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DavidBellerive

Beyond Stage 2: The Next Steps

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Another look, this time at the full system!

My digitization of what was on the display boards can be found here if anyone wants to play around with the data.

On 2019-11-08 at 6:11 PM, DavidBellerive said:

I actually like the colors! Maybe just a touch more contrast between them, but it makes it clear that there is something different going on for that part of the line versus the more "defined" alignment.

They'll be similar in hue to the colours used on the display boards (and in my screenshot above), but slightly different tones to better match the aesthetic ?

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10 hours ago, occheetos said:

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Beautiful! When we look at it this way, I think it makes a few things obvious about what "Stage 4" should be: another east-west connector, either at Baseline (Baseline to Mooneys bay for example), or the proposed Carling LRT. the reach East west will already be plenty given the spread of the city, but the lower-downtown and future developments in the Carling alignment could make it a good step forward. It will likely be a pipe dream, or a 2030-beyond project as Stage 3 is likely going to be nowhere before 2025 (so I'd assume a 2029-2030 completion).

Another proposal that I see some merit to, once Stage 3 is built and includes Barrhaven, one of the two west or southwest spur should become a 'third line' as the directional of Line 1 will become complicated being east-west-south. I am surprised it hasn't really be brought up cause it makes Line 1 really an enormous line, with no real "destination" points that can be referred to.

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1 hour ago, DavidBellerive said:

I think it makes a few things obvious about what "Stage 4" should be: another east-west connector, either at Baseline (Baseline to Mooneys bay for example), or the proposed Carling LRT. the reach East west will already be plenty given the spread of the city, but the lower-downtown and future developments in the Carling alignment could make it a good step forward. 

I agree with another connector for sure.  One easy one (in my pipedream mind) is to get VIA off their keister and start high frequency service between Fallowfield and Tremblay.  Get some Line 2 style diesel commuter trains and run service on the line.  Either let Octranspo operate them and the Presto card works, or if Via has to operate them, work it out with some presto gates.

Going south from Tremblay these higher frequency than Via trains could stop/connect at Line 2 Mooney's then proceed Southwest to Walkley road and get Riverside into some train action..then stop somewhere in the Nepean industrial area (2 stops would be good there) ...then down to Fallowfield for a LRT connect (note, connecting with 2 LRT lines!)  Then with a growth of the line we proceed to Longfields..then somewhere into Barrhaven West...then all the crazy way to Richmond where it seems the station used to be and the is some great area for a siding/Depot/shed whatever. It would then be easy just to include Smith falls in this too.  Some new sidings would have to be built in a few areas for more train passing, some longer double track improvements and so forth.  Would be quite simple (again..in my mind) and allow for alternate methods/routes to get to many areas of the metro area.   

Larger plans aside, a Barrhaven--> Fallowfield--> Mooney's--> Tremblay high frequency connect would be a winner for sure.

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I agree that east/west will make sense next after phase 3. How about Carling as mentioned and perhaps another tunnel underneath the Glebe and come at Hurdman eventually. Baseline makes sense too and I think that line should go out through Bells corners and link up with Hazeldean to the east and continue down Heron in the east and cut over to Innes along St Laurent and then continue all the way out to Trim in the east. The key is to keep planning and building and don’t let the naysayers kill further expansion again. 

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19 hours ago, Herlsone said:

One easy one (in my pipedream mind) is to get VIA off their keister and start high frequency service between Fallowfield and Tremblay.  Get some Line 2 style diesel commuter trains and run service on the line.  Either let Octranspo operate them and the Presto card works, or if Via has to operate them, work it out with some presto gates.

I brought up a similar idea as an alternative to the Barrhaven LRT plan, and putting more thought into it leads me to believe there might not be as much demand as I believe for it.

ViaRail remains a long-distance travel option and I do not really expect them to venture in the "commuter" rail business as their mandate is set on the federal level. Models like GO Transit in Toronto could probably be implemented, but I am not sure the existing track availability supports the population needs.

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Because of the greenbelt (which I truly love, sincerely), the needed tracks wouldnt be in a dense enough area to support it, unless they were implemented on the same service level as the Line 2 trial. Given the already limited budget for OC Transpo, I doubt there is potential room to implement them without a considerable increase in ridership. However, if we continue to maintain Line 1 for free, we might be able to do so! ?

However it is really clear to me another east-west link lower down will be needed. We'll see what the next TMP says in 2022, but I don't really believe there is a will by the city to build a second east-west line.

13 hours ago, Rick Mayson Durrett said:

How about Carling as mentioned and perhaps another tunnel underneath the Glebe and come at Hurdman eventually.

I can already hear the NIMBY from the Glebe! ? In all seriousness, the cost would likely rule out any project beyond Carling / Lake Dow, even though a connection all the way to Hurdman would make it an excellent crosstown service. I don't know the geotechnical conditions, but it would likely need to be dug with a tunneller to reduce impact above ground and still face the ground conditions at Hurdman with contamination and integration into the station. I'd love to see a proposal like this as part of the next TMP, but don't think there is the gut or appetite for such a proposal.

13 hours ago, Rick Mayson Durrett said:

The key is to keep planning and building and don’t let the naysayers kill further expansion again. 

I couldn't have said it better. The worst mistake is to stop planning, and this is reinforced by how often projects are shelved and brought back to life down the road. The Montreal metro, Crossrail, "Relief Line" are all based on previous designs and studies. Especially in a context where ROW need to be reserved / created after development takes place. I think for Ottawa the biggest "stopper" for future expansions is the cost of what we are building. Stage 2 is one of the lowest per km cost for a fully seperated LRT, though it remains a considerably high cost versus a bus ROW.

EDIT: Honestly at this point I should just run for office or work at the transportation department! ?

Edited by DavidBellerive
Additional remarks.
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Hey @occheetos. The new additions you are planning for the map are fantastic. Thank you for sharing some screenshots on the forums. Really gives a great visualization of the line and future expansion possibilities. I don’t think a map of this detail is available anywhere else. Or at least not one that is as clear to follow as yours. Well done. Thank you. 

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@DavidBellerive Interesting points! Looking at the map Occheetos provided above, I'd suggest maybe having a line that goes along Hunt Club? Let's say it would start in its East end (Hawthorne/Greenboro) and follow Hunt Club westbound, serving the airport area, the riverside area, the merivale area (Nepean Industrial area), before meeting with Line 1's Phase 3 at Woodroffe. After that, it could either end there, or continue to Kanata and maybe end at Hazeldean? 

I'm not sure how feasible this would be, or if the demand would be high enough for that alignment, but it would be an interesting option. Otherwise, both Carling and Baseline seem like good options as well. I guess we'll have to wait for 2022 to see!

6 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

EDIT: Honestly at this point I should just run for office or work at the transportation department! ?

You've got my vote!  (as long as we all get a place in the council to start building our train empire!?)

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3 hours ago, Dr. Human said:

I'd suggest maybe having a line that goes along Hunt Club?

I don't believe there would be enough capacity needs to justify a LRT (or even Tramway) line on this alignment. Between Greenboro and Hawthorne, this is essentially what is served by the 98 currently, which is already more than plenty capacity, though maybe more frequency could be a nice addition. The only real way I can see such an alignment be necessary is if south of Hunt Club gets developed, though it is part of the Greenbelt and therefore under NCC control.

From a geographical standpoint, it make sense to go with Hunt Club, as it cuts both north-south line at half their length with a connector in between, but the "centre of population" would be sufficiently higher that it would make the alignment "inefficient". There's also the development argument, though it is a slippery slope as one could argue that Stage 2 and 3 are essentially not creating any real development. Capacity wise, I don't see how anything below Baseline could support 3000 - 5000 pphpd to justify a BRT or Tramway / LRT without a massive commute change compared to currently. Of course it will change as Stage 2 and Stage 3 comes online, and people might choose to live elsewhere relative to their work, but we're far beyond the "margin of error"

In all those discussions of beyond stage 2, there is one alignment that was never brought up for LRT: The south-east BRT, from Hurdman to South Keys. It might actually be the only of the grade seperated BRT not to be converted to LRT, at least for a while. I guess we can blame Line 2 to make this section unnecessary as it would share the ROW of Trilium after Heron Station, meaning it would either terminate at Walkley station (which would need a massive redesign compared to its Stage 2 design as the LRT and BRT station will remain seperated), or go all the way to south keys (meaning that two train lines would serve from Walkley to South Keys). However, this might be the answer to the "diagonal" link from Barrhaven to Hurdman: use the existing CN / VIA tracks from Barrhaven to the Elwood Diamond, then occupying the ROW of the transitway all the way to Hurdman, in a similar implementation to Bayview. This is probably the "only way" enough capacity need could justify a LRT conversion, and probably the "cheapest" way to build LRT between Barrhaven and downtown. It would allow for connection at Mooney's Bay, Billings Bridge and Hurdman allowing for access to most north-south corridor, while expanding the reach of LRT in the South-East. Of course it is far from perfect, and like discussed above, doesn't result in saved time or more efficient connection to most destinations.

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3 hours ago, Dr. Human said:

You've got my vote!  (as long as we all get a place in the council to start building our train empire!?)

Sounds like a good way to bankrupt the city! Can I take a loan like in SimCity? ? Worst case, we'll rename Ottawa to O-Train City: should get a few tourists!

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7 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

I don't believe there would be enough capacity needs to justify a LRT (or even Tramway) line on this alignment. Between Greenboro and Hawthorne, this is essentially what is served by the 98 currently, which is already more than plenty capacity, though maybe more frequency could be a nice addition. The only real way I can see such an alignment be necessary is if south of Hunt Club gets developed, though it is part of the Greenbelt and therefore under NCC control.

Now that I think of it, you're right, Hunt Club is probably too far south (and doesn't have enough people living next to it) to have a real demand for an East-West line. 

About Barrhaven, that's an interesting alignment, but it would depend on the availability of the VIA tracks to incorporate into our system. If they can figure that out, it would definitely worth exploring that alignment, since it would offer another option for people in the South-East who don't live close enough to either Line 1 or Line 2. I think Barrhaven residents would still prefer the current stage 3 plan, however, since it would offer a direct link to downtown, as opposed to having to transfer at Hurdman. Another option would maybe be connecting Barrhaven Centre with an expanded Line 2 at Limebank? Something like extending line 2, from Limebank across the Rideau River into Barrhaven, and then ending at either Barrhaven Centre or Fallowfield depending on the routing.

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I tried to make a drawing on Google Maps to represent it, not very good but still works. The red dot represents Limebank Station, and the green and blue paths are 2 possible routing options. Again though, the problem with this alignment would be the fact that people would still need to connect with line 1 at Bayview, since there wouldn't be a direct link downtown as with the current stage 3 plan. 

8 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

Sounds like a good way to bankrupt the city! Can I take a loan like in SimCity? ? Worst case, we'll rename Ottawa to O-Train City: should get a few tourists!

I'm on board with that! We can use the money spent by the extra tourists it will attract to fund the new trains. ?

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12 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

In all those discussions of beyond stage 2, there is one alignment that was never brought up for LRT: The south-east BRT, from Hurdman to South Keys. It might actually be the only of the grade seperated BRT not to be converted to LRT, at least for a while. I guess we can blame Line 2 to make this section unnecessary as it would share the ROW of Trilium after Heron Station, meaning it would either terminate at Walkley station (which would need a massive redesign compared to its Stage 2 design as the LRT and BRT station will remain seperated), or go all the way to south keys (meaning that two train lines would serve from Walkley to South Keys).

I think you're exactly right about the reason why the southeast BRT never gets discussed, but I think the solution is to combine it with either a Baseline or Carling secondary east-west route (whenever that happens). The options I think have the most merit are

  1. Essentially follow the route of the 88: use the southeast transitway to Heron, then turn onto/under/over Heron and head west on Baseline (to Woodroffe at first, and eventually Kanata). This has the issue of requiring a transfer to Line 2 to get to Carleton, but would be the cheapest/easiest option, especially if the LRT is at grade on Baseline.
  2. If the Carling route is preferred, then the new route could turn from Billings onto the northbound Line 2 tracks (there's already a spur that does this from the VIA line in that spot, and there should be space to add a parallel turn for LRT), then share the line 2 route through Carleton and under Dow's Lake to Carling station, where the line could turn west and continue along Carling. If the goal is to run at grade along Carling, that turn would involve a trench through Queen Juliana park, but that seems manageable.
  3. The straightest but most challenging option would be to go from Billings behind the RA centre and cross the river to the south end of Carleton campus, maybe with an elevated track above University Drive. Then (somehow) reconnect with Baseline at Prince of Wales and continue west. It would give the straightest route and connect nicely with Carleton campus, but I have no idea if its at all logistically feasible.

In any case, I think we will get a hint of what's planned for the southeast transitway once Stage 2 of the Trillium line opens, since it will potentially replace the 97 and 99. At that point, will they still run lots of buses from Hurdman to South Keys or will they bump up frequency on the 88 and encourage a transfer at Mooney's Bay?

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On 2019-11-12 at 4:35 PM, Peter said:

In any case, I think we will get a hint of what's planned for the southeast transitway once Stage 2 of the Trillium line opens, since it will potentially replace the 97 and 99. At that point, will they still run lots of buses from Hurdman to South Keys or will they bump up frequency on the 88 and encourage a transfer at Mooney's Bay?

For what it is worth, Stage 2 documents so far still show the Southeast BRT as active, so I would assume there will still be a 97 between Hurdman and South Keys, with a 98 to Hawthorne. I would also suggest that, if the Carling / Baseline BRT is implemented by 2022 (in some form at least), it would bring more trips on the alignment. Of course the plans are mostly under wrap and probably still being worked on, but we'll figure out at some point.

As for whichever would be best between Carling or Baseline is a tough call. Ridership wise I'd argue in favour of Baseline (would make an excellent east-west connection reach Algonquin from the southern parts of town), but potential development wise Carling seems to be in a boom of development with new condo towers and high-rise projects, which offers a good densification opportunity not available on Baseline currently. Whichever is built, I don't think they would be able to use Walkley Yard for a MSF or LMSF simply because the track radius to go from Line 2 to either Carling or a Baseline alignment would be really tight, and likely not usable as anything else than a launch connection. In that regard, I don't really believe one stands out as better than the other. Other option would be to use Line 1 at either Baseline (which would need a massive reconfiguration to implement it) or Carling (closest access point would be Lincoln Field, which is "right in the middle" of the LMSF / MSF) to launch the trains.

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The Carling route would outperform Baseline significantly, particularly in terms of new riders.  Baseline is better suited for BRT until at least 2050.

As it is, Carling (Line 3) is unlikely to be completed much before 2040.  By that time, the lower frequency of trains in Kanata will be an issue, as well as platform crowding at several Line 1 stations in the core.  The dual-transfer airport link will be considered a mistake.  All could be addressed in a Phase 4 consisting of a Carling LRT and SE Transitway LRT conversion.

Starting at Lincoln Fields, Line 1 would be split, such that the SW Line 1 (Barrhaven) instead through runs  with Carling, requiring a transfer at Lincoln Fields to go downtown (or to Kanata). 

The Carling line would serve the Royal Victoria, and new Civic @ Line 2, before jogging south on Bank to serve the Glebe and Lansdowne Park, then continue east to serve the Riverside, CHEO and OGH, and terminate where it meets the southern BRT planned for Innes and southern Orleans.  With an aging population, serving all the major hospitals is a major factor for network ridership growth.

In the same phase, the SE Transitway would be converted to LRT (Line 4), and electrification would be extended to the Airport.  The Airport would therefore have all-electric service, with only 1 connection to downtown (at Hurdman).  If there's enough demand, it would also be possible to offer a cross-town service that ran south from Hurdman on Line 4, and then turn at Riverview onto Line 3 to Lincoln Fields.

I remain hopeful that the 2022 TMP continue to envision BRT expansion (Baseline, March, Innes/Brian Coburn, Chapman Mills) at the same time as promoting an LRT network that will be continuously expanded in stages  beyond the original BRT replacement of phases 1-3. 

Both BRTs and an LRT network are required if transit modal share is ever going to increase.

I have always been concerned that with Phase 2 going to Trim, and Phase 3 going far into Kanata/Stittsville and Barrhaven.  Those plans leave no more LRT expansion to be done outside the greenbelt after Phase 3.  This will erode political support for phase 4 and later LRT, with areas outside the greenbelt only receiving BRTs.  

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15 hours ago, Nik said:

Seems that the city is pondering the acquisition of CN trackage in Ottawa: https://capitalcurrent.ca/city-of-ottawa-exploring-purchase-of-two-abandoned-south-end-railway-lines/

IMO it should have been done a long time ago. This is best practice and one of the least expensive way to start new lines. This is how we got the original O-Train after all!

However, the lines being considered seem to me like implementing them in a "meaningful" line would probably not give an alignment worth developing other than a future "circle line" / east west connector that would be IMO too far down. We'll see if some designs are proposed and "priliminary ideas" are coming, or just capital expenditure.

Edited by DavidBellerive
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