It seems you interpreted my post as implying that VIA's schedulers are incompetent, which was not at all my intent. My musings into train timetables is purely recreational, and as such you need not forward my resumé to your former colleagues.Unless VIA is able to secure a sixth slot for London-Toronto, the only way to re-route Sarnia-Toronto via Brantford is to extend 82 and 83 to Sarnia, which would result in an ungodly departure time in Sarnia (something like 5:15) and a high risk that train 82 already departs late in London. As long as Sarnia-London is partly single-tracked, the decision between inconveniencing passengers from Sarnia (which want a shorter travel time to Toronto) or the existing passengers on #82 (which are highly sensitive to delayed arrivals in Toronto) is a very easy one to make...
I'm looking forward to your suggestion for an alternative time slot for #84, which respects the following constraints, given that there currently is no possibility to meet anywhere between Silver Junction (where the Guelph Sub splits from the Halton Sub West of Georgetown) and Kelly's siding (a few miles Southwest of St. Marys):
If you are able to come up with a timetable slot which satisfies above constraints and allows for better connections in Toronto without resulting in an even earlier departure time than currently (i.e. 06:10), I will happily forward your job application to my former colleagues at VIA's timetable department...
- Must arrive in Kitchener well before the departure time of GO#3956 (dep. 06:02) or after the departure of GO#3812 (dep. 08:39), as the poor OTP and very long signal spacing makes it almost impossible to fit within two GO trains operating at 30 minutes intervals).
- Must arrive in Georgetown well before the departure of GO#3956 (dep. 06:53) or after the departure of GO#3812 (dep. 09:30).
- Must arrive in Georgetown well before the departure of GO#3911 (dep. 10:35) or after the departure of GO#3818 (dep. 12:30).
- Must arrive in Georgetown well before the departure of GO#3917 (dep. 13:35) or after the departure of GO#3824 (dep. 15:32).
- Must arrive in Georgetown well before the departure of GO#3923 (dep. 16:35) or after the departure of GO#3836 (dep. 21:30).
- Must arrive in Georgetown well before the departure of GO#3935 (dep. 22:35) or after the arrivals of GO#3935 in Kitchener (arr. 23:28) and of GO #3937 in Guelph (arr. 00:04).
My first point is indeed that a sixth slot from London-Toronto would be extremely helpful not only for London-Toronto travel, but even more so for Sarnia-Toronto travel. I am in no way implying that this is a benefit that VIA's staff is ignoring and I am fully aware that such a slot dependant on negotiations with CN. Remember that I am looking at this from the perspective of a citizen, rather than the perspective of a civil servant. That means that although a rejection from CN is the end of the story for VIA's scheduler, citizens may proceed to think about negotiation options beyond the routine scheduling process, such as funding targeted infrastructure investments or even legislative reform regarding the responsibilities of Class 1 freight railways to reasonably accommodate passenger service.
I have also taken a look at the new Kitchener Line schedules, and I agree with your conclusion that the proposed timing for 84 is one of the only feasible timetables along the line. Indeed I noticed that moving 84 to a later slot makes it theoretically possible for the first westbound GO train to Kitchener to depart an hour earlier. Though it doesn't allow it to come back to Toronto an hour earlier, so that would probably be undesirable from an equipment utilisation perspective. My point is simply that the upcoming timing of 84 is not determined by connections at either end, which makes me wonder whether there's enough justification for 84/87 to exist at all. I wonder if a re-timed London-Toronto GO trip could do a better job of connecting Windsor/Sarnia riders to Kitchener/Guelph.