> New Track & Facilities - Previous Questions and Answers - PIC3 | Metrolinx Engage

New Track & Facilities - Previous Questions and Answers - PIC3

Questions and answers from the third round of public consultation can be found below.

You can also read the Q&A forum from the first round of public consultation or from the second round of public consultation.

If you have any further questions about the New Track and Facilities project please contact the regional address relevant to where your area of interest is located: [email protected] (East of Don River); [email protected] (West of Don River); [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; or [email protected]

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Anonymous's avatar
Dec 1, 2020 - 11:43

Hi I live between the Don valley and Danforth Station. Our property backs onto the tracks. After reading every document on this site I still don't know what is proposed for our area. New tracks? Electrification? Loss of my backyard? All we have to go on is rumours from neighbors. An update would be great thanks.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 23, 2020 - 09:53

Greetings,

Upcoming work on projects to support GO Expansion and the future Ontario Line is planned along the Lakeshore East (LSE) Corridor, including the portion between the Don Valley and Danforth GO Station. We’ll provide you with some background and general information. If you still have specific questions about your property, please contact us directly using the email addresses at the end of this message.

The electrification of the LSE Corridor including the portion between the Don Valley and Danforth GO Station was previously assessed as part of the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP). No property impacts beyond the existing Metrolinx Right-of-Way are anticipated in order to accommodate electrification infrastructure, which will be an overhead catenary system to power the future electric trains. Information about electrification, as well as the Environmental Project Report (EPR) and supporting technical studies associated with the 2017 TPAP are available for review at: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/electrification/electric.aspx.

As part of the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum currently in progress, updated noise and vibration studies have been undertaken to assess potential impacts associated with Metrolinx’s new detailed service plan. The supporting Draft Noise and Vibration Study for the Lakeshore East Corridor is available at the link below:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/go-rail-network-electrificati...

An Interactive Map and Roll Plans showing the approximate locations of recommended noise and vibration mitigation has been presented as part of PIC #3 and can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/go-rail-network-electrificati...

If your property is located in the joint corridor (a shared railway where Ontario Line will run parallel to GO from approximately Don Valley to Pape), early works within and along the rail corridor will proceed ahead of station and track construction.
Planned early works, from Eastern Avenue to Logan Avenue, include:
• GO rail corridor expansion to accommodate two Ontario Line tracks and a 4th GO track
• Installation or upgrading of vegetated slopes or retaining walls and noise barriers next to the corridor, where appropriate
• Relocation or protection of utilities
• Existing bridge modifications

This work will proceed following an early works environmental assessment and related consultations, including consultations with Indigenous communities and the public. Project information and updates are available on the Ontario Line website. Implementation of GO electrification is expected to begin in 2022 and will be coordinated with the Ontario Line in the joint corridor.

If you live between the Don Valley and Pape Avenue, please contact the Ontario Line team at [email protected].
If you live between Pape Avenue and Danforth Station, please contact the Toronto East team at [email protected]

Thank you again for contacting us, your participation and feedback is an important part of our work, We look forward to your continued involvement with the electrification Project.

Sincerely,

Metrolinx GO Expansion Team

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 01:21

For the planned improvements north of Aurora! I've always found it sad that frequent service was planned to end at Aurora; seeing that beautiful orange second track from there to Newmarket is a dream come true. Thank you!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 30, 2020 - 12:17

Thank you for sharing your positive feedback about the proposed new track in Newmarket. Should the proposed infrastructure move forward, it will enable discussions about the possibility of bringing 15-minute service to Newmarket. If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to subscribe for our e-newsletter to stay up to date about Metrolinx projects in York Region.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 11:46

See drawing: https://s8.gifyu.com/images/halwest.png

The Kitchener line roll plan shows Halwest junction configured in a way that would force all electric trains, east- and westbound, onto a short section of single track around mile 16.4 Weston sub (red line in drawing). The north track west of there would only lead to non-electrified track #2 of the Halton sub, while the two southern tracks, leading to the electrified part of Bramalea station, are shown as accessible only from this bottleneck of a single track.

Based on the service level diagrams, this section of track would see about 14 trains per hour in peak periods (12 electric, 2 diesel): a train about every 4 minutes. With such a high frequency in alternating directions on a single track, sustained for two ~2.5-hour peak periods a day, even tiny delays would result in knock-on effects.

Is there a reason why the plan doesn't include a crossover between the northern two tracks west of the pinch point (blue line in drawing)?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 11, 2020 - 17:52

The new pieces of infrastructure being studied for this assessment - New Track and Facilities TPAP - are the pieces reflected in the roll plans you identified. We are also undertaking several projects that are already underway to bring more service to the Kitchener corridor including improvements and rehabilitation of the service tracks between Etobicoke North and this area of the Halwest Subdivision. The rehabilitated track and existing switches just east of this area on the Weston Subdivision will tie into the new infrastructure and future service plans.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 2, 2020 - 13:05

VIA is currently planning a new rail service called High Frequency Rail (HFR), which would connect Toronto to Peterborough, Ottawa, and Montreal. It was my understanding that VIA was intending to use the Metrolinx-owned Don Branch for part of its route to run its trains to Peterborough. Looking at the renderings of the GO Don Valley Layover facility, it looks like this would block that from happening. Will the Don Branch be used for VIA HFR, and if so how will Metrolinx accommodate this project?

Metrolinx's avatar
Dec 7, 2020 - 19:29

The proposed Don Valley Layover Facility will be utilizing the Don Branch, which is currently owned by Metrolinx but has no service running on it. This Don Valley Layover site is essential for Metrolinx’s operations as it will allow trains to quickly and efficiently drop passengers at Union Station and allow for improved movement and reduced congestion. The site is ideally located in proximity of Union Station to allow for off-peak train storage on Metrolinx’s existing property. In addition to this the train services on the Don Branch are limited by the level of rehabilitation required to restore the historic Half Mile Bridge.

Subsequent to design funding by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a Joint Project Office (JPO) is being established to progress the design and cost estimates for VIA Rail’s High Frequency Rail proposal. Metrolinx and VIA Rail are working together on this matter and will seek to maximize the public benefit of infrastructure investments. Metrolinx has shared its plans for the Don Valley Layover and the New Track & Facilities TPAP Project with all Federal Railway agencies, including VIA Rail, as part of the TPAP consultation efforts. We will continue to work with VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank as they advance their planning and detailed design for High Frequency Rail.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 5, 2020 - 12:43

The updated service level chart still shows only hourly train service to Hamilton GO Centre, i.e. a 50% cut from the current (pre-pandemic) half-hourly service.

Why?

I repeat that Hamilton Centre sees over ten times as many riders as West Harbour.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 15, 2020 - 16:54

We are working to bring more service to the entire GO network, however we don’t own 100% of the track we operate on. The portion of track between Burlington and Hamilton is owned by Canadian National Railway. We will continue to work and negotiate with our freight partners to find better ways to coexist and bring better service to all communities we serve. In the meantime, we are monitoring our ridership closely, using manual counts and monitoring our PRESTO data, to ensure when our ridership starts to grow again, we have the appropriate service levels. Please sign up to the Hamilton newsletter to be kept up to date with services changes here.

Anonymous's avatar

Metrolinx had previously completed an initial business case on a GO Station at Walker’s Line in Burlington. It was deemed that the project would not go ahead however. Will the new Walker’s Line layover facility eliminate the potential for a future GO station at Walker’s Line (if the business case was eventually justified)?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 8, 2020 - 09:41

The preferred location for the Walkers Line Layover is along the tracks west from Walkers Line, whereas the location studied as part of the Initial Business Case (IBC) for the potential station at Walkers Line was on the east. (You can find the details for the station in the IBC on Metrolinx.com.) However, we are working on new ways to deliver transit that will bring communities and transit networks together. You can find out more about our approach to new stations and the Transit Oriented Communities program here.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 01:48

Will it be three or four tracks? And how many of them will be stub tracks? The materials aren't very clear here.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 7, 2020 - 14:30

Thank you for reaching out about Metrolinx’s plans for Unionville GO Station and the surrounding track. The proposed work for Unionville GO includes a new island platform and a new  second track, as well as a turnaround track, so that trains can travel both ways on the Stouffville line. The new second track will tie into the existing double track in the area.

Other upgrades to Unionville GO Station include construction of the Unionville Storage Siding. For the Unionville Storage Siding, there will be one electrified storage track, which will store two trains during midday off-peak hours.

You can see the proposed infrastructure for Unionville GO on Sheet 2 of the Roll Plan: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/oncorr_pic2_rollplan...

babblefish's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 17:26

Great to see that the double tracking work will finally be commencing in between Aurora/Newmarket. Just wondering if there are any station upgrades or infrastructure being planned to support this second track (I.e. platforms, bridges/tunnels) at Aurora and Newmarket GO stations.

Also, what will the construction impact to major roads (i.e. Wellington, St Johns, Mulock, Davis) that currently have rail crossings in this section be? Will there be road closures to complete the work and if so how long?

Finally, what is the progress of the track work that’s between Aurora and Toronto? Riding the train over the past couple years I’ve noticed that there have been some tracks laid in parts of Vaughan and near King, but there are still gaps and missing links throughout the rail corridor. Is there any plan to finish these first or concurrently with the new track being built? Is there also a plan to extend the track through to East Gwillimbury/Bradford and Barrie?

Keep up the great work

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 1, 2020 - 11:03

Part of Metrolinx’s GO Expansion program includes increasing the number of weekly trips from 1500 currently to 6000 by 2025. To achieve this goal, we know new infrastructure is needed to support these future service levels, such as a second track through Vaughan, King City and Aurora.

At this time, it’s too early to know for certain what the construction impacts may be for any double tracking work north of Aurora GO Station, but we’re conducting this Environmental Assessment in order to help us better understand those impacts. Following the Environment Assessment phase, once a contractor is brought on board, detailed planning that includes exploring construction impacts will take place.

In Aurora, Metrolinx will be adding a second platform and track at the GO station to enable two-way all-day, 15-minute GO service. Moreover, a new 400-space parking lot will be constructed just north of the station to make it easier for customers to use the service. This work is anticipated to start as early as next year. We’re also pursuing pursue an Environmental Assessment to build a grade separation at Wellington Street East in Aurora, which will enhance community safety and reduce traffic congestion at the crossing.

Along the Barrie Corridor between Aurora and Toronto, more infrastructure upgrades are taking place to facilitate GO Expansion.

Currently under construction, Metrolinx is upgrading Rutherford GO Station which includes a grade separation of Rutherford Road, a new parking structure with 1200 net-new spaces and a new east platform at the station.  

Coming up, Metrolinx will soon be initiating double-track enabling works on the Barrie Corridor through the Township of King and the City of Vaughan, including upgrades at Maple GO and King City GO. These upgrades will further enable 15-minute GO service levels.

Metrolinx is also currently completing an Environmental Assessment on a project to grade separate McNaughton Road in the City of Vaughan. This is being done through the Network Wide Structures Project which you can read about here.

To stay apprised of these projects going forward, I would encourage you to subscribe for our York Region e-newsletter if you haven’t done so already.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 6, 2020 - 05:10

Will Danforth station still be accessible from Main Street after the fourth track is built?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 23, 2020 - 11:36

Greetings,

Upcoming work on projects to support GO Expansion are planned along the Lakeshore East (LSE) Corridor. We’ll provide you with some background and general information. If you still have specific questions about this work, please contact us directly using the email address at the end of this message.

Planned early works, from Woodbine Avenue to Wolcott Avenue, include:
• GO rail corridor expansion to accommodate for the future 4th GO track;
• Construction of new retaining walls;
• Existing bridge modifications at Woodbine, Warden and Danforth Avenues.

Access to Danforth Station will be maintained via Main Street.

For more information on this project, please contact the dedicated Community Relations team at [email protected]. For regular project updates, please subscribe to our weekly Toronto East regional e-newsletter here.

Sincerely,
Metrolinx GO Expansion Team

Anonymous's avatar

On the one hand, the service chart shows an express/local service on the Stouffville line, with local trains running every 7.5 minutes and express every 20. On the other hand, in the roll plan, the corridor from Hagerman to Scarborough is two tracks wide, giving no opportunity for express trains to pass the very frequent local trains.

From a back-of-napkin calculation, express trains would be about three to four minutes faster than local trains between Unionville (station) and Scarborough (signal plant). A southbound express leaving Unionville two minutes before the next local would pass Scarborough about two minutes after the previous local. This means the only physically possible service design is one where the express frequency is a multiple of the 7.5 minute local frequency. 20 isn't a multiple of 7.5.

A slightly more involved napkin shows that neither alternating 22.5/22.5/15-minute express headways (as a way to stick to the published 3 trains per hour), nor a pure 22.5-minute frequency, would allow for express trains to have consistent travel times between Scarborough and Union.

Just as the Stouffville express has to be scheduled very precisely between Unionville and Scarborough because of the Stouffville local, so does the Lakeshore express between Oshawa and Guildwood thanks to the Lakeshore local. And so every third (if 3 tph) or every fourth Stouffville express (if every 22'30'') would arrive at Scarborough at the same time as a westbound Lakeshore express, and so one of them would have to wait for the other and arrive at Union a few minutes later.

So I ask, how will the Stouffville express operate, given that a clean 20-minute frequency is physically impossible? How frequent and how fast will it be?

Metrolinx's avatar

The service pattern referenced in the question is drawn from the reference concept provided in the GO Expansion Full Business Case.  Since the publication of the Full Business Case in November 2018 significant progress has been made on the program and Metrolinx is now in the middle of the procurement process and is engaging with world class operators to ensure the best possible solution is obtained.  As this work progresses, service patterns and plans for new infrastructure are evolving to make sure that the benefits outlined  in the Business Case are maximized and that value-for-money solutions are found so that the investment in the expansion of rail service is optimized.  Service requirements, such as number of passengers to be uplifted, minimum frequencies and maximum journey times are defined by Metrolinx, but the actual scheduling and operation of the train service will be undertaken by the successful proponent.  Whilst Metrolinx does have a reference concept that meets what is outlined in the Business Case, there is no requirement for express trains to be scheduled at equal frequencies, which as you correctly highlight is incompatible with two-track infrastructure and the reference service pattern.  There is nothing that prevents the trains to be scheduled to stop at interim stations between origin and destination providing the maximum journey time is not exceeded.  At this time, we are unable to confirm either the service pattern or journey times that will be implemented, given the final schedule is operator led.

Mcurtis's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 13:36

Hello,

I was wondering if there are any plans as part of the Go RER (or whatever name it is at present) to allow for the movement of people from locations without the need to use Union station as a transfer point? It is in the plans (or even viable at this point) to have a train that goes from Oshawa to Barrie (for example) without needing to use Union to transfer?

Additionally, has any consideration or evaluations ever been done on the Canadian Pacific line that goes through Toronto as an option to provide additional transit services to that area of Toronto and surrounding communities interconnecting with the Davenport Diamond construction project?

Thank You,

Mitchell

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 1, 2020 - 21:53

More than a rush hour commuter service, GO will offer more service with faster trains, more stations and seamless connections to a regional rapid transit network. Once complete, the GO Expansion program will deliver service allowing passengers to transfer at multiple points on their journey. For example, as new connections on the Eglinton Crosstown and Hurontario LRTs, and the Ontario line are completed, connections will be available that do not require Union Station as a transfer point. We continue to grow service and monitor ridership needs to enhance GO bus service and create connections beyond the constraints of the rail network. You can always use Triplinx to find all the transit options and connections that will get you where you need to.

Metrolinx is operating parts of a public transit system within a freight network. We continually negotiate with our freight partners for expansion opportunities. These discussions are ongoing and results depend on CN/CP track capacity allowed as a result of their business volumes.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 5, 2020 - 12:34

I see work planned in this project that would remove the platform at York University station.

1) Does this project include eliminating York University station? Or will the platform be moved further north?

2) All service to the station was cancelled during the March lockdown. Is this permanent, or will it be restored together with other service that was cancelled at that time?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 18, 2020 - 14:53

Thank you for your message. We would like to clarify that no decisions have been made on the future of York University Station to date.

As you are probably aware, the station was served pre-COVID by a limited number of trips during peak periods to accommodate coordinated connections to the shuttle bus serving predominantly York University students. With the shift to virtual learning due to COVID-19, these shuttle buses were canceled and our service was adjusted appropriately to reflect this new reality.

We recognize that GO Transit is a vital transit link for communities in York Region. When it comes to Metrolinx service planning, decisions on service adjustments like those to York University GO station take into consideration a number of factors such as current and expected ridership, operating costs, fit and compatibility with the overall network, and resource availability (e.g. availability of crews, tracks and platforms). The data underpinning service planning is collected from annual ridership trends, travel demand surveys, experience with existing services serving similar markets, and input from municipal decision-makers.

Finally, Metrolinx’s decisions on service changes also factors in feedback from customers. Given this, we have passed along your feedback to the relevant Metrolinx teams.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 14, 2020 - 16:45

We have been looking at two potential locations as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process for a new layover in the City of Burlington. Through out the process we have determined there is only a need for one new facility in Burlington required to support future service levels. We also determined through the impact assessment and extensive consultation with the community, stakeholders and property owners that Walkers Line would be a more suitable location for the new facility. Walkers Line, as the preferred site provides many benefits by reducing our footprint, making better use of Metrolinx owned property and reduces our impact the community and out neighbours.

If you haven’t already you can find more information and see come conceptual designs for the Walkers Line location here.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 02:19

What is the future of the existing, unused City View Drive layover/standby track?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 1, 2020 - 13:51

This track is used to store emergency rail consists and critical infrastructure, as well as to allow for maintenance access into the rail corridor.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 16:45

Can you please advise why no service is provided to Cobourg, if you can take this into consideration

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 14, 2020 - 16:42

Thank you for your feedback and interest in our work. As a first step, we are working on bringing rail service to Bowmanville. However, Metrolinx regularly monitors travel behaviour and markets to identify rising and high potential markets for future GO services. We have a dedicated customer support team.

You can contact them online, or our Contact Centre is open:

Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Weekends & Holidays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

416-869-3200 Toronto (local calling area)

1-888-GET-ON-GO (438-6646) toll-free

1-800-387-3652 TTY (teletypewriters only)

You can also sign up to be kept up to date with what’s happening and what is planned for the future here.

Anonymous's avatar

We already have homeless and junkies sleeping and having tents around there and some do their drugs in plain site there. What will be done to prevent this? Will we have security to prevent this.. it will become worse when more from out of town come and join in.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 14, 2020 - 20:24

Thank you for your feedback and taking time to participate in the GO Expansion Open House. We would like to discuss your comments in further detail. Please reach out to our Community Relations team anytime at [email protected].