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Bids sought to build air-rail link spur line

by David Nickle

Companies looking to build a three-kilometre rail spur to Pearson Airport from GO Transit’s Georgetown railway corridor can now put their best pitch forward to Metrolinx.

The regional transportation body issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) Friday, Nov. 26, to solicit interest from companies hoping to construct the spur, which will be the final section in the Union Station to Pearson air-rail link (ARL).

From Union to north Etobicoke, ARL trains will use GO’s existing Georgetown corridor. However, west of Hwy. 427 at Goreway Drive, the trains will continue on a short spur into Pearson’s Terminal 1.

Successful bidders will have to finish building the line in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games. The contract will also include construction of a new station at Terminal 1.

When it’s up and running, the ARL will carry passengers every 15 minutes between Union and Pearson, with stops at Bloor Street beside the TTC’s Dundas West Station, and in Weston.

The RFQ is the first step in hiring contractors to complete the process.

The plans will be evaluated and Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx will announce a short-list in early 2011.