GO Transit Regional Express Rail

From CPTDB Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Regional Express Rail (RER) is a 10-year project that will add all-day, two-way GO Train service to more of the GO network along with increased frequencies. Some lines will see off-peak frequencies of 15 minutes. RER will be implemented on the Barrie line, Kitchener line, Lakeshore East line, Lakeshore West line, and Stouffville line

Included in the project is electrification of the core sections of the network. Metrolinx has recognized that the use of Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) will be an important factor in achieving the goals of fast and frequent travel with RER. EMUs can accelerate and brake faster than locomotives pulling unpowered coaches. They can also achieve higher speeds. Metrolinx hopes that the flexibility of EMUs will also result in an increase in efficiency of operations. GO Transit would still retain the existing BiLevel cars, which will be hauled by electric locomotives, for peak operations.


When GO Transit began train service in 1967, they operated four trainsets at rush hour and one during midday on what are now the Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West lines. Weekend service followed a few months later as well as additional trainsets. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, GO Transit added more lines to their network. Many of these lines were taken over from Canadian National and VIA Rail. Aside from the Lakeshore and Georgetown lines, service operates only during rush hour and in one direction. This is largely due to a variety of constraints, mostly infrastructure related.

On November 28, 2008, the Metrolinx Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt this The Big Move, a regional transportation plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The report identified the all-day, two-way GO train service as a priority. Since then, various levels of government have invested in a number of projects to improve GO Transit. One of the largest has been the Georgetown South Project which has added capacity to the corridor and facilitated the Union Pearson Express. Train lines have also been extend, including the Georgetown line to Kitchener and Barrie line further into Barrie.

In 2014 Premier Kathleen Wynne affirmed the commitment to all-day, two-way GO train service. Dubbed Regional Express Rail, Metrolinx began planning for the delivery of the project over the next ten years. The Provincial Government comitted $15 billion to transit infrastructure, part of which will go towards RER.[1] The year prior, infrastructure upgrades allowed increased off-peak frequency (30 minutes instead of 60) on the Lakeshore lines. In 2015, GO reintroduced mid-day service on the Kitchener line, operating as far as Mount Pleasant.[1]

On April 3, 2018, Infrastructure Ontario issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the On Corridor Works project which will facilitate GO train service expansion and will include track, signalling, electrification infrastructure, electric vehicles, as well as the operations and maintenance of the GO rail network. The following shortlist of bidders was announced at the end of May 2019:

  • EnTransit[2]
    • Applicant Lead: SNC-Lavalin Capital, Siemens Project Ventures, Keolis
    • Construction Team: SNC-Lavalin, Siemens
    • Design Team: SNC-Lavalin, Siemens, Balfour Beatty Rail
    • Operations & Maintenance Team: Keolis SNCF, SNC-Lavalin, Siemens
    • Financial Advisor: National Bank
  • MTR Kiewit Partners[2]
    • Applicant Lead: MTR, Kiewit
    • Construction Team: MTR, Kiewit
    • Design Team: MTR, Arup, Mott Macdonald
    • Operations & Maintenance Team: MTR
    • Financial Advisor: Scotiabank
  • ONcore Transit[2]
    • Applicant Lead: ACS
    • Construction Team: Dragados Canada
    • Design Team: AECOM, Sener
    • Operations & Maintenance Team: ACSIC, RATP Dev, Bombardier
    • Financial Advisor: Astris Finance and Rubicon
  • ONxpress Transportation Partners[2]
    • Applicant Lead: Aecon Concessions, John Holland, Meridiam Infrastructure, Alstom Transport Canada
    • Construction Team: Aecon IM, John Holland, Alstom
    • Design Team: WSP, Hatch, Alstom
    • Operations & Maintenance Team: Deutsche Bahn, John Holland, Aecon O&M
    • Financial Advisor: RBC Dominion Securities

A request for proposals (RFP) was sent to the pre-qualified teams. In November 2021, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario announced that two teams, EnTransit and ONxpress Transportation Partners, submitted proposals. A successful proponent is expected to be announced in 2022.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 REGIONAL EXPRESS RAIL (RER) presentation. 05 September 2014. Metrolinx.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Four teams to bid for GO Rail Expansion project." Canadian Consulting Engineer.
  3. "Request for Proposals Closed for GO Rail Expansion – On Corridor Works Project." Press release. Infrastructure Ontario. 30 November 2021