GO Transit / Clean Train Coalition Update

On March 22, the Toronto Public Health Department hosted a meeting at City Hall regarding the issue of clean trains in the Weston corridor.

I was not able to attend, but Robert Wightman sent the following report. 

I was at the meeting at city hall tonight and a few interesting things came up.

1 Prof. Christopher Kennedy, Civil Engineering U of T, said that far side stops on centre reservation LRT lines were a bad idea.

2 The number of 480 trains per day is only valid if GO gets every commuter to take the train downtown. They are only going to run an extra 10 to 15 GO trains per day. They were designing for the “worst” or “Best” case scenario. Gary McNeil from GO/Metrolinx said they did not have the capacity at Union for this many trains, no kidding.

3 Gary McNeil gave the impression that GO/Metrolinx really doesn’t know where it is going or what its real direction is. He did say that GO is inter regional as is not interested in providing service within the 416, but if the TTC wants to build a rapid transit line up the corridor they could tunnel under the rail right of way. GO is unwilling to consider anything that is not mainline railway compatible even if they own the entire corridor and have enough tracks to keep regular freight and passenger equipment off them.

4 SNC Lavalin is looking at a mainline version of the Ottawa Talent cars instead of recycled Budd Cars.

5 The Air Rail Link must be running for the Pan Am Games.

6 GO transit has NOT bought the Oakville Sub or any other tracks along the Lake Shore from CN but they are in negotiations for any and all lines that CN or CP will sell them. The guy beside me told me this. I think that his name was Bob Prichard.

7 McNeil said the electrification study should be done by December and that GO and MPI will have a tier 4 version of the MP40 Locomotive ready in about a year for testing.

The crowd was remarkably civil considering the fact that 99% thought that GO Metrolinx had been treating them like mushrooms, keeping them in the dark and feeding them manure.

If anyone else wishes to contribute observations, please do so in the comment thread.