There’s nothing wrong with fighting back against time by getting needed work done. Toronto’s Union Station rail corridor is seeing a number of impressive improvements. We’ve gathered them together, to give readers an idea what it’ll all look like.
A little nip here. A little tuck there. Just a bit of a tune up.
Phrases sometimes uttered by those fighting the signs of aging.
Union Station, at more than 80 years old, is undergoing a range of elective ‘surgeries’ to help stay young and vibrant. In preparation for increased service levels and for the years ahead, Union Station and the surrounding area is getting some work done.
Union Station is the nation’s most important passenger rail centre. It would normally serve about 350,000 people each day. Work continues at the station to support increased GO service to four times the number of trains across the network per day. To better serve customers, in the past year, Metrolinx has opened the new Union Station Bus Terminal and after an extensive revitalization will reopen the Union Station Bay Concourse and the Bay East Teamway later this year.
Metrolinx has also posted a construction brochure – which you can find just below – which focuses on Union Station and the area immediately to the east, where the majority of this year’s work is taking place. Here’s a snapshot of this year’s projects taking place in the area.
Union Station Revitalization
This year crews will start preliminary work towards the widening of platform 24/25 and construction of a new south platform which will include canopies and a concourse area below the platforms. Revitalization will continue on some staircases and with upgrades to passenger communication system and security systems within the trainshed.
Structural Bridge Rehabilitation
York, Bay, and Yonge Street bridges are critical to the operations of Union Station. These heritage bridges were built in 1927 and were due for structural rehabilitation. Work at the York Street Bridge was completed in 2020, the progress at Bay Street is now substantially complete, and the work at the Yonge Street Bridge is scheduled complete in mid-2021.
Signalling System Upgrades
The Signalling and Train Control Improvement program includes projects designed to bump up reliability and service of the signalling and train control systems. Once complete the new system will reduce signal disruptions, improve recovery time and combine operations into one control centre, providing a more effective service.
Signal Tower Renewal
Required state-of-good-repair restoration of the signalling towers at John, Scott, and Cherry Streets is underway and is scheduled to be complete in May 2022.
The biggest step toward improving the GO Transit network is implementing a low-carbon emission propulsion system. Implementing electrification across the network would allow the system to switch to cleaner, more environmentally-friendly trains that can accelerate and decelerate faster, cutting trips times, and serve more customers. The tender is currently in market to procure a design, build, operate and maintain contract to implement the GO Expansion program including electrification.
Getting old ain’t easy. Sometimes you need a little help along the way.
Here’s another way to see the brochure – just click here.
Story by Stacey Kenny, senior advisor, Metrolinx’s Communications and Stakeholders Relations.