Major construction begins at West Toronto Diamond



    Improvements will shorten commute for GO Transit users

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - 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."

    A backgrounder with information on federal and provincial transit
funding, as well as the GO TRIP projects, is attached.


    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.

                                                                January 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Day, Press Secretary, Office of Transport
and Infrastructure, Minister John Baird, 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; Bob
Nichols, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Toronto, Communications Branch,
(416) 327-1158; Trina Melatti, GO Transit Rail Improvement Program, (416)
869-3600, ext. 5175; 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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