Clean Train Rally @ Metrolinx HQ

Clean Train Coalition rally, Friday February 18, 8:30am, in front of Metrolinx headquarters at 20 Bay St.


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Metrolinx approves $55M

Metrolinx approves $55M Pearson train purchase

The board of Metrolinx on Friday approved the purchase of special trains to carry travellers between Union Station in downtown Toronto to Pearson International Airport.

The contract with Sumitomo Corp. of America for 12 of the train cars is worth about $55 million.

Metrolinx says the 12 units will create six two-car trains capable of carrying 120 people.

The contract would include an option to buy an additional six vehicles, which would increase its value to $75 million.

Metrolinx says the vehicles are new to North America and are not made in Canada. They will be made in the United States, but where possible, Metrolinx will work with the manufacturer to optimize Canadian content.

Metrolinx says the service will be operational by 2015 and offer an alternative to the five million car trips that take place every year between Union Station and Pearson Airport.

"We are excited to be taking the next step towards providing a link from the busiest airport to the busiest passenger rail hub in Canada," said Bruce McCuaig, president and CEO of Metrolinx.

"This rail link is a vital transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, improving traffic congestion and providing passengers with more travel options across the region."

But Cheri DiNovo, the provincial NDP's transit critic, said there is "strong community opposition" to the plan, due to environmental and health concerns of those who live near the tracks.

"The health concerns of tens of thousands of residents who live near the tracks have fallen on deaf ears," DiNovo said.

Tier 4 is a pollution increase: BOH

It was interesting that the Metrolinx press release never mentions health effects.

But the Toronto Medical Officer of Health issues new report stating that "Tier 4" diesel will create an increase in pollution and that electrification is the best choice for healthy communities. Report also re-states the global move towards cheaper more efficient electric commuter systems.

His report.

Metrolinx has always tried to fudge the health issue by saying that Tier 4 produces less pollution. That is true if it is replacing existing tier 2 diesels. BUT this is a new service so matter how clean they are, it still represents an increase in pollution, noted here in far clearer detail than in the Metrolinx "Electrification Study" that seemed to suggest there was no health effects along the corridor (and as we all know electrification was mysteriously never part of the diesel EA so no comparison was ever done between the health effects of diesel VS electric although it is self evident). This document from the BOH is only a few pages so take the time to read, absorb the details and think about the next provincial election.