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GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum

GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum

All the information on this website was presented at Round 1 of the GO Rail Network Electrification public consultation in February 2020. Currently, there is no new project information. More project updates are coming in Round 3 public consultation in Fall, 2020.  Check back here often or sign up to receive updates on upcoming Metrolinx engagement opportunities. 

If you would like to look at the public materials from the February 2020 open houses, including meeting boards, please click here.

About

To support the GO Expansion Program, Metrolinx has identified various infrastructure requirements including track and switches, layovers, and electrification to achieve established service level targets across the network. New infrastructure involves carrying out environmental impact assessments under the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) (Ontario Regulation 231/08).

A 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”) proposed across various portions of the GO rail network that were not previously examined as part of the 2017 Environmental Project Report (EPR);
  • provide an updated assessment of noise, vibration and air quality associated with increased service levels across six Metrolinx-owned rail corridors ; and
  • assess any changes to the footprint of the 7-metre Overhead Contact System (OCS) Impact or Vegetation Clearance Zone.

A number of reports are being prepared in support of the undertaking, including an Environmental Project Report (EPR) Addendum and associated environmental studies. The EPR Addendum will include:

  • a description of the proposed change;
  • an assessment and evaluation of any potential impacts the changes may have on the environment;
  • a description of the proposed mitigation measures to address potential impacts; and
  • the EPR Addendum will be made available for a 30-day Public/Stakeholder Review period in early 2021.

To learn more about electrification, click here and click here to view the panels presented in Round 1.

The GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum is part of the GO Expansion program. To learn more about other GO Expansion projects, click here.

Background

The 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) identified infrastructure required to convert Metrolinx-owned rail corridors from diesel to electric propulsion. Since then, additional electrification infrastructure requirements for new/upgraded tracks and layover facilities (which are being studied as part of a separate Metrolinx study called “New Track & Facilities TPAP”) have been identified at various locations across the network to achieve increased service levels.

Metrolinx has determined that the impacts of the additional infrastructure represents a Significant Change to what was presented in 2017 and a TPAP Addendum is being undertaken (in accordance with Section 15(1) of O. Reg. 231/08).

An Environmental Project Report (EPR) Addendum is currently being prepared to address effects associated with additional Overhead Contact System (OCS) infrastructure that falls outside of the previously assessed 7 metre OCS Impact/Vegetation Removal Zone identified in the 2017 EPR.

Electrification of the lower Richmond Hill corridor is being undertaken as part of the New Track and Facilities TPAP project, while electrification of the Kitchener Guelph Subdivision is being undertaken as part of the Kitchener GO Expansion project.

A Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) is a focused impact assessment process created specifically for transit projects. The process involves a pre-consultation phase followed by a regulated up to 120-day phase and includes consultation, an assessment of positive and negative impacts, an assessment of measures to mitigate negative impacts and documentation.

A TPAP ensures that the natural, social, cultural, and economic environments are protected and any potential adverse effects from proposed infrastructure are either avoided, mitigated or minimized.

TPAPs are regulated by Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act, specifically Ontario Regulation 231/08 - Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings, and are submitted for the Minister of the Environment Conservation and Parks' review prior to completion.

Public, stakeholder, and Indigenous consultation occurs throughout the process.

The above new transit infrastructure is being assessed through the TPAP under Ontario Regulation 231/08 - Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings, either as an Addendum to a previously completed and TPAP.

We will be back in the Fall of this year for the final round of consultation. The Notice of EPR Addendum will be released in early 2021. Check here often or sign-up to receive updates on upcoming Metrolinx engagement opportunities.