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GO Transit: Union Station Shed Replacement & Track Upgrades (Zeidler)

No, it's not.

Track speeds on the tangent tracks through the ladders will increase to 45mph, yes. (Diverging will increase to 25mph.) But the trackage underneath the trainshed and past platforms will stay at 10mph. Unless they go to platform doors (which, knowing Metrolinx.....maybe?), that number isn't going anywhere.



They're planning on doing that on the mainline.

There is absolutely no indication that they will be replacing the still-in-the-process-of-being-completed new interlocking signal system across the USRC with another brand new system.




Sure, and what are the particulars? Platform length? Track speed?

If the platforms were only the length of a train, they can be cleared much more quickly, even at 10mph. Unfortunately, they're much longer than that at Union.

Dan
Platform For Rotterdam about the same as Union from what I saw first hand this year and are wider
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133A9786.JPG
 
No, it's not.

Track speeds on the tangent tracks through the ladders will increase to 45mph, yes. (Diverging will increase to 25mph.) But the trackage underneath the trainshed and past platforms will stay at 10mph. Unless they go to platform doors (which, knowing Metrolinx.....maybe?), that number isn't going anywhere.

The current phase of the Union Station Expansion Project, whose scope is to rebuild the south part of the station - not the USRC - plays up the future 45 mph track speed in virtually every announcement. The work does include a couple hundred metres of new track on either side of the platform to connect to the existing USRC tracks, but it would be bizarre of them to play up a 45 mph track speed on a short segment adjacent where trains wouldn't be able to reach more than 15 mph or so due to the adjacent 10 mph limit.

Trains can currently pass directly by GO platforms at up to 160 km/h without platform doors, so I personally don't find it so absurd to imagine that trains could exceed 16 km/h within Union Station if its platforms were widened.

They're planning on doing that on the mainline.

There is absolutely no indication that they will be replacing the still-in-the-process-of-being-completed new interlocking signal system across the USRC with another brand new system.

Rotterdam Centraal is not equipped with ETCS either. High Speed trains switch from ETCS to the legacy ATB signalling system approaching the station, then back to ETCS when they rejoin the high speed line on the other side.

Sure, and what are the particulars? Platform length? Track speed?

If the platforms were only the length of a train, they can be cleared much more quickly, even at 10mph. Unfortunately, they're much longer than that at Union.

The platform lengths on the through tracks at Rotterdam Centraal range from 354 m to 495 m. A 12-car GO train platform is only 314 m.

Most trains enter Rotterdam Centraal with a 40 km/h speed restriction, since they are usually entering the platform via a yellow signal, with a red signal at the end of the platform. It would be wasteful to clear the train onto the junction beyond the station before they are ready to depart.
 
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The current phase of the Union Station Expansion Project, whose scope is to rebuild the south part of the station - not the USRC - plays up the future 45 mph track speed in virtually every announcement. The work does include a couple hundred metres of new track on either side of the platform to connect to the existing USRC tracks, but it would be bizarre of them to play up a 45 mph track speed on a short segment adjacent where trains wouldn't be able to reach more than 15 mph or so due to the adjacent 10 mph limit.
The speed through the shed has never been more than 15 in GO's existence. IIRC the speed was further reduced to 10mph after Daniel Panacci tragic death on Apr 29th, 2015(RIP). After that incident GO transit was criticized for unsafe platform conditions and rightfully so. They absolutely had to respond with some kind of safety measure. Certainly wider platforms will make for a much safer environment but unless they rebuild all the stairwells there will still be several 'pinch points' along the plaforms. And even with that big increase in capacity there will always be occasional situations where at least psome ortions of the platforms get dangerously crowded. Anyone who's been through Union after a big event knows how huge those crowds can be. Knowing how sensitive they are to bad publicity I seriously doubt they would ever take the chance and allow the speeds to increase above 15mph.

Also is Union Station even structurally sound enough to support increased speeds? We've all heard the rumble of a train passing over top while we're in the concourse underneath. I don't know about you guys but it's always a bit unnerving to me. While I have no reason to believe the structure is unsound, at higher speeds the impact forces and vibrations would naturally be much greater. I'm no expert in the field but perhaps that is another limiting factor at play.
 
Also is Union Station even structurally sound enough to support increased speeds? We've all heard the rumble of a train passing over top while we're in the concourse underneath. I don't know about you guys but it's always a bit unnerving to me. While I have no reason to believe the structure is unsound, at higher speeds the impact forces and vibrations would naturally be much greater. I'm no expert in the field but perhaps that is another limiting factor at play.

The new tracks and platform are to the south of the old trainshed, so perhaps they will be anchored differently to make faster track speeds possible. You raise a good point about the original structure. I suspect that after all these years, it is pretty much indestructible, but there will be physical limits to how much stress the design will take.

Back when GO frequencies were much lower and there were fewer intercity trains, that rumble marked the arrival of a train, which created activity in the station and felt more like an “event”. I have always loved that particular experience…. one of the few nice things about the VIA departures concourse. At today’s train throughput, it’s much less dramatic and more routine.

- Paul
 
The new tracks and platform are to the south of the old trainshed, so perhaps they will be anchored differently to make faster track speeds possible. You raise a good point about the original structure. I suspect that after all these years, it is pretty much indestructible, but there will be physical limits to how much stress the design will take.

Back when GO frequencies were much lower and there were fewer intercity trains, that rumble marked the arrival of a train, which created activity in the station and felt more like an “event”. I have always loved that particular experience…. one of the few nice things about the VIA departures concourse. At today’s train throughput, it’s much less dramatic and more routine.

- Paul
EMUs in particular will likely be much lighter axle load wise . . . .
 
Is this an example of the cut and cover tunnelling method?
Well... yes and no.

In the most literal sense, it is a visual representation of the idea behind cut-and-cover. A structure is built, and then stuff is built on top of it to give the illusion that it's a natural street and that there wasn't previously a big trench built in it.

But it's being built above the Union station, which is not a tunnel. It's just things on a rooftop.
 

That unfortunately is incorrect or wasn't the policy last summer when I used a couple dozen outbound AM-rush trains. Perhaps it's an old policy that hasn't been corrected on schedules because very few people use the PDF. These are the policies that their fare-enforcement teams were enforcing last summer/fall:


"You may not bring bikes on GO trains arriving at Union Station between 6:30am to 9:30am, or on trains leaving Union Station between 3:30pm to 6:30pm."​

I even had discussions with fare-enforcement who was fitting out their own bike regarding the panniers (bags) as I had a couple days worth of water, food, and clothing: they didn't miss the bike.
 
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