Signal bridges going up as Metrolinx makes progress on GO train signal modernization at Union Station

Installation of major signaling pieces are the fourth in a series of overhead structures, known as bridges, previously installed along the GO train tracks near Union Station. Find out why this is good news for GO customers, and what it means to keeping trains moving along one of the busiest sections or urban track in Canada.

An upcoming major construction project will bring Metrolinx one step closer to completing its signalling and train control improvement program.

And it’s happening in the heart of Toronto.

Once complete, the new signaling system will help Metrolinx provide more effective GO train service by reducing signal disruptions, improving recovery time when disruptions happen, and combining operations into one control centre.

The next big step? Installing a new signal bridge this coming weekend (Oct. 29-31).

Crews work to install a signal bridge on the east side of Union Station earlier this year.
Crews work to install a signal bridge on the east side of Union Station earlier this year. (Metrolinx photo)

For those not versed in rail industry language, a signal bridge is a large metal structure where train signals are mounted. Not to be confused with the kind of bridge people or cars use.   

Three overhead signaling structures – the bridges – were previously installed on the east side of Union Station this past summer. But this will be the first bridge installation on the west side of the station.

The bridge will span multiple tracks, roughly stretching across half of the tracks near Union Station. 

Crews will use cranes to lift and install the bridge and its vertical supports, followed by elevated working platforms to secure the span to the supports.

The bridge is currently being constructed at GO Transit’s Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility and will be transported to the Union Station Rail Corridor via railcar early Friday morning.   

Night construction of a signal bridge along the Union Station rail corridor.
Night construction of a signal bridge along the Union Station rail corridor. (Metrolinx photo

Crane mobilizations, staging, and vertical component installations will take place during the evening and into the night of Friday, Oct. 29. The overhead section will be installed during the day on Saturday Oct. 30, barring any weather or mechanical delays.

The work will not impact train service, but customers travelling to and from Union Station may get a glimpse of the bridge being installed.

Residents living close to the tracks will hear noise from the work, particularly as crews use mechanical wrenches to fasten the horizontal components of the bridge with the vertical sections. As always staff will try their best to minimize disruption.

For more information, residents can contact Metrolinx’s Toronto West community relations team at torontowest@metrolinx.com or at 416-202-6911.  

Story by Suniya Kukaswadia, Metrolinx media relations senior advisor