Union Pearson Express (Air Rail Link) – Global AirRail Awards Project of the Year

Union Pearson (UP) Express, formerly known as the Air Rail Link, will provide express, high-quality rail service to connect Union Station in downtown Toronto with Terminal 1 (T1) at Pearson International Airport.

Union Pearson Express Named Project of the Year

One of the most ambitious and important transportation projects in the history of the province of Ontario is progressing towards completion, and has already received critical acclaim. Union Pearson (UP) Express, formerly known as the Air Rail Link, will provide express, high-quality rail service to connect Union Station in downtown Toronto with Terminal 1 (T1) at Pearson International Airport. Significant work has been undertaken since Metrolinx was assigned the project in 2010, and all aspects are now under construction. It is on-schedule to go into service in time for the start of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.

Although it is still in process, the UP Express was named Project of the Year at the 2013 Global AirRail Awards. Organized by the British publication AirRail News, the Global AirRail Awards are dedicated to promoting best practices and excellence in the international air-rail industry. In naming UP Express 2013’s Project of the Year, the judging panel recognized the importance of its holistic approach to creating the long-anticipated air-rail link for the Greater Toronto Area.

Since late 2010, MMM has been providing technical advisory services for the project’s new, approximately 3-km long elevated guideway structure, and for the new UP Express Pearson T1 Station. The guideway connects the GO Georgetown South Corridor – which the UP Express will use for most of its route – to the new station at Pearson. At Pearson, the airport’s Automated People Mover (APM) system will extend under, and beside, the UP Express infrastructure. The $120M project is being delivered through Infrastructure Ontario (IO) using the design-build-finance alternative delivery method. MMM’s services as IO’s technical advisor included the development of the project-specific output specifications; and compliance monitoring during design and construction, including the development of a hazard and risk analysis document to identify construction risks on the guideway to the APM service. The project was awarded to Airlinx Transit Partners, a joint venture of AECON and Dufferin Construction, in late 2011. Construction is well underway, with the project on schedule to be completed in July 2014.

MMM is also providing detailed design and engineering services for the UP Express Union Station platform and waiting lounge. This is a new station facility being constructed as an addition to an existing building – the Skywalk – located immediately to the west of Union Station. It will include a main 1,100 m2 platform level that comprises a customer service desk, retail service area, public washrooms, and a waiting platform; along with a second 600 m2 mezzanine level with a waiting lounge, crew room, public and staff washrooms; and mechanical, electrical, and communication rooms. The station’s platform will be completely enclosed, and will feature a platform screen door system for passenger comfort and safety. The platform doors will open in synchronization with the doors for the light rail vehicles used by the UP Express Service. The Union Station Platform and Waiting Lounge was the last element of the UP Express project to go into construction; EllisDon Corporation was awarded the $23.8M contract in June 2013.

More information on the Union Pearson Express project is available at http://upexpress.com.