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By the numbers: The GO Transit fleet

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 5, 2013

toronto go trainMetrolinx and its subsidiary GO Transit is on the threshold of a major expansion, unprecedented in its 50-year history. With the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT under construction and the provincial government seeking ways to pay for $50 billion in new bus, light rail, and subway lines, we should be seeing much more green-and-white in the coming decades.

With that in mind - and the fact GO just took possession of the first in a fleet of new double-decker buses - I thought it was time to take look at the fact sheet on Toronto's other transit provider.

GO BUSEStoronto go busThanks to the new additions to their road fleet, GO now owns and operates 463 buses, 47 of them double-decker. The bulk of the agency's highway vehicles are run on diesel, but it does operate a pair of hybrid vehicles for use exclusively on highways. Here's the skinny on GO's biggest fleet:

Total vehicles: 463
Single-decker: 414
Double-decker: 47 (including 24 vehicles on order)
Diesel-hybrid electric: 2
Single-decker capacity: 57 passengers
Old double-decker capacity: 78-80 seated passengers
New double-decker capacity: 81 passengers
New double-decker height: 4.15 metres
New double-decker length: 13.2 m
New double-deckers required to move a capacity Rogers Centre crowd: 666.6
Cities using the ADL Enviro 500: Vancouver, New York, Hong Kong, Washington D.C., Las Vegas
Safe operating range: 900 kms (Union Station to North Chicago, an outer suburb of Chicago)

GO TRAINSGO TrainThe most famous GO vehicle, the double-decker, diesel-powered trains have been formed the core of the provincial transit agency's fleet for decades. In the early days the rolling stock was entirely single-level. Currently, GO trains serve 63 rail stations, on 450 kilometres of track, spread over 7 lines out of Union station.

The vehicles are maintained at the company's Willowbrook facility just north of Islington and Lake Shore. The site includes storage tracks for 21 trains and workshops for both locomotives and passenger cars.

Total locomotives in fleet: 65
Coaches in fleet: 560
Capacity per coach: 162 people (1944 per full 12-car trainset)
Full 12-car trainsets required to move a capacity Rogers Centre crowd: 28
Length of locomotive: 20.73 metres
Height of locomotive: 4.97 m
Weight of locomotive: 129 tons
Coach weight: 49 tons (empty)
Toronto Rockets needed to balance a 12-car trainset on a (giant) set of scales: 2.6
Size of fuel tank: 8,410 litres
Medium Tim Hortons' cups required to empty fuel tank by hand: 28,425.8
Horsepower: 4000 (32.5 times the power of a H-6 subway train)

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: GO Transit, Vic Gedris, Danielle Scott/blogTO Flickr pool.



Vic / April 5, 2013 at 09:42 am
The first pic of the train in the Willowbrook repair facility is from my Flickr stream: (Yes, it's in the BlogTO Pool too)
Todd Toronto / April 5, 2013 at 10:28 am
I hate to be 'that guy', but the original GO vehicles weren't double-decker. Those iconic cars arrived in the mid-70s.

Design Snob / April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am
can someone explain to me why GO's livery, maps and general aesthetics are so good and the TTC's are so shitty?
Parker / April 5, 2013 at 10:49 am
Capacity: 162 people -- that's capacity per coach, right?
Jacob replying to a comment from Design Snob / April 5, 2013 at 11:09 am
Because the TTC is a hundred year old, byzantine organization with a fleet 100 times bigger?
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Vic / April 5, 2013 at 11:26 am
My bad Vic – just added the image credit. Should appear shortly.

@Parker: Yes, per coach.
Eric replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / April 5, 2013 at 11:35 am
Todd Toronto is right...the single deck coaches were the original passenger carriers, and I still have vivid memories of them zipping along the Georgetown line as I walked over the pedestrian bridge from Wallace Ave to Dundas St. W. just north of the Bloor GO Station. I remember being a kid and being amazed when the first double-deckers hit the rails...
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Eric / April 5, 2013 at 11:51 am
Also noted and changed.
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from Jacob / April 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm
"Because the TTC is a hundred year old, byzantine organization with a fleet 100 times bigger?"

London Transport never made that excuse.

McRib / April 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm
because the TTC barely has enough funding to operate, let alone make things look nice.

TFL is far bigger, charges more, and gets far more in government subsidies than the TTC.

Shabby and barely hanging on is how Toronto operates.

the lemur / April 5, 2013 at 01:02 pm
The double-decker bus on the right in the 2nd photo is a newer type that GO is now introducing. It's lower than the current buses and so can run on more routes:
nardl blarn replying to a comment from McRib / April 5, 2013 at 02:26 pm
I think it's more that London is just a more aesthetically pleasing place than Toronto and encourages more exciting adventourous art and design. So it follows that the general aesthetics used by public transport agencies in london would be better than those used by public transport agencies in toronto.

As for Gotransit vs TTC, it must come from the top. From the very start GO had a better aesthetic feel than the TTC. Money doesn't really come into it- in fact the larger the organisation the lower the cost for design as a % of operating budget.
GO Ahead ... / April 5, 2013 at 03:06 pm
"Total trains = 65". Should that be "total locomotives"? Some trains use two locomotives and not all of them are required every single day. The 65 is made up of 57 of the new MP40 "bullet" locomotives and 8 of the older F59 type.
GO Ahead ... replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / April 5, 2013 at 03:08 pm
In fact this past March 13 was the 35th anniversary of the first day in service for the double-decker coaches.
Tommy replying to a comment from Design Snob / April 5, 2013 at 04:14 pm
I could care less about aesthetics. How about a bus schedule that is readable.
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from McRib / April 5, 2013 at 04:46 pm
The TTC's streetcar network carries MORE ridership than ALL of GO's train and bus network.
DRAE / April 5, 2013 at 06:45 pm
@W.K. Lis: The pissing contest about who moves more is pointless.
sonny / April 5, 2013 at 08:25 pm
So when are the electric trains coming?
iSkyscraper / April 6, 2013 at 12:21 am
The really fun thing about GO is finding old GO trains in other cities. GO is not as big nor as old as the commuter systems of New York, Philly, Boston or Chicago but for all other cities it really set the standard for how to do modern commuter rail.

The double-decker carriage in particular made Bombardier's name in this field thanks to GO and can be found, in some version, on nearly every North American commuter system now (whether made by Bombardier or not). There is a fascinating story about human behaviour and the "middle seat" that makes the double deckers superior, see

The smaller systems often couldn't afford to buy their own new custom versions from Bombardier so they just bought or leased old GO train sets. Dallas, San Diego, Miami and others all started this way and some are still running GO trains.

Between preserving streetcar operations and inventing modern postwar commuter rail, the TTC and GO have had outsized impacts on the rest of North America.
Flyingscotsman / April 6, 2013 at 03:16 am
Fascinating read - fascinating in its unbelievable amount of inaccuracies -

The GO transit system is the second oldest in North America, engulfing some 370 square kilometers of track (additional 45 Km's when taking in the outskirts of The peninsula)

GO boasts a fleet only dwarfed by Shanghai rail though incidentally owned and operated by the same key investors.

GO - the name is an appropriate name by use of implying motion and movement, which in transit is fitting, G & O are also the initials of the first train conductor a sir Geoffrey Odometer 1789-1853.

Good article and an enjoyable read but facts really should be thoroughly checked before posting.
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Flyingscotsman / April 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm
That's pretty funny, but for the record GO stands for Government of Ontario.
Anotherone replying to a comment from McRib / April 8, 2013 at 08:11 pm
The TTC is riddled with incompetence and inefficiency, that's why. In spite of this, it still has moronic hipsters as its boosters.
Jay / April 9, 2013 at 12:09 am
It's probably worth mentioning that the iconic go transit bi-level cars are designed and built right here in Ontario...
Chris replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / April 13, 2013 at 03:32 am
My friend you have no clue what you are talking about.

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