The provincial government, through its transit agency Metrolinx, is now undertaking an environmental assessment to study electrifying the Union-Pearson Express air-rail link after first building a diesel system to meet the Pan Am Games deadline in 2015. UP Express diesel trains will run by Sorauren Park 140 times a day (added to the current 50 or so trains a day currently).
Metrolinx is holding a series of public open houses to share a project update and seek feedback on issues such as traction power supply, power distribution, and maintenance requirements.
Metrolinx also claims the diesel trains it is buying for UP Express can be converted to electric propulsion. UP Express electrification would be a first step to electrifying the entire GO train network.
Four open houses will be held, all from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The remaining three dates are:
- Monday, June 10, Metro Hall
- Tuesday, June 11, Mimico Presbyterian Church
- Wednesday, June 12, Mount Dennis Legion
GO has done a good job compiling electrification information, including more details on open house times and locations, at its website. Train nerds rejoice: It gets nerdy.
More information on the dangers of diesel trains (diesel exhaust is a carcinogen) and the lost opportunities with a slow, loud, polluting, and more expensive diesel service can be found at the new website, cancertrain.ca, as well as on the Sorauren Park rail corridor pages.