GO Transit: Union Station Shed Replacement & Track Upgrades (Zeidler)

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by Mike in TO, May 24, 2006.

  1. Mike in TO

    Mike in TO Guest

    I wrote this in the thread on the Union Subway Platform expansion thread, but perhaps it deserves its own thread (if not a mod can delete it)....

    Apparently at the GO Transit Board meeting two weeks ago, members heard that staff is close to approving a contract to redesign the deteriorating train shed roof, and is also set to issue a RFP to build and rehabilitate passenger platforms, and build a new pedestrian connections to the east and west of the station.

    Apparently GO's development will go ahead with or without a Union Station deal (The UPG deal that fell apart). Whatever happens down the road in terms of redoing all of union station - UPG's successor will have to deal with infrastructure projects installed by GO in the interim.

    While I'm pleased that both the TTC and GO transit seem intent on going ahead to upgrade their facilities, I'm concerned by the lack of an overall vision for the station. Toronto may be left with a peicemeal approach for rehabilition and renovation.

    GO staff is currently evaluating bid submissions to rehabilitate the roof of the 75-year-old train shed, with plans to award the contract within the next few weeks. Plans include cutting a strip out of the centre of the roof and replacing it with a glass atrium of about 1 acre in size. The move will introduce more daylight into the interior of the train shed. Artificial light also is to be increased, with an energy management system to take advantage of daylight and save energy costs.

    Designs for the $55 million project are to be completed by April 2007. The construction contract is to be awarded in August 2007, with construction to be wrapped up by late 2010.

    Go staff is also going to issue a RFP for a $30 million design/build contract for a new passenger platform south of the existing train shed, as well as a new concourse connection to York St to the west and the future Union Plaza/Maple Leaf Square to the South. This is planned to go ahead regardless of the status of the UPG deal. Once again this concerns me - I'm pleased to see progress, but we need all the stakeholders to be working together for a coherent vision, not working seperately in their own little areas of Union Station.

    There are plans to extend the existing concourse level to the south to eventually connect to Union Plaza/Maple Leaf Square. Go will apparently be looking to the City to pick up some of the costs. ALthough the roughed in pathways to the south will not likely open until the station itself is redeveloped.

    Overall, GO Transit's improvements to Union Station and its rail corridor are to cost about $600 million. Of this $55 million (split between Ottawa & Queen's Park) will be dedicated to the train shed roof project and another $30 million for the platforms. The remainder of the project will include track and signal work, replacing antiquated equipment and upgrading the corridor to handle to potential doubling of ridership over the next 20 - 30 years.

  2. ganjavih

    ganjavih Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up


  3. MrOttawa

    MrOttawa Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up


    The City owns the station and station lands. Have they asked GO, primary tenant to take over this responsibility? What about comercial use of the "air rights" over the tracks, shed?

  4. GregWTravels

    GregWTravels Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    The city owns the station building, but the tracks, platforms and train shed is owned by GO.

    Interestingly, I just came across this document today on the City of Toronto website, which explains some the issues with the platform width at Union, and why it can't be expanded. It also gives details of the above mentioned project.


    Strangely, I find no mention of this project on GO's website.
  5. GregWTravels

    GregWTravels Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    ^ adding to the above.


    Components and ownership of the Station complex
    The Station complex is composed of the following major elements:
    • the station building (or Head House) at both ground and concourse levels;
    • the moats along Front Street, turning south along both Bay and York Streets to the start of the teamways at the viaducts;
    • the teamways running south from the moats along both Bay and York Streets;
    • the trainshed, its platforms and tracks;
    • the VIA concourse;
    • the east GO concourse and planned west GO concourse; and
    • the service areas directly beneath the arrival/departure hall currently used for storage, mechanical uses, parking and loading docks.

    The City of Toronto owns all the lands and the building south of Front Street between York and Bay Streets north of the Canadian National Railway’s High Line, plus the York West Teamway. GO Transit owns the rail corridor roughly stretching between the Don River and Strachan Avenue, and the former CP Express site across Bay Street, including the Bay East Teamway. Between York and Bay Streets, GO Transit owns
    a 27 foot high three-dimensional stratum or envelope through the City of Toronto’s property which houses the trainshed, tracks and platforms. The City of Toronto owns the building below and the air space above the GO envelope.

    Several other entities have leasehold or other contractual rights to space in the Station and neighbouring properties enjoy rights of access through the block for pedestrian routes.


    So, it appears GO owns the train shed, tracks and platform, but not the space above that, or the building (via waiting area) below.
  6. thenay

    thenay Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    thanks for the info :)
  7. bizorky

    bizorky Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    I second that! When does construction begin?

    I guess it doesn't work like that.
  8. Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    ^ Somewhere in this city, there's a room where it *does* work like that.

    Just not this one.
  9. MetroMan1000

    MetroMan1000 Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    Calatrava's Oriente station is nice... but it hasn't aged very well.

    I'd rather see a white balistic nylon approach. A sort of sails vision is produced by this and light is allowed throw the nylon. It can be quite beautiful.

    Now let me find examples...
  10. GregWTravels

    GregWTravels Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    Like Denver Airport?


  11. Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    Or Canada Place in Vancouver; Sherway Gardens food court - both by Zeidler.

    Personally not a fan of it - fabric tensile roofs is so 80s.

  12. jayomatic

    jayomatic Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    I'd love something like the Milan convention centre



    But who are we kidding. This is Canada. We'll probably end up with a n aluminum siding roof with regular skylights you'd see on a suburban home.
  13. Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    Or a mall. The budget certain sounds good for that kind of a thing. On the bright side, this is meant to be a temporary measure until they figure out exactly what to do with the trainshed. If history is any lesson (e.g. Terminal 2), it will take about 30 years.

  14. GregWTravels

    GregWTravels Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    That is pretty.

    How much would they be allowed to do? I read yesterday on the city of Toronto website that the "The train shed's structural elements, roof and platforms are protected by a Heritage Easement Agreement with Parks Canada, as areas that contribute to or define the heritage character of the facility."

    Does this mean they can't significantly change the roof?

  15. spmarshall

    spmarshall Guest

    Re: Union Train Shed Replacement & $600 million in GO up

    There's some people who would blow a gasket if you even suggest ripping down the historic Bush trainshed. Proponents of keeping the trainshed point out that skylights were part of the original design (would have gone over the platforms), and were cut out, and would support putting in those skylights as intended. This would at least increase the amount of light entering. However, this is one "historic" structure that I, for one, would not miss, skylights or not. If anyone advocated demolishing or significantly changing the headhouse, then that would be a completely different matter.

    Tear that shit down!

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