GO Transit to improve service along Lakeshore East
Published: August 22, 2008
Source: Government of Canada

TORONTO Recently completed improvements to GO Transit's Lakeshore East rail line will relieve congestion and reduce delays for the 44,700 riders who use the corridor each weekday.

The $69.5 million Lakeshore East corridor expansion projects included the construction of a third track on the main rail line from Danforth GO Station to Scarborough GO Station. This additional track will improve train service, increasing the efficiency of the commute for the passengers who travel along the corridor.

To improve efficiency, GO Transit has also introduced 12-car passenger trains, the longest in North America, allowing over 300 new riders per train.

"GO Transit is a critical service for commuters throughout the GTA and our government is working closely with the province and GO officials to make it more efficient," said Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the GTA. "These investments in GO Transit, along with our long-term transportation plan FLOW, will help create a seamless transit system that will reduce traffic congestion, improve the environment and increase productivity."

In addition to track expansion and longer trains, bridges at Warden, Danforth, St. Clair and Eglinton Avenues were expanded to accommodate the additional track, and the pedestrian overpass at Woodrow Avenue was replaced. Station, tunnel and platform improvements were made at Eglinton, Scarborough and Danforth GO Stations, including lengthening platforms to accommodate 12-car GO trains.

"With the completion of the third track along GO's Lakeshore East line, GO trains will be able to keep moving as they pass other trains that are causing delays," said Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley. "Not only are we easing congestion for GO passengers, we are building a greener, more sustainable transportation system."

The Lakeshore East line runs from Union Station East to Oshawa. The expansion projects along the corridor began in October 2005 and were completed with the tunnel installation work at Scarborough Station at the end of July. In addition to the expansion projects, GO Transit continues to make operational improvements at Scarborough Station that will increase the accessibility of the station for passengers using mobility devices. This work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009.

"Our ridership numbers have been increasing as more and more people are choosing GO Transit," said Greg Ashbee, GO TRIP's Rail Expansion Program Manager. "At the end of the day, we are always working to keep up with increasing ridership numbers and to provide the most efficient and reliable service possible."

Over a billion people have taken the GO Train or the GO Bus since GO Transit began operating in May 1967. Today, GO Transit carries more than 50 million passengers annually or nearly 200,000 passengers on a typical weekday.

The Lakeshore East Corridor expansion projects are part of the GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO TRIP), a $1 billion-dollar expansion initiative funded by the federal and provincial governments and local municipalities through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

A backgrounder with further information on the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and GO TRIP projects is attached.


BACKGROUNDER - GO TRANSIT IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

The Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund supports large-scale projects of major national and regional significance. Through this fund, the federal and provincial governments agreed to provide up to $385 million each to support major GO Transit rail infrastructure improvements over seven years. Municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will also provide funding.

GO Transit carries more than 170,000 passengers an average of 32 kilometres every day on its rail system. During rush hour, almost every seat on all GO trains is occupied. The expansion will enable GO to accommodate more than 40,000 additional passengers forecast to use the system during peak periods by 2011.

The GO Transit Rail Improvement Program (GO TRIP) includes 12 GO rail projects across the system and an expansion of the GO bus network. Most of these projects are underway, with completion expected in 2012. Below is an update for each project.

Lakeshore West corridor

A third track is being added on two sections of the Lakeshore West corridor to allow more GO Train service and reduce delays:

* Port Credit Station (Mississauga) to Kerr Street (Oakville): Construction began in April 2007 and is expected to be complete by November 2009.
* Burlington Station to Bayview Junction (Hamilton): Construction on this portion of the corridor was completed in April 2008. All-day service to Aldershot Station began in September 2007.

In April 2008, GO Transit implemented 12-car trains along the Lakeshore West corridors. The addition of the two rail cars has enabled each 12-car train to accommodate 300 new riders per train an increase of 20 per cent.

Prior to the introduction of the new, longer trains, station platform extensions were constructed at Port Credit, Clarkson, Oakville and Aldershot on the Lakeshore West corridor.

Lakeshore East corridor

Improvements to accommodate three-track operation between Union Station and Scarborough Station were completed in April 2008. Further work was done to extend the station platforms at Scarborough, Eglinton and Danforth stations to accommodate 12-car train service.

Milton corridor

In April 2008, GO Transit implemented 12-car trains along the Milton rail corridors. The addition of the two rail cars has enabled each 12-car train to accommodate 300 new riders per train an increase of 20 per cent.

Prior to the introduction of the new, longer trains, station platform extensions were constructed at Milton, Meadowvale, Cooksville, Erindale, Kipling and Dixie on the Milton corridor. The platform extension at Streetsville Station is currently underway.

A new storage site was built near Milton Station to accommodate longer 12-car trains and improve operational efficiencies. This allows trains to be stored closer to where they start and finish in order to minimize delays and reduce unnecessary train trips. The site has been operational since January 2007.

Stouffville corridor

Construction began in May 2006 on a GO rail underpass that will allow GO Transit to avoid delays caused by freight train traffic.

While this project is expected to be complete by December 2008, most of the work related to the underpass has been completed and recently the first GO Train passed through the new depressed corridor. As a result, GO Train service along this corridor is more efficient and passengers can expect fewer delays.

Georgetown corridor West Toronto Diamond

Construction is underway on the West Toronto Diamond rail-to-rail grade separation. This rail underpass will allow GO trains to avoid delays caused by conflicts with freight trains. Preliminary works are complete, and the construction of the grade separation is expected to begin in early 2009, with a forecast completion date of spring 2011.

Georgetown South (Weston corridor)

An individual environmental assessment is underway to identify improvements required to accommodate increased GO Train frequency and options for transportation link between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.

Georgetown North corridor

Construction began in fall 2006 to increase track capacity along the corridor, accommodate two new rush-hour trains and provide limited off-peak service to the Mount Pleasant GO station in North Brampton. Construction is expected to be complete by July 2009.

Bradford corridor

The Snider rail-to-rail grade separation at the CN York subdivision freight line has been operational since December 2006. This GO Train rail overpass allows GO Transit to avoid delays caused by conflicts with freight trains.

Improvements along the Bradford corridor to accommodate rail service to Barrie are also complete and service has been operational since December 17, 2007. During the week, four morning trains depart from the new GO Transit Barrie South Station to Union Station, and four afternoon trains depart from Union Station to the City of Barrie.

Union Station Rail Corridor Program

GO Transit awarded the contract for the signal improvements in 2007. Design work began in December 2007, with overall completion expected in 2014. The work on this project will include a complete replacement of the 70-year-old track signal system at Union Station.

Additional improvements to Union Station are also underway, including new tracks and platforms. This will help improve the efficiency of the train network and increase operational capacity.

The Don Yard has been redeveloped by GO Transit for its daytime train storage needs and is fully operational.

Other service areas

On September 4, 2007, two new GO Bus routes to Guelph were implemented as part of the GO TRIP program. In addition, on June 30, 2008, GO Transit bus service was extended to Stoney Creek.