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Union Pearson Express

Rendering of the Union Pearson Express vehicle


Providing express, high-quality rail service between Union Station in downtown Toronto and Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport, the highly anticipated Union Pearson Express is a key component of The Big Move – Metrolinx’s strategy for a modern, efficient and integrated transportation system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

As traffic between downtown Toronto and Toronto Pearson is expected to double over the next 10 years, the Union Pearson Express will fill a vital gap in transportation options by creating a quick, dependable service between Toronto Pearson and Union Station – the two busiest transportation hubs in the country.

All construction components of the express rail service are now underway including construction of Toronto Pearson and Union Station passenger stations, as well as the 3km “spur” line between Terminal 1 and the existing GO Kitchener train line. Upgrades to 22km of track on the Kitchener GO line – part of the Georgetown South Project – will support the Union Pearson Express and provide infrastructure improvements, including future all-day, two-way service. Check out photos of our progress, and renderings of future UP Express stations and trains on Flickr.

When completed in 2015, the spur will rise above major highways and roadways, and will give visitors and residents a uniquely elevated view of Toronto Pearson and the city.

In 2015, the GTHA will step into the global spotlight for the Pan/Parapan American Games, and the Union Pearson Express will provide thousands of travelers from around the world with a new experience – a warm and convenient first welcome to our city and province. Following the Games, the Union Pearson Express will continue to provide visitors with reliable and enjoyable access to the many tourist and cultural venues the region has to offer, assisting in the promotion of the area as a tourist destination and attracting visitors to its hotels and restaurants.

UP Express Spur: By the Numbers

3 kilometres: length of the spur and the distance from Union Station to Queen’s Park
70: the number of piers (not including the existing piers that will be utilized by Pearson’s People Mover)
25 metres: height of tallest pier (#63) from grade level to underside of girder, which is approximately half the height of Niagara Falls (51 metres)
4 metres: height of shortest pier (#1) from grade level to underside of girder
2 metres: the average depth to which the piers are buried
35 metres: average distance between piers
343: the total number of girders/support beams (393 concrete and 24 steel)


The total budget for the Union Pearson Express is $456 million (in 2010 dollars). This investment includes $355 million in construction infrastructure and contingency costs, and approximately $100 million for service development and business and operations planning. To date, Metrolinx has awarded three contracts. One contract is for the new passenger station at Toronto Pearson plus the 3km spur line connecting Toronto Pearson and the GO Kitchener line, awarded to AirLINX Partners Inc. for $128.6 million. The second contract is for the trains, or Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), 18 of which are being commissioned from Sumitomo Corporation of America for US$75 million. The third contract is for the UP Express station at Union Station, the $23.8 million contract with EllisDon Corporation includes the construction of the UP Express station and platform at Union Station. All the components of the project construction are now underway.

For additional information about Union Pearson Express service, construction, route, stations, and trains, visit upexpress.com.