Toronto commuting can be a real pain some days, but Metrolinx and GO Transit are working to make sure it gets better. GO's rail service is Canada's most used commuter rail service, with 185,000 daily passengers riding the green. To ensure increased future capacity and a better commute, Metrolinx has a plan called The Big Move. As part of that plan GO is undertaking a massive project to expand its Kitchener Rail Corridor between Union Station and Georgetown. Infrastructure for the Union Pearson Express train is also being built as part of this project.

Metrolinx, GO Transit, Georgetown SouthGO Train passes crews working on the Georgetown South Project Weston Tunnel, image from Metrolinx

Metrolinx, GO TransitMap of the Georgetown South Expansion project, image from Metrolinx

The corridor cuts through the western half of Toronto, extending all the way to the Airport, and continues on to Kitchener. The Georgetown South Project (GTS) ecompasses the area roughly between Union Station and Pearson Airport. In total 16 bridges will be expanded and retrofitted to handle the influx of new passengers from upcoming two-way all-day service. In addition, Metrolinx is building 5 grade separated underpasses including the complicated West Toronto Diamond Grade Separation where both freight and passenger service intersect.

Strachan Avenue Rail Underpass looking West, image by Nigel TerpstraStrachan Avenue Rail Underpass looking West, image by Nigel Terpstra

In preperation for the Union-Pearson 'UP Express' rail service, crews at Bloor and Weston are working to completely remodel both stations for increased capacity and to provide better passenger shelters and amenities. The new train service will provide passengers with a premiuim 25-minute express trip between Pearson International Airport and Union Station. To ensure the reliability of this service, Metrolinx is building dedicated tracks along the route.

Metrolinx, GO Transit, Georgetown SouthUP Express Rail Spur being constructed, image from Metrolinx

Metrolinx, GO Transit, Georgetown SouthPile Driver working at Bloor GO station, image from Metrolinx

Metrolinx is also taking a look into the future of its trains and has started community consultations for electrification of the Georgetown and Lakeshore lines. Electric trains will be able to run at increased speeds, moving more people with less localized pollution.

Metrolinx, GO TransitWeston Tunnel Trench digging, image courtesy of Metrolinx

With service improvements and the UP Express needed in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games, Metrolinx and its partners are working quickly to improve transit across the region. With so many pieces to this massive project, UrbanToronto will return with more in-depth articles looking at some of the most crucial components in the coming months.

To see what else Metrolinx is doing to provide better GO Transit rail solutions for the region, check out the dataBase links below and drop by the Forum and see what people are saying about this exciting project.