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posted on March 28, 2009
New residents' groups are waking up to the fact that the airport express may bring noise, dirt and pollution
By: JEFF GRAY
Published: MARCH 28, 2009
Source: the Globe and Mail
Catherine Hume and her children, 10-month-old Phoenix and four-year-old Rivi, live on Golden Avenue, a west-end street of modest and mismatched homes that dead-ends against a green sheet-metal wall. Beyond it are the GO Train tracks that carry commuters home to Brampton and beyond.
Ms. Hume, 41, and her neighbours - their brood of toddlers and preschoolers running around in the early spring cold - say they don't mind the noise of the 50 or so trains a day. One mother, just a door from the tracks, even teaches music lessons in her foyer.
But for the hundreds of thousands who live along the Georgetown rail line, which cuts through gentrifying west-end Toronto neighbourhoods such as the Junction, Roncesvalles and Liberty Village, life may be about to change.
There could be 220 trains a day by 2013, when privately operated express trains from Union Station to Pearson Airport start running 140 times a day and GO Transit has also dramatically increased the frequency of its service. By 2031, there could be more than 350 trains a day. And all of them would be powered by diesel locomotives, producing what activists warn will be a cloud of pollution equal to the exhaust of a dozen highway lanes.