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From @HeronKhalil on Xitter
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This proposal would be better if both the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West lines used the same trains and signal system. Unfortunately there is no interoperability between the Eglinton and Finch West line. Both use different trains and apparently the signal system and electrical currents that each line runs on are different. I complained about this earlier. Metrolinx is creating a bunch of transit lines each with their own type of rolling stock. No attempts at standardisation.
 
Both use different trains and apparently the signal system and electrical currents that each line runs on are different. I complained about this earlier. Metrolinx is creating a bunch of transit lines each with their own type of rolling stock. No attempts at standardisation.
The signal system is different, but the line voltage is the same. If the Eglinton and Finch lines were connected together, the only physical difficulties would be the different signal system.

Though, of course, there is nothing precluding them from just using line of sight operation.
 
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this isn't exactly a transit fantasy map, but its an idea i've been thinking about for a while. when talking about go electrification/RER and intensification of the downtown core, i can't help but think of the massive potential for redevelopment at the No Frills site on Dundas West. barring some random restriction i'm unaware of, this site would be perfect for a GO station in the future, potentially titled Sterling Station. this station would sit on both the Barrie and Kitchener lines, allowing not only for transfer between these two services but also access to transit to a neighbourhood that today is a bit hard to reach.

in my very rudimentary map, i have included a relocation of the No Frills to the south side of that lot (in yellow, with mid-high rise mixed-use TOD on top). my idea is that once the new No Frills is ready (with a new station mouth, indicated in blue), demolition of the old structure can begin so it could be transformed into a new park (in green) and more TOD mixed-use in magenta. there would also be station boxes/entrances from Wabash Avenue (through a short bridge), Dundas West at Sterling, and Sorauren park through a longer bridge.

i think that once GO RER starts becoming more of a thing we need to think at which sites near GO lines in the city are being underutilized so they can be redeveloped into mixed use transit nodes.

excited to hear some feedback!


I made a slightly less crunchy version (now with a legend!). If anyone has recommendations for easy/accessible/ideally web-based software recommendations to make this a bit easier, I'm all ears!

I also included a few changes in this version, namely consolidating both entrances on Sorauren Park to a single one on the SE corner of the park, where there's an older building that I propose could be redeveloped into a nice mixed-use building and perhaps a small community space as well. There was also supposed to be a station entrance through the potential No Frills redevelopment, but I forgot to include it hehe.

The way I envision this station is fully englobed within commercial, residential, and community uses. There wouldn't be a standalone station building but rather it would be part of another development and surrounded by mixed-use on all ends. Phases 1 (the station and platforms themselves) and 2 (new No Frills) would happen first, so that then phases 3 a,b,c can start, ending with phase 4 (the new landmark park). Phases 5 a and b are for neighbouring lots that would also benefit from being part of this redevelopment, but aren't necessary to the realization of the vision.

I think through this vision we can start to make sense of so many lots near existing railway lines that are basically begging for redevelopment. Other options I've considered to give this same treatment too have been a potential Parkdale-Sunnyside station and a station on the Distillery District, near the parking lot.

As always, excited to hear feedback!

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I haven't drawn it up yet, but If eel Niagara Falls area needs better transit. An LRT along the parkway at least from Clifton Hill to the Falls and also along Stanley St.To make it better, have it free. Then, you could have the Falls area car free.
 
Here's an updated version of my concept of introducing a "Regional Express" service type to serve longer-distance trips in the GO Network.
SBahnToronto-RE.PNG

PNG version here; PDF version here;

Regional Express trains would use our existing diesel locomotives and BiLevel coaches, but the coaches would be renovated to be more suitable for long distance travel. Train lengths would be limited to at most 8 coaches (typically 6) to ensure that trains can reach their 150 km/h top speed relatively quickly, and to reduce the required size of platforms outside of the core network. This would also help limit surge loads which currently overwhelm stations such as Niagara Falls. Changes to the coaches would include: more comfortable seats, arranging the upper level with airline-style row seating to increase legroom and enable seatback traytables, and providing charging ports at each seat. There would be no difference in fare collection or ticketing. You'd still just tap on and tap off at the standard Presto rate, and there would still not be any reserved seating. To reflect the improved long-distance service offerings, the fare system would become a bit more distance-based, with a lower flat fare and higher zone fares than today.

RE1 is basically just the continued evolution of the existing off-peak Niagara service. Tracks would be upgraded between Hamilton and Niagara to reinstate double-track and increase track speeds. There is one train per hour across the Welland Canal lift bridge, with both directions crossing simultaneously to minimize impact on shipping. There is also one train per hour from Hamilton Centre to Toronto, providing a half-hourly RE service along the LSW corridor.

RE3 is similar to the former London pilot service, but with tracks upgraded to enable a 2h30 travel time from London to Toronto, and trains every hour.

RE9 would be GO taking over the Kingston commuter service that VIA used to operate prior to the pandemic but seems to have abandoned. Initially there would only be two trains in the peak period and one train off-peak, but when many VIA trains shift to a new HFR/HSR line, service can be expanded. GO would be the sole operator at Port Hope, Trenton Junction and Napanee stations, while the remainder continue to be shared with VIA.

There would also be hourly regional express bus services on corridors such as Oshawa-Peterborough (existing route 88C), Hwy 407-Peterborough, Brantford-Burlington, Guelph-Hamilton, Barrie-Collingwood, Barrie-Orillia, and Barrie-Penetanguishene.
 
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Here's an updated version of my concept of introducing a "Regional Express" service type to serve longer-distance trips in the GO Network.
View attachment 530730
PNG version here; PDF version here;

Regional Express trains would use our existing diesel locomotives and BiLevel coaches, but the coaches would be renovated to be more suitable for long distance travel. Train lengths would be limited to at most 8 coaches (typically 6) to ensure that trains can accelerate relatively quickly and reach their 150 km/h top speed, as well as reducing the required size of platforms outside of the core network. This would also help limit surge loads which currently overwhelm stations such as Niagara Falls. Changes to the coaches would include: more comfortable seats, arranging the upper level with airline-style row seating to increase legroom and enable seatback traytables, and providing charging ports at each seat. There would be no difference in fare collection or ticketing. You'd still just tap on and tap off at the standard Presto rate, and there would still not be any reserved seating. To reflect the improved long-distance service offerings, the fare system would become a bit more distance-based, with a lower flat fare and higher zone fares than today.

RE1 is basically just the continued evolution of the existing off-peak Niagara service. Tracks would be upgraded between Hamilton and Niagara to reinstate double-track and increase track speeds. There is one train per hour across the Welland Canal lift bridge, with both directions crossing simultaneously to minimize impact on shipping. There is also one train per hour from Hamilton Centre to Toronto, providing a half-hourly RE service along the LSW corridor.

RE3 is similar to the former London pilot service, but with tracks upgraded to enable a 2h30 travel time from London to Toronto, and trains every hour.

RE9 would be GO taking over the Kingston commuter service that VIA used to operate prior to the pandemic but seems to have abandoned. Initially there would only be two trains in the peak period and one train off-peak, but when many VIA trains shift to a new HFR/HSR line, service can be expanded. GO would be the sole operator at Port Hope, Trenton Junction and Napanee stations, while the remainder continue to be shared with VIA.

At the risk of asking something completely obvious, why the choice to omit Barrie from the RE program?

I consider the run time on that line {end to end) unreasonably long; while I think realignment of some of the track in the central reaches to straighten and increase track speeds would be ideal, express trains could help cut that time as well.
 
At the risk of asking something completely obvious, why the choice to omit Barrie from the RE program?

I consider the run time on that line {end to end) unreasonably long; while I think realignment of some of the track in the central reaches to straighten and increase track speeds would be ideal, express trains could help cut that time as well.
There is no "RE program", the program is "GO Expansion". RE is just the term used for the fastest tier of GO express trains. All lines would receive straightened tracks, improved line speeds and expanded capacity. The RE coaches themselves could also be used on some longer-distance Regional services such as those to Kitchener or Barrie. After all we're just talking about a renovation of our abundant Bombardier BiLevel coaches.

Whether or not the Barrie service is an "RE" service is merely semantics. I used the term RE in cases where there is a third all-day stopping pattern with very long distances between stops. On Barrie the question is whether there is enough demand to support three different stopping patterns all day, and whether there would enough track capacity to allow superexpress RE trains to overtake slower trains. To allow express trains to overtake locals without delaying the local, you need at least two consecutive stations with a passing track through and between them. The corridor seems a bit too constrained around Newmarket where that quad-tracked segment would ideally be placed. The currently-displayed pattern doesn't require any passing tracks because the Regional is only 8 minutes faster than the Local, which enables it to fit in the 15-minute gap between them.
 
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I'd go with "no, there's clearly neither the absolute demand nor the distance to justify three patterns for Barrie". It would also be the only third tier service to be fully electrified in this concept.

I'm doubtful of the value proposition of through running airport trains. A full through run branch is really very expensive... and while a new chord should be much more reasonable that out and back maneuver is going to need a very close examination in terms of how much it hurts Brampton riders. Mind you, crew costs are such that I suspect the actual business case would be "30 minute Regional saves the worst impacted passengers and crew time/total train reductions override the rest"

Finally I really would push for another RE line going south to London timed to emphasize Brantford passengers. A station for Dundas would be a nice addon here as well.... and I like that if run clockface it would detach the ability to get a consistent 30 minute Lakeshore West REX schedule from canal crossing reliability in Niagara.
 
I'm doubtful of the value proposition of through running airport trains. A full through run branch is really very expensive... and while a new chord should be much more reasonable that out and back maneuver is going to need a very close examination in terms of how much it hurts Brampton riders. Mind you, crew costs are such that I suspect the actual business case would be "30 minute Regional saves the worst impacted passengers and crew time/total train reductions override the rest"
The through-running airport tunnel is a totally optional element of this vision. It works just as well with separate branches to Pearson and to Bramalea. However it's worth noting that it does not hurt Brampton riders at all, since the trains from Brampton Centre don't go through that tunnel to begin with. They actually benefit through a faster connection to the airport by transferring at Bramalea than if they needed to go to Pearson Junction and backtrack.
Finally I really would push for another RE line going south to London timed to emphasize Brantford passengers. A station for Dundas would be a nice addon here as well.... and I like that if run clockface it would detach the ability to get a consistent 30 minute Lakeshore West REX schedule from canal crossing reliability in Niagara.
I didn't show the Brantford line because there wouldn't be spare capacity for it. In this scenario, I assumed that VIA has consolidated all of its service onto the London-Brantford-Toronto corridor with hourly service during busier times of day. Given that it is also still operating as CN's main line, there is little opportunity for reliable GO train service apart from a couple peak period trips. Once the north mainline is upgraded sufficiently that VIA can relocate there, GO could take over the regional-express service via Brantford.
 
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