Robert Wightman reports:
I was at the GO South Georgetown open house in Mt Dennis (Eglinton and Weston Rd.) today. Some interesting things that I learned are:
- There will be a seven or eight track corridor from the TTR yards up the Weston Sub to the North Toronto sub where two tracks will head west on the Galt Sub. GO owns the Galt Sub south of the Diamond at the North Toronto Sub. If there are eight tracks one will probably disappear at Lansdowne where the Newmarket sub branches off.
- Bloor station will be two island platforms serving four tracks. It will be possible to have the Milton trains stop here. There would be four ARL (Air Rail Link formerly known as Blue 22) trains, four Mt. Pleasant locals, one or two Kitchener express trains, plus one or two Milton trains each way each hour in base service. God knows what it would be like in rush hour. There would be a direct connection to Dundas West Station, finally.
- There will be a four track depressed line in a 650 m long tunnel through Weston north of Lawrence. The station for Weston would be moved south to a level area so that the north end of the station, four tracks, would be just north of the bridge at Lawrence with most of the station to the south. There would be two CP tracks and one or two CN tracks go through at grade as they do not want to run them down and up the grade. Clearance would be 22 feet, 6.8 m in the tunnel, enough for electrification at 25 KV AC.
- Future stations are planned for Eglinton, to connect with the LRT to form a major transit hub and one at Woodbine. These would not happen until the line is electrified. The electrification would probably be at 25 KV AC but this has not been finalized though everything is being built with adequate clearances. Apparently when the Deux Montagnes line in Montreal was re-equipped it was converted to 25 KV AC according to the consulting engineer I talked to.
- The ARL line will be run with two car trains of self propelled Budd RDC’s on a 15 minute headway. There would be four trains providing the service with a two car hot spare train. (It would be plugged in with warm engine oil and be either heated or cooled to the proper temperature to be quick a change off.) There would also be one spare car for running maintenance. I do not think that this is an adequate spare ratio but we shall see.
- SNC Lavalin wants high platforms to provide easier loading and unloading but the GO guy and the consulting engineer doubt that this will happen as it make for under utilized station platforms at Union Station and will require gauntlet tracks at the line stations to allow freight and express trains to pass the high platforms. The artist’s rendering shows low level bi folding doors at each end, sort of like skinny doors on the single level GO trains.
- The line from the GO line to the airport is extremely interesting. The consulting engineer said that it was “straight from Canada’s Wonderland.” It consists of a light and airy, perhaps even flimsy, elevated single track line down the middle of the Goreway to get to the Airport and then grades up to 5% to get through the airport to a two track 80 m long island platform. This will allow for expansion to three car trains. He also said he saw a drawing of a two car train with a high platform sliding double door in the middle of the car. This would allow for faster loading and unloading.
- Every level crossing from Strachan Avenue to the airport will be closed or grade separated for passenger trains. It will be interesting to see what happens to the two remaining level crossings in Brampton but this study did not go that far. They figure that there will be 240 + trains a day through Weston with the freights still making level crossings at two streets.
- There was no one there who knew much about the rush hour only service to Bolton. One map had a line labelled enhanced GO service to Orangeville and one person thought that they were going to run GO trains through the Forks of The Credit but I think that it means better bus service to meet the more frequent GO trains.
I will try to get out to the meeting in Kitchener tomorrow night for the extended GO service but as I have to be at the airport for 6:00 a.m. Friday I may not make it. Apparently the storage area at Baden is the third choice. There is not room at the Kitchener station to store trains and they do not want to do a reversing move on the mainline so the yard must be to the west. The storage areas at Milton and Richmond Hill are accessed by yard trackage and are considered a reversing move so they do not have to change ends and perform a brake test.