Start of improvements to the Lakeshore West rail corridor



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government, the
Province of Ontario and GO Transit today announced the start of construction
on the addition of a third mainline track between Mississauga and Oakville, as
well as improvements to GO Transit's Oakville, Port Credit and Clarkson
stations.
    "Canada's New Government is committed to investing in
environmentally-sound transportation alternatives, such as commuter rail,"
said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, on behalf of the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities. "This is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. The
addition of the third track and modification of the stations will help reduce
traffic congestion, improve the environment and stimulate economic growth
throughout the Greater Toronto Area."
    "Today's investment is another example of our government increasing the
accessibility and availability of public transit," said Oakville MPP Kevin
Flynn. "The addition of a third line will allow more trains to run more often
and carry more people."
    The expansion 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 the 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.
    The new mainline track will run between Port Credit Station in
Mississauga and Kerr Street in Oakville. Bridge upgrades will also be made at
Credit River, Southdown Road, Mississauga Road, Joshua Creek and 16 Mile Creek
to accommodate the third track. At Oakville, Port Credit and Clarkson
stations, platforms will be extended to accommodate GO Transit's new, longer
12-car trains and upgrades will be made to Clarkson Station to make it fully
accessible. This work is essential for future GO improvements, and will
improve service reliability and overall travel time, as well as allow
additional trains to run during peak periods.
    "We appreciate this investment for tomorrow by all levels of government,"
said GO Transit Chairman Peter Smith. "This work is the final segment of track
improvements in our busiest rail corridor and is essential so that we can
improve and add service."
    Construction on this portion of the Lakeshore West rail corridor is
valued at $88 million, with the federal government contributing up to
$29.3 million, the provincial government contributing up to $29.35 million and
the balance coming from municipalities.
    Construction on the rail corridor began at the end of April 2007, and is
expected to be complete by June 2009.

    For more information and updates on this project, call 416-869-3600,
extension 5199, or visit GO Transit's website at www.gotransit.com/gotrip.
    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. The federal government's Budget 2007
included more than $16 billion in infrastructure funding, bringing federal
support under a new long-term plan for infrastructure to a total of
$33 billion over seven years, which includes $2 billion for the Canada
Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
    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 will also be providing funding.
    Other investments announced in Budget 2007 include the extension of the
Gas Tax Fund transfer until 2013-14, as well as an $8.8 billion-commitment
over the next seven years for the Building Canada Fund, which will complement
existing commitments, such as the full GST rebate to communities and the
creation of the $900-million Public Transit Capital Trust.
    Under Move Ontario, 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;
    - Legislation to create 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 Move Ontario 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 165,000 passengers an average of 32 kilometres every
day on its rail system. During rush hour, almost every seat on GO trains is
filled. These improvements 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. All
projects are currently underway, with completion expected in 2010. Below is an
update for each project:

    Stouffville Corridor

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

    Lakeshore West Corridor

    A third track is being added to the following two sections to increase 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 May 2007.
    - Burlington Station to Bayview Junction (Hamilton) - Construction is
      underway for the extension of the third track. Project completion is
      expected in September 2007, with extended service to the GO Aldershot
      Station.

    Milton Corridor

    Construction was completed on a new train storage site to accommodate
longer 12-car trains near Milton Station. Trains will 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 underway. The new, 12-car trains will increase carrying
capacity by 20 per cent. Construction at all seven stations is expected to be
complete by December 2007.

    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 utility relocation project is currently
underway and is expected to be completed by August 2007. Once the utility
relocation project is completed, construction of the grade separation of the
railways will begin. It is scheduled to start in November 2007, and be
completed by early 2010.

    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 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 Ontario Ministry of Environment on October 27th, 2006 for
approval.

    Georgetown North Corridor

    Construction began in fall 2006, and when completed, two new rush hour
trains and limited off-peak service will be extended to Mount Pleasant GO
Station in north Brampton.

    Bradford Corridor

    Construction of the Snider rail-to-rail grade separation at the CN York
subdivision freight line started in February 2006. This GO rail overpass will
help GO Transit avoid delays caused by conflicts with freight trains. The
overpass has been operational since December 2006 and the project was fully
completed in May 2007.
    An agreement-in-principle has been reached with the City of Barrie to
extend GO train service to the City of Barrie. The project will upgrade the
rail corridor, build a new station, and build a new train layover facility.
Construction on the rail corridor began in February 2007, and service is
expected to begin by late 2007.

    Lakeshore East Corridor

    Improvements to accommodate three-track operation at the Danforth,
Scarborough and Eglinton stations, as well as the expansion of three bridge
overpasses, are underway. This project is expected to be completed in
mid-2008.

    Union Station Rail Corridor Program

    The signal design project is currently in the industry review phase. Work
will include a complete replacement of the 70-year-old track signal system at
Union Station over the next eight years.
    The Don Yard has also been purchased by GO Transit and is being
redeveloped for daytime train storage. While work on the first four storage
tracks was completed in December 2006, project completion is expected by the
end of June 2007.

    Other service areas

    The feasibility of providing new and additional GO bus service extensions
to support Peterborough, Niagara Falls and Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph
is being studied by GO Transit. Results of the study were tabled at
September's GO Transit Board meeting.
    On March 20, 2007, the GO Board approved two new bus routes:

    1. One route will begin at the University of Guelph, pass through the
       Guelph park-and-ride lot, and then on to Square One Mall in
       Mississauga, before ending at the Cooksville GO Station. It will then
       return in the opposite direction all the way back to the University of
       Guelph.

    2. The second route will begin at the University of Guelph, pass through
       the Guelph park-and-ride lot before ending at the Meadowvale GO
       Station. It will then return in the opposite direction all the way
       back to the University of Guelph.

    These services are expected to begin operating in September 2007.

                                                                    June 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Amanda Stringer, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Jamie Rillet, MTO Minister's Office, (416) 327-9134; Bob Nichols,
MTO Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; Vasie Papadopoulos, GO TRIP, (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/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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