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

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.
Track 1 has an enormous platform on the south side, but yes tracks 4 and 8 do retain their current platform widths.

My guesses are:
- On the terminating tracks it is not necessary for the platforms to simultaneously handle boardings and alightings, and there are two platforms available so each one only needs to handle half of the passenger load.
- It's an existing station and there are severe space constraints including adjacent skyscrapers and the existing support pillars under the tracks which severely limit the ability for tracks to be shifted within the trainshed.
 
^ We are speculating, but I would expect that every service will have two tracks available, which means some intermingling of services.

I also wonder - who has final say and what signoffs are needed between VIA and ML?

- Paul
 
^ We are speculating, but I would expect that every service will have two tracks available, which means some intermingling of services.

I also wonder - who has final say and what signoffs are needed between VIA and ML?

- Paul
Yes of course in practice any train is able to switch to a different platform if its intended platform is occupied, but there would typically be a fairly fixed platform (or pair of platforms) for each service which provides a path through the corridor with as few conflicts as possible.

I think the best demonstration of this principle is the layout of Utrecht Centraal station, which was rebuilt a few years ago in order to minimize conflicts in the rail corridor.

UtrechtCS-Overhead1.JPG

UtrechtCS-Overhead2.JPG


UtrechtCS-Tracks.PNG

In addition to the tracks shown here, there some extra switches which allow trains to swap between platforms if necessary. For example, intercity trains from Amsterdam (normally on track 13 or 14) have a switch which allows them to reach track 12. However it is not possible to reach every platform from a given direction.

Intercity trains from Den Haag and Rotterdam reverse in the station and continue north toward Zwolle. As a result, the intercity line north from Utrecht is left-hand running. There is a flyover north of Utrecht which brings the northbound track back over to the right hand side.
UtrechtOvervechtFlyover.JPG
 
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^ We are speculating, but I would expect that every service will have two tracks available, which means some intermingling of services.
I also would expect that each service will have two tracks - with the locals and expresses each counting as one service, on those routes - but I wouldn't expect much in terms of intermingling or running-through of lines. at least at the peak times.

I also wonder - who has final say and what signoffs are needed between VIA and ML?

- Paul
As part of the process of changing their services, VIA has to approach both Metrolinx and CN (and potentially CP, if running through Smith's Falls) to ensure that the changes are possible.

Dan
 
Track 1 has an enormous platform on the south side, but yes tracks 4 and 8 do retain their current platform widths.

My guesses are:
- On the terminating tracks it is not necessary for the platforms to simultaneously handle boardings and alightings, and there are two platforms available so each one only needs to handle half of the passenger load.
- It's an existing station and there are severe space constraints including adjacent skyscrapers and the existing support pillars under the tracks which severely limit the ability for tracks to be shifted within the trainshed.
So we will still have the problem of trains running too close to people because of lack of space and limited vertical access on some platforms. Would having even fewer platforms deliver same capacity if trains are able to vacate new wide platforms sooner?
 
So we will still have the problem of trains running too close to people because of lack of space and limited vertical access on some platforms. Would having even fewer platforms deliver same capacity if trains are able to vacate new wide platforms sooner?
Assuming that track 4 is for the UP Express, it should be fine because the passenger capacity per train isn't that high. People can wait on one platform, and when the train pulls in, it can unload passengers onto the empty platform on the other side. Even if trains are limited to 16 km/h the platform isn't that long anyway so it's not that big of a deal.

Track 8 could be more of an issue since it does seem to be designed for GO trains, but again it's a terminating platform anyway it's not like trains are going to be flying into the platforms at any significant speed regardless. In that case the dwell times will probably be longer, so arriving trains would open the doors on both sides, and then at some point later the platforms would be announced for boarding - similar to current operations. The platform may also tend to be used by trains entering or exiting service, in which case there is only a one-directional use of the stairs anyway.
 
So we will still have the problem of trains running too close to people because of lack of space and limited vertical access on some platforms. Would having even fewer platforms deliver same capacity if trains are able to vacate new wide platforms sooner?
If you look in the Bay Concourse there’s a lot of staircases that are unused right now, there’s a lot of future-proofed vertical access in the station.
 
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.
Agree, CN absolutely is not abandoning its freight business just because of wires. Heck, today they operate a local freight a few times per week in Waterloo literally on the ION LRT tracks under light rail catenary. Here is a fun video of a CN tanker train pretending to be an LRT. Here is one of CN going to University at Waterloo.

CN also serves major industries on Metrolinx tracks that will be electrified, that cannot exist without rail service. Some key examples on the Lakeshore West Line alone are the Ford Plant in Oakville, the Ash Grove Cement Plant in Mississauga, and Petro Canada Lubeplex in Clarkson. CN isn’t giving up this business, and Metrolinx isn’t forcing them off their tracks (they also legally cannot do this).
 
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Heck, today they operate a local freight a few times per week in Waterloo literally on the ION LRT tracks under light rail catenary. Here is a fun video of a CN tanker train pretending to be an LRT. Here is one of CN going to University at Waterloo.
Is that train a lot faster than it used to be before the built the LRT? Seems to me it only crossed intersections at walking pace in the past - certainly up at Northfield where I would frequently encounter it - and the person walking ahead of it.
 
Is that train a lot faster than it used to be before the built the LRT? Seems to me it only crossed intersections at walking pace in the past - certainly up at Northfield where I would frequently encounter it - and the person walking ahead of it.
At a public consultation for the LRT (a decade ago) they said that the freight speed would be increased to 25 mph rather than 10 mph. Not sure if they ended up getting it up that high, but it does seem to be more than 10 now.

Now that there are automatic gates, it is no longer necessary for the crew to flag the crossing.
 
Assuming that track 4 is for the UP Express,

I’m curious why you believe it will move at all - is there something in the plans or writeup that hints at this ?

I can understand the logic of putting it in the Kitchener Line flowpath, but moving it does complicate the platform layout, and it’s a waste of the investment in the current terminal area.

The USRC interlockings are being rebuilt in a fairly conventional way, and while flowthrough will improve with the right station platform design, I expect some use of crossovers will remain. Leaving UP alone may simplify things, even if some routings conflict..

- Paul
 
I’m curious why you believe it will move at all - is there something in the plans or writeup that hints at this ?

I can understand the logic of putting it in the Kitchener Line flowpath, but moving it does complicate the platform layout, and it’s a waste of the investment in the current terminal area.

The USRC interlockings are being rebuilt in a fairly conventional way, and while flowthrough will improve with the right station platform design, I expect some use of crossovers will remain. Leaving UP alone may simplify things, even if some routings conflict..

- Paul
As far as I know relocating the UP Express has been planned for years.
 
Originally, it was to come in on Platform 3 as part of the Blue 22 project. With 15 minute frequencies it would be better off where it is.
Isn't its current platform Platform 3? If I recall correctly, there is no platform 1 or 2
 

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