Clean Train Coalition launches fundraiser to prevent diesel trains

The Clean Train Coalition is calling on residents along the Georgetown-Kitchener rail corridor, which runs beside Sorauren Park, to financially support its campaign in favour of electric trains instead of diesels.

The campaign promotes the use of electric trains for the new Air-Rail Link instead of cancer-causing diesels that will run an average of every 7.5 minutes beside the park. The new traffic will quadruple diesel train frequency on the line (which also carries GO trains) from approximately 40-50 per day to approximately 200 per day. The ARL is being built to open prior to the Pan Am Games.

Last June, the World Health Organization re-classified diesel exhaust, confirming it as a cancer-causing substance and calling on governments to take action to prevent its harmful effects.

Metrolinx, the provincial agency that will run the new premium-service Air-Rail Link, has acknowledged that if the political will exists, the Air-Rail Link could be electrified in time for the Pan Am Games. Electric trains are lighter, faster, quieter and less expensive to operate. Ontario’s electric authorities say the existing electrical supply can support an electric ARL.

Other world jurisdictions are using modern electric trains for their express airport rail services, including London (privately owned) and Hong Kong, not to mention Vancouver and Chicago, which run electric public transit services to their airports.

London’s electric Heathrow Express airport service is privately owned.

Hong Kong’s electric Airport Express rail service

In August, the non-partisan Clean Train Coalition filed an application for the Ontario Divisional Court for a Judicial Review of the decision by Metrolinx to use diesel trains for the Air-Rail Link.

But the Judicial Review costs money. Clean Train volunteers have been covering costs from their own pockets. The Coalition is reaching out to friends and neighbours for financial contributions to support the legal action and ongoing campaigns.

You can learn more about the issue and donate online at the Clean Train website.

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One comment

  1. Neville Ross

    London’s commuter rail line to the airport may have electric rail (and by me that’s great) but the main concern is what should be powering this thing, and I think that without a group of nuclear reactors in service, the demand on the power grid of Toronto (along with all of the other demands) will become quite big and result in a few blackouts (I’m very sorry, but with all due respect, I don’t trust wind to handle this.)

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