Metrolinx planning extensive overhaul of UP Express: report

Sep 25 2019, 10:58 am

Just four years after the UP Express first rolled out of Union Station, a new report has revealed Metrolinx is considering major changes to the Union Pearson Express, including new trains and station renovations.

According to a report in the Toronto Star, the major overhaul of the airport train service could include station renovations and scrapping the current trains and swapping them for electric.

Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson for Metrolinx, told Daily Hive the document the Star reviewed is a very early planning proposal (from February 2019) and the plans have evolved since then and will continue to do so into the future.

According to the Toronto Star report, the transit agency has considered operating the Union Pearson Express as a “merged service” with GO Transit, using a unified fleet.

Additionally, the report also revealed Metrolinx has plans to potentially relocate the Union Pearson Express platform, which would include an estimated $80 million pedestrian bridge at Union Station.

It is unclear what the total cost of the other changes being considered would be.

According to reports, what Metrolinx has planned could lead to an almost complete overhaul of the UP Express, which opened at a cost of $456 million in June 2015, a month before Toronto hosted the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

“The massive success of UP Express with our customers today is the starting point for what an even better service to the airport could look like,” said Metrolinx president and CEO Phil Verster in an email statement.

 “We are planning now for a future UP Express service that is more frequent and also has some journeys that are quicker than today. This will be a huge win for our customers.”

The train currently makes stops at Bloor and Weston stations as well as Union Station and Pearson airport, with trains departing every 15 minutes and take 25 minutes to complete the trip from Union to Pearson.