GO Transit

GO Transit

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)

GO/Metrolinx Electrification Study meeting

The following meeting announcement comes from GO Transit / Metrolinx. You can download a PDF copy of their announcement here. Please note that you are expected to register for this meeting by May 24th. Details below.

20 Bay Street, Suite 901
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2N8
Phone: 416.874.5900
Fax: 416.874.5901

May 13, 2010

The Globe: City to complete West Toronto Railpath extension

West Toronto Railpath: The bridge over Bloor Street, Jane's Walk 2010West Toronto Railpath: The bridge over Bloor Street, Jane's Walk 2010

Today's Globe & Mail has an article about the possible future extension of the West Toronto Railpath.

A few quotes from the article:

A completed trail “would be amazing,” said Daniel Egan, manager of the city’s cycling infrastructure and programs. “What’s in place now doesn’t really go anywhere, but you can get a sense of what’s possible. ... You don’t need much imagination to understand how important it could be.”

But the completion of the trail into downtown is likely several years off, and still faces significant design and construction hurdles.

But if it is to become more than just a recreational trail, and open up a new commuting route for cyclists, the southern portion of the trail down to King and Strachan needs to be completed. That depends on whether room can be carved out alongside the rail corridor that is being expanded to provide more frequent GO train service and a rail link to the airport.

Metrolinx, the government agency planning the GO expansion, says it will try to make room for the railpath alongside its tracks. The city is willing to pick up the tab for construction costs, and will accommodate the trail on adjacent land or streets in the sections where it can’t be accommodated on rail land. And the grassroots group Friends of West Toronto Railpath, which pushed for years to get the path under way, is lobbying hard and helping with the design of the extended path.

Metrolinx drops West Diamond appeal

The Toronto Star is reporting:

In a major victory for Toronto’s Junction community, Metrolinx has agreed to drop its appeal of a decision that limits the amount of noise it can make in the west-end neighbourhood.

The decision not to appeal ends months of tension around the nerve-jangling noise and vibration of pile-driving on the rail crossing known as the Toronto West Diamond near Dundas St. W. and Dupont.

In December, the CTA ordered GO to limit work hours and use quieter methods at the rail crossing. GO had already implemented quieter technology and shrouds over the pile drivers to try to reduce the noise.

Although this will delay the West Toronto Diamond grade separation project a little, it will provide the residents of the area around the diamond with some much-needed peace and quiet after the many months of pile-driving they have had to put up with.

Read the complete article over at The Star's website.

Clean Train Student Coalition calls for student action

The following press release was sent by the Clean Train Student Coalition.

Clean Train Student Coalition
3199 Lakeshore Blvd. W.
Toronto, Ontario
M8V 1K8

Attention: News Editor

Caterina Ventrella
Media Relations Officer

April 9, 2010


TORONTO – The Clean Train Student Coalition is seeking support from students and student groups in the Greater Toronto Area to electrify the proposed diesel train expansion in Toronto. The CTSC is asking people to sign the petition at www.cleantrain.ca/petition to protest the use of diesel-powered locomotives in the project.

Get on board with the Junction Triangle Rail Committee

A new residents’ group has formed in the neighbourhood. The Junction Triangle Rail Committee will focus on the merits of electrification - what increased diesel traffic means for our community - and the construction of the Davenport Diamond overpass/separation on the Eastern side of the neighbourhood. As a group, we are 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? 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 practise responsible construction methods that won't drive people from their homes, please contact us by emailing rail@junctiontriangle.ca or through the online contact form.

Irmina Ayuyao
Bruce Gavin Ward
Scott Dobson
Vic Gedris
Kristen den Hartog
Kevin Putnam
Jeff Winch

The Junction Triangle Rail Committee is on the web at: www.junctiontriangle.ca/rail

Public Forum: Diesel vs. Electric Rail Expansion

Please take note of this upcoming meeting at City Hall regarding the expansion of diesel train traffic in the Georgetown rail corridor on the western side of our neighbourhood.

Public Forum

All Aboard? Diesel, electric and clean air: Which way forward?

This forum is an opportunity for public discussion of the proposed Metrolinx expansion of the Georgetown South transit line and the rail link from Union Station to Pearson.

The Board of Health supports expanded public transit as a way to reduce vehicle traffic, but remains concerned about health risks and air quality impacts predicted with the proposed diesel rail expansion.

Forum Date: Monday, March 22, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Council Chambers, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street W.
Public Transit: Subway to either Queen (Yonge line) or Osgoode (University line) and walk over to Bay St. Alternatively, take the Bay bus #6 or #6A northbound from Union Station or southbound from the Bay subway station (transfer required). Disembark at Albert Street.

There will be a panel discussion, followed by a question period. Everyone is welcome to attend. Registration is not required.

Flyer for Public Forum on Metrolinx Expansion (PDF)

Background information on the proposed expansion.

Davenport Diamond grade separation: January 2010 update

Davenport DiamondDavenport Diamond

Here's another update on Davenport Diamond grade separation project. What is this project about? In short, this project proposes to grade-separate the railway tracks that run along the east side of our neighbourhood (between Campbell Ave. and Lansdowne) and the CN Tracks on the north side of our neighbourhood (between Dupont and Davenport). This would involve creating a huge wall/overpass or trench east of Campbell Ave., with the possibility closing Wallace Ave. Whatever the outcome of this project is, it will have a major impact on our neighbourhood.

It seems that not too much has changed since the last update from GO/Metrolinx on November 10 2009, except that:

  • GO/Metrolinx have purchased the entire Newmarket/Barrie railway corridor (as reported here on December 15th)
  • The environmental assessment has been pushed back to 2012.

Read below for the email sent from Gary McNeil of GO/Metrolinx:

Metrolinx buys Barrie rail corridor

GO Train crossing Wallace Ave.GO Train crossing Wallace Ave.

According to Transit Toronto and the CBC, Metrolinx has purchased the remainder of the Newmarket Subdivision railway tracks from CN and now owns the complete corridor from Union Station to Barrie.

The Newmarket Sub is the railway track on the east side of our neighbourhood between Campbell Ave. and Lansdowne Ave. This is the track that Wallace crosses, next to the water tower (as in the photo). This track mainly serves GO Transit's commuter trains between Barrie and Union Station, as well as a few VIA and freight trains.

This is an important event for our neighbourhood. GO / Metrolinx are currently planning on expanding traffic on this rail corridor, which will involve adding at least one extra track as well as another massive grade separation project at the Davenport Diamond at the north-east corner of the Junction Triangle. Now that Metrolinx has purchased this rail corridor, they have much stronger control over how it will be developed.

GO / Metrolinx has said they will hold some community consultations about the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation project and rail expansion on this corridor sometime in the New Year. It will be extremely important for residents in our area to stay focused on this topic, as the implications may be immense and extremely long-lasting: More trains, a massive railway overpass/wall structure, a long trench/tunnel, the closing of Wallace Ave., increased diesel train traffic, and more.

Fiorito: Metrolinx diesels are dirty, ugly and NOISY

Toronto Star Columnist Joe Fiorito chimes in on the diesel debate. Of note, and not well understood by residents, is that "mitigation" of the diesel pollution and noise will mean large walls along the tracks. As usual, after looking at the details, this columnist comes to the conclusion that electric trains from day one would be the best option on every level.


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