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GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum

GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum

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” 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);
  • 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.

Project Status

The GO Rail Electrification Addendum project is currently in the Pre-TPAP Addendum Planning Phase.

Round 3 of public consultation for the GO Expansion program was held online from November 27 to December 11, 2020. To view the materials from Round 3, click here.

Round 2 of public consultation was held online from August 18 to September 1, 2020. Participants were able to read about the GO Rail Electrification Addendum project and asked Metrolinx general questions about the project. There was no new information from the GO Rail Electrification Addendum project presented in Round 2.

Round 1 of consultation was held in person during the month of February 2020.  To view the materials from Round 1, click here

The Notice of EPR Addendum is anticipated early 2021.

Metrolinx (and Hydro One as a co-proponent) completed the GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) in 2017 which 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 separate Metrolinx TPAPs called “New Track & Facilities TPAP” and “Scarborough Junction Grade Separations 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 separate 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.

A TPAP Addenda is carried out under Section 15 of Ontario Regulation 231/08 - Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings, which includes provisions for proponents to make changes to a transit project after the TPAP Statement of Completion is submitted and approved.

If, after submitting a Statement of Completion, the proponent wishes to make a change to the transit project that is inconsistent with the environmental project report, the proponent shall prepare an addendum to the environmental project report. The following outlines the key steps in the EPR Addendum process under a TPAP:

  • Prepare an assessment of the impacts the proposed change may have on the environment;

  • Prepare and distribute an Addendum report;

  • Prepare and distribute a Notice of Environmental Project Report Addendum; and

  • Conduct a final review by the public and stakeholders prior to proceeding with the proposed Addendum.

Metrolinx is in Round 3 of public consultation from November 27 to December 11, 2020. The Notice of EPR Addendum will be released in early 2021.