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.
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.