Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Station

Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V


Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby dowlingm » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:18 pm

Raising the platforms won't make all cars accessible unless the platforms are raised everywhere else too (including where CN might have something to say about it)
dowlingm
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby mdvle » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:37 am

True, both CN and CP would have issues where they still run freights.

And of course the great big unsaid is whether they will get funding for this work anytime soon.

But it does also sort of hint at what I have thought for a number of years now and that is VIA needs to be staking a claim to a location for a new VIA only station because it is becoming clear there is no long term future at Union for VIA given the increasing capacity requirements of GO and any other commuter based systems that get implemented.
mdvle
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby marquisofmississauga » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:27 pm

dowlingm wrote:Raising the platforms won't make all cars accessible unless the platforms are raised everywhere else too (including where CN might have something to say about it)


GO will not need real high-level platforms, such as Montreal and Québec have, because of the doors being on a low level. The simplest improvement is to raise the platforms to be level to the bottom step, leaving only one short step to get on the train. Of course, they need to do that at other stations, some of which have a ridiculous gap between the platform and the bottom step. My local GO station is just as "non-accessible" now as it was in 1967. One of the platforms is so low many passengers have to pull themselves up to entrain and jump to detrain. Those stations which are "accessible" have a raised platform by the fifth coach from the locomotive. But the gap has to be bridged manually by the Customer Service Ambassador at each station.

To make it harder for many passengers to board, GO decided to remove the centre poles (which they call stanchions) on one end of each coach. This was to make it easier for parents who bring their children in enormous prams. This was a reasonable compromise. The new series of coaches (in the 4000 series) have no centre stanchions. I wrote to GO and was told they would be installed imminently in one end to match the older coaches. When this did not happen I wrote again and was told they changed their mind "for the ease of passenger boarding." The fact it can take many people longer at some stations does not register with them.

Higher level platforms shouldn't be a problem on most lines as they are owned by Metrolinx. The busiest route, Lakeshore East and West, was purchased from CN in stages and it is all Metrolinx from Oshawa to Burlington, leaving only the short distance from Burlington to Aldershot and Hamilton as railway owned lines. Metrolinx also owns the Kitchener, Stouffville and Barrie lines. The relatively lightly-used - by GO that is - Richmond Hill line (CN Bala Sub.) and the Milton (CP Galt Sub.) are likely to remain with the railways for the forseeable future due to their importance for freight.
marquisofmississauga
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:33 pm

Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby mdvle » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:46 pm

marquisofmississauga wrote:Higher level platforms shouldn't be a problem on most lines as they are owned by Metrolinx. The busiest route, Lakeshore East and West, was purchased from CN in stages and it is all Metrolinx from Oshawa to Burlington, leaving only the short distance from Burlington to Aldershot and Hamilton as railway owned lines.


Ownership is only part of the problem, as long as there is freight on the tracks then raising the platforms is likely to be a problem - it's the freight that gives us that huge gap for the wheelchair boarding at existing stations.

Certainly as long as Ford is in Oakville there will be freight of some sort on at least part of the Lakeshore West, there may be similar customers on some of the other Metrolinx owned routes.

Also, we should remember that GO now goes to Niagara...

marquisofmississauga wrote:Metrolinx also owns the Kitchener, Stouffville and Barrie lines. The relatively lightly-used - by GO that is - Richmond Hill line (CN Bala Sub.) and the Milton (CP Galt Sub.) are likely to remain with the railways for the forseeable future due to their importance for freight.


Metrolinx doesn't own the Kitchener line. The Bramalea - Georgetown (well, west of Georgetown) segment is still owned by CN and is a busy freight corridor for CN.

That is why Metrolinx wants to build the "missing link" freight connection to move CN off the Georgetown line and onto the 407 corridor - and ideally CP at the same time.

However the recent change in government in Ontario has put that plan into the unknown category.
mdvle
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby marquisofmississauga » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:22 am

mdvle wrote:
...

Metrolinx doesn't own the Kitchener line. The Bramalea - Georgetown (well, west of Georgetown) segment is still owned by CN and is a busy freight corridor for CN.

That is why Metrolinx wants to build the "missing link" freight connection to move CN off the Georgetown line and onto the 407 corridor - and ideally CP at the same time.

However the recent change in government in Ontario has put that plan into the unknown category.


There is no excuse for me forgetting about that stretch of track because I went through there on a VIA train a few weeks ago. On all other VIA trips train #85 has used the north track at Brampton, where the station is. This time we were on the south track. Perhaps this is a new procedure which might reduce - but certainly not eliminate - conflicts with freight.
marquisofmississauga
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:33 pm

Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby mdvle » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:37 pm

VIA trains frequently use the south track at Brampton, can't give an accurate guess but my visits to the station give it about a 20% chance.
mdvle
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Metrolinx considering major changes to Toronto Union Sta

Postby Tadman » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:39 pm

The logistics of this is mind-bending. It appears they want to decrease boarding times by raising platforms about 12 inches and removing that step. Because the massive fleet of GO cars is fungible, that means they basically have to cut off all four steps on 600 train cars, plus raise the platforms at each station on the system before the idea works. You can't have the fleet of cars or stations in some in-between state. In other words, this has to be done overnight or something similar.

You might as well change the gauge on the entire system while you're at it, this is a colossal undertaking in terms of cost and work.
User avatar
Tadman
 
Posts: 9135
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am


Return to Canadian Passenger Operations: AMT, Go Transit, VIA, etc.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests