Inside one of our locomotives – Opening doors to the best seats on the GO train

Think you know what the best seat is on the train? Think again. We go behind the scenes to show you the ones with the best view and the coolest gadgets.  

It’s a simple yet polarizing question: what’s the best seat on the train? We asked our customers that question on social media recently after a viral debate posed about New York’s subway system.

We received a wide variety of responses but some of us wanted to explore a few different options. As a result we decided to sit where no commuter has sat before – with the permission and supervision of our dedicated rail services team, we went behind the scenes to give you access to the best and coolest seats of them all.

Both the locomotive and the cab cars – that special car at the back end of the train – have a crew of two people on board at all times, sometimes a third if they have a trainee.

The operators are always together and where they sit depends on which direction the train is going. For instance if the train is being pulled by the locomotive, the crews sit at the front of the train inside the cab of the locomotive. If the train needs to head in the opposite direction, the crew will get off, walk towards the cab car and operate the train from there, the cab car sends electronic signals to the locomotive that will then know to push the train, rather than pull. Think about it like putting the entire train in reverse. Both seats have great views and unique features but with great seats, comes great responsibility.

Depending on the model, a GO train locomotives may have about 40 times more power than the average car and top speeds of 144 km/h (the speedometers inside the locomotive are actually displayed in mph). The newer locomotives, also known as the Tier 4’s, pack the strongest punch with 5,400 horsepower and come with AC traction motors. These engines allow for better traction on the rails and faster acceleration.

More power and faster speed means benefits to commuters. At the moment the locos are capable of handling 12-car train-sets, supplying both traction and head end power.

The Commuter Train Operators are well trained and dedicated to getting commuters to and from their destinations safely every day – something they never lose sight of.

An inside view of the GO locomotive cab with two operators sitting in the chairs.

Best seats in the house, an inside view of the GO locomotive (Metrolinx photo).

Both the locomotives and the cab cars are equipped with communication systems – Their priority alarm system indicates in real-time if an emergency strip is pressed by a passenger and from there, they’ll call out “1033” three times across the PA system. You might have heard that before, that’s a universal code for anyone on board who can provide medical assistance – immediately after, they will directly contact the Customer Service Ambassador who will attend to the person who’s in need of help. A friendly reminder, please don’t press the strip unless it is a real emergency.

So there you a have it, a look inside the locomotive and cab car, where you can find what is the coolest, best seats on the train.

Story by Nitish Bissonauth, Metrolinx bilingual spokesperson, media relations and issues specialist.