GO Transit on track to improved service along Lakeshore East Line



    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Recently completed improvements to GO
Transit's Lakeshore East rail line will relieve congestion and reduce delays
for the 44,700 riders who use the corridor each weekday.
    The $69.5 million Lakeshore East corridor expansion projects included the
construction of a third track on the main rail line from Danforth GO Station
to Scarborough GO Station. This additional track will improve train service,
increasing the efficiency of the commute for the passengers who travel along
the corridor.
    To improve efficiency, GO Transit has also introduced 12-car passenger
trains, the longest in North America, allowing over 300 new riders per train.
    "GO Transit is a critical service for commuters throughout the GTA and
our government is working closely with the province and GO officials to make
it more efficient," said Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister
Responsible for the GTA. "These investments in GO Transit, along with our
long-term transportation plan FLOW, will help create a seamless transit system
that will reduce traffic congestion, improve the environment and increase
productivity."
    In addition to track expansion and longer trains, bridges at Warden,
Danforth, St. Clair and Eglinton Avenues were expanded to accommodate the
additional track, and the pedestrian overpass at Woodrow Avenue was replaced.
Station, tunnel and platform improvements were made at Eglinton, Scarborough
and Danforth GO Stations, including lengthening platforms to accommodate
12-car GO trains.
    "With the completion of the third track along GO's Lakeshore East line,
GO trains will be able to keep moving as they pass other trains that are
causing delays," said Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley. "Not only
are we easing congestion for GO passengers, we are building a greener, more
sustainable transportation system."
    The Lakeshore East line runs from Union Station East to Oshawa. The
expansion projects along the corridor began in October 2005 and were completed
with the tunnel installation work at Scarborough Station at the end of July.
In addition to the expansion projects, GO Transit continues to make
operational improvements at Scarborough Station that will increase the
accessibility of the station for passengers using mobility devices. This work
is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009.
    "Our ridership numbers have been increasing as more and more people are
choosing GO Transit," said Greg Ashbee, GO TRIP's Rail Expansion Program
Manager. "At the end of the day, we are always working to keep up with
increasing ridership numbers and to provide the most efficient and reliable
service possible."
    Over a billion people have taken the GO Train or the GO Bus since GO
Transit began operating in May 1967. Today, GO Transit carries more than
50 million passengers annually or nearly 200,000 passengers on a typical
weekday.
    The Lakeshore East Corridor expansion projects are part of the GO Transit
Rail Improvement Program (GO TRIP), a $1 billion-dollar expansion initiative
funded by the federal and provincial governments and local municipalities
through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

    A backgrounder with further information on the Canada Strategic
Infrastructure Fund and GO TRIP projects is attached.

    For more information on this project, call 416-869-3600, extension 5199,
or visit GO Transit's website at www.gotransit.com/gotrip.


    
                                 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 12-car trains along the Lakeshore
West corridors. 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 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
corridors. 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 began in May 2006 on a GO rail underpass that will allow GO
Transit to avoid delays caused by freight train traffic.
    While this project is expected to be complete by December 2008, most of
the work related to the underpass has been completed and recently the first GO
Train passed through the new depressed corridor. As a result, GO Train service
along this corridor is more efficient and passengers can expect 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 works are complete, and the
construction of the grade separation is expected to begin in early 2009, with
a forecast completion date of spring 2011.

    Georgetown South (Weston corridor)

    An individual environmental assessment is underway to identify
improvements required to accommodate increased GO Train frequency and options
for 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 GO station in North Brampton. Construction is
expected to be complete by July 2009.

    Bradford corridor

    The Snider rail-to-rail grade separation at the CN 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 to Union Station, and four afternoon trains depart from
Union Station to 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.


                                                                  August 2008
    




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Office of the Ontario Minister of
Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1815; Media Relations, Transport Canada,
Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Trina Melatti, GO TRIP, (416) 869-3600, ext. 5175; Bob
Nichols, Communications Branch, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, (416)
327-1158; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news 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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