Comment 119592

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted June 26, 2016 at 11:36:26 in reply to Comment 119591

"Without a Union station redevelopment on a truly titanic scale, Union Station is really just running out of capacity, for more passengers and trains."

This be true. What they're doinng is a step towards this, although not the titanic scale. There is currently a plan to almost double train throughput at Union station, to around 49 trains per hour by 2031.

I am aware of the plans to upgrade the USRC to 45mph approaches on the west end and 30mph on the east end. But they have postponed this work until electrification (at least). The messed up part was they have repeatedly re-tendered the USRC work 3 times already and now the "big stuff" (that will increase Union throughput) is postponed until electrification.

With faster approaches before slowing down to the edges of the Union platforms, as well as shorter dwells, plus the addition of Platform 28, and possibly track-sharing with VIA (they left blank-in provisions for a Platform 13/14 stairway in the new concourse -- right now it's the area that displays phamphlets and schedules), and the roughly doubled train throughput, they will have more flexibility but they are going to push that flexibility to the very limits.

The tunnels will indeed be needed eventually, but 15-minute Lakeshore East/West and Kitchener/Stoufville corridor are able to happen before the tunnels will truly be needed. That said, Paris RER manages to pull off 3-minute headways...

Once the new concourses open and the basement mall, there will be about 6x the amount of loitering space than pre-Union-revitalization (3x concourse space, plus the lower level mall). The choke points will definitely be the stairways. Some of them will need to be widened 6 inches (without widening exteriors) to massively improve throughput: That allows them to be double-file stairways, and allows people to go downstairs while going upstairs at the same time. Doors/entryways of some stairs need to be widened to be double-file, they are choke points, and will require optimizations later on. Some of them already have, but some birdbrain moves were made like protruding staircase handles more than necessary (since there were no bulkheads), but it was pretty clear several stairways fully capable of douible-file are running in single-file mode due to being a few inches to narrow, causing problems with people going downstairs versus going upstairs. And a single standard door can't be double file, creating a choke point at the top or bottom of the stairs during high peak where there's counter-commuters trying to fight the way in opposite direction.

Beyond that, titanic redos would be needed like the tunnel.

Also, worth noting is GO wants the CBTC system (RER Business Case) which is a moving-block system instead of a traditional rail block system, which shortens headways. Trains follow each other at braking distances, rather than a traditional fixed-block system (except as fallback). It appears that about $800 million dollars of the already funded $13.5 billion electrification, is for the system that shortens train headways (page 161 of GO RER Business Case).

CBTC is mentioned many times by Metrolinx in recent documents, as being critical to GO RER.

"makes the effect of any slow down due to construction or service interruption, become multiplied and cause further problems down the line."

That would appear to be true.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-06-26 11:38:39

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