GO Transit is looking at expanding rail service on the Richmond Hill corridor. It recently completed the environmental assessment in August and now is recommending a route and the sites for stations. The environmental assessment report also analyzes potential sites for a layover facility, where GO can store as many as six 12-car trains overnight to provide better service along the line.
The report recommends extending GO train service along Canadian National’s Bala Subdivision — the line that GO’s 61 Richmond Hill trains currently use — eventually northward to the area of Aurora Road, east of Woodbine Avenue. At first, the line would use two stations — on Stouffville Road, just east of Leslie Street, near the village of Gormley and on Bloomington Road, west of Highway 404. Eventually, GO would build two more stations, one at Vandorf Road at Woodbine Avenue and another at the end of the line on Aurora Road.
GO would also build and own a third rail line parallel to the current Bala Subdivision to allow it increase service along the line.
Key to the proposals is a layover facility where GO can store trains overnight. The report recommends building this new facility on the south side of Bethesda Road. Currently, GO trains that serve the Richmond Hill line “deadhead” — operate without stopping — every morning from the Willowbrook Yard near Mimico Station to Richmond Hill before starting service southward to Union Station. Every evening the trains deadhead again back to Willowbrook.
The new layover facility will increase the efficiency of the line, with trains starting their morning trips close to their overnight layover.
GO has now providing the report for members of the public to review, and submit comments on the proposal. After the 45-day review period ends, GO will forward the environmental assessment report to the Minister of the Environment to approve.
You must submit any comments in writing before Monday, November 2 to:
Mr. J.G. Ashbee, P. Eng.
Manager, Infrastructure Expansion Planning
20 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5J 2W3
Phone: 416-869-3600, ext. 5211
Mr. Bill Hjelholt
Consultant Project Manager
AECOM Canada Ltd.
5080 Commerce Blvd.
Mississauga, ON L4W 4P2
If you feel that this project creates serious environmental concerns, you may write to the Minister of the Environment, 135 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, ON, M4V 1P5, with a copy to GO Transit within the 45-day review period, to request that the project be subject to a Part II Order, requiring an Individual Environmental Assessment. This may result in the Government of Ontario undertaking a formal government review process.
You can review the report here.