UP Express wins award, raspberries

The UP Express has won the project of the year award at the Global AirRail Awards, given an industry magazine, AirRail News. The UP Express will, they say, be “a key component in the regional transportation plan developed by Metrolinx. The air rail link will provide an estimated 5,000 guests a day with convenient, reliable and rapid service between downtown Toronto and Toronto Pearson International Airport.”

Award-winning architects, however, were a little less fond of the project. Brown and Storey say that the noise walls being built as part of the project will “offer no collateral benefits for the city” according to a press release. The Junction Triangle Rail Committee published some rather shocking pictures of what they project the walls will do to a downtown park.

wabash-before-after2

In other news, the Minister of Transportation maintained that the line would not be electrified in time for the PanAm games. He “said the Ontario Liberals would continue to support electrifying the Union Pearson Express (UP) air rail link… mentioning 2017 as a potential target date for completion”

Metrolinx not replacing trees on corridor, catching heat

Metrolinx has cut down 167 large trees along the Georgetown South corridor, and, though they are replacing them 3:1, residents south of here are upset, according to BlogTO.

I know, because I got a C+ in one forestry course, that the devil is in the details for things like this; replacing trees can be like comparing apple (trees) and orange (trees). Replacing large mixed hardwoods with three times the number of small pines is hardly reforesting.

Moreover, the trees will not be planted along the tracks:

 planting of the replacement trees [will be] away from the rail corridor, though the location couldn’t be confirmed at publication time. The trees can’t be returned too close to the new tracks because safety rules require train drivers to have a clear view at all times.

Residents to get input into Kodak lands after all

Metrolinx, according to the The Star, is backtracking and allowing residents some input into what will happen at the derelict Kodak lands, which are to be turned into a rail yard:

Metrolinx has agreed to open debate on the fate of the former Kodak manufacturing site just months before the provincial agency tenders a multibillion-dollar contract to build a storage facility for the Crosstown LRT there.

It’s a major turnaround for Metrolinx, which has previously resisted requests by community activists to intensify development on the 23-hectare brownfield at Eglinton Ave. W. and Black Creek Dr., and include multi-storey commercial buildings that could lead to local jobs.