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New Track & Facilities

New Track & Facilities - Your Feedback

A project of this size and complexity means that changes will occur in communities and some communities close to where infrastructure is being delivered may feel impacted by it. Hearing from you is important to us. We want to make sure we are delivering maximum results with minimum disruption to the community. Public feedback was collected regarding the New Track and Facilities TPAP from February to December 2020.

The table below provides a snapshot summary of the main topics we've heard in Round 1 of public consultation and what we are doing about it. View the full Round 1 Engagement Report.

What We Heard

What We’re Doing About It

Concerns about noise and vibration impacts from proposed layover/storage yard facilities.

Metrolinx is currently working to finalize the reference concept designs and impact assessment reports for all proposed facilities, which will be available to the public upon the publishing of the final Environmental Project Report.

Find out more in the Proposed Layover & Storage Yard Facility section.

Questions about flood protection at proposed Don Valley Layover Facility site.

Metrolinx is conducting a Stormwater Management Impact Assessment study to avoid/minimize potential for increased flooding due to the construction of the facility. Metrolinx is working with regulatory agencies to further investigate and analyze potential flooding impacts.

Find out more in the Proposed Layover & Storage Yard Facility section.

Concerns about impacts to existing businesses & employment at proposed Beach Layover site.

Metrolinx is conducting a Land Use & Socioeconomic Impact Assessment study to assess potential impacts and propose appropriate mitigation with existing land uses.

Metrolinx is exploring an additional site further east along the Lakeshore West Corridor - the Walkers Line Layover Facility.  Both the Beach and Walkers Line Layover sites serve a similar function by storing trains as part of meeting service level targets.  Metrolinx will continue to consult with the public as we further refine the selection of layover facilities along the Lakeshore West Corridor.

UPDATE: Since round 2 of public consultation, it has 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. In addition, the location of the proposed Walkers Line Layover Facility has been relocated due to a property conflict at the original site.

Find out more in the Proposed Layover & Storage Yard Facility section.

Questions about potential effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) or Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) due to partial electrification of the Richmond Hill corridor.

Metrolinx is conducting a detailed EMI/ EMF Impact Assessment study to identify mitigation for any potential effects and to ensure compliance with industry standards.

Find out more in the Electrification of the Lower Richmond Hill Rail Corridor section and in Info Sheet 4: EMF/EMI Effects & Mitigation, presented during Round 1

 

View the public materials from the February 2020 Open Houses, including meeting boards and info sheets .

Round 2 of public consultation was held online from August 18 to September 1, 2020. The table below provides a snapshot summary of the main topics we've heard in Round 2 of public consultation and what we are doing about it. View the full Round 2 Engagement Report.

What We Heard

What We’re Doing About It

Concerns about potential impacts to the natural environment and noise from construction and operation of the new layover/storage yard facilities.

Metrolinx is currently working to finalize the reference concept designs and impact assessment reports for all proposed facilities, which will be available to the public when the final Environmental Project Report is published in December 2020.

These reports will identify anticipated environmental impacts resulting from the Project and describe mitigation that will be applied to avoid or offset these effects.

Find out more in the Proposed Layover & Storage Yard Facility section.

Metrolinx is also undertaking system-wide Noise/Vibration Studies associated with the increased GO Expansion service levels. These studies will assess how noise and vibration levels will change from existing operations to the proposed future operations, and will determine whether mitigation measures are required.

Noise increases above 5 dBA will be considered for mitigation; however, proposed mitigation for both sound and vibration effects must meet administrative, operational, economic and technical feasibility criteria. Where all criteria are met, mitigation solutions (i.e. noise barrier) will be recommended.

Find out more in the Noise/Vibration section.

Questions about the process and timeline for any required property expropriation and traffic impacts for the proposed Walkers Line layover facility.

Metrolinx is currently working to finalize the reference concept design for the proposed Walkers Line Layover Facility. A detailed Traffic Impact Assessment study is also being completed to identify potential traffic impacts resulting from the facility, and to ensure compliance with municipal road standards. The Traffic Impact Assessment will be made available when the final Environmental Project Report is published in December 2020.

 

Metrolinx will also continue to consult with the public regarding proposed construction in their area once detailed design plans have been finalized.

Find out more in the Walkers Line Layover section.

Participants wanted to know if the plans for the Don Valley layover facility would interfere with VIA Rail’s proposal for High Frequency Rail.

Metrolinx has shared its plans for the proposed Don Valley Layover and the New Track & Facilities Project with VIA Rail as part of TPAP consultation efforts. Metrolinx will continue to work with VIA Rail as they advance their planning for the High Frequency Rail Project. Metrolinx and VIA Rail are working together on this matter and will seek to maximize the public benefit of infrastructure investments.

Questions about weather-proof or heated switches to prevent freezing, reduce noise and impacts to train service.

Most if not all mainline powered switches along the GO Rail Network have what is called a Switch Clearing device. These systems prevent snow and ice from gathering in a way that negatively affects the operation of the switch. Metrolinx consistently maintains these mechanisms to ensure switches remain safe and malleable during the winter season.

 

View the public materials from the August 2020 Virtual Public Meeting, including meeting boards and information .

Round 3 of public consultation was held online from November 27 – December 11, 2020.   

New information that was presented in Round 3 included: A decision on the preferred Layover Facility site in the City of Burlington, revised design for Walkers Line Layover, and revised design for Don Valley Layover.

If you would like to look at the public materials from Round 3 of consultation please view the Round 3 Engagement Report.

The table below provides a snapshot summary of the main topics we've heard in Round 3 of public consultation and what we are doing about it

What We Heard

What We’re Doing About It

Feedback about the proposed Don Valley Layover:

  1. concerns about environmental impacts to the Don Valley, undoing restoration efforts in the area, and vegetation removals.
  2. wanted more details about the layover facilities and its mitigation plans.
  3. why is a layover required in the Don Valley?

The proposed location for Don Valley Layover was selected in consultation with the public and other stakeholders, and after completing a number of studies to assess potential impacts to the environment. The 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. A layover at this location is needed to reduce congestion at Union Station, which is a bottle-neck in the GO network. The proposed site is a feasible location that will enable Metrolinx to achieve GO Expansion service targets that will result in greatly expanded transit opportunities for riders across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

The proposed Don Valley Layover has been designed to make use of Metrolinx property and existing infrastructure assets to the extent feasible. Specifically, access to the site will be through an existing access used by the City of Toronto and others, and trains will be stored linearly on existing tracks. These steps, coupled with a layover that accommodates the minimum servicing requirements, results in a facility with the smallest possible footprint.

The proposed footprint of the Don Valley layover facility has also been designed to make use of pre-disturbed areas to the extent possible. As a result, only relatively minor permanent removal and disruption of natural features is anticipated. Mitigation for these removals will occur in accordance with the Metrolinx Vegetation Removal and Compensation Program.

The vegetation communities impacted by the Don Valley layover are edge habitats of cultural meadow vegetation communities, heavily influenced by the man-made environment. The proposed removals are not anticipated to result in significant disruptions to the ecological functioning of nearby natural areas. This is further discussed within the Project’s Natural Environment Impact Assessment Report.

A Design Excellence process and urban design review will be completed during future project phases to integrate 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 retaining walls, fencing, use of locally-sourced or significant building materials, and/or vegetative buffers, where feasible and suitable with surrounding land uses. A Draft Visual Impact Assessment Report has been prepared that outlines potential visual impacts resulting from the project and presents associated mitigation measures.  View the Draft Visual Impact Assessment Report .

What is the Layover being built in the City of Burlington? Is Beach Layover still being considered?

Two potential sites within Burlington were previously under consideration and presented to the public during past consultation (the Beach Layover site, located in the vicinity of Plains Road East and Brant Street; and the Walkers Line layover site, located in the vicinity of Walkers Line and Harvester Road). Only one new layover facility is required on the Lakeshore West Corridor to achieve the GO Expansion targeted service levels, and it has been determined that Walkers Line is the preferred site.

This decision was made after consulting with the public and other stakeholders throughout 2020, and after completing a number of technical studies to assess potential impacts to the environment. The Walkers Line Layover site was selected because it provides many benefits compared to the Beach Layover location, including:

  • The Walkers Line Layover location makes greater use of Metrolinx’s existing property for track storage;
  • The overall footprint of the Walkers Line Layover is significantly smaller than that of the Beach site, reducing the extent of potential environmental impacts;
  • The Walkers Line Layer site reduces potential business and employment impacts.
  • For additional information about the City of Burlington Layover site selection, please visit: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/new-track-facilities-proposed-infrastructure-studies

Location of new tracks, switches, and other proposed infrastructure. Participants wanted to find out what was being proposed in their area.

Additional information related to proposed infrastructure (e.g. new tracks, switches) can be found at the following link: https://maps.metrolinx.com/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=199ded6da5e746c08f4742df9c921f8c

 

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