GO Transit has replaced over 100 switches throughout the Union Station Rail Corridor to move trains more quickly and efficiently in and out of Union Station and further strengthen its commitment to on-time performance.
The new switches will improve the reliability of service by allowing trains to move from one track to another at faster speeds, providing a more seamless passage through Canada’s busiest rail corridor. They were installed over a period of six years, representing an $87 million investment to improve the reliability of GO service.
“The replacement of switches at Union Station will help keep GO Trains running on time and support our government’s commitment to bring two-way, all-day GO Train service to commuters in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area,” said Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Transportation. “Our public transit investments will help make transit a better choice for commuters, reducing gridlock and keeping our air clean.”
“The completion of the switch replacement program is good for the GO customer, as it improves the reliability of train movements at Union Station,” said Gary McNeil, GO Transit President. “These improvements to the rail infrastructure, in addition to the revitalization at Union Station, are critical in order to prepare us for increases in GO ridership over the coming years.”
When the track layout was designed, the emphasis was on moving intercity long-distance passenger trains and freight. These requirements have largely been replaced by the need to move commuters in and out of downtown Toronto. While the total number of station tracks has remained the same, tracks were reconfigured to reduce the amount of switching between tracks to help increase capacity and speed through the corridor.
The Union Station Rail Corridor is 4.8 kilometres long, running from Strachan Avenue in the west to the Don River in the east and featuring 256 track switches that allow trains to change tracks as they move through the corridor.
GO operates 189 train trips carrying 175,000 passengers daily, with at least 96 per cent of train ridership travelling through Union Station. GO ridership has grown by 25 per cent over the last five years, and is expected to double in the next 20 years.