Exclusive. GOing Loco for GO’s new Tier 4 Locomotives

Great to have been able to tweet out a picture by Hunter Holmes and have it in the latest Metrolinx blog.

Metrolinx News

Reporter diary – A rare behind-the-scenes look at GO’s mighty new machines

Next to locomotive 675, everything else seems very small.

And I’m suddenly six years old ago, and dearly want to sound the train horn – if I could only find it.

As it waits at the Willowbrook train yard, located just west of Toronto’s Mimico station, it’s hard not be awed by the power of one of GO’s new Tier 4 workhorses.

Even by locomotive standards, the new generation of passenger train engines are behemoths. The MotivePower built locomotives are a staggering 129,000 kilograms – that’s equal to the weight of about 71 average cars – stand an imposing 4.7 meters from rail to roof and are longer than an articulated bus.

675 One of the new Tier 4 locomotives. Yes, you’ll want one in your driveway. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

Rail fanatics and fans have been sending our…

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Bridges from the past restored for better transit in the future

Happy to have been quoted for this. Mentioned the wedding and my grandparents.

Metrolinx News

After nine weekends of work, the Lakeshore West bridge project is finally over.

The giant blue cranes are gone.

And that signals relief for both the Lakeshore West line and GO Transit customers – as we say ‘thank you for your patience’ during the historic work.

If you traveled along the train corridor on weekends this fall, you saw the congestion that comes with a mammoth construction project. The vital line was being worked on around the clock as crews put in a total of 40,000 combined work hours to bring new life to several century-old bridges and overpasses, some dating back to the Grand Trunk Railway era.

That Grand Trunk was once considered the largest railway in the world, and was the chief line between Montreal and Toronto.

Work involved restoration of six century-old bridges between Mimico and Exhibition GO, including the Humber River Bridge, which weighs 7,000 tonnes…

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Training for transit independence in Ontario

Great to see this.

Metrolinx News

Metrolinx participates in Community Access to Transportation program for people with developmental disabilities.

On a brisk autumn morning, a very bundled up Carmen Farrugia waits patiently at a bus stop in downtown Hamilton. He’s wearing a bright red jacket and is standing on the sidewalk a few feet back from the curb.

As the bus approaches, Farrugia waits for the vehicle to come to a complete stop before stepping on board and tapping his PRESTO card. He greets the bus driver with a big smile and then strategically finds a seat close to the front.

While this process likely seems routine for most people who take public transit, for Farrugia, this trip is actually the result of months of practise – and has been methodically planned out.

Carmen for Blog Carmen Farrugia is one of more than 1,500 people in Hamilton who have now completed the Community Access to Transportation travel training course. Photo by…

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Lakeshore West bridge work nears completion

Includes a great sunset picture.

Metrolinx News

Stunning video and photos of bridge construction along the Lakeshore West Corridor show some incredible engineering feats and indicate service disruptions will soon be coming to an end.

They’ve been working around the clock on weekends to bring life to century-old bridges and transform rail corridors for future GO Transit service expansion.

Construction crews have made significant progress along Lakeshore West and, while nearing completion, have been delighted to see history before their eyes. The work has included the removal of a 107-year-old bridge span, the rehabilitation of existing bridge piers and other parts that are more than 130 years old. For many of the crew members, the work is like a time capsule.

“It is fascinating to see how bridge construction methods have changed over time” said Michael Szewczyk, a project coordinator who’s been involved with the bridge work on the Lakeshore West Corridor.

For Szewczyk and his team…

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Brampton’s Kettle Lakes

Hiking the GTA

Saturday May 28, 2016

Heart Lake Conservation Area contains two kettle lakes which formed when the last ice age retreated.  Around 20,000 years ago the Wisconsin Ice Age reached it’s maximum with an ice sheet that stretched from Newfoundland to British Columbia and south to Ohio and Illinois.  In the Toronto area the ice was over 1 kilometer thick or about twice the height of the CN Tower.  The advancing ice acted like a giant ice scoop clearing everything in it’s path.  Melting glaciers it deposited this debris in many ways.  Rivers of meltwater carried nearly straight lines known as eskers and the 7 kilometer long Brampton Esker runs south from Heart Lake.  The debris the glacier contained was left behind in the form of outwash.  Sometimes larger chunks of the iceberg would calve away and get buried by the glacial till in the outwash.  Later, when the ice melted it left behind a hole that…

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Good Foot Delivery service puts its best foot forward by using GO Transit

Metrolinx News

In Downtown Toronto, you might envision a priority courier as a cyclist in spandex, zipping around town, delivering documents from one office tower to another. Anywhere else, it’s likely a large company vehicle driving between locations and making quick stops to run packages to and from office parks.

There is another kind of priority courier service gaining in popularity though. It involves walking and taking transit to make pickups and deliveries.

Good Foot Delivery is one such service, but it’s also a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for people living with developmental disabilities.

“We look at ourselves as both a charity and as a business,” explained Ryan Hollinrake, Executive Director of Good Foot. “The charity and business aspects of our organization run systematically together. One couldn’t exist without the other.”

As a charity, Good Foot is able to direct 100 per cent of the revenues it receives from customers…

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Biking to school is trending with GTHA students

Great to see. #BikeTO #CycleON #BikeBrampton @STRCanada @EMcMahonBurl @kemosite

Metrolinx News

New stats show more students prefer two wheels as active transportation climbs to a five-year high

While the warm weather is winding down, biking to school is rising in popularity with Toronto-area kids.

According to a new study released by Metrolinx and conducted by the University of Toronto, more Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) students are choosing to bike to school than five years ago, with high school students leading the way.

The study, released this week, explores patterns in school travel by age, gender, time of day and captures trends for the entire GTHA dating back to 1986.

Ron Buliung, a professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, led the research effort and said that measuring how students get to and from school is helpful.

“As organizations like Metrolinx continue to invest in programs to encourage more walking and cycling to and from school, it is important…

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