GO Electrification & Air Rail Link Updates (Update 2)

Updated Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm: Metrolinx today announced that it will be ordering DMUs from Sumitomo, piggy backing on the Sonoma-Marin order.  The statement, which is available in full on the Metrolinx site, includes:

Metrolinx will be entering into formal negotiations with Sumitomo Corporation of America to exercise an option from the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (California) procurement contract to purchase up to eighteen (18) highly efficient Diesel Multiple Units (DMU’s). These vehicles will meet stringent Tier 4 emissions standards and will be convertible to electric for the Air Rail Link.

Updated Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm: Information on the proposed Sonoma-Marin “SMART” Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) acquisition has been linked from this article and the price per unit cited by me in the original text has been corrected.  See the section on the ARL for updates.

The original article (as amended) from November 12 follows below.

On Tuesday, November 16, the Metrolinx Board will receive updates on the GO Transit Electrification Study and on the status of the Air Rail Link to Pearson from Union Station.

The Electrification Study has been underway through 2010 and it has produced a number of background reports.  I will leave the truly keen readers to plough through all of this, but a few high points deserve mention.

  • Electric locomotives are the most cost-effective option for GO services
  • The most value-for-money comes from electrifying entire corridors

That electric operations are better for GO is no surprise to anyone who has watched the growth of electric railways worldwide.  Sadly, GO has decades of saying “no” to electrics on the grounds that investment in better service trumped investment in technology at the service levels then in effect.  With the proposals found in The Big Move, this position is no longer valid.

The study workshops have seen vigourous debate on the issue of locomotives vs a fleet of electric multiple units (EMUs).  It is cheaper to haul longer trains of coaches with one electric locomotive than to power each car in a train.  However, this places a limitation on acceleration and speed between stations because the locomotive must do all of the work.  (Only the locomotive’s wheels provide the power for acceleration, and there are limits to the forces that can be transmitted in this manner.)

The finding that full corridor electrification is most cost-effective comes from the high cost of dual-mode locomotives and the operational constraints that would probably exist if only some units had this capability.  Only trains with “off-wire” capability could be dispatched to outer, peak-only parts of corridors.  The study does not review a configuration with a mix of pure diesel-hauled trains with electric trains, although these would have effectively the same operational constraints.

Rolling Stock and Motive Power

Options for rolling stock and motive power are reviewed and short-listed in a comprehensive report by LTK Engineering Services, a respected consulting firm.  To those who are familiar with railway practices and available technologies, there are few surprises here.  What is important, however, is that the report takes as a basic premise the need for proven, commercially viable technology that is compatible with the infrastructure and service level likely to be provided on a “base case” which is, essentially, the existing and planned GO network.

This filters out a number of technologies whose future is much brighter in the starry eyes of their proponents than in the hard-nosed world of providing reliable, cost-effective transit service for decades to come.  GO and other transit systems should not be showcases for expensive technology that may not even exist.

Four options remain on the table:

  • Diesel locomotives hauling bi-level coaches
  • Electric locomotives hauling bi-level coaches
  • Electric multiple-unit bi-level coaches
  • Dual-mode (diesel/electric) locomotives hauling bi-level coaches

Any of the electric modes requires infrastructure, and the cost of this should be recovered either in direct savings or in the ability to provide better, higher-capacity service than with diesels.  Additional savings and effects of electrification are harder to express monetarily, but they include:

  • Reduced noise and pollution along the corridors where electric trains operate in place of equivalent diesel service.
  • Secondary benefits of lower pollution levels immediately adjacent to rail corridors, and the associated cost of health effects.
  • Reduced or eliminated need for noise barrier construction and the visual effect this could have on affected neighbourhoods.  This is an offset to the visual effect of overhead power supply supports.

One major problem with the many related studies is the inconsistency in assumed levels of service.  The Big Move projected a very large increase in train operations on many corridors by 2030, and the demand projections show a 4-fold increase in GO passenger volumes at Union Station.  However, the current station expansion project will only double capacity for GO.  Part of the constraint lies in the physical limit on passenger flow to and from platforms, and part lies in the ability of the rail corridor to handle additional traffic.

During workshop sessions on the Electrification Study itself, GO has repeatedly maintained that service levels projected by The Big Move would never actually be operated, even though the higher level is assumed both for Union Station itself, and for regional projections of traffic diversions from roads to GO Transit.  If the higher projections are accurate, then the Electrification Study is low-balling the benefits of converting from diesel.  If the lower projections are accurate, then The Big Move’s projections of traffic diversions are wildly overstated, as are the projected demands at Union Station.

This is a fundamental problem with Metrolinx’ work.

Power Supply

A study of power supply options recommends implementation of a 2×25 kV 60 hz AC system commonly found on other electrified railways.  This technology minimizes the number of points where substations must be located while staying within constraints of bridge clearances (higher voltages require clearances not available at some locations), and is compatible with Hydro One’s preferences for power supply.

The study notes that Hydro One proposes to connect to the network at two points, both of which are on the Lakeshore corridor.  This implies that the choice of a first corridor may already have been taken.

One issue not mentioned in the power supply study is the question of the rail shed at Union Station.  During the Electrification Study, and especially as this relates to the Air Rail Link, this has often been raised as a potential barrier due to clearance problems with the existing rail shed roof.

However, the City’s Union Station Revitalization Public Advisory Group (of which I was a member until it became clear that City staff had no further use for our input) was repeatedly told that the new train shed roof design allows sufficient clearance for electrification.  Note that this is not just a matter of enough height for the wires, but also of ensuring that the distance between electrified components and the station structure are sufficient to prevent arcing.

This is another case where the claims of one GO study/project conflict with assumptions and statements made by the Electrification Study’s team.

The situation is made even more interesting by the ARL update report which claims that trains will stop outside of the train shed itself.  Therefore, the question of conflict between an electrified ARL and the train shed is moot, even though this has come up often in discussions about this option.

Network Selection

When GO electrifies, they will do the most cost-effective parts of the network first.  These will be the sections where trains run frequently, where implementation does not trigger expensive side-projects to eliminate obstacles.

The Network Option Report shows 18 possible configurations of an electrified GO system ranging from only Georgetown or Lakeshore up to the full network and many combinations in between.  By the time we reach the update for the Metrolinx Board, this list is cut down to:

  • Georgetown & ARL (the ARL was not included in the Network Option Report which had assumed it was a separate, non-Metrolinx operation)
  • Lakeshore (to Hamilton James Street Station in the west)
  • Georgetown, ARL & Lakeshore
  • Georgetown, ARL, Lakeshore & Milton
  • Georgetown, ARL, Lakeshore, Milton & Barrie
  • Entire network (including Hamilton Hunter Street Station and St. Catharines extension)

What is not mentioned is a “prebuild” of the ARL segment.  During workshop meetings where this question was raised, the issue of the train shed at Union was raised as a problem even though now the ARL update says that these trains will not operate into the roofed area of the station.

GO’s announcement that rail service to Kitchener will begin operation in late 2011 adds a small wrinkle to the Georgetown corridor in that the two trains each way daily to Kitchener will almost certainly remain diesel-hauled and they will be mixed in with the much larger number of trains on other routes sharing the corridor.

Implementation and Operations

Still to come are reports on the actual implementation of electrification including signalling changes (both for compatibility with electric trains and for closer headways), construction of the power distribution system, fleet planning and maintenance facilities.

Air Rail Link Update

The ARL update confirms that the stations planned for this service are Pearson, Weston, Bloor and Union.  Provision will be made for a connection with the Eglinton LRT, although the current plans for the Weston Station on that line make such a connection inconvenient (not unlike the connection at Bloor to Dundas West Station).  Indeed, if someone wants to reach the airport, they would be better to stay on the Eglinton line rather than transferring the ARL at Weston.  However, it is unclear just when the Eglinton/Airport connection will actually be built.

The one-way trip time will be 25 minutes, service will operate 20 hours per day and the headway will be 15 minutes at all times.  That’s four trips/hour each way times 20 hours, or 160 trips per day.  Other Metrolinx reports have used 140 trips per day.

Projected ridership by year 5 is 5,000 passengers per day, and this implies an average of 31 riders per trip.  Obviously there will be lightly used trips and peak loads will be well above 31/train.  The light average loading begs the question of emissions per trip.  The trains moving back and forth produce pollution with or without passengers, and it would be worthwhile knowing what ridership is needed to reach emissions lower than those caused simply by putting everyone in taxis.

This was originally a PPP scheme, but that idea fell apart in June.  Although the presentation says that “financing arrangements became unacceptable” to the private partner, my understanding is that Queen’s Park refused to underwrite their risk.  Indeed why, after investment of hundreds of millions in new infrastructure for Georgetown GO and ARL service should the government further guarantee the “private partner’s” business plan?  When this scheme was concocted by the then Liberal government in Ottawa, it was spoken of as an all-private undertaking, but things didn’t quite work out that way.

The lounge for the ARL will be located west of the train shed at Union.  The shed ends just west of York Street, but the Skywalk runs over to Simcoe, one block west, providing easy access to an ARL platform on the northernmost track.  This arrangement, as I noted above, eliminates the requirement for an electrified ARL to enter the train shed and decouples any work on that structure from an ARL implementation.

Most interesting in the report is confirmation that the proposed vehicles are not reconditioned RDCs (the private proponent’s original choice), but are similar to vehicles to be built for the Sonoma-Marin “SMART” proposal in California by Sumitomo.  These will be built as Tier 4 diesels with the capability of future electrification.  How, exactly, this provision will be made remains to be seen.  Indeed, at workshops, such cars have been discussed rather as equipment that would be eventually deployed on outer parts of the GO network such as Niagara Falls, and it would make much more sense to buy purpose-built electric equipment for the ARL.

Updated November 14:

Although the cost is not in the update report, I understand from other sources that the price of these cars will be $8.6-million each, vastly higher than prices for electric MU cars.

The price to be paid by SMART is US$56.85-million for nine 2-car trainsets.  The ARL will require four 2-car sets for service plus one spare.  On a proportionate basis, this would cost US$31.586-million.  The cost per car would be US$3.159-million.

These trains are subject to Buy America provisions for the SMART order, and Sumitomo proposes to establish a plant in Illinois where final assembly will be performed using components manufactured in Japan.  What arrangements, if any, would be made to meet Ontario’s Canadian content procurement rules is unknown.

The project itself is in political trouble as described by many articles in the Marin Independent Journal.  (Use the search “marin independent journal smart” in Google.)  Whether it will actually proceed, and therefore whether there will be an order onto which GO/Metrolinx can piggyback, remains to be seen.

End of Update

The ARL is still presented as a premium service; however, the fare has yet to be determined.  When this was a PPP, fares above $20 were mooted.

This line will be a separate business unit within Metrolinx with its own President.  This is complete nonsense.  The ARL will have a fleet of, maybe, a dozen vehicles and eventually will be part of a much larger network. Maybe we should set up each of the GO lines as a separate company with its own President and associated bureaucracy.

The concept of a separate operation implies a desire to eventually sell it off once the capital costs of creating the service have been absorbed in Ontario’s budget.  Can you say “Highway 407”?

Airport service should be provided by a variety of carriers and routes including an express rail service, the LRT lines proposed for Eglinton and Finch (and possibly a connection from Mississauga/Brampton as well), and regional bus services.  Service to the airport, like any other major node, should be provided by the region’s public transit systems.

Particularly galling is the comment that this line will not serve commuters.  Those who work at the airport and those who travel in the Weston corridor can look elsewhere for their travel needs.  For $300-million (the cost of the spur, airport station and vehicles) plus the ARL’s share of infrastructure upgrades in the Weston Corridor (two of eight tracks), the cost of infrastructure to serve 5,000 tourists and business travellers per day is getting rather high.

Union Station Alternatives

In addition to the reports going to the public meeting of the Metrolinx board, there is a study on capacity issues at Union Station.  This study has not yet reported and its reports are not publicly available, unlike the Electrification Study.

Five options were discussed at a recent workshop (which I did not attend):

  1. The existing and committed facilities at Union Station
  2. Satellite stations
  3. The Summerhill Corridor and North Toronto Station
  4. GO/Downtown Rapid Transit Integration
  5. New GO Tunnel through the Central Business District

An important part of this review is a proper understanding of passenger flows and demands in the GTA, as well as the capacities of various existing and planned components of the network.  For example, offloading passengers to the TTC is counterproductive if their network is already full, of if the additional load would trigger the need for significant new infrastructure.  Similarly, a “satellite” station is of little use unless it is close to someone’s destination either by walking, or by a very convenient transit link.

This study uses the service levels contemplated by The Big Move as its starting point for the GO network.  These services imply a demand at Union much larger than that used for the Electrification Study and, of course, make any new infrastructure more financially attractive because it must serve a larger potential market.

Riding on GO rail has grown 11% from 2006 to 2009 with the largest increases in the Barrie and Stouffville corridors.  I cannot help pointing out that the AM peak ridership on every corridor except Richmond Hill is already higher than 5,000, the projected all-day demand on the Air Rail Link.  This gives some idea of just how small potatoes the ARL really is despite the money lavished on it.

About 10% of GO’s riding originates within the City of Toronto, and 60% of that is on the Lakeshore corridor.

Almost half of the trips destined for the core area (“Planning District 1”) use GO although the proportion is higher in Halton (75%) than in Durham (67%).  Clearly driving to work in PD1 is not the choice for parts of GO’s service territory, but the market penetration varies, no doubt because of variations in service levels.

Total GO Rail growth from 2009 to 2031 is forecast to rise by about 120%.

However, there is a conundrum in the projections.  The demand at Union Station is going to quadruple but the peak period demand is going up only by a factor of two.  This implies a very tight, brief peak at Union made possible only if many trains arrive in a short period.  Put another way, a demand/time curve will have a peak four times as high as current operations, but the area under the curve will only double.  This suggests a much worse problem with peaking and unidirectional riding in complete contrast to the hope for more flexible commuting times and bi-directional traffic.

This conundrum needs to be examined in detail to understand whether the projections are valid and what contributes to them.  Other studies have projected increases at various levels, and until everyone can agree which of these, or even what range of values, is the definitive one, we will continue to have studies that choose ridership projections as it suits their desired outcomes.

Those who want to build lots of infrastructure will use the highest numbers.  Those who want to run the fewest trains (presumably with diesels as long as it is financially and operationally possible) will use the lowest numbers.  The public is ill-served by cherry-picked demand estimates.


Far too much time has been wasted trying to avoid the need to electrify GO Transit.  Without question, this will be a complex, lengthy and expensive process.  Wild claims have been made that the option is unaffordable — in the billions of dollars — without addressing the basics.

Other commuter rail systems have electrified and, indeed, have seen this as the only responsible way to move forward.  GO service levels proposed in The Big Move cannot be operated with diesel-hauled trains.  If these service levels are fictional and planning continues on the assumption of much less service, then commuters are in for a big surprise.  Claims made for traffic diversion off of highways, reduction of pollution, noise and associated health effects will simply not be attainable because far less service will actually operate.

I will leave a detailed discussion of Union Station and various alternatives to another post in the hope that more material on related studies becomes public soon.  Yes, this is a broad hint to Metrolinx that conducting studies without keeping the public informed is a very bad idea.

We cannot make intelligent decisions about technologies, about staging of system expansion, about the priority and effects of various investments, without sound background material and studies that are consistent and defensible.  A small army of consultants is working on a vital part of our region’s future plans.  They should have coffee now and then, and get their stories straight.

The Metrolinx Board and the Ontario Government need to wake up and find a way to bring electrification to GO and to the ARL as soon as possible, not in some indefinite future many elections away.

52 thoughts on “GO Electrification & Air Rail Link Updates (Update 2)

  1. Kevin Love, “If course, if today there is a revolution in Saudi Arabia, then that future will come tomorrow. ”

    Where do you get crap like that?!? Saudi Arabia does not hold a monopoly on oil production for the world. As a matter of fact, the USA gets only 9.2% of its total imported oil from Saudi Arabia in August this year, which is typical most of the time. Considering they import 52% of what they consume, this amounts to about 4.4% of their total consumption. Not insignificant, but certainly not the source of overnight through-the-roof price increases if that source were lost.

    Compare that with the fact that 20.1% of the oil that the USA imported in August came from, wait for it… Canada.

    Yes, oil will become more and more expensive and attitudes and lifestyles will have to change with it. That said, the alarmist attitude of Kevin is akin to those who feel that LRT is the way to go because of examples of less than $5 million per kilometre implementations. It doesn’t help the cause.

    Personally, I find there are a number of words and phrases that set off alarms that say, “stop listening to this rant,” and the phrase “peak oil” is one of the recent additions to that list.

    Steve: I think the point about Saudi Arabia, or any other large producer, is that if they turn off the taps this affects the world market and prices will rise. The economic effect will be considerable, not to mention the political one as countries jockey for secure sources of energy.


  2. Steve wrote, “I think the point about Saudi Arabia, or any other large producer, is that if they turn off the taps this affects the world market and prices will rise.”

    Absolutely, but Kevin Love would have us all believe that if a large producer were to turn off the taps, we would instantly see an overnight jump in pump prices of several hundred percent that would leave private automobile use an activity of the insanely rich. Changes will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

    Kevin reminds me of an environmentalist who used to be on Toronto television that riled against the private automobile every chance he could with a mantra that essentially said we must all stop using private transportation or we will be all struck down. I don’t suspect Kevin is totally like this individual, as unknown to the television watching public, this same individual regularly drove his decade-old pollution-belching compact car to drop off or pick up his kids from a school that was three blocks away from his home.


  3. Robert: I’m quite aware that the FRA requirements do not permit normal European trains on the North American main-line network. But the reason is to do with collision standards, and if a DMU can be built that meets those standards, there’s no intrinsic reason to believe it wouldn’t be able to have a low floor.

    Steve: One big problem with floor heights is the way that collision forces are transmitted to the car frame. If a “high floor” train hits a “low floor” one, prevention of telescoping is more difficult.


  4. All major cities have a public transit network. All public transit networks loose money. Cities with good public transit become nice cities to live in. I don’t see public transit as a protection against an oil shortage or some kind of decrepit transport for poor people unless it’s becoming an oversubsidised POOR quality of service. Public transport is supposed to be a premium service for an alternative dependable transport of people.

    If oil prices were to skyrocket it would be just as bad for public transport as for private transport. How much diesel fuel does TTC and GO use ? How much per passenger/km? A lot for all its buses and maintenance equipment. So if oil prices go up so do costs of providing public transit. Even the cost of electricity is not guaranteed and it’s anyone’s guess which will go up more in the future.


  5. Three weeks ago, there was a GO Transit disruption on the Georgetown service. Trains diverted via CN York Sub to the Barrie Line. If Georgetown was electrified only diesel services from Kitchener would have been able to do so, assuming any stranded electric trains could be removed from the way. A “full system” electrification project may have to consider adding “non-revenue” tracks such as these to the full costings, and admitting this now could influence where substations are placed (i.e. so that they could be primarily serving revenue track but also close enough to serve the diversion track).

    Steve: I must disagree. Full scale diversions of this kind are rare. Do we build spare subway lines in case a train breaks down? That may be an overstatement, but it becomes incredibly easy to make electrification “impossible” to burden it with costs that we would not demand of alternatives. It’s only by chance that the type of diversion you mention is even possible in what is otherwise a radial network, and many locations could block trains with no hope of a workaround.


  6. Mark Dowling wrote, “Three weeks ago, there was a GO Transit disruption on the Georgetown service. Trains diverted via CN York Sub to the Barrie Line.”

    Then Steve commented, “Full scale diversions of this kind are rare.”

    To emphasize just how rare these diversions are, one must consider that they are only possible because either the head-end crew on the train being diverted has been trained on or has experience operating a train on the diversion route, or someone with that background is brought on board as a “pilot” for the move.

    Diversions over alternate subdivisions on railways are governed by the CROR (Canadian Rail Operating Rules) and are not as simple as ordering a Dundas car to turn at Church street.


  7. David Arthur says:
    November 20, 2010 at 11:37 am

    “Robert: I’m quite aware that the FRA requirements do not permit normal European trains on the North American main-line network. But the reason is to do with collision standards, and if a DMU can be built that meets those standards, there’s no intrinsic reason to believe it wouldn’t be able to have a low floor.”

    Steve: “One big problem with floor heights is the way that collision forces are transmitted to the car frame. If a “high floor” train hits a “low floor” one, prevention of telescoping is more difficult.”

    Also these car have to be designed to withstand a force of 1 000 000 pounds applied to the end sill and I believe that this is going to be increased to account for the new 12 000 foot long freights which are appearing. If you could the commuter cars separate from the freight trains then you could:

    1. Run at less than a 10 minute headway.
    2. Build cars that are a lot lighter and cheaper but are still able to withstand the stresses o a collision. Washington’s Metro collision that had the automatic control system override the operator’s emergency stop application as well as the telescoping of the car bodies in the collision may lead to the US imposing FRA type rules on Rapid transit cars. This will just about kill any new HRT.

    GO cannot imagine running service that does not use TC FRA compliant equipment.

    The one problem with electric cars that no one seems to be addressing is the fact that in the summer most of the energy goes to AC and in the winter it goes to heating.. Until you solve that problem their is not going to be a massive use of electric battery cars. Fuel cells are a none starter so let’s not have anyone raise that topic.


  8. I do recognise the difference in operating over different track, but if we are proposing to increase frequencies on lines such as these then disruptions are going to be more problematic, affecting more people. Passengers may then ask why options to alleviate the disruption which used to available are no longer available, and will not instinctively know the reason as people on this blog might. There are other ways in which this could be addressed such as having a standby diesel locomotive positioned to be dispatched as required, but this also has a cost.


  9. When the system is built out and carrying many more people, most of the GO system will have at least 2 tracks available in a corridor for trains to run on (and some parts will have 4). If there’s a mechanical breakdown, then GO will have to tweak its operations to one-track service for whatever stretch of route in question in whatever manner is deemed most appropriate until the mechanical problem is removed.

    Accidents on tracks are another matter, as that affects the corridor, not a single track. The busiest parts of the route with high service frequencies would presumably be grade-separated as part of a prerequisite for running a certain service level, which would remove the obstacle of automobile collisions with a train in the high traffic areas. That leaves only people, and I’m sorry, but GO should not be expected to have a diversion route handy just in case somebody gets hit by a train. This is not reasonable. Case in point, if somebody gets hit by a train at the Steeles Ave overpass along the Halton line near Bramalea GO, then that shuts down two corridors; the freight corridor between Burlington and Vaughan via Brampton, and the GO Georgetown corridor, and no diversion is available for either railway in that case. What is needed is an appropriate protocol to deal with accidents where a train hits a person on the tracks, not an endless array of diversion routes that, frankly, there isn’t really any space for.


  10. Two questions if I may:

    Does anyone know the location and arrangement details of the Eglinton LRT airport station, close to the ARL and People Mover, that Go Transit is ‘protecting’ in their ARL plans?

    With differrent platform height requirements for go bi-levels and the proposed DMU, how will platforms at Weston and Bloor be arranged? 12+2?


    Steve: There is a plan view of the trackage into the airport buried within the EA documents, but with the change in project control to Metrolinx, this may be revised. One thing for sure is that the proposed servicing area at the airport is no longer needed. See Figure 34, the last page of this document.


  11. The FRA safety requirements are an exceedingly burdensome thing to deal with. Depending on how serious we are about expanding passenger rail in Canada, it might make sense to create one or two more railroad classes which have safety requirements geared to somewhat different applications. Existing railroads start out as ‘Continental Class’, subject to FRA standards and able to support things such as 12 000 foot freight trains. Railroads which are going to be used mostly for frequent passenger traffic can be converted to ‘Urban Class’ or somesuch, with more stringent signaling requirements (essentially with European safety standards), and freight traffic over them will be restricted to shorter trains equipped with Positive Train Control and more easily able to pull over to a siding to let a passenger train through. The two classes of railway are separated, with connections made only by vehicles that are built and certified to run on both systems. (The existing bilevel trains could potentially be retrofitted to do so.) In the GTA, this leaves us with most of the benefits of a GO “subway on the surface” system on separate track from the existing railways that some commenters proposed – lighter trains based on models used outside North America, and much shorter headways – with the cost shifted from the capital cost of building fresh parallel separate lines everywhere onto the cost of changing current freight operations (freight needs to be disassembled into shorter trains before going onto an Urban Class network) and the political cost of such a regulatory upheaval. However, the latter ends up being shared among any cities in Canada that want to build or expand a commuter rail system (i.e. with Montreal). The most important saving, again, is that we can build small-scale rail services that do not bump against the lack of options for small, FRA-compliant trains.

    Of course, because this is a regulatory question as much as it is an engineering one, it is particularly difficult to predict what the possibilities are. This sort of thing might only become politically possible if the road network shuts down due to lack of oil as people fear. Or it might be possible, but will blow up in our faces as we end up with two regulatory messes, one for each class of railway, instead of the one mess as we have now.


  12. Steve:

    Fine article! There is no escaping the basic fact that GO Transit operate trains over tracks owned (mostly) by the CN or CP. Would any advantages accrue to either rail company by having their routes in and around Toronto electrified with all the attendant track possessions for stringing catenary, immunizing signalling circuits, putting in cwr, etc ? I think not.

    They make money by operating freight trains; passenger trains are but a sideshow.



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