Scarborough Junction Grade Separation Project will mean improved rail service – See how it may lead to changes for Scarborough GO Station customers

The Scarborough Junction Grade Separation Project will be a major element of the huge GO Expansion Program and help speed up service on the Lakeshore East and Stouffville Rail corridors. Here’s what you need to know.

You may have heard by now that the GO Expansion Program will provide faster and more convenient transit for the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario.

But here are some important new details for customers along the Lakeshore East and Stouffville lines, including new train technology that will accommodate faster trains offering all-day trips, going two ways, as quickly as every 15 minutes.

Image shows a construction crew at work.
A file photo of past grade separation work taking place, as concrete is about to be poured. A a rail-rail grade separation just east of Midland Avenue is being proposed. (Metrolinx photo)

To support the GO Expansion Program, Metrolinx has identified various infrastructure requirements including track and switches, layovers and electrification to reach service level targets across the rail network.

The Scarborough Junction Grade Separation Project will accommodate increased service on the Stouffville and Lakeshore East lines through infrastructure improvements at the Scarborough Junction. These improvements will reduce train and traffic conflicts, while maintaining pedestrian access. The project will address these key objectives and facilitate the GO Expansion Program, including the construction of new tracks.

Here is some of the infrastructure being proposed as part of this project:

Rail/rail grade separation of the Stouffville and Lakeshore East lines

With increased train service from GO Expansion, the current track configuration at the Scarborough Junction will not provide effective train movement between the Stouffville and Lakeshore East rail corridors.

Right now, north-south trains along the Stouffville Rail Corridor would need to cross three tracks at-grade, creating potential train conflicts and delays. Switching across tracks will not be feasible to maintain a good train flow with increased service levels.

So to remove the potential for train conflicts and meet future service targets, a rail-rail grade separation just east of Midland Avenue is proposed.

This means that a new second Stouffville track will drop below grade and cross under the Lakeshore East tracks before meeting with the existing Stouffville track. The Stouffville line will continue within a lowered rail corridor to accommodate the rail tunnel at Danforth Road.

Image shows the difference between no grade separation and one with grade separation

Corvette Park – Multi-use Crossing (Bridge or Tunnel)

To facilitate GO Expansion, the existing at-grade crossing of the rail corridor near Corvette Park needs to be replaced with a structure that separates pedestrian and cyclist traffic from the tracks. To help the movement of pedestrians and cyclists, Metrolinx is considering options for a new multi-use crossing to either pass over or under the rail corridor (through a new bridge or tunnel). Based on ongoing discussions with the City of Toronto, Metrolinx is obtaining Transit Project Assessment Process  (TPAP) approval for both bridge and tunnel options, with a bridge crossing being the preferred design.

Danforth Road – Rail Tunnel

The existing level crossing at Midland Avenue and Danforth Road will be replaced by a rail tunnel underneath Danforth Road.

This rail under grade separation will allow traffic, pedestrians and cyclists to travel more efficiently and without interruption.

St. Clair Avenue East – Bridge Expansion

Another infrastructure requirement to help GO Expansion along the Lakeshore East and Stouffville lines is an expanded bridge at St. Clair Avenue to make room for an additional Stouffville track. The new structure will match the existing bridge.

That additional track south of the current tracks would require a relocation of the current Scarborough GO building.

Midland Layover

The project includes a new train layover site at Midland Avenue. With the planned increase in service along the Lakeshore Corridors, we anticipate the need to have additional storage for trains to accommodate customer demand.

Layover and storage yard facilities are essential for train operations. They typically include train storage, cleaning and serving, waste management, crew services, and track, switches and utilities.

Improvements to Scarborough GO Station Facilities

Some Scarborough GO Station facilities may be built or replaced on the north side of the tracks in support of the infrastructure improvements to bring better access to the planned increased service as part of the GO Expansion Program.

While the potential work takes place, customers will continue to have access to the station. Customers will also continue to have access to station parking on the east side of the tracks.

What’s Next?

Engaging with communities is one of the top priorities as Metrolinx works to bring customers two-way, all-day service. This is done through a Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), an impact assessment process created specifically for transit projects. The process involves a series of public consultations.

The second round of consultations on this project was held online from August 18 to September 1, 2020. Metrolinx will be back later this year for the third and final round of consultation on this project.

To sign up to participate in the next round of public consultations, please visit Metrolinx Engage.

And keep looking to Metrolinx News for more updates, as the progress on GO Expansion moves along.

Editor’s note – Edits were made to this story, after publication, on Oct. 14 as well as Nov. 3, 2020.

Story by Aman Gill, Metrolinx Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Engagement.