Clean Train Coalition Update - April 19

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!

Please tell everyone you know that the public is being misled. We must all spread the word that electrification for the start of service is STILL not happening.


The federal election is May 2. Even though this is a provincial project, the federal parties and government still have some clout in this issue. So ask your federal candidates what they have done to help us and what they will do in the future to help convince the federal government to get involved to help make sure it gets built right the first time.

It is really the provincial government (Premier McGuinty) who can direct Metrolinx to build this line electric from start of service. Your MPP needs to hear from YOU about this failure to GO ELECTRIC! We'll also have to raise this issue in the coming provincial election in October.

We are currently restructuring and revitalizing to fight these myths and lies. Anyone who knows the history of this project knows that this will be a difficult battle. We are fighting a stubborn provincial government which is insisting on building this project the wrong way. We are in this fight for the long-term until we win our goal of getting clean electric rail through all our neighbourhoods. We have not yet won. Your help is needed now more than ever.

Some areas we are looking for help:

  • plan and execute an upcoming sign project
  • reach out to community groups, having a presence at summer events
  • screen a documentary film about the trains in various communities or park
  • write content to update our website, or create posters, and other materials to help get the word out

We also want to make sure there are members of the public present at every Metrolinx board meeting to make sure they know we're out there and watching them. Anyone is welcome to attend. Their next meeting is on Thursday, April 28, at 8:30 a.m. at 20 Bay St., 6th floor. If you have time to attend, we invite you to let us know. Send us an email if you have any questions about it.

And of course, we can always use donations for upcoming actions. Please go to and donate whatever you can.

We will be arranging a general meeting at some point in the future but it's still to be scheduled.

Please email us at to get involved.


Premier, Province of Ontario
Rm 281, Legislative Building, Queens Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Tel: (416) 325-1941 Fax: 416-325-3745

Minister of Transportation
Ferguson Block 3rd Floor
77 Wellesley St W
Toronto ON M7A1Z8
Tel: 416-327-9200

York South--Weston
Unit 102 - 2301 Keele St
Toronto ON M6M 3Z9
Tel: (416) 243-7984 Fax: (416) 243-0327

1359 Davenport Road
Toronto ON M6H 2H5
Tel: (416) 535-3158 Fax: (416) 325-9961

The Clean Train Coalition is a non-partisan volunteer group that represents 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!

Help get the word out - get your neighbours to sign up to