Junction Triangle Rail Committee

What does increased diesel traffic along the borders of our triangle mean for the community? The newly formed Junction Triangle Rail Committee will focus on the merits of electrification and the construction of the Davenport Diamond overpass/separation on the eastern side of the neighbourhood.

The Junction Triangle Rail Committee is all for more trains, but we strongly feel electrification is long overdue and Metrolinx must consider the impact of their expansion plans on residents in this neighbourhood. GO Transit and the Government of Ontario have been talking about electrifying the lines since the 1960s, but each decade the plan gets dismissed for being too costly. And each decade, the costs increase. But what about the long-term costs of diesel exhaust?

As a growing committee, we have several ideas brewing. In July, we organized the Sunday Picnics in the Park series, and in August we hosted a meet-the-candidates event at Boo Radley’s. Next up, we’ll help local artists Richard Mongiat and Jeff Winch bring a grand art installation to the Junction Triangle. On October 2, come out for our all-night Scotiabank Nuit Blanche event, Rail of Light, at the Wallace Bridge.

We see ourselves as a distinct group, separate from others like the Clean Train Coalition, but also happy to overlap when necessary. So far we've discovered that these communities are officially for electrification:

West Bend Community Association
Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents' Association
Junction Residents Association
Mount Denis Community Association
Weston Community Coalition
High Park Residents Association
Junction Triangle Rail Committee
Carleton Village Residents Association

We want the Junction Triangle to be part of that growing network.

Surrounded by rails, the Junction Triangle stands right at the centre of this controversy and deserves a voice. If you're interested in joining the push for electrification right here in your own neighbourhood and want Metrolinx to practice responsible construction methods that won't drive people from their homes, please contact us by emailing rail@junctiontriangle.ca or using the online contact form.

Realtors for Electric Rail
Chander Chaddah
Anita Merlo
Nutan Brown
Julie Kinnear
Kim Kehoe
Suzanne Manvell


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Suzuki Weighs In On Diesel

David Suzuki weighs in on green transit infrastructure.

"a proposal to use diesel trains for the Air-Rail-Link plan to connect downtown Toronto with its international airport in Mississauga is concerning. " David Suzuki


BlogTO on Metrolinx's tree cutting


Is Metrolinx replacing enough of the trees it's cut down?

Posted by Chris Bateman / MAY 13, 2013 4 Comments

Metrolinx has cut down more than 160 trees and plants on the Georgetown South rail corridor as part of construction work for the Union-Pearson Express, the latest figures show, and that's not sitting right with one local advocacy group.

Commitment to electrify by 2017?

Did MPP / Transportation Minister Glen Murray just commit to electrification of the UPE by 2017??

Via Twitter:

Glen Murray ‏@Glen4ONT
At the groundbreaking for the Union-Pearson Express terminal in Mississauga w @Laura_Albanese! Electrifying by 2017! pic.twitter.com/Wbw3kYLGT5

Our own Davenport MPP Jonah Schein replied asking for clarification. Nothing yet.
.@Glen4ONT @Laura_Albanese: Are you now committing to electrify by 2017? That wasn't clear last week. http://bit.ly/YdaW9f #OnPoli

AirPort Link Viability Questioned by Auditor

The Ontario Auditor has raised questions about the financial viability of the Metrolinx Diesel Airport Link and the ridership numbers.

http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_2012_en.htm (Item 3.09). An amazing read and a vindication of what residents have been saying. Interesting that the public has not been made aware of MX's "revised" ridership numbers. Might be time for an access to information request. Start reading at page 211.

"Ministry of Transportation documentation indicated that a private-sector group that previously was the successful proponent for designing, building and operating the ARL was unable to secure financing for the venture because prospective lenders felt that despite all reasonable efforts to attract riders, the service might not generate enough revenues to be a viable business. A market assess-ment conducted by Metrolinx also suggests that ARL ridership may not meet the initial assumptions about ridership growth."

"Metrolinx should work with the Ministry of Transportation to clearly define the business model under which the Air Rail Link (ARL) should operate to ensure that the ARL will be a viable and sustainable operation. Given the importance of having a reliable estimate of projected ridership at the various possible fare levels, Metrolinx should periodically update its ridership forecast."



Clean Train Appeals Court Decision

CTC Appeals Court Decision as Metrolinx Flips the Bird to Residents

For immediate release, December 4, 2012

The Clean Train Coalition is seeking leave to appeal a recent decision of the Ontario Divisional Court to deny access to justice for claims based on the right to a healthy environment. The Coalition was not entitled to argue its case challenging the Metrolinx plan to run diesel trains on the air rail link from Union Station to Pearson Airport.

Saba Ahmad, CTC legal counsel, says the Coalition is concerned that fundamental issues of natural justice are at stake.

“The Divisional Court basically said its doors are closed to citizens seeking protection against decisions by government agencies that may cause harm to health or the environment. We cannot let this decision go uncontested.” The court awarded costs against the Coalition of $30 thousand, an amount beyond the means of a volunteer group.

Rick Ciccarelli, Coalition chair, challenged the credibility of Metrolinx in its ongoing campaign to put a gloss on its dirty diesel plans. Last week a new name was announced for the air rail diesel link, the UP Express, for Union Pearson.

“Given how residents along the corridor feel about the way they are being treated by Metrolinx, it should have been obvious that this brand will be tagged as the ‘up-yours express’. Hardly a promising public relations move.” Trains are projected to run every 15 minutes, spewing diesel exhaust along a corridor with 300,000 residents.

The Coalition argued in its court brief that Metrolinx acted outside its authority by deciding to run diesel trains without conducting a feasibility study on electrification as a cleaner and cheaper alternative. The agency “traded the benefits of electric trains for expediency” when it accepted instructions from the government to have the rail link operating for the Pan Am Games in 2015. “Metrolinx is not authorized to prioritize the short-term goal of providing transportation services for a three-week sporting event over the long-term health, environmental and economic interests of the people of Ontario.”

The World Health Organization recently re-classified diesel exhaust as a confirmed carcinogen and called on governments to take action to reduce its harmful effects. The Clean Train Coalition is a community-based public interest group advocating for smart investment in public transit infrastructure.

For more information, contact:
Suri Weinberg, 416-671-5801; squibbs@on.aibn.com
Tim Noronha, 416-534-1808; tim@thewestbend.ca

Sound Wall prep

Clearing the way for a sound wall: Click for larger imageClearing the way for a sound wall: Click for larger image

This is what's been happening in Mount Dennis. Soon to be arriving in the JT along our Railpath to make room for a brutal sound wall that wouldn't be necessary if they just went with electric trains.

Clean Train Coalition has lost its bid for a judicial review

Clean Train Coalition has lost its bid for a judicial review as reported by the Toronto Star below:


Courtroom Drama

In the ongoing battle for clean electric trains through our neighborhoods, the Clean Train Coalition is taking Metrolinx to court. The hearing is tomorrow at 10AM, 130 Queen West, courtroom 3. Metrolinx is represented by John Laskin, the same lawyer who defended them in the West Toronto Diamond case and lost.

Maybe Tribunal Can State the Obvious

Check out the comparison between Vancouver's system and Metrolinx's "system". Its enough to make a taxpayer or transit lover cry. When you factor in diesel cannot get any greener but electricity can you wonder if anybody is home at Metrolinx.


The crux of the Clean Train position is that Metrolinx arbitrarily excluded electric from consideration depriving citizens of an EA that was fair and balanced. And we all know this to be true. The reality is that even Metrolinx admits electric is better so lets hope this trininal can give some further "persuasion" to getting the job done right and creates a system that benefits as many as possible, not just executive class.

Metrolinx in Court

The Toronto Star has published a story about yesterday's legal action against Metrolinx taken by the Clean Train Coalition. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/article/1290099--resident...

Crux of case

A reminder that the court case is not about stopping a airport rail service, it is about whether in the name of expediency Metrolinx arbitrarily took an electric option (better/greener/healthier according to Metrolinx's own studies) off the table to the detriment of the public.

Opposition to sound walls

Some residents to the south of us are concerned about the sound walls too:

Residents Concerned About Georgetown South Rail Corridor Sound Wall
Rahul Gupta
Parkdale Liberty Villager

A group of Parkdale residents are worried a plan to construct a 16-foot high sound wall along a GO train bridge spanning the south side of Brock Avenue will cast an “oppressive” shadow over the neighbourhood.

The group, headed by Rod Layman, Rob Fairley and Meredith Robb met with representatives from Metrolinx on Tuesday, July 24 to outline their many concerns about the wall, which if approved for construction by transit planning agency Metrolinx would act as a noise barrier for trains running through the Georgetown South rail corridor.

The agency, which has already approved a plan to build a sound wall along the north side of the avenue, is investigating the possibility of also building another wall on the south side in response to feedback from a public meeting last November.

Metrolinx has said sound walls are necessary all along the Georgetown South rail corridor to mitigate the noise and vibrations from increased train traffic when a rail link in the corridor connecting Union Station with Pearson International Airport opens in three years.

Read the entire article here:

Councillors Push For Better APL

A lot of activity on the Airport Link side. When councillors like Nunziata and Layton can come together on an issue you know something is up. Read about the rail line that has only 2 stops. : ) . The basic premise is that the diesel APL is not a very good model for getting as many people to the airport as an electric system would. The councillors are basically echoing what transit advocates and even Merolinx's own studies have been saying for quite some time.

From Toronto Star


From Now Magazine


Council Approves APL Motion- MX Offers Tepid Response

Council voted in favour of the motion mentioned above by Nunziata and Layton 40-2. On one hand a symbolic vote but there seems to be a growing rumbling in many quarters, even at Metrolinx....not sure what it means.

Metrolinx issued a pretty weak response afterwards that seemed to be counter to what the entire point of a APL is. Using their logic if there were no stops on the line then it would be really really fast. : ) As a taxpayer I ask who exactly who is this line for?


The telephone Town Hall about "Clean Smart Transit" hosted by Schein and Cash went well tonight, they claimed a 1000 residents were on the line. I have never taken part in one before and kind of liked it. (Bruce Ward was that you!) Interestingly it seems many callers were quit uninformed about the issues. Of course if Schein really wanted to get reelected and have electric trains the NDP hold the governments fate in their hands every day of the week. : )

Bending the Rails now available

Many people have asked me over the past several months where they can see my film Bending the Rails It's a documentary that explores the impact of the Georgetown rail expansion on our community, and our local efforts to shift the governments direction into the 21st century and introduce to electric trains. Happily the film is now available to borrow through the Toronto Public Library system at 10 branches. The link is here: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM2830798&R=2830798

Bending the Rails

That's good to hear Jeff.

I also saw it available for rental at Movie Art Decor (1566 Bloor, just west of Dundas).

The Film Buff on Roncey also

The Film Buff on Roncey also has it for rent.

Steve Munro Comments on GO/Metrolinx

Transit advocate Steve Munro recent;y posted an update about transit entitled "Memo to Queens Park" (http://stevemunro.ca/?p=5700). Steve's thoughts on GO and Metrolinx are of note and somewhat dispiriting on many levels. His closing comments on the Pan Am games are maddening. As usual he provides sober and researched opinion. They should have put him in charge years ago.

The excerpt:

The Role of GO Transit

At the regional level, GO/Metrolinx must deal with the challenge of all-day bidirectional rail services. Not only does this add to GO’s costs with comparatively empty trains, it creates a need for good off-peak transit feeding into GO stations. The commuter model, in in the morning, out in the afternoon, simply won’t work any more.

Toronto presents special problems because the GO lines could form a regional rapid transit network once service is frequent enough to attract riders. However, the fare structure discourages TTC/GO riding, and TTC services do not focus on GO stations as major transit nodes.

Back in 1967, the rationale for GO was that running commuter trains was cheaper than building more highways in the Lake Shore corridor. Why doesn’t the same philosophy apply to GO’s role as part of a transit network? Capacity issues are often cited as the reason for limiting GO’s role in the 416, and yet The Big Move’s demand model quite clearly assumes that GO will have a major role within the City of Toronto.

By 2016, Union Station’s reconstruction will be finished, and passenger capacity will no longer be an issue in the medium term. Train capacity is another matter, and we know from the GO electrification study that much remains to be done for service frequencies to approach levels proposed in The Big Move. This may be a problem for another government, but we must know what we are aiming at.

Open conflicts between Metrolinx and GO plans do us no good, and undermine discussions of what we can expect of transit in the 2020s and beyond. Consistency is not a strong suit in planning by GO and Metrolinx, and we cannot intelligently talk about new alternatives in funding, construction and operation of transit if we can’t even have a coherent plan for the regional network. Add to this GO announcements that flow from the Premier’s Office rather than as part of a regional plan, and one might wonder if there is a plan at all.

A related question for Queen’s Park is GO electrification. Recent studies showed that not only is electrification of the major GO corridors a good idea, but that it is essential for these services to reach their target capacities and speed. Unfortunately, GO still speaks of “if” it will electrify rather than “when” despite an endorsement of this in principle by the Metrolinx Board.

GO’s attitude seems to be that their network will never reach the service level where electrification is justified and, therefore, the question is moot. This directly contradicts demand and service projections in The Big Move and, implicitly, projections for the traffic volumes that will be redirected from roads to transit by GO. Either GO’s rate of growth will be much lower than projected by Metrolinx, or GO’s indifference to electrification is dangerous posturing that ignores a complex and critical part of the system’s development.

Finally, GO and Queen’s Park are lumbered with the Air Rail Link to Pearson Airport, a project inherited from a failed private sector consortium. The entire project is a comedy of errors deserving an article in its own right, but its problems include:

* The vehicles have standard railway coach height floors that are incompatible with existing (and future) GO Transit platforms. This means that the ARL needs its own station infrastructure, and the equipment cannot interoperate on other GO routes or be redeployed in any future network restructuring.
* The airport spur will be built to ARL vehicle specifications, and we are unlikely to ever see low-floor GO equipment operate to the airport.
* Because electrification has not yet been approved, future conversion will be more complex than if the line had been built for electric trains from the outset.

The desire to have a “world class” link from the airport to downtown in time for the Pan Am Games in 2015 drives the ARL project’s timing. If we were serious about this, we would ask why the airport connection will remain an infrequent, premium fare service divorced from the local transit system. We would also ask why LRT options connecting to Pan Am sites (Eglinton West, Sheppard East, East Bayfront) won’t see the light of day in time for the games, if ever. “Pan Am” is a convenient bit of hocus-pocus weaving protective spells around a project Queen’s Park wants to see at all costs, but strangely absent from alternatives that would be more useful in the post-games transit network.

Metrolinx ad ruled ‘misleading’ on electrification

Metrolinx ad ruled ‘misleading’ on electrification

"Advertising Standards of Canada found the flyer failed to explain that the Pearson-to-Union Station shuttle won’t run electric trains when the service opens in 2015. In fact it will be at least seven years before the line can be electrified, according to the electric train advocates who filed a complaint."

One could argue without much effort that the announcement of an EA for electrification was really a pre-election PR move directed from McGuinty's office. It is interesting that the EA for diesel took 9 months but one for electrification (which would happen after new rail lines are in) would take years. Its hard to have faith in the process when the rules seem to change depending on the political need.


Metrolinx Report on Electrification Deemed Misleading: Villager

The Villager/Inside Toronto has run a story about the fallout of the Advertising Council ruling against Metrolinx.


Metrolinx Ruling: Clean Train Responds


Metrolinx flyer misleading on rail electrification, says Advertising Standards Canada

TORONTO – Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) has determined that Metrolinx, the provincial transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, contravened standards in a March flyer mailed to residents along the route of the proposed Airport Rail Link (ARL).
“Metrolinx tried to pull a fast one regarding its hollow promises on electrification of the ARL and got caught,” said Rick Ciccarelli, co-chair of the Clean Train Coalition (CTC), the grassroots organization that has led the campaign for the construction of an electrified ARL and improved GO Georgetown Line service from Union Station to northwestern Toronto.
“This is yet another example of Metrolinx putting its own spin on electrification at public expense,” said Ciccarelli. “The flyer implied the ARL would be launched in 2015 with electric trains, but failed to note that foreign diesels had been ordered and electrification is at least seven years away. This is not the first time Metrolinx has attempted to make the public believe they have embraced this clean, modern form of rail service and are expediting its construction. The CTC believes Metrolinx is trying to delay or derail electrification and continue with its earlier plan to add more than 200 diesel trains to this densely-populated corridor.”
The ASC found Metrolinx contravened Clause 1(b) of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, which states, “Advertisements must not omit relevant information in a manner that, in the result, is deceptive." In response, Metrolinx issued an update on August 16 characterizing its earlier flyer as “information that gave a mistaken impression” and added:
“While our item noted that the Metrolinx Board had approved the staff recommendation to electrify the Georgetown and Lakeshore lines, with the ARL as the first phase, the item did not go on to specify timelines and that the engines used by the ARL service would not be electric when the service commences in 2015, but instead provided a link to our website with the information.
To clarify, Metrolinx is currently in the procurement stage to retain a consultant to undertake the preliminary design for the electrification of the ARL service, and to complete the Environmental Assessment for the electrification of the ARL. The Environmental Assessment is anticipated to take 3-4 years. Subject to the acceptance of the results of the Environmental Assessment by the Minister of the Environment, electrification of the ARL could then proceed based on funding availability and approval of the Metrolinx Board of Directors....”
Said Ciccarelli, “This playing with facts and phrasing is yet another example of the Metrolinx approach to rail electrification. We’ve experienced nothing but resistance from them from the start and we remain unconvinced that they really want to do it or can be trusted to do it properly. The questionable costs, lengthy timelines and understated benefits of ARL and GO electrification that constantly emanate from Metrolinx staff lead us to question their commitment.”
The CTC maintains there is, in fact, no real commitment to electrification by the Government of Ontario, only a public affairs smokescreen. Public funds have gone to hire consultants to re- plough previous studies, to purchase foreign diesel rail cars that are supposedly convertible to electric operation and to begin a $15 million environmental assessment (EA) process.
“All we’ve seen so far is a paper plan and a vague promise,” said Ciccarelli. “In its own response to the ASC decision about the misleading flyer, Metrolinx admitted electrification is still conditional upon completion and acceptance of the EA, funding availability and yet another vote by their board. This is hardly a solid commitment to electrify. It looks more like a government agency working hand-in-glove with its political masters to mislead the public going into a tough provincial election campaign. We expected better of this government.”
The CTC remains committed to continuing its campaign to ensure the Government of Ontario delivers an ARL and improved GO rail services that are both electrified from Day One. The CTC’s analysis of worldwide rail industry data proves this can still be done in time for the Pan Am Games in 2015, which Ontario is touting as the greenest, cleanest sporting event ever.
Said Ciccarelli, “The time has come for Metrolinx and this government to stop spin doctoring their snail-paced, diesel-first plan. They must treat the public with respect with a decisive commitment to an accelerated commuter rail electrification program.”
Rick Ciccarelli, Co-Chair: (647) 233-7624 Greg Gormick, Research Coordinator: (647) 964-3621
The Clean Train Coalition is a completely volunteer-run, grassroots organization representing the communities along the rail corridor. We believe that a healthy environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure. Build it once, build it right! www.cleantrain.ca

Metrolinx Ruling: Mike Sullivan Responds

Mike Sullivan the federal Member of Parliament for York South-Weston provides his opinion on the finding that Metrolinx was misleading the public.

"But the real damage is to the attitude of the public toward the provincial government. There was a growing unease in key Toronto ridings over the provincial government’s decision to use diesel trains for the Air Rail Link. There was real pressure growing on the premier to scrap plans for new diesel trains here. It seems his agency, Metrolinx, did his dirty work for him, spinning the “misrepresentation” that diesel had indeed been scrapped in favour of electric. But the advertising watchdog caught them out."


Council Endorses Electric Trains Again

On March 8 this motion was passed at City Council. The summary at the bottom shows that Council does not agree with Metrolinx's assertions and states that going electric is better for taxpayers.

Electrification of the Air Rail Link - by Councillor Frances Nunziata, seconded by Councillor Doug Ford
* Notice of this Motion has been given. * This Motion is subject to referral to the Planning and Growth Management Committee. A two thirds vote is required to waive referral.
Councillor Frances Nunziata, seconded by Councillor Doug Ford, recommends that:

1. City Council request that the Minister of Transportation consult with international rail electrification experts to determine whether electrification of the Air Rail Link can be completed by 2015.

2. City Council request that if rail electrification experts are of the opinion that the Air Rail Link cannot be built to operate as electric in time for the Pan Am Games, alternative transportation plans be made to transport people from the airport to Union Station for the duration of the Games to avoid added costs of converting from diesel operation to electric.

On June 27-28, 2009, City Council requested Metrolinx to use electric vehicles for the Georgetown GO and Air Rail Link (ARL) services. Recently, Metrolinx has recommended to the Province that the Georgetown South Corridor be considered a priority for electrification, with the ARL to be electrified first. While this is a move in the right direction, the ARL is still planned to operate as diesel first, to be later converted to electric. The justification for this to date has been that an electric ARL cannot be completed in time for the Pan-Am Games in 2015.

It appears as though to date, serious consideration of electrifying the ARL from the onset has not been given. While Metrolinx has asserted that building an electric line would not be possible within the deadline of the Pan-Am Games, many do not believe this to be the case and that consultation with rail electrification experts who have experience in building electric lines may counter Metrolinx' assertion.

If Metrolinx is correct in stating the ARL cannot be up and running by 2015 if built electric,
one must question whether the Pan-Am Games justifies the additional costs that will be incurred by the Province, and borne by taxpayers, to convert to electrification later on. At question is not the need for the ARL.
Private Members Motions have been presented at both the Provincial and Federal level by local representatives MPP Laura Albanese and MP Alan Tonks in support of electrification. On February 24, 2011, MPP Laura Albanese presented another Private Members Motion which contained a recommendation that the electrification of the ARL be completed by 2015; the motion was carried unanimously. It would be befitting that at this time, the City of Toronto reaffirm this position as well.
(Submitted to City Council on March 8, 2011 as MM5.5)

Metrolinx Board recommends phased electrification plan

At today's board meeting, Metrolinx approved the staff recommendation for electrification. Press release is here:


Now it's up to the province. Let's see how that goes. Time to put pressure on the elected officials.

Also: Ontario Launches Environmental Assessment For Electrificat

In addition to Metrolinx asking for ARL electrification, the Province of Ontario announced today that they will move forward with an environmental assessment for the ARL:

Things seem to be progressing with ARL electrification, so this is all positive news today. But what will actually happen in the long run?

If Metrolinx proceeds with their purchase of diesel trains for the short-term implementation of the ARL in time for the Pan-Am Games, will we end up stuck with them for the long-term if the electrification ends up getting delayed or completely cancelled? Will we still have to pay twice, once for diesel trains, and a second time for electric trains?

Will it be enough to save Tony? Probably not.

It is an incredible coincidence that the EA is ready the same morning of the Metrolinx meeting and that this press release features quotes from two Liberal MPs whose necks are definitely on the line because of diesel:

"This is great news for the residents in my community living along the Georgetown corridor. I am pleased our government has made this section of the corridor a priority by committing to an EA for an electrified Air Rail Link."
– Laura Albanese
York South-Weston MPP

"I am very excited about the prospect of electrifying this line. I want to thank all the members of my community who provided input to this study. This news wouldn't have been possible without their contributions."
– Tony Ruprecht
Davenport MP

If this does not show that this is all about the coming election and not about good technical planning then nothing does. Funny how the only communication from Tony is in press releases. Thats because Tony and Laura were the only 2 politicians not to show at the Clean Train Rally (or any other public consultation for that matter). If Dalton were not in election trouble then he would have done nothing on this issue and cast Tony into the electoral dumpster. If politics means we will get electric sooner then I am am for it. Remains to be seen if this will be enough to save yesterdays man, Tony Ruprecht.

Careful What You Wish For?

Who will take Tony out? The Tories will never win in this riding and the NDP seem wholly incapable of nominating a credible candidate. Even with all of the Liberal bashing that goes on, much of it deserved, they still represent a much better alternative than the Tories who are the only other party positioned to win back government.
The NDP party split during the Bob Rae administration because they weren't prepared to compromise and we ended up with Mike Harris. Let's hope people recognize what the alternatives are to the Liberals - neo-conservatives or unelectable NDP.

Provincial Candidates

At this point, I will vote for any provincial candidate that actually cares about the riding, NDP, Conservative or independent. I would like to see someone who has some vision, some opinions and comes out to local events. If someone is keen on being a good politician and is willing to listen to constituents, I think we can get that person up to speed quickly. Rewarding Tony with another term after doing nothing to represent the riding on major issues, including electrification, just doesn't make sense.

Ruprecht: Ineffective, and Disengaged

To some extent Tony will take himself out. He is old, ineffective, and disengaged. His numbers keep dropping and the train issue has really shown what a straw man he is. Its like having no MP at all. Having an engaged mp is half the battle because even opposition MPs can get stuff done. Across the rail the Parkdale NDP is very motivated and organized and Cheri very motivated, she has offered help on the train issue to people on this side (because our mp hides). Given a choice I would rather have an MP who is engaged than somebody who fills a chair here or in Cuba; an MP I might actually see walking down the street once in a while instead of being whisked around in a car followed by hired "supporters" at election time. Its not a political issue for me its a service issue. When I look at it from a more political point of view the liberals are in trouble and the NDP could play a vital role in the next government. Maybe some of our local Liberals should shell out a few dollars, get memberships, and nominate somebody else who might show up for work. By the way, anybody seen Tony lately?

Maybe We Need a "Spot the Tony" Contest

They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Constituents seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
.... No, he's in Cuba
That damned elusive Ruprecht

Perhaps the first person to actrually spot Tony in the riding should be backed as an independent, sort of like how Karen Stintz got into power when the community was sick of the incumbent.

sigh. Even as I joke, the thought of Tony sailing into another term sickens me.

Tony Trivia

Ruprecht began his political career at the municipal level. He is a past chair and advisor to the Parkdale Property Tax Reform Committee, and was a senior alderman representing Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood from 1978 to 1981

Tony Ruprecht was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the west-end Toronto riding of Parkdale in 1981, again, in 1985, 1987, 1990, and 1995. In 1999, he was elected to the riding of Davenport and re-elected in 2003 and 2007. He was born in 1942 in Poland.

LOL - a YouTube video - Tony is Lost

What Wynne is actually saying

From The Globe

"The government is not in a position to make long-term commitments on big-ticket items while it is grappling with an $18.7-billion deficit, Ms. Wynne said.

“We are only promising at this point to do the environmental study,” she said.

In the meantime, the cars for the air rail link will be powered by diesel."

Sound like an election year doesnt it? We have to keep the pressure on now. After October we will have no leverage.

Metrolinx Study Recommends Electrification

The long awaited Metrolinx study about electrification of the Go Train system was released today. Metrolinx is recommending that the Georgetown and Lakeshore lines be electrified in phases over the next 4 to 6 years. You can see the study details here http://www.gotransit.com/estudy/en/default.aspx

Overall it looks very promising. We have to hope now the provincial government accepts the recommendations.

Forget the Pan Am Games

Who ever wanted the Pan Am games anyways?

One bad decision looking to back up another bad decision: get diesel 'for now', electrify later.

Pan Am is Olympic dry run

The Pan Am games, of which most people will travel on dedicated buses to airport for, not MX trains, is dry run for pitching for the Olympics plain and simple. I have had people at City tell me so. If you don't think the construction industry has a say in this artificial ARL deadline then you are dreaming. Other than that nobody cares about the Pan Am games.

Budget Runneth Over

I'm sure once we see how the "proposed" budget for the Pan Am games balloons into something absolute ridiculous (it's already heading there), any talks of this city hosting the Olympics will be sure to end!

Diesel or electric, trains are the better way


“The difference between road and rail is much greater than the difference between electric rail and diesel rail in terms of emissions,” said David Thompson of Sustainable Prosperity, which produced the report in conjunction with the Pembina Institute.

Liberal Spin on the Electrification fiasco

Ah, the Liberal machine is at work putting their spin on the facts based on a new report from Sustainable Prosperity and Pembina. Yes, the difference in air quality for the region of Ontario might be marginal, but for our area, which is increasing in population density everyday, the difference will be significant. Also, the newly released Metrolinx electrification report points out that electrification would reduce GO's GHG emissions by 94 percent -- 94 percent is certainly not marginal.

Note: the research that went into the Sustainable Prosperity and Pembina report was paid in part by Metrolinx, which raises the question, why is Metrolinx wasting taxpayers’ money for this type of a study? Obviously, Metrolinx didn't like the results of the 4 million dollar electrification study which recommended electrification. I wonder how much the Sustainable Prosperity and Pembina report cost.

Someone needs to get their facts straight: implementing a premium train service to the airport has never been about moving people from cars to public transit -- clearly it is about making a profit. If you want to move people from cars to public transit, affordability and integration into the existing transportation network is key. At $20 a ride ($40 for a couple), we can't expect these trains will ever be at fully capacity.

The Liberals are back peddling now; I can hear the communications strategists working busily to turn this story around.

Pembina Report too narrow to be credible

What an amazing coincidence that this comes out the same day as the Electrification study is released. Amazing too, that like the Mx study it has a very narrow Interpretation of environmental impact. It does not look at the entire carbon footprint differences between Electric and diesel and doesnt even consider the accumulation of particulate in the soil along the corridor.Who exactly will pay for its removal in 100 years? But like the Electrification study, you cant expect the children to criticize the same flawed premise that the parent has been peddling for the last two years? At least now the cost of going electric has dropped from the original outlandish MX claims to something closer to reality.

Pembina Conspiracy

That's funny.
When I saw this my first thought was that someone would make it out as a Liberal front. You might get away with it, they are not that well known.
But local GHG as an issue? That is new to me. Bravo.

Rail of Light, The Video

A special thanks to filmmaker David Sloma who has posted a copy of his video from the Junction Triangle Nuit Blanche exhibit Rail of Light. David arrived at the exhibit at sunrise just as we were closing. The video and audio components of the show were already dismantled, but David caught some great shots of Richard Mongiat's sparkling chandeliers. http://www.blip.tv/file/4634123/

Next 4 Weeks are Critical

Next four weeks are critical for JT. Diesel trains could return the neighborhood to its industrial, polluted and noisy past when it was not a choice neighborhood. Historical fact: The Gardiner Expressway devastated Parkdale as a neighborhood and Parkdale has never been the same since. Check out the full story: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/926569--coalition-calls-...

Show Santa Your Artsy Side

Just in time for the holidays, the Junction Triangle Rail Committee has been authorized to distribute a limited number of Christmas lights from the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche exhibit Rail of Light. These genuine art pieces were used by artist Richard Mongiat to create the dazzling chandeliers that were mounted on the Wallace Avenue bridge (http://railoflight.wordpress.com/how/) .

Now the spirit of that night can light your home for the holidays. For a minimum $10 donation to the Junction Triangle Rail Committee, you can own a string of lights from Richard Mongiat’s exhibit. These outdoor lights are 17 feet long, contain 50 LED lights and consume a modest two and a half watts. The lights are available in white, blue or red.

This offer won’t last forever. Quantities are limited. Maybe people in Roncesvalles and the Junction buy their outdoor holiday lights at discount stores, but in the Junction Triangle we’re above that. Be the envy of your friends in Bloordale when you tell them you are decorating your home for the holidays with art.

If you would like to take advantage of this special offer (and help a really good cause), drop us a line at rail@junctiontriangle.ca with your name and telephone number and we’ll help you show Santa your artsy side.

Kindly reserve for me 5

Kindly reserve for me 5

I'll take 10!

I'll take 10!

Metrolinx is soliciting RFQs for Diesel Air-rail Link

Metrolinx is soliciting requests for qualifications (RFQs) for the construction of the diesel air-rail link (DARL). It is very disappointing that they are doing this before the 4.5 million dollar electrification study (i.e., public distraction) is fully released.




They were going diesel from

They were going diesel from before the EA. IF they had just admitted that GO was years behind in terms of vision and done the electrification study then instead of stubbornly chastising the community, who it is now clear was right all along, then we probably would have saved 3 years and be going electric right now. A classic case of the big outdated freighter that cant slow down or turn around delivering a giant shipment of stupid.

Stuffed Toys Smarter than Metrolinx and Dalton

The entire fallacy of diesel trains is explained here by cute bears.


Electrifying GO could cost less than once thought: Report

The Toronto Star reports on the preliminary findings of the Metrolinx Electrification "study". Guess what, the community was right on almost every aspect about electrification even as Metrolinx continued to quote numbers they had to know were inaccurate.

Electrification seems to have mysteriously dropped in cost from "tens of billions of dollars" to about 2 billion. Makes one question ALL of Metrolinx's numbers like ridership doesnt it?


Dalton is spending a lot of money on a system most of the people who live next it cannot use.

What is dumber than Diesel ?

What is dumber than Diesel ? You have to wonder is Metrolinx behind this plan too?

What is dumber than Diesel ?


Public Askling Questions About Metrolinx Plan

It seems that with the election over people are starting to focus on Metrolinx and judging by the overwhelmingly negative comments they don't like what they see. As one reader said "New Business Plan Please".


A premium service that most residents will not be able to use. A few billion dollars for up top 5000 people a day. Thousands eat pollution so a few can have premium service to the airport. What happened to "public" transit?

Wasting money on the "latest" obsolete diesels just so they can be scrapped at a future date. Everybody is going electric, meanwhile we pay for a diesel museum.

A bizarre business plan when you consider that GO already has a line next to the airport that could take a few leased diesels like the ones they already have for the Pan Am Games while they continue to build an expansion that is electric. This would eliminate wasting a billion on a diesel in-between stage that is going to be scrapped down the road.

If we could find Tony Ruprecht maybe he could explain how this makes fiscal, environmental, or economic sense.

Leased pollution not acceptable

Leasing equipment similar to that already used by GO is not acceptable.
Metrolinx should not be relieved of their commitment to use tier 4 equipment for the airport link, and they should not be relieved of their commitment to use lower horsepower motors. I suspect you might not understand the implications of this suggestion.

I am saying build electric

I am saying build electric and we have to wait until 2018 them fine and if we have to lease additional Diesel and not invest in more diesel infrastructure great. Once tier 4 are here it will be hard to get rid of them.after januarys study release Metrolonx should state clearly if and when electrification will happen.

Provincial Govt/Metrolinx is incredibly insensitive

Anyone seen Metrolinx's recent twitter regarding the Georgetown rail corridor/air rail link?

"MX is not expropriating any homes. The letter we sent was not clearly worded. We are starting a discussion with affected families." "The letters were hand delivered with follow-up calls. We agree that in-person is best and are adjusting the process in the future."

Ugh, yah, you don't send out a poorly worded letter when you are telling someone you are taking away their house or impacting their property. If Metrolinx can't get out and meet with the people who are most affected by their decisions, then what kind of public consultation are they engaging in? This is so incredibly insensitive....

I really feel for those Weston folks. Can you imagine receiving a letter on your doorstep telling you that your house is being taken away?

MX Poor Consultation Record

Hard to believe they could botch this but MX doesnt have a sterling reputation when it comes to public consultation. They generally present the plan and then pretend the public had a say.

Today we see it again as the Mobility Hub guidelines are presented to stakeholders after they have been written by a consultant.


You have to ask yourself if Tony Diesel Ruprecht will come to your rescue when MX announces they need a few homes on the south end.


TUESDAY NOV 16th, 9am, DEMONSTRATION at Metrolinx HQ 20 Bay

The Metrolinx Board is meeting on November 16th
to make recommendations to the provincial government
regarding rail transit priorities for its next 10 year capital plan.

Priority Number 1: GO ELECTRIC NOW!

All invited, spread the word, and see you there!


Loser of the Week

Residents in Weston are experiencing the same kind of heartless disregard for their interests by Metrolinx as people in the Junction Triangle were recently with the West Diamond pile-driving. Selected homeowners in Weston were sent eviction letters this week because of plans to build a rail tunnel next year as part of the Georgetown/airport rail expansion.

The Toronto Sun called the letters the "Callous" and their impact was evident in the dozens of stories that it generated. The Globe and Mail has a clear read on the situation http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-residents-f...

It seems as hard as they try, Metrolinx has an objective and a process to reach their goal at the end of a paper trail of faux public consultation that just doesn’t account for the human impact of their scheme. Their talk of electric seems ingenuous while they are steaming ahead with a massive diesel expansion plan in time for the Pam AM Games.

It is really unfortunate that the provincial authorities have decided to create a second tier legacy project for a sporting event striving hard to be world-class. The event competitors, the folks living in Brampton and the provincial government all get what they want while the people living along the tracks like us will be left to live with the cheapest option. Not sure why as a taxpayer, anyone should be forced to settle for something so inferior for the sake of a two week sporting event.

For all of that, and without having to think twice about it, Metrolinx is clearly the LOSER OF THE WEEK.

How about Creep of the Year

Mx and all their talk about consultation and stakeholders. What a load of BS. They have proven yet again that they hold the people who live along the corridor in contempt. They change their personnel but we still get lies upon lies. Patting us on the head with one hand and sticking the knife in with the other. I no longer see any point in even talking/listening to them.

Diesel trains topic du jour in Ward 18

Just posted on The Villager / Inside Toronto's website:


Diesel trains topic du jour in Ward 18
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The electrification of Metrolinx’s Georgetown line tunneled its way through to the top of community groups’ priority lists when asked what they believe is their most important municipal election issue in Ward 18 Davenport.

“There is much concern about Metrolinx’s plans to run diesel trains through the neighbourhood,” said Ann Homan, director of Dig In (Dupont Improvement Group: Improving Neighbourhoods), an organization whose initiatives contribute to sustaining a community that is green, clean, safe and civil by improving its social, environmental, cultural, economic and physical makeup.“This is very much a health and quality of life issue. It will require a strong councillor who understands government process and isn’t afraid to stand up for Ward 18 and Toronto against the province of Ontario.

Chair Donna Cowan stressed, “The rail expansion is very important as it will decide the fate of the neighbourhood – health-wise and urban design-wise.”

Members of the Junction Triangle Electric Rail Committee concur.

“We want a councillor to support (electrification),” said its co-founder Kevin Putnam, simply.

Asked what specifically they would do, if elected, to help their constituents in their fight for the electrification of GO Transit’s rail corridor, Ward 18 candidates presented a myriad of ideas. While those candidates – who responded by The Villager’s deadline – had different plans of action, they all said they support electrification.

Read the complete article with comments from many of the Ward 18 candidates here:

Environment Minister Axed

Ontario Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen was demoted today in the provincial cabinet shuffle. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/mcguintys-shuffle-puts-fres... Glad to see him go! Gerretsen was the Minister who gave Metrolinx the approval to expand diesel train service on the Georgetown corridor with the "stringent" condition that they use technology that doesn't even exist, tier 4 diesel engines. Let's hope the new minister isn't a fraud like his predecessor.

GO has no excuse now

John Gerretsen was not truthful to to the public and never had the courage to meet residents effected by the Liberals scattershot "green" plan. Here is what could be done if common sense prevailed.

GO could start to build for electrification right now (25 years late).

GO could build right now the last bit of line to the airport and have a route running for the Pan Am games (3 weeks).

Go would transition to electric trains as the line is ready, slowly fading out the diesel.

There is no need to buy an unknown unproven polluting technology (that will only be used for 15 years) at all when they cam go to electric AND satisfy the airport link for PanAm AND serve the airport.

With SNC Lavlin gone GO and Dalton have no excuse anymore except their own lack of vision and ability.


Did anyone hear that Metrolinx wants to delay to opening of the Dufferin Jog, add another set of tracks and prevent the expansion of the Railpath? I hope this doesn't go through.

Dufferin Jog Railpath 2

That is not what is going on with Metrolinx.

Metrolinx and the City have differing views as to how busy the bridge over the Dufferin Jog will be. Many transit experts feel that Metrolinx's projections are way too high and that the space available will be fine in the long term. Metrolinx thinks otherwise but it is worth noting that Metrolinxs keeps changing all of it numbers (usually downward) so the City has a point. The City and its planners have a right to their opinion and they feel the additional line is unneeded.

Another aspect to this is cost and we could go on for days talking about issues with where transit funding is coming from but rest assured some of this turf battle has to do with making the other guy pay more of the bill.

In terms of Railpath Metrolinx has been open and helpful about figuring out a way to make it work. We have had meetings with them and the City and there is a lot of support to get things done. Lets be clear though about Railpath and the Dufferin jog (and other locations): REGARDLESS of how many lines are on the Dufferin jog there will be some fancy footwork to get Railpath over the bridge.ALL parties involved are committed to making it happen. For example one solution is to attach a bike/predestrian bridge to the jog bridge and another option (that may be cheaper) is to build a new bike/predestrian bridge on its own. There are a few worst case scenarios but nobody is even close to going there yet. There is also a similar issue at King.

Candidate Ana Bailao has tried to make some political hay about this issue in the National Post as part of her anti-Giambrone obsession but she doesnt have the facts straight about what is going on behind the scenes and in fact is getting in the way of letting Railpath/City/Metrolinx quietly and un-politically figure things out by wrapping it in rhetoric especially since Giambrone was very helpful in getting stage one Railpath done (and further improvements this fall).

Building railroads and railpaths is a very big and complicated task as it is and local citizens are at the table. I think that Metrolinx is still way behind the times on diesel but they are behind Railpath. Politicians, and political wannabees, support Railpath and otherwise butt out.

Dufferin Jog

Thanks for the update. I am glad that you have clarified things. Let's hope that everything goes ahead as planned.

Province to take over Airport Rail Link

Interesting news:


In a surprise move, Metrolinx has announced that it will own, operate and build the highly anticipated rail link between Union Station and Pearson airport, after the province failed to reach an agreement with SNC-Lavalin.

It had long been expected that the private company would build and operate the premium rail service for the government.

“While the province and the Union Pearson Air-Link Group (UPAG), a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin, were able to make significant progress negotiating, financial market conditions prevented acceptable terms,” Metrolinx said in a news release Friday. “The government will continue to work with UPAG to build on the design and development work that has been completed to date.”

Some residents along the Georgetown corridor have opposed the idea of a public-private air-rail link because they believe that the trains should operate as public transit, serving people who live along the line and proving affordable for those who work at the airport.

The residents would also like the electric rather than diesel locomotives to use the route, saying they fear the expanded rail traffic will spew harmful pollutants into their neighbourhoods.

More at The Star:

This decision vindicates what

This decision vindicates what citizens have been saying from day one about this dumb SNC idea. Why GO was not the first choice years ago boggles the mind. Public transit should be run as a public service and not as a for profit monopoly.

You have to wonder what "financial market conditions prevented acceptable terms, really means. Is it cover for the gov to just kill the deal because they knew the details (which would come out eventually) would anger the public during an election year? Or is it true and if so then it tends to support Steve Munros contention that a premium service was not sustainable and that GO's numbers are inflated which spells trouble for the link (only 17% of users come from downtown currently and how much of that number--a few years old---have switched to the much cheaper and more hassle free Porter Air?).There are many transit advocates online today saying that this means the link is dead. I am not so sure but I have always felt that the demand for the air link was vastly overstated.

The good news for us is that this shows that the Gov does feel pressure, especially as an election looms and now with only one group in charge of the entire corridor project MX has no boogyman to hide behind anymore: every diesel cloud stops at their desk. FRom a technical standpoint electrification has never been more possible.

GO running hte show

GO was not allowed to run the ARL. They were excluded from the bidding process. It was a Federal condition imposed by David Collenette when he was Minister of Transport, 2003 I think.

Dalton's Dirty Diesel

Dalton runs the show now. Dalton's Dirty Diesel now fits better than ever.

Wait till you all hear (I mean see) what Tony Ruprechts campaign staff are telling residents about electrification. I wont have time to post until later this week. Prepare to be amazed, or confused. : )

This is a positive change of

This is a positive change of direction. Now that the province is running the ARL it should be cheaper and not cloaked in secrecy. "Should be" is the key qualifier. Public transit should be publicly owned, it's good for democracy. The bad news is, what did it cost us to get out of the deal? Wonder if this announcement has something to do with the new CEO coming in...

Leadership Change at Metrolinx

A story in today's Globe and Mail details a leadership change at Metrolinx http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/veteran-bureaucrat-... Not sure how this will affect efforts to convince the regional transportation agency to electrify the Georgetown corridor. Are life-long bureaucrats open to new ideas or just heartless drones focused on meeting managerial outcomes?

Ruprecht Signs Clean Train Coalition Pledge

MPP Tony Ruprecht was working the crowd at the New Bloor Festival today (before the rain washed things out). He stopped by the Junction Triangle Rail Committee table. When I asked Mr. Ruprecht about signing the Clean Train Coalition electric rail pledge, he indicated that he has signed it twice now. Kudos to Bruce Gavin Ward who got him to sign. That is no small feat for a government member to sign on to something that is counter to official policy. Let's hope our MPP will finally step up the pressure on the McGuinty Liberals to do the right thing and go electric.

Ruprecht is yesterdays man

What a difference a year makes. At last years Bloor Festival Ruprecht berated Clean Train volunteers yelling "what's wrong with you people". I guess Tony realizes that the people calling for clean trains have not gone away, are building momentum, and there is an election coming.

Frankly what else has Tony done on this issue? Nothing. When publicly asked about his position he has been evasive, misleading, and condescending. We know, we have seen the footage.

Ruprecht is out of touch with the riding on environmental and health issues and chosen to stick his head in the sand and hide instead of having even at least once of courage or moral spine to at least show up at events relating to this issue. I would have respect for him if he had at least showed up as Metrolinx public meetings as other MPs and Councilors have.

Regardless of his governments wrong-headed policy, he was voted to represent us and advocate on our behalf. Instead he went into hiding. The Davenport riding deserves better.

Hear, hear! Well said

Hear, hear! Well said scottd.

I am an NDPer myself but at this point I don't care what party our next MPP is with as long as they genuinely represent the needs of this riding. Tony Ruprecht is like a parody of a shiftless politician -- but he's for real. It blows my mind that this guy has kept his seat for 20+ years. Let's hope he retires to enjoy his undeserved pension soon and makes room for somebody who cares about their job and their community.

Time For A New Liberal Candidate

Liberals should band together and challenge Tony for the nomination, force him to prove that he is actually doing things that help the area instead of his parade of meaningless photo ops that appear in his mailings. You have to ask whether Tony is really the best the Liberals can come up with; there is definitely somebody in the riding who can do a better job. I vote to the left and would vote liberal but I just cant vote for Tony. Maybe we can help him retire. : )

Ruprecht is an insult

The scary part of all this is that Ruprecht has held a seat at Queens Park since 1981. What does it say about our riding that we keep electing this guy who's not doing his job. I have requested his attendance records and his expenses (they are not public, as many people assume) and he has provided nothing. I made the request in March. This guy is basically ripping us off and not being held accountable.
My course of action for the next few elections will be anyone but Liberal or Conservative. The Conservatives could have come forward and made this diesel controversy a wedge issue to try and gain support but they haven't. They simply don't care about Public Transit or Toronto.

Ruprecht doesnt want you to

Ruprecht doesnt want you to know his attendance record. Lets ask him on camera next time (!) he shows up at something.

History of Mr. Ruprecht

It is hard to find anything good:
* Tony Ruprecht darkens my doorstep, brings up 184 Wallace: http://bloorlansdowne.blogspot.com/2007/08/tony-ruprecht-darkens-my-door...
* Another resident met him: http://funkaoshi.com/blog/tony-ruprecht#sep12th
* "Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint from a group of mentally ill Torontonians for saying his community had enough "crazed individuals" and didn't need another housing project." Tony lost and had to pay undisclosed sum for his callous remarks.
* No heroes in Davenport Riding: http://railroadedbymetrolinx.blogspot.com/2010/02/we-need-heroes-in-dave...
* Tony spends time in Cuba: http://www.blogto.com/city/2006/04/sun_smears_mpp/ Cannot find link to origial Sun expose
* Cat Challenges Tony:
* Premier chides 'overzealous' Ruprecht: http://www.thestar.com/article/299765
* Tony Ruprecht in his own words: http://www.tonyruprecht.ca/insidepages.aspx?id=biography "Tony Ruprecht was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the west-end Toronto riding of Parkdale in 1981, again, in 1985, 1987, 1990, and 1995. In 1999, he was elected to the riding of Davenport and re-elected in 2003 and 2007..In 1978 Tony was elected as a senior alderman in Toronto and served on both the Metro and Toronto city councils." - A career politician, yet few outside Davenport have ever heard of him?

Tony got away with being a do nothing politician thanks to the general apathy of voters in our riding and the traditional immigrant vote that sees Liberals as the immigrant friendly party.

Tony Ruprecht what are you affarid of ?

Hey Tony why not clear the air and....

1. Make public your attendance record in the past and from now on via your webpage.

2. Make public via your website the other events that were so important that you have missed every single Metrolinx public consultation, meeting, rally, and information session. We would all be interested in what other events were more important than the health of the community.

This is not the first time that you have been asked for this information so Tony, what are you afraid of ?

World Cup of Rail

What do the World Cup and a modern, world class electric train system have in common? Canada doesn’t play at that level. Canada is 63rd in the FIFA World rankings and its massive diesel train plan in Ontario makes it a bottom-feeder among nations.

Algeria (FIFA World Ranking # 30)
Alstom has been contracted by national rail operator Société Nationale du Transport Ferroviaire (SNTF) for an €89m, 350km electrification scheme and the supply of stock for three suburban lines south of Algiers. Algerian Transit Expansion All Electric.

Argentina (FIFA World Ranking # 7)
In May 2006, the Argentine Government announced plans to develop the first high-speed line in South America, stretching 310km…Complete List of Countries http://www.junctiontriangle.ca/rail/WorldCup

World Cup Legacy

An interesting story in the National Post today about the electric train legacy in Johannesburg from the World Cup http://www.nationalpost.com/news/World+Diary+Rail+line+strengthens+socia...
Quite a difference when you consider that the Pan AM Games legacy in Toronto will be a ten-fold increase in diesel trains.

Metrolinx Holding Canada Back?

It's a startling point of reference. Almost all of the contending countries are miles ahead of us on both fronts. A simple comparison between Ontario's rail plans with other places (of notable rank) shows only a handful of countries in the most challenged situations do not have modern, electric rail systems or plans underway to build them.
The comparison is embarrassing. There is no excuse for a modern, industrial place like ours to build a deisel commuter train system. There may be no connection between world soccer and Metrolinx, but the results are about the same for Canada.

More Metrolinx Propaganda

Just got the latest flyer of misinformation from Metrolinx in the mail today. The true nature of PR spin is evident with the slogans across the bottom of both pages in bold that declares "It's Time for Change," "It's Time for Action" and "It's Time for Green."
Just trying to reconcile that overheated rhetoric with the diesel component of this project. What exactly is "green" about diesel? How does the addition of hundreds of diesel trains constitute "change?" And what do these plans say about the kind of "action" the provincial government and Metrolinx are willing to engage in?
Disheartening to see our tax dollars at work trying to propagate another Big Lie.

It's green, alright.

I believe this is what they mean by "green":

Metrolinx Falls Further Behind

Yet another roundup of HSP and Electric rail news from around the world. The world moves forward and Metrolinx is stuck in the past. When the rail media picks this story up Ontario will look like idiots. Thanks Dalton. You know who is paying the price.


Weston residents want bigger say in planned rail link


A lot of good questions posed here by our friends in Weston. Here are two points made by Metrolinx that are not true.

1. Metrolinx states that it is about "getting cars off the road" but every single transit expert in the world knows that the only thing that takes cars off the road is tolls and reducing lanes, otherwise if people take public transit (and the rail link is for profit by the way) it creates space on the road and encourages more people to drive.Metrolinx is helping create sprawl.

2." Tier 4" engines, which do not exist at this point, regardless of how much they pollute, are an INCREASE in overall pollution because of the increased number of train trips. Lets be clear, Metrolinx means more air pollution in Toronto. There is only one solution to this issue and it is electric trains.

Recent Comments by Metrolinx CEO

The Toronto Star has posted a blog story about comments this week by Metrolinx CEO Robert Pritchard about plans for electric trains and the airport link along the Georgetown corridor http://thestar.blogs.com/thegoods/2010/05/clean-train-coalition-asks-pri... Odd that the Star repeats the nonsense that the current study underway is about electrification. The initiative is really just a stalling tactic that will "study" all forms of rail transportation and not make any recommendations after a year's work.

Metrolinx PR Event

An Invitation to Attend Electrification Study Update Meeting – Georgetown Corridor

Metrolinx has initiated a study of the electrification of the entire GO Transit rail system – all seven corridors – as a future alternative to diesel trains now in service. This comprehensive study will consider all potential benefits and costs for various propulsion technologies including diesel technology and electric propulsion for GO trains in the future. A joint venture of Delcan Corporation and Arup Group Inc. is leading the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

The update meeting will be held Thursday, May 27th 2010 from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. at the Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor Street West. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an update on the Electrification Study progress to date. The meeting format will consist of a presentation by the Electrification Study Team, followed by an opportunity for participants to ask questions and offer feedback on the work completed to date.

If you wish to attend the meeting, please RSVP by Tuesday, May 24th to estudy@metrolinx.com – so we can ensure we do not exceed capacity. I would also ask that you circulate this invitation to others in your community who might be interested in attending the Update Meeting.

In the meantime, I invite you to visit the updated Electrification Study website for more information about the study: www.gotransit.com/estudy.


Karen Pitre

Project Director

Electrification Study


416- 874-5910

Metrolinx Meeting Leaves Residents with More Questions

Lisa Rainford provides a good summary in Friday's Villager of the recent Metrolinx meeting.

"Community members who attended Metrolinx's meeting to update the public on its electrification study of the Georgetown Corridor were left scratching their heads when they learned that the provincial transportation agency's analysis introduced other alternative technologies, such as bio-diesel fuel and natural gas, among others.
"It's not clear how this study will affect people in this room," said Clean Train Coalition spokesperson Keith Brook as the audience, who had gathered at the Lithuanian Hall on Bloor Street West. "We're so pro-electrification; you're looking at nine different technologies. The study is so massive. When will we get reasonable information that will affect people in this room?"

To get a sense of the nonsense that Metrolinx is trying to foist on the neighbourhoods of West Toronto, you can read the complete article at http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/822998--metrolinx-meetin...

It very sad to see us have to

It very sad to see us have to suffer with second rate polluting diesel technology while the rest of the world moves on in a greener and more innovative way. The current Metrolinx plan is really just a dusted plan from the 90's and one has to ask if GO was not already studying and thinking about future rail expansion, what were they doing for the last 25 years ?

Its sad that Metrolinx is spending large amounts of money managing public relations and phony Electrification "studies" instead of spending that money on the obvious need to go electric. Dalton may think this makes him look good but when people realize that they funded a polluting for profit airport link it may come back to haunt them. Meanwhile every engineer I have talked to at Metrolinx, off the record, is letdown and professionally embarrassed that their defining career project will be this visionless waste of money.

Hard to Trust Metrolinx

It is hard to trust Metrolinx after all of the nonsense residents have endured with the pile driving. Calling this project an "Electrification Study" is another example of how this crown corporation is just trying to ram diesel trains onto our community because it is the cheapest form of rail expansion to build.
As the notice states, the study is exploring all forms of propulsion including diesel. That's not an electrification study and shouldn't be called one. It is just a blatant example of word games and another sign that Metrolinx is simply going through the motions of consulting residents and ignoring our concerns.
At a recent meeting with Metrolinx, they explained that this study will make no recommendations and is not binding in any way - they are exploring all possible rail systems while forging ahead with their diesel expansion. What's the point? This does little more than waste taxpayer money and create more work for Liberal hacks and consultants.

Mayoral Debate and Electric Trains

Wednesday's mayoral debate was covered on-line by the Globe and Mail's Kelly Grant. The two current front-runners had some interesting comments in response to a question about Metrolinx expansion plans and the airport rail link along the Georgetown corridor. Here is what Kelly posted:

Smitherman: Airport line should be first in region to be electrified but needs support of SNC Lavalin.
Ford: Wants a cost analysis on electric v. Diesel. Whichever is cheaper for taxpayers is the way to go. Well, a vote for diesel.
Ford: If diesel is going to cost an extra billion, how can we pay? Property taxes? We're 3-billion in debt already.
Smitherman: Anybody who wants to pretend electrification doesn't have extraordinary costs is "whistling dixie."
Ford: "I'm not going to feed you a line of B.S" on electrifying trains. Says we can't afford it -- a tough stance considering crowd.

For electric train proponents, Ford is clearly on the wrong side of the issue while Smitherman does not appear ready to fight for clean trains.

Electric Trains Worldwide

Here's an interesting article from inhabitat.com about China's plans to expand and connect their electric train rails to the rest Europe, 17 other Asian countries AND Eastern Europe -- in the next 10 years!

Metrolinx is quibbling about cost for our tiny infrastructure project, yet compare that to China's massive electrical expansion lines and Canada comes off quite regressive. China is now the leader in high speed rail. What's Metrolinx waiting for?

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