Metrolinx, in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario, has released two Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) relating to the construction of new projects that form part of the ongoing electrification and expansion of the GO Transit network. With the intent of improving transportation throughout the Greater Toronto Area and the Golden Horseshoe, Metrolinx is now looking for interested parties to design, build, and finance an expansion of Cooksville GO Station as well as a new Highway 401 Rail Tunnel. The Request for Qualifications is the first step in procuring a qualified team to deliver the project, a process which will next invite selected applicants to submit proposals by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Located on Hurontario Street and intersecting the future Hurontario LRT Line in Mississauga, Cooksville GO Station is slated for a major renovation that will modernize and renovate its facilities in order to meet growing demand on the Milton Line. The RFQ asks interested parties to submit proposals that include a new station building and a large public plaza, an upgrade to existing rail platform access tunnels, a new six-storey parking structure with pedestrian connections to the platforms, redevelopment of existing surface lots, and a new bus terminal with a minimum of eight bays to be used by MiWay and GO Transit.

Location of Cooksville Station on the Milton Line, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Metrolinx is also accepting proposals from interested parties to design, build, and finance a new Highway 401 rail tunnel, just to the east of Etobicoke North GO Station. Part of the ongoing efforts to electrify the GO Transit network and increase service throughout the region, construction of a second tunnel under Highway 401 where Highway 409 diverges would accommodate two more tracks, plus future signalling and communications infrastructure under the highway. It would allow for frequent all-day, two-way service to be put in place on the Kitchener GO Line. UP Express and VIA Rail trains also share this corridor. 

Part of the Kitchener GO Line, image courtesy of Metrolinx

These projects are part of a broader effort by Metrolinx to transform GO from a commuter rail service to a Regional Express Rail (RER) system in the Golden Horseshoe, a multi-faceted move that seeks to increase transportation and connectivity throughout the different urban nodes in the region by 2025. As part of the huge public infrastructure investment (with over $160 billion planned to be spent in Ontario over 12 years), Metrolinx is relying on RER electrified rail service to significantly increase travel speeds and frequency to reduce waiting times, improving the user experience throughout the Toronto region and increasing overall system ridership.  

We will continue to update you with the status of these developments as they move through the design and planning process. Feel free to express your opinion in the comment section below, or join the conversation in our Forum.