Comment 113506

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted August 19, 2015 at 10:59:38 in reply to Comment 113503

The good news:

We can do reliable 60-minute two-way all-day on what looks like the current funded path. Some sections of additonal track is apparently planned. There are several environmental assessments under way to add additional track between Burlington and Aldershot, as well as additional track between West Harbour and the Hamilton/Bayview Junction. These piecemeal upgrades will greatly decrease contention between GO trains and freight trains. Additionally, West Harbour itself acts as a convenient siding for GO trains, as freight trains can pass while GO trains are picking up passengers. All these combined, will reduce delays. I will dig up links/references to appropriate Metrolinx/GO PDF files later; but all of these are the lowest-lying apples in incremental improvement of the Aldershot-Hamilton connection.

The bad news:

Infrastructure necessary for 30-minute two-way all-day service is currently unfunded. However, there's "One More Thing". Before 15-minute or 30-minute service (electrified or not) can occur to Hamilton, there's one gigantic elephant in the room:

"Possible rail/rail grade separation at Hamilton Junction" (page 14 of RER PDF)

Ouch. One word: Megaproject.

A single rail-to-rail grade separations costing in neighbourhood of 150-200+ million dollars, minimum. Due to the complexity of the lake curve and the Lake Ontario enbankment, I'd wager it could even cost double that. Metrolinx has been adding rail-rail grade separations gradually over the years to the GO network, especially most recently in the Georgetown Corridor.

This would be an expensive pre-requisite megaproject for full freight-separation between Aldershot and West Harbour. According to another Metrolinx PDF (still digging that one up), this is the only practical to make possible reliable 30-minutes (or better) RER service;

There was another Metrolinx PDF that studied 60-minute and 30-minute scenarios with/without this rail grade separation, and it was found that it was infeasible to do reliable 30-minute service (without too many delays) at current budgets at this time; I will try to dig up the exact PDF -- or it will be incorporated into one of the next articles.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-08-19 11:10:05

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