As we all know, a lot can change in five years. It’s been that long since the Union Pearson Express began service as a quick rail link between Toronto Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto. Most people simply call it ‘UP Express’. But what else do you know about it. Let’s test your memory and transit knowledge.
Back on June 6, 2015, the world was deep in different concerns and conversations.
Canada was hosting the 2015 FIFI Women’s World Cup, Helter-Skelter author Vincent Bugliosi died at 80 years old and the Video Game Hall of Fame had just announced its first nominee class – including Pong and Pac-Man.
And in Toronto, UP Express began as a rail link between Pearson Airport and Union Station.
While only five years ago, so much has changed – though UP Express continues to move thousands of customers along just over 23 kilometres of track. It’s seen countless reunions on its platforms, has hosted scores of convention attendees and its train windows frame the first look many international visitors have of Toronto.
So yes, a lot of stories have taken place in and around UP since 2015.
To mark the anniversary, we thought we’d put you to the test – seeing how well you know the history of a transit route that has now become iconic for Canada’s largest city.
Step aboard – here’s the quiz.
How did the 1st set of UP Express trains get to Toronto from the port of Toyohashi, Japan?
The UP Express trains travelled by ship through the Panama Canal and transferred to flatbed rail cars to Illinois near Chicago
You nailed it
The UP Express trains transported in a large shipping container and travelled on rail from Shin-Toyohashi station to Vancouver and then aboard a train to Toronto
Sorry, wrong answer
The UP Express trains were flown in pieces, and that effort took more than a month
Sounds cool, but not correct
What popular show based on a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood filmed scenes on the UP Express train?
The Handmaid’s Tale
You got it
The Blind Assassin
UP Express uses Tier 4 diesel engines. What’s a Tier 4 diesel engine?
It’s a new technology that reduces harmful exhaust gases for diesel powered engines
A clean win – you’re right
Tier 4 means there are four gears that the trains go through – meaning they do not actually need traditional brakes
Stop right there – this is incorrect
Tier 4 is a type of engine that has the ability to go in either direction on the rails, without changing motor function or reliability
Reverse now – this is a wrong answer
How many seated passengers can a 3-car UP Express train can accommodate?
Up to 173 seated passengers
Sit back – you’re correct
An even 150 seats – a design feature to keep trains perfectly balanced
This is off-balance and a wrong answer
A maximum of 90 passengers can be seated
Nope – it can handle more than this
This band from Hamilton, Ontario with hits like “Knocking at Your Door” are known to frequent taking the UP Express.
Yes, this is music to our ears
The Barenaked Ladies
Sigh – not correct
UP Express began operation on June 6, 2015 ahead of the 2015 Pan Am Games. What is the name of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games mascot?
Cute and you got it right
Panny the Goose
Is the wrong answer
UP Express Guest Service Representatives are super friendly and knowledgeable, but I bet you didn’t know they are also _______________ (fill in the blank)
Multilingual. The entire team can communicate effectively in 3 or more languages – 23 languages to be exact
Part-time Customer Service Agents for GO Transit
Back-up conductors for the UP train
How many passengers have ridden UP Express to date?
More than 15 million
You got it – 15,147,132 to be exact (as of April 2020)
Around three million
More than that
It will reach at least one million by the end of this year
Now that you’ve taken the quiz, share your results with us – and your fellow passengers – on social media.
Story and quiz by Faye Orozco, Metrolinx senior brand advisor.