The Clean Train Coalition congratulates the Ontario Liberal party on its June 12, 2014 election victory, with its promise to electrify the province’s existing (and planned) carcinogenic diesel commuter train services.
But mere days after the provincial election, an article in The Toronto Star would suggest Metrolinx is sending messages intended to lower expectations for electrification of the Union-Pearson Express train (and GO trains generally).
The Liberals promised to electrify the carcinogenic, slower, louder and more expensive diesel train service as part of their election budget.
The opportunity to electrify the new Union-Pearson Express from the beginning is narrowing fast. Once the diesel trains are running before the Pan Am Games (presuming construction and manufacturing schedules can be met), there will be limited time during off-hours to make the necessary modifications.
The British have devised an “electrification train” that can electrify 1.5 kms of rail corridor overnight. Such a system could electrify the 25 km distance from Union to Pearson in about 17 days. Optimistic, perhaps, but consider that Metrolinx has said it would take eight to 10 years to electrify the Union-Pearson Express line. The first Metrolinx study on electrification was published four years ago. Community groups have been calling for an electrified air-rail link for more than 10 years.
Write Premier Kathleen Wynne and Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, to insist they hold to their election promises. The Clean Train Coalition will continue its campaign for electrification.