News   Feb 08, 2023
 952     2 
News   Feb 08, 2023
 1.2K     2 
News   Feb 08, 2023
 742     0 

MoveOntario 2020: GO Transit Electrification

Hipster Duck

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
3,558
Reaction score
9
Well, okay, I'm going to try to get the ball rolling on a wildly speculative discussion on the electrification of the Lakeshore GO line.

It is, IMO, the most important transit addition in the city since the opening of the Bloor Danforth subway line. The question is: what kind of service are they planning? If they're just going to replace the diesels with an electric locomotive and continue to run 12 car commuter trains at current frequencies I would say that the dream of proper regional rail in this city is, more or less, extinguished. My hope is that they buy entirely new, single-floor EMU rolling stock and run it at proper (15 minute) frequencies with varying levels of express service.

Will 3 tracks be enough to sustain these levels of service? How high will the catenary have to be for double stack container trains to clear? Does that mean that existing bridges will need to be replaced? Will they need to install more switches? Will there be more flyovers at busy junctions like the [don't know the name] bypass in Burlington? These are the kinds of questions I'm hoping separate threads will make easier to answer.
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
9
Location
New York
There's a very detailed study on GO electrification from the 90s. It's actually available online, in the MTO library of technical reports on their website. Just search for GO electrification. It's a great read, especially since it's now likely to happen.
 

Degnaw

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
I think that just converting the Diesel locomotives to Electric is the best way to go. Look at all the major commuter rail systems in North America - Chicago and New York all have electrified commuter rail with real trains (i think). Converting the Lakeshore line to single-floor units with 15 minutes frequency would reduce capacity and wouldn't be commuter rail anymore - after all, the busiest line in the whole GO network needs the biggest trains. The line already has 15 minute frequencies during rush hour, and that's with the Bilevels - the electric locomotives should be more powerful and can increase the headways. There's simply no need and no practicality in downsizing the trains.
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
9
Location
New York
Look outside North America where regional rail is actually succesful and provides a real, reliable transit service that goes beyond commuting. None of them operate with locomotive-hauled trains. The RER in Paris and the S-Bahns in Germany move vastly more people than GO (or any other North American commuter system) with frequent multiple units.

If the province is going to go through the expense of electrifying the Lakeshore line, I'd love to see them buy it from CN. Don't discount the possibility. If they were thinking about it, they wouldn't announce the negotiations until they were concluded or at least at an advanced stage.
 

ShonTron

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
11,753
Reaction score
7,252
Location
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre
Metra Electric has bi-level MU trains. The bilevel coaches could be used for express services with fewer stops (mitigating the slower braking/accelerating time), while smaller EMUs can do the local runs.
Metra2.jpg
 

GregWTravels

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
170
Reaction score
0
If the province is going to go through the expense of electrifying the Lakeshore line, I'd love to see them buy it from CN. Don't discount the possibility. If they were thinking about it, they wouldn't announce the negotiations until they were concluded or at least at an advanced stage.

Here, here! That would be excellent.

How much freight traffic does the Lakeshore line get today, and is there options (alternate routes, non-rush hour routing) to handle the freight in another way?
 

CDL.TO

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
4,274
Reaction score
120
Location
Christie Pits
Lots of systems run bilevels in regular service. Paris's RER, Netherlands NS, and as Sean pointed out Chicago Metra among many others. I think more savings could be had in reducing the weight of double deckers than by switching to singles that still meet North American crash standards as well as by simplifying the coupling process so it would be easier to run shorter trains off-peak.

There's a very detailed study on GO electrification from the 90s. It's actually available online, in the MTO library of technical reports on their website. Just search for GO electrification. It's a great read, especially since it's now likely to happen.

I'm certainly interested in reading it, but when I try to access the "MTO Research Library" page (which I assume you're referring to), all that loads is the Ministry's Home Page. Any help, a direct link, or a copy you can e-mail me?
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
9
Location
New York
Damn...you know, it's doing the same thing to me. Now I really wish I had downloaded it. It's available in any university library, but I'm sure the MTO page will be back soon.

edit: It just gets more frustrating. It works if you go to http://www.library.mto.gov.on.ca/webopac/search.asp?mode=search, but now the report doesn't seem to include the attachment. I'm really wishing I had downloaded it.

double edit: Never mind, I was looking at the wrong report. Just search for Commuter rail services electrification study.

triple edit: fixed the link
 

CDL.TO

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
4,274
Reaction score
120
Location
Christie Pits
I think overfragmentation could hurt discussion as the natural flow of conversation seems to be bouncing from one plan to another within the same posts. This is to be expected as we are so short on details as this point and most of what we are working on is speculation, as well as largely discussing the program as a whole and how it fits together.

It's not even a project we're discussing yet... it's a funding election promise.

For that matter, discussion isn't moving very quickly as has slowed down to only a few posts a day. For such a major project we're still only up to 5 pages (in my count). So I would vote to leave it as is until we get more details many months from now (if or when).
 

ShonTron

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
11,753
Reaction score
7,252
Location
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre
I think overfragmentation could hurt discussion as the natural flow of conversation seems to be bouncing from one plan to another within the same posts. This is to be expected as we are so short on details as this point and most of what we are working on is speculation, as well as largely discussing the program as a whole and how it fits together.

I actually agree. I promise no more fragmentation - this is the only natural break-off of the thread anyway, especially if you find the old reports.

Anyway, this will likely be a 25kV AC overhead set-up. Some speculation that this could be third rail, but with level crossings and the inefficiencies of using rail to conduct electricity versus high-tension wire, we will most likely see third rail.

Now, could we see hybrid locomotives on the line? Use by VIA?

An interesting link is CalTrain, which runs between San Francisco and San Jose/Gilroy, and is planning electrification. Their peak service levels are comparable to GO Transit (with express, semi-express and local trains), off-peak, the trains run every 30 minutes on weekdays.

They are seriously planning electrification of the SF-SJ main.

http://www.caltrain.com/project2025.html
 

AnarchoSocialist

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
447
Reaction score
0
I will add this bit of information to this thread since it is probably the most relevant place. The Bombardier (former UTDC) test track in Millhaven seems to be back in action again. About a year ago I saw a T35A08 (the new subway cars to be used by the TTC) being tested. Today I once again spotted another vehicle being tested on the track. It was being tested on standard gauge track and to some extent resembles the Class 423 - 426 vehicles used on Germany's regional rail system.

I have included one picture below that gives you a peak of the vehicle. Once I can confirm more details I will publish some more pictures. What I can say for certain is that this vehicle would be for the North American market, and has the dimensions of a regional/commuter class vehicle.

BombardierMillhaven003.jpg


I want to make sure I am able to verify the rest of the details before posting more, but, I would not be surprised to see this vehicle operating in Toronto a few years down the road.

Edit: This photo was taken today and is not a vehicle that has ever been tested on that track before so it is not just a nostalgic run around the track.
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
9
Location
New York
That looks like a Skytrain/ICTS Mk. 2 vehicle, the kind they're using in Vancouver, New York, etc.

The electrification will most definitely be 25kv AC. That's what all the reports have recommended, and third rail just isn't used anymore for new main line rail projects.

The report should be working now, and after a long download it will have more detail than you could ever want. It also has a fascinating part at the end detailing CN and CP's ultimate plans for each of their corridors.
 

AnarchoSocialist

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
447
Reaction score
0
^I think you are right, it does look pretty close to the Mark II. I know they are testing a new commuter class vehicle later this summer and when I drove by I thought that might have been it, just out a little early. Oh well. It was still nice to see trains running around the Millhaven track again.
 
R

roch5220

Guest
I would actually like the 'near subway' frequencies that was discussed in the past, with smaller trains. I believe past proposals called for ALRT, similar to the SRT, which I think is the best option.

One thing though, there has to be an increase in station infrastructure. Currently, most, if not all (i've only checked out Clarkson GO, Port Credit GO, Long Branch GO, and Mimico GO) parking lots are packed after the morning rush hour. These stations need to build parking garages to handle increased capacity. Because if you can't find parking at these suburban stations, then you will not get the ridership gains that the Move plan is trying to generate.

If they are planing on ALRT (SRT/skytrain) type techonolgy, I think it would be a plus if all (non TTC) LRT plans use the same technology. Hence, being able to use the same vehicles and have track connections with the Hamilton and Mississauga LRT lines would be very beneficial. You might be able to create the same economies along with Vancouver that would allow for production runs of future vehicles, so that the SRT current issues wouldn't repeat itself with the Mk2s.
 

ShonTron

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
11,753
Reaction score
7,252
Location
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre
Of course, we could also build a better network that will not require large parking lots at most of the stations. Most TTC stations do not have parking at all - they rely on local walk-up or feeder services.

That said, I think parking garages are a great idea - with more frequent, smaller trains, the whole issue of GO parking lot gridlock will be mitigated, parking spaces can be added, and GO can also build on freed up surface parking, further mitigating the parking problem. I'd also start charging for parking (like even some US commuter rail services) and use that for more capital improvements and also to pass along some savings to non-car dependant riders.
 

Top