The Ontario government has awarded a contract to Bowmanville Construction Partners (BCP), a general partnership between Ledcor CMI and Dragados Canada, to advance the planning to extend GO’s Lakeshore East rail service from Oshawa to Bowmanville (18.7 km extension). In 2022, Ontario had pledged $730M for this project. The planned service level is all-day two-way.
Due to substantial changes in the project since it was originally conceived in 2011, an amended Environmental Project Report (EPR) was required, and was unveiled at a public meeting in June, 2023. The project highlights were:
- New alignment. Immediately east of Oshawa station, the extension will turn sharply north to cross Highway 401 and the General Motors spur line, using two new bridges, to connect to the CP Belleville Sub at Thornton Corners.
- Construction of one or two new GO tracks in the CP corridor immediately south of CP’s single track. About 9 km of the GO line will be double tracked, allowing for ample opportunities for east-bound and west-bound GO trains to pass each other
- Install wayside power at Bowmanville station so two trains can be stored overnight
The project has a couple of interesting features:
(a) Four new stations (Thornton Corners, Ritson, Courtice and Bowmanville) are planned, but are not part of the extension project. The Province is pursuing station construction to be delivered through its Transit Oriented Communities program, and active discussions are underway with local developers.
(b) Based on the drawings in the EPR, there are no planned connections between the CP and GO tracks. While this has the advantage of operational simplicity (neither operator affects the other), it greatly reduces flexibility during any incident such as a stalled train. Transport Action Ontario has recommended that “jump frog switches” be installed between the CP and GO tracks.