Hopefully HFR (and dedicated tracks) can follow sooner rather than later!New trains cannot be operated at top speed due to track quality...sad!
If I may comment. I am no expert in these matters, but I believe that 'while VIA won't be operating these at those speeds on current services largely due to track quality' from Reece Martin's article may be a bit facile.New trains cannot be operated at top speed due to track quality...sad!
We‘ve already discussed this at length back in October:
I am aware you are neither looking for a new job nor believing that you would be more qualified to do the job of VIA's timetablers. However, when you say that seeing #84's new schedule makes you doubt that the connections "were carefully timed", I feel compelled to point out that there hardly was any choice since there are only four gaps in the timetable which allow to sneak through Georgetown, which leaves only six slots:
Of these six possible slots, 2 depart Sarnia before 6am and 2 arrive in Toronto after 10 pm, which only leaves Slots C and D - and in order to allow passengers from Sarnia and intermediary stations to spend any time in Toronto, Slot C was the only plausible choice:
- Slot A: Operate between GO#3904 and GO#3956 (dep. Kitchener 05:09 and 06:02, respectively)
- Slot B: Sneak through Georgetown between GO#3812 (dep. 09:30) and GO#3911 (dep. 10:35)
- Slot C: Sneak through Georgetown between GO#3818 (dep. 12:30) and GO#3917 (dep. 13:35)
- Slot D: Sneak through Georgetown between GO#3824 (dep. 15:32) and GO#3923 (dep. 16:35)
- Slot E: Sneak through Georgetown between GO#3836 (dep. 21:30) and GO#3935 (dep. 22:35)
- Slot F: Operate after the arrivals of GO#3935 in Kitchener (arr. 23:28) and of GO #3937 in Guelph (arr. 00:04)
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That said, I fully agree with you that if the infrastructure owner is unable or unwilling to provide more timetable flexibility than only two at least potentially viable slots per day, then there is little point in attempting to provide any Corridor services on that route at all. Nevertheless, the Kitchener Corridor still remains the only corridor over which fast and frequent passenger rail service between Toronto and London seems conceivable within our lifetimes...
That is the topic of a debate we are currently having at Groups.io:
In any case, the absurd lack of time windows to sneak through Georgetown is the dominating timetable constraint which dictates what is possible West of Georgetown, but with the windows being 3 hours apart and the travel time being almost exactly 90 minutes between Georgetown and Stratford, Stratford might be the only place where you could possibly meet. However, such a meet would escalate the risk of cascading trains (where a delayed westbound train delays the eastbound train at Stratford, which in turn delays the outbound GO train at Georgetown, which will then delay the westbound GO train in Kitchener) - and this might be exactly the kind of operational risk Metrolinx would be reluctant to accept...
Faster track times would result in the train occupying the track for less time and as a result you could add more train slots. That might be a solution.We‘ve already discussed this at length back in October:
Metrolinx’ Kitchener service is still to blame for that new schedule, even if not the London extension itself:
Faster track speeds West of Georgetown only increases the turnaround time in Kitchener (assuming that the arrival and departure times at Union stay unchanged), whereas faster track speeds East of Georgetown would actually decrease the gap through which VIA trains can sneak. The only effective capacity-enhancing measure is to add a passing track suitable for a VIA train to meet a GO Kitchener train anywhere West of Silver Junction…Faster track times would result in the train occupying the track for less time and as a result you could add more train slots. That might be a solution.