2016-12-28 Wed

GO Transit

I have read, but have not to hand, newspaper articles about the major problem in electrifying the GO Train system.

Apart from the likelihood that Metrolinx would contract with Bombardier for new trains (that is, the system would never be delivered) and the money (every transit proposal requires that everybody run around waving their hands in the air and shrieking in alarm “We can’t afford one/three/seven/eleven billions of dollars!”) the main objection raised has been the roof of Union Station, which, we are told, can’t be raised without more difficulty than the raising of the billions of dollars.

Did you get all that?

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Here is a poor photograph of part of the roof at Union Station. The yellow bands are reflections of the interior lights of a GO train carriage.

Note the steel girders.

Note the steel rivets. Which might be bolts.

Contemplate the level of skill required to replace rivets with bolts. Or just to re-rivet.

Think of the Union Station roof as a giant Meccano set (N.Amer. “Errector Set”).

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I was building massive cranes from the landing twenty feet above our ground floor back in the middle fifties, before I was ten years old. Meccano is not a difficult concept.

Onion Station has platforms numbered as high as “27”. Onion Station does not have 27 Platforms, but it has a lot.

I can’t see why we can’t raise the roof in stages, starting perhaps at “platforms 27, 26 and 25”, shut them down while a team raises the roof by whatever is needed to install catenary cables, just like the system in the Transilien network of the Ilę de France, then put those platforms back in operation and start work on platforms 24,23 and 22.

We could introduce electric trains, just like the Transilien network of the Ilę de France, and have reduced travel times owing to the acceleration provided by electricity.

And, perhaps, energy economy because we could use electricity directly instead of using diesel engines to drive on-board generators which generate electricity to drive the wheels.

Observations

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You had to be there.

The photo is blurred because I was taking it while my host was not watching.

Dead ahead of me, at ground level, is a fake fire in a fireplace. The fireplace is gas-powered. Press a button and flames spring up over fake logs, giving off a rosy glow and some heat, without the need to lug scuttles of coal nuts into the room, nor to rake and sweep out the ashes the next morning.

Above the fake fireplace is a flat-screen TV, showing one of the three speciality channels that provide fire, ocean or something else. This TV is tuned into the fireplace channel.

Instead of using a fake fireplace to create warmth and atmosphere, we can tune in to a fake fake fireplace.