GO Train


Progress being made to provide faster, more frequent GO service

ONxpress and Metrolinx celebrate one year in Development Phase.

Jun 20, 2023

In the last year, Metrolinx has made strides to get the largest piece of the GO Expansion program moving. 

Metrolinx selected ONxpress Transportation Partners (ONxpress)  in 2022 to enter the development phase of the GO Expansion – On-Corridor Works Project, or OnCorr, as it’s known.

GO Trains sitting at the Whitby Rail Maintenance facility on the Lakeshore East Line

OnCorr and GO Expansion  

The GO Expansion program will make it easier for customers to get to where they need to go, by delivering 15-minute or better, two-way, all-day service on core segments of GO rail lines over the next decade.  

GO Expansion is a massive and complex undertaking, which means it needs to be split into two pieces – the first of which is called early and complementary works.  

Early works include new bridges and structures, rail facilities, track and signals – all of which will unlock some early service benefits for GO customers.  

Complementary works are made up of station improvements and renovations to enhance safety, accessibility and the overall customer experience, and will also add new stations along some corridors. 

Over $11 billion of early and complimentary projects are already underway across the region. 

The second piece is OnCorr, which is the largest project in the GO Expansion program.  

OnCorr includes all works that will unlock faster, more frequent train service, such as track, signaling, electrification work and electric vehicles, as well as the operations and maintenance of the GO rail network over the next 25 years.  

Over the coming years, work will be delivered in phases while Metrolinx continues to provide fully operational GO Train service for its customers.  

A GO train makes a run along tracks during an early morning commute.

What is a Development Phase? 

Offering faster, more frequent GO service all over the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area requires a large-scale planning and design period to progress many design and construction details before major construction starts. 

This period is called the Development Phase, and its main function is for Metrolinx and ONxpress, a partnership of leading Canadian and international companies, to finalize the scope, design, and cost for the project. 

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During the development phase, ONxpress’ first step is to gather information about the network, fleet and current maintenance and operations activities. This includes geotechnical investigations across the entire network, and inspecting all the systems and assets, including trains, facilities and stations.  

This discovery phase will help to inform the planning and help the team make informed decisions on the project scope.  

During the development phase, the network will also undergo advance works, which will provide a strong foundation and ensure readiness for the start of construction. 

Geotechnical work underway 

Customers may have noticed geotechnical work being conducted at various locations across the GO rail network to gather data on the soil type, texture, structure, density and absorbency via borehole drilling.

This initial investigative work is critical in the development of the design and construction of structural foundations as different ground conditions can sometimes require different construction approaches.

Check out this video explaining the boreholes work.  

GO Expansion borehole testing

What’s next? 

Advance works include prep work that will set the stage for the proposed future electrification of the GO rail network.

This work is expected to begin later this year, and Metrolinx anticipates there will be improvements to service starting in the next couple of years as a result of early and complimentary projects already underway.  

Future service levels will be unlocked incrementally as various work phases are completed.   

What does this mean for you?  

An estimated nine million people will call the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region home by 2041. The OnCorr project, and GO Expansion as a whole, will transform the transit experience and rail network to increase frequency of GO Train service, add capacity and connect growing communities across the region. 

by Alex Kelly Metrolinx communications senior advisor