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GO Transit
(01-22-2018, 03:21 PM)urbd Wrote: True... that spur line looks ripe for a Spur Line Trail 2.0

Would be nice if it ran the original length of the spur (to the Lancaster mill in Bridgeport) and connected to both the Grand trail and a trail through Bechtel park at the north, and a trail along the Metrolinx corridor at the south. Won't happen, though.

(01-22-2018, 03:02 PM)kps Wrote:
(01-17-2018, 11:02 PM)timio Wrote: That makes sense.  Would the double deckers fit under the rail spur on Wellington?  Google suggests it's 4.5m clearance.

Yes, but also that spur is abandoned so it'll fall down on its own soon enough.

According to Wikipedia, the double decker buses are as follows

The first generation stood at a height of 4.3 metres, and second and third generations were built and acquired at even lower heights – in 2013 and 2016 at 4.15 and 3.9 metres, respectively – that allowed them to pass under lower bridges and trees and be used on additional routes.

So even before if falls down of neglect, they should fit under it.
Jumping the Expressway would be the biggest problem. The old spur looks like it peters out around the ramp from Lancaster to the Expressway. Perhaps connecting along Guelph Street to Riverbend would be an easier route for a MUT. But I digress.
Quote:Ontario Taking Next Steps in Testing Hydrogen-Powered Train Technology

Ontario is taking the next steps in exploring the potential of hydrail as an alternative to conventional electric trains, as Ontario transforms the GO network into a rapid-transit system that will provide faster and more frequent service for commuters and families.

Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation, was in Toronto today to release the province's Hydrogen Rail (Hydrail) Feasibility Study, which found that it would be feasible to build and operate electrified rail service on GO Transit and the UP Express using hydrogen-powered trains at a cost comparable to conventional electrification using overhead wires.

Ontario is engaging with train manufacturers Alstom and Siemens to produce concept designs that incorporate hydrogen fuel cells into bi-level trains similar to those currently used by GO Transit. In addition, the province is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for designs for a hydrogen fuel cell-powered locomotive, which could lead to a prototype rail vehicle that would be tested on the GO rail network.

News Release: https://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2018/02/o...ology.html

Complete Hydrail Report: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/announc...ort_R1.pdf
Holy crap, but ew that people are using the “H-word”. I can’t stand that the term used by viral social media marketing types has now become mainstream...
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Is there really enough benefit to having the electricity generation for locomotives happen _on_ the locomotive rather than running OCS down the line and benefiting from the dense electrical network in our country?
Seems like a tradeoff. You don't have to build any wires, which some find ugly. Mind you, a railway isn't generally an area any find beautiful. But you do have to refuel, come up with a new fueling system, the time tradeoffs of this, probably lose some acceleration profiles (slower ride overall), and you have to accommodate the fuel and the means of converting it to energy on the train, which is almost certainly larger and louder than an electrical catenary-driven motor, which often also lets you have each car be self-propelling, rather than a singular engine propelling the whole load (again, this give electrical the edge over hydrogen). The biggest advantage is that politically, it gives you cover for not doing anything for even more years.
Are hydrogen fuel cells noticeably loud? I've never heard one in operation, but I doubt it's significant in that regard.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
I think are some fans and pumps and stuff but not really. No louder than an AC unit.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
(02-22-2018, 04:10 PM)chutten Wrote: Is there really enough benefit to having the electricity generation for locomotives happen _on_ the locomotive rather than running OCS down the line and benefiting from the dense electrical network in our country?

It’s a speculative technology. I won’t say that it definitely will never be a useful and successful technology (easiest way to be wrong!), but I do feel confident asserting that it would be insane and incompetent to make it a dependency of any transit construction program. If and when much more research has been done so that it is an actual product that can be replicated, then it could be considered as a possible technology. For now, if the government actually cares about transportation they will keep this research program well separated from actual transit development projects.
The issue I see it is that hydrogen doesn't solve any problem, it only gives you a different option with tradeoffs that aren't showstoppers. But to this point, the speed/acceleration profiles of the system aren't proven out, to the point where their ability to meet the timing needs of Tory's RER (which they would be used as a part of) is in question, let alone desires for travel time improvements of every line. So you're considering making a trade for a technology without a game-changing benefit, but with a potential showstopping drawback. Seems a bit shortsighted, or overly hopeful.
What’s really interesting is they’re going ahead with actually building a prototype loco to pull the existing rolling stock. (It’s buried in the report)
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
My understanding is that hydrogen storage isn't as space efficient as diesel, so the trains have to refuel more often.  Refuelling is also complicated by the high pressures involved, and that likely makes it take longer.  It's feasible to 'electrify' a low service frequency line with hydrogen, but not the bread-and-butter 'train every 15 minutes' routes.

Benefits of hydrogen versus conventional electrification:

  • No wiring required along the entire line, just refuelling stations
  • Ability to 'time-shift' energy usage, i.e. use only off-peak electricity to produce hydrogen, or surplus on-peak power that would otherwise be exported at a loss (windy days)
Acceleration profiles are similar to diesel for locomotive pulled trains, and similar to EMU for multi-unit trains.

If 'there shalt be hydrogen' (and that isn't clear to me yet), then ideally the province would go ahead with overhead wires on high frequency routes like Lakeshore East/West, UPX, and the core SmartTrack areas, with Hydrail used on lower frequency runs to the ends of the Milton, Kitchener, Barrie, Richmond Hill, and Stouffville lines.

Of course my ideal would just be to start stringing conventional wires everywhere now -- I think hydrogen is still too speculative for us to bet on while playing catch-up to decades of mediocre public transit.
Okay, so I'm liking this, according to The Star's article on it:

Quote:Metrolinx plans to issue a request for proposals for RER at the end of 2018. The winning consortium will be responsible for designing, building, operating, and maintaining the rail network, and it will be up to the bidders to propose either traditional electrification or hydrogen trains.

Sounds like it's safely out of meddling political hands.  The consortium, experts in their field, will no doubt go with whichever option makes the most economic sense for the operating period of the contract, which I suspect would be at least 20 years.  Sanity will prevail.
The way I think about the hydrogen fuel cell thing is this.

If an alien were to land on our planet, and look at the two options that were on the table, they'd probably say something like:

"Wait, you're thinking about putting wires on towers up for hundreds of kilometres??"

[Image: 1200px-Shinkansen_E4_series_entering_Omiya.jpg]

I'm not saying either is right, I'm just saying we should just keep an open mind.

It's kind of exciting to think we could be the first country in the world with a massive network of fuel cell powered trains.

(I'm all for electrification via conventional means, but I'm also all for trying out new technologies.  As long as it's not stupid.)
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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