Since the formation of GO Transit in the 1960s, the service has provided a backbone for the continued growth of the Greater Toronto Area. Traffic in the GTA is choked, so plans to increase the service by converting lines to GO Regional Express Rail (GO RER)—all day, two way service, much of it on electrified lines—have been in the works for several years now. All day, two way service on five of the corridors served by the system would provide riders with a similar experience to networks such as the Long Island Railroad in New York or the original RER system serving greater Paris.

Current GO Train network map, via GO Transit

This week, Infrastructure Ontario announced that four teams have pre-qualified to bid on the On-Corridor Works project for GO RER to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the massive overhaul of the rail network. The pre-qualified bidders for the Request For Proposal (RFP) are:


  • Applicant Lead: SNC-Lavalin Capital, Siemens Project Ventures, Keolis
  • Construction Team: SNC-Lavalin, Siemens
  • Design Team: SNC-Lavalin, Siemens, Balfour Beatty Rail
  • Operations & Maintenance Team: Keolis SNCF, SNC-Lavalin, Siemens
  • Financial Advisor: National Bank

MTR Kiewit Partners

  • Applicant Lead: MTR, Kiewit
  • Construction Team: MTR, Kiewit
  • Design Team: MTR, Arup, Mott Macdonald
  • Operations & Maintenance Team: MTR
  • Financial Advisor: Scotiabank

ONcore Transit

  • Applicant Lead: ACS
  • Construction Team: Dragados Canada
  • Design Team: AECOM, Sener
  • Operations & Maintenance Team: ACSIC, RATP Dev, Bombardier
  • Financial Advisor: Astris Finance and Rubicon  

ONxpress Transportation Partners

  • Applicant Lead: Aecon Concessions, John Holland, Meridiam Infrastructure, Alstom Transport Canada
  • Construction Team: Aecon IM, John Holland, Alstom
  • Design Team: WSP, Hatch, Alstom
  • Operations & Maintenance Team: Deutsche Bahn, John Holland, Aecon O&M
  • Financial Advisor: RBC Dominion Securities

GO Train electrification Map, via Metrolinx

The scope of the On Corridor Works project includes:

  • Operation of train services including train driving
  • Timetable planning, train control and dispatch for all operators across the GO-owned rail network
  • Design, build, finance, integration, maintenance, rehabilitation or renewal of the railway corridor (civil infrastructure, tracks, systems, signaling, rolling stock, etc.)
  • Refurbishment, maintenance, servicing and cleaning of all rolling stock and procurement of new rolling stock
  • Construction of new maintenance and train storage and/or layover facilities
  • Reconstruction of Union Station track and platforms
  • Compliance with Metrolinx safety, security and emergency management policies

GO Trains passing each other, via GO Transit

The RFP shows that Ontario's current government has advanced the plans hatched under the Liberals during the previous administration. Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek stated in the recent press release, "The GO Expansion program is transforming GO Transit to make life easier for people by shortening commutes, reducing congestion and getting people to work and home faster. Our government is committed to improving the transit experience for people and to ensuring that the GTHA continues to grow and prosper as one, integrated region."

Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton was also quoted, stating, "The GO Rail Expansion program will make traveling across the GTHA a faster, easier and a more seamless experience f or commuters." GO estimates the number of weekly train trips on the system will jump from 1,500 to over 2,000 by 2020 as work progesses. In addition full electrification of the Lakeshore East and Barrie Lines as well as the partial electrification of the Lakeshore West, Kitchener and Stouffville Lines should be complete by 2025, when weekly train trips should number nearly 6,000.

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