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BACKGROUNDER

POSITION STATEMENT – June 3, 2009

Clean Train Coalition Position re: Metrolinx’ Plans for the
Georgetown South Corridor and Union-Pearson Rail Link

Metrolinx is planning an eight-fold expansion in diesel rail traffic in the Georgetown South rail corridor—from 50 trains per day to more than 400 trains per day. Yet, exhaust from diesel locomotives is a known danger to public health. It has been linked to cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancers and premature death. And it poses an specially potent danger to children and the elderly.

On May 26, 2009, Metrolinx announced plans to study the electrification of the region’s entire GO Transit rail system.

Our Response to the Metrolinx Announcement to Study Electrification

The Clean Train Coalition believes that this study is a step in right direction, but the Coalition is concerned that the study will not affect Metrolinx’ short-term plans to run more than 400 diesel trains daily along the Georgetown South/Union-Pearson Rail Link corridor.

Given the high proportion of residences, schools, nursing homes and daycares along the Georgetown South rail corridor, as well as the high volume of trains, the Clean Train Coalition argues for electrification of this corridor as an implementation priority for Metrolinx.

Not only does the Clean Train Coalition want Metrolinx to prioritize electrification of the Georgetown South Service Expansion/Union-Pearson Rail Link project (GSSE/UPRL), it also wants to be assured that there will be no new investment in diesel technology for the GSSE/UPRL. Plans to electrify the Georgetown South corridor can be done concurrent to the system-wide electrification study, and need not wait until the study has been completed in order to proceed.

Any plans and/or work-in-progress for diesels on the Georgetown South corridor—including the air rail link— should be halted immediately. All related budget should be redirected to electrify this corridor as soon as possible.

The Clean Train Coalition will continue to express its grave concerns regarding the current plan for the diesel-based expansion of the Georgetown South corridor and Union-Pearson rail link, until we see specific plans for immediate electrification of this corridor.

About the Clean Train Coalition

The Clean Train Coalition is an organization of individuals, communities, neighbourhood and business associations located along the Georgetown South rail corridor running northwest from Toronto’s downtown. It was formed in April 2009 in response to plans by Metrolinx for the Georgetown South Service Expansion and the Union-Pearson Rail Link. The Clean Train Coalition believes that public health, the natural environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure.

CONTACT:

Eli Malinsky, Spokesperson
416-642-5460

Carina Cojeen, Media Contact
416-886-2320


The Clean Train Coalition represents the communities along the rail corridor. We believe that a healthy environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure. Build it once, build it right! www.cleantrain.ca
 

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