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ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
(10-29-2023, 01:47 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Do you have a link for the complete document?

It's a slide from a staff presentation at the October 18 budget review at the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee. You can find it in the agenda linked here.

https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regio...-Committee

The point of this proposal is to avoid a budget increase to provide the level of daytime service required by current demand. Their reasoning is that the region "doesn't need" the capacity in the morning and evening because ION is "complemented" by Route 7. Bizarrely, they even highlight the fact that ION has very low operating costs.

Deutchmann mentions that the only time he typically uses ION is when he goes out for dinner in the evening, and also asks about the impact on students taking night classes. The staff member again claims it will have no impact because Route 7 runs along a "substantial" portion of the ION route and complements it with 15 minute service frequency. They also claim 30 minute frequency "matches the demand profile" but then immediately admits it's still entirely about maintaining the current contact capacity without any budget increase. And then they later go on to specifically highlight how high frequency affects LRT usage because people don't have to rely on trip planners, while making this proposal.

https://youtu.be/3g8EhYtZ6fE?t=8440
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If they think the 7 is sufficient they are utterly clueless. Those buses fill up so much you can barely get off when it's your stop. Everyone is shoulder to shoulder. Even the LRT is like that so it makes no sense to reduce the frequency.

I'm glad I rarely have to come to Waterloo Region now as I'm mostly working and living in Toronto. At least they know how to run transit systems.
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Thanks! The extra insight is very helpful.
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Looking at the actual (draft) budget book, this is what it has for LRT. Here there is no mention of the evening/early morning frequency reduction. In any case, these are just staff proposals at the moment, this will be a regional council decision.

   
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(10-29-2023, 04:37 PM)ac3r Wrote: I'm glad I rarely have to come to Waterloo Region now as I'm mostly working and living in Toronto. At least they know how to run transit systems.

Actually the modern TTC doesn’t know 💩 about running a transit system properly, although many of its front-line employees continue to make valiant efforts.

But even so they still have pretty good service on some lines and from what I understand the subway still runs pretty well.
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(10-29-2023, 02:06 PM)dtkvictim Wrote: I know nothing about transit and train operations though, I'm just curious.

Great questions! I’m going to suggest that you aren’t going to see doubling along part of the route. That would require a point where all the doubles are split off and attached to trips running the other way. This is obviously possible but even with modern coupling equipment they don’t like having coupling/uncoupling happen partway through a trip. It takes time to perform the maneuvers and increases the complexity of operations.
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(10-30-2023, 12:28 AM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(10-29-2023, 02:06 PM)dtkvictim Wrote: I know nothing about transit and train operations though, I'm just curious.

Great questions! I’m going to suggest that you aren’t going to see doubling along part of the route. That would require a point where all the doubles are split off and attached to trips running the other way. This is obviously possible but even with modern coupling equipment they don’t like having coupling/uncoupling happen partway through a trip. It takes time to perform the maneuvers and increases the complexity of operations.

I imagine the passengers on the extra unit would be the bigger problem in that scenario haha. But what I was suggesting was that the trains which would be at the busiest segments at the busiest times would leave the yard already doubled.

If I'm not mistaken when I was in Tokyo there was signage at platforms suggesting trains on the same line fluctuate between 8/12/16 car trains throughout the day (or maybe I'm mistaken and it was just signage for different lines), so presumably it's a reasonable thing to do. But at 10 minute headways we would need 4 extra trains to cover just 20 minutes bi-directionally, which I don't think we even have?
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(10-30-2023, 12:51 AM)dtkvictim Wrote: If I'm not mistaken when I was in Tokyo there was signage at platforms suggesting trains on the same line fluctuate between 8/12/16 car trains throughout the day (or maybe I'm mistaken and it was just signage for different lines)

Yes, it's quite common in Tokyo for the smaller lines to run shorter trains off-peak (the very busy ones always run the full-length trains).

The only train I know in the Tokyo area that does the car-splitting is the Narita Express, which splits at Tokyo station, with half continuing to Yokohama and the other half toward Shinjuku. It takes a while for them to do that split. (Passengers are not a problem in that case since it's all reserved seating and you would get a seat in the appropriate car based on your destination.)
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(10-30-2023, 09:38 AM)tomh009 Wrote:
(10-30-2023, 12:51 AM)dtkvictim Wrote: If I'm not mistaken when I was in Tokyo there was signage at platforms suggesting trains on the same line fluctuate between 8/12/16 car trains throughout the day (or maybe I'm mistaken and it was just signage for different lines)

Yes, it's quite common in Tokyo for the smaller lines to run shorter trains off-peak (the very busy ones always run the full-length trains).

The only train I know in the Tokyo area that does the car-splitting is the Narita Express, which splits at Tokyo station, with half continuing to Yokohama and the other half toward Shinjuku. It takes a while for them to do that split. (Passengers are not a problem in that case since it's all reserved seating and you would get a seat in the appropriate car based on your destination.)

Montreal metro line 5 also ran short trains with limited opening hours for a while (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Line_...eal_Metro)). I don't think they switched between short trains and long trains. It didn't quite go far enough east to hit Pie-IX and the population there. Now that extension is out for tender, apparently.

The Via train also does car splitting from Toronto to Montreal/Ottawa.
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(10-30-2023, 04:48 PM)plam Wrote: The Via train also does car splitting from Toronto to Montreal/Ottawa.

I believe that one is two trains coupled together: engine and cars to one destination, followed by engine and cars to the other destination. I don’t know if they go in the other direction: first train arrives at meeting point and waits for second one to arrive and couple up behind. So it’s only the same complexity as the LRT example would be: they don’t have to do anything complicated to shuffle cars around, just split/combine 2 trains. Also, there is no way for passengers to be in the wrong part short of climbing on top of the engine in the middle.
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From what I understand, each platform is currently built to accommodate a double train-set without any modifications. The added bits would be another station sign and shelter which could presumably be added after service was increased.

With a current fleet of 14 trains, with 12 in service at peak times, and 2 held in reserve or servicing, the Region currently does not have the capacity to increase to double trainsets on a regular basis. Does anyone remember what triggers the Region buying more trainsets? It is it adding Ion Part 2? What's the current storage capacity at the Maintenance Yard?
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I don't know the trigger, but yard capacity is not a serious issue - they just need to add a few rows of storage tracks beside the existing ones (see the middle section here).
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Can any public expense experts chime in on this possible new cost estimate for Phase 2 found on Reddit?

https://www.reddit.com/r/waterloo/s/qJMxadf22H
local cambridge weirdo
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(10-30-2023, 10:49 PM)nms Wrote: From what I understand, each platform is currently built to accommodate a double train-set without any modifications.  The added bits would be another station sign and shelter which could presumably be added after service was increased.

With a current fleet of 14 trains, with 12 in service at peak times, and 2 held in reserve or servicing, the Region currently does not have the capacity to increase to double trainsets on a regular basis.  Does anyone remember what triggers the Region buying more trainsets?  It is it adding Ion Part 2? What's the current storage capacity at the Maintenance Yard?

I wonder if they even went as far so determine a trigger so far in advance. I can't imagine they plan to expand it in the first 5-10 years of ION service, or else they would have just built the thing fully to start with. But we'll need to order new trains and fix up each station platform, and both of those things will take at least a couple of years to fully complete. It'll be interesting to see if the Region chooses to order a few more trains to run somewhat higher headways (once every 7-8 minutes) as a stopgap measure to reworking platforms and a larger train order, or if they will jump straight to ordering more train cars that can be added to our existing trains, to run more capacity at the standard 10min headways.
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If they only use double trains at, say, peak times, I'm not sure the platforms need much fixing; all the amenities are in place and the platform edges all meet spec. As use of them ramps up they can gradually apply upgrades, I'm sure.
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