Weekly Newsletter: Toronto launches Premium Airport Express Train

Last month Toronto launched the UP Express, a premium airport express train linking Union Station to Pearson International. It provides an excellent model for Chicago as Mayor Emanuel has renewed his call for an O’Hare express train.

Metrolinx, Toronto’s regional transportation authority, funded the C$456 million project. The project included upgrading GO Transit’s Kitchener line with a new flyover, highway grade separations and new stations.  A 2 mile long viaduct was constructed to get the train directly to Terminal 1.  Half of the total cost was allocated to the commuter rail line.

The trains leave from a separate section of Toronto’s Union Station, offer level boarding, large luggage racks and other key amenities. Customers can receive a discounted ticket by tapping on with their Ventra-like Presto card. The trains cover the 15.5 mile route in
25 minutes with departures every fifteen minutes. It is projected to carry 1 million passengers and divert 1.2 million car trips in the first year alone.

The UP Express is very similar to the Chicago Downtown – O’Hare portion of our CrossRail Chicago proposal.

You can learn more at CrossRailChicago.org.

Last Week at MHSRA:

MHSRA staff have been growing our outreach. Last Saturday, we spoke with Green City Farmer’s Market Patron’s on the importance of train travel. If you have a farmer’s market in your area that you think could benefit from outreach or would like to volunteer please contact me at [email protected].

Articles We Enjoyed:

Commuter Rail Linking New Orleans to Baton Rouge has broad support, big obstacles
“Rail travel has become more attractive nationally, not only because of the rising popularity of public transit, but also because of its advocates’ beliefs it can be an economic engine.”

75 Percent of Americans Support Using Tax Dollars to Improve the Country’s Public Transit Infrastructure
“It is time for Congress to recognize the clear message from Americans around the nation: we support investing our tax dollars to expand and maintain our public transportation systems,”

Is India ready for high-speed rail?
“India cannot remain blind to the technological advancements made across the world,” one IR official said. “It is high time that the country took to the high-speed route.”

Vermont Proposes passenger rail expansion
“Vermont Transportation Agency’s rail plan – the first since 2006 – aims to support the goal set out in the 2011 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, which seeks to quadruple inter-city passenger rail ridership in the state to 400,000 by 2030.”

Connecting Eurasia: mapping the myriad of high-speed rail routes
“A new era of transnational connectivity is within reach as leading Asian and European countries lay out plans for long-distance or cross-border high speed rail infrastructure.”

Rail travel: Around the world in 80 trains
“For Monisha Rajesh, an epic journey has just begun. Her mission? To visit the planet’s most alluring destinations – and prove that rail travel still has the capacity to thrill.”

Upcoming Events:

NARP Fall 2015 Council Membership Meeting in Indianapolis, IN October 17-18. Optional Tour of Amtrak’s Beach Grove facility October 16. The meeting is open to all NARP members and other interested rail advocates.
Learn more here.

P3 Infrastructure Summit 2015 In New York City – October 14-15, 2015

Shira Orlowek
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Join today at MidwestHSR.org/Join-Us

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