Improvements to rail service, including electrification, benefit people in Guelph by providing improved transit services for regional connectivity. Whether commuting to work or enjoying events and amenities in other communities, better connections is a priority identified in both the Community Plan and the City’s strategic plan, Guelph. Future ready.
Metrolinx has two major projects underway that affect Guelph:
- A study for the future electrification of the rail line from Georgetown to Kitchener
- A review of all at-grade rail crossings
Metrolinx consults the City of Guelph on projects related to rail service to and through Guelph. The City provides input from a community perspective, as well as technical information about aspects including existing infrastructure, transportation planning and the City’s Official Plan.
Future electrification of rail lines
Metrolinx is doing a study (transit project assessment process/environmental assessment) to prepare for the future electrification of their rail line from Kitchener to Georgetown. The purpose of Metrolinx’s study is to select sites for electrification infrastructure, study the environmental impacts or effects of the new infrastructure, and provide proposed mitigation. Part of this work includes planning for a traction power substation (power station) in Guelph.
City staff is part of a technical advisory committee that Metrolinx is consulting with for this work.
In April 2020, Metrolinx shared several possible sites for the power station along the rail line between Imperial Road and Alma Street. The City provided comments and information about each of these sites from a local perspective, including information about current and future planning and infrastructure.
Metrolinx reviewed feedback from all members of the technical advisory committee along with site feasibility to arrive at their preferred site for the Guelph power station: Margaret Greene Park. Metrolinx advised the City of their preferred site for the power station in June 2020.
We don’t think a City park is the right place for a new power station. Parkland is important to our community, and in fact the City wants more parkland, not less. We’ve let Metrolinx know this and asked them to reconsider other sites for this infrastructure.
Metrolinx is also engaging the community in Guelph and beyond as they complete this study. Materials from past and current engagement are available online. We encourage everyone to join in the conversation and share comments and feedback throughout the study.
Review of at-grade rail crossings
An at-grade rail crossing is where there is no separation of roads and sidewalks from the rail line: people walk, bike and drive across the rail line at these crossings. There are six at-grade rail crossings along the Metrolinx rail line in Guelph:
- Alma Street
- Edinburgh Road
- Yorkshire Street
- Glasgow Street
- Dublin Street (now closed)
- Watson Parkway North
Metrolinx is reviewing all street-level rail crossings in Guelph and beyond, but no decisions have been made beyond the Dublin Street closure. Metrolinx has agreed to collaborate with the City as their review moves forward, including sharing data and other findings of their review. While Metrolinx may propose additional closures, the City is advocating for them to explore all options.
We’re committed to ensuring the community has a voice in any further changes and we’ll work with Metrolinx to make sure that happens.
City’s rail corridor crossing study
The City plans to begin a study of all travelers crossing the Metrolinx rail corridor from Alma Street to Norfolk Street in late 2020. The terms of reference for this study are underway and a consultant recruitment will begin this fall. This study will include extensive community engagement and travel pattern studies in 2021. The study will examine the need for grade separation at the Edinburgh Road rail crossing and requirements for vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist crossings of the Metrolinx tracks within the study area.