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GO building new train yard in Whitby;
DRT detouring buses

Thanks to reader Robert Wightman, who helped us with our math.

GO Transit has started to build its new East Rail Maintenance Facility in south Whitby.

The 600,000-square-foot (56,000-square-metre) facility will provide mechanical maintenance, body repair and day-to-day cleaning and operational services to support expanding the regional rail network. Currently GO has only one train maintenance facility for the whole system, Willowbrook, in Etobicoke.

Here’s some of the facts and figures about the new facility:

  • 600,000 square footage of maintenance buildings (that’s slightly smaller than the Air Canada Centre);
  • 63,500 feet of tracks (in kilometres that’s just under the distance from Pickering to Oshawa);
  • 300 - 400 jobs result during the building of the facility and afterwards;
  • 72 track switches;
  • room for storing 22 trains on the site;
  • 18 spots for repairing coaches;
  • 14 spots for repairing locomotives;
  • 4 maintenance bays;
  • 2 outdoor service areas;
  • 1 train wash;
  • 1 locomotive wash;
  • 1 office building;
  • 1 crew centre;
  • 1 wheel shop

Preliminary work started in summer 2012. Facility construction will likely start this year and finish in early 2017.

One component of the project already underway is the building of an overpass on South Blair Street in Whitby. The Town of Whitby is closing the street to allow contractors to start working on this phase of the project, so Durham Region Transit is detouring buses operating along the 922 Bloor - Victoria route, to accommodate the work. Buses started detouring Friday, January 24 and will likely continue to divert from their regular route until 2015.

922 Bloor / Victoria

Starting Friday, January 23, westbound buses operate along their regular route to Victoria Street East and South Blair Street, then detour:

westward along Victoria East;
southward along Brock Street South; and then
eastward along Watson Street East to South Blair,
resuming their regular route southward along South Blair.

Eastbound buses reverse the westbound detour routing.