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

Some more detailed USEP materials posted publicly on the City of Toronto's Development Application website under "supporting documentation". Re-posting part of the public submission package here, to save people a download.

A few things to note: VIA seems to get a dedicated atrium, and there is a massive platform extending to the east of Union.

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Definitely an efficient design from platform perspective... one island serving two end tracks and two through tracks. Has it been decided which tracks VIA would be on? With their concourse location, I can't imagine that they would use these tracks despite the South VIA Atrium labelling on the map. Looks like this south expansion covers levels 0 through 3 (i.e. Level 0 - Retail Concourse Level (Purple), Level 1 - Promenade Level (Blue), Level 2 - GO Concourse Level (Turquoise), Level 3 - VIA Concourse Level (Green), Level 4 - Great Hall Level (unused)).

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I’m wondering if the VIA concourse portion is somehow tied into the existing trackage atthe south end of the trainshed - the old tracks 10-11-12-13 - as opposed to the new tracks

If that new far-east platform is for Lakeshore, incoming Oshawa riders (who seem to congregate in the easternmost coaches) will have a much longer walk to the depot!

- Paul
 
That’s interesting that they’re still proposing massive platforms like that, I guess this is a sign of what the other ones will look like once they’re renovated. It looks like they’re building that far out with package 3 in mind, with the two additional concourses extending out of the York West and Bay East Teamways that will provide vertical access to those extended platforms.

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On the other hand, I think the South VIA Atrium is a placeholder name and is just there to explain the location of the atrium, which is south of the VIA Concourse, same with the South York Concourse name and Blue Route.
 
I really like that platform layout. Assuming these will be the Lakeshore platforms, it makes it really easy to have the island platform be for the Lakeshore trains. Through-running trains can use the portion that continues west or east, while the short-turning trains (be they express, or special event, or whatever) can use the dead-end tracks on the same platform.

Of course, there's no reason why this setup needs to be exclusive to Lakeshore. It could just as easily be a Kitchener-Stouffville pairing. The dead-end tracks could also be used to balance out any differences in frequency between the two branches.

Whatever the assignment, I think it would be beneficial from a customer wayfinding and usability perspective if each island platform that was created (assuming the platform reconfiguration within the train shed itself uses the same setup) was assigned to a specific pair of routes. That way permanent signage could be installed in the concourse, and you would have less congregating in the concourse waiting for the platform number to pop up on the screen.
 
^ I am pretty sure that the platforms will develop "standard" route assignments, since that greatly simplifies the track switching. Logically LSE/LSW should be the southernmost platforms to keep the paths of those trains free of conflict with routes that branch off to the north.

Since the question will undoubtedly arise - I note that in the plans there is reference to provision for "Future Level Boarding" with that future level drawn as level with the lower level doors of a GO bilevel. Any thought of single level flat floor transfer appears to be way, way down the road.

- Paul

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Which raises the question: along which track will freight trains be able to pass through the station? In other GO station designs I've seen, the plan for level boarding has included some alternate routing for freight trains to keep them away from the platform edge, either using an express track (Barrie Line) or a gauntlet track (Stouffville Line).

We definitely won't have any express tracks at Union, so I assume the options are to either install gauntlet track along at least one platform, or have a platform which doesn't have full level boarding.
 
Which raises the question: along which track will freight trains be able to pass through the station?

I wonder if this is even needed. Maybe a few million cash would buy out any residual rights. Once we electrify, the freight railways won't want to be running under wires anyways. Unlike Barrie or Stouffville, there is no longer any industry downtown that needs service. CN has run a roadswitcher at times, but maybe it can rearrange its operations to access industries from the periphery - in which case through running is no longer that important.

- Paul
 
Which raises the question: along which track will freight trains be able to pass through the station?
Has there even been any freight trains running through the USRC in recent years?

I thought ever since the late 2000s freight trains have never ran past the USRC, and most use the York-Halton Sub
 
Nobody seems to have mentioned this yet, but we got our first look at the new platform arrangement in the concept art that was revealed the other day. I’m working on a diagram right now and it’s not finished yet:

View attachment 457953
I was just in the process of summarizing this!

Here are the tracks highlighted in green.
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In red are the tracks which have been removed
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