go rail

Don't hold your breath for electric GO rail lines

A new report from Metrolinx raises questions as to the possibility of electrifying GO rail corridors over the next 10 years. That's not good news if you're John Tory, who has staked much of his transit vision, the so called SmartTrack plan, on running high frequency inner city rail service along existing rail lines.

"Tory's 53-kilometre, 22-station SmartTrack line will provide all-day, two-way express surface rail to all four corners of the city, and deliver citywide relief in seven, not 17 years," reads a press release distributed by the mayoral candidate earlier today. That timeline always seemed ambitious, but is now veering closer to unrealistic.

One of the major issues is that adapting Union Station for electric rail is a massive job, one that Metrolinx CEO Bruce McQuaig told the Globe could take "three to four years." With current construction on the station not close to completion, there are some major question marks as to when work on electrification could even begin. Unsurprisingly McQuaig won't commit to the 10 year timeline, something Tory is going to have to address as the campaign hits the home stretch.

Photo by Martyn in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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