A major component of Metrolinx’s The Big Move transit infrastructure project is the Union Pearson Express (UP Express). The UP Express will run between Union Station in Toronto and terminate at the future UP Express Pearson Station at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga. The UP Express line will also incorporate stops at Bloor-Dundas and Weston GO stations into its route.

Conceptual train design to run on the UP Express line, image courtesy of Metrolinx

The UP Express will differ from the regular GO rail lines in that Metrolinx is proposing to electrify the entire 25 kilometres of the line with an Overhead Contact System (OCS) - a system similar to the one used for the TTC’s streetcar lines and the various commuter train lines around the world.

However, before the project proceeds, both Metrolinx and Hydro One have announced that they will commence environmental assessments for the UP Express project, fulfilling Metrolinx’s requirements under the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) and Hydro One’s requirements under the Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities (Class EA). Once the environmental assessments are complete, they will be made accessible for public review.

Proposed UP Express line and EA study area, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Metrolinx has already held a series of public open houses this past summer to share project updates and seek feedback on the conceptual design of UP Express electrification. A second round of joint Public Open Houses are planned for winter 2014 to present and gather feedback on both the TPAP (Metrolinx) and Class EA (Hydro One) project components. Consultation with the public and First Nations and Métis communities is a key element to the UP Express environmental assessment. The public is encouraged to submit comments or questions related to the UP Express Electrification Project to electrification@metrolinx.com.

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