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.
GO trains to Orangeville would certainly be the most scenic commuter rail in Canada, if not North America, but it would be one of the slowest. I am sure the maximum speed on the OBRY is 30 MPH, and much slower around Cataract and FotC. There are private tourist runs using ex-VIA and BCR heavy stock, and it’s a slow run.
I’m headed out to Mount Dennis this evening. I’m really curious about the spur track as well, as the John Street pedestrian crossing, as the ‘virtual” open house makes it look like a winding, inhospitable series of ramps for pedestrians to climb.
Whatever happened to the plans to link Dundas West Station with Bloor Station? Due to the geography of the station, such a connection is feasible if it was done on the eastern side of the station.
Steve: See point 2 in the post.
The branch line into the airport seems thoroughly inadequate for any service expansion should it ever be needed, like for a future approach from the west. I don’t understand why it doesn’t use the space designed into the terminal’s construction for a loop instead of a stub platform. Perhaps it is a good thing that this unfortunate private service will never be able to grow beyond what is planned now. As if it needed any help in being doomed to failure…
So does that mean that passenger tracks will be submerged underneath freight tracks? Wouldn’t it be nice to redevelop the land overtop of the corridor instead of having more tracks on top?
Steve: No, there is no doubledecking. You can see the layouts if you dig into the Metrolinx site in the Virtual Open House Portal. The detailed plans are in the “Plans and Profiles” section.
Note that to view these drawings you need to use the “zoom” option a lot to get them at sufficient detail and resolution to see what’s going on.
25KV AC seems to be the accepted norm for electrification these days. Is there a reason why?
One thing I forgot to mention about the Airport Link is that with the grades in the airport only self propelled cars will make the grades. The rail consultant for the main line told me that with those grades at least half the axles must be powered which is the case with the RDC’s. The inboard axle of each truck is powered. The outboard axle was never powered except on the RDC 9’s which only had one motor so they had one truck with both axles powered and an unpowered truck. He also said that the reason that the fed’s wanted a private group to build this is that if the line failed they would not be out any money, but the province will be for overbuilding the corridor to accommodate them. They have one stub end two track station at the main terminal and use elevated track with high gradients to minimize costs but they are apparently spending $200 million of their own money.
The Budd’s are relatively cheap and readily available and if they can put in a high platform centre sliding door then they make sense. If they have to load and unload from the end doors then they will be a disaster. Perhaps they are going to use high platform at the airport and Union, the two high volume stations, and then low platform at Bloor and Weston. They might be able to put in a short high platform track at the west end of Union as it would only be 80 m long. If they can do that then the system starts to make sense as they would have fast loading and unloading at the high volume stations and the ability to use the low platform GO stations elsewhere. Their yard will apparently be in some industrial land next to the CN line near the airport.
With the grades and the short, high platform terminal at the airport the line is basically useless for normal GO equipment which is probably the whole point of the design. The RDC’s have a divider near the middle of the train through which the exhaust and the coolant run to the radiators on the roof. There are 6 windows to one side of this divider and five to the other. Putting a centre door in here would eliminate eight seats but allow for more rapid entry and exit. The cars may be from the late 40’s and 50’s but they are in excellent shape and the ones turned out by Industrial Rail service of Moncton NB are as good as when new even if they are a little heavy. They have been re-engined with Cummins N-14 series engines.
Justin Bernard Says:
February 4th, 2009 at 7:48 pm
“25KV AC seems to be the accepted norm for electrification these days. Is there a reason why?”
The reason for 25 KV AC is that is readily available from the electric grid, no rectifying sub stations or special feeders are needed. The higher the voltage the lower the power losses are the losses vary as the square of the current and doubling the voltage halves the current. The value of 25 KV seems to be a compromise between adequate clearances for safety and minimizing the number of feeders and the gauge of the wire. I believe that some of the electrified coal lines out west use 50 KV as clearance is not a problem but the lines are long so I squared R losses tend to get larger. Also once something is built to this voltage it becomes the de facto standard as everyone knows how to build it, how to design it and what to expect. If you decided to go to 20 KV or 30 KV then you would need to redesign everything.
What sort of grades are involved in depressing the tracks through Weston? Lawrence and Weston Rd both go under the tracks currently and there doesn’t seem to be much distance to the first street from Lawrence. (Sorry, I haven’t looked at the diagrams yet.)
How many trains an hour servicing Brampton? The current rush hour service only involves a 20- or 25-minute spacing.
Have the Budd cars already been purchased? Has the private operator indicated if this will be a 24 hour service?
How will this elevated trackway compare to the gaudy New York elevated subway lines?
Steve: Looking at the drawings on the Metrolinx site, it appears to be a single track structure, and of course there will only be a station at the airport itself, not along the way. This, coupled with the fact that the airport is not exactly full of bustling pedestrian avenues means that the structure won’t really intrude on anything.
David Youngs Says:
February 4th, 2009 at 11:09 pm
“What sort of grades are involved in depressing the tracks through Weston? Lawrence and Weston Rd both go under the tracks currently and there doesn’t seem to be much distance to the first street from Lawrence. (Sorry, I haven’t looked at the diagrams yet.)
“How many trains an hour servicing Brampton? The current rush hour service only involves a 20- or 25-minute spacing.”
Unfortunately you can not read the grades on the web page but I think that they were about 2.5 to 3%. This is okay for passenger service but not for the freights. They need to drop 25 ft to allow for a 22 ft clearance plus 3 ft for the roof structure so at 3 % you need an 830 foot ramp
Alex Hamilton Says:
February 4th, 2009 at 11:24 pm
“Have the Budd cars already been purchased? Has the private operator indicated if this will be a 24 hour service?”
They did not say if the cars have been purchased but Industrial Rail Services has all the former VIA Budds except for the few that they have sold. They plan to run 140 trains per day, 70 in each direction on a 15 minute headway. Divide 70 by 4 trains per hour and you have a service running just over 17 hours per day. Assume that they will drop to a 30 minute headway in the late and early morning hours and they could operate for 18 to 20 hours a day. They need time to service the cars, clean, refuel, sand, empty toilets etc. so I doubt they would run for 24 hours per day unless they cut back to one train. Besides the airport has a quiet time I believe.
This is probably reaching a bit but IF the stock was eventually changed from heavy GO trains to LRV would it be at all possible to run them on the loop now used by the airport people mover? Or are the grades, curves and weight too much? That way maybe the whole thing could loop back down Eglinton rather than just having a stub.
Steve: I suspect that the people mover’s infrastructure is not designed for LRV trains. The Eglinton LRT will come into the basement of Terminal 1 as I understand current plans.
Long time lurker here.
Anybody know why Metrolinx states in the material (picture 13):
Is this true that it would have to be underground the whole way? I think I’ve read that some type of service could be provided in parts of the corridor above ground.
Should these points be determined during the EA?
Steve: If this were a “subway” operation, I presume it would be third rail as a surface electric operation would, almost by definition be either electrified commuter rail or LRT. Third rail in an open rail corridor is simply not an option for safety reasons.
Yes, a “subway” train could have mixed third rail and overhead operation, but why bother? The biggest issue is that if there is going to be frequent GO service to Brampton and beyond, then the infrastructure should be optimised around this as the most common mode in the corridor.
Electrified GO with a branch into the airport is what we should have, but instead we have this ridiculous Blue 22 because no government has the spine to say the idea is a crock and fund/build what we should have had in the first place. Ideology trumps good planning.
“Besides the airport has a quiet time I believe.”
A quick check of schedules for today shows that the last departure is at 12:30 tomorrow morning. The first departure tomorrow is at 6:00. The last arrival is 2:00 and the first is at 5:30
That means that, ideally, you’d have service from 5:30 to 2:30, or, 21 hours a day.
Re: Justin Bernard on 25kV:
For electrification, the only two real options are overhead and at-ground (3rd/4th rail). The latter uses less space, but brings a higher safety risk, and has a max feasible speed is about 150-175 km/hr. It is also more affected by ice and snow than overhead.
Steve jumps in: Realistically, we are not going to run trains in the Weston corridor at 150-175 km/hr because of the stop spacings.
There are long-term [plans] to electrify the Lakeshore corridor, and for that, overhead makes more sense for those reasons (especially safety at level crossings and ice/snow). Given the line to the airport would work well with either system, it’s better to adopt the same system as woudl used elsewhere.
As for 25kV AC… it’s just become a de-facto standard due to being common elsewhere. (UK and France both use it, for example). However, it’s not universal (Germany uses 15kV).
Also, I hope the choice of Budd isn’t a done deal — Bombarider are making RDC by the hundreds in Europe, so adding an extra five onto someone else’s order would surely be cheaper.
My worry about 12tph each eay is that the station architects won’t do the sums properly, and we’ll end up with too-narrow platforms (see most GO stations for examples).
Was there any mentioning of who retains ownership of the corridor itself? The Weston Sub is currently owned by CN however it is rarely used corridor. The primary use for the corridor is to switch cars with CP at Lambton yard via a connecting track close to the West Toronto Diamond. Other than that the Weston sub is not used for any long haul main line operations.
There are numerous industry connections in the northern portion of the sub, but overall the amount freight volume is relatively modest. South of the Etobicoke North GO station (mile 11) there is but one industrial switch.
Considering GO transits plans for the corridor, it would only makes sense for them to pursue absolute ownership of the corridor.
If Bull-22 is built as suggested and flounders as ridiculously as I think we all suspect it might, what retrofit options would there be to silk purse it?
(I’m planning ahead to SRT Retrofit Debate, Take 2)
Steve: This will depend on the constraints of the approach to the airport and the type of vehicle that can operate over the curves and grades planned. If this reverts to GO, they would still need specialised equipment.
“There are numerous industry connections in the northern portion of the sub, but overall the amount freight volume is relatively modest. South of the Etobicoke North GO station (mile 11) there is but one industrial switch.
Considering GO transits plans for the corridor, it would only makes sense for them to pursue absolute ownership of the corridor.”
I used to live in Brampton and i can assure you that the Georgetown line is heavily used by Freight NORTH of the CN York Bypass (It’s near the 407). It is so busy that now they are in the process of adding a 3rd track.
GO Transit could purchase the light section between Etobicoke North (approx) and the West Toronto Junction.
I can’t wait to see this super corridor! Finally, a railway equivalent of the 401! 😀
One assumes that somehow, we could address the safety issue of having a third rail to actually provide the more needed local transit, though with more subway-type spacing between stops.
The competition for the limited land in this corridor for the Downtown Relief line is uphill, but I think we’ve got to ensure that we set aside the ability for a two-track somewhat local TTC service to be installed in this corrridor, at least from Bloor-ish down to Front.
It may make more sense to have this continued out to Jane St. instead of the Jane LRT in the Transit City proposal.
Also, if we want an option, what about the DRL subway pushing further west past High Park out to 427, then up to the Airport area from there? EPT’s John Banka and John Stillich have put a lot of thought into that idea I believe.
We must move beyond servicing the Airport at it’s projected or past levels since the climate change imperatives mean we will not be able to keep flying as much as we have in the past. (see George Monbiot)
Even economic downturns aren’t factored into this proposal.
Steve: I have a problem with EPT’s dream of subways everywhere, but that’s another thread. Also, we need to stop trying to mix local and long haul services — that’s what GO is for.
Drew T Says:
February 5th, 2009 at 4:45 pm
“Was there any mentioning of who retains ownership of the corridor itself? The Weston Sub is currently owned by CN however it is rarely used corridor. The primary use for the corridor is to switch cars with CP at Lambton yard via a connecting track close to the West Toronto Diamond. Other than that the Weston sub is not used for any long haul main line operations.”
The GO guy and the rail corridor consultant said CN and CP wanted to retain ownership and since they are federally incorporated the province cannot expropriate them, however GO does own the former CP tracks from the TTR to where the North Toronto Sub meets the Galt Sub at the Junction. They said the railways wanted to keep the ability to control the freight service, especially CP since it is their main line to western Canada. There is enough room in the corridor for GO to have its own tracks between CN and CP but I do not think there has been any ownership transfer. The bridge over the Humber is going to have its abutments and supports widened and a second track added. The bridges for CP and CN over the Black Creek apparently were built with provision for a second track to be added but if they really want six tracks through there they will need another bridge or to widen the supports of the existing ones.
For me the question has long been, “If I’m heading to the airport from Weston, Bramalea, Brampton, Georgetown, Guelph etc. can I go by rail? Where will I transfer from the Georgetown corridor to travel into Pearson? And how much will I pay?”
justin: The airport people mover is a proprietary, lightweight cable car, so its infrastructure would be unsuited for anything resembling a real train. (Even the tiny trains currently running there are rather shaky.)
Tom: In the name of safety, North American laws don’t allow European lightweight DMUs to run on tracks shared with freight trains. Ottawa’s Bombardier Talents (and the Swiss trains being used on the new system in Austin, Texas) are allowed only under special exemptions, with freight trains removed from those lines except at night when the passenger services don’t run. Without significant regulatory changes, Toronto’s only choices are the antique Budd RDCs or unique new-design stock.
Why not reroute CP freight trains from the MacTier sub onto the CN York bypass, and build a new CP freight corridor to connect the Galt and York subs?
This will banish all freight trains from the core of the GTA once and for all, and free up space for more passenger trains.
I was always under the impression that the Airport People Mover was designed to be upgraded to some sort of LRT (from the current cable system).
In any case, Terminal One will be quite the Transportation Hub after the ARL, Eglinton LRT, Finch West LRT and the Mississauga BRT are up and running…perfect place for a regular GO station!
Re: David Arthur
As I understand, those laws (is it a law or a rule?) originated in the USA a very long time ago, when passenger rolling stock wasn’t anything like crashworthy as it is now. Perhaps it’s time to re-visit them. Further, Bombardier’s DMUs get used on lines mixing passengers and 100mph freight trains.
It basically boils down to this: which are better in a crash: 45 year old Budd RDCs (with riveted bodywork attached to an underframe), or modern DMUs (with welded monocoque construction)?
My seperate point was that size of the order is too small for something bespoke to make any finanical sense – it needs to off-the-shelf (possibly one of those shelves in the back of the shop containing stock that’s around since before Trudeau).
Re: J / LINK train… according to chapter 7 of the airport masterplamn (http://www.gtaa.com/en/gtaa_corporate/publications/master_plan/) provisions have been made to allow the conversion to a self-propelled technology.
As for for the airport becoming a transportation hub: damn straight! That’s what an airport should be 🙂
Dean wrote, “Why not reroute CP freight trains from the MacTier sub onto the CN York bypass, and build a new CP freight corridor to connect the Galt and York subs?”
Let me try and draw an analogy or two to highlight a major issue with this suggestion: why not make GM build every other vehicle from one of its assembly plants in a plant used by Chrysler, or why not take a the produce section out of a Loblaws store and move it into some space in a Metro store?
CN and CP are private companies and we just can’t dictate who’s operations will operate over who’s infrastructure. While they have been known to share a line to save costs, it has to be their decision and they have to come to an agreement over it (not necessarily a simple feat).
Ed Drass wrote:For me the question has long been, “If I’m heading to the airport from Weston, Bramalea, Brampton, Georgetown, Guelph etc. can I go by rail? Where will I transfer from the Georgetown corridor to travel into Pearson? And how much will I pay?”
Sure you can. Take GO to Union, Bloor or Weston, and pay your 20 bucks to Blue 22 to go back to the airport.
Ed Drass Says:
February 6th, 2009 at 9:46 am
“If I’m heading to the airport from Weston, Bramalea, Brampton, Georgetown, Guelph etc. can I go by rail? Where will I transfer from the Georgetown corridor to travel into Pearson? And how much will I pay?”
Just my opinion, but anyone travelling between Terminal 1 and any station other than Union should ideally get a discount on the ARL fare. For example, what if someone is travelling on the ARL train between the airport and (the proposed) Woodbine GO station? Should there be an applicable $20 flat rate, or some sort of fare zone system?
Frankly, I have just enough faith that maybe this ARL will eventually pay for itself. My main concern, however, is whether this is anything approaching a good idea regarding practical use of track space between Union and Malton stations. I guess we’ll see…
David Eustache wrote, “Just my opinion, but anyone travelling between Terminal 1 and any station other than Union should ideally get a discount on the ARL fare.”
Sure, but it likely wouldn’t be pro-rated or proportionate to distance. For instance, if it was $20 to Union, the fare to a stop half way would likely be $16-18, not $10. The simple reason is that there is some sort of universally accepted fact that airport services almost always have a premium on them.
I say almost, because the TTC’s current service is about the only thing I can think of that doesn’t. When it started, Pacific Western was operating an airport express service and cancelled it because the Airport Authority was charging them a fee and didn’t charge the TTC. I guess the loss of that income was greater than the fee, so they are back there now!
It is not unusual in most cities to pay about $10 more for a cab or limo FROM and airport than one would pay when going to the airport, including Pearson. In St. Louis, the LRT fare is $3.75 when boarding at the airport, $2.75 elsewhere. In Sydney Australia, the CityRail charges about $10 over the fare to surrounding stations (the two airport stations are operated by a private firm and the surcharge is reflected in the fare).
I would like to see our airport to start a new trend of having public transit services without a premium fare. What happens now with the Airport Rocket should be extended to LRT lines that go there and it would be nice if the ARL were the same.
Calvin says “The simple reason is that there is some sort of universally accepted fact that airport services almost always have a premium on them.”
I think you mean that PREMIUM airport services have a premium fare structure. Many cities have normal priced public transit to and from their airports, Heathrow, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco come to mind. At most airports there is also at least one (often several) premium (i.e. faster) services offered at much higher fares.
If the ARL is built it will offer the premium priced service but this must not mean that improving the regularly priced public transit option(s) can be ignored or postponed. The TTC bus service to Pearson offers a rather minimal service on what could be a VERY busy route if it were somewhat improved and is clearly not the mid-term answer to offering good public transit to the airport to serve both those who work there and those travellers who can not afford, or do not need, a premium fare high speed service.
Tom: Without doubt, the ‘safety’ rules are nonsensical; rolling stock that meets North American safety requirements has to be so heavy that in Europe it would be considered a safety hazard itself. However, the province of Ontario has no powers to do anything about this, and the national governments that do have never seemed particularly tractable: the problem is that no politician wants to be against ‘safety’. In the U.S. there have even been hysterical attempts to ban railways from running push-pull trains with the locomotive at the rear, as is GO’s practice.
(And yes, I agree that anything custom-designed would be a bad idea. The world already has more redundant train designs than it needs, and every new one has to go through the ‘teething’ phase and the risk of poor reliability all over again.)
As I understand it, the reason the Budd RDCs are acceptable is nothing to do with anything specially safe about them, but rather that they have grandfather rights because they precede the introduction of these rules. There was a company called Colorado Railcar who were trying to build DMUs compliant with North American main-line rules, but they never really caught on, and the company seems to be failing.
A very rare chance of improving the public transit in the core may be lost for a long time if we let this proposal go through without ensuring that we at minimum leave the space for TTC-based transit from the downtown core near Bathurst up to Dundas St. W.
The relative paucity of stops in the Airport area may also mean that it’s not really doing all that well to serve the industrial area, which may be declining as are airports/airlines with this “recession”.
Factor in climate change…(please)
We need public transit, and something that is in between the long-haul and the milk run, and this corridor is a good opportunity for providing that.
Regarding the approach to the Airport, why does the plan involve the Goreway? Wasn’t the idea simply to branch off of the sub when it comes near Airport Road around Malton Station (tight curve, but still) and run down the middle of Airport Road to the airport?
Something that I’ve passed on to the Weston Community Coalition is information on this battery-powered LRV from Japan’s Railway Technical Research Institute.
If it can modified to meet HRV crash standards, it could provide an ideal solution to the WCC’s demand of electrifying the airport service from day one, since, if a full charge can go almost 26km, and they can maintain that performance even at an HRV-compatible spec (which I imagine would require an additional on-board battery), the only electrification needed would be at the airport station itself and at Union station itself (Platform 3 (formerly Track 1)). Optionally, to reduce turn-around times (since it would take over 7 minutes to charge at just the terminals), charge points at Bloor, Weston, and Woodbine might be a good idea.
These vehicles can also be low floor and thereby would be compatible with GO’s platforms, which the RDCs are not, and (from what I’ve heard/understood) is a problem with the plan.
DavidC wrote, “I think you mean that PREMIUM airport services have a premium fare structure.”
Not exactly. Though there are exceptions, cities that have normal-priced options tend have a premium fare express type of service in place. The two examples I gave of St. Louis and Sydney have only one service, and in both cases are not special premium services but part of the everyday public transit network, yet both have premium fares. The other point made was that taxi and limo services at most airports worldwide must add a surcharge or use different rate for passengers boarding at the airport.
Ideally, in addition to regular fare local transit options, there should be a rail link served by both premium fare express trains and regular fare commuter trains. I have used both options to and from Gardermoen airport in Oslo, and it works well.
What I suspect is going to happen is this: ARL pays for the extra trackage, then fails to make money but the contract says GO must buy the track back at a certain price and the net effect is that GO ends up paying a premium for track it could have built anyway and we lose 5 years towards getting direct GO-priced service to the airport.
“CN and CP are private companies and we just can’t dictate who’s operations will operate over who’s infrastructure.”
I thought that’s what Toronto Terminal Railways does.
Steve: Toronto Terminals Railway extends only through Union Station and environs. It does not go up to West Toronto Junction.
@Karl – after the Orion VII battery fiasco, we should be leery of being quick to try out a battery system on the rail network until well proven, especially the difference in effect between a dead bus on the side of the road and a dead train holding up a track.
Steve: More to the point, any vehicle that might need a recharge at a station along the way is not ready for prime time. If we are going to electrify the corridor, then do so. The airport trains are only part of what Weston has to deal with, and running them on batteries or hot air will not solve the overall problem.
I understand that Colorado Railcar is now out of business.
I was surprised at the public info session that nobody knew anything about RailPath which is under construction now. I hope that some space south of Dundas can be set aside to continue the route south to the lake. Railpath and the airport link and GO expansion are not exclusive to each other (although I dont think the airport link will work until it becomes a GO system with GO pricing).
The railpath at least has kept the corridor intact. Despite being very keen on bikes, the highest and best use of the corridor is for transit, and it must have the priority transit of the DRL/equivalent and on the north side of the tracks. If the politicians were really concerned with bike safety, we’d have a Bloor St. bike lane for $200,000 from Sherbourne to High Park by now, and not $3.6M on 2kms of Railpath that likely won’t save a life.
As with transit “planning”, we don’t do all that much useful for bikes, moreso in the west end, which does have some constraints to be fair. But key to safer biking is better transit, which comes back to DRL.
If we could build a roof over the DRL/LRT, and have the bikes atop it…and maybe solar panels atop that for shade/power…
a link to the railpath and some good images is here:
It can all exist if people want it to. Railpath people are backers of DRL and other rail expansion.