toronto union pearson express

First Union-Pearson Express trains arrive in Toronto

A direct rail link between downtown and Pearson Airport becoming close to reality. The first pair of diesel Union-Pearson Express trains are now in Toronto, making test runs out of Union Station.

Over the next six weeks, the trains will be tested on the Lake Shore, Kitchener, and Barrie GO transit lines during off-peak hours, Metrolinx says. The remaining 16 trains in the order will be similarly evaluated once they are delivered from Japan.

The pair currently undergoing testing were shipped over the Pacific from Toyohashi, Japan to Savannah, Georgia via the Panama Canal. The trains then traveled on a flatbed rail car to Toronto via Chicago, a total of more than 20,000 kms from the point of origin.

The trains include wi-fi, washrooms, luggage racks, electrical outlets, seat-back pockets, meal trays, and seating for 173 people. Metrolinx says the trains, which currently use diesel, are designed for conversion to electric power. "Electrifying the Union Pearson Express is identified as a priority project in Ontario's regional transportation plan, The Big Move," the UP-Express site says.

When it's finished, the four-stop, $456 million line will run from a purpose built platform at Union Station to Terminal 1 by way of Dundas West and Weston GO stations. The trip is expected to take 25 minutes and run from Union and Pearson every 15 minutes.

Metrolinx hasn't officially announced what the fare will be, but recent reports predict it could be in excess of $20.

The line is due to be fully operational by the spring of 2015.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Metrolinx/Flickr


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