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GO improvements coming for Union Station

Attention News Editors:

TORONTO, Aug. 17, 1999 /CNW/ - GO Transit will open up access to

the west side of Union Station, giving passengers a more direct route between the train platforms and York Street or the SkyWalk. New stairs will be built at the extreme west end of Union Station to connect one platform directly with the SkyWalk, and link three other platforms with the covered pedestrian “teamway” (or walkway) on the west side of York Street below the tracks. The new stairs will help ease passenger congestion on the GO platforms, especially during the morning rush hour. The existing stairs are all clustered in the middle of the platforms or toward the east end, so passengers now tend to crowd into the easternmost train cars to be closer to the stairs on arrival at Union Station. “Having more stairs will let people exit quicker,” says Rick Ducharme, GO’s Managing Director. “The new platform stairs will also give our passengers a more direct connection to the York Street side of the station.” Construction has begun and should finish in February 2000. Union Station is GO Transit’s busiest station, used by 115,000 GO commuters every weekday. GO will also be preparing for winter by modernizing some key track switches and snow blowers in the approaches to Union Station, just outside the station’s west end. Five hot air blowers for snow melting will be installed, and 10 key switches will be upgraded with new, more-powerful motors. GO Transit’s Board approved the switch upgrade work at its monthly meeting last Friday; the snow blower installation was approved in May. The new equipment, to be installed before this winter, will reduce the impact of severe weather and heavy snowfalls such as the ones in last January’s big snowstorms. “Union Station is the crucial hub of GO Transit’s train network,” says GO Chairman Eldred King. “Therefore it’s important to construct these improvements now, even though the ownership of the station remains unresolved.”


For further information: Media enquiries - Edmund Shea, (416) 869-3600 ext. 5328; or Karen Majerly, (416) 869-3600 ext. 5325