The Clean Train Coalition has sued Metrolinx in an effort to stop the diesel Air Rail Link. In the application to the courts, the coalition says that Metrolinx was acting to meet an artificial deadline—the Pan Am Games—and must reconsider its decision since diesel trains would conflict with Metrolinx’s mandate to support a high quality of life with a long-term vision.
The CTC wants Metrolinx to analyze electrification, reconsider the diesel trains “unfettered by any schedule related to the 2015 Games” and to consider the World Health Organization’s classification of diesel as a carcinogen.
In the punchiest two paragraphs of the otherwise dry application, the CTC says,
Over 300,000 people live within 450 metres of the ARL corridor and the Project impacts 37 schools, 40 child care centres, and four long term care facilities. Metrolinx’s recommendation to pursue electrification was based on analyses showing electric trains are quieter, faster and cleaner than diesel trains. Metrolinx concluded EMUs would deliver journey-time savings, health benefits, and important operating and maintenance costs savings compared to DMUs. Metrolinx concluded that the cumulative impact of these benefits, and the increase in benefits as service expands, builds the case to pursue electrification now in the longterm interest of Ontario citizens.
Notwithstanding Metrolinx’s recommendation to electrify the ARL, the Metrolinx Board of Directors voted on February 28, 2011, to approve the purchase of up to 18 DMUs from a Japanese company, Sumitomo Corporation, for delivery starting in 2013.