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Major construction begins at West Toronto diamond
Published: January 16th 2009
Source: Transport Canada
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TORONTO Construction of an underpass to separate GO commuter rail lines and Canadian Pacific Railway's (CP's) freight trains along GO Transit's Georgetown line is well underway. The $277-million West Toronto Diamond grade separation will be a welcome improvement for commuters who use this GO Train service.

"This investment will help cut commute times on GO Trains and will help get commuters out of their cars and onto public transit," said John Baird, Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister. "Projects like this will help clear the air, reduce congestion and stimulate the economy in the Greater Toronto Area."

The CN tracks along the Georgetown line will be lowered to run below CP's North Toronto line rather than across it. The new underpass will eliminate scheduling conflicts between CP freight trains and GO Trains, increasing the frequency of GO service on the Georgetown line. Of the $277 million, $159 million is being funded through the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO TRIP) funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and municipal governments in the Greater Toronto area through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

"Investing in our transit infrastructure is creating jobs and improving customer service," said the Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario's Minister of Transportation. "More frequent and reliable service means people spend less time travelling and waiting for trains, and more time doing the things that are important to them."

To date, third-party utilities, as well as the Dupont Street bridge, train signals and a major water main have been relocated to enable construction of the depressed corridor and two additional bridges. The project is expected to be complete by spring 2011.

"The West Toronto Diamond rail-to-rail grade separation is one of the largest and most comprehensive projects in the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program," said Gary McNeil, managing director of GO Transit. "Not only will the separation allow GO Trains and freight trains to pass through the area with fewer interruptions, but it will also lay the groundwork for future development of GO Train service for customers in this part of the Greater Toronto Area."

Backgrounder
GO TRANSIT IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

The Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund supports large-scale projects of major national and regional significance. Through this fund, the federal and provincial governments agreed to provide up to $385 million each to support major GO Transit rail infrastructure improvements over seven years. Municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will also provide funding.

GO Transit carries more than 170,000 passengers an average of 32 kilometres every day on its rail system. During rush hour, almost every seat on all GO Trains is occupied. The expansion will enable GO to accommodate more than 40,000 additional passengers forecast to use the system during peak periods by 2011.

The GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO TRIP) includes 12 GO rail projects across the system and an expansion of the GO bus network. Most of these projects are underway, with completion expected in 2012. Below is an update for each project.

Lakeshore West corridor
A third track is being added on two sections of the Lakeshore West corridor to allow more GO train service and reduce delays.

Port Credit Station (Mississauga) to Kerr Street (Oakville): Construction began in April 2007 and is expected to be complete by November 2009.
Burlington Station to Bayview Junction (Hamilton): Construction on this portion of the corridor was completed in April 2008. All-day service to Aldershot Station began in September 2007.
In April 2008, GO Transit implemented the use of 12-car trains along the Lakeshore West corridor. The addition of the two rail cars has enabled each 12-car train to accommodate 300 new riders per train an increase of 20 per cent.

Prior to the introduction of the new, longer trains, station platform extensions were constructed at Port Credit, Clarkson, Oakville and Aldershot on the Lakeshore West corridor.

Lakeshore East corridor
Improvements to accommodate three-track operation between Union Station and Scarborough Station were completed in April 2008. Further work was done to extend the station platforms at the Scarborough, Eglinton and Danforth stations to accommodate 12-car train service.

Milton corridor
In April 2008, GO Transit implemented 12-car trains along the Milton rail corridor. The addition of the two rail cars has enabled each 12-car train to accommodate 300 new riders per train an increase of 20 per cent.

Prior to the introduction of the new, longer trains, station platform extensions were constructed at Milton, Meadowvale, Cooksville, Erindale, Kipling and Dixie on the Milton corridor. The platform extension at Streetsville Station is currently underway.

A new storage site was built near Milton Station to accommodate longer 12-car trains and improve operational efficiencies. This allows trains to be stored closer to where they start and finish in order to minimize delays and reduce unnecessary train trips. The site has been operational since January 2007.

Stouffville corridor
Construction on a GO rail underpass that will help decrease delays caused by freight train traffic on the Stouffville corridor began in May 2006.

Most of the work related to the underpass was completed this past summer and in July the first GO train passed through the new depressed corridor. At the end of November 2008, all project improvements were finalized. As a result, GO train service along this corridor is more efficient and passengers are experiencing fewer delays.

Georgetown corridor West Toronto Diamond
Construction is underway on the West Toronto Diamond rail-to-rail grade separation. This rail underpass will allow GO Trains to avoid delays caused by conflicts with freight trains. Preliminary work is complete, and the construction of the grade separation is expected to begin in December 2008 and is expected to be finished in 2011.

Georgetown South (Weston corridor)
An environmental assessment is underway to identify improvements required to accommodate increased GO train frequency and options for a transportation link between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.

Georgetown North corridor
Construction began in fall 2006 to increase track capacity along the corridor, accommodate two new rush-hour trains and provide limited off-peak service to the Mount Pleasant Station in North Brampton. Construction is expected to be complete by July 2009.

Bradford corridor
The Snider rail-to-rail grade separation at the Canadian National York subdivision freight line has been operational since December 2006. This GO train rail overpass allows GO Transit to avoid delays caused by conflicts with freight trains.

Improvements along the Bradford corridor to accommodate rail service to Barrie are also complete, and service has been operational since December 17, 2007. During the week, four morning trains depart from the new GO Transit Barrie South Station for Union Station, and four afternoon trains depart from Union Station for the City of Barrie.

Union Station Rail Corridor Program
GO Transit awarded the contract for the signal improvements in 2007. Design work began in December 2007, with overall completion expected in 2014. The work on this project will include a complete replacement of the 70-year-old track signal system at Union Station.

Additional improvements to Union Station are also underway, including new tracks and platforms. This will help improve the efficiency of the train network and increase operational capacity.

The Don Yard has been redeveloped by GO Transit for its daytime train storage needs and is fully operational.

Other service areas
On September 4, 2007, two new GO bus routes to Guelph were implemented as part of the GO TRIP program. In addition, on June 30, 2008, GO Transit bus service was extended to Stoney Creek.
 

 
 
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