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Halton Hills - Your Feedback

Your feedback is an important part of our work and we want to hear from you. We are committed to engaging with community and stakeholders in any way that is convenient for you. Comments and questions received anytime on Engage will be included in the final Environmental Project Report. Post a question here and we’ll answer your question as soon as possible. Remember you can also vote up or down on your neighbours’ questions if you see what you wanted to know below. You can reach us directly by emailing [email protected] or calling 416-202-3467 for more information at any time. Register with us and you will be kept up to date with Metrolinx working happening in your community.

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Comments

Anonymous's avatar
Jul 24, 2020 - 10:01

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the proposal to expand all-day GO train service through Halton Hills.
I want to raise issue with the noise pollution generated in-town from the train whistling.
I fully appreciate the intent of the whistling is to support safety. However, is there alternate options that can be considered to decrease the whistling noise for the growing residential areas adjacent to the crossings in Acton?
I would support a carefully considered whistling cessation application and hope that this will be adopted by Metrolinx and the Town of Halton Hills.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Jul 24, 2020 - 14:49

Safety is central to the operation of our service. For all trains on the corridor sounding whistles, their volume and frequency are federally regulated by Transport Canada in the interest of public safety. All train operators are required to comply with Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR), which requires that train whistles be sounded four times until the train completely occupies each level crossing. Municipalities do have the option to eliminate routine whistling (whistle cessation) at specific crossings if they feel that would better reflect their community’s priorities. You can learn more at https://tc.canada.ca/en/rail-transportation/grade-crossings/apply-stop-train-whistling-public-grade-crossing.  Various terms and conditions related to technical feasibility, implementation cost and liability apply. In the past, Metrolinx has successfully worked with municipalities to implement whistle cessation where requested.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Jul 24, 2020 - 10:04

I would support efforts to decrease the noise associated with train whistling in Acton.
The town is growing and we should evaluate the impact that the noise pollution is having on resident well-being.
I fear that the increased volume of trains through the GO expansion will make the problem worse, without intervention.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Jul 24, 2020 - 14:59

Safety is central to the operation of our service. The sounding whistles, their volume and frequency are federally regulated by Transport Canada to protect communities adjacent to railways. All train operators are required to comply with Canadian Rail Operating Rules, which requires the train whistle to be sounded from a quarter of a mile ahead of entering each public crossing. The regulations require the whistle to sound two long whistles followed by one short and another long whistle until the train completely occupies the crossing. Municipalities have the option to eliminate routine whistling if they feel that would better reflect their community’s priorities.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Jul 28, 2020 - 16:44

Metrolinx is taking a minimal infrastructure approach to achieving two-way all-day service on the corridor. We are currently looking at potential locations to add passing tracks along the line that will have the least amount of impact for the highest level of service possible. Once we have more information, and before construction begins, we will be back in the community with information sessions and notices of any plans for construction of new track.

Anonymous's avatar

Where is your proposed 2nd line going to be built? Please provide specific street that is going to be affected.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Jul 30, 2020 - 10:44

Metrolinx is currently looking at potential locations to add passing tracks along the line that will have the least amount of impact for the highest level of service possible. We always do our best to complete work within the rail right of way, on our own property. If we need to go outside of that and there are other property impacts identified, we begin the conversation with property owners as early as possible and work collaboratively with them to ensure that the process is fair and open and causes the least impact possible.

Anonymous's avatar

I understand that you do not cut trees unless they are diseased. However trees that are left too high can be struck by lightning or left too long before they are trimmed can become safety hazard. Trees have fallen in the past through neighbour anecdotes.
The "maintenance crew" trim only the trees along the train tracks but do not trim trees that are beyond the immediate train tracks and trees that spread their canopy over people's property. Also these black walnut trees are aggressive species that compete with other trees. They spread roots into private property and produce a toxin called, juglone, that compete with vegetable gardens and other vegetation on private properties. Please do more to protect the environment of your neighbour.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 11:55

We understand the importance of maintaining vegetation along the corridor. If you have specific vegetation concerns in your area please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated Community Relations team at [email protected].

Anonymous's avatar
Jul 27, 2020 - 18:49

What kind of disruption will people that live along the corridor experience?
Will construction chemicals used during construction be properly disposed of so they don't seep into the soil of private properties.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 5, 2020 - 11:23

We are still in the early stages of assessment and planning as we work to bring more and better service to the corridor. We have a dedicated Community Relations team on the ground that does their best to keep the community notified of work and will be back before the start of construction. When we do reach the construction phase we will prepare both a Groundwater Management Plan and Spill Prevention and Response Plan to reduce our impact on the surrounding environment. The next round of public meetings for the environmental assessment will be held early next year, as we continue through the planning process.

Anonymous's avatar
Jul 27, 2020 - 18:52

Why not increase services, seeing only 3 schedules now, instead of expanding and building two tracks at certain location?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Jul 28, 2020 - 16:42

A key section of the Kitchener corridor, between Bramalea and Georgetown is owned and used by CN rail. We continue to work with our partners to find smarter and better ways to coexist, to operate our services in parallel to accelerate the delivery of new service to the communities along the line. There is still some infrastructure required to run more service on the rail corridor. Late last year we released the Initial Business Case (IBC) for Kitchener service that outlines our minimal infrastructure approach to more service on the corridor. You can find more information and the full IBC on Metrolinx.com.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 2, 2020 - 09:05

For this electrification, how much land do you need to clear on either side of the tracks. These trees provide sound barrier, when these trees are gone, would you build alternative sound barrier? Sound barriers are especially needed when more trains more trains will go through, as is we already hear the train loud and clear.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 12:02

In order to maintain a safe and reliable electrification network some adjacent trees need to be removed to create a maximum 7 metre clearance zone from the centreline outermost electrified track. We understand the importance some trees play in minimizing the noise of passing trains. As part of the TPAP we are currently studying noise and vibration impacts and possible mitigation measures for operation of the future service. We are still in the early phases of the TPAP, there will be more information in the next round of public meetings planned for early next year.

Anonymous's avatar

Name the various companies that maintain the tracks and properties.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 5, 2020 - 11:17

There are many railway tracks in the City of Guelph and depending on the location the ownership varies. The tracks can be owned by Metrolinx, CN and the Guelph Junction Railway – City of Guelph. If you have specific questions on track ownership near you, we have a dedicated Community Relations team available at any time that can be reached at [email protected].

Anonymous's avatar

Dublin Street, a more than 150-year-old thoroughfare in our City, was permanently closed on July 6. No community consultation or public debate took place before it was a done deal. It never even made the agenda of the Committee of the Whole or Council. Mayor Guthrie and senior staff decided it would go straight from a staff “Information Report” to rubber-stamping of the required By-laws on March 23rd, 2020 – a Covid-19 Emergency Council meeting where no citizen delegations were allowed. The Council vote to enact the enabling By-laws was unanimous. The Accessibility Advisory Committee wasn’t even on the list of “consultations”, so it’s not clear how compliance was achieved with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Metrolinx’ own study had recommended at least keeping Dublin open to bikes and pedestrians, but that didn’t happen.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 5, 2020 - 16:14

The Dublin Street crossing contravened the regulations for a safe crossing in the Railway Safety Act, last updated in August 2019. The closure was specific to the steep grade and challenging sightlines that made the crossing unsafe.  

Anonymous's avatar

Would you please provide a list of work that is currently being done on the corridor, as well as projects that are already EA-approved and planned to start in the next year or two?

I see construction happening in various places seemingly without any notice, and I can't find previous ESRs on any of your websites.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 6, 2020 - 12:54

You may notice construction in your community as we continue work to improve safety and upgrade infrastructure across the network. We will do our best to complete track maintenance during the day, but some work will need to proceed overnight as required. Along this portion of the corridor some of the work happening is essential work to secure the corridor with fencing installations along the property line of the right-of-way and level crossing rehabilitations of the track and pavement. We have a dedicated Community Relations team on the ground that does their best to engage and keep the community notified of work happening in their area. If you have specific questions on work happening in your community please contact [email protected] for more information.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 15:17

There are numerous benefits to electrification of the GO network. Some of these include:

  • Improved Service Reliability 
    • More frequent service reduces reliance on scheduled trips and increases the number of available seats 
    • Lower operating and maintenance costs; we can offer more trips with electric service than diesel service 
  • Reduced Travel Times and more Attractive Service 
    • Electric trains can accelerate and decelerate faster and stay at top speed for longer, saving time for customers  
    • By attracting additional riders, frequent electric train service reduces road congestion and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles 
    • Regenerative braking puts energy back into the system 
  • Reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
  • Improved Air Quality 
Anonymous's avatar
Aug 6, 2020 - 11:40

I am aware that the whistle of passing trains is a big problem for other communities. For 20-30 households at Crewsons Corners west of Acton it is not any different. It could be eliminated here by closing railway crossing on No 32 Side RD. We have here, 20 metres further, another Crewsons Line passing under railway track an it is sufficient. Higher trucks could pass on Dublin Line crossing.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 11:58

Safety is central to the operation of our service. The sounding whistles, their volume and frequency are federally regulated by Transport Canada to protect communities adjacent to railways. Municipalities are responsible for all roads and have the option to eliminate routine whistling if they feel that would better reflect their community’s priorities.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 8, 2020 - 07:34

Within Silver interlocking, for about 850 m between Main Street and the west end of the platform at Georgetown, trains have to slow to a painstaking crawl, not because of the physical state of the track, but only because the signals were done on the cheap.

Specifically, signal 237 physically can't show anything more favorable than slow to clear, and signal 300 is forced to show restricting for trains using the GO platform because there isn't any west-facing "238" signal closer to the point where the track circuit actually ends.

When is this planned to be rectified? It's probably the cheapest 2-3 minutes of time savings to be had on GO's whole network.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 11:59

The switches just west of Georgetown Station are not owned or maintained by Metrolinx. We are always working with our rail partners to find smarter and better ways to coexist, to operate our services in parallel and to accelerate the delivery of new service to all communities along the line.

Anonymous's avatar

What is the depth of your land from the railway tracks? There are trees all along the entire depth and length of the corridor. Do you maintain ALL the trees along the length and depth from the railway tracks?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 13:14

The distance between the tracks and the edge of the rail right of way and our property line varies along the corridor. If you have specific questions of an area near you please reach out to our Community Relations team at [email protected]. Trees and branches located within rail corridors are our responsibility and we do our best to maintain the corridor. Trees beside the rail corridor on private property and branches overhanging onto private property are the responsibility of that property owner.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Aug 11, 2020 - 16:36

For those of us that live next to the train corridor, we feel and hear the train going through the tracks already before the expansion. You have to cut the trees for your electrification, will you build sound barrier to mitigate the noise pollution?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 12:03

We understand the importance some trees play in minimizing the noise of passing trains. As part of the TPAP we are currently studying noise and vibration impacts and possible mitigation measures for operation of the future service. We are still in the early phases of the TPAP, there will be more information in the next round of public meetings planned for early next year.

Anonymous's avatar
Aug 19, 2020 - 15:31

Kitchener trains are currently all six cars long, and at Acton only two cars can open their doors thanks to the location of the mini-platform. With the accessibility car doors now restricted to disabled people, effectively only one car is available for boarding. Would you consider building a second mini-platform near the bike shelter so that six-car trains can spot further west and board through all doors?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Aug 24, 2020 - 12:05

We are currently running service with six railcars across the network to allow for more flexibility and create more opportunities for each car to be cleaned and rotated regularly. This is a temporary measure to keep you safe while you travel during the pandemic. We are closely monitoring ridership throughout the network and making every effort to adjust services to give passenger space to spread out.