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10/7/2009



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Ontario minister: Metrolinx must meet 18 environmental conditions to advance GO Transit corridor expansion


Yesterday, Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen approved Metrolinx's plan to expand GO Transit’s Georgetown South rail corridor, completing the province’s environmental review process.

The project calls for expanding the corridor that runs through Toronto's west end to accommodate increased commuter- and freight-rail traffic, and establish a rail link between Union Station and Pearson International Airport. The expansion will enable GO Transit to provide more frequent service and offer a much-needed rail connection between the airport and station.

Metrolinx now can proceed with the project, but the agency must comply with 18 air quality and public health conditions stipulated by the province. For example, GO Transit must employ diesel locomotives that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission standards that take effect in 2015. To become commercially available in the next few years, the locomotives reduce particulate emissions by 90 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent compared with conventional motive power. The agency also must continuously monitor and publicly report air emissions.

The Georgetown line expansion is part of the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program, a $1 billion initiative funded by the federal, provincial and local governments. The Union-Pearson link will be financed and managed by a private-sector operator. Formerly the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, Metrolinx merged with GO Transit in May.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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