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GO Transit
The plan it to eventually replace all diesel on the GO network with overhead electric wiring and pantograph on the train. This will speed up acceleration out of the stations, as each car will be motive, and allow GO to increase frequencies because of the faster speeds of the trains and less need for large headways between them. The first phase is expected to be an upgraded Union Pearson Express (which shares the Kitchener line through Toronto).

GO says they don't yet know how much work it will be to double-track the Kitchener line, due to the grade separations required. More details about the work plan for all-day two-way GO service is coming at the December Metrolinx board meeting, and we can hope that some more details of service past Mount Pleasant might be included there.
(10-11-2014, 12:10 PM)Spokes Wrote: I've heard people talk about the "electrification" of the tracks a number of times, but I'm still unclear what it means. Can someone shed some light on that.

Overhead wires (catenary) and electric locomotives... basically the heavy rail version of LRT. Diesel train locos are basically giant generators for electric motors that generate the power to pull the cars. To run all that electricity they'll have to build new substations and hydro lines.
(10-11-2014, 02:55 PM)mpd618 Wrote: GO says they don't yet know how much work it will be to double-track the Kitchener line, due to the grade separations required.

I can imagine double-tracking the bridge through Guelph will be a massive undertaking.
From page 5 of this April 2014 Metrolinx report.

Quote:Metrolinx intends to implement the traction power electrification within the Lakeshore and Kitchener corridors of GO Transit routes serving metropolitan Toronto.  Studies have determined that this shall consist of a 2x25 kV ac system with a 1x25kV spur delivering power to trains by means of an overhead contact system (OCS), and collected by roof-mounted pantograph current collectors on each train's locomotive or electric multiple unit (EMU) rail vehicles.

I expect that the whole thing will be incremental as Metrolinx slowly upgrades the infrastructure along the Lakeshore and Kitchener lines.  It will not be a case of everything being added and then a massive schedule shift the next month.  I suspect that the first round of upgrades will be to the double-tracking and grade separations.  This will slowly decrease trip times.

Next would be the electrification.  Depending the schedules, the GO Trains terminating at Georgetown could end up being electrified next after the Pearson Express with Diesel units continuing the run out to Kitchener.  Similarly, the Kitchener-bound trains could end up with a hybrid locomotive that runs on pantographs until Georgetown and then switches to diesel through to Kitchener.  This could allow Metrolinx to speed up trip lengths from Union to Georgetown while avoiding the extra expense of electric operation all the way to Kitchener for the near-to-medium term.
GO Transit has updated their schedule, which will be in place for January 5:


It seems the new 25F route between UW/WLU and York University is popular, as they're adding three Friday round trips. There will be 8 eastbound trips and 6 westbound, running at half-hourly frequencies. Sunday schedule is unchanged. This route should become very useful in a few years once the Spadina subway gets extended to York U.

The 25C will have three new westbound trips on Friday evening.

The 25 gains a weekday eastbound trip at 7:25, filling the two-hour schedule gap. Now there's hourly service from 5:35 to 22:35 in both directions.

Another rush-hour train is added to the Milton line, bringing the total to 9.

With the introduction of double-decker buses this summer, I thought we'd see a slowdown in service being added. It's good to see demand continues to increase, even though most of the growth is in the University areas.
In other news, the Union-Pearson eXpress has announced their fares.


For us in Kitchener, the Weston price is the important one. If your travel lines up with GO Train service, it's:
$24.63 using Presto
$31.20 without Presto

But, until we get more GO Train service, you're basically limited to flights leaving ~10am, and flights landing ~4pm.
With the new changes there will be between 20 and 30 trips each way every day, many of them served by double decker buses.... on a line we were told for many years that "there simply wasn't enough demand".

Because of this and several other similar experiences I'm know very skeptical any time someone tells me "it can't be done/there is no demand/it's too expensive/there are structural issues".
Those fares are outrageous. The audacity of a publicly funded train that took forever to build and cost $27.50 to ride from the train station to the airport is wrong. It is pretty clear to me that they knew these fare costs well in advance and couldn't be bothered to let anyone know what was up or it would have been killed. I will not be surprised if they turn around and sell it to some investment group like the 407. 

The train cost and the bus cost should be comparable. The GO bus from Union to Dixon @ Martingrove is $5.35. We want people to ride the train and not the bus right? Not sure where the incentive is for this. 
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.

$39 one-way, PPP, downtown to airport HSR. Seems pretty reasonable to me. (I've ridden it)

Also don't appreciate your personal attack on Premiere Wynne. It's not constructive and is inappropriate.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
The one issue I had heard about previously but don't believe was addressed today, was whether the service will be affordable for airport workers. I had hear musings from the government that passes or other fare structures were being looked into but I don't think anything further came today.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
I don't see the issue with the fares. It's a premium express service, and as a result fares have been set high enough to recover not just operating but capital costs too. That actually makes it not a publicly funded service. If you don't mind taking an hour you can still pay $3 to ride the TTC, or $5 for a GO bus. Looking at other major cities it's not uncommon to have both a cheap local service and an expensive express service. Compared to the Heathrow express service the UPX is actually pretty cheap (Heathrow costs $38 one way, and that's the cheapest fare).

Sure, we could set cheaper fares and subsidize the UPX like other public transit, but then it would have to stand on its own merits as a public transit service and I'm not sure it'd do so well. The public transit solution will be getting the Eglinton crosstown out to the airport, and in the future other LRT connections.

(12-10-2014, 10:45 PM)KevinL Wrote: The one issue I had heard about previously but don't believe was addressed today, was whether the service will be affordable for airport workers. I had hear musings from the government that passes or other fare structures were being looked into but I don't think anything further came today.

I've seen some tweets today saying airport employees can ride for $10/trip, or get a pass for $300/month. Apparently employee parking at either terminal is $250/month (but can be cheaper in a far away "value lot") so it's actually pretty competitive with driving.
We are also talking about an airport, a place where, at most, UPX would represent ~10% of a ticket to Ottawa or Montreal. When compared to the median or average fares, I have no problem understanding the economic argument for express service to a high price point service not costing as little as average, non-direct service.
Also, anyone in there right mind would just get a Presto Card and pay with that. It's cheaper than paying the full fair and you really ought to have one anyway.
One reason why UP fares are so "unfair" is because this is a dedicated line. Imagine if the Kitchener to Union GO train stopped at Pearson. Shared use would would allow for costs to be spread over a wider base. It would also make it much easier to provide frequent all-day GO service to the Region.

While UP trains have many "premium" features why do most passengers need them? Wouldn't a GO train, perhaps modified to make luggage handling easier, be good enough? Many jurisdictions use conventional subway or rail coaches to service their airports. That works well and fares are thus kept reasonable for all passengers.

Also consider that if more than one person is travelling to the airport from Union a cab/limo is likely to be the same or lower cost than multiple UP fares.
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