Metrolinx announced last week that construction of the Union-Pearson Express rail link between two of the city's most important transportation hubs is now fully under way as the contract has been awarded to build the final component of the service's infrastructure, the terminal at Union Station.

The project is a prominent element of Metrolinx's "Big Move" regional transportation plan, one which will change the way many people travel between downtown and the airport. Kathy Haley, President of UP Express, stated that having all components of this project under way marked a milestone for the UP Express, which will open in 2015 as scheduled, in time for the Pan Am Games.

Union Pearson Express Train, TorontoRendering of UP vehicle, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Components of the rail project include:

  • construction of the 3km spur line connecting GO Transit's Kitchener rail line with Toronto Pearson Airport
  • building the UP Express station at Pearson Terminal 1
  • upgrades and improvements to Weston and Bloor GO stations
  • new tracks, signalling, and bridges along the rail corridor
  • construction of the UP Express shuttle trains
  • a terminal at Union Station

Union Pearson Express route map, Metrolinx, TorontoUnion Pearson Express route map, image courtesy of Metrolinx

EllisDon Corporation will carry out the $23,804,296 contract to build the modern terminal at Union Station, which will be accessed from the SkyWalk to the west of the Great Hall. This terminal will include automated ticket vending machines, fare card validators, customer service desk, plenty of seating during wait times, and accessible washrooms. The platform, dedicated to the UP Express service, will be climate controlled as it will be shielded by a platform edge protection door system. There will also be a mezzanine lounge above the platform level providing a panoramic view for customers, along with back-office space for staff and train crews.

Union Pearson Express, Union Station, TorontoUnion Pearson Express, Union Station, now under cosntruction, image courtesy of Metrolinx

The project is expected to create 1,255 jobs during construction.

For more information on the details and development of the Union Pearson Express, visit the UrbanToronto dataBase page for this project, linked below, or choose the associated Forum thread to get in on the discussion. UrbanToronto will post more updates as the construction for UP Express unfolds!