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Not without the West Highland Creek bridge and the stations, it couldn't.

The work was oddly sequenced, since the track contract was placed first and is largely complete - but without the platforms being ready at Milliken and Agincourt, and the bridgework at West Highland Creek, all that new track and sound walls and grading have not led to any new capacity.....yet.

....
Don't agree at all, a section of short single track at the middle of the n-s line more or less can absolutely be worked around - if we have the desire to make it work. Platforms have been pretty close to done at Milliken and Agincourt and Kennedy for quite some time. We need to get used to operating higher frequency on less track. The line on the East shore of Lake Zurich is still single tracked in places and handles a ton of tph, even local AND express!
 
Don't agree at all, a section of short single track at the middle of the n-s line more or less can absolutely be worked around - if we have the desire to make it work. Platforms have been pretty close to done at Milliken and Agincourt and Kennedy for quite some time. We need to get used to operating higher frequency on less track. The line on the East shore of Lake Zurich is still single tracked in places and handles a ton of tph, even local AND express!

So, you would redesign the CTC to leave Kennedy-Sheppard as single track? Despite the control points at Kennedy and Progress Road already being put in place? And intermediate signals already erected? And track already laid from Kennedy to the creek ? And a resulting constraint on headways due to longer time to clear the single track ?

That would be enormously wasteful, and the redesign and rework would probably take as long as what is required to finih the original plan.

This project has been executed poorly, but going back to square one is foolish. Just apply proper project management and get the contractor moving. That’s likely what the work windows are all about.

- Paul
 
For what possible reason should we do this, if we have the room to create more track?

Why would you intentionally handicap your system like this?
Reece’s typical argument in this case is that we should be doing more with any given amount of track. Putting in the work to operate as much service we can on, say, 1 track, and also operating as much service as we can on more tracks when they are complete. Not to actually build less track.
We need to get used to operating higher frequency on less track.

To answer this idea though, GO/Metrolinx is clearly not there yet (lacking institutional knowledge or their typical sluggishness) to maximize trackage like that.
 
Reece’s typical argument in this case is that we should be doing more with any given amount of track. Putting in the work to operate as much service we can on, say, 1 track, and also operating as much service as we can on more tracks when they are complete. Not to actually build less track.


To answer this idea though, GO/Metrolinx is clearly not there yet (lacking institutional knowledge or their typical sluggishness) to maximize trackage like that.

Nobody disputes that ML should maximise performance and not build unnecessary trackage.

The business case for the Stouffville line (Figure 3.2) has a design spec of 11 trains per hour in each direction at peak (8 EMU and 3 loco hauled). That is way beyond what single track can handle. Requiring full double tracking is eminently sensible and good value for money.

The line was designed to achieve that performance, but mostly in one integrated project, as opposed to incremental additions to capacity. Considering the need to double track the stations, and what it takes to install signalling, and the work required to widen and sound-fence the row, it would be unrealistic to do the work incrementally.

The issue here is less than stellar staging of the work, and poor contractor performance….and the consequent inablility to extract any capacity from all the workand expense to date. Similar to Crosstown, we need 100% completion before we can get any value out of the effort.

- Paul
 
I was just looking at the schedules, and the very early and very late Milton buses do run direct to Union Station.

I see route 21 (no C) from Erindale to Union at 4:36 am, 11:16 pm, 12:16 am and 1:16 am, and in the opposite direction, leaving Union at 5:40 am, 12:25 am, 1:20 am and 2:20 am.

Also, anytime I have sat on the milk run bus I have always despised the waste of time going to Dixie GO was. Anyone using Dixie GO can easily just take a quick bus ride to the subway. Yes some people got on/off there occasionally, but sometimes the bus would drive straight in and out with no one getting on/off at all--just seemed like a waste of time for everyone.
 
I see route 21 (no C) from Erindale to Union at 4:36 am, 11:16 pm, 12:16 am and 1:16 am, and in the opposite direction, leaving Union at 5:40 am, 12:25 am, 1:20 am and 2:20 am.
Not much use for most riders. Working near Union, I'd frequently use it for business purposes, if I'd had to go to a meeting that was near a GO stop. The bus invariably went express from there to Union. Faster than driving, once you factor in finding a parking spot.

With the new schedule, I wouldn't be doing that any more.

I'm not sure why anyone is defending such extreme service cuts by Metrolinx. Sure, there were some downtown traffic problems. Many of which could have been fixed with a reserved lane or two around near the new bus terminal.
 
Without a double tracked West Highland Bridge the 2nd platforms at Agincourt and Milliken are useless. The crossovers are south of the bridge and north of Milliken. If this return to rush hour only service isn't to build the 2nd half of that bridge, I'm truly at a loss for understanding the construction staging.

That being said, I believe ReaperExpress has already pointed out that we are already a stones throw away from the ability to double capacity from 2 TPH to 4 TPH because of the basically complete double track section from south of West Highland Bridge to Kennedy. That can serve as a passing track like the section north of Milliken to Unionville. The problem is, as smallspy and others point out is we don't have the equipment or crews for that. What a coincidence that when weekend service ends on the Stouffville line it begins on the Kitchener.

The track/signalling capacity on LSE also seems to me to be questionable now that it's down to 2 tracks. Has anyone analyzed that? It's not uncommon for a NB Stouffville train on LSE to have to park itself for a few min to wait for a WB LSE train to pass in order to left turn at Scarborough Junction.

I remember back in 2018 right before the ON Libs were booted out that the refrain was that GO Expansion would deliver gradual increases, not just an explosion of service a decade later like the day a new subway arrives. That held reasonably true up until the pandemic. With that in the rear view mirror and ONCorr signed, it almost feels like the plan has shifted to drop the gradual increases and focus on delivering the final product instead, whatever that might be.
 
That being said, I believe ReaperExpress has already pointed out that we are already a stones throw away from the ability to double capacity from 2 TPH to 4 TPH because of the basically complete double track section from south of West Highland Bridge to Kennedy. That can serve as a passing track like the section north of Milliken to Unionville. The problem is, as smallspy and others point out is we don't have the equipment or crews for that. What a coincidence that when weekend service ends on the Stouffville line it begins on the Kitchener.

It is puzzling that ML would not try to put in service the parts of the project that have been completed. My conspiracy theory on that is - they may not be ready to sign off on completion - which would trigger payments to the contractor - and may prefer to use non-payment as leverage to keep the contractor fixated on finishing the remaining work. Just a theory. Or perhaps the project is held up by new developments anyways…. see below.

Crew availability rather than equipment is definitely an issue. So long as there is equipment laying over off peak, there is no added need for equipment, but additional crews would be needed, and those are known to be in short supply.

The track/signalling capacity on LSE also seems to me to be questionable now that it's down to 2 tracks. Has anyone analyzed that? It's not uncommon for a NB Stouffville train on LSE to have to park itself for a few min to wait for a WB LSE train to pass in order to left turn at Scarborough Junction.

The whole design strategy for East Harbour construction only emerged long after the LSE and Stouffville expansion procurement was launched. I can’t fault Ml for that change, (although they did a U-turn on Scarborough Junction, which probably wasted time and effort) but yes, so long as there are only two tracks through East Harbour, the whole Stouffville expansion is moot. Perhaps that factors into why Ml appears to have fallen behind with work on the Stouffville line.

This speaks to just how interconnected the whole network expansion is, and how one choke point can hold up the whole network expansion. All the more reason why there should be public transparency around the overall schedule and any hold points that emerge. ML’s communications have never indicated a change to schedule - heck, they never put out a schedule in the first place.

I remember back in 2018 right before the ON Libs were booted out that the refrain was that GO Expansion would deliver gradual increases, not just an explosion of service a decade later like the day a new subway arrives. That held reasonably true up until the pandemic. With that in the rear view mirror and ONCorr signed, it almost feels like the plan has shifted to drop the gradual increases and focus on delivering the final product instead, whatever that might be.

The Liberals went way out on a limb promising that GO Expansion (RER) was going to happen quickly, and their Communications people overdid themselves making it sound like it was going to happen much sooner than it really is. Ford’s communications people have doubled down on this - Even today, the PR blurbs focus on 15-minute service - when objectively, it will still be many years before that can be delivered. The original documents did allude to a 2024-2025 completion, but public expectations have never been managed. I have no hesitation to hold the pols to their unrealistic promises - as a matter of truth in politics (maybe I’m the unrealistic one….it’s so hard to say ‘truthful’ and ‘politics’ in the same sentence)

The original RER strategy was originally proposed and accepted back in 2014-2015. But then the Liberals discovered that they had neither the funding nor the internal project capacity to execute the project. It took Ml a long time (and more than one try) to figure out a project management and execution strategy. I’m not thrilled with how that ended up - far too much accountability firewalled into confidential contracts that will be nearly impossible to enforce with proper public accountability - but at least that dead zone is mostly over.

At the end of the day - given all these interdependencies, I guess it will all happen when it happens. Lots is happening, it will fall into place with time. As for Stouffville, the double track contracts were let in 2017 with a supposed completion date of 2019….. and here we sit.

- Paul
 
I always thought the RER project should have been one line at a time, with a shorter time frame to completion of each. To me that would make much more sense, rather than dividing the time of project management, financial and construction staff to managing projects on LSE, LSW, Stouffville, K-W and Barrie at the same time, you cap it at 2 (LSE capacity expansion for Stouffville being tied together in some measure) .

This allows you to deliver that finished project, that reward, much sooner. Its also generally less costly and less disruptive.
 
Metrolinx's planned gradual service increases have been thrown out following the pandemic. Staffing issues last year have caused it to be delayed even further.. but you can see changes now again. Service has been ramping over the last few months again, perhaps just slower than most had hoped. I expect we'll see some big service increases every few months for the rest of the year at very least as Metrolinx's staffing levels increase to where they can actually provide the service they want to be providing.
 
Without a double tracked West Highland Bridge the 2nd platforms at Agincourt and Milliken are useless. The crossovers are south of the bridge and north of Milliken. If this return to rush hour only service isn't to build the 2nd half of that bridge, I'm truly at a loss for understanding the construction staging.

I'd be surprised too. That said, while summer is a good time for in-water work due to low flows, fishery timing windows usually prohibit in-water work anywhere between March 15 and July 15, depending on the fish present. And yet the aerial imagery from 2022 suggests they're getting staged for it.

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Also gotta say that's one of my favourite rail crossings in Toronto.

2018-06-02_24.jpg
 
Not much use for most riders. Working near Union, I'd frequently use it for business purposes, if I'd had to go to a meeting that was near a GO stop. The bus invariably went express from there to Union. Faster than driving, once you factor in finding a parking spot.

With the new schedule, I wouldn't be doing that any more.

I'm not sure why anyone is defending such extreme service cuts by Metrolinx. Sure, there were some downtown traffic problems. Many of which could have been fixed with a reserved lane or two around near the new bus terminal.
Probably not putting the new bus terminal at Lake Shore would have avoided this to begin with smh. Oh well.
 

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