Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Green Means Go, Red Means Slow, Yelow Means Go Fast So What Signal Means Stop

I came across two dangerous safety hazzards both for passengers and crew yesterday.

The first was during the morning rush. I took the 7:38 am train from Burlington and upon arriving at Union there was excess traffic so they pulled our train past the switch and past the red signal in behind another train. I have seen this a lot lately and that combined with conductors always having to reposition the train, it could end up being a collision at Union.
Someone may want to investigate this.

The second is a bit more dangerous. I was on the 5:34 pm train out of Union. When we reached Burlington, specifically signal 393P1, we got stopped on all red. Our conductors did their job and called dispatch and they told them to go manually flip the switch. While the employees were at track level flipping the switch and standing on track 2 to do so, another Go Train rushed by and I heard the conductor scream. He looked and was relieved his co-workers were okay. As I looked up at the signals, I noticed all were red except the yellow light in the top corner. So I guess Yellow means go fast. The danger here near the mall is that this part of the track is extremely dark even if the engineer had put on the front light of the train. But the train that rushed by didn't even use his train whistle all we could hear from him was the clacking of the tracks.
If we don't be careful we are going to have another incident like we did on the ttc where an employee got hit in the tunnel.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Safety Issues With The Doors On Go Transit

Since this blog was originally created to bring up safety issues. It seemsa good time to not that this morning's train leaving Burlington at 7:15 am left Appleby Station and after passing the refinery, which means totally clearing the station, they then realized there were door problems.
My question is should it not be common practice to check that all the doors are closedprior to leaving the station. As a safety concern and especially in the winter when all the cold air pushes in while the train is moving probably around 60 km / hour. This season has been plagued with door problems but at least past ones were discovered at the station rather than when the train wasin motion. I will give them credit though. When we stopped at Bronte and the doors opened upon closing thedid check the doors again and found there was trouble. However after traveling 100 metres from the station we were stopped again.

I would love to see a response from vanessa, the spokesman for Go Transit that said they wereoptimistic about the winter season.

I would also like to hear her comment on where the additional fare increase went. You know theone that should have gone to air blowers on the most important switches. Although being pushed pastas an issue in yesterday's delay, the switch in the Oakville train yard that gets used by the 7:15 am and 7:25 amtrains and many other trains every day was frozen. The conductor told us they were manually flipping the switchand they would lie would they? So where is the air blowers on this troublesome switch?

Next time there is a fare increase, I am sure you will hear a public outcry into where this money went. It isbetter for Go Transit to get it all out in the open now as everybody on the train today was talking about that veryissue.

Switch and Statistical Optimization (Post Delayed Just Like GO)

This post is actually from yesterday but given the Go delay I did not have time to post it until now.

This morning is a good example of swich and statistical optimization.The train that was supposed to leave Burlington at 7:25 am was already 4 minutes late when itarrived at Union. We arrived at Oakville at 7:45 am and it was noted that trains were cancelledso our train was additionally crowded. After leaving Oakville we sat literally 100 m from the stationwaiting for a broken switch, however as we sat for the hour, other trains were allowed to pass us in both direction including other Go Trains.
Here is the two statistical optimizations:
1) Cancelled trains to NOT appear on the results on the Go Transit website By cancelling a train that is most likely to run late, it does not affect the stats.2) Since our train was already late and would appear on the stats as a negative, it was better to let all the ontime trains pass us than to back us up to Oakville and let us use another switch.
The other thing to note is that this particular switch seems to be the one that fails most of the time and is highly used. Given this knowledge should this switch not be up for replacement and possiblythe air blowers. There were three CN trucks on scene watching the conductor manually flip the switch.
This brings up a vital concern that Metrolynx and possibly Transport Canada needs to address.Passengers complained about the poor service from Go Transit but rather than actually improvingthe service for all passengers, they are just playing the statistics game.
If anyone has any better explanation on why a train leaving oakville at 7:45 am was still 100 metres from Oakville an hour later when other trains that left Oakville after it arrived at Union Stationon time. I will also note that this is not a one time issue. Over the past month, I personally have been on 2 such trains, one had switch problems like this one, the other had issues with the doors openingand shutting at stations on route. Other trains were allowed to pass us by.