GO Transit Regional Express Rail

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Regional Express Rail (RER) is a project to improve GO Transit train service by adding all-day, two-way service to the Barrie line and the inner portions of the Kitchener line and the Stouffville line, and by increasing frequency of train service on various lines to as often as every 15 minutes on five of the corridors. This would be achieved with the full electrification of the Lakeshore East line and the Barrie line and the electrification of the inner portions of the Lakeshore West line, the Kitchener line, and the Stouffville line.

RER is one of the Big Move rapid transit projects.

With RER, GO Transit will increase the number of train trips per week from 1,500 (as of 2015) to about 2,200 by 2020. Most of the extra trips will be in the off-peak hours and on weekends. By the time its electrification program is completed around 2025, there will be 6,000 weekly trips.[1] The 10-year regional express rail plan will cost $13.5 billion,[2] and will require 150 kilometres (93 mi) of new track including new bridges and tunnels.[3]

Electrification[edit]

RER goals would be achieved with the electrification of core sections of the GO Transit train system, as follows:[4]

RER will operate 4-car, bi-level electric multiple unit (EMU) sets which would be coupled to form 8- and 12-car trains. To reduce operating costs, smaller 4-car trains will run during periods of lighter demand, such as on weekends. GO Transit's existing fleet of unpowered bi-level cars will be used to operate many peak services, but will be pulled by electric locomotives. EMUs cost less to operate than 12-car diesel trains and have faster acceleration. Journey times can be reduced significantly with electric traction depending on the route, stopping pattern and equipment.[5]

The electrified network will ultimately extend to 262 route-km (163 route-miles) with six traction substations and 11 traction distribution facilities (switching or paralleling stations).[6]

Proposed frequencies[edit]

Map of proposed GO Transit Regional Express Rail services

Metrolinx proposes the following service levels along the GO train network:[4]

Two-way, all-day 15-minute service:

Two-way 60-minute service:

Peak period, peak direction service on weekdays:

Express service:

  • In addition to the services outlined above, communities between Oakville and Hamilton on the Lakeshore West line, between Bramalea and Kitchener on the Kitchener line, and between Pickering and Oshawa on the Lakeshore East line would enjoy express services to/from Union Station.

New stations[edit]

Metrolinx plans to build up to 12 new stations, including up to six new stations to support Toronto’s proposed SmartTrack service.[7]

Background[edit]

GO Transit has historically offered two-way, all-day service along its Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West lines, while only providing peak rush hour service on its other lines. The Big Move outlines the building of express and regional rail service improvements across the existing GO Transit network. Other improvements included extensions to Hamilton and Bowmanville, as well as new GO Transit corridors to Bolton, Seaton and Locust Hill.

As part of the Ontario general election, 2011, Premier Dalton McGuinty also made a campaign pledge to provide two-way, all-day train service on all corridors.[8] The vision of two-way, full-day train service on all corridors eventually included electrification of the system, and was renamed Regional Express Rail.[9]

As part of the Phase 2 announcement, Metrolinx stated that the Kitchener and Lakeshore lines would be electrified, as well as the Union Pearson Express.[10]

With RER, Metrolinx expects to nearly double ridership to 127 million riders per year by about 2029 from 65.7 million in 2015.[11]

History[edit]

On March 31, 2017, the federal government announced it would contribute $1.9 billion of the estimated $13.5 billion cost of GO RER. The Kitchener line will receive at least $750 million of the federal funding for infrastructure upgrades including 40 kilometres (25 mi) of new track. The Barrie line, Lakeshore East line, and Lakeshore West line will share the balance of the federal funding for upgrades and 88 kilometres (55 mi) of new track.[7]

SmartTrack[edit]

SmartTrack is a proposed Regional Express Rail surface line to run mostly within the City of Toronto. It was proposed by John Tory during his successful mayoral campaign in 2014. The SmartTrack proposal depends on electrification of the Stouffville and Kitchener corridors where SmartTrack service would run.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Niepow, Daniel (April 2018). "Ontario invests billions in ambitious plan to boost GO Transit's commuter-rail service". Progressive Railroading. TradePress Media Group. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Kalinowski, Tess (April 17, 2015). "GO to add almost 50 per cent more trains in next 5 years". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  3. ^ Moore, Oliver (March 14, 2016). "Toronto's grand transit plan (maybe, hopefully)". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved 2016-08-12.
  4. ^ a b Metrolinx (2015). "GO RER Initial Business Case Summary" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  5. ^ Metrolinx (2015). "GO RER Initial Business Case - Full Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  6. ^ Barrow, Keith (February 11, 2016). "Metrolinx sets Toronto RER options". Railway Age. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Inc. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  7. ^ a b Spurr, Ben (March 31, 2017). "Ottawa to invest $1.9B in GO Transit's regional express rail project". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  8. ^ Ontario Liberal Party (2011). "The Ontario Liberal Plan 2011-2015" (PDF). OCLC 760993664. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-12.
  9. ^ Metrolinx (2016). "Metrolinx Regional Express Rail". Metrolinx.
  10. ^ GO Transit (2012). "Electrification Study Highlights" (PDF). GO Transit. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
  11. ^ Curry, Bill (May 27, 2016). "Where have all the transit riders gone?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-05-27.

External links[edit]