Local auto mechanic comes to the rescue to help Eglinton Crosstown LRT vehicle keep moving on time

Even when a sophisticated piece of modern transit is on the move, it can take a good Samaritan to get it where it needs to be. Last week, light rail transit vehicles were transported for testing. The transport was well covered by media, social media and here on Metrolinx News. But a story you wouldn’t have heard about, was how one local man with a wrench and will to help, arrived to keep things on track.

Big cities sometimes get a bad rap for being cold and unfriendly.

Toronto, insert a big sigh here, is no exception.

But thanks to the kindness of a stranger, what could have turned into a major delay in delivering an Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) vehicle, was only a minor setback. As well as a major reminder that good people still do good things for strangers in need.

Just last week, Biagio Ginacola was on his way to Mississauga when he happened to be behind the flatbed truck transporting one of the Eglinton Crosstown light rail vehicles (LRVs).

Ginacola noticed smoke coming out of the big transport and followed the truck as it pulled over. He told the flatbed driver he was a mechanic and offered to help.

It turns out it was a blown radiator hose that disabled the truck and threatened to throw the whole operation off-schedule. But Ginacola quickly drove back to his shop, Silver Service Auto Repair, got a new part and installed it on the side of the road.

Biagio Ginacola outside his auto mechanic shop Silver Service Auto Repair, not far from Eglinton and Caledonia in West Toronto. (Metrolinx photo)

Thanks to Ginacola’s generosity, the delivery remained pretty much on schedule.

A few days later the Crosslinx team brought Ginacola a brand-new Crosstown hardhat and t-shirt – a token of appreciation.

So much for the mean old city.

More LRV deliveries to come this week

For everyone keeping score at home, three of six LRVs have been delivered from the Crosstown LRT maintenance and storage facility in the west end of Toronto to the east end of Eglinton to start testing.

The final three LRVs will be delivered by June 2. These six vehicles will be tested up and down the LRT route in the east end of Toronto.

One of the first three Eglinton Crosstown LRT vehicles on the east end of the LRT route. (Metrolinx photo)

When the dynamic testing starts this summer, it will include two-car trains (coupled vehicles), increased speed testing, and brake tests.

Watch out for updates on testing and general Crosstown progress on Metrolinx News and follow the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project on social media for the latest.  

And if you’re ever having vehicle problems, hope that someone like Biagio Ginacola is nearby.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx News editorial team