GO Transit announces Union Station signalling contract



    TORONTO, Nov. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - GO Transit today announced the approval to
award the Union Station electrical and communications contract to Siemens
Canada Limited.
    This contract governs the design, supply, installation and commissioning
of a new state-of-the-art train control signals system for Union Station. The
current signaling system has been in operation since the 1920s. Benefits for
commuters include the potential for more trains in and out of Union Station,
more reliable operation of trains at Union Station, improved communications
and greater flexibility in train scheduling.
    "Public transit is a priority for the Government of Canada," said the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities. "This project is just another example of the types of investments
the federal government is making to improve the safety and efficiency of
transit systems within the GTA."
    "GO Transit is an integral part of the transit system in the GTA, moving
people efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way," said the
Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. "The investment we are making
today will help modernize the system and improve reliability for all
passengers."
    "This new signal system is long overdue," said Ontario Transportation
Minister Jim Bradley. "As the new signalling is installed, GO commuters can
expect fewer winter delays, speedier entries into stations, and more reliable
service."
    This initiative is part of the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO
TRIP), a billion-dollar expansion initiative funded by the governments of
Canada and Ontario, and Greater Toronto Area municipalities, through the
Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). The CSIF provides federal funding
to large-scale transportation infrastructure projects of major national and
regional significance.
    "This is a major long-term project that will bring big benefits," said GO
Transit Chairman Peter Smith. "The new signal system will go a long way toward
allowing us to improve service reliability and add trains."
    The contract, worth $280 million, is the largest contract in GO Transit's
history. The Government of Canada will be contributing approximately
$90 million towards the project, with the Province of Ontario contributing the
remainder. Work on the design of this project is scheduled to begin in
December 2007, and is expected to be complete in 2014.
    For more information and updates on this project, call 647-258-2073, or
visit GO Transit's website at www.gotransit.com/unionstationrenewal.

    A backgrounder with further information on the Canada Strategic
Infrastructure Fund is attached.


    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                     CANADA STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
                     ------------------------------------

    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 the next seven years.
Municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton will also provide
funding.
    In Budget 2007, an investment of more than $16 billion in federal
infrastructure funding was announced, bringing support over the next seven
years to a total of $33 billion, including the funding provided in Budget
2006. The $33-billion Building Canada Plan includes the extension of the
federal Gas Tax Fund to 2014 and $8.8 billion over seven years for the
Building Canada Fund.
    Under MoveOntario, announced in the 2006 Ontario Budget, the Ontario
government is investing $1.2 billion in public transit and municipal roads and
bridges to help move people and goods faster, create jobs, and build a
stronger economy. Other initiatives to improve transit and ease congestion
include:

      - investing $838 million this year to expand and modernize public
        transit in the Greater Toronto Area;
      - establishing a Greater Toronto Transportation Authority to take an
        inter-regional approach to creating seamless and integrated transit
        and transportation; and
      - providing new streetcars, buses and routes by delivering more than
        $1.4 billion in provincial gas tax revenues for transit across
        Ontario.

    The Government of Ontario's MoveOntario commitments are in addition to
ReNew Ontario, a five-year, $30-billion investment in Ontario's public
infrastructure. ReNew Ontario includes investments of $11.4 billion for public
transit, highways, borders and other transportation infrastructure.

    GO Transit Improvements

    GO Transit carries over 165,000 riders an average of 32 kilometres per
passenger trip every day on its rail system. During rush hour, almost every
seat on all GO trains is filled. The improvements to the GO network funded
through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund will enable GO to accommodate
the 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. These
projects are underway, with completion expected in 2012. Below is an update
for each project:

    Stouffville corridor

    Construction began in May 2006 on a GO train rail underpass that will
allow GO Transit to avoid delays caused by freight train traffic. The project
is expected to be complete by December 2008.

    Lakeshore West corridor

    A third track is being added on two sections to allow more GO train
service and reduce delays:

      - Port Credit Station (Mississauga) to Kerr Street (Oakville): The
        environmental assessment has been completed and approved.
        Construction began in April 2007 and is expected to be complete by
        November 2009.
      - Burlington Station to Bayview Junction (Hamilton): Construction on
        the corridor is substantially done, and will be finalized by March
        2008. All-day service to Aldershot Station began in September 2007.

    Milton corridor

    Construction of a new train storage site to accommodate longer 12-car
trains near Milton Station is complete, which allows trains to be stored just
off the corridor on which they run to minimize delays and reduce unnecessary
train trips. The new storage site has been operational since January 2007.
    Construction to accommodate the longer trains at the Milton corridor
stations is also complete, which will enable GO Transit to operate 12-car
trains. This will increase carrying capacity by 20 per cent.

    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 and
conflicts with freight trains. The enabling works are complete, and the
construction of the grade separation is anticipated to begin in spring 2008.

    Georgetown South (Weston corridor)

    An individual environmental assessment is underway to identify
improvements required to accommodate increased GO train frequency and options
for an airport transportation link between Union Station and Pearson
International Airport, including the proposed Air Rail Link project. This
study will address the associated environmental impacts and the need for
improved infrastructure for increased GO Transit service, as well as an
alternative transportation link to the airport. The Terms of Reference for
this study were submitted to the Ministry of Environment on Friday,
October 27, 2006, and are awaiting approval.

    Georgetown North corridor

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

    Bradford corridor

    Construction of the Snider rail-to-rail grade separation at the CN York
subdivision freight line started in February 2006, and was completed in
December 2006. This GO train rail overpass allows GO Transit to avoid delays
caused by conflicts with freight trains.
    GO Transit will extend service along the Bradford corridor to the City of
Barrie. The project will include upgrading the rail corridor and building a
new station and train layover facility. Construction on the rail corridor
began in February 2007, and service is expected to begin in December 2007.

    Lakeshore East corridor

    Improvements to accommodate three-track operations at the Danforth,
Scarborough and Eglinton stations, as well as the expansion of three bridge
overpasses, are underway. Completion of these projects is anticipated in
spring 2008.

    Union Station Rail Corridor Program

    GO Transit awarded the contract for the signal improvements to Siemens.
Design work will begin 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 ongoing, 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 their daytime train
storage needs. The Yard is currently fully operational.

    Other service areas

    On March 20, 2007, the GO Transit Board approved two new bus routes:

      1. One route will begin at the University of Guelph, pass through the
         Aberfoyle Park-and-Ride lot, and then on to Square One Shopping
         Centre in Mississauga, before ending at the Cooksville GO Station.
         It will then return in the opposite direction to the University of
         Guelph.

      2. The second route will begin at the University of Guelph, pass
         through the Aberfoyle Park-and-Ride lot before ending at the
         Meadowvale GO Station. It will then return in the opposite direction
         to the University of Guelph.

    These services began on September 4, 2007.

                                                                November 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Bob Nichols, MTO
Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; David Hopper, HDI/GO TRIP, (647)
258-2073; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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