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SmartTrack (Proposed)

crs1026

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He's not wrong... there are many projects that got approved due to their need for full RER implementation. These include the second track on the Stouffvile corridor, and the Davenport Diamond grade separation.

Metrolinx has a listing of other work that can be considered RER enabling work:

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/rer_work.aspx
Stouffville is a good example of how supposed “enabling work” doesn’t advance us very far towards the RER end state. The single longest lead time item to implement 15 minute 2WAD is the track reconfiguration at Scarboro Jct. There hasn’t even been an EA or a public consultation on that yet - it’s years away. I’m hearing that added track capacity between Union and Scarboro Jct may have been deferred. How is this ‘enabling’ RER?
Davenport - similar. The EA concluded quite some time ago. Procurement is not supposed to take this long. And as we’ve seen, local pols are up in arms because ML appears to be walking back the plan for about $100M in public realm improvements. Supposedly full electrification will be required if service is to exceed hourly 2WAD. Do we see any sign of that level of investment?
What GO has done - and it’s not a bad strategy, if they were transparent about it - has been to allocate judicious amounts of money to make the best possible gains in the absence of full RER funding commitment. Stouffville may get 30 min 2WAD when the new double track comes on line. Bramalea service will improve with the fourth track work on the Weston Sub. Davenport may actually happen one of these days. But this is not Advancing RER anywhere near at the pace that the cash flows in the BCS envisioned. You can’t say that all these miscellaneous projects ‘enable’ RER, they are just what ML found the money for. Sure some of the very low cost items like site surveys and so forth have been advanced, but those are cheap and pretty liesurely.
Another very long lead time item - procurement if electrical switchgear. The silence on that item establishes that catenary is a long ways off.
The recent budget calls for reduction in spending year over year towards a balanced budget. In that time frame, the new subway construction will ramp up. It strains belief to assume that the Province will have the cash flow to ramp up RER on top of the subways.
I do believe they want to invest in GO, and I’m sure that some amount of capital will be released each year, but that’s not Executing RER.... it’s doing the best they can afford.

- Paul
 
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steveintoronto

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Well, the MPP for Oakville seems to say work is still ongoing, and quotes the same original timeline the Liberals used. Lakeshore line to be electrified and have 15-minute all day service according to this op-ed.

"These changes are all a part of a long-term provincial investment in the complete transformation of the GO Transit network in the coming decade. Starting in 2023, the Lakeshore West Line, which serves passengers from Hamilton to Toronto’s Union Station, will be upgraded to use more efficient electric trains. These trains will run on an electrified rail track, replacing the current fleet of diesel locomotives.

The plan for electrifying the Lakeshore West GO lines is on track. It will deliver better service, with increased frequency, quieter trains, lower emissions profile and decreased carbon footprint. These changes will transform opportunities for residents to travel using public transportation for work, travel or leisure."

https://www.insidehalton.com/opinion-story/9267306-addressing-our-transportation-needs/

Maybe he would be the best to ask, since he sounds so confident its happening?
Well since he's a Con, maybe only those whose ridings elected Cons are allowed to fantasize? The rest of us take the train. And it won't be RER. I really wish it were otherwise. I too got fooled, but the smell of a ruse has become unmistakable.

Post Script: Perusing the Budget proved fruitless, and here's why (I should have just quoted this prior)

APRIL 12, 2019
BY STEVE
Ontario’s 2019 Budget: Transit Effects in Toronto
[...]
Metrolinx

There is very little news about Metrolinx in the budget beyond the recitation of works already completed and known expansion projects. The GO Expansion program will continue although the technology is not yet settled.

The Province will look to the private sector to propose innovative approaches to meet future GO Transit rail service levels, including opportunities for technology that could be used to electrify core segments of the GO Transit rail network, such as an overhead catenary system or hydrogen fuel cells. [p. 61]
This is old news, and reflects the process set in motion by the previous government by which the technology choice and pricing will be part of proposals to build and operate the expanded network.

Summary

The budget puts a bit more flesh on Premier Ford’s transit announcement, but leaves many questions especially regarding who will actually pay for all of his plan, and how much of it can progress beyond design stage during his current mandate. Some schedules are quite optimistic including the Ontario Line for which detailed design only exists for the original RL, and that based on a technology the province denigrates and rejects.

How much Ford will have to show for his efforts by the next provincial election remains to be seen. He could discover the same problem as the McGuinty/Wynne government that getting from announcements to tangible progress is difficult, especially if changing financial circumstances make original promises impossible to deliver.

For its part, Metrolinx takes on a huge program where making the government look good is top priority. This is far more than cooking the books to “justify” a new GO station in a Minister’s riding. It is a massive network expansion that, even assuming the funding problems are settled, will strain that agency to deliver. Telling Premier Ford that his signature projects might not be delivered “on time, on budget” would be suicidal. Delivering on this scale might not be as simple as the “experts” at Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario think, and the day may come when the province will no longer be able to gloat over alleged shortcomings in TTC’s project delivery.
https://stevemunro.ca/2019/04/12/ontarios-2019-budget-transit-effects-in-toronto/#comment-58390
 
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kEiThZ

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The recent budget calls for reduction in spending year over year towards a balanced budget. In that time frame, the new subway construction will ramp up. It strains belief to assume that the Province will have the cash flow to ramp up RER on top of the subways.
I do believe they want to invest in GO, and I’m sure that some amount of capital will be released each year, but that’s not Executing RER.... it’s doing the best they can afford.
Concur. Let's just hope they see enabling works as valuable capacity building so even if electrification isn't possible, they move ahead on all the other infrastructure stuff to build a better system.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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Stouffville is a good example of how supposed “enabling work” doesn’t advance us very far towards the RER end state. The single longest lead time item to implement 15 minute 2WAD is the track reconfiguration at Scarboro Jct. There hasn’t even been an EA or a public consultation on that yet - it’s years away. I’m hearing that added track capacity between Union and Scarboro Jct may have been deferred. How is this ‘enabling’ RER?
Davenport - similar. The EA concluded quite some time ago. Procurement is not supposed to take this long. And as we’ve seen, local pols are up in arms because ML appears to be walking back the plan for about $100M in public realm improvements. Supposedly full electrification will be required if service is to exceed hourly 2WAD. Do we see any sign of that level of investment?
What GO has done - and it’s not a bad strategy, if they were transparent about it - has been to allocate judicious amounts of money to make the best possible gains in the absence of full RER funding commitment. Stouffville may get 30 min 2WAD when the new double track comes on line. Bramalea service will improve with the fourth track work on the Weston Sub. Davenport may actually happen one of these days. But this is not Advancing RER anywhere near at the pace that the cash flows in the BCS envisioned. You can’t say that all these miscellaneous projects ‘enable’ RER, they are just what ML found the money for. Sure some of the very low cost items like site surveys and so forth have been advanced, but those are cheap and pretty liesurely.
Another very long lead time item - procurement if electrical switchgear. The silence on that item establishes that catenary is a long ways off.
The recent budget calls for reduction in spending year over year towards a balanced budget. In that time frame, the new subway construction will ramp up. It strains belief to assume that the Province will have the cash flow to ramp up RER on top of the subways.
I do believe they want to invest in GO, and I’m sure that some amount of capital will be released each year, but that’s not Executing RER.... it’s doing the best they can afford.

- Paul
Truth Paul? They'll get to 2WAD on Kitchener, Stouffville, Barrie and lakeshore on diesel and call it a day.
 

crs1026

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Truth Paul? They'll get to 2WAD on Kitchener, Stouffville, Barrie and lakeshore on diesel and call it a day.
And if they got all those lines to even 30 min headways, I would see that as a huge win.

Then, filling those trains ought to be the next step. That requires attention to first/last mile....and maybe converting GO stations from parking compounds to useful community hubs.

I just wish ML would be candid and concrete and transparent about their work program. RER is simply a prop for photo ops. The pretense and double speak on all this is what's so appalling. ML has become a propaganda factory first and a transit operator second.

- Paul
 
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denfromoakvillemilton

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And if they got all those lines to even 30 min headways, I would see that as a huge win.

Then, filling those trains ought to be the next step. That requires attention to first/last mile....and maybe converting GO stations from parking compounds to useful community hubs.

I just wish ML would be candid and concrete and transparent about their work program. RER is simply a prop for photo ops. The double speak on all this is what's so appalling. ML has become a propaganda factory first and a transit operator second.

- Paul
Amen. Just say that it's not possible, not only because of costs, but implementation and underdeveloped technology hamstrings us at this time from achieving this goal. Regular Joe in Brampton and Markham just wants to be able to take the train downtown off peak like Joe in Whitby and Burlington can. That's all.
That's a poor example. I don't know that they'll ever get to that in at least the next decade.
They'll get to Kitchener. CN will have to give way because of that new yard they want in Milton. It will just be regular service and not RER.
 
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steveintoronto

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They'll get to Kitchener. CN will have to give way because of that new yard they want in Milton. It will just be regular service and not RER>
It never was touted to be RER, that was touted to be only to Bramalea. (And the delay on that is a separate issue) The problems for 2WAD to Kitchener are freight, well known and documented. It's not a case of 'whether CN want to or not'. It's one of pathing availability and signalling/control. It's my opinion going by what can and is done elsewhere is that the single track alone isn't the problem as long as passing loops are available. But that's for a passenger only operation with the occasional freight outside of passenger ops. This line, not surprisingly being sold by CN, (and a crucial segment still owned by them) has a contractual proviso of freight use.

The only way to make 2WAD happen remains the Bypass in some form or other. Or evidently magical incantations of fantasy from the fools at QP.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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It never was touted to be RER, that was touted to be only to Bramalea. The problems for 2WAD to Kitchener are freight, well known and documented. It's not a case of 'whether CN want to or not'. It's one of pathing availability and signalling/control. It's my opinion going by what can and is done elsewhere is that the single track alone isn't the problem as long as passing loops are available. But that's for a passenger only operation with the occasional freight outside of passenger ops. This line, not surprisingly being sold by CN, (and a crucial segment still owned by them) has a contractual proviso of freight use.

The only way to make 2WAD happen remains the Bypass in some form or other. Or evidently magical incantations of fantasy from the fools at QP.
I disagree. I think two extra tracks, if not three are needed between Georgetown and Brampton to just get to hourly service. From there, I agree, is the big issue.
 

steveintoronto

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robmausser

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Toronto-Ottawa already has (darn near) hourly AD2W service over freight.... It's just via VIA.

It's ironic it's easier to get to Ottawa by train than it is to get to Kitchener by train.

View attachment 181737
I think a lot has to do with the fact that they dont have to share that with GO trains (only a small portion of Lakeshore East) a portion is VIA owned tracks, and these are historical trains that have been around for a long time when CN was a crown corp and much more willing to work with VIA.

Now, adding more service these days when freight is booming is tougher and tougher.

Plus the track is in fairly good shape.

The track from Georgetown to Kitchener is a mess and single track. Work is progressing on it, but the focus is GO trains not VIA. Which is fine really.
 

lead82

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This thread has gotten off-track. What does this discussion have to do with SmartTrack?
 

crs1026

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This thread has gotten off-track. What does this discussion have to do with SmartTrack?
It’s a digression, but relevant. The essence is - ST is assumes that a fairly high performance infrastructure (RER) is available. RER is therefore a prerequisite to ST. And we are questioning whether the new government has any appetite and commitment to RER.

If RER is dead, or even stretched out over a longer period, ST is nowhere.

- Paul
 

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