney Creek 2019) of potential introduction.
 
Last edited:

mdrejhon

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
3,839
Reaction score
2,419
Location
Hamilton
An argument against the counterpoint.

The Freight Bypass isn't useless to freight companies.

The freight bypass puts dangerous freight far away from a lot of Toronto residents, including the North Toronto subdivision. It may be legally required for the freight companies to relocate to this new freight line, provided it meets their satisfaction.

It may be wise to wait a little for Cambridge AD2W -- the Milton AD2W problem needs to be solved first as a RER 10-Year Plan #2 during 2025-2034 (after the $13.5-billion-dollar 10-year plan from 2015-2024, of they complete all of that). There is going to be enough demand for that, especially with Mississauga growth, the Hurontario LRT, and general densification along the GO line. And using the Bypass makes it easier to bring electrification through Brampton.
 

ssiguy2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
3,010
Reaction score
715
Cambridge has always made sense to me. It's actually not far from Milton and Milton service will have to increase dramatically as it is the fastest growing city in the GTA in terms of percentage and that will continue.

Mississauga is also a large employment centre and with ION it offers Kit/Wat a way to get to Cambridge and to an alternative rail line serving a different corridor.
 

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
5,516
Reaction score
5,982
An argument against the counterpoint.

The Freight Bypass isn't useless to freight companies.
Agree - it may actually be a blessing. It shortens the CN route, could have a little higher speed limits than CP, has fewer grades, and would be brand new civil works as opposed to maintaining the old stuff eg the Don Mills viaduct. It need not be fully double tracked, either - hence cheaper to operate. Of course, there would no longer be any opportunity for CP or CN to pass on costs to GO on either line.....we might discover that some creative accounting has been at work all along.

- Paul
 

DonValleyRainbow

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,861
Reaction score
1,890
Location
Kay Gardner Beltline Trail
A freight bypass has merit in that not only will it provide benefits for the Milton line, but the Kitchener line too if you have CN using it too. Providing extra variable cost to accommodate extra track for CN would likely outweigh works required for a third track at Brampton and over the Credit River. Plus the fact that GO trains wouldn't be conflicting with freight at all on the Kitchener line anymore.
 

muller877

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
1,689
Reaction score
759
The freight bypass puts dangerous freight far away from a lot of Toronto residents, including the North Toronto subdivision. It may be legally required for the freight companies to relocate to this new freight line, provided it meets their satisfaction.
.
Legally required? I would love to see someone try to expropriate this right from CN/CP. Scientifically proven safety standards can be adopted but that's about it.
 

muller877

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
1,689
Reaction score
759
Cambridge has always made sense to me. It's actually not far from Milton and Milton service will have to increase dramatically as it is the fastest growing city in the GTA in terms of percentage and that will continue.
The problem with the CP line is that it goes through 45km of nothing before it reaches Cambridge (unlike Kitchener which goes through Guelph). The potential stops could be:
- Campbellville with a large parking lot diverting those that drive on the 401 to the Milton GO station (plus some Mohawk Slot traffic)
- Puslinch again for a parking lot on Hwy 6. But won't have much traffic as people would rather get frequent service at Aldershot...so a long-term potential but not worth building now
- Cambridge

My personal view is that they should look at building 1 more station. Either in Campbellville or on Tremaine (when they get the interchange built there). This would help alleviate the traffic in Milton and encourage those along the 401 to take GO (getting through Milton can be a pain). Saves those people that live in Cambridge 5-10 minutes off of their commute. An incremental improvement.
 

Top