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reaperexpress

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To be fair there are no express services right now. We will have to see where the schedule ends up as more services get introduced. I imagine we will see another big ramp up of services in the September schedules when students return to classes.
The peak period service was 6 trains per hour (4 express + 2 local) prior to the pandemic, so I'm fairly confident we'll get at least some kind of peak-period express back (e.g. 2 express + 4 local) within the relatively near future. However, I highly doubt we will see an off-peak service pattern with more than 4 tph within the next few years.
^ In thinking about the LSE schedule, I wonder if post-covid-19 that pre-covid-19 express trip from Union to Oshawa will come back. I think it was a 6AM union departure and arrived in Oshawa in about 43 minutes or so? Always wanted to ride it for fun but didn't get the chance.
There were three morning superexpress trips to Oshawa. I doubt they will come back because I suspect there's enough storage capacity at the new Whitby yard to supply the peak-period trips.
Knipsel.JPG

I rode the 6:38 one for fun because I was hoping we would run in front of VIA 50/60 to Pickering, then I could film a high-speed overtake (like this one I filmed a few weeks ago) somewhere around Ajax. But what actually happened is that the GO train ran local to Guildwood to let VIA overtake us, then went non-stop to Oshawa. Which explains why that trip is slower than the 7:13 express trip.
 
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ssiguy2

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Ridership is a function of service quality. If the service is too slow, it will never attract ridership in the first place. A lot of the pre-pandemic commuter ridership from places like Burlington and Oakville would not have been riding if they had to sit on a local train the whole way.

Personally I would not have jumped from 2tph local straight to 4 tph local on Lakeshore West. I would have had the hourly West Harbour service run express, and the other 3 trains run local.

Yes, ridership is a function of service quality but that is only half the equation. Good service quality means little if the system itself is not accessible and due to the lack of fare integration, it is financially inaccessible for hundreds of thousands and especially the transit dependent.
 

reaperexpress

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Yes, ridership is a function of service quality but that is only half the equation. Good service quality means little if the system itself is not accessible and due to the lack of fare integration, it is financially inaccessible for hundreds of thousands and especially the transit dependent.
When someone says that y is a function of x, it does not mean that x is the only variable which influences y.
 

kingkam

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I'm dream of a world where I can hop on the train from Whitby and take it to Burlington in 45 minutes tops with an average speed for 90-100KM/H. I guess this is unrealistic?
 

ARG1

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Ridership is a function of service quality. If the service is too slow, it will never attract ridership in the first place. A lot of the pre-pandemic commuter ridership from places like Burlington and Oakville would not have been riding if they had to sit on a local train the whole way.

Personally I would not have jumped from 2tph local straight to 4 tph local on Lakeshore West. I would have had the hourly West Harbour service run express, and the other 3 trains run local.
I have a feeling that this is partially done as a way to practice running at consistent 15 minute headways while through running, something that would be needed to be done reliably post RER.
 

Northern Light

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I'm dream of a world where I can hop on the train from Whitby and take it to Burlington in 45 minutes tops with an average speed for 90-100KM/H. I guess this is unrealistic?

Yes.

The distance involved isn't far off 100km. So at 100km/ph non-stop you wouldn't get 45m; you'd get an hour.
You're also not going to get on a train not-stopping at Union Station when it passed through.

So you're outside of the frame of realism.

An all-stops trip, currently is ~ 2 hours for that run.
Limited-stop/express is certainly believable and would see reduced trip time.
But not a 60% + reduction.
Whitby to Union as an express train is ~46M (when it last ran).
While the fastest train from Burlington to Union was ~41M
If they were a single run, end to end, that's 87m or 1hr 27

Certainly, it should be possible to knock that down a bit, especially with faster speeds in the USRC in the years ahead.
But that may be partially offset by additional mandatory stops like East Harbour.

I would venture to say a medium-term best case isn't likely much better than 1hr 15; though @reaperexpress might have more insight.
 
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reaperexpress

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I have a feeling that this is partially done as a way to practice running at consistent 15 minute headways while through running, something that would be needed to be done reliably post RER.
I think it's the opposite. It's much easier to run a consistent 15-minute pattern than to have 4 trains per hour with a variety of different patterns. With even headways and a consistent stopping pattern, you always have the maximum possible separation rather than trains catching up to each other and potentially needing to overtake.

Yes.

The distance involved isn't far off 100km. So at 100km/ph non-stop you wouldn't get 45m; you'd get an hour.
You're also not going to get on a train not-stopping at Union Station when it passed through.

So you're outside of the frame of realism.

An all-stops trip, currently is ~ 2 hours for that run.
Limited-stop/express is certainly believable and would see reduced trip time.
But not a 60% + reduction.
Whitby to Union as an express train is ~46M (when it last ran).
While the fastest train from Burlington to Union was ~41M
If they were a single run, end to tend, that's 87m or 1hr 27

Certainly, it should be possible to knock that down a bit, especially with faster speeds in the USRC in the years ahead.
But that may be partially offset by additional mandatory stops like East Harbour.

I would venture to say a medium-term best case isn't likely much better than 1hr 15; though @reaperexpress might have more insight.
I agree with your conclusions. A 100 km/h average is not even remotely realistic for GO. It's a regional rail service, not an intercity rail service. They're not going to be running 50 km non-stop, save for those aforementioned quasi-deadhead trips, which is what you'd need to achieve those kinds of numbers. And in any case, no train will ever average 100 km/h from Whitby and Burlington because a train that fast would not be stopping at Whitby.

VIA could average 100 km/h from Oshawa to Aldershot, but only if they run non-stop through Oakville and you ignore the dwell time at Union. They've scheduled Oshawa-Union (50 km) in as little as 29 minutes in the recent past, which is a 103 km/h average.

VIA Montreal-Toronto timetable, July 2014:
Capture.JPG
 

kamira51

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Yes.

The distance involved isn't far off 100km. So at 100km/ph non-stop you wouldn't get 45m; you'd get an hour.
You're also not going to get on a train not-stopping at Union Station when it passed through.

So you're outside of the frame of realism.
It's absolutely ridiculous that our railway corridors are so restrictive, like if I wanna go from Barrie to Brampton, I gotta go to Union Station???? ehh????, very disappointing how metrolinx is very unwilling to expand GO Transit railway into a better intercity system.
 

reaperexpress

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It's absolutely ridiculous that our railway corridors are so restrictive, like if I wanna go from Barrie to Brampton, I gotta go to Union Station???? ehh????, very disappointing how metrolinx is very unwilling to expand GO Transit railway into a better intercity system.
GO doesn't run just a railway, they run an entire transit system. If you want to go from Barrie to Brampton, you'd take the 407 GO Bus service. The only issue here is that there's no station which connects the Barrie Line to the 407 buses. Concord Station was proposed to do that, but it has never been politically favoured.
 
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mdrejhon

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I'm not sure about what was promised back in the day, but with the GO Expansion Business case there really isn't anything about all day service to HGC.
The Metrolinx 2041 RTP shows 15 minute service to Hamilton downtown, so it is definitely in a Metrolinx master plan.

Multiple sources confirm to me that multiple Hamilton stations will eventually get allday 2-way service. Toronto already has multiple, as does various GTHA municipalities such as Oakville area itself, and Burlington itself. Why leave Hamilton out of the fun!?

Here's proof, from the 2041 RTP map:

1627428229383.png


Certain things do go ahead of the 2041 RTP map, such as West Harbour all-day service was not originally part of the plan.

www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rtp/

RTP is Metrolinx's once-a-decade 25-year masterplanning exercise, this is since the early works on 2041 RTP occured very early in James North GO planning long before 2015.
______________

Now my personal commentary:

I predicted West Harbour All Day before Hamilton Downtown -- correctly way back in 2015 -- While the year was wrong, I correctly predicted all day 2-way service would occur with West Harbour first before Downtown Hamilton.

So another prediction gone correct for me! Though my year (2016) was wrong .... ob-vee-ous-ly .... (in a very slow, droll voice) -- but yay it happened. And in the sequence I, myself, predicted six years ago when I was reading the Metrolinx tea leaves of on-ground construction proofs...

The track Aldershot-Hamilton is owned by CN (to West Harbour) and by CP (to downtown Hamilton). Metrolinx successfully paid CN to build an extra track from the Bayview junction, over the Desjardin Canal, and through the railyard to West Harbour, enabling hourly service to be doable without interference with CN freight. Now, downtown Hamilton.

15-Minute Electric Service on CP Corridor

Path #1 Forward for CP corridor problem:
Because of the catenary disallowance on freight corridors. I believe it will wait until battery trains become practical (e.g. later in 2030s) for a GO-train-sized trainset. That way, catenary is only required to Burlington/Aldershot. Battery power to Hamilton, and recharge while under catenary to Union.

Path #2 Forward for CP Freight Corridor: The other path to this is the Canada Carbon Neutral Pledge 2050 will force government to force CP and CN to electrify their railroads (through gee-nerous subsidies & more permissive freight rules). This conceivably could be the path since this is very close to the year 2041 of the master plan of 15-minute service to Hamilton.

Could it happen sooner? Probably yes, with the battery-backed locomotives or EMUs. Battery locomotive performance is now adequate to haul a large GO train, as they are already developing battery-electric locomotives for freight trains. But they are designed to operate only as an "assist" mode for difficult uphill runs, as well as railyards, etc.

However, with today's technology, there is finally now enough room on a catenary electric locomotive for battery capacity sufficient for the Aldershot-Hamilton gap. Haul the existing Bombardier/Alstom BiLevels if need be.

With a safety margin for a stuck-on-rails-in-winter with winter heating needs. A catenary-electric locomotive with a battery backup is already feasible today at battery densities made possible by Tesla 4680 cells or similar tech; so by 2035-ish, mature options should already be available to Metrolinx for 15-minute electric Hamilton service over CP trackage.

Why battery-catenary dualmode electric locomotives instead of EMUs for Lakeshore? The apparent Metrolinx plan seems to be use EMUs on the Kitchener-Stoufville corridor (due to tighter station spacing) and electric locomotives on Lakeshore (due to wider station spacing). That is another one of my predictions, although Metrolinx may go all out and go fully EMU eventually, I think they will stick to the big locomotives initially for now.

Thus, my predictions forks to two:

- If 15-min electric happens far sooner than Metrolinx 2041 RTP,
....It will probably require battery+catenary dual mode electric locomotives. This is the fastest path to 15-minute electric, by combining the current electric GO Expansion plan, with a solution that goes beyond the EA studied area (catenary stops in Burlington).

- If 15-min happens only during 2041 or 2051
....The sheer force of Carbon Neutral 2050 will force CN/CP anyway, and the train tech any electric tech (regular catenary electric EMUs or locomotives, no battery needed).

Obviously, we need to wait for technological maturity, but mature non-experimental battery-catenary dual-mode-electric locomotives will be on the market well before 2041. It won't be experimental tech in 2041.
 
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Northern Light

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It's absolutely ridiculous that our railway corridors are so restrictive, like if I wanna go from Barrie to Brampton, I gotta go to Union Station???? ehh????, very disappointing how metrolinx is very unwilling to expand GO Transit railway into a better intercity system.

As @reaperexpress points out, there are different operators specialized in long trip service, notably VIA in our market, which would help address trip speed, where that particular trip is currently serviced by the rail network.

****

In respect of the need for corridors that don't go through Union, you may be pleased to know that Metrolinx actually agrees with you and is contemplating at least one non-Union east-west corridor, possibly 2 in the longest term; but it will be awhile before we see even one; its an enormous investment.

I think it also merits mention that GO/Metrolinx would be more than happy to create new connections across the network, should the government provide them the dollars to do so; and providing that government and private, Freight railways can agree on some mix of additional space for passenger trains on private corridors and making portions of those corridors publicly-owned; that in turn requiring off-setting new freight capacity elsewhere.

Its not that simple a matter.

I'm all for roasting governments of every political stripe, at both the provincial and national levels for not securing more rail corridors when they fell into dis-use; for not buying some when they were for sale; and for not including space
for new corridors when planning urban sprawl and and new highways. The lack of foresight and thoughtfulness should not be forgiven.

That said, we need to apportion that blame where it lies; largely with politicians and perhaps one could reasonably go after the MTO as well.

While there is a plausible route (albeit not perfectly direct) by which a train could operate Barrie to Brampton without stopping at Union, it would require the use of the CN mainline.

There may be an arrangement to be made for that, at some point, if demand for that trip exists; but I think its fair to say that's pretty far down the to-do list just at the moment.
 

mdrejhon

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Even after all the new service added, the only express trips in the entire GO train network are the 8 round trips per week to Niagara Falls. I hope GO isn't waiting for ridership to build up to the point that more than 4 trains per hour of capacity is required, because that will never happen unless there are express trips which make longer-distance train trips attractive again
Politics played a part in that 15 min service came a little too early. I agree with you, Your idea sounds great, but we're stuck here. I think once HSR adjusts and the track is fix I think it work. The station is near Lake Ontario north of downtown so that is another factor to consider.
There's another Quick Fix solution that they were considering just right before the Pandemic.

Unfortunately, we know what happened when March 2020 rolled around.

Hopefully it still can get done, now that the brand new all-day West Harbour lights a massive spotlight on this?
(Unless there's a quick construction award for the track extension).

1627429994697.png


1627429986368.png
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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There's another Quick Fix solution that they were considering just right before the Pandemic.

Unfortunately, we know what happened when March 2020 rolled around.

Hopefully it still can get done, now that the brand new all-day West Harbour lights a massive spotlight on this?
(Unless there's a quick construction award for the track extension).

View attachment 337587

View attachment 337586
Ideally both would be done, but Metrolinx would rather extend the tracks. The platform construction would be a lot cheaper, I agree.
 

ARG1

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The Metrolinx 2041 RTP shows 15 minute service to Hamilton downtown, so it is definitely in a Metrolinx master plan.

Multiple sources confirm to me that multiple Hamilton stations will eventually get allday 2-way service. Toronto already has multiple, as does various GTHA municipalities such as Oakville area itself, and Burlington itself. Why leave Hamilton out of the fun!?

Here's proof, from the 2041 RTP map:

View attachment 337581

Certain things do go ahead of the 2041 RTP map, such as West Harbour all-day service was not originally part of the plan.

www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rtp/

RTP is Metrolinx's once-a-decade 25-year masterplanning exercise, this is since the early works on 2041 RTP occured very early in James North GO planning long before 2015.
______________

Now my personal commentary:

I predicted West Harbour All Day before Hamilton Downtown -- correctly way back in 2015 -- While the year was wrong, I correctly predicted all day 2-way service would occur with West Harbour first before Downtown Hamilton.

So another prediction gone correct for me! Though my year (2016) was wrong .... ob-vee-ous-ly .... (in a very slow, droll voice) -- but yay it happened. And in the sequence I, myself, predicted six years ago when I was reading the Metrolinx tea leaves of on-ground construction proofs...

The track Aldershot-Hamilton is owned by CN (to West Harbour) and by CP (to downtown Hamilton). Metrolinx successfully paid CN to build an extra track from the Bayview junction, over the Desjardin Canal, and through the railyard to West Harbour, enabling hourly service to be doable without interference with CN freight. Now, downtown Hamilton.

15-Minute Electric Service on CP Corridor

Path #1 Forward for CP corridor problem:
Because of the catenary disallowance on freight corridors. I believe it will wait until battery trains become practical (e.g. later in 2030s) for a GO-train-sized trainset. That way, catenary is only required to Burlington/Aldershot. Battery power to Hamilton, and recharge while under catenary to Union.

Path #2 Forward for CP Freight Corridor: The other path to this is the Canada Carbon Neutral Pledge 2050 will force government to force CP and CN to electrify their railroads (through gee-nerous subsidies & more permissive freight rules). This conceivably could be the path since this is very close to the year 2041 of the master plan of 15-minute service to Hamilton.

Could it happen sooner? Probably yes, with the battery-backed locomotives or EMUs. Battery locomotive performance is now adequate to haul a large GO train, as they are already developing battery-electric locomotives for freight trains. But they are designed to operate only as an "assist" mode for difficult uphill runs, as well as railyards, etc.

However, with today's technology, there is finally now enough room on a catenary electric locomotive for battery capacity sufficient for the Aldershot-Hamilton gap. Haul the existing Bombardier/Alstom BiLevels if need be.

With a safety margin for a stuck-on-rails-in-winter with winter heating needs. A catenary-electric locomotive with a battery backup is already feasible today at battery densities made possible by Tesla 4680 cells or similar tech; so by 2035-ish, mature options should already be available to Metrolinx for 15-minute electric Hamilton service over CP trackage.

Why battery-catenary dualmode electric locomotives instead of EMUs for Lakeshore? The apparent Metrolinx plan seems to be use EMUs on the Kitchener-Stoufville corridor (due to tighter station spacing) and electric locomotives on Lakeshore (due to wider station spacing). That is another one of my predictions, although Metrolinx may go all out and go fully EMU eventually, I think they will stick to the big locomotives initially for now.

Thus, my predictions forks to two:

- If 15-min electric happens far sooner than Metrolinx 2041 RTP,
....It will probably require battery+catenary dual mode electric locomotives. This is the fastest path to 15-minute electric, by combining the current electric GO Expansion plan, with a solution that goes beyond the EA studied area (catenary stops in Burlington).

- If 15-min happens only during 2041 or 2051
....The sheer force of Carbon Neutral 2050 will force CN/CP anyway, and the train tech any electric tech (regular catenary electric EMUs or locomotives, no battery needed).

Obviously, we need to wait for technological maturity, but mature non-experimental battery-catenary dual-mode-electric locomotives will be on the market well before 2041. It won't be experimental tech in 2041.
I am aware of the 2041 plan, however for various reasons I typically don't factor them when I'm discussing what active plans are for specific projects are because most of the time they're basically just saying "yes, we will have this very obvious addition to our network, and we're not going to worry about feasibility and technical issues because its 25 years from now, ANYTHING can happen by then!". While you did bring up the first big problem with such a service upgrade - that being electrification when CP is involved, you also have to realize there is a much bigger and scarier threat, which is the Hamilton Tunnel, or in more general terms, how on earth do you get 15 TPH into Hamilton GO Centre? Any solution would at the bare minimum require to construct a new tunnel - requiring absolutely massive expropriations and strong cooperations and approval from CP as any construction could have serious impacts in their ability to continue servicing their customers in Hamilton. Such a project could easily reach costs totaling to several billions (especially when we consider the rate in which projects costs are balooning nowadays) making the economic argument even more dubious. Even though its on the 2041 plan, its one of those projects I can easily see being pushed back further and further, and constantly staying in the "projects to build in the long term" catogory. Right now its in "projects to be done by 2041", but next its going to be in "projects done by 2051", then "2061", and so on and so forth.
 

smallspy

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only two trains an hour go past Oakville right now.

I'm hopeful service jumps to 5tph in a few years with 1 express to Hamilton, 2 local to Aldershot, and 4 local to Burlington soon anyway. I don't really understand why they hold the 4tph back to Oakville right now in general.
The amount of track is a problem. While there are three mainline tracks west of Oakville, there is no pocket track at Burlington, and there are a lot of freight trains that work that stretch of line. Each of those additional trains would have to sit on a mainline for 18 minutes before turning back, which while isn't impossible, is a lot of track track time to devote.

Dan
 

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