News   Jul 19, 2024
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GO Transit: Union Station Shed Replacement & Track Upgrades (Zeidler)

Once we electrify, the freight railways won't want to be running under wires anyways.
CN has said they don't want their own tracks to be electrified. I don't think they said they totally refuse to operate under wires. Especially since the height of the wires has been selected specifically to allow continued use by freight trains.

It seems unlikely that CN would abandon all of its local customers on Metrolinx lines just because they got spooked by some wires.
 
Here's a schematic diagram of the track arrangement shown in the Metrolinx submission. For context, I have also included the planned track configurations east and west of the USRC, as well as the 11-track pinch point at John Street.
USRC-2022-a.PNG

To get a rough idea of what the typical use of each platform might be, I did a simple connect-the-dots exercise to fill in the unknown sections. Please note that I gave very little thought to these conceptual layouts, they are really just intended to give a ballpark idea of where tracks end up.

Here's a version with the existing flyunder.
USRC-2022-c.PNG

Track 1: Barrie
Track 2: Barrie / Richmond Hill
Track 3: Stouffville/Kitchener Local westbound
Track 4: UP Express
Track 5: Stouffville/Kitchener Local eastbound
Track 6: Milton
Track 7: Kitchener Express / VIA Sarnia
Track 8: Kitchener Express
Track 9: Lakeshore Local westbound
Track 10: Lakeshore East/West Express
Track 11: VIA Ottawa/Montréal
Track 12: Lakeshore West Express
Track 13: VIA Windsor/Ottawa/Montréal
Track 14: Lakeshore Local eastbound

Here's a version where the flyunder is removed:
USRC-2022-b.PNG


Track 1: Barrie
Track 2: Barrie / Richmond Hill
Track 3: Kitchener Express
Track 4: UP Express
Track 5: Kitchener Express / VIA Sarnia
Track 6: Stouffville/Kitchener Local westbound
Track 7: Stouffville/Kitchener Local eastbound
Track 8: Milton
Track 9: Lakeshore Local westbound
Track 10: Lakeshore East/West Express
Track 11: VIA Ottawa/Montréal
Track 12: Lakeshore West Express
Track 13: VIA Windsor/Ottawa/Montréal
Track 14: Lakeshore Local eastbound

I'm pretty sure that track 4 is for the UP Express given how small it is, and this version places it on the north pair of tracks in the Kitchener corridor, which doesn't make sense since it splits off toward the south at Wice (Pearson Junction). Based on that, my guess is that they are planning to keep the flyunder in the USRC.
 
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.
VERY few freights go via Union these days (and those that do are 100% at night) so maybe no worry?
 
CN has said they don't want their own tracks to be electrified. I don't think they said they totally refuse to operate under wires. Especially since the height of the wires has been selected specifically to allow continued use by freight trains.

It seems unlikely that CN would abandon all of its local customers on Metrolinx lines just because they got spooked by some wires.

I’m not aware of any freight customer to be served downtown any more, but there are on the Stouffville line and out by Pickering, and on the Barrie line. CN’s roadswitchers do take a short cut across the USRC at night on occasion, but I’m not sure that is all that necessary for current services.

If Ml does raise platforms some day, it will affect all these lines, and as more stations are built there will be clearance issues all over the place. I’m not aware that Ml has this factored in to its station plans. Possibly the issue at USRC isn’t that serious, because the only solution is to discontinue freight on any line where platforms are raised.

- Paul
 
Here's a schematic diagram of the track arrangement shown in the Metrolinx submission. For context, I have also included the planned track configurations east and west of the USRC, as well as the 11-track pinch point at John Street.
View attachment 457974
To get a rough idea of what the typical use of each platform might be, I did a simple connect-the-dots exercise to fill in the unknown sections. Please note that I gave very little thought to these conceptual layouts, they are really just intended to give a ballpark idea of where tracks end up.

Here's a version with the existing flyunder.
View attachment 457984
Track 1: Barrie
Track 2: Barrie / Richmond Hill
Track 3: Stouffville/Kitchener Local westbound
Track 4: UP Express
Track 5: Stouffville/Kitchener Local eastbound
Track 6: Milton
Track 7: Kitchener Express / VIA Sarnia
Track 8: Kitchener Express
Track 9: Lakeshore Local westbound
Track 10: Lakeshore East/West Express
Track 11: VIA Ottawa/Montréal
Track 12: Lakeshore West Express
Track 13: VIA Windsor/Ottawa/Montréal
Track 14: Lakeshore Local eastbound

Here's a version where the flyunder is removed:
View attachment 457975

Track 1: Barrie
Track 2: Barrie / Richmond Hill
Track 3: Kitchener Express
Track 4: UP Express
Track 5: Kitchener Express / VIA Sarnia
Track 6: Stouffville/Kitchener Local westbound
Track 7: Stouffville/Kitchener Local eastbound
Track 8: Milton
Track 9: Lakeshore Local westbound
Track 10: Lakeshore East/West Express
Track 11: VIA Ottawa/Montréal
Track 12: Lakeshore West Express
Track 13: VIA Windsor/Ottawa/Montréal
Track 14: Lakeshore Local eastbound

I'm pretty sure that track 4 is for the UP Express given how small it is, and this version places it on the north pair of tracks in the Kitchener corridor, which doesn't make sense since it splits off toward the south at Wice (Pearson Junction). Based on that, my guess is that they are planning to keep the flyunder in the USRC.
These are great, could you make one with the current USRC track and platform layout so we can do comparisons?
 
One hope so, I may misunderstand but why would a higher platform be a problem for freight trains - would the train simply hit it, even if going slowly?
I believe some freight cars have wider than usual bodies. This is the explanation I have seen for why the accessible platforms are so set back now.
 
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Why would Lakeshore and Stouffville trains be confined to different tracks east of Union Station? Presumably, they'd share, especially if a flyunder/flyover is built west of Scarborough Junction. That would keep express and VIA trains clear of all-stops locals.
 
Here's a schematic diagram of the track arrangement shown in the Metrolinx submission. For context, I have also included the planned track configurations east and west of the USRC, as well as the 11-track pinch point at John Street.
View attachment 457974
To get a rough idea of what the typical use of each platform might be, I did a simple connect-the-dots exercise to fill in the unknown sections. Please note that I gave very little thought to these conceptual layouts, they are really just intended to give a ballpark idea of where tracks end up.

Here's a version with the existing flyunder.
View attachment 457984
Track 1: Barrie
Track 2: Barrie / Richmond Hill
Track 3: Stouffville/Kitchener Local westbound
Track 4: UP Express
Track 5: Stouffville/Kitchener Local eastbound
Track 6: Milton
Track 7: Kitchener Express / VIA Sarnia
Track 8: Kitchener Express
Track 9: Lakeshore Local westbound
Track 10: Lakeshore East/West Express
Track 11: VIA Ottawa/Montréal
Track 12: Lakeshore West Express
Track 13: VIA Windsor/Ottawa/Montréal
Track 14: Lakeshore Local eastbound

Here's a version where the flyunder is removed:
View attachment 457975

Track 1: Barrie
Track 2: Barrie / Richmond Hill
Track 3: Kitchener Express
Track 4: UP Express
Track 5: Kitchener Express / VIA Sarnia
Track 6: Stouffville/Kitchener Local westbound
Track 7: Stouffville/Kitchener Local eastbound
Track 8: Milton
Track 9: Lakeshore Local westbound
Track 10: Lakeshore East/West Express
Track 11: VIA Ottawa/Montréal
Track 12: Lakeshore West Express
Track 13: VIA Windsor/Ottawa/Montréal
Track 14: Lakeshore Local eastbound

I'm pretty sure that track 4 is for the UP Express given how small it is, and this version places it on the north pair of tracks in the Kitchener corridor, which doesn't make sense since it splits off toward the south at Wice (Pearson Junction). Based on that, my guess is that they are planning to keep the flyunder in the USRC.
The platforms appear a lot narrower at places where the track is dead ending. For example, Tracks 1, 4 and 8. Aren't they rebuilding the platforms to make them wider? In this diagram, it looks like some portions of the platforms will be narrower while some other portions wider.
 
Why would Lakeshore and Stouffville trains be confined to different tracks east of Union Station? Presumably, they'd share, especially if a flyunder/flyover is built west of Scarborough Junction. That would keep express and VIA trains clear of all-stops locals.
Because Verster doesn't want to build said flyunder at Scarborough Junction. I would rather they did build that flyunder because it would allow them to group the services by speed, allowing more opportunities for express/intercity trains to overtake local trains, and allowing people at the local stations to just stand on one platform and take whichever line shows up first.
 
The platforms appear a lot narrower at places where the track is dead ending. For example, Tracks 1, 4 and 8. Aren't they rebuilding the platforms to make them wider? In this diagram, it looks like some portions of the platforms will be narrower while some other portions wider.
They aren’t really rebuilding the platforms and making them wider, they’re just filling in some of the tracks, there is still a lot of very thin platforms though.
 

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