January 29, 2016 12:30 pm
Updated: January 29, 2016 8:20 pm

Union Station renovation poses problems for new electric trains

WATCH: GO train electrification has officials at Metrolinx altering plans for the Union Station platform ceiling. Mark McAllister reports.


TORONTO – Plans involving a new ceiling for GO train platforms at Union Station didn’t account for a change from diesel to electric trains.

Metrolinx officials have discovered that the new trains won’t fit under the arches of the roof are now trying to find ways to accommodate them.

The $250-million project started the renovation design in 2006. The province approved electrification of the rail corridors and future trains five years later.

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“It’s a challenge that nobody’s standing around scratching their heads,” spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said. “There are a variety of options and what they’re trying to assess right now is what is the most cost efficient and what’s the least disruptive to our customers.”

The electric wires required to carry power to the trains will eventually placed overhead.

Different options for fixing the problem could include: making adjustments to the system that will carry the electricity, lower the tracks so the trains better fit or make changes to all the work that has been done and raise the roof.

“It goes back to poor planning,” MPP Michael Harris said. “Taxpayers are on the hook for some substantial cost over runs on this project and now we’re learning that potentially that trains aren’t able to fit in the initial structure.”

At this point, there are no cost estimates for any of the possible changes. Metrolinx plans to release timelines and budget in the next few weeks.

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