the inside of a tunnel.

Metrolinx News roundup for May 2017

Update on Crosstown LRT, Willowbrook and more.

May 19, 2017

So much is going on here to build transit that will benefit people in the region. Read on for a snapshot of how we’re making it easier to connect in the GTHA.

We are making great progress on the Eglinton Crosstown and are well on our way to launching this outstanding new service as scheduled in 2021.

Now, we are pleased to be able to say we have certainty that there will be trains to run on this line.  That is because we are entering into an agreement with Alstom as an alternative supplier of light rail vehicles.  Alstom will build 17 vehicles for the Finch West LRT project and, if necessary, 44 for Eglinton Crosstown. If Alstom vehicles are not needed for Eglinton Crosstown, they will be reassigned to the Hurontario LRT project.

We know for sure that Alstom’s light rail vehicles work.  They are currently producing quality vehicles on-time for Ottawa’s Confederation Line LRT project.

In other Crosstown machine news, the extraction of the east tunnel boring machines (TBMs) began in March. Four TBMs collectively burrowed the 10-km underground portion of the LRT project along Eglinton Ave, between Keele and Laird. Now with the tunneling complete and all the stations under construction, we’re on our way to more, reliable connectivity across town.

Some leaders were on the move in April. The Prime Minister came by our Willowbrook rail facility to announce $1.8B in funding toward GO expansion. Bruce McCuaig, our CEO of six and a half years, bid us farewell. We’re in good hands, though. Our former Chief Capital Officer, John Jensen, stepped up to take the helm.

Metrolinx is providing benefits and improving convenience for travellers by teaming up with some familiar names to provide more synergy between transit and other aspects of everyday life. Tim Horton’s is going to try out selling coffee at some GO stations, and Shoppers is selling and loading PRESTO cards at a ten stores in Toronto to start.

We’re in various stages of procurement for several projects that will enable more service for GO riders as part of our major expansion plans. We’re improving Rutherford GO Station, building a Kipling Bus Terminal, constructing a rail tunnel under the 401, and enhancing Union Station.  While we do that, shovels are already in the ground at Bloomington GO Station, the future terminus of the Richmond Hill corridor.