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Longer GO trains

Metro’s “In Transit” columnist Ed Drass reported in his March 31 column that longer, 12-car trains will start appearing on some GO train routes this summer.

In January, GO Transit received the first of 27 new, more powerful locomotives from their manufacturer, MotivePower. The more powerful locomotives, the MP40s, operate 4,000 horsepower engines instead of the 3,000 horsepower of GO’s current locomotives. This will allow GO to start operating longer trains with 12 cars — two more than now. Once GO trains extend to 12 cars, GO will be operating the longest commuter trains in North America.

Drass reports that GO expects the longer trains will begin running full time on the Milton line “by this summer.” GO also says that “customers will probably see them on Lakeshore lines when we start to use them on the Milton line.” GO must extend some station platforms before running longer trains, and will likely begin more construction this spring.

In the meantime, GO is testing the new locomotives on regular trains before it begins using them to pull 12-car trains. GO has placed three of the new locos in service temporarily along the Lakeshore lines, where they can improve the performance of current trains in meeting schedules and also where GO train crews can better familiarize themselves with the new equipment.

GO first tests the locomotives in the yard before operating them on actual train lines. During their first service trips, GO will also partner the new locos with older locomotives on the same trains in case the new equipment or the train crews run into problems.

GO has chosen to first introduce the longer trains on the Milton line because it has GO’s most crowded trains. Ten of the 12 daily Milton trains operate at more than 100 percent seated capacity. Although the Lakeshore East and West lines have more frequent trains, few of those operate at more than 100 percent seated capacity.

You can find out more about GO’s new locomotives (including photos) from GO’s website here or from Transit Toronto’s article on the new locos by Edward Brain here.

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