> GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum - Ask a Question | Metrolinx Engage

GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum - Ask a Question

Questions and answers from the third round of public consultation in November 2020 can be found below. 

You can also read the Q&A forum from the first round of public consultation. 

If you have any further questions about the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum please contact the regional address relevant to where your area of interest is located: [email protected] (East of Union Station); [email protected] (West of  Union Station);  [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; or [email protected].  

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Anonymous's avatar
Nov 27, 2020 - 23:02

When will electrification start? In what order will the GO lines be electrified. Will the UP Express be electrified as well?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 8, 2020 - 12:08

The Significant Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Environmental Project Report (EPR) is now being undertaken to assess additional electrification infrastructure required for new tracks and layover facilities (which are being studied as part of a separate Metrolinx study called “New Track & Facilities TPAP” and “Scarborough Junction Grade Separations TPAP”) proposed across various portions of the GO rail network that were not previously examined as part of the 2017 Environmental Project Report (EPR). In addition, updated assessments of noise, vibration and air quality associated with increased service levels across six Metrolinx-owned rail corridors are also being undertaken. The TPAP Addendum is anticipated to be complete Spring 2021, with detailed design to start later in 2021. The GO Expansion construction timeline start is currently estimated for 2022, with construction being phased across the GO Rail Network.

In 2014, Metrolinx completed an environmental assessment to electrify the UP Express service from Union Station to Pearson International Airport. The EPR and supporting technical studies are available for review at:

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/aboutus/publications/environmental_assessmen...

GO Expansion is part of a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the network and is currently in the procurement phase. Once a proponent is selected there will be further information in terms of construction scheduling and sequencing. Updates will be provided to the public and stakeholders prior to construction.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 27, 2020 - 23:22

Great to see electrification. But the thing that'll make this project successful is proper fare integration. Fares need to be seamless across the GTA. You could endorse this plan the Toronto Region Board of Trade made. https://www.bot.com/PolicyAdvocacy/PolicyAdvocacy/Transportation.aspx

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 11, 2020 - 09:24

Thank you for your feedback and interest in public transit across the region. We will continue to work with transit agencies in the Greater Golden Horseshoe on ways to make transit connections seamless and accessible across the region. For further information on fare integration, visit Metrolinx.com

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 06:52

I seem to remember a 2020 promise.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 14, 2020 - 17:24

The Significant Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Environmental Project Report (EPR) is now being undertaken to assess additional electrification infrastructure required for new tracks and layover facilities (which are being studied as part of a separate Metrolinx study called “New Track & Facilities TPAP” and “Scarborough Junction Grade Separations TPAP”) proposed across various portions of the GO rail network that were not previously examined as part of the 2017 Environmental Project Report (EPR). In addition, updated assessments of noise, vibration and air quality associated with increased service levels across six Metrolinx-owned rail corridors are also being undertaken. The TPAP Addendum is anticipated to be complete Spring 2021, with detailed design to start later in 2021. The GO Expansion construction timeline start is currently estimated for 2022, with construction being phased across the GO Rail Network.

GO Expansion is part of a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the network, currently in the procurement phase. Once a proponent is selected there will be further information in terms of construction scheduling and sequencing. Updates will be provided to the public and stakeholders prior to construction.

We encourage residents to sign up to our eNewsletter which can be found here at  https://metrolinx.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e3e2dcbefa63d1ca424de3...

 

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 30, 2020 - 13:21

Since heavy-railway electrification never happened anywhere in Canada in recent past, Metrolinx may have a capability gap. Getting some advice from competent national railway authorities of France, Japan, India (doing 100% electrification currently), Germany etc. can certainly make it easier. This needs some inter-governmental cooperation that would be cheaper than hiring consulting firms. Too much protracted studies / reviews do not largely help with systemic efficiency as the construction cost goes up every year.

Question: Has Metrolinx made attempts to learn from the other countries about how their national railways would go about electrification?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 2, 2020 - 17:10

In 2010 as part of the GO Transit Electrification Study we reviewed several different types of technologies around the world. We examined the impact of different rail technologies used globally and involved a review and comparison of the power supply and power distribution options to deliver electrified rail service. This study created the basis of the GO Network Electrification TPAP now going through an addendum. We continue to work with global partners as our electrification teams have been working closely with networks in United Kingdom to understand and learn more about the implementation of electrification.

The Metrolinx Technical Advisor for electrification is a global firm with extensive experience with rail systems in North America. North American examples are key in order to ensure a safe and efficient traction power system, as European systems differ in some areas. Also, it is important to note the proponents that are participating in the bidding process are made up of both global and local firms who are experienced in the design, construction and operation of electrified rail systems worldwide.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 3, 2020 - 21:55

“Electric trains accelerate and slow down faster, while maintaining higher speeds better than heavy diesel locomotives. This results in trains and service that runs up to 29% faster.”

I hope Metrolinx understands what defining expectations means.

Only a couple of years ago, Metrolinx explained that it was merely replacing the diesel locomotives with electric locomotives and keeping the heavy rail passenger coaches.
There is only a minor performance difference between a train with “electric locomotives” and passenger coaches and a diesel locomotive and the same passenger coaches.

An “electric train” with light body passenger coaches and light propulsion system (like an EMU) will perform much faster.

Question 1 Does the electrification project include replacing only the diesel locomotives with electric locomotives or a complete change of rolling stock to “electric trains”?

Question 2 If the answer is only replacing the locomotives, what is the improvement of service, still 29%?

“the GO Expansion program also includes ...signal upgrades.”

You are not staying on topic. As part of the electrification project you said “This results in trains and service that runs up to 29% faster.” The GO Expansion program does the signal upgrades, not the electrification project. Realistic faster service can only occur with signal upgrades. A couple of years ago Metrolinx said signal upgrades were scheduled for 2026-7.

Question 3 What say Metrolinx?

I hope Metrolinx understands what defining expectations means.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 15, 2020 - 13:06

As a transit agency, Metrolinx is doing our part by responding to the urban environment and areas that are growing with increasing demands of service. The GO Expansion project includes new trains, signals, systems, track, electrification infrastructure, as well as the maintenance and operation of the system for years to come. The successful proponent team will be responsible for procuring and operating new trains to a world-class standard and selecting and delivering the right infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion. The proponent will select the infrastructure (signals, electrification, etc.) and trains to meet the performance standard set out in the bid documents. Today we run 1,500 weekly trips on the GO Transit system, and each year we’re adding more. When we’re done building, we’ll be running over 6,000 weekly trips to accommodate15-minute two-way all-day service on core segments of the rail network. The service increase will be delivered by new trains procured as part of the contract. Some service on rail corridors not currently owned by Metrolinx will continue using diesel trains. As such, Metrolinx will maintain a mixed electric and diesel fleet.

The contract is in a multi-year procurement process, and currently teams are completing the bids that will close in 2021. Construction will get underway in 2022.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 01:32

Will any of the planned noise walls let light through? If so, how much and where? I think see-through walls should be considered whenever there's a street running next to the tracks.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 10, 2020 - 14:04

GO Expansion is part of a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the GO network, and is currently in the procurement phase. Once a proponent is selected, further planning such as detailed design will occur.

Having said this, a Reference Concept Design (RCD) for recommended noise walls is currently being undertaken and specifications for materials / aesthetics are being developed. During the detailed design phase, considerations for the placement of transparent acrylic panels within the wall may be reviewed for specific locations, given the acoustic performance requirements for noise reduction can be achieved. Kindly note that transparent panels would have certain requirements such as the application of black stripes vertically or horizontally for bird protection, be capable of withstanding graffiti, be resistant to weathering and meet requirements for wind loading.

To stay up to date about the progression of recommended noise walls in your area, you may wish to subscribe to the e-newsletter in your region here.

Daniel's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 16:28

I'm relieved that Metrolinx has updated the location & design of the new layover. To improve its compatibility with the Don Valley Trail, could you please plant large trees next to the trail to hide the facility away from the view of park users?

Also, I was hoping that the facility could use better landscaping that integrates with the park's identity (barriers with a green colour, better lighting that minimizes glare and isn't utilitarian, and more trees instead of grass inside the facility).

Thanks!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 11, 2020 - 12:52

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us about the proposed Don Valley Layover. From day one, Metrolinx has understood what the impacts of this facility would be, and have worked diligently with the City of Toronto and the TRCA to design a facility that will have the least impact.

At the initial round of public consultations in February 2020, Metrolinx heard concerns about how the new Don Valley Layover would impact environmentally sensitive areas and users of the Don Valley Trail. Since February, Metrolinx has revised the plan through multiple reiterations with the City of Toronto and the TRCA. Changes include: reducing the number of new tracks into the facility from three to using only the existing Metrolix-owned Don Branch track for train storage; re-locating the facility to the north of the Prince Edward Viaduct to avoid impact to the City-designated environmentally sensitive area; and, revising the design of buildings and the facility to fit into a park setting and be minimally visible to users of the Don Valley Trail. The Don Valley Layover will now largely be built on already disturbed land that was previously used for the city’s bridge rehabilitation work. A Design Excellence process and urban design review will be completed during future project phases to integrate the new infrastructure into the existing environment and reduce the extent of visual impacts, where possible. This may be accomplished through visual screening measures such as fencing, use of locally-sourced or significant building materials, and vegetation to help screen the facility from the trail. A Draft Visual Impact Assessment Report has been prepared that outlines potential visual impacts resulting from the project and presents associated mitigation measures.  The Draft Visual Impact Assessment Report can be accessed here: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/new_track_facilities...

 

Your participation and feedback is an important part of our work, thank you again for contacting us. We look forward to your continued involvement with the Project.

 

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Nov 28, 2020 - 23:38

Is the UP Express still on track to become part of the GO rail network? If so, once the line uses EMU's, a service concept can be Pearson-Unionville. That way, with fare integration and higher frequencies, that will drive up ridership for the line.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 4, 2020 - 15:31

Metrolinx is continuing to make transit more accessible and affordable in the region. In 2014, Metrolinx completed an environmental assessment to electrify the UP Express service from Union Station to Pearson International Airport. The GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP (completed in 2017) picked up where the previous study left off by assessing segments of other Metrolinx-owned rail corridors.

Under the current GO Expansion Program, Metrolinx is actively procuring a single contractor to design, build, operate and maintain the GO Transit Rail Network. The service plan will be determined by the successful contractor responding to service level, maximum journey times and frequency requirements predetermined by Metrolinx. The service will transform rail travel throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region moving from an essentially commuter based service to a two-way-all day service operating at a minimum of 15 minute frequencies over the core segments, meaning nearly all connecting times will be reduced The method of scheduling, including the use of schedule symmetry or otherwise, will be determined by the successful proponent who is incentivised to provide the best overall offering of service to give maximum economic benefit in accordance with the GO Expansion Business Case (which can be found here), the Business Case assessment includes factors relating generalized journey times which includes transfer time.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 2, 2020 - 13:09

Metrolinx had previously considered hydrogen trains for the electrification of the GO network. I personally thought that this was a risky proposition to use untested technology. I haven’t seen hydrogen mentioned in a while. Has this idea been dropped?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 3, 2020 - 19:02

Metrolinx is committed to finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network. That's why, in addition to studying the environmental impacts of traditional electrification, Metrolinx has studied the feasibility of another form of electrification - hydrogen powered vehicles. Both options have been studied as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) for the GO Expansion program.

The successful proponent team will be responsible for selecting and delivering the right trains and infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion, and bidders will be able to propose hydrail or overhead wire technology to electrify the GO network. The contract is in a multi-year procurement process, and currently teams are completing the bids that will close in summer 2021. Construction will get underway in 2022.

Rosemary's avatar

Will you promise to do the construction work for the electrification of GO track 4 in the Lakeshore East corridor at the same time as you do the construction for the Ontario Line that is slated to run in the same joint corridor. We do not want to live through the mess of construction twice!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 21, 2020 - 17:45

At Metrolinx, our delivery teams for GO Expansion and the Ontario Line are working very closely to coordinate the required early work for both projects. However, both projects are in the procurement phase, and construction phasing and schedules will be submitted by the proponent teams as part of their bids. Once the proponents are on board, we will continue to look at the best way to coordinate the work and find the most efficient way to deliver both projects.

Limiting the amount of tunnelling and excavation needed for the Ontario Line project reduces its complexity, which in turn helps reduce construction timelines and impacts. This will be done by aligning Ontario Line operations within sections of existing above-ground rail corridors in the western and eastern segments of the line, and along elevated structures in the northern segment. In communities like Riverside, we are also able to streamline our work with existing GO Expansion plans along the rail corridor, which reduces the number of construction zones and related impacts in the surrounding community. While doing this work, we will also deliver noise walls alongside a robust package of other mitigation measures to address both noise and vibration.

In the joint corridor (a shared railway where Ontario Line will run parallel to GO), early works within and along the rail corridor will proceed ahead of station and track construction. Planned early works, from Eastern Avenue to Logan Avenue, include:

GO rail corridor expansion to accommodate two Ontario Line tracks and 4th GO track

Installation or upgrading of vegetated slopes or retaining walls and noise barriers next to the corridor, where appropriate

Relocation or protection of utilities

Construction of new Ontario Line bridges on each side of the existing at Queen Street East, Dundas Street East and Logan Avenue bridges

This work will proceed following an early works environmental assessment and related consultations, including consultations with Indigenous communities and the public.
Significant design and engineering efforts have been made to ensure the six-track corridor does not significantly impact bordering properties or other ongoing infrastructure projects. Using the existing rail corridor and streamlining Ontario Line construction work with planned GO Expansion means we can keep mostly within an existing footprint and minimize impacts to surrounding neighbourhoods.

Early works will begin in 2021. More details, including timelines, will be shared as procurement advances. To stay informed about upcoming work and future consultations, sign up for updates.

Aaron's avatar
Dec 5, 2020 - 02:37

Would the installation of electrification hinder the potential for building on top of rail corridor/ rail yard for Rail Deck Park, Oxford proposed park, and CIBC Square/Union park?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 10, 2020 - 08:20

The electrification of the Union Station Rail Corridor (USRC) between Bathurst Street and Union Station was assessed as part of the 2014 UP Express Electrification Project Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP). The EPR and supporting technical studies are available for review at:

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/aboutus/publications/environmental_assessmen...

Metrolinx will continue to work with the City of Toronto and/or private developers with respect to the protection and/or integration of electrification infrastructure within any future developments proposed over the USRC.

It is noted that Metrolinx has been involved in the CIBC Square Park initiative. Please see the link below for further information:

https://blog.metrolinx.com/2020/04/08/photo-update-rail-deck-spans-acros...

Anonymous's avatar

In previous documents, Aldershot was shown as the western terminus for the electrified portion of the Lakeshore West line. Recent documents show the terminus now at Burlington station. Why was this changed? And what does this mean for mobility hub / major transit station area planning for the vicinity of the Aldershot GO station, which is being planned for high-density development?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 14, 2020 - 16:19

The 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process and Environmental Project Report looked at Burlington GO Station as the terminus of electrified service. The portion of track between Burlington and Aldershot GO Stations is owned by Canadian National Railway. For now we are working on implementing electrification on the areas of our network we do own. We are also always working with our freight partners to find better ways to coexist and bring more and better service to all communities we serve.

We are working on ways to improve the customer experience and upgrade our infrastructure. You can find more information on our approach to station improvements on Metrolinx.com. Also, please sign up to the Halton Region newsletter to be kept up to date with working happening at your station here.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 11:20

Why has the Ontario Line rail expansion plans on the LSE corridor not been included in Go Expansion?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 14, 2020 - 20:17

Each new transit project undergoes an Environmental Assessment in accordance with Ontario Regulation 231/08 (Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings). A Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) is a centralized environmental assessment created specifically for transit projects. The process involves an investigative pre-consultation phase followed by a regulated consultation phase (up to 120-days) to develop an Environmental Project Report (EPR). The report includes project scope, consultation and an environmental impact assessment (including Natural Environment, Noise and Vibration, Air Quality, Vegetation etc.) with associated mitigation measures where required. The EPR goes through a 30 day public review period before being submitted to the Minister of the Environment Conservation and Parks’ for a final review.

This TPAP is specific to the GO Expansion project, and includes an assessment of  new infrastructure, including new tracks, switches and facilities - such as layover facilities and storage yards - throughout the network and a number of grade separations (places where the rail network is separated from the road network or other rail lines).

For the Ontario Line, a comprehensive study is being undertaken to determine noise and vibration impacts in areas where GO transit will run parallel to the Ontario Line. The study will be made available as part of the Ontario Line Environmental Impact Assessment Report. For more information on this report and the Ontario Line please visit here.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 2, 2020 - 10:16

The Significant Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Environmental Project Report (EPR) is now being undertaken and is anticipated to be complete Spring 2021, with detailed design to start later in 2021. The construction timeline start is currently estimated for 2022, with construction being phased across the GO Rail Network.

GO Expansion is part of a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the network, currently in the procurement phase. Once a proponent is selected there will be further information in terms of construction scheduling and sequencing. Updates will be provided to the public and stakeholders prior to construction.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Dec 8, 2020 - 20:15

In regards to the noise and vibration from increased service levels, what will be done for existing residential areas that already have noise walls and are not located near a station? Residents will have additional noise and vibration that will affect their quality of life including the damage to their homes from the additional vibration. In addition, how will the construction impact residents in relation to the noise impacts?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 21, 2020 - 11:15

As part of the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum, updated noise and vibration studies have been undertaken to assess potential impacts associated with Metrolinx’s new detailed service plan. With respect to assessing potential impacts associated with noise and vibration and to determine where mitigation is warranted, Metrolinx follows a specific Ontario Provincial Protocol (Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)/GO Transit Protocol for Noise and Vibration Assessment). Noise receptors along the rail corridor were considered as part of the updated assessments, regardless of existing noise barriers or proximity to a GO Station. Under the Ontario Provincial Protocol, mitigation is considered under the following conditions:

Noise: Where post-project noise exposure levels are expected to exceed, by at least 5 dBA, corresponding pre-project levels or MECP objectives (55 dBA for daytime and 50 dBA for nighttime) – whichever are greater. This is assesses in all areas, including where noise walls already exist.

Vibration: Where pre-project vibration exposure is expected to exceed its pre-project level or the MECP objective (0.14mm/s) by at least 25% - whichever is greater.

 

More detailed information regarding the Noise and Vibration Assessment Update presented as part of PIC #3, including further clarification regarding assessment methodology and mitigation is available at the link below:

 

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/go-rail-network-electrificati...

 

The supporting Draft Noise and Vibration Studies undertaken are available at the link below:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/go-rail-network-electrificati...

 

The most effective form of mitigation is reducing or eliminating the sound at the source. Not only is source mitigation most effective, but it reduces sound levels for all properties along Metrolinx rail corridors. Metrolinx will implement a number of source mitigation measures across the network, including:

Installing exhaust noise silencers on existing and future Metrolinx diesel locomotives, which will decrease the sound from these trains by an estimated 3 dB at all properties along the corridors. 

Where possible, using 6-car rather than 12-car trains during off-peak periods.

Using Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) along the Stouffville and Kitchener corridors.

Reducing engine idling.

Grade separations, which reduce noise by avoiding deceleration, idling and acceleration by both road and rail transportation vehicles. 

Improvements to tracks and switches to reduce vibration and noise.

Installation of ballast mats underneath new tracks and switches to reduce vibration.

The largest reduction of potential noise increases will come from electrification on core segments of the network. The bulk of service increases will be delivered by electric trains, which are near silent at low speeds, starting or stopping, and when stopped.

Prior to the commencement of construction, the contractor will be required to develop and submit a detailed Construction Noise Management Plan to Metrolinx. Also, a Communications and Complaints Protocol will be developed by the contractor, which will indicate how and when surrounding local businesses and property owners/tenants will be informed of anticipated upcoming construction works (including work at night) and who they can contact should they have any concerns.

Metrolinx has developed an Information Sheet on Construction Management that was prepared as part of the consultation materials presented in Round 1 (held February 2020). Please see the link below for further information:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/info_sheet_6_-_const...

Aaron's avatar
Dec 5, 2020 - 02:34

With the expansion of service across the GTA, there has been increase noise, vibrations, and horns of all GO trains headings towards Union Station at all hours of the day from 5am-2am. Can sound barriers be improved on all routes within the Toronto downtown core? (ie. Liberty Village, CityPlace, Union, Distillery, Corktown)

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 22, 2020 - 13:13

Since approval of the GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP in 2017, Metrolinx has developed a detailed service plan for how increased passenger service will be delivered for the GO Expansion program in the future, including a mix of diesel and electric trains.

These proposed changes require a reassessment of potential noise, vibration, and air quality impacts and the associated mitigation measures, undertaken in the 2021 Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP.

Detailed information regarding noise and vibration studies, including operational mitigation measures such as noise walls have been presented as part of PIC #3 and can be viewed at the link below:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/go-rail-network-electrificati...

It is noted that certain portions of the Union Station Rail Corridor (USRC), such as the portion west of Union Station are outside of the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum study area. Noise and Vibration assessments will be undertaken for increased service levels in those areas as part of a separate Metrolinx undertaking.

The most effective form of mitigation is reducing or eliminating the sound at the source. Not only is source mitigation most effective, but it reduces sound levels for all properties along Metrolinx rail corridors. Metrolinx will implement a number of source mitigation measures across the network, including:

Installing exhaust noise silencers on existing and future Metrolinx diesel locomotives, which will decrease the sound from these trains by an estimated 3 dB at all properties along the corridors. 

  • Where possible, using 6-car rather than 12-car trains during off-peak periods.
  • Using Electric Multiple Units along the Stouffville and Kitchener corridors.
  • Reducing engine idling.
  • Improvements to tracks and switches to reduce vibration and noise.
  • Installation of ballast mats underneath new tracks and switches to reduce vibration.

The largest reduction of potential noise increases will come from electrification on core segments of the network, such as the USRC. The bulk of service increases will be delivered by electric trains, which are near silent at low speeds, starting or stopping, and when stopped.

At Metrolinx, safety is our number one priority, and bells, whistles and horns play an important role in keeping people out of harm’s way. Train bells, whistles and horns are a requirement under the Railway Safety Act which is administered and regulated by the federal government, through Transport Canada. Metrolinx must adhere to the specific safety rules for sounding bells, whistles and horns. They are used in different ways for different situations and the unnecessary use of them is not permitted. Horns and whistles may be used when approaching at-grade crossings or in cases of emergencies. Bells are used at stations and layovers including on approach; however, these are for safety concerns and generally cannot be avoided. 

Anonymous's avatar

The overhead transmission wires should be buried from Don fleet junction as far north as possible to improve views in the don river valley and protect against extreme weather events (ice storms). The only reason this might not be possible is to due to the don river valley being a flood zone?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 9, 2021 - 17:20

Hello,

 

Thank you for your interest in the Union Station Rail Corridor (USRC) Hydro One Conflicts, including the proposed scope of work at the new and existing Don Fleet Junction.

 

The USRC Hydro One conflicts scope of work includes the relocation of two (2) existing Hydro One overhead transmission circuits and one (1) existing Hydro One underground transmission circuit to an underground transmission corridor with the USRC, from Esplanade Transmission Station to Don Fleet Junction. Upgrades proposed at the new and existing Don Fleet Junction are required for the transition of circuits from the underground transmission corridor to overhead circuits.

 

While existing overhead Hydro One infrastructure north of the Don Fleet Junction is outside of the scope of the current assessment, we will take your feedback and share it with the planning team for future consideration.

 

Thank you

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 29, 2020 - 14:42

I see from the map that additional noise walls will be built in my area around Wildwood Road and Williamson Park Ravine area, when are they slated to be built?
https://maps.metrolinx.com/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=199ded...

Metrolinx's avatar
Dec 7, 2020 - 14:16

Yes, you are correct that additional noise walls have been proposed in proximity to the referenced location along the Lakeshore East corridor as a mitigation measure that goes above and beyond the Ontario Provincial protocol to ensure noise walls are recommended in communities that are already experiencing high background noise. The supporting Draft Noise and Vibration Study for the Lakeshore East Corridor is available at the link below:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/go-rail-network-electrification-addendum-important-documents-0

The Significant Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Environmental Project Report (EPR) is now being undertaken and is anticipated to be complete Spring 2021, with detailed design to start later in 2021. The construction timeline start is currently estimated for 2022, with construction being phased across the GO Rail Network.

GO Expansion is part of a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the network, currently in the procurement phase. Once a proponent is selected there will be further information in terms of construction scheduling and sequencing. Updates will be provided to the public and stakeholders prior to construction.

Anonymous's avatar

During the winter months, overhead wires often accumulate ice, especially during icy precipitation or freezing rain events. How have other northern countries with electric rail service addressed this problem? What does GO plan to do?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 2, 2020 - 10:41

The Overhead Contact System (OCS) for the GO Rail Network Electrification Project will be designed to meet both Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) standards. Both standards require the OCS to be designed for extreme weather conditions, including temperatures of -40°C, wind speeds of up to 125 kph, and ice accumulation of 12.5 millimeters. Additionally, the OCS will be installed with tension compensation devices. These devices allow for changes due to climatic conditions, without causing the added stresses to the system. Typically the best way to avoid ice accumulation on the OCS is to continue train operation, which shakes the ice from the wires.

Anonymous's avatar

Patricia Pytel, Metrolinx manager of Capital Communications, GO Rail Expansion wrote "Electric trains run up to 29 per cent faster..." All trains can run faster with appropriate signaling systems, even diesel trains. The current GO Rail system does not have adequate signaling to allow trains to run faster. The difference between an electric and diesel locomotive is not 29%. This is misleading and should be corrected. Trains will run faster when GO upgrades its signaling system. Isn't this so?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 3, 2020 - 09:28

While we improve track and signal infrastructure to run better more reliable service, diesel propulsion still puts constraints on our system. Electric trains accelerate and slow down faster, while maintaining higher speeds better than heavy diesel locomotives. This results in trains and service that runs up to 29% faster. To achieve the speed and journey times needed to meet 15 minute two—way all day service on core segments, the GO Expansion program also includes grade separations, new track, and signal upgrades.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 8, 2020 - 11:12

Metrolinx is committed to finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network. That's why, in addition to studying the environmental impacts of traditional electrification, Metrolinx has studied the feasibility of another form of electrification - hydrogen powered vehicles. Both options have been studied as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) for the GO Expansion program.

The successful proponent team will be responsible for selecting and delivering the right trains and infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion, and bidders will be able to propose hydrail or overhead wire technology to electrify the GO network. The contract is in a multi-year procurement process, and currently teams are completing the bids that will close in summer 2021. Construction will get underway in 2022.

For further information regarding hydrail and the associated feasibility study undertaken, please visit: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/announcements/hydrail-resources/Hydrail%20Factsheet_Feb21.pdf

Daniel's avatar
Dec 10, 2020 - 14:06

I know that you have a high demand for answers, but I posted mine here a while ago on Nov 28, under the same name. Could you please answer it? It's title is "Don Valley Layover Design". Thanks!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 21, 2020 - 12:22

Greetings,

A member of the Toronto East Community Relations team did respond to your initial query via outlook email and shared a link to the information.   

Thank you for your participation and interest in our Project. More information on these projects which fall under A9 can be accessed using the following: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/new-track-facilities-proposed.... Here you will find specific links for the proposed Don Valley Layover and partial electrification of the Richmond Hill corridor.  This website will be updated as the Project continues to progress.

 

Your participation and feedback is an important part of our work, thank you again for contacting us. We look forward to your continued involvement with the Project.

 

Sincerely,

Metrolinx GO Expansion Team

Anonymous's avatar

I understand that Metrolinx has ruled out nine potential locations for the Kitchener GO Line's TPS site, including one located within the proposed GTA West Highway Corridor. Are Metrolinx, MTO and IO jointly considering the collective impacts of these two distinct infrastructure project, and the respective business cases for each in-lieu of the other? It would appear that electrification of the Guelph Subdivision and the development of the Highway 413 corridor would lead to partial cannibalization of mode share of either project. If a successful regional rail service is to be realized, it would appear that a competing highway corridor should not proceed. Why are Ontarians spending billions to develop two significant pieces of infrastructure that directly compete with one another?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 1, 2021 - 08:01

Thank you for your inquiry. We work closely with MTO on our transit planning to ensure there is alignment across projects. Our business cases help to assess the benefits, costs and impacts of a range of potential transportation investments, including how they interact with various municipal, regional and provincial plans.  For the latest information on the Kitchener TPAP, this blog might be of interest to you: https://blog.metrolinx.com/2021/01/21/metrolinx-updates-kitchener-line-go-expansion-plans-rules-out-guelphs-margaret-greene-park-as-power-substation-site/. As preliminary design and further consultations on Highway 413 proceeds, questions regarding it can be best answered by MTO at https://www.ontario.ca/feedback/contact-us?id=26938&nid=97174.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Dec 1, 2020 - 21:48

What's the progress on Spadina-Front, Woodbine GO, East Harbour, Gerrard GO, Lawrence-Kennedy, Finch-Kennedy, Bloor-Lansdowne, King-Liberty and St Clair-Old Weston GO stations. Will those stations still be built or have they been cancelled?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 8, 2020 - 10:09

Thank you for your interest in the future of GO Transit and our stations. We are not cancelling stations, we are working on new ways to deliver transit that will bring communities and transit networks together.  

Metrolinx is creating partnerships to deliver stations, including Woodbine in a new way through the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program. This type of development is designed with good planning principles to increase ridership, reduce traffic congestion and increase housing supply and jobs with access to transit – all while reducing tax payer burden. You can find out more about the TOC program on Metrolinx.com. The latest update on Woodbine Station is available here.

You can learn more about the future of Gerrard and East Harbour Station and their new role connecting into the Ontario Line here.

As a transit agency, Metrolinx is doing our part by responding to the urban environment and areas that are growing with increasing demands of service. These areas have been identified as growth areas as part of the City’s Official Plan, and the Province, the City and Metrolinx. We continue to work together on the planning and design of Smart Track. Further information on the Smart Track program will be available at a later date.

Sign up for updates on stations in your community on Metrolinx.com.

Anonymous's avatar

When I first communicated with Metrolinx 4 years ago, Metrolinx said they were studying alternative means of propulsion. What I read gave the impression that Metrolinx was genuinely open to considering electric and hydrogen power. I now read today that the final decision employing electrification was finalized in 2017. I and I assume many others, feel duped. I was under the impression that hydrogen power was going to be given serious consideration in my correspondence with Metrolinx. This communication was not honest.The documents today provide no indication that hydrogen power is even on the table. Who wants the view of unsightly overhead wires and towers from your home windows? The installation and upkeep of this kind of infrastructure must be enormous. Was there outside pressure from the privatized electrical generation industry or government to pursue electrification only?
In the meantime, European nations have already started using hydrogen-powered trains.
Germany has a hydrogen-powered line doing very well and Britain has advanced planning to use the same technology on a main north-south express link.
Why hydrogen powered trains? The only infrastructure would be 2 or 3 hydrogen refuelling staions. It is a proven technology, especially for trains, trucks and busses. There would be no costly and unsightly overhead wires. The only exhaust is water. Yes, there would be costs to convert the locomotives but so too with electrification.
I can't help but sense that all these studies and the supposed involvement of the public are nothing but an expensive and dishonest ruse. The public provides serious input but their ideas and concerns are pretty much tossed to the side. These window-dressing attempts to placate the populace are detoured to the wastebasket while the powers that be push their own agenda.
No doubt Metrolinx and some readers will see this memo as nothing more than the rantings of some misguided kook. So be it. But, perhaps, it might open some discussion on the broader issue of how Metrolinx really works.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 10, 2020 - 14:14

GO Expansion is part of a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the network, and it is currently in a multi-year procurement process. Right now, teams are completing the bids that will close in summer 2021 and construction will get underway in 2022. The successful proponent will be responsible for selecting and delivering the right trains and infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion, and bidders will be able to propose hydrogen-powered vehicles or overhead wire technology to electrify the GO network. So hydrogen is by no means off the table – we’re simply leaving it up to the market to determine what is the most effective technology in order to achieve the service levels we want to introduce.

We are committed to finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network, and we have studied different options for electrification. As part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) for the GO Expansion program we have studied both the environmental impacts of traditional electrification and the feasibility of electrification using hydrogen powered vehicles (hydrail).

You can find information regarding hydrail and the associated feasibility study undertaken here:

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/announcements/hydrail-resources/Hydrail...

As part of the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP, we assessed the visual impacts of the Overhead Contact System (OCS) for traditional electrification. These impacts would include wires and poles along the rail corridor. You can find this assessment in the Visual Impact Assessment Report (Appendix H2 of the EPR). If the successful proponent selects traditional electrification, then the OCS design, including the placement of support structures, would be finalized during the detailed design stage. During this stage, visual impact mitigation strategies for OCS will be identified and incorporated. These strategies will address the range of conditions, area allocations, and mitigation needs along the corridor. Areas of ‘high’ visual impact (as defined in Appendix H2 of the EPR) will be identified, and specific design measures will be incorporated to mitigate visual impacts for these areas.

 

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Dec 29, 2020 - 20:36

Instead of Spadina-Front serving only the Barrie Line, why not have Spadina-Front serve all the GO lines? If RER is to become a rapid transit service, we need more frequent stops. The stop spacing between stations is far too long. Spadina-Front can be a reliever for Union Station along with East Harbour. The station doesn't have to be as large as Union, an underpass would do just fine. Redesign Spadina-Front is what I'm trying to say.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Apr 14, 2021 - 10:35

Thank you for your insight, it helps to inform our work. We have shared your comment with our planning team for consideration.

 

Anonymous's avatar

If night construction work is planned, will residents be temporarily relocated to hotels to prevent loss of sleep?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 3, 2020 - 10:00

When possible, construction will be limited to the time periods allowed by the applicable local bylaws (generally during the daytime hours and during weekdays). However, certain types of construction work can only be completed when trains are not in service (i.e., outside of business hours).

Prior to the commencement of construction, the contractor will be required to develop and submit a detailed Construction Noise Management Plan to Metrolinx. Also, a Communications and Complaints Protocol will be developed by the contractor, which will indicate how and when surrounding local businesses and property owners/tenants will be informed of anticipated upcoming construction works (including work at night) and who they can contact should they have any concerns.

Metrolinx has developed an Information Sheet on Construction Management that was prepared as part of the consultation materials presented in Round 1 (held February 2020). Please see the link below for further information:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/info_sheet_6_-_construction_mgmt_-_final2.pdf.

scottd's avatar
Nov 28, 2020 - 16:29

Studies studies studies. There certainly has been a lot of studies. The last TPAP box is headed "2021 and Beyond" and lists design and construction which frankly is very vague. Design could take years and electrification will not happen on all routes at the same time. Its possible that electrification could be 10-20 more years away depending on what line one is talking about. And what about the study of hydrogen? Would that impact implementation? So there is a lot of talk about electrification but no credible dates for actual shovels in the ground building it. On what date will a shovel go in the ground, and where, to start construction of electrification of the GO system?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 7, 2020 - 14:10

The Significant Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Environmental Project Report (EPR) is now being undertaken and is anticipated to be complete Spring 2021, with detailed design to start later in 2021. The construction timeline start is currently estimated for 2022, with construction being phased across the GO rail network.

The GO Expansion program is a system wide project to design, build, operate and maintain the network, currently in the procurement phase. Once a proponent is selected there will be further information in terms of construction scheduling and sequencing. Updates will be provided to the public and stakeholders prior to construction.

Metrolinx is committed to finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network. That's why, in addition to studying the environmental impacts of traditional electrification, Metrolinx has also studied the feasibility of hydrogen powered vehicles.

The successful proponent team will be responsible for selecting and delivering the right trains and infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion, including the technology for electrification. As part of the tender process, bidders will be able to propose both hydrail and overhead wire technology to electrify the GO network. The benefit of this approach is it allows one single party to manage all the interrelated decisions necessary and oversee each phase of the process from design to maintenance.

Anonymous's avatar

And if not, is there any infrastructure being built in to accomodate such trains in the future?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 9, 2020 - 14:14

Metrolinx is committed to finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network. That's why, in addition to studying the environmental impacts of traditional electrification, Metrolinx has studied the feasibility of another form of electrification - hydrogen powered vehicles. Both options have been studied as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) for the GO Expansion program.

The successful proponent team will be responsible for selecting and delivering the right trains and infrastructure to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion, and bidders will be able to propose hydrail or overhead wire technology to electrify the GO network. The contract is in a multi-year procurement process, and currently teams are completing the bids that will close in summer 2021. Construction will get underway in 2022.

For further information regarding hydrail and the associated feasibility study undertaken, please visit: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/announcements/hydrail-resources/Hydrail...

Anonymous's avatar

Covid-19 has made changes to community discussions. I think this Q & A forum is an excellent alternative. I am very interested in what others are asking. I think moderators of the forum do their best to answer the straight forward questions. Experts must answer the more detailed questions.
The public is under the impression that the forum will close Dec 11, yet the experts have not responded to the following questions.

Nov 28, 2020 - See-through noise walls
Nov 28, 2020 - UP Express
Is the UP Express still on track to become part of the GO rail network?
Dec 1, 2020 - New stations
Lawrence-Kennedy, Finch-Kennedy, Bloor-Lansdowne, King-Liberty
St Clair-Old Weston GO stations
Dec 3, 2020 - Coordination of GO electrification with Ontario Line
Dec 3, 2020 - What is an "electric train"?
Does the electrification project include replacing only the diesel
locomotives with electric locomotives or a complete change of rolling
stock to “electric trains”?
If the answer is only replacing the locomotives, what is the improvement
of service, still 29%?
What say Metrolinx?
Dec 5, 2020 - Increase noise and vibration
Dec 7, 2020 - Will Aldershot be included in 15 minute (electrified) service?
Dec 8, 2020 - See below

When will Metrolinx answer questions from the public?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 11, 2020 - 11:33

Our teams are working diligently to ensure that all questions are answered as soon as possible. It is important to note that you can ask questions until the end of the day today. The answers will remain available once the open comment period ends and will become a part of the Environmental Project Report.

Anonymous's avatar

I can see that not running as many diesel locomotives will naturally eliminate them as a source of greenhouse gases, but the energy to power the trains still needs to come from somewhere. Is there enough capacity in Ontario's current generation capability to power a fully electrified GO system, or will additional generation capacity need to be brought online? If so, what form of generation is GO planning to support?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 8, 2020 - 11:29

Metrolinx is committed to implementing electric rail service and improving air quality impacts from its trains. As part of the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum, updated air quality studies have been undertaken to assess the potential impacts associated with Metrolinx’s new detailed service plan. This study examines how emissions from Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) and other contaminants may change during the shift from existing operations to proposed future operations on a network-wide scale within the GO Expansion program area. You may be interested in viewing the study here, or reading the summary of Air Quality Assessment Updates here.

The Province of Ontario, the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and the Independent Electricity Systems Operator (IESO) work collaboratively to maintain the electrical system in the Province as well as forecast future energy planning needs. Any cumulative demands on the network which result from electrification would be captured under IESO’s energy planning mandate. At this time it is not anticipated that any new electrical supply would be required to operate electrified GO trains.

Furthermore, Metrolinx and Hydro One are co-proponents of the GO Rail Network Electrification Project. The traction power supply for the network will be provided from Hydro One’s existing high voltage grid via connections to new Traction Power Substations (TPS). Metrolinx has worked with Hydro One to ensure that the addition of an electrified GO train service does not impact the electrical supply/demand balance for Ontario’s electricity system. More information on approved traction power supply and distribution components of the project were assessed in detail as part of the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), you can find the Environmental Project Report (EPR) and supporting technical studies here.