> New Track & Facilities - Ask a Question - Public Information Centre #2 | Metrolinx Engage

New Track & Facilities - Ask a Question - Public Information Centre #2

Submit your question below. We’ll post an answer to your question in a few business days. Be sure to vote for your favourite questions. You can also read the Q&A forum from the first round of public consultation.

NOTE: Conduct inconsistent with our policies will result in the removal of your submission.

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Anonymous's avatar
Aug 22, 2020 - 10:57

Why is Metrolinx moving forward with an overpass bridge in this area when the preferred option was an underpass similar to what exists on Major Mackenzie Drive and what you are currently building on Rutherford Road and what is proposed on Wellington in Aurora? Yes we know that it costs more but doing the right thing is not about money. What about the existing subdivision that is there and will now have this ugly bridge structure looking over the existing homes. What kind of EA did you move forward with that provides the justification for this design? Paying lip service to a provincial EA process is not the way to justify an overpass at this location. DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND DESIGN AND CONSTRUCT AN UNDERPASS. The citizens of vaughan are prepared to make this political if you want a fight.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 2, 2020 - 10:17

Thank you for sharing your comments regarding the proposed McNaughton Road Grade Separation in the City of Vaughan. This project is an addendum to a previously conducted transit project assessment process (TPAP) – the 2017 Barrie Rail Corridor Expansion environmental project report (EPR). This EPR was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in 2017 and examined the rationale for a grade separation at the intersection of McNaughton Road and the Metrolinx rail corridor.

In 2019, Metrolinx conducted an options analysis to determine the appropriate type of grade separation (overpass or underpass). This analysis was undertaken against key considerations associated with impacts to stakeholders, local setting, aesthetics/ public realm, property impacts, utilities, engineering constraints, environment, operations and maintenance, capital costs and economic cost/ benefits. The results of this analysis concluded that a road overpass is the most appropriate option considering the aforementioned factors. One of the significant factors inhibiting the road underpass is the groundwater levels in the area, which would result in significant excavation and dewatering that could have impacts to the local groundwater regime. This would also result in additional infrastructure requirements, including pumping stations and associated utilities that would have additional property impacts. The underpass option would also require a track diversion, which would result in additional property impacts.

Please note Metrolinx will work with the municipality to include patterned form liners for retaining walls, as well as a landscaping and planting strategy for the sloped embankment, to soften any visual impacts to the residential properties. This project is in the early stages of the environmental assessment addendum and design.

There will be future opportunities to learn more about the various projects happening across the region. Please email [email protected] if you would like to be added to the regional distribution list to receive further updates or invitations pertaining to Metrolinx projects in York Region.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 18, 2020 - 14:20

What are you doing to change the Canadian Railway Regulation so that whistle blowing in not needed at all crossing. Some Municipalities have it and some do not? When will it be uniform across the GTA so that train whistleblowing is no longer required.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 19, 2020 - 16:43

Safety is central to the operation of our service. As you may know, for all trains across the network sounding whistles, their volume and frequency are federally regulated by Transport Canada in the interest of public safety. All train operators are required to comply with Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR), which requires that train whistles be sounded four times until the train completely occupies each level crossing.

Municipalities do have the option to eliminate routine whistling (whistle cessation) at specific crossings if they feel that would better reflect their community’s priorities. You can learn more about the proccess at https://tc.canada.ca/en/rail-transportation/grade-crossings/apply-stop-train-whistling-public-grade-crossing.  There are various terms and conditions related to technical feasibility, implementation cost and liability. Where requested, Metrolinx has successfully worked with different municipalities across the network to implement whistle cessation.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 22, 2020 - 23:34

With new electric trains, is Metrolinx considering raising the platform height to the accessible car or higher?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 14:25

Metrolinx is currently preparing an Initial Business Case (IBC) for level boarding across the GO rail network. We know level boarding will provide significant accessibility benefits for customers while also reducing station run-in and dwell times. You can find more detailed information and next steps in the GO Expansion Full Business Case. Also, all new stations are anticipated to be built with level boarding from the outset (Technical Report: GO Expansion New Stations Modelling Backgrounder).

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 6, 2020 - 10:10

What frequency and stopping patterns will be possible for VIA trains on the corridors affected by this project, once construction is finished and the planned GO service is running?

(Note the "possible" - I'm not asking GO to take a crystal ball and predict what VIA will run, just about what GO is designing its own infrastructure for.)

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 14:39

We continue to work with our partners, including VIA to find smarter and better ways to coexist, to operate our services in parallel and to accelerate the delivery of new service to all communities along the line.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 8, 2020 - 03:10

Will GO bus service be expanded together with train service?

In the past two years, expanded train service on the Lakeshore East and Kitchener lines was followed by cuts to connecting bus service, putting extra pressure on the already busy parking lots at Oshawa, Brampton and Malton stations and making it harder for any net new riders who might have found the new trains useful to start taking GO.

I hope this blunder won't be repeated with the expansion planned here. GO buses aren't just an ugly looking line to cross out from the budget, they're a very real factor in the capacity of GO stations which in turn has an effect on train ridership.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 14:44

Thank you for your feedback. Metrolinx is committed to bringing two-way all-day service across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. 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
Sep 11, 2020 - 06:51

This all looks good, but I don't see anything about a new station at Dundas and Lansdowne, outside the No Frills where the Barrie line passes through. When I think about the distance between Union and Exhibition on Lakeshore West, versus the distance between Union and York University on the Barrie line, it seems like a huge gap. I am biased as I am living at Dundas and Lansdowne and often take the Barrie line. I have to go across the city, south to Union (roughly 45-1 hour on transit), just go right back, and directly past my house. With the huge population of neighbourhoods surrounding the area, along with a massive lot of unused land, I always thought it was a natural location for a stop. Has this been considered?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 16, 2020 - 15:18

As a transit agency, Metrolinx is doing our part by responding to the urban environment and areas that are growing with increasing demands of service. As part of our mandate to get people across the region, your area has been identified as a growth area and a new station has been identified here as part of the City’s Official Plan.

 

Together with our partners, we are working to deliver a modern, integrated rapid transit system across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Investing in new station infrastructures is a critical part of meeting this goal.

 

A new station at Bloor St W., and St Helen’s Ave. is currently in the planning and design stage. The Preliminary Design Business Case was published in March 2018.

 

The Province, the City and Metrolinx will continue to work together on planning, design and procurement of this important project.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 25, 2020 - 12:42

It appears the revised August 2020 layover design directly impacts the two Hydro One 115-kV transmission towers immediately south of Bloor Street Jct. However, the design does not indicate the proposed treatment of these two towers, which are critical for maintaining power flows in Toronto. Has Hydro One agreed to the proposed layover design? If so, please indicate on the design where the towers are to be relocated. (As this is a constrained, environmentally sensitive area, omitting key details such as the tower relocation likely presents an optimistic picture of the eventual layover impacts.)

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 21, 2020 - 11:56

Thank you for your comment related to the proposed Don Valley Layover. Metrolinx has been consulting with Hydro One to discuss the proposed site and necessary clearances for Hydro One’s infrastructure. 

The proposed Don Valley Layover is not expected to require relocation of overhead transmission lines or towers. Please note that the conceptual design for this site will continue to be refined during the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) and in future stages of design after considering feedback received from the public and other stakeholders. The final layover configuration will be presented to the public during future consultation events and will also be documented within the New Track and Facilities TPAP Environmental Project Report (EPR).

We appreciate your participation and feedback, as it is an important part of our work. We look forward to your continued involvement with the Project. 

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 31, 2020 - 14:07

Is there a near term and long term plan to add additional parking spots as the lot and the overflow are full by 7:15AM most school term days?

Perhaps differential parking to those that a commuting longer distances and don't have an Oshawa transit option could be made available.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 13:00

Today,  62% of customers drive to their stations. Our teams are looking into approaches that improve customer experience, while ensuring customers have safe, convenient alternatives to get to GO stations and find parking if they need it. We are continuously evaluating the needs and opportunities for parking and station access at all of our stations. We are also is committed to deliver more rail service to communities beyond Oshawa as quickly as we can. Once the rail extension to Bowmanville is in service, Oshawa Station will no longer be the last stop and this will take pressure off of parking.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Sep 6, 2020 - 10:53

Is GO RER planned to operate with a symmetrical schedule? If not, why?

I ask because with this week's schedule change, the schedule symmetry between the Lakeshore lines and UP Express, as well as between Kitchener and Stouffville is gone, making for uneven wait times for people transferring between trains at Union. Until now, transfers within these pairs of lines always took a comfortable 20-odd minutes, while with the new schedules, they can range from stressful to boring, as short as 5 or as long as 43 minutes.

I understand that with the limited, piecemeal infrastructure that GO has today, it might make sense to break symmetry and penalize transfers in exchange for a more reliable schedule for those taking only a single train. With the total makeover that the network is planned to get with this project, though, it would be sad to design things without regard to a customer convenience that's taken for granted elsewhere in the world.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 14:41

Thank you for your feedback. We are committed to bringing two-way all-day service across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, bringing more flexible options for our customers. Current service is reduced due to low ridership, but service levels are expected to return to normal once ridership increases. With future planned 15-minute, two-way all-day service, transfers wait times will be reduced for increased convenience and to get you where you need to go. You can sign up to be kept up to date with what’s happening and what is planned for the future here.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 11, 2020 - 08:28

Why has the electrification program been all but abandoned? Along lakeshore east, there are many people living in close proximity to the tracks enduring the diesel pollution (a known carcinogen) and the cacophony of sound produced by these diesel relics.

Electric trains enable smoother acceleration, allowing for quicker transit times, have lower operating cost, are much quieter, and produce no harmful CO2 emissions.

For these reasons, electrification of the GO Network should be back on the table as part of our efforts to combat the ever worsening climate crisis. If stimulus money is available for the recovery from the COVID pandemic, this would be an admirable use, creating jobs, improving service, decreasing air pollution that exacerbates the pandemic, improving quality of life for people living near the tracks, and working to solve the much larger long term climate crisis caused by fossil fuel combustion.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 17, 2020 - 14:44

Thank you for your question and interest in the GO Rail Network Electrification Project.

Electrification of the GO Rail Network, including the Lakeshore East (LSE) Corridor, is still proposed. A Statement of Completion was issued on December 11, 2017 for the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) to convert six GO owned rail corridors to electric propulsion, including the LSE Corridor. Please see the link below for further information: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/electrification/electric.aspx

A Significant Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Environmental Project Report (EPR) is now being undertaken and is anticipated to be complete Spring 2021, with detailed design to start later in 2021. The construction timeline start is currently estimated for 2022, with construction being phased across the GO rail network. Updates will be provided to the public and stakeholders prior to construction. Additional information regarding the GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP Addendum can be found at the link below:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/engagement-initiatives/go-rail-network-electrification-addendum

Metrolinx is currently undertaking system-wide Noise and Vibration and Air Quality Studies associated with increased service levels. Further information, including results of these studies and proposed mitigation along the Lakeshore East (LSE) Corridor are anticipated to be available in Fall 2020 and will be presented at the third round of Public Open Houses. Should you have questions or concerns after reviewing the study results and location of proposed mitigation, Metrolinx would be pleased to provide further clarification or discussion in an effort to address any remaining concerns.

Should you have concerns about a specific location along the LSE Corridor, please contact Metrolinx and someone from our Community Relations team will be in touch.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 21, 2020 - 10:57

When will we find out if GO needs to expropriate land from our neighbourhood? The new tracks will be right behind our house.

If our house isn't expropriated, will GO be constructing noise barriers to maintain an enjoyment of property? We are used to a few freight trains a day, but rush hour service is an entirely different animal.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 13:42

We appreciate your participation and feedback, as it is an important part of our work. We will have an update on the noise and vibration assessment during the next round of meetings. Where there are property impacts identified we will begin the conversation with any impacted property owners as early as possible and will work collaboratively with affected property owners to ensure that the process is fair and open and causes the least impact possible.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 22, 2020 - 23:29

What is the theoretical limit number of trains at Union station per hour per direction and in total?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 14:23

We are always looking at new ways to increase the capacity of our infrastructure across the network and working with our rail partners to coexist and run our services in parallel. You can find a track capacity study and details on the capacity at Union Station on Metrolinx.com. We are also in the procurement phase of a new Union Station Enhancement Project that will help increase the capacity at Union Station. You can find the details and timelines here,

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 26, 2020 - 23:08

What is the status of the underpasses on Scarborough Golf Club Road, Galloway, and Morningside? When will work start on each and what is the anticipated completion date for each underpass?

Metrolinx's avatar
Sep 16, 2020 - 17:12

The Scarborough Golf Club Road Grade Separation and Morningside Grade Separation projects are still moving ahead. These early works projects are going through the procurement process and expected construction start date is approximately summer 2021. These projects are expected to take approximately 3 years to complete. Galloway Road Grade separation is part of the network wide GO Expansion program. GO Expansion program is also going through the procurement process. Although construction phasing for GO Expansion is determined by Project Co (the awarded contractor), construction is anticipated to begin sometime between 2024-2028. Updates will provided to the community as these projects advance.

For additional questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Sign up to our Toronto East e-newsletter by clicking here.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 27, 2020 - 17:36

I live very close to this location and I am very concerned about the noise, and resale value of my home.
Bill

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 18, 2020 - 09:19

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Studies are currently underway to assess anticipated operational noise and vibration impacts resulting from Metrolinx’s planned service expansion, which will include the layover/storage yard facilities proposed under the New Track and Facilities TPAP. Additionally, Metrolinx is undertaking system-wide Noise and Vibration Studies associated with increased service levels. Further information, including results of these studies and proposed mitigation, will be made available for public comment during future consultation.

The Noise and Vibration Studies being completed as part of the GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP Addendum will assess how noise and vibration levels will change from existing operations  to the proposed future operations, and to determine whether mitigation measures may be required. As per the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)/GO Transit Protocol for Noise and Vibration Assessment, noise impacts from the future GO Transit rail traffic will be expressed in terms of Adjusted Noise Impact, which is based on the difference between the pre-project and post-project noise levels.

Noise increases above 5 dBA trigger the draft GO Transit/MECP Noise and Vibration Protocol to consider noise mitigation. Any proposed mitigation for both sound and vibration effects must meet administrative, operational, economic and technical feasibility criteria. Where all criteria are met, the mitigation solutions (i.e. noise barrier) will be recommended. Should you have questions or concerns after reviewing the study results and location of proposed mitigation, Metrolinx would be pleased to provide further clarification or discussion in an effort to address any remaining concerns.

We appreciate your participation and feedback as it is an important part of our work. We look forward to your continued involvement with the Project. 

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 28, 2020 - 11:40

Is Metrolinx planning to purpose the four tracks(in the future) from Union to Scarborough by express/local or Stouffville/Lakeshore East? I am asking this since the infrastructure optimal for each one of them is different.
Common options left(track 1) to right(Track 4):
E=express, L=Local
L/E/E/L
E/L/L/E
E/E/L/L
L/L/E/E

S=Stouffville, L=Lakeshore East
S/L/L/S
L/S/S/L
S/S/L/L
L/L/S/S

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 13:36

We are using the tracks through an express operating model rather than by service location. It looks similar to your first option of L/E/E/L.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 07:14

I live at Parklawn and Lakeshore. With the number of condos that have been built not to mention the ones planned to go up at the Christie site, I’m surprised not to see a new station in your plans here. Do you know how many people would be able to walk there to take the train/bus! This will make a huge difference on traffic in the area and will boost your ridership!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 14:57

First Capital REIT (Park Lawn) LP (FCR) has proposed the new Park Lawn GO Station to be developed in partnership with Metrolinx, located at the north end of 2150 Lake Shore Boulevard West. The station is currently in the early phase of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), as prescribed in Ontario Regulation 231/08 under the Environmental Assessment Act. As part of the TPAP, an Environmental Project Report (EPR) will be completed by Metrolinx and First Capital Reit to assess the potential environmental effects of this transit project. The 90% EPR is scheduled to be completed in February 2021. Pre-TPAP work is ongoing and a Notice of Commencement currently scheduled to be issued in late spring 2021.

From June 25 to July 20, 2020, an online public meeting was made available on the project website as part of the pre-TPAP activities. For project updates, please visit https://www.2150lakeshore.com/. The second public meeting is currently scheduled for May 2021.

chrisjamesdrew's avatar

I reviewed the design changes in the revised PDF: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/ntf_13aug2020_don_va...

Can additional renderings be provided? I'm particularly interested in seeing what it looks like from the perspective of a cyclist on the multiuse trail heading northbound, along the location of the fence/access road. Also, could the fence be labelled? Is it marked by x-x-x-x ?

Google Streetview of the present condition here: https://bit.ly/32y2uvW

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 13:15

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Updated renderings will be made available at the next round of public consultation. 

We appreciate your participation and feedback, as it is an important part of our work. We look forward to your continued involvement with the Project. 
 

Daniel's avatar
Oct 2, 2020 - 13:53

Hi!

I heard that the province directed Metrolinx to cancel station upgrades, unless they are coupled with transit-oriented development. I understand that stations delivered with TOD is a good strategy for increasing ridership and reducing costs, but there will only be 4 platform upgrades (according to the docs you posted) as a result of this $15 billion program! If you want to transform the rail network, why don't you provide us with raised (subway-like) platforms and upgraded station buildings with more amenities? This was supposed to be one of the most important parts of the program! Otherwise, what are you spending $15 billion on?

I understand that many new stations will be built, since developers are willing to build next to many of them, but not all stations are able to benefit from big developments like that. How would stations like Maple, Eglinton, or Newmarket benefit from this program if they will stay the same?

I hope to hear from you.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 14:48

We have been working to improve our stations to better the customer experience across the network. You can find stations currently under construction and receiving upgrades at gotransit.com/improvements. You can also see some of the work we have completed recently on Metrolinx News.

Victor's avatar
Oct 22, 2020 - 16:29

Hi Can you please add service to Cobourg Train and buses a lot of people go in the morning to Downtown Toronto and we need to have the go transit here too

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 18, 2020 - 15:08

Hi Victor, 

We'd like to connect on this, please e-mail us at [email protected]

Thanks, 

Toronto East Durham Community Relations Team

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Nov 10, 2020 - 21:42

Hello,
I am writing this message to receive an update regarding progress being made on the Park Lawn Go train station at Lakeshore West Line. Please advise at your earliest convenience.
Thank you,
Brian

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 24, 2020 - 12:27

First Capital REIT (Park Lawn) LP (FCR) has proposed the new Park Lawn GO Station to be developed in partnership with Metrolinx, located at the north end of 2150 Lake Shore Boulevard West. The station is currently in the early phase of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), as prescribed in Ontario Regulation 231/08 under the Environmental Assessment Act. As part of the TPAP, an Environmental Project Report (EPR) will be completed by Metrolinx and First Capital Reit to assess the potential environmental effects of this transit project. The 90% EPR is scheduled to be completed in February 2021. Pre-TPAP work is ongoing and a Notice of Commencement currently scheduled to be issued in late spring 2021.

From June 25 to July 20, 2020, an online public meeting was made available on the project website as part of the pre-TPAP activities. For project updates, please visit https://www.2150lakeshore.com/. The second public meeting is currently scheduled for May 2021.

Anonymous's avatar

The "answer" for my original question wasn't at all related to what I asked, so let's try this again, with more specific questions:

1) Are the New Track & Facilities project and the GO Expansion (RER) service pattern being designed such that after everything is built and all planned GO service is running, VIA trains can run between Aldershot and Toronto, between Kitchener and Toronto, and between Oshawa and Toronto, as fast as they do currently? (about 40, 90, and 35 minutes respectively)? If not, about how long will these trips take?

2) Are the New Track & Facilities project and the GO Expansion (RER) service pattern being designed such that after everything is built and all planned GO service is running,

(I'm repeating myself, but I want to really hammer it home that I'm talking about *this physical project*, the reason for which is a certain service pattern, however vague, that GO plans to run!)

... anyways, after everything is complete, will VIA trains be *able* to stop (I'm not asking if they *will* stop) at the stations where they do currently (Toronto, Oakville, Aldershot, Malton, Brampton, Georgetown, Guelph, Kitchener, Guildwood, Oshawa)? If not, which stations do the planned infrastructure and service design allow VIA to serve?

(and again, as I said in the last question, I'm asking what stops you're *designing* for, where VIA will decide to actually stop! No divination sticks needed, just documentation you already have!)

3) After the New Track & Facilities project is built and planned GO Expansion (RER) service is running, about how many *slots* will VIA have to run trains during GO service hours on each of the three corridors?

(*Again*, I'm asking about how many *slots* VIA will have to *possibly* run trains in, not how many trains they will *actually* run! I'm not asking you to infiltrate VIA's offices, all I ask for is information about this. very. project. that. is. the. subject. of. this. very. study.)

Sorry about repeating myself however many times I repeated myself. I'm just really, really, really, really frustrated that what I thought was a clear, specific question, about the very topic of this study, was answered with "hey, GO and VIA do sometimes work together they do".

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 25, 2020 - 16:13

I asked, will GO Expansion (RER) service operate with a symmetrical schedule?

By symmetrical schedule, I mean a system-wide schedule designed around a single point of symmetry: a recurring point in time at which all vehicles on all of the system's lines are either laying over or meeting an opposing vehicle. Such a schedule ensures predictable transfer times, no matter what combination of lines a rider takes. Symmetrical schedules are common in Europe, with the national rail networks in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria all operating with points of symmetry at or close to the full and half-hour.

Before the service changes this September, GO's train schedules had two "islands" of symmetry: at 26 and 56 minutes past the hour, all Lakeshore and UP trains would be laying over or meeting, and at 20 and 50 minutes past the hour, all Kitchener and Stouffville trains would be doing the same.

So, for example, someone coming from Aldershot would arrive at Union at xx:10 and have a comfortable 20 minutes to navigate that maze of a station and reach their UP to Pearson leaving at xx:30. And thanks to the symmetry, the transfer in the opposite direction automatically took the same amount of time: UP would arrive at xx:22 and Lakeshore would leave at xx:43.

While after the changes that broke symmetry between the lines, although the transfer from UP to Lakeshore works as it did before, in the other direction, the UP train leaves a minute or two after the Lakeshore train arrives, and you have to wait for the next one!

Even more cursed is transferring from Kitchener to Stouffville, where both lines have always run only hourly and will "always" (in Phil Verster time -- "riders only care about what's changing in the next few weeks", I hear) run only hourly. Before the changes, this transfer took 24 minutes, which might have been a bit long, but would sometimes come in useful to buy a sandwich or to use a "real" washroom. Now that the lines' points of symmetry are ten minutes apart, it takes forty-six (46) minutes. I think that number speaks for itself.

Your reply touched on reduced frequencies as part of corona-related service changes. My question is unrelated to frequencies. Neither of the broken transfer relationships broke because of reduced frequencies. In fact, the Lakeshore West to UP transfer broke *despite* the frequency being *in*creased from hourly back to half-hourly.

While increasing frequencies even further can make transfers less bothersome in a brute-force way, even at the target 15-minute frequencies of GO Expansion (RER), lack of symmetry between lines can cause trips in one direction to regularly take up to 15 minutes longer than in the other direction. Which would be a bit of a shame.

It's okay to say that some part of the project is still undecided. It's better to say that something is undecided, than to reply with an answer to a totally different question!

And so I ask again, is GO Expansion (RER) planned to operated with a symmetrical schedule? If you don't know yet, please just say "we don't know yet".

Metrolinx's avatar
Dec 3, 2020 - 16:09

Under the current GO Expansion Program, Metrolinx is actively procuring a single contractor to design, build, operate and maintain the GO Transit Rail Network.  The service plan will be determined by the successful contractor responding to service level, maximum journey times and frequency requirements predetermined by Metrolinx.  The service will transform rail travel throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region moving from an essentially commuter based service to a two-way-all day service operating at a minimum of 15 minute frequencies over the core segments, meaning nearly all connecting times will be reduced   The method of scheduling, including the use of schedule symmetry or otherwise, will be determined by the successful proponent who is incentivised to provide the best overall offering of service to give maximum economic benefit in accordance with the GO Expansion Business Case (which can be found here), the Business Case assessment includes factors relating generalized journey times which includes transfer time.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 27, 2020 - 08:43

Hi, Is there any consideration to adding rush hour express train service from Barrie (similar to what is available on the lakeshore lines)? I know there would be significant interest from current and potential riders in this area.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 30, 2020 - 12:21

Part of Metrolinx’s GO Expansion program includes increasing the number of weekly trips from 1500 currently to 6000 by 2025. As we build new infrastructure to prepare for this service increase, we’re always looking for ways to shorten customer trip times.

There are many factors that influence this, including available infrastructure, rail traffic and available equipment. We are continuing to expand service on Barrie line to make taking GO better, faster and easier. Service on the Barrie line will include two-way, all-day service, meaning more frequent service during middays, evenings and weekends to and from Barrie.

As part of our service planning, we are considering introducing express train service, where some trains bypass some stations, which would shorten some trip times.

Moreover, our business case for GO Expansion proves that customers would experience a faster service with an electrified system because electric trains can accelerate and decelerate faster than diesel trains, which means that they can travel at top speed for longer and therefore shorten customer trip times. You may wish to learn more about our GO Expansion Program here, or by reading the GO Expansion Business Case here.