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ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
80 km/h would be just fine, thank you very much! Big Grin
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(07-07-2019, 11:19 AM)ac3r Wrote:
(07-06-2019, 12:20 PM)jeffster Wrote: So apparently Ottawa is in good shape compared to us:

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news...on-1544944

TLBig GrinR - Ottawa's system doesn't mix with traffic, Kitchener's (Waterloo) does.

While it would have been nice to have a separate system, these cities weren't designed to even make this happen, IMHO. Though much of the LRT doesn't mix traffic, such as parts of Waterloo from Uptown to Northfield and in Kitchener from Bordon to Fairview.

The only aspect of this article I can agree with is that by having our LRT mix with traffic (many are going argue it doesn't, but it still crosses a lot of city streets) it causes some issues. Obviously, traffic accidents have been and will continue to be a problem. Another is that the train is going to be limited in speed along many parts of its route because it can't exactly go over streets/intersections/corners at a high speed...look at the turns at Allen or near Courtland - you could almost just get out and walk faster. And launching the service without the ATP operating also slows things down. I don't understand how they had years of time to get things ready, and they launch it without this, forcing the trains to go incredibly slow.

The ION is more like a city tram/streetcar system, similar to a lot of the lines in Toronto, rather than legitimate light trail. Ottawa has a more proper LRT, completely grade separated with its stations underground or in good locations on the surface, and the rails always separated from traffic by taking efficient routes or going right under any roads in the way. It will be multitudes more efficient than the ION once it is running. Obviously Waterloo Region had to do the ION the way they did because the urban planning in the city has always emphasized vehicles, and for even more historical reasons, the streets evolved to be a mess. But it would have been nice to see some of the stations underground or in trenches, but that would have drove up costs to the point in which nobody would want to fund it. Or, at least have looked into more potential routes where street crossings were more or less eliminated.

I love the fact the ION is here, but it's disappointing. It's hard to see it as anything more than a tram/streetcar network.

I'm so tired of hearing this. The LRT is like a streetcar only in appearance.  Many of the TTC 'streetcars' (Queens Quay, Spadina, St. Clair) are nothing like streetcars either. Running in it's own right of way is fundamentally not a streetcar, and our LRVs do that for the entire length. This means, never getting stuck behind traffic, having reliable timing, etc. etc.  Fighting over nomenclature usually isn't valuable, but I feel that characterizing this system in that way meaningfully misleads people about it's nature.
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(07-07-2019, 01:32 PM)Bob_McBob Wrote: Was ATP in use during testing? The trains were definitely running faster than 50km/h in some sections.

It was. But as they ramped up testing for service simulation, a number of undesirable issues popped up and so they have shelved ATP for now.
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(07-07-2019, 01:40 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(07-07-2019, 01:32 PM)Bob_McBob Wrote: Was ATP in use during testing? The trains were definitely running faster than 50km/h in some sections.

I have no idea. However during testing they do things they won’t do in regular service; depending on what they’re doing they might only have one vehicle out on the line, for example, eliminating the possibility of collisions. I believe they even traversed the line at speeds slightly higher than the limits, which they would never do regularly.

Funny thing is, I don’t even see why ATP is needed. We regularly run buses at 120km/h on line-of-sight with 3 lanes full of random idiots driving even faster and weaving in and out, so 70km/h on a gently curving single track with excellent visiblity and no non-transit vehicles shouldn’t be a problem.

It's not required right now... but once service ramps up to 5 minute frequencies it will be, especially with 5 minute frequency double trains.
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It would be nice to have it sorted by September.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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Just heard on the scanner about a person getting hit by the LRT. They said the person was lying on the tracks!
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(07-08-2019, 01:49 AM)Square Wrote: Just heard on the scanner about a person getting hit by the LRT.  They said the person was lying on the tracks!

I was listening too. The person ran off after, so apparently not major injuries. Maybe laying between the rails and the LRV passed over them? This was between Erb/Caroline and the Laurier-Waterloo Park station, on the ballasted track.

The LRV driver saw them hop the fence onto the Waterloo park central promenade after they'd come to a stop, and then WRPS managed to apprehend them further up the trail.

It was the last trip of the night northbound. Apparently no passengers on board.
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(07-08-2019, 02:56 AM)taylortbb Wrote:
(07-08-2019, 01:49 AM)Square Wrote: Just heard on the scanner about a person getting hit by the LRT.  They said the person was lying on the tracks!

I was listening too. The person ran off after, so apparently not major injuries. Maybe laying between the rails and the LRV passed over them? This was between Erb/Caroline and the Laurier-Waterloo Park station, on the ballasted track.

The LRV driver saw them hop the fence onto the Waterloo park central promenade after they'd come to a stop, and then WRPS managed to apprehend them further up the trail.

It was the last trip of the night northbound. Apparently no passengers on board.

Lately been hearing alot of people are playing chicken with ION, especially around the House of Friendship.  I can see something bad coming up eventually!
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ION is obviously nowhere near Ottawa's level of service, because what Ottawa will have is closer to a subway system than normal LRT.

Generally these sorts of comparisons don't seem particularly useful to me. The important questions are whether ION provides a meaningful improvement to transit service in KW, whether it helps redirect growth to central parts of the city, and whether it attracts more people onto transit. The choices that were made for ION's implementation were decisions that made sense in the context of Waterloo Region. Something like what Ottawa has wouldn't be possible here, and if it were proposed, wouldn't have been approved.
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CuilTard Wrote:
Quote:There was a discussion about this on reddit, and based on the wording on GRT's site, the conclusion was that a monthly pass counts as proof-of-payment, regardless of whether it's been tapped or not**

https://www.reddit.com/r/waterloo/comments/c6nm1b/ticket_inspectors_on_lrt/es9xw0y?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

**redditors are self-proclaimed experts and should not be used as official policy. Viewer discretion is advised.

There was a comment that made me laugh out loud on there (I'm quite sure it was tongue-in-cheek):

Quote:Please note that just as on the TTC in Toronto, if you are approached by a fare inspector it is your civic duty to delay them as much as possible. Make a big show of checking every pocket to find your wallet, flip through every card in your wallet before finding your GRT pass, engage them in pointless conversation about nothing, etc.
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jamincan Wrote:ION is obviously nowhere near Ottawa's level of service, because what Ottawa will have is closer to a subway system than normal LRT.

Generally these sorts of comparisons don't seem particularly useful to me. The important questions are whether ION provides a meaningful improvement to transit service in KW, whether it helps redirect growth to central parts of the city, and whether it attracts more people onto transit. The choices that were made for ION's implementation were decisions that made sense in the context of Waterloo Region. Something like what Ottawa has wouldn't be possible here, and if it were proposed, wouldn't have been approved.

This is the most important bit. I don't see why tunneling here would be technically not possible, but I do know that it would not be achievable politically. We had a significant fight to get LRT; a more expensive system that involved tunnelling in some but not other parts of the line would not have achieved the necessary support.

The two cities are in completely different contexts. Many more middle-class and professional Ottawans take transit and have experienced how having buses operate in mixed traffic downtown wastes time and resources. A completely separate right of way is probably much easier to sell to them.
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(07-08-2019, 07:21 AM)MidTowner Wrote:
jamincan Wrote:ION is obviously nowhere near Ottawa's level of service, because what Ottawa will have is closer to a subway system than normal LRT.

Generally these sorts of comparisons don't seem particularly useful to me. The important questions are whether ION provides a meaningful improvement to transit service in KW, whether it helps redirect growth to central parts of the city, and whether it attracts more people onto transit. The choices that were made for ION's implementation were decisions that made sense in the context of Waterloo Region. Something like what Ottawa has wouldn't be possible here, and if it were proposed, wouldn't have been approved.

This is the most important bit. I don't see why tunneling here would be technically not possible, but I do know that it would not be achievable politically. We had a significant fight to get LRT; a more expensive system that involved tunnelling in some but not other parts of the line would not have achieved the necessary support.

The two cities are in completely different contexts. Many more middle-class and professional Ottawans take transit and have experienced how having buses operate in mixed traffic downtown wastes time and resources. A completely separate right of way is probably much easier to sell to them.

The thing is, Ottawa already had a separate ROW for most of the line except the downtown bit. The part that required tunneling was 2.5 km and 3 stations of a total 12.5 km and 13 stations. ION has roughly 6ish km on the central on-street portion of the line with 8 stations out of 19km/16 stations total (ignoring the section to Conestoga Mall as well). Without an absurd amount of tunneling, a system like what they have is simply impossible here.
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(07-07-2019, 10:48 PM)KevinL Wrote: It would be nice to have it sorted by September.

Sorting out the ATP system will take longer than September. Sorting out the issues that are restricting speeds will take some time but much less time than fixing the ATP system. The two are being handled separately. It's really worth noting that even with the speed restrictions ION meets or exceeds the travel time requirements in the contract.
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trainspotter139 Wrote:
Quote:Sorting out the ATP system will take longer than September. Sorting out the issues that are restricting speeds will take some time but much less time than fixing the ATP system. The two are being handled separately. It's really worth noting that even with the speed restrictions ION meets or exceeds the travel time requirements in the contract.

It does? I thought the travel time requirements consisted of nothing more than the "46 minutes" between the termini, in the baseline service plan. The schedule calls for 45 minutes (northbound), and schedule adherence hasn't seemed great.

Are there more specific travel time requirements somewhere in the contract? Or maybe they're making up speed on parts of the line I'm not taking.
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(07-08-2019, 07:21 AM)MidTowner Wrote: This is the most important bit. I don't see why tunneling here would be technically not possible, but I do know that it would not be achievable politically. We had a significant fight to get LRT; a more expensive system that involved tunnelling in some but not other parts of the line would not have achieved the necessary support.

The two cities are in completely different contexts. Many more middle-class and professional Ottawans take transit and have experienced how having buses operate in mixed traffic downtown wastes time and resources. A completely separate right of way is probably much easier to sell to them.

Tunnelling here would be possible, as it is pretty much anywhere except maybe through the core of an active volcano or something like that. However, it would be ridiculously expensive. Through Uptown, it would have to go under the creek, which means either very tricky tunnelling through muck or going very deep, either of which is expensive. Given the traffic levels and the availability of space on the surface, this simply doesn’t make sense, and as pointed out by others, would have led to non-approval of the project.

In Ottawa the traffic levels are enormously higher. Also, the tunnelled section is high ground consisting of rock, and only a small fraction of the route. As a result, the tunnel more or less continues the grade of the non-tunnelled portion so they could just start digging in from the side. Because it is all rock, they were able to mine it; to my knowledge Ottawa didn’t use any tunnel-boring machines.
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