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New Track & Facilities

New Track & Facilities - Proposed Infrastructure & Studies

To support the expansion, Metrolinx has identified various infrastructure requirements including track and switches, two layovers, one trainstorage yard, and electrification to achieve established service level targets across the network. Please note that the proposed infrastructure is based on reference design concepts that are subject to change during the detailed design process.

 

Proposed Rail Layover and Train Storage Yard Facilities

Layover and storage yard facilities are essential for train operations. They typically include train storage, cleaning and servicing, waste management, and crew services

Layover and storage yard facilities are necessary to achieve the targeted GO expansion service levels by:

  • Reducing long-distance non-revenue trips;
  • Accommodating train storage during off-peak hours;
  • Allowing trains to be routinely serviced and cleaned;
  • Providing flexibility for trains to operate more seamlessly across the network; and
  • The proposed locations are strategically located throughout the GO rail network to maximize service efficiency.

Click the following links to learn more about each of the proposed layover and train storage yard facilities, overview of impact assessment, and proposed mitigation measures:

 

City of Burlington Layover Sites - Walker’s Line Layover and Beach layover

One new layover facility on the Lakeshore West Corridor is required to achieve the GO Expansion targeted service levels.  Two potential sites were previously under consideration and presented to the public during past consultation: The Beach and Walkers Line Layover sites, both of which are within the City of Burlington.

It has since been determined that the Walkers Line site is the preferred location to host the proposed layover facility on the Lakeshore West Corridor.  This decision was made after consulting with the public and other stakeholders throughout 2020, and after completing a number of studies to assess potential impacts to the environment. The Walkers Line Layover meets Metrolinx’s objective to provide two-way all-day service to the Lakeshore West Corridor by:

  • Accommodating turnback capabilities at Burlington GO station;
  • Providing for peak services that originate at Burlington GO, as well as providing capability for services originating/terminating at Aldershot GO;
  • Reducing rail congestion on the Lakeshore West corridor; and
  • Serving as the terminus of electrification on the Lakeshore West corridor.

Metrolinx conducted a constraints analysis to compare both locations before reaching a conclusion on the preferred layover site. Some of the constraints considered are included below.

 

Constraint ConsideredBeach LayoverWalkers Line Layover

Property Ownership

Not owned by Metrolinx. The proposed storage tracks and facilities would be located on private property. Significant property acquisition required.

Partially owned by Metrolinx. The proposed storage tracks would be located within Metrolinx right-of-way and the proposed facilities would be located on private property. A smaller area of property acquisition required relative to the Beach site.

Land Use & Socio-Economic

Requires relocation of an existing chemical manufacturing facility, potentially affecting employment and impacting business potential.

Relocation of existing business would not be required. Opportunities for shared uses exist and the majority of the property requirements are located within the Metrolinx right-of-way.

Potential Contamination

There is an elevated risk for extensive contamination at this site due to its past and present use as a chemical manufacturing facility. The cost and uncertainty associated with potential contamination at this site poses a significant risk to the GO Expansion Program.

There is low risk for on site contamination as the current use of the site is not industrial.

 

The constraints analysis supports the selection of the Walkers Line site as the preferred location to host a layover facility on the Lakeshore West Corridor. As such, the Beach Layover facility is no longer part of the scope of the New Track and Facilities TPAP and Metrolinx will not be seeking approval for this facility at this time. To view the Beach Layover site proposed during Round 1 and 2 of public consultation click here.

New information in Round 3

Walkers Line Layover Update

The location of the proposed Walkers Line Layover Facility has been relocated since round 2 of public consultation due to a property conflict at the original site. Crew services and parking have been moved to an adjacent property, while access to the site will remain from Harvester Road.  The shift in location was accounted for during the constraints analysis used to select a preferred location for the layover site.
To view information on the revised Walkers Line Layover Facility, click here.

New information in Round 3

Don Valley Layover Update

The Don Valley Layover Facility design has been revised since the second round of public consultation to reflect stakeholder feedback. Changes have been made to the site plan to relocate the buildings to a higher elevation to further floodproof the facility, and shift building facilities away from the Lower Don Trail.
To view information on the revised Don Valley Layover Facility, click here.

Proposed Track, Switch Locations & Platforms Across the Network

As part of the GO Expansion program, Metrolinx has identified various infrastructure requirements to achieve the established service level targets across the network. Required infrastructure includes new tracks within existing Metrolinx rail Rights-of-way (ROW), modifications or upgrades to existing tracks within existing Metrolinx rail ROW, and new platforms at existing GO Stations.

A number of switches are also are required within the existing track beds along a number of GO rail corridors. A switch enables a train to be guided from one track to another at a railway junction. Switches are needed to allow trains to easily move across the network, providing increased service. Approximately 150 new switches are proposed across the network.

Rail Corridor

New Tracks

New Switches

New platforms at GO Stations

Lakeshore East

5.67 km

23

Oshawa GO Station

Stouffville

2.13 km

11

Mount Joy and Unionville GO Stations

Barrie

12.41 km

33

None

Richmond Hill

4 km

3

None

Kitchener

7.44 km

23

None

Lakeshore West

6.12 km

61

None

 

Click here to view the panel and map of new switches that was presented at the February 2020 Open Houses.

Proposed Thickson Road Bridge Expansion

The existing rail bridge at Thickson Road in the Town of Whitby is to be widened to accommodate a new third track extending from the Whitby Maintenance Facility to Oshawa GO Station, within the Town of Whitby.

To learn more about the bridge expansion, click here to view the panel that was presented at the February 2020 Open Houses.

Proposed Electrification of the Lower Richmond Hill Rail Corridor

Electrification of a portion of the Richmond Hill Corridor north to Pottery Road is required to reduce rail congestion, allow trains to turn back and reduce idling and dwell times at Union Station. Bridges on the Richmond Hill Corridor that require Bridge Protection Barriers due to electrification include: Eastern Avenue Bridge, Don Valley Parkway Ramp, Dundas Street Bridge East, Gerrard Street East Bridge, Riverdale Park Pedestrian Bridge, and DVP to Bayview Extension Bridge.

To learn more about the electrification of a portion of the Richmond Hill Corridor and the bridges that require modifications to accommodate electrification infrastructure, click here to view the panels that were presented at the February 2020 Open Houses.

To learn more about what is involved in electrification in general, click here.

Key Preliminary Design and Construction Commitments

Following the TPAP, the proposed infrastructure will move into the detailed design and construction phases. During these phases all applicable regulations, permits, approvals and best practices will be adhered to. To read about some of the key preliminary commitments to future works (following the TPAP) for New Track & Facilities, click here.

Studies, Impacts, and Mitigation

What are Environmental Studies?

Environmental studies are important components of a TPAP. Along with public feedback, they inform the Draft Environmental Project Report (EPR) that becomes subject for public review and the Minister’s approval.

These studies look at existing conditions to assess potential impacts from construction and operation of the proposed infrastructure and future train service, recommend mitigation measures/monitoring commitments, and provide key information for concept designs.  Read the EPR and technical reports.  

Operational Air Quality and Operational Noise and Vibration studies are being undertaken as part of a separate process. Please visit the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum project website for more information.