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Operational conflicts with freight are not really a concern with this project. The problem comes from the fact that since Cambridge GO service is not an immediate priority, neither Metrolinx or the region of Waterloo are likely to purchase the RoW leading to it being redeveloped in pieces.

The legal process for abandonment requires CN to offer the line up to other users as a shortline railway. Considering that both the City of Guelph and the Region of Waterloo already own such branch lines and are familiar with the process, I’m optimistic that they might step up, as much to protect future industrial development as for GO’s use. #thankfullythisisn’tOrangeville

The loss of business is the big story - any intel on what happened to the traffic? Is the customer switching to trucks? Is there a transload somewhere? How hard did CN fight to retain the traffic?

- Paul
 
The legal process for abandonment requires CN to offer the line up to other users as a shortline railway. Considering that both the City of Guelph and the Region of Waterloo already own such branch lines and are familiar with the process, I’m optimistic that they might step up, as much to protect future industrial development as for GO’s use. #thankfullythisisn’tOrangeville

The loss of business is the big story - any intel on what happened to the traffic? Is the customer switching to trucks? Is there a transload somewhere? How hard did CN fight to retain the traffic?

- Paul
Not a lot of intel on what happened. The customer they lost as a logistics company. A transload which handled drywall.

In my view, CN was likely demarketing this line. In general, their takeover of the former GEXR territory has been a disaster with substantial traffic losses.

I'm not as optimistic that either Guelph or the region will step in as Cambridge GO service isn't seen as a priority right now and has other, more optimal routings available.

In general, the damage has already been done by shifting freight to road and causing an industrial area to lose access to rail.
 
This is amazing - GO's bus services are usually a massive pain to understand because of all the separate timetable documents for each route.

What's worse, it's not even easy to know which timetables to check because the official system map is completely useless for looking for GO bus routes, so you basically just have to open lots of timetables and look at the route maps to even check if the route is useful to you. I think most GO bus riders probably just blindly follow Google maps or whatever and have a next to no understanding of where any routes actually go apart from the routes they regularly use. Most riders of other systems probably at least have a vague idea of where service goes.

Does anyone know of any unofficial maps that exist that actually depict all GO bus routes? Such a map really needs to exist.

Not a lot of intel on what happened. The customer they lost as a logistics company. A transload which handled drywall.

In my view, CN was likely demarketing this line. In general, their takeover of the former GEXR territory has been a disaster with substantial traffic losses.

I'm not as optimistic that either Guelph or the region will step in as Cambridge GO service isn't seen as a priority right now and has other, more optimal routings available.

In general, the damage has already been done by shifting freight to road and causing an industrial area to lose access to rail.
Actually the region is very interested. It has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies for Cambridge go. The problem is that the Region is in a money crunch and does not even have the money to build Kitchener central Station. This is ML's chance to step in with the $$.

Side note - it often feels like Metrolinx has contempt for the Region of Waterloo. Like on the weekends its a multi transfer three hour trip to Toronto even though it could be 1.5 hours. Destinations that people want to go to ex Guelph and Hamilton are not served . Even though most prominent folks in Waterloo want more services ML fails to actually plan these service expansions
 
Actually the region is very interested. It has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies for Cambridge go. The problem is that the Region is in a money crunch and does not even have the money to build Kitchener central Station. This is ML's chance to step in with the $$.

Side note - it often feels like Metrolinx has contempt for the Region of Waterloo. Like on the weekends its a multi transfer three hour trip to Toronto even though it could be 1.5 hours. Destinations that people want to go to ex Guelph and Hamilton are not served . Even though most prominent folks in Waterloo want more services ML fails to actually plan these service expansions
They are interested, but your comment proves my point. They likely won't have the resources to buy out the line when the time comes as the salvage value will likely be inflated as what tends to happen when these lines go up for abandonment.

Similarly, Metrolinx will not see it as a priority as what was done with the OBRY.
 
This is amazing - GO's bus services are usually a massive pain to understand because of all the separate timetable documents for each route.

What's worse, it's not even easy to know which timetables to check because the official system map is completely useless for looking for GO bus routes, so you basically just have to open lots of timetables and look at the route maps to even check if the route is useful to you. I think most GO bus riders probably just blindly follow Google maps or whatever and have a next to no understanding of where any routes actually go apart from the routes they regularly use. Most riders of other systems probably at least have a vague idea of where service goes.

Does anyone know of any unofficial maps that exist that actually depict all GO bus routes? Such a map really needs to exist.
I know someone linked an old version of my map earlier but I have an updated version. I think I got everything but I might have some errors due to the complexity of the network.
 

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  • Jan 2023 Ontario Regional Transit.pdf
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This is amazing - GO's bus services are usually a massive pain to understand because of all the separate timetable documents for each route.

What's worse, it's not even easy to know which timetables to check because the official system map is completely useless for looking for GO bus routes, so you basically just have to open lots of timetables and look at the route maps to even check if the route is useful to you. I think most GO bus riders probably just blindly follow Google maps or whatever and have a next to no understanding of where any routes actually go apart from the routes they regularly use. Most riders of other systems probably at least have a vague idea of where service goes.

Does anyone know of any unofficial maps that exist that actually depict all GO bus routes? Such a map really needs to exist.
GO bus (and GO in general) needs a major wayfinding rethink - the system is not really easily understandable right now. The process of getting schedules, the way the schedules are designed - I seriously think a summer intern in UX / Design could create something significantly better. The experience also is not much better at stations and stops.

They also really need to rectify the SINGLE Presto reader at the front of GO buses - it makes loading and unloading comical.
 
GO bus (and GO in general) needs a major wayfinding rethink - the system is not really easily understandable right now. The process of getting schedules, the way the schedules are designed - I seriously think a summer intern in UX / Design could create something significantly better. The experience also is not much better at stations and stops.

They also really need to rectify the SINGLE Presto reader at the front of GO buses - it makes loading and unloading comical.
Here, I agree with you 100 percent. The presto machines, a lot malfunctioning wether its GO or TTC or MiWay or Durham or Hamilton etc
 
Here is my annual Canadian Commuter Rail Summary:

CommR2022.PNG


https://ontariotrafficman.wordpress.com/2022/12/30/canadian-commuter-rail-summary-2022/
Since the lockdowns have ended, ridership has been steadily returning to Canadian commuter rail lines. But the service levels have not kept pace.

At the start of January 2022, train schedules were nearly at their pre-pandemic levels, but in practice service was much lower due to chronic operator shortages. In Ontario, many trips were cancelled on a regular basis because there wasn’t anyone to operate them. So on the 10th of January, GO implemented drastic service cuts to schedule a service they could actually operate.

The service cuts were nearly as severe as the original service cuts from March 2020. Peak-period service was reduced to half-hourly on the Milton, Kitchener, Stouffville and Barrie lines, and to hourly on the Richmond Hill line. Weekend train service on the Barrie and Stouffville lines was cancelled altogether and replaced with buses. All express trains (on the Kitchener and Lakeshore West lines) were cancelled. And counter-peak service was also cancelled on the Kitchener line. On the Lakeshore lines, off-peak service was cut to half-hourly in the midday, and hourly on evenings and weekends.

At the time, I expected service would start returning to normal within a few months when the wave of operator illnesses passed. But service returned much slower than expected.

In April, half-hourly evening and weekend service was restored on the Lakeshore lines, and weekend service was restored on the Barrie and Stouffville lines.

At the end of the summer tourist season, the number of round trips to Niagara Falls was reduced from 3 to 2, which is a far cry from the 4 round trips which were provided year-round prior to the pandemic.

It wasn’t until December that weekday schedules started to return to normal, with peak period express services restored, and local trains added to increase frequency during the peak hour.

This year’s charts compare the January 2023 service to the service scheduled in December 2021, just prior to the drastic cuts of January 2022.

Frequency

Although service levels have almost returned to normal, there are still some notable deficiencies compared to the Fall 2021 schedule.

The only frequency improvement this year is that 15-minute service was restored on the UP Express, though only during the peak periods. This still falls short of the all-day 15-minute service prior to the pandemic.

On the Lakeshore lines, midday service continues to be every 30 minutes, instead of every 15 minutes. Evening service on the Lakeshore West line is also limited to every 60 minutes due to construction on the Hurontario LRT at Port Credit Station.

The Kitchener line finally regained some counter-peak service to Bramalea in December, but there are still some 90 minute gaps in service.

Peak period frequencies on the Barrie, Milton and Richmond Hill line are also lower than normal. Hopefully additional trips will be continue to be added as new operators begin service.

There were no changes in frequency outside of Ontario.

Speed

With increased ridership come longer dwell times at stations. As a result, many lines had one or two minutes added to their schedules.

But not the Kitchener line. Thanks to Metrolinx’s railway upgrade project between Kitchener and Georgetown, this year’s Kitchener express train is the fastest it’s ever been. In fact, with an average speed of 65 km/h end-to-end, it is the fastest Canadian commuter service ever included in these annual summaries.

While Metrolinx has been upgrading the Toronto-Kitchener railway, CN has allowed the the Kitchener-London railway to continue to deteriorate. Nearly the entire line is affected by speed restrictions due to track quality issues. Only a few segments between Kitchener and Stratford allow trains to reach the 60 mph (96 km/h) line speed, which itself is already lower than the 70 mph (112 km/h) speed limit which was in place until 1996. Trains now take a whopping 2h15 to cover just 90 km from Kitchener to London, which is an hour longer than that trip took in the 1970’s, stopping at the same two stations along the way.

The Mascouche Line somehow managed to get even slower, now taking nearly two hours to get from Mascouche to Montreal, which according to Google Maps is only 15 minutes faster than riding a bicycle. Next year travel times should improve as trains will terminate at the new Côte-de-Liesse REM station where people can transfer to REM line which has taken over the former route of the Mascouche Line through the tunnel Mont-Royal.
 
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What do you think about transforming some of Go's more expansive routes into HSR lite_regional rail as has been done in Delhi (RRTS) and Seoul (GTX) which are essential an s-bahn with hsr rolling stock
 
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What do you think about transforming some of Go's more expansive routes into HSR lite_regional rail as has been done in Delhi (RRTS) and Seoul (GTX) which are essential an s-bahn with hsr rolling stock

You may be getting ahead of things with the comparisons, but in Ontario there is a need for frequent limited or non-stop services to points beyond the central GTA regional network. I would include Kitchener, London, Hamilton, Niagara, and Peterborough on this list.

I'm not suggesting that these points require HSR level infrastructure, but they should not be served simply as end points on stopping train routes. They need expedited trains that more resemble intercity runs than commuter or heavy rail transit service.

To my mind, these demand a collaborative integrated operation between the federal and provincial levels. Instead, the mandate for these is being swatted back and forth like a hot potato. That's a political fail imho.

- Paul
 

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