Metrolinx is advancing plans to bring GO Train service to Bowmanville

The start of procurement for a construction partner is a positive sign for extending GO rail service east of Oshawa into Bowmanville – a long-standing goal of the Province and Metrolinx. Here’s what you should know. 

Expanded rail service to Bowmanville – including on weekends – is taking its next step forward. 

Metrolinx has now advanced the future service plan for Bowmanville through the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC). Once required infrastructure is complete, customers will benefit from express peak service every half an hour operating express between Union Station and Pickering GO Station and making all stops between Pickering and Bowmanville.  

In the off-peak, GO trains will travel hourly making all stops between Bowmanville and Union Station. Weekend service will be every two hours making all stops between Bowmanville and Union Station. 

The expanded service will reduce commuters in-vehicle travel time an average of 15 minutes from Bowmanville to Union Station.   

In the Initial Business Case (IBC), completed in February 2020, Metrolinx narrowed the field of four routing options to just one. The preferred option focuses on the route that uses Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway’s existing alignment north of highway 401 through to Bowmanville. 

Metrolinx then moved on to the PDBC, which is the next step in the planning process and is more good news for those wanting to see GO rail extended further eastward. Working in partnership with CP, Metrolinx advanced and assessed service options that will deliver two-way, all-day services on weekdays, but with varied weekend service. 

The Metrolinx Board of Directors endorsed the option that provides weekend service every two hours and recommended the project advance to construction and procurement. Metrolinx experts have found this will provide the best value for money, in terms of ridership and operating costs. Once service is in place, Metrolinx will monitor ridership and service levels, and additional service can be added as more customers use the service. 

To see the PDBC, click here, and accompanying technical memo

Under the Preliminary Design Business Case, all stations along the Bowmanville Extension (Thornton’s Corners East, Ritson Road, Courtice, and Bowmanville) will be pursued through Metrolinx and the Province’s Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program. 

The TOC Program aims to create connected communities, next to or within a short walk of transit stations and stops, while leveraging third-party investment to build infrastructure.  

Procurement For Bowmanville Extension Underway 

Metrolinx has started the procurement process to find a construction partner for the required rail infrastructure for the Bowmanville Extension project. 

The procurement process to identify a construction manager kicked off with a Request for Proposals (RFP) released in April 2022.  

The method of procurement for this RFP will be the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) model. 

Expanded GO rail service to Bowmanville has taken another step forward. Shown is map of the alignment for the project. (Metrolinx photo) 

The CMAR procurement delivery model allows for a collaborative approach between the construction manager (contractor) who comes onboard in the design stage of the project to assist with early problem solving, reducing the potential for risks during the construction stage of the project.  

During the design stage, the contractor works closely with Metrolinx on potential solutions to design challenges – allowing for innovation, efficiency, and quality management throughout the design process. 

Near the end of the design stage, the contractor will provide an estimated construction schedule and associated costs for the proposed work – at which time, Metrolinx and the contractor will negotiate terms of a construction contract, including a target price, or guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the construction stage of the work. 

As the scope of work for the Bowmanville Extension is very complex – this model allows the contractor to be engaged early in the design process, increasing efficiency of construction staging and sequencing, and providing better cost certainty for the proposed work – making CMAR an ideal delivery model for this project. 

The construction is anticipated to kick off following the design phase. 

More information on the project 

As part of the ongoing Transit Project Assessment Project (TPAP) addendum, there will be public information centre held in late 2022. Please subscribe to our Durham regional e-newsletter to stay up to date on the TPAP and engagement opportunities: metrolinx.com/subscribe and follow us on Twitter @GOExpanion.  

Metrolinx remains focused on bringing better GO services, faster, to customers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This news is the next stage in driving transit eastward. 

For more information on this project, please contact the Durham community engagement team at DurhamRegion@metrolinx.com.  

Story by Stacey Kenny, Metrolinx corporate communications manager and Jocelyn Stenner, communications senior advisor