Metrolinx plans to have it open in 2015: a new dedicated train, the AirRail Link, which will connect Canada's busiest air transportation hub to Canada's busiest transportation hub of any kind. That's Pearson to Union, and it hasn't been a quick and easy ride between the two for many years: traffic in this city has long meant that the trip between the core and the airport can be hampered by jams at many hours of the day.

Bring on the Pan Am Games in 2015, and finally Toronto is getting a little more rapid transit infrastructure to cope with the situation. After all, we don't want athletes and their coaches from across the hemisphere to know what it's really like to travel in this city: people from elsewhere might not think we have our transportation act together, and sadly, the truth does hurt.

So, bring on the concrete and rebar: the columns below are at the north end of the new 3 kilometre spur which will take the 70-metre long AirRail Link trains off the expanded GO Kitchener line and down to new platforms connected to Pearson's existing Link Train station at Terminal 1.

Construction of columns proceeds for the new Pearson-Union AirRail Link, image by Nigel Terpstra

Construction of columns proceeds for the new Pearson-Union AirRail Link, image by Nigel Terpstra

Construction of columns proceeds for the new Pearson-Union AirRail Link, image by Nigel Terpstra

Construction of columns proceeds for the new Pearson-Union AirRail Link, image by Nigel Terpstra

Construction of columns proceeds for the new Pearson-Union AirRail Link, image by Nigel Terpstra

Columns at the north end of the spur are the most conplete, while the concrete is now being poured for columns in the section paralleling the 427. Holes are being drilled currently for columns around the curve paralleling the 427 southbound to 409 westbound ramp. Counstruction for columns completing the spur along the 409 and over to the Terminal 1 station is still upcoming. A map shows of the whole route below.

Rail spur location for the Pearson-Union AirRail Link, cartography by Craig White

We await more news on the AirRail Link trains; so far Metrolinx has released the rendering below of the two-car Diesel Multiple Unit trains. They will run every fifteen minutes between the airport and the core, with stops at Weston GO and Bloor GO in between. Meanwhile a ratepayers group in Weston is attempting to stop the link from opening before it is electrified: a lawsuit contends that the health of those living nearby the tracks will be severely compromised until electrification of the line permits cleaner trains to run on it.

Pearson-Union AirRail Link vehicle, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Are you looking forward to the AirRail Link? What are your thoughts on it? Please leave a comment below.

Related Companies:  AECOM, EllisDon, Metrolinx, MMM Group Limited, Morrison Hershfield, WSP, Zeidler Partnership Architects