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posted on December 04, 2010

GO Transit considers switching from diesel to electric

By: Natalie Alcoba
Published: November 15, 2010
Source: The National Post

An ongoing Metrolinx study has underscored the benefits of electrifying GO Transit, but it will be the new year before the cost and timeline of such an undertaking is disclosed.

The final report will detail six electrification options – from converting just the Lakeshore corridor to the entire 509-kilometre network – and compare cost, environmental and service impacts to the current diesel-powered system. It will be up to the regional transportation agency’s board, and ultimately the province, to decide how to proceed, said Karen Pitre, project director for the electrification study.

Electric locomotives are cheaper to operate than their diesel counterparts, they are faster and more environmentally friendly, said Ms. Pitre, but there’s a price tag attached to changing the rolling stock, building the overhead catenary system and supplying power. “Everyone has always acknowledged that there are benefits” to electrification, Ms. Pitre told a room full of journalists gathered Monday for a study briefing, but “do the costs justify the benefits?”


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