To walk through the new 500,000 square foot GO Transit facility in Whitby is beyond impressive. Every intricate detail in all the massive machinery placed throughout is in place with purpose.
It’s standing by and ready to help maintain an entire fleet of green coloured trains – while remaining green in the way it operates.
The Whitby Rail Maintenance Facility (WRMF) was constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. Its main purpose is to provide mechanical maintenance, minor and major repair functions, daily inspections, cleaning and fueling.
Among the many green features, the WRMF will save energy by allowing sunlight through windows where they normally wouldn’t be. Occupancy sensors in the main building will also detect if an area is empty and turn off the LED lighting.
Facilities like this use a lot of water to wash locomotives and coaches. The designer for the WRMF, Stantec Consulting Ltd., designed a unique and efficient washing system. Wastewater is filtered, recycled, and recirculated. Rain water will also be used for facility services and for washing trains.
Outside the WRMF, a retention pond for storm water ensures that any runoff from the site ends up in the pond, and doesn’t flood the sewer system. The pond also doubles as a green space for employees and serves as a wildlife refuge, providing a home for frogs, turtles, ducks, and fish.
Employees who work at the WRMF will be encouraged to commute with bicycle storage and carpool parking provided, when it officially opens this fall.
GO Transit’s only current rail maintenance facility, located in Etobicoke, has reached its capacity and a new facility is needed to expand the GO fleet, helping to eventually provide two-way, all-day service on all of its corridors.