Clean Train rally set for Sunday Oct. 14

Sorauren Park will be the site of music, festivities and speeches, and the end point of a special parade in support of clean trains on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The rally is being organized by the non-profit Clean Train Coalition, made up of communities along the Kitchener/Georgetown rail line that passes by Sorauren Park. The Coalition is fighting for electric instead of diesel trains running every 7.5 minutes (on average) by the park as part of the new, high-priced, four-stop Air-Rail Link connecting Union Station and Pearson Airport. The diesel plan was ordered by Premier Dalton McGuinty and is being carried out by the Metrolinx transit agency in time for the two-week Pan Am Games in 2015.

Speakers at the Human Train Rally held at Sorauren Park three years ago in 2009. (P.S.: All of Expo 67 in Montreal was built in three years. The province has said since before 2009 that there was not enough time to electrify the line before 2015.)

The parade starts at 1 p.m. at the Wallace Street footbridge and the Railpath (north of Bloor, west of Lansdowne). It will proceed down the Railpath, along Bloor to Roncesvalles, then cut across to Sorauren Park for the rally at 2 p.m. The coalition is urging participants to bring banners and noise-making casserole pots. The diesel trains will be so loud that Metrolinx is planning to install 5-metre-high noise barriers along the rail line, including in Sorauren Park (see pictures below).

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization reclassified diesel exhaust as a human carcinogen. The Clean Train Coalition has launched legal action Metrolinx. For more about the rally and to make a donation to the Clean Train Coalition, visit cleantrain.ca.

Kevin Putnam of the Junction Triangle Rail Committee built this representative wall to demonstrate the height of Metrolinx’s planned noise barrier along the rail corridor from Union Station to Pearson Airport, required by the frequency and noise of the diesel trains. A wall is planned for Sorauren Park.

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