Dear Friends of Clean Trains,
Many residents along the Georgetown Corridor, specifically between Liberty Village and Weston, are under the impression that we have won the battle on electrification - that they are planning to immediately start electrifying the GO system, starting with the Air Rail Link (ARL) and the Georgetown Corridor - and that we don't need to fight for it anymore. This is completely false and we are taking this opportunity to "debunk the myth."
What Metrolinx is NOT advertising is that their claimed earliest date for ARL electrification is at least 7 to 9 years in the future. Or it could be longer. In real terms, it means that there is NO CHANGE to their plans to build the ARL with diesel engines for the start of service in 2015! Electrification of the line is NOT a given and we still need to press for it to happen. The Pan Am Games, a 2-week event, is just not enough of a reason to go ahead and build a line that will end up costing us more financially and with our health.
Under intense pressure from the Clean Train Coalition and others, Metrolinx has finally acknowledged that electric trains are not only superior in many ways but are also less expensive than diesels. Despite this, the provincial government is still insisting that we need to rush to build a diesel-powered service prior to the Pan Am Games in 2015! They say they will electrify the line later, but there are no firm promises nor dates given. And electrifying later will result in a $400-million-plus penalty to taxpayers!
This is a waste of time and money. We continue to insist that they should build smart regional rail RIGHT the first time. Build the ARL as electric from the start or wait until it can be built right the first time!
Meeting notice from Metrolinx:
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
DUNDAS WEST-BLOOR MOBILITY HUB STUDY
Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario, is helping transform the way the region moves by championing and delivering mobility solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
The Big Move, Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan for the GTHA, imagines a future in which key transit stations become mobility hubs. Mobility hubs consist of major transit stations and the surrounding area. They serve a critical function in the regional transportation system as the origin, destination, or transfer point for a significant portion of trips. They are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation – from walking to riding transit – come together seamlessly and where there is an intensive concentration of working, living, shopping and/or playing.
The Dundas West-Bloor Mobility Hub Study
We are conducting a study on the proposed Dundas West-Bloor Mobility Hub. The study includes the development of a plan to better integrate existing GO Transit and TTC services, as well as provide a design foundation for future major upgrades to GO Transit and TTC service, and a stop on the Union-Pearson Air Rail Link.
The study builds closely on the findings of the Bloor-Dundas Avenue Study prepared by Brook McIlroy and commissioned by the City of Toronto in 2009.
The Open House
You’re invited to attend our open house to find out more about this study.
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Venue: Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor Street West
I stumbled upon this scene yesterday while crossing the Wallace Ave. footbridge. A railway crane car was moving along the tracks picking up pieces of rail with an electromagnet and dropping them on the flatbed.
The video is seven and a half minutes of adrenaline soaked non-stop action, with plenty of drama and suspense too. OK, maybe not, but it's a snapshot of life along our changing railway tracks.
Clean Train Coalition rally, Friday February 18, 8:30am, in front of Metrolinx headquarters at 20 Bay St.
We are at an important juncture in the fight for electric trains. We need to keep the pressure on the Ontario Government, so that they follow through on the recommendations of their own 4 million dollar study to electrify the Georgetown Rail Corridor and do not purchase diesel trains in February 2011. This issue could easily get lost among the political priorities, somewhere between suburban transportation needs and the Pan Am Games. The best way to keep the pressure on is through letters, emails, phone calls and other communications. With an election on the horizon, voters’ words have power. To this end, our friends at Stop Diesel Trains have created postcards that can be mailed to Premier McGuinty. The cards have a simple but clear message:
Members of the Junction Triangle Rail Committee, Clean Train Coalition, Stop Dirty Diesel Trains, and other community groups are holding a demonstration on Wednesday January 26, 8:30am, demanding that Metrolinx NOT purchase diesel trains for the air-rail link to Pearson Airport.
Details are in the Clean Train Coalition's flyer below.
ATTEND: THE CLEAN TRAIN DEMONSTRATION
We demand that Metrolinx NOT purchase diesel trains for the air-rail link to Pearson Airport.
Wednesday, January 26 at 8:30 a.m.
Central YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St
2 blocks north of College St, west of Yonge St
CALL: 416 205 5807 TO LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR CBC RADIO ON THE ELECTRIFICATION.
VOLUNTEER: send your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to help deliver flyers in your area.
The following notice was sent out by Metrolinx to inform the community of upcoming road closures on Dupont St. between Osler and Dundas (under the tracks), and along the West Toronto Railpath above Dupont St. You can download the original PDF of this notice here.
GEORGETOWN SOUTH PROJECT
The Georgetown South (GTS) Project will provide infrastructure improvements to meet existing GO Transit ridership demand and future growth. It will also accommodate the new Air Rail Link service between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.
Dupont Street Bridge
Road Closures: December 15 (Overnight) and 17-19
The Dupont Street bridge currently has five tracks. As part of the GTS Project, a new bridge span will be installed between the existing GO tracks and the West Toronto Rail Path bridge to accommodate one additional track. The work will involve modifying the existing concrete abutments, constructing a new steel pier, and installing the new steel beam span.
Join the Clean Train Demonstration at Metrolinx's offices, Tuesday November 16 at 9:00am, 20 Bay Street at Queen's Quay.
The Metrolinx Board is meeting to make recommendations to the provincial government regarding rail transit priorities. This is a crucial time for us to demonstrate to Metrolinx and the Provincial government that we are not willing to accept any increased pollution in our neighbourhods.
The following event announcement comes from the Clean Train Coalition:
Pressure mounts on Premier McGuinty to GO ELECTRIC!!
You are cordially invited to attend the Clean Train Coalition's GO ELECTRIC music event on Sunday, September 26th in Sorauren Park, from 1:00pm - 5:00pm. Local musicians will perform throughout the afternoon, with keynote speakers taking the stage at 3:00pm.
The Ontario Redi-Mix plant at 57 Wade Ave. has closed down. I don't know the exact date of the plant's closure, but it has now been inactive for several weeks.
Ontario Redi-Mix is the concrete manufacturing and distribution factory that is visible over the railway tracks at Erwin Krickhahn Park. What seemed like a constant parade of cement trucks around the Bloor-Lansdowne area is a direct result of this plant. I know that there were many complaints about Ontario Redi-Mix from residents in the Lansdowne / Wade / Jenet / Paton area stemming from the truck traffic, noise, dust, dirty streets, idling trucks, cracked sidewalks, and much more. I bet the residents of that area are happy to see this place closed down.
Perhaps it will make life better for Junction Triangle residents on Rankin Cres., and users of Erwin Krickhahn Park too? I'm not sure, as I can't say I've ever been bothered by this facility while in the park, but maybe people who live close-by had different experiences (please post if you have!).