Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig and Ontario Minister Stephen Del Duca announcing the Don Yard expansion, image, Jack Landau

Ontario and Metrolinx are taking yet another step toward implementing regional express rail service along GO Transit rail corridors. Ontario's Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Metrolinx chief executive officer Bruce McCuaig visited GO's Don Yard this morning to announce that the government and its regional transit agency are upgrading and expanding the yard.

Metrolinx already stores some GO trains in the Don Yard. The expansion will allow it store and maintain more, image, Jack Landau

Construction at the site near Lake Shore Boulevard East and Cherry Street will result in more facilities to store and maintain GO and Union Pearson Express trains near GO's busy Union Station hub. That means that trains will spend less time "deadheading"—traveling between the maintenance facility and the station before or after they serve passengers.

According to McCuaig, “The upgrade will help us reduce deadhead trips, fuel consumption and costs, crew hours, and congestion within the Union Station Rail Corridor at peak travel times.”

Del Duca explained, "The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is expected to be home to nearly 10 million people by 2041. To support the busy Union Station hub, we need to ensure we are planning with the future in mind."

Ten million people will live in the region by 2041. Some of them already live in new developments near the yard, image, Jack Landau

The project includes modifying existing tracks and creating three new storage tracks, 300 meters of new concrete retaining walls, a substation upgrade, and compressed air systems that will reduce train noise and allow trains to shut down during layover periods. In three years these new tracks will become mainline tracks as part of the RER expansion. They are designed to meet mainline standards.

The project will cost Ontario taxpayers $17.1 million with Metrolinx planning to complete it by spring, 2018.

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