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GO signals in line for $281M reno


Ed Drass
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thestar.com Nov 13, 2007 04:30 AM

In what's being called "a milestone moment," GO Transit has awarded Siemens Canada a $281 million, eight-year contract to modernize the transit system's antique signalling and communication system on its Union Station corridor.

The existing system – blamed for no end of frustration to delayed riders – dates back to the 1920s. It still requires rail workers to manually adjust a line of metal levers to change the signals on the 4.2-km corridor of track, the piece of line GO actually owns.

The contract calls for a new state-of-the-art computerized system.

Back in 1993, a consultant's report stated that the signal system had "long outlived its life expectancy."

>>more transit news at: http://www.thestar.com/News/article/275895

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MORE TRANSIT NEWS from the Toronto star

An easy step up

The metal poles – called stanchions – at the entrance to Toronto streetcars have been a pet peeve of TTC vice-chair Joe Mihevc.

Meant to encourage single-file boarding and discourage fare evasion, the poles, built into the second step and extended to the ceiling, make it difficult to board with strollers or even bundle buggies.

In July, Mihevc, a councillor for Ward 21, St. Paul's, asked the TTC to try taking the pole out of a streetcar. A one-month test showed that, rather than anarchy, removing the stanchion resulted in happier riders.

TTC chief general manager Gary Webster has now told the commission all the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle cars will have the stanchions removed as part of an upcoming overhaul.

One less line

TTC customers irked by last week's fare hike can take heart knowing that they'll be able to buy their Metropass online in the new year.

That's "desperately needed," said TTC vice-chair Joe Mihevc. "If you look at the first of the month, the system is in chaos. There are lineups at each vendor. ... We have every available person selling Metropasses."

Of the 250,000 Metropasses sold each month, only 50,000 are the mail-order VIP passes, he said, adding that a year ago only 150,000 passes were sold each month.

Virtual commuting

A report at tomorrow's commission meeting is expected to show progress on TTC's technology improvements, including a new platform display system that will tell subway riders how much longer they'll wait for the next train.

The TTC plans to unveil its website makeover in the next couple of months and introduce an online trip planner and email alert system similar to GO's.

~~~

I really like the idea of the removal of that dammed stancion in the front door of the CLRV's, I have whacked my head off that thing so many times! It just is not funny when you do that, great thing for the blind too, easier to get on the streetcar.

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TTC chief general manager Gary Webster has now told the commission all the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle cars will have the stanchions removed as part of an upcoming overhaul.

Exactly what overhaul is currently planned for CLRVs? Other than stanchions, what will be changed? Adding A/C? Improving heating? Removal of rear seats?

How is this overhaul program affected by the new LRV purchase?

-Ed

PS: Thanks for posting this section, Emily.

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Exactly what overhaul is currently planned for CLRVs? Other than stanchions, what will be changed? Adding A/C? Improving heating? Removal of rear seats?

How is this overhaul program affected by the new LRV purchase?

-Ed

PS: Thanks for posting this section, Emily.

I was under the impression that the CLRV overhaul has been cancelled because of the purchase of new cars. Maybe the stanchions will be removed during regular visits of CLRVs to Hillcrest?
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Exactly what overhaul is currently planned for CLRVs? Other than stanchions, what will be changed? Adding A/C? Improving heating? Removal of rear seats?

How is this overhaul program affected by the new LRV purchase?

-Ed

PS: Thanks for posting this section, Emily.

The TTC was planning to rebuild some of the CLRVs and have new streetcars make up the balance (so the fleet would be a mix of rebuilt CLRVs and newer streetcars), but the plan was cancelled and the TTC decided to replace the whole fleet. (I remeber at the LRV display at the Ex, the Bombardier rep told me a rebuild would give the CLRVs 20 more years of service).

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Note that the Star article is wrong on "unveiling" the TTC web site revamp in the next "couple of months"; the commission report is quite clear that it will go online in spring 2008.

I dont think you realize, but Spring 2008 is a few months away. :( 2007 is already drawing to a close.... I cant believe it. It seems like yesterday that the year started.

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I dont think you realize, but Spring 2008 is a few months away. :D 2007 is already drawing to a close.... I cant believe it. It seems like yesterday that the year started.

Late spring is likely May or even June, which is 5 or 6 months away. This stretches the definition of "couple of months" more than a bit, don't you think?

And yeah, I know what you mean about time flying. My twins were born in January 2007 and now they are becoming little kids rather than babies. I have no idea where the last year has gone.

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thestar.com Nov 13, 2007 04:30 AM

In what's being called "a milestone moment," GO Transit has awarded Siemens Canada a $281 million, eight-year contract to modernize the transit system's antique signalling and communication system on its Union Station corridor.

The existing system – blamed for no end of frustration to delayed riders – dates back to the 1920s. It still requires rail workers to manually adjust a line of metal levers to change the signals on the 4.2-km corridor of track, the piece of line GO actually owns.

The contract calls for a new state-of-the-art computerized system.

Back in 1993, a consultant's report stated that the signal system had "long outlived its life expectancy."

>>more transit news at: http://www.thestar.com/News/article/275895

I'll bet there'll be LED signalling similar to the LED signals in Montreal. The current signals aren't that old, plus they've added a yellow light back in the early 1960's IIRC.

Edited by Vern7094
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PULL LEVERS TO CHANGE THE SIGNAL? WHAT century are we living in?

From what I've heard, the ancient system is quite reliable. Nothing wrong with it in that respect. The only problem is, if a part breaks the replacement has to be custom made.

As I recall, the basic principle of steel wheels on steel rails hasn't changed for centuries either...

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From what I've heard, the ancient system is quite reliable. Nothing wrong with it in that respect. The only problem is, if a part breaks the replacement has to be custom made.

As I recall, the basic principle of steel wheels on steel rails hasn't changed for centuries either...

Sometimes it has, and sometimes to disastrous effect (if I remember a certain incident in Germany involving their ICE trains correctly... from a TV documentary).

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Sometimes it has, and sometimes to disastrous effect (if I remember a certain incident in Germany involving their ICE trains correctly... from a TV documentary).

That incident had to do with the fact that there is a rubber lining between the trucks inner wheels and outer wheel to dampen the vibration caused by high speed trains. But apparenlty lack of maintanenance resulted in the rubber lining become seperated.

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That incident had to do with the fact that there is a rubber lining between the trucks inner wheels and outer wheel to dampen the vibration caused by high speed trains. But apparenlty lack of maintanenance resulted in the rubber lining become seperated.

The Eschede accident involving the German ICE wasn't inherantly due to the use of the "wheel-tire" wheel design, but rather the cumulative effects of metal fatigue and a lack of understanding of the physics involved with the wheels at high speeds (they had previously only been used at relatively low speeds in streetcars). The fatigue cracks grew so large that a portion of the wheel tread broke off, causing the remainder of the wheel to eventually strike a switch and derail.

Mono-bloc (one-piece) wheels can and certainly have fragmented before, but because there is more metal involved in the design it is rare to have it happen. Much as "wheel-tire" wheel designs have since been redesigned to handle the speeds required for high-speed trains, although to the best of my knowledge not one type of high-speed train in the world uses them.

Dan

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